Uniden SDS100 Scanner

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jfr454
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Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#1 Post by jfr454 » 20 Mar 2018 23:17

Yesterday Uniden announced the release of a new handheld scanner SDS100. The radio is a first to utilize SDR technology for better reception of digital signals. Link to the press release below.

https://www.uniden.com/newsroom/press-r ... ming-soon/

magellanous
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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#2 Post by magellanous » 21 Mar 2018 01:41

Always a good idea to wait 6 months to 1 year on these things, especially with new features and design. The first year is basically the "public beta test."

Once all the initial issues (and there always are issues) get worked out , I'll probably pick one up.

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garys
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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#3 Post by garys » 21 Mar 2018 08:07

It looks interesting, but I plan to stick with my x36HP scanners for now. Besides, there will be a few slightly used ones on the market once some people buy them and realize they are complex to program. ;)

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Mark SNE Moderator
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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#4 Post by Mark SNE Moderator » 21 Mar 2018 20:03

What, exactly, do they mean by SDR?

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schwab
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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#5 Post by schwab » 21 Mar 2018 21:18

And they still want you to pay extra for DMR...

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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#6 Post by W1KNE » 21 Mar 2018 21:28

Mark SNE Moderator wrote:
21 Mar 2018 20:03
What, exactly, do they mean by SDR?
Software Defined Receiver or Radio. It's almost entirely run on Software, so there aren't many limitations on what it can do.

Check out. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software-defined_radio

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trp
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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#7 Post by trp » 22 Mar 2018 09:27

FYI some of the major scanner dealers are already listing/displaying the new Uniden SDS100 handheld scanner on their websites. Uniden has announced an MSRP of $699 but none of the dealers below have posted/announced any actual "street prices" as of yet. The unit is not yet type accepted by the FCC so none of the dealers are accepting any pre-orders at this time. Per Uniden the release will be sometime in the second quarter of 2018 (April-June). Zip Scanners has posted that it "Launches in June 2018!"

Here are the direct links to the new Uniden SDS100 at the following scanner dealers:

Universal Radio: https://www.universal-radio.com/catalog ... /6100.html

Scanner Master: http://www.scannermaster.com/Uniden_Bea ... 501979.htm

Zip Scanners: https://www.zipscanners.com/uniden-sds1 ... anner.html

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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#8 Post by magellanous » 23 Mar 2018 12:09

I've been happy with my 436 but do wish it did a little better on analog. My old BR330T beats it. One of the uniden reps on the RR site said analog would not be improved on the SDS100. So it really seems to be for the folks whose primary listening is digital in busy areas. I won't rush to ditch the 436 this year.

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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#9 Post by garys » 23 Mar 2018 14:55

There is only one Uniden representative on RR. His user name is UPMan. Anyone else who is saying anything is more or less guessing. Even the beta testers don't have all of the information and had to sign NDAs in order to be beta testers.

What do you mean by being better on analog? My 456HP does quite well on analog and digital. The BR330T was a nice radio, but it was very limited in it's features. The 436HP is worlds better.
magellanous wrote:
23 Mar 2018 12:09
I've been happy with my 436 but do wish it did a little better on analog. My old BR330T beats it. One of the uniden reps on the RR site said analog would not be improved on the SDS100. So it really seems to be for the folks whose primary listening is digital in busy areas. I won't rush to ditch the 436 this year.

MrSvenSven
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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#10 Post by MrSvenSven » 23 Mar 2018 14:58

I have a BCD536HP and BCD996P2 side by side while mobile. I have noticed at times the BCD996P2 is receiving a transmission that the 536 does not. I have not done any real testing on it, just some unscientific observations.

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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#11 Post by jbella » 23 Mar 2018 21:04

My #36s I've found aren't great on simulcast.

UPMan is a good source of info, but the RR forums are such a cesspool of losers it's tough to struggle through the forums to glean any good info (unlike here).

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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#12 Post by trp » 24 Mar 2018 12:22

As an addendum to my post #7 above, Bearcat Warehouse has also added the new Uniden SDS100 to their website but with no pricing as of yet. I also received an email yesterday (03-23-2018) from a customer service rep at Bearcat Warehouse stating that they are currently accepting pre-orders for the SDS100 if you want to get one from their very first shipment from Uniden that they are expecting "in late May." The thing is you have to supply them with your credit card information when you pre-order but you don't even know what the actual purchase price will be as of right now. Personally I wouldn't feel comfortable at all doing that.

Here's the direct link to the Uniden SDS100 at Bearcat Warehouse where you can sign up for updates if you'd like: https://www.bearcatwarehouse.com/home/sds-100

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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#13 Post by trp » 11 Apr 2018 15:46

FYI if anyone is interested I just received an email today (04-11-2018) from Zip Scanners (https://www.zipscanners.com/) regarding the SDS100 which stated the following:

"As we get more info on the SDS100 we'll keep ya posted.
We will be taking pre orders but need to firm up pricing and ship date.
As soon as we know - you'll know."

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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#14 Post by magellanous » 06 Jun 2018 12:34

Hi - In a side by side comparison using the same antenna, the BR330T will pick up airband and VHF transmissions that the 436 will either miss entirely or have issues holding on to regardless of squelch level. There has been a fair amount of feedback on RR that the 436 is not the best scanner in those bands but, as always, your milage will vary. It's not bad, I've just experienced better as have others. I should have specified this as opposed to throwing the "analog" blanket over it.

To your point, Upman did say the performance will be comparable in that area on the SDS100 and that it was not something they had enhanced. He was specifically asked that question regarding the perceived performance shortfalls of the 436s in that area shortly after the announcement which is what I was referring to. That's sufficient for the basis of my feedback since he is the only Uniden Rep.

Additionally, the beta test team seems to be ignoring analog testing on those bands entirely, instead opting for hours of digital trunking videos so I still can only go by Upman's answer. The SDS100 seems geared toward the digital segment of consumers which likely significantly outnumber the low band, analog listeners. I don't think there's much value for them in working on lower band performance.

Yes, I agree with your assessment of the 436. It is my favorite scanner to date but I do keep the 330T nearby for Air and VHF. I don't believe there is any scanner that does everything better than anything else. The 436 is a well rounded, feature packed scanner. It's the only one a travel with but it's not perfect; no scanner is.

garys wrote:
23 Mar 2018 14:55
There is only one Uniden representative on RR. His user name is UPMan. Anyone else who is saying anything is more or less guessing. Even the beta testers don't have all of the information and had to sign NDAs in order to be beta testers.

What do you mean by being better on analog? My 456HP does quite well on analog and digital. The BR330T was a nice radio, but it was very limited in it's features. The 436HP is worlds better.
magellanous wrote:
23 Mar 2018 12:09
I've been happy with my 436 but do wish it did a little better on analog. My old BR330T beats it. One of the uniden reps on the RR site said analog would not be improved on the SDS100. So it really seems to be for the folks whose primary listening is digital in busy areas. I won't rush to ditch the 436 this year.

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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#15 Post by K1IWN » 07 Jun 2018 07:57

I'm curious to see if anyone on this board who lives in New England can provide some feedback on radio performance.

It's well documented on RR of the all features, which is great. The early reviews on RR on performance appear promises delivered.

I'll likely get one eventually. I am holding off for now, thinking the base/mobile version will better suit my usage.

With the latest firmware upgrades to the 436 / 536 and more tinkering to come, I am good with what I have for now for my area. I may be missing a few things, but since my recent relocation and firmware upgrades, the two radios are much improved.

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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#16 Post by garys » 07 Jun 2018 11:07

The 330T was the one scanner that ever sold that I regret selling. That was such a great little radio. The only reason I sold it was that I wanted something with a few more features. I got a 346, which wasn't nearly as good. I wish I could get that 330T back. Oh well.

For now at least, the 436HP fills my needs for a handheld scanner. I'll likely get a SDS100 at some point in the future, but it's not that high on my list.

magellanous wrote:
06 Jun 2018 12:34
Hi - In a side by side comparison using the same antenna, the BR330T will pick up airband and VHF transmissions that the 436 will either miss entirely or have issues holding on to regardless of squelch level. There has been a fair amount of feedback on RR that the 436 is not the best scanner in those bands but, as always, your milage will vary. It's not bad, I've just experienced better as have others. I should have specified this as opposed to throwing the "analog" blanket over it.

To your point, Upman did say the performance will be comparable in that area on the SDS100 and that it was not something they had enhanced. He was specifically asked that question regarding the perceived performance shortfalls of the 436s in that area shortly after the announcement which is what I was referring to. That's sufficient for the basis of my feedback since he is the only Uniden Rep.

Additionally, the beta test team seems to be ignoring analog testing on those bands entirely, instead opting for hours of digital trunking videos so I still can only go by Upman's answer. The SDS100 seems geared toward the digital segment of consumers which likely significantly outnumber the low band, analog listeners. I don't think there's much value for them in working on lower band performance.

Yes, I agree with your assessment of the 436. It is my favorite scanner to date but I do keep the 330T nearby for Air and VHF. I don't believe there is any scanner that does everything better than anything else. The 436 is a well rounded, feature packed scanner. It's the only one a travel with but it's not perfect; no scanner is.

garys wrote:
23 Mar 2018 14:55
There is only one Uniden representative on RR. His user name is UPMan. Anyone else who is saying anything is more or less guessing. Even the beta testers don't have all of the information and had to sign NDAs in order to be beta testers.

What do you mean by being better on analog? My 456HP does quite well on analog and digital. The BR330T was a nice radio, but it was very limited in it's features. The 436HP is worlds better.
magellanous wrote:
23 Mar 2018 12:09
I've been happy with my 436 but do wish it did a little better on analog. My old BR330T beats it. One of the uniden reps on the RR site said analog would not be improved on the SDS100. So it really seems to be for the folks whose primary listening is digital in busy areas. I won't rush to ditch the 436 this year.

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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#17 Post by W1KNE » 07 Jun 2018 19:28

So my SDS-100 arrived a few hours ago and I have been playing with it.

A few early observations about the scanner.

1) I haven't tried it on the RISCON system yet, so performance on an 800 P25 trunk aren't here yet. I will try to get into Rhode Island tomorrow to test it.
2) P25 and analog audio sound really good on it. Better than the 436 in a side by side test.
3) The customizable display is amazing. It gives you a true RSSI in DBM, and when set to the "detailed" mode, you can look at several parameters in one shot. The three service buttons are different than the 436, so that requires some getting used to.
Most of what these are can be changed. The colors can be changed too. It is easy to set these with Sentinel
4) A huge WIN with this scanner, is on conventional DMR channels, it will show the TGID and UNID, without having to program as a trunk, or go into quick-search mode.
5) Scanner is really sensitive. I was picking up things on it with the Rat Shack 800 antenna that my HomePatrol II and 436 weren't.

Quirks/Thoughts/Others.
Obviously this is a new scanner, so there are things that are going to have to be worked out.

1)The scanner doesn't use regular batteries. It relies on a battery pack. The scanner came with a note about us being shipped a better battery. They just ask that you register with the my.uniden.com website. (Which you need to do to get the upgrades too. I have bought the DMR upgrade.)

2)On UHF, I have seen two "images" that I know none of my other scanners have. I have a fairly close-by UHF repeater on 453.7000 for the local Fire Department. This scanner was receiving it on 453.1625. Also seen it trying to decode something else on 453.8000.

3)There aren't real buttons per say. It's a flat membrane type panel. Similar to the PRO-2004 from Radio Shack for those who remember it. The backlight on the keypad is not turned on by default, it has to be in the menu.

4)I have the scanner plugged into my PC (like I often do when programming them), same USB port, cable, etc., and it came up with a "Low USB Bus Voltage" error randomly. When this message comes up, the scanner is inoperable until the USB is unplugged. I plugged it back in and it was fine.

5)If you are running on battery, the display will auto shut off, and there is no way to have it set to stay on. Seeing how this display works, this isn't ideal, as you can't see it without it being on. It's probably meant to save battery life.

6)While scanning MSP, twice I've had the audio "cut out" momentarily. Not like when you have priority on. It's hard to describe.

My hope is, that Uniden will come up with an external charger, so the battery can be charged outside of the scanner.
Pictures to follow (hopefully!)

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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#18 Post by W1KNE » 07 Jun 2018 19:50

Image
Image
Image

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garys
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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#19 Post by garys » 07 Jun 2018 23:07

I don't think that Uniden will come up with an external charger. They're likely to run up against that CA law about chargers. Which I don't understand. Without seeing what the battery pack looks like, it's not possible to say if some other form of charger will work.

It sounds like most other issues can be fixed with software updates.

The display is nice, but very busy. Extrapolating a bit, if they do release a mobile version, the simple display will be better for mobile use. That's if it's brighter than the 536HP display. That's the biggest weakness of the 536, it's hard to see in a vehicle if it's very bright out. Which is why I like Siren. I also wonder if they'll have a version of Siren for the mobile. That's if the release a mobile.

I do like that the same software can be used for the SDS and the x36HP.

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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#20 Post by K1IWN » 08 Jun 2018 09:03

Somewhere in the flood of posts on RR, I believe UpMan mentioned an external charger along with spare batteries will be available this summer. It may not be able to sold in California, but the rest of the 49 states shouldn't be penalized for that.

Thanks for the initial review, W1KNE, and garys for your observations. I am glad to hear the reception is much better. The screen is busy, no question. My only real concern is from folks talking about the heat generated off the unit, and how that affects performance and radio life in the long run.

I am waiting to see if a base/mobile unit comes along. It's been four years since the release of the 536, so I suspect there is one in the works.

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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#21 Post by W1KNE » 08 Jun 2018 17:19

garys wrote:
07 Jun 2018 23:07
I don't think that Uniden will come up with an external charger. They're likely to run up against that CA law about chargers. Which I don't understand. Without seeing what the battery pack looks like, it's not possible to say if some other form of charger will work.

It sounds like most other issues can be fixed with software updates.

The display is nice, but very busy. Extrapolating a bit, if they do release a mobile version, the simple display will be better for mobile use. That's if it's brighter than the 536HP display. That's the biggest weakness of the 536, it's hard to see in a vehicle if it's very bright out. Which is why I like Siren. I also wonder if they'll have a version of Siren for the mobile. That's if the release a mobile.

I do like that the same software can be used for the SDS and the x36HP.
Gary,
I have a picture of the battery pack above. (3rd picture. Silver back).
That's the detailed display. There is a simple display setting which I haven't tried. I don't mind the busy display on the handheld, but I do agree the simpler display will be nice on the mobile. You can actually shut off individual fields, and move them all over on that display too. So if you want some less information, that's also a possibility. The display settings are wildly flexible.

I also agree that I hope it's an improvement on the mobile display over the 536. Because it's an SDR, I feel like the selectivity issues could be resolved in future software releases.

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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#22 Post by W1KNE » 08 Jun 2018 17:27

Image

Simple Mode

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garys
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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#23 Post by garys » 08 Jun 2018 21:27

That's good. It also seems that the battery pack doesn't use that little cordless phone style connector like the 250/785/796 did. Those were frequent source of complaint. Was it those scanners or the series before that had an option for a free standing battery back? Maybe the 235/245, but I'm not sure.
K1IWN wrote:
08 Jun 2018 09:03
Somewhere in the flood of posts on RR, I believe UpMan mentioned an external charger along with spare batteries will be available this summer. It may not be able to sold in California, but the rest of the 49 states shouldn't be penalized for that.

Thanks for the initial review, W1KNE, and garys for your observations. I am glad to hear the reception is much better. The screen is busy, no question. My only real concern is from folks talking about the heat generated off the unit, and how that affects performance and radio life in the long run.

I am waiting to see if a base/mobile unit comes along. It's been four years since the release of the 536, so I suspect there is one in the works.

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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#24 Post by garys » 08 Jun 2018 21:30

I like the simple display that you have in the other post. That would work very well for a mobile. I'm sure I wasn't the only one that suggested that it would be great if the display on the x36HP had the option to arrange the display and decide what you wanted to see or not see. They took that suggestion to heart, I see.

I'll have to switch modes on Sentinel and play around with that, just in case...


W1KNE wrote:
08 Jun 2018 17:19

Gary,
I have a picture of the battery pack above. (3rd picture. Silver back).
That's the detailed display. There is a simple display setting which I haven't tried. I don't mind the busy display on the handheld, but I do agree the simpler display will be nice on the mobile. You can actually shut off individual fields, and move them all over on that display too. So if you want some less information, that's also a possibility. The display settings are wildly flexible.

I also agree that I hope it's an improvement on the mobile display over the 536. Because it's an SDR, I feel like the selectivity issues could be resolved in future software releases.

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Re: Uniden SDS100 Scanner

#25 Post by W1KNE » 09 Jun 2018 10:49

Update. Well I am having a real issue with UHF Images. It doesn't seem to handle UHF frequencies very selectively.

I posted a thread at RR about it, and others seem to be having the same issue.

Hopefully there is a firmware fix for it, or something the factory can do. These images are bad enough to be a deal breaker.

VHF and 800 don't seem as affected.

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