SDS 200

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garys
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SDS 200

#1 Post by garys » 08 Feb 2019 12:53

Mine came earlier in the week. I set up it up using essentially the same data as I used for my x36HP.

Overall, I'm greatly impressed with it. Better audio than the 536HP, much clearer decoding of P25, DMR, and NXDN. I don't have Pro Voice on it, so I can't comment.

The biggest improvement is with the display. The 536HP was a disappointment in that regard when installed in my truck. I used Siren as the display since the native display faded out. It hasn't been super bright since I installed the SDS in my truck, but the readability is much better due to the size of the display.

The controls are pretty much the same, except that Uniden reversed the Volume and Squelch knobs for some reason. There are also a couple of other differences in operation, but nothing major.

There's a thread on RR with a small number of complaints about a hum coming from the scanner. I haven't had that at all, so I don't know if it's real of the usual crowd of whiners.

The size is an issue for some mobile installs. Well, probably most mobile installs. It fits in my 2006 Tundra, but the angle it's mounted at will need a bit of work when the weather gets warmer. I think Uniden missed out by not making this with an option for a remote head like a lot of ham radios have. And commercial two way radios. And Whistler has with a couple of their models.

A couple of mysteries as well. Not sure what the front USB port is going to be for. Not sure what the Micro USB on the back is going to be for. Not sure why they put the LAN port on the front. Finally, not sure whey they went from a RS-232 port for the GPS. Well, maybe so that they could sell a proprietary GPS puck. For that matter, they could have changed it to a USB style GPS. Since I only used GPS once with my 536HP, it's not a huge deal.

Maybe they have some options up their corporate sleeve that will use those ports.

I'll be waiting for all of the people complaining about the scanner to put them on the market at bargain prices so I can get a second one for the house. ;)
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ErrolW
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Re: SDS 200

#2 Post by ErrolW » 09 Feb 2019 06:21

Thanks for the review. For the moment, my lack of funds will force others to be the early adopters.

I am completely baffled as to why there is not either a remote head or simply an app to control this unit. My hope is that a third party (b/c Uniden does not seem to be that proficient at app development) makes an app that can be used with a wireless bridge plugged into the LAN port on the front. Alternatively one could use the LAN port and a small portable router (like a HooToo) and create a network in the car.

An app designed for mobile use would really be optimal for my old eyes; I've tried running Proscan on a Windows tablet (Winbook) and it's just about impossible to use in a vehicle (even stopped) and without a trackball or mouse.

I would love to try one of these out in northern New England where simulcast (or mountains effectively producing the same result) makes VHF tough to receive at times (especially the NHSP Troop F sites) and the Maine system requires a good trunking scanner (and GPS a real plus).
Errol
Framingham, MA
Pittsburg, NH

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Re: SDS 200

#3 Post by garys » 09 Feb 2019 10:48

Despite the frequent criticism of Siren on RR, no one has yet come up with a mobile app for the x36HP scanners. It seems that you and I are the only people that used Siren as a display in a mobile environment. That made using the 536Hp in my truck a pleasure instead of torture.

I'll be driving up and back to Portland next week, so I'll get to see how the scanner works on VHF. I'll even get to see how it works on the Portland P25 system.

I agree that it would have been smart to design a removable head for the scanner.
ErrolW wrote:
09 Feb 2019 06:21
Thanks for the review. For the moment, my lack of funds will force others to be the early adopters.

I am completely baffled as to why there is not either a remote head or simply an app to control this unit. My hope is that a third party (b/c Uniden does not seem to be that proficient at app development) makes an app that can be used with a wireless bridge plugged into the LAN port on the front. Alternatively one could use the LAN port and a small portable router (like a HooToo) and create a network in the car.

An app designed for mobile use would really be optimal for my old eyes; I've tried running Proscan on a Windows tablet (Winbook) and it's just about impossible to use in a vehicle (even stopped) and without a trackball or mouse.

I would love to try one of these out in northern New England where simulcast (or mountains effectively producing the same result) makes VHF tough to receive at times (especially the NHSP Troop F sites) and the Maine system requires a good trunking scanner (and GPS a real plus).
We're peace loving people, we're not hunting trouble, but if trouble should find us, we'll stand up and fight.

wb1hbu
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Re: SDS 200

#4 Post by wb1hbu » 10 Feb 2019 12:13

Hello,

The front port on the SDS-200 is for programing, like the Mini-USB on the SDS-100. The rear port likely has the same function as the Micro-USB on the SDS-100.
https://forums.radioreference.com/threa ... on.372168/

Uniden uses a simple 3.3 volt non-RS232 serial module for the CB-GPSK module. I was able to easily interface the Adafruit Ultimate GPS module to the scanner. I do not normally use a GPS with scanners, but it worked pretty good on my drive down to RI yesterday. The choice for serial versus USB maybe down to all the USB ports on the processor are used for other things.

73 Eric

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Re: SDS 200

#5 Post by garys » 10 Feb 2019 15:24

UPMan stated on the review thread at RR that it's "undefined" as of now. Which is the same as on the SDS 100. As apparently, is the "Master" USB port on the front of the radio.

There is someone on RR offering a GPS module with RJ11 plug for $40.00. I don't use GPS that often unless I am leaving New England and the areas of New York immediately adjacent to NE. I had pretty good luck with GPS on the 536HP the one or two times I used it.

Other than it's size, I haven't found anything not to like about the scanner. Size is only an issue because they chose not to design in a remote head. At that, it fits in my truck with no problem.
wb1hbu wrote:
10 Feb 2019 12:13
Hello,

The front port on the SDS-200 is for programing, like the Mini-USB on the SDS-100. The rear port likely has the same function as the Micro-USB on the SDS-100.
https://forums.radioreference.com/threa ... on.372168/

Uniden uses a simple 3.3 volt non-RS232 serial module for the CB-GPSK module. I was able to easily interface the Adafruit Ultimate GPS module to the scanner. I do not normally use a GPS with scanners, but it worked pretty good on my drive down to RI yesterday. The choice for serial versus USB maybe down to all the USB ports on the processor are used for other things.

73 Eric
We're peace loving people, we're not hunting trouble, but if trouble should find us, we'll stand up and fight.

jbella
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Re: SDS 200

#6 Post by jbella » 11 Feb 2019 17:38

I tripped over my richard buying the SDS100. It hasn't fixed simulacst distortion at all on analog, but I will say when I'm traveling it's great on P25. So for now I have 0 interest in it, but it's good to hear the reports.

kenny
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Re: SDS 200

#7 Post by kenny » 20 Feb 2019 14:16

You Do It Electronics has the SDS 200 in stock for $699.00 minus a 20% off coupon I just picked one up for $559.20, pretty good deal
Now on to getting it set up

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Re: SDS 200

#8 Post by ScanBoston » 20 Feb 2019 15:28

Waiting for the Whistler with all the digital modes built in. Always liked the audio, software and interface better. Only thing I love about today Uniden's is the GPS feature. But when I buy one they never seem to leave my room or kitchen so I need to stop. They just lost me at the first 996. I have a 996P2 but it will never make my car. Two much work for what you get.

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Re: SDS 200

#9 Post by W1KNE » 20 Feb 2019 16:48

jbella wrote:
11 Feb 2019 17:38
I tripped over my richard buying the SDS100. It hasn't fixed simulacst distortion at all on analog, but I will say when I'm traveling it's great on P25. So for now I have 0 interest in it, but it's good to hear the reports.
My SDS100 is currently at Uniden being repaired after 10 months. I will still probably pick up the SDS200, but I hope they worked out the front end IF overload issues that plagued the SDS100. (Especially the first run, which I had).
Mike Fitzpatrick
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Owner: Scan New England - NECRAT.US
Issues with Scan New England can be privately addressed to me. W1KNE at scan-ne.com.

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Re: SDS 200

#10 Post by garys » 20 Feb 2019 18:10

You're likely to be waiting for a while, as Whistler has posted nothing about the TRX100 and TRX200 since the initial announcement.

The one thing I like about Whistlers is the "Lists." It's much easier to have a conventional frequency or Talk Group show up in several lists that to try to do the same thing in the Unidens.

The EZ Scan software is about as bad as Sentinel. The difference is that Uniden has released the information so that Butel (and others) can write software for the newer scanners. Whistler refused to do that.

I have a WS1065 sitting on my desk and it does a great job for what I need. I'm just not sure I'd want one of the newer scanners.
ScanBoston wrote:
20 Feb 2019 15:28
Waiting for the Whistler with all the digital modes built in. Always liked the audio, software and interface better. Only thing I love about today Uniden's is the GPS feature. But when I buy one they never seem to leave my room or kitchen so I need to stop. They just lost me at the first 996. I have a 996P2 but it will never make my car. Two much work for what you get.
We're peace loving people, we're not hunting trouble, but if trouble should find us, we'll stand up and fight.

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Re: SDS 200

#11 Post by garys » 20 Feb 2019 18:11

I haven't had any front end issues with my SDS200. So far, no problems of any kind for that matter.
W1KNE wrote:
20 Feb 2019 16:48
My SDS100 is currently at Uniden being repaired after 10 months. I will still probably pick up the SDS200, but I hope they worked out the front end IF overload issues that plagued the SDS100. (Especially the first run, which I had).
We're peace loving people, we're not hunting trouble, but if trouble should find us, we'll stand up and fight.

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Re: SDS 200

#12 Post by kenny » 23 Feb 2019 13:54


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Scott
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Re: SDS 200

#13 Post by Scott » 23 Feb 2019 18:53

ScanBoston wrote:
20 Feb 2019 15:28
Waiting for the Whistler with all the digital modes built in. Always liked the audio, software and interface better. Only thing I love about today Uniden's is the GPS feature. But when I buy one they never seem to leave my room or kitchen so I need to stop. They just lost me at the first 996. I have a 996P2 but it will never make my car. Two much work for what you get.
The most glaring issue of all with the Whistlers...to date anyway...is their absolute inability to properly follow NXDN and DMR systems that are "other than conventional"...I hope the new models will maybe finally achieve this.

I have not considered either given my location as well as the fact that an Airspy, SDR# software, and DSD+ Fastlane software work for everything I want....and for a lot less $$. In my brave new world of returning to the hobby this is more important than ever! ;)
Scott

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Re: SDS 200

#14 Post by jbella » 24 Feb 2019 11:42

W1KNE wrote:
20 Feb 2019 16:48

My SDS100 is currently at Uniden being repaired after 10 months. I will still probably pick up the SDS200, but I hope they worked out the front end IF overload issues that plagued the SDS100. (Especially the first run, which I had).
What are the symptoms of the front end overload. Maybe that's what's plaguing mine.

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Re: SDS 200

#15 Post by ScanBoston » 24 Feb 2019 12:48

Scott, I don't believe my Whistler TRX-2 has any problem with DMR systems. I scan the AllComm/DC Rentals trunk and seem to pick up all activity. I don't know of any NXDN systems in my area so i can't say I have tried that.

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Re: SDS 200

#16 Post by W1KNE » 24 Feb 2019 14:49

jbella wrote:
24 Feb 2019 11:42
W1KNE wrote:
20 Feb 2019 16:48

My SDS100 is currently at Uniden being repaired after 10 months. I will still probably pick up the SDS200, but I hope they worked out the front end IF overload issues that plagued the SDS100. (Especially the first run, which I had).
What are the symptoms of the front end overload. Maybe that's what's plaguing mine.
Best example I can give. Local FD, transmits on 453.7000, from about 1/2 mile from my house on a cell tower. On the SDS-100 also show up in other places, such as 453.1625. My 536, 436, PRO-2055, and even my BCD-785D, on the same antenna, no issue.
Mike Fitzpatrick
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Owner: Scan New England - NECRAT.US
Issues with Scan New England can be privately addressed to me. W1KNE at scan-ne.com.

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Re: SDS 200

#17 Post by garys » 24 Feb 2019 16:04

http://www.scan-ne.net/wiki/index.php?title=Network_178 has a site in Boston that you should be able to hear. They don't have anything north or west of Boston, most of their sites are in the southeast part of the state and RI.

Gary

ScanBoston wrote:
24 Feb 2019 12:48
Scott, I don't believe my Whistler TRX-2 has any problem with DMR systems. I scan the AllComm/DC Rentals trunk and seem to pick up all activity. I don't know of any NXDN systems in my area so i can't say I have tried that.
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Re: SDS 200

#18 Post by Scott » 25 Feb 2019 11:59

ScanBoston wrote:
24 Feb 2019 12:48
Scott, I don't believe my Whistler TRX-2 has any problem with DMR systems. I scan the AllComm/DC Rentals trunk and seem to pick up all activity. I don't know of any NXDN systems in my area so i can't say I have tried that.
Here was the NXDN issue. I haven't followed updates as I no longer have the scanner so maybe it is fixed, but at the time of testing it was a disaster:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYos_pjx1xI&t=88s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUYXUCkRR38&t=3s

It seemed like maybe they were using something like "slow speed handshaking" to try to follow the TG's as opposed to actually using the CC. Beats me.

It also had some considerable DMR issues as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyYxJvWO1KY - this was an issue with conventional DMR.

I surely hope after this time these issues have been resolved. I followed it for a while and there were crickets...and then I moved on to other things. Until and unless I was 150% sure they solved these problems I wouldn't buy one.
Scott

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Re: SDS 200

#19 Post by garys » 25 Feb 2019 15:35

I don't know that anything has changed, but I don't hang out on the Whistler forum enough to really know. From what I've seen there is a lot of grumbling about the non existent TRX 100/200 radios that were announced some time back.

There are a couple of things to like about the Whistler scanners. Primarily the use of lists which is very flexible, as well as Scan Sets, which are also flexible. The remote head on the later mobile radios is nice as well. On the bad side, EZ Scan is hard to learn and they won't release the data set to third party vendors.

I really like the SDS200 and have been thinking of selling off my 436HP and buying a SDS100 when I have some spare cash. I can use my remaining 536HP in the house as it has DMR and NXDN. I can live without Pro Voice.
Scott wrote:
25 Feb 2019 11:59

Here was the NXDN issue. I haven't followed updates as I no longer have the scanner so maybe it is fixed, but at the time of testing it was a disaster:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYos_pjx1xI&t=88s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUYXUCkRR38&t=3s

It seemed like maybe they were using something like "slow speed handshaking" to try to follow the TG's as opposed to actually using the CC. Beats me.

It also had some considerable DMR issues as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyYxJvWO1KY - this was an issue with conventional DMR.

I surely hope after this time these issues have been resolved. I followed it for a while and there were crickets...and then I moved on to other things. Until and unless I was 150% sure they solved these problems I wouldn't buy one.
We're peace loving people, we're not hunting trouble, but if trouble should find us, we'll stand up and fight.

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Re: SDS 200

#20 Post by deacon1 » 26 Feb 2019 07:50

I purchased two SDS200 and have had them running for 2 or 3 weeks, only two complaints. Radio one, the AVC seems inconsistent. I will be reporting that to Uniden today, Second, Sentinel Software is horrible. What you program in Sentinel does not download to the radio 100%. I hope something better comes along. The NXDN and Trunking works great,using a DPD Omni X. The second radio has a Ringo Ranger UHF tuned to 470, great reception, no radio issues. The AVC issue is not present, perhaps because I only listen to UHF conventional on that radio.

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Re: SDS 200

#21 Post by garys » 26 Feb 2019 10:36

I only use Sentinel for setting up the Profile settings. I use ARC536 for adding actual data to the radio. People seem to love Sentinel, but I find it unwieldy and just hard to use.
What is AVC?
deacon1 wrote:
26 Feb 2019 07:50
I purchased two SDS200 and have had them running for 2 or 3 weeks, only two complaints. Radio one, the AVC seems inconsistent. I will be reporting that to Uniden today, Second, Sentinel Software is horrible. What you program in Sentinel does not download to the radio 100%. I hope something better comes along. The NXDN and Trunking works great,using a DPD Omni X. The second radio has a Ringo Ranger UHF tuned to 470, great reception, no radio issues. The AVC issue is not present, perhaps because I only listen to UHF conventional on that radio.
We're peace loving people, we're not hunting trouble, but if trouble should find us, we'll stand up and fight.

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Re: SDS 200

#22 Post by deacon1 » 26 Feb 2019 12:53

Automatic Volume Control. There is no AVC control on the SDS200. It must be built part of the radio construction. I find that the NXDN volume differs from the trunk and conventional system volume. If I increase the NXDN volume than the trunking volume is much louder. Uniden says "it is what it is". Uniden recommends I use "volume off set" to make adjustments. However, you have to make the adjustment for each TG. I find that a PITA. I also ask what the latest firmware revision was, what I was told was older than what I downloaded this past Friday. I get the feeling their customer service is swamped and that they are just throwing out ideas and not solutions.

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Re: SDS 200

#23 Post by garys » 26 Feb 2019 13:21

Okay. People have asked about that, but it doesn't seem to be a priority for Uniden. I've noticed it, but not TG to TG so much. Definitely system to system and audio type to audio type, though.

Overall though, audio is much better than on either of my 536HPs.
deacon1 wrote:
26 Feb 2019 12:53
Automatic Volume Control. There is no AVC control on the SDS200. It must be built part of the radio construction. I find that the NXDN volume differs from the trunk and conventional system volume. If I increase the NXDN volume than the trunking volume is much louder. Uniden says "it is what it is". Uniden recommends I use "volume off set" to make adjustments. However, you have to make the adjustment for each TG. I find that a PITA. I also ask what the latest firmware revision was, what I was told was older than what I downloaded this past Friday. I get the feeling their customer service is swamped and that they are just throwing out ideas and not solutions.
We're peace loving people, we're not hunting trouble, but if trouble should find us, we'll stand up and fight.

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