WS-1080 vs BCD-436HP in Los Angeles Day 1

Status
Not open for further replies.

AA6IO

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 10, 2007
Messages
1,510
Location
Cerritos, CA (LA County)
Received the WS-1080 from Ham Station yesterday (Thanks Jeff for great service).
I will preface this by saying I never owned the PSR-800, so it is going to take me a while to get up to speed with the software.
That said, "You must be kidding me, some people think the PSR-800 (now the WS-1080) is better than the 436HP. Well we must be on a different planet. Because I sure don't. Granted it is only day 1 and I need to learn the radio. But already the screen is scratched. Had it out less than 4 hours, and the screen is scratched.
Then, sometimes the speaker would not come on when had the USB cable plugged into it to use it without the batteries. That seemed to resolve after a while, but have no idea why. Why did I use the USB cable after a couple of hours? Because I could watch the battery indicator going down as I used the scanner. I mean pretty fast.
To be fair, the P25 audio quality sounds a bit more natural on the WS-1080, but not by much. Whereas the P25 decode, in my opinion, is better on the 436HP. This seemed true both on the LAPD conventional P25 and ICIS P25 trunk system.
The big deal for me is the flexibility of the 436HP/536HP to do things on the fly. Maybe I am just used to the Favorite List/Sentinel program now, but I find that very flexible. With no keys to really do anything on the WS-1080, I feel lost.
Yes, the VHF was a bit better on the WS-1080, but not by much. And the 436HP has the nice big display. With the WS-1080, its pretty much the old smaller display. Maybe I am different, but besides hearing the channels and TGs, I like to see lots of information about them.
Again to be fair, I want to give it a couple of weeks with good comparisons between the WS-1080 and 436HP. But something tells me early on (kind of like when I met girls way back in the 1970s - now married 38 years) that the 436HP/536HP are going to continue to be my workhorse scanners.
In fact, I told Jeff at Ham Station to put me on the list for a 1095, but if it is basically the same as the 1080, I probably will forget it.
I realize that I am comparing the PSR-800 to the 436HP, and for me, at least on day 1, it is hands down the 436HP for me in Los Angeles in terms of on the fly flexibility to narrow down what I want to hear from literally thousands of stations. But I may change my mind after a week or two when I get used to EZ scan. Again, however, the inability to use third party software like Butel, ProScan, or Win-500 with the PSR-800/WS1080 is a big negative for me.
Steve AA6IO
Steve AA6IO
 

jaspence

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
2,478
Location
Michigan
Remember you are comparing a radio released several years ago with the newest on the market. You might find the 200 V Scan Folders as useful as the favorites list. The battery indicator can be customized, and battery life on both my PSR 800 and Pro-108 is acceptable after making changes. The lack of a key pad is simply a preference. Hams complain about the same thing on some of the newer models. If you ever used a commercial radio, the keypad is usually useless to the end user except for minor functions.
 

AA6IO

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 10, 2007
Messages
1,510
Location
Cerritos, CA (LA County)
Jaspence,
You may be right. That is why I need to give it a couple of weeks. Once I get the V Scan Folder thing down like the Fav list, maybe I will change my mind. Thank you very much for the battery indicator information. Perhaps I should give it a few days before making any real comparison statements.
Much of it has to do, of course with my preferences, but I am certainly willing to learn new tricks.
Regards
Steve AA6IO
 

Boatanchor

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2011
Messages
991
Interesting comments.

Keep the reports coming through. There will be plenty of people wanting to know just how good, or not, the ws1080 is compared to the competition.

The lack of a keyboard is a deal breaker for me though.

Personally, I think the ws1080 is going to need to be at least $50 cheaper than the BCD436hp if it is going to really compete in this tough market.

I'm just going to have to be patient and wait for an updated 396xt style scaner with phase 2 I think. :p
 

iMONITOR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
9,250
Like the GRE's, I think the Whistler's pale in comparison to the new Uniden 436/536 scanners for performance, and especially features! Granted there have been a few growing pains, but what scanner manufacture hasn't gone though that with the initial release of new technology.

Not sure why there is so much excitement over the Whistler scanners finally shipping, when they're really the same as the old GRE scanners. I really think Whistler should have brought more to the party with their first release. Now, when they do it later, many potential buyers will have moved on to the new Unidens.
 

jaspence

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
2,478
Location
Michigan
Whistler

The reason nothing new was added was because Whistler wanted to get the radios back into the sales stream. The FCC required them to go through all of the certification the same as if it were a brand new radio. They also had to find manufacturing as the GRE plant was destroyed by the Chinese Gov. Retooling and getting production going is not an overnight project. Whistler did not purchase ay parts, etc, only the intellectual rights, so they started where GRE was several years ago. I have both Uniden and GRE scanners, and as far as I see, Uniden still has nothing that can challenge the flexibility of the 200 V Scan folders when I travel with my radio.
 

iMONITOR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
9,250
I have both Uniden and GRE scanners, and as far as I see, Uniden still has nothing that can challenge the flexibility of the 200 V Scan folders when I travel with my radio.
Have you checked out Favorites, Locations/Radius, and GPS features in the new Unidens?
 

pepsima1

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Banned
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
1,078
Location
Pimp County, Neveda
Yeah I had the PSR 600 and the 800 and sold both of them and went back to the Uniden 996XT and the BCD436HP.

I loved the PSR-600. It was a nice unit and having the V scan folders was nice. The P25 decode was hands down the best. It was weak on VHF low and airband but overall else its a great radio.

Now the PSR-800 was just not for me. The paint came off the front face piece. I just felt it was cheap. Also, that radio chewed up batteries real bad. Had to do all of these modifications settings to try and help save battery life which was a joke. I just ended up selling it. Make sure when you buy from HAM Station that you are aware that they do not take back returns. Jeff is not a fan of it. Just make sure when you buy from them that you will keep your radio or charge it on a credit card and get their protection. Most high end credit cards have that protection now. I can charge on my chase United credit card and for any reason I am not happy for any purchase to a 500 dollar limit I can return for any reason up to 4 months.
 

jaspence

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
2,478
Location
Michigan
Scanner programming

imonitor, have you ever used a PSR-800? It can set up a scan folder by city, county, or zip. No, it does not interface with a gps, but since I know where I am, it is not problem to set up a scan folder in a couple of minutes and save it as a V Scan folder for future use or the return trip to an area. When I want the best listening quality, I use a XTS3000(VHF & 800 MHz) or an EF Johnson 5100 with transmit inhibit on. They handle simulcast better than any brand of scanner. For analog monitoring, a Pro-96 or BC125XT handle the job.
 

iMONITOR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
9,250
imonitor, have you ever used a PSR-800? It can set up a scan folder by city, county, or zip. No, it does not interface with a gps, but since I know where I am, it is not problem to set up a scan folder in a couple of minutes and save it as a V Scan folder for future use or the return trip to an area. When I want the best listening quality, I use a XTS3000(VHF & 800 MHz) or an EF Johnson 5100 with transmit inhibit on. They handle simulcast better than any brand of scanner. For analog monitoring, a Pro-96 or BC125XT handle the job.
Yes, I've owned several PSR-800's. I'm experienced with their feature set, and capacities, but I still do not think it's a match for the BCD436HP.

I can't argue with your claims on the XTS3000, that's cheating! :cool:

Michigan's MPSCS is a challenge in some counties with simulcast. The new Uniden's 436/536 handle it much better than anything else available to the normal citizen/consumer today. That's why I'm sold on them.
 

Ensnared

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 24, 2004
Messages
3,323
Location
Waco, Texas
Whistler Day Late Dollar Short

I took the Uniden plunge & don't regret it one bit. The only issue I had with the 436HP was the volume. But, then I learned of the need for using a stereo speaker. I have been a loyal GRE customer, but I'm afraid they have some catching up to do in order to compete with Uniden. I will give GRE the advantage for audio and more natural-sounding audio, but that is about all. At present, my PSR 500 is dead. I suppose my purchase of the 436 was well-timed. Soon, I will send the 500 in for repair; however, I won't be loading any P25 systems that utilize simulcasting. This was the main reason I bought the 436, linear simulcast distortion. I hope Whistler picks up the pace of production & entertains the possibility of bringing other radio systems to the listener. That, in my opinion, would give them the edge over Uniden. I like the GPS function, but I also like V-folders. The "favorites" design is rather annoying to me. So, Whistler, let's get on the ball!
 
Last edited:

W6KRU

Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
3,409
Location
Oceanside, CA
The decode errors on my 396T and 396XT suck so bad, I will not take a $500 gamble on Uniden finally fixing their simulcast issues. My PSR-500 has always worked great and I decided to try a WS-1080. It works great as well and blows away the digital sounding garbage coming out of my Unidens.
 

baayers

Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Messages
239
Location
Pinellas County FL
Just my opinion as someone who has owned both if I lived in an area where most things are on the 7/800 band like Phoenix I would give the nod to the 436 but the VHF issues here were just too much so I sold it and now have the 1080. Having now used both I can say that both have their pros and cons as to which one is better I think what band contains what you want to listen to would be a big part of that decision.
 

AC2OY

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Messages
2,373
Location
Belleville,New Jersey
To the op...how's the audio? One thing I still love about my 800 is that the audio comming out is louder and not as muddy. But I do think the P25 on the 536 is slightly better than the 800.
 

KevinC

Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Jan 7, 2001
Messages
6,399
Location
Somewhere other than home :(
Not trying to get OT, but the one thing I REALLY like about my PSR-800 is that the discriminator out at the headphone jack works awesome with the mic input on my laptop for both DSD+ and DMRDecode.

Hopefully the 1080 works as well.
 

AA6IO

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 10, 2007
Messages
1,510
Location
Cerritos, CA (LA County)
To the above two posts.
1) I have to give the audio to the WS-1080. Similar to my experience with PSR-600 and PRO-106 vs comparable Unidens.
2) Have not tried discriminator out, but manual says it is available, so I will eventually get to that.
Steve AA6IO
 

AA6IO

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 10, 2007
Messages
1,510
Location
Cerritos, CA (LA County)
Day 2 with 1080 in Los Angeles. Now that I have figured out more about how this radio works, and successfully installed the EZ scan software, the more I am liking it. I have to say that the audio quality is excellent. The P25 audio is great, actually a pleasure to listen to. It is better than the 436HP in this regard.
I will now retract my "If you like the PSR-800 you must be on another planet" comment. I can definitely see why some people like this radio. It is definitely a keeper and worth the effort I am going to have to spend learning the ins and outs of this radio.
Compared to the 436HP, both evidently have their pros and cons.
Also will retract that I won't buy the 1095. If I am going to invest time learning this radio and software, the 1095 will be on my "next" list.
Steve AA6IO
 

minasha

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2010
Messages
472
Location
NYC
Hi,
On the psr-800 and 1080 when you plug the USB cable in, you cannot use the radio for monitoring.
That's why you got no audio when usb is plugged in.
It's only for charging batteries or programming.
So you can't use a 1080 without batteries, this is a HUGE con on these radios.
I might have to mount a jack parallel onto the battery leads to feed external wall wart on my 800.
Just don't think there's any room for the jack.
 

minasha

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2010
Messages
472
Location
NYC
I am really tired of these Digital scanners. Both the Uniden and Whistler/Gre models fail miserably in decoding p-25 phase 2 systems with LSM. I try to listen to the NJ Interops from West Orange and although my signal is excellent the garbled broken up transmissions are impossible to understand.
Can anyone here advise me what other units made by Motorola etc. would let me hear these phase2 and phase 1 for that matter clearly without garbled sound.
I would like my cheapest option to be able to program trunked UHF 700, 800 systems, trunked and conventional UHF 380-512 MHZ and conventional 150-174MHZ.
Must get phase 1 and phase 2 clearly (Of course I know I can only get unencrypted transmissions).
I am not interested in transmitting at all only want this for receiving.
I will need ability to re-program if desired.
i know this will not be a $500 scanner but I will pay more for something that works!
Please any help on what radio fits my needs is appreciated.
 

W6KRU

Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
3,409
Location
Oceanside, CA
Hi,
On the psr-800 and 1080 when you plug the USB cable in, you cannot use the radio for monitoring.
That's why you got no audio when usb is plugged in.
It's only for charging batteries or programming.
So you can't use a 1080 without batteries, this is a HUGE con on these radios.
I might have to mount a jack parallel onto the battery leads to feed external wall wart on my 800.
Just don't think there's any room for the jack.
That is completely wrong! I am currently listening to my 1080 with USB power. It even has an icon showing external power instead of the battery gauge icon. The external power icon looks like an AC plug.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top