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New Hombre in a endless loop of queries, HELP

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New Hombre in a endless loop of queries, HELP

Postby OzBassman » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:12 pm

I am 54 years of age and have purchased the following radios though would like to add a good scanner or scnners to that list.

My wife and I will be downsizing in size of house and block of land to a coastal town in Victoria. No more HF TX. All my MF and HF will be RX only. Will this be enough? I do own a ID-5100A D-Star radio which I hope to connect via a five element dual band beam back to Melbourne. Also to this as I loose the HF transceiver might have to purchase a dedicated MF/HF receiver. In this case I am thinking of the Palstar R30A. Now to scanning.

We currently live in a bush fire zone in the Dandenongs east of Melbourne. Think Ash Wednesday in 1983.

For the new home by the coast I can see myself purchase a Uniden 536 base station/mobile. Though I have been recommended for my first scanner as an interim radio for the coming fire season and the relocation to Inverloch I should look at a Uniden 325P2. I like bells and whistles though want to be practical as well. I also have a Uniden HR2510 in which I hope to talk to some locals around the coast. I have a failing. I talk to everybody, no matter what band.

Could I have some advice whether I should purchase a UNIDEN UBCD-325P2 or an UNIDEN UBCD-436PT. Both are quite expensive and I do not wish to have any regrets. Money is always tight. Though if forum members say go for the 436. Then this is what I will do, beg borrow and steal to do. Well maybe not steal.

If members say, "Who wants to carry a brick around with them", then this will influence me too.

It is the plan one day to install a 536 in the house as a base station......one day.

Thank you for your time.

Paul.
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Re: New Hombre in a endless loop of queries, HELP

Postby X-Firey » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:11 am

My personal choice would be the UBCD325P2. I find the 325P2 easy to program via keyboard and software.
The software I use is FreeSCAN (a free download).

I am nearly 10 years senior to you and like the large display these days. I don't have a 436 or 536PT but I'm sure others will chime in. All scanners and programming software have there positive and negative aspects so in the finish it really comes down to personal choice and of course the budget. Another thing to throw into the mix is any interest in monitoring DMR or NXDN modes.

Good luck with the downsizing. You have chosen a lovely part of the coastline. I would also like to live down that way around Wonthaggi/Inverloch someday... currently waiting for the right lotto numbers!
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Re: New Hombre in a endless loop of queries, HELP

Postby Blake » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:53 pm

The 325 is great, I have one.
Would defiantly recommend it.
Can't help with the HF stuff, but my vote for a scanner would be with it.

Just grist for the mill, I went with it (over the 436) for the following reasons:
- Uses only 2AA batteries (the 436 uses 3, a kind of weird number, a four pack, then one left over, recharging 3 at a time?)
- I have head of people having backlight and clock issues with the 436
- The 325 is much smaller (less brickness :) )
- Could just be the stock antenna? But i've heard people saying that the 436 is not very sensitive?

My recommendations would be, for portable use, use the stock antenna for a while to find out what you are listening to, then get a custom made antenna from Mobile One.
I'm not affiliated with them, but I got one and absolutely LOVE it, it pulls really weak signals out of nothing and holds them.

Just my $0.02 worth. :)
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Re: New Hombre in a endless loop of queries, HELP

Postby OzBassman » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:43 pm

Thank you Gentlemen, I appreciate your inputs. I have recently emailed a friend in the scanning world and am awaiting his feed back. If I purchase the 325 I do not wish to be left out in the dark. I enjoy Apple systems, but you do go it alone.

After a recent, today, Apple crash on my 13 year old iMac I am now also looking for a PC to program my new scanner which I am yet to purchase. I have been recommended a laptop running Windows 8.1 Do members in this forum have their own ideas? The new Apple is on order at $4k. To be honest there has been a plague of moths when I opened my wallet. So, I suppose if I am purchase a new iMac why not go all the way. So with a 325 in the mix what laptop would be a recommended spec to program the 325? The PC laptop will be for radio programs only. No surfing. I suppose I should ask for spyware and virus software as well.

Warm regards,

Paul.
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Re: New Hombre in a endless loop of queries, HELP

Postby OzBassman » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:50 pm

Thank you Blake and X-Firey. I have taken your advice on board and will read the manual on the 325. I no nothing about DRM and NXDN modes. I have heard of DRM though not NXDN. I suppose that is something I can Google.

Could either of please recommend a laptop for me to program a 325 and maybe 536 later on?

I am considering the 325 for now and when we relocate. Possibly installing a 536 with a discone. Possibly teh 325 will be sensitive enough and there will be no need for a 536.

A friend has recommended that I should stay with Windows 8.1 Therefore I am looking at this laptop PC. Would this laptop be any good for the 325 and 536?

Asus Pro i5 5200CPU/8G Ram/1TB HDD/DVD/4XUSB
15.6"/WIN8.1/12mths factory warranty $639inc.

Thank you for your time.

Warm regards,

Paul.
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Re: New Hombre in a endless loop of queries, HELP

Postby Blake » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:03 pm

Well, just regarding the computer front;
I'm an apple man, iMac as main computer, two macbooks, yada, yada.
I ran into that same problem, stuff like scanner programming or PDW only run on windows.
What I did was just pick up a old windows laptop, a Thinkpad T60 actually. :)
Running XP SP3, runs PDW, Sentinal and Freescan just fine.
If you look around a bit, you can find them for about 20 bucks.

Just an idea mate.
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Re: New Hombre in a endless loop of queries, HELP

Postby OzBassman » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:52 pm

Well I made a decision with the help of a friend and a UNIDEN resaler. It came down to learning one system. If I am going to purchase a 536 at a later date why bother learning two different menus. So I finally laid down the money for a UBCD436-PT.

Now the issue of purchasing an aftermarket scanning antenna. I believe Blake mentioned that I can purchase customised made antennas from Mobile One. There are these antennas listed on the Mobile One Site

https://esvc004878.swp0002ssl.server-se ... 80mhz.html

With the purchase of my 436 it came loaded with an after party 16 GByte micro SD Card with all the Victorian Emergency services plus a couple of others. Airband, CFA, SES, St John Ambulance, VIC Ambulance, Melbourne Metro Fire, Melbourne Metro Ambulance, VIC SMR Network, VIC Roads, Marine, VIC POL by District plus Ham and CB Bands.

I suppose my main interests will be the CFA and other Emergency Services plus Marine. As I do not know the frequencies these services are on. Could somebody please recommend a scanning antenna for me? A link would be nice. I am guessing something that is peaked for the 160MHz and 420 to 500 MHz bands with what little knowledge I have.

Again, thank you in advance.

Kind regards,

Paul.
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Re: New Hombre in a endless loop of queries, HELP

Postby OzBassman » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:14 pm

I think I may have supplied the incorrect link. Please try this one

https://esvc004878.swp0002ssl.server-se ... anner.html

Kind regards,

Paul.
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Re: New Hombre in a endless loop of queries, HELP

Postby rob_w » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:51 pm

I am assuming you are looking at the handheld scanner antenna? I have an early version of the one shown in the link but for the frequencies I monitor (which are in the range you mention) it is nearly deaf.
Same goes for other mobile and base scanner aerials I have with same brandname but all are fairly early models so hopefully they have improved.
The best one I use is a dual band Maldol HS-702S ( I did trim length a bit many years ago to raise the frequency from amateur 2m/70cm freq.)
I have Diamond and Nagoya selection also but I find on the UBCD396XT the included rubber ducky is nearly as good and in some cases better!
Here in rural Latrobe Valley I find a Diamond 2m 70cm vertical base very good but as I am at the end of a valley and most of the signals come from similar direction a Log Periodic yagi does the job best, not too directional so still get signals in from the side.
My 2 bob's worth, Rob.
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Re: New Hombre in a endless loop of queries, HELP

Postby X-Firey » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:13 pm

Ideally an antenna tuned to the particular frequency you want to listen to will give you the best results whether it be a base antenna or portable.

For general 'scanning' I think a dual band antenna gives reasonable results e.g 2 mtr/70cm amateur band antenna.
I have a couple of Nagoya brand dual band antennas for my portables and they give good results.

Unfortunately in Australia we have limited choices regarding these accessories. Our choices are amateur radio suppliers, commercial radio suppliers or eBay. The first two choices can be expensive so eBay isn't a bad option. I've purchased a number of portable and mobile radio antennas from there and they all work very well on the receiving side...
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