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  #1  
Old 06-22-2020, 8:49 PM
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Default Radio Scanners

Looking for advice on radio scanners.

I'm a bit new to the field, having an old analog Yupiteru from the '90s. Doing a bit of research I've found that Digital 02 (trunked) is the most capable, and that the capability to reduce Simulcast Distortion would be helpful in my area (East SF Bay).

Anyone have recommendations? My budget isn't particularly constrained, I lightly favor portable units vs base units.

Thanks in advance for the advice.
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  #2  
Old 06-24-2020, 5:29 PM
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I have owned a Uniden BCD436 since 2015. Good handheld scanner. I wouldn't consider myself a power user (even though I've had scanners for 40+ years). But it performs better then any Radio Shack handheld I've owned and definitely has more features (most that I don't use or know how to use).

FWIW, monitoring about 80 freqs at a time takes about 8 hours of battery life. YMMV.
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Old 06-24-2020, 5:37 PM
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The Uniden SDS-100 or SDS-200 would be the way to go. They will pick up everything you want--as long as it's not encrypted.

You can check radioreference.com for the system you want to monitor.

Programming a scanner these days sometimes takes an advanced degree..lol

https://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-016159
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Old 06-24-2020, 7:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushwack44 View Post
I have owned a Uniden BCD436 since 2015. Good handheld scanner. I wouldn't consider myself a power user (even though I've had scanners for 40+ years). But it performs better then any Radio Shack handheld I've owned and definitely has more features (most that I don't use or know how to use).

FWIW, monitoring about 80 freqs at a time takes about 8 hours of battery life. YMMV.
Thanks Bushwack, I've been considering the BCD436. Good to hear it's held up for you for a decent period of time. It's certainly a capable unit with good reviews.

The SDS 100 is claimed to make better reception when Simulcast Distortion is an issue. I'm told this area uses Simulcast, so kinda leaning that way. Any one have thoughts on that model? Have you noticed any Simulcast issues?
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Old 06-24-2020, 8:00 PM
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I have an SDS-100 and it's awesome. I found it used and they come up every now and then. Best bet is to start hitting Craigslist and trying to find a used one. They are expensive and usually kept in good condition.
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Old 06-25-2020, 11:32 AM
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+1 for the SDS-100/SDS-200

They are currently the only scanners that have the technology to assist with simulcast issues.
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Old 06-25-2020, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
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+1 for the SDS-100/SDS-200

They are currently the only scanners that have the technology to assist with simulcast issues.
Can you offer an example (as oppose to the BCD436)?
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Old 06-25-2020, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushwack44 View Post
Can you offer an example (as oppose to the BCD436)?
Here's a thread that should help:

https://forums.radioreference.com/th...rdings.371823/

Basically-Anything, other than the SDS-100/200, will miss transmissions on simulcast systems.

The best example of this, in Southern California, is the new San Bernardino County radio system.
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Last edited by SB1942; 06-25-2020 at 12:27 PM..
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Old 06-26-2020, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SB1942 View Post
+1 for the SDS-100/SDS-200

They are currently the only scanners that have the technology to assist with simulcast issues.
Alright SB1942, it's all your fault!

I just bought a Uniden SDS100. They're in high demand, so Bearcat Warehouse is expecting to ship in late July / early August. I've found the online scanner apps to be useful, so having this in hand should be reassuring should unrest resume. When the helicopters are hovering overhead one really does get curious... But refrains from venturing outside.

As always there's the dilemma of what to get in terms of add-ons and accessories. I decided to enable all RF enhancements as I do travel a bit and appreciate a fully enabled unit. Threw in the car power adapter, a carrying case, and a better antenna.

For what it's worth my County (Alameda, in the SF East Bay) does utilize Simulcast technology. So glad I learned of this scanner option.

Thanks again everyone for your advice and counsel.
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Old 06-26-2020, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Experimentalist View Post
Alright SB1942, it's all your fault!

I just bought a Uniden SDS100. They're in high demand, so Bearcat Warehouse is expecting to ship in late July / early August. I've found the online scanner apps to be useful, so having this in hand should be reassuring should unrest resume. When the helicopters are hovering overhead one really does get curious... But refrains from venturing outside.

As always there's the dilemma of what to get in terms of add-ons and accessories. I decided to enable all RF enhancements as I do travel a bit and appreciate a fully enabled unit. Threw in the car power adapter, a carrying case, and a better antenna.

For what it's worth my County (Alameda, in the SF East Bay) does utilize Simulcast technology. So glad I learned of this scanner option.

Thanks again everyone for your advice and counsel.
Lol! I like it! I'm sure you'll be really happy with it.

It looks like Alameda Co. still has most of their channels "in the clear." It appears each individual agency has some tactical channels "encrypted." It's definitely better than places, like Orange County, where the majority of the LE radio system has been "silent" for several decades.

Hope you give us a full review after you get it.
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Old 06-29-2020, 1:01 PM
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EBRCS ( alameda county radio system) has a policy that all the agencies main channels have to be in the clear. It might change we will see..
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Old 06-29-2020, 6:16 PM
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Listening via the online services, I've noticed occasions when they switch to a "Tac" channel. Presumably those are encrypted, not sure.

It is interesting to pick up on what goes on in the area. People overdosing and whomever calls can't give a proper address or go out and flag down the rescue crew looking for them. A car winding up in someone's residence. Someone with plates that don't match the make and model of car their driving, hanging out at the In 'n Out.

'Tis a weird world, confirmed.
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