Thoughts on Uniden’s Latest Scanner – the SDS100

Uniden recently posted a coming soon announcement on their latest scanner, the SDS100. The SDS100 will be a high scanner in the vein of the BCD436HP utilizing software-defined radio technology. It will do digital and analog trunking across in the usual bands including 700 MHz, have the spectrum necessary to scan military communications, and feature a built-in database like the Home Patrol and BCD436HP/BCD536HP scanners. It should be a great radio for monitoring a variety of communications in the coastal Georgia area including both Savannah and Brunswick. The list price is high at $699, but I suspect it will probably retail at somewhere between $500-600 instead. Overall, it appears that there is much to like about this radio and just a few things not to like.

 

SDS100_Wet_Bricks_WB-1
The Uniden SDS100 (photo from Uniden’s press release, link above)

 

It looks like there are a number of things to look forward to with the SDS100. They claim that the “SDS100’s digital performance is better than any other scanner in both simulcast and weak-signal environments.” One of the issues with digital scanners has been audio quality with simulcast trunking systems, I’ll be looking forward to seeing if the SDS100 is an improvement in that area. Another interesting feature the announcement mentions is the display; it will have a color display and the user will be able to modify not only what the display shows but where it displays the information at. It is also supposed to meet JIS4 (IPX4) standards for water resistance, which means it won’t be water resistant enough to drop it in the lake, it should be water resistant enough to withstand being splashed or rained on.

Here’s the full list of features from the announcement:

  • Customizable Color Display
  • Trunktracker X
  • APCO P25 Phase I and II
  • Motorola, EDACS, and LTR Trunking
  • MotoTRBO Capacity + and Connect +**
  • DMR Tier III**
  • Hytera XPT**
  • Single-Channel DMR**
  • NXDN 4800 and 9600**
  • EDACS ProVoice**
  • Location-Based Scanning
  • USA/Canada Radio Database
  • ZIP Code Selection for Easy Setup
  • Close Call™ RF Capture with Do Not Disturb
  • 8 GB microSD
  • Soft Keys for Intellegent UI
  • Recording, Playback, and Replay
  • Temporary Avoid
  • Fire Tone-Out Alert
  • System Analysis and Discovery
  • CTCSS/DCS/NAC/RAN/Color Code Decoding
  • S.A.M.E. Weather Alert
  • Enhanced Dynamic Memory
  • Preemptive Trunking Priority
  • Fully Customizable Scanning with your own Favorites Lists
  • Backlit Keypad
  • Channel Volume Offset
  • PC Programming and Control
  • USB Connectivity and Charging
  • Weekly Database Updates
  • Free Sentinel Software keeps the SDS100 database and memory up to date
  • Up to 8 Hours Operation on included LiIon Battery
  • Frequency Coverage:
    • 25-512 MHz
    • 758-824 MHz
    • 849-869 MHz
    • 894-960 MHz
    • 1240-1300 MHz

** Paid Upgrade required. Upgrade might not be available upon initial release.

 

It looks like there is little to complain about with the SDS100, but one thing in that list does bother me – the features marked with **.  Whistler is offering the TRX-1 and TRX-2 with DMR and NXDN capability out of the box without paid upgrades. The paid upgrades for the additional protocols will probably be somewhere around $50 each, which will raise what you ultimately pay for the radio. If Whistler is offering DMR and NXDN (the TRX-1 does both and in my experience does DMR better than the BCD436HP), Uniden should be able to do the same. I’m disappointed to see them continuing to offer additional protocols at an additional price.

 

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