Radio selection

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Radio selection

Postby clipster159 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:03 pm

I have been looking at purchasing a new digital scanner as I have been stuck in the dark ages with only analogue radios. I have been researching the forums, sent emails to radio stores for advice, some have replied and some haven't which I find terribly frustrating. I've also spent many hours watching YouTube footage to assist my selection.

I have narrowed it down to 3 radios, the Uniden UBCD3600XLT, the AOR AR-DV10 and the Uniden SDS100E, It seems all of them have issues and no clear winner. My favourite was the AOR AR-DV10 until I found out about the frequency shift which I find quite unbelievable. I understand Uniden are not great with software updates.

I duck in and out of scanning so my knowledge is limited and I would very much appreciate some help and advice. I want to buy a scanner that will see me through for a good few years and give me trouble free operation while being able to listen to analogue and digital transmissions. Any advice on the best shops to deal with would be great as well.

Thank you in advance

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Re: Radio selection

Postby mickydt » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:00 pm

it is a bit more with the dv10 hardware problems which they have been trying to correct with updates, i had one and it was terrible and went back.

i also had the 3600 it is okay but for me it seemed a bit deaf the uniden sds100e is good but if you get one don't update it as it causes issues the latter does seem to be a good signal puller and you can now buy them fully activated with dmr and nxdn no tetra though there is also the whistler to consider but some say it can be bad on analogue others should let you know.
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Re: Radio selection

Postby jimh » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:54 pm

I own both the Uniden 436 (the US cousin of the 3600) and Whistler TRX1. I'm interested in the AOR, but with no NXDN9600 support and such terrible frequency drift I'm not prepared to waste nearly a £1k of my hard earned cash on one. The Icom R30 looks pretty good but no DMR is a turn off and lack of memory channels for me. Can't really comment on the SDS100 - performance looks very similar to the 436/3600, so haven't invested in one as I don't believe it would offer me much of an advantage over the 436 I have.

Others will have their own views, but in general I find:
- TRX more sensitive but much less selective than the Uniden
- TRX better performance on DMR especially DMR simplex (probably because of the above point)
- Uniden much more user friendly for searching for new frequencies (and better tools - close call, discovery, configurable search bands etc). TRX ok for scanning known ones
- Uniden better and more intuitive software. TRX EZScan software is a bit basic.
- Uniden configurable to do pretty much anything, steps, modulation etc. TRX much more limited
- low volume on TRX can be a bit of a nuisance
- better battery life on the TRX but then again it needs x4 AA's not x3
- I prefer the display on the Uniden but find some of its limitations for displaying full digital info frustrating
- I regularly get issues with SD card write errors on the TRX. Never had one issue on the Uniden
- I find the keypad and menu on the TRX a bit confusing and illogical at times. Learn to use a Uniden and it stays with you for life.
- I like both but my preference is the Uniden, but then I use it for lots of different things and I like to search for new stuff.
- I bought the 436 because the 3600 didnt exist at the time. But i don't regret that - all firmware updates for non-US uniden variants are released later - if at all (Europe, Australia etc). By importing, you take a little more risk with warranty and buying DMR/NXDN upgrades, but I've never had an issue

In summary very little to chose between these 2 - if you only want to scan known digital frequencies then go for the TRX. If you want to find new frequencies then go for the Uniden. If you want to simply empty your bank account go for the AOR, and if you want to listen to just a fraction of digital comms go for the Icom.

But if I were starting off from scratch with a full bank account, I think I'd be heading for the Uniden SDS100E (though personally I'd want to check out battery life)

If you just want to affordably just dabble in digital and aren't worried about being mobile, get a windows device running DSD+ and modify an analogue scanner/get an SDR dongle.

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Re: Radio selection

Postby thelad » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:51 am

I Have the 3600, its not much to sing about.
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Re: Radio selection

Postby clipster159 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:48 pm

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your input and comments which have been greatly appreciated.

It appears the 3 radios I shortlisted all have slightly different issues, everything taken into account I think I am going to leave it for a couple of months to consider my options, that being said I think the radio that has put its head above the parapet is the SDS-100e.

Thank you one again.

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