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Any thoughts on a new purchase?

Posted: 30 Apr 2020, 15:51
by tackrill
Dear all,

I've been away from the hobby on & off for about 30 odd years now & I'm seriously considering taking the plunge by getting a new bit of kit. Could any of you help me?

My primary interest is air & marine band but I also like to listen in on VHF above 140mHz & UHF too. In the past I'd always had AOR & Yupiteru scanners which served me well. With digital coming into play I had a Uniden UBCD3600xlt but wasn't impressed and sold it.

However, I'm now in the market again & wondered if anyone could recommend on what radio they'd spend their cash on out of the following?

Uniden SDS200E (with nxdn, Dmr & provoice)
Uniden 3600Dxlt with latest firmware
AOR DV-10😡 I know!!!
Icon If R30 (No DMR 😤)

Any thoughts, help & comments appreciated.


Re: Any thoughts on a new purchase?

Posted: 01 May 2020, 20:21
by jhampton2000
Hi Dave,

I have posted my experiences elsewhere's my thoughts:

Personally I recommend a handheld vs a base unit as its far more flexible. So 3 real options:
- Uniden 3600
- Uniden SDS100
- Whistler TRX1
I've discounted the Icom R30 (really excellent receiver, easy to use and would be excellent for airband but since it doesn't do DMR then it's very limited for Digital modes) and also the AOR DV10 (lots of reasons - you will only be disappointed). I have personal experience with all of them, except the SDS100 - the performance of which i read is very very similar to that of the 3600.

In short the TRX1 and the 3600 are very similar and good scanners IMHO. In my view, the bigger differences are:
TRX is good for scanning a known set of frequencies but is a nuisance to program in the field.
3600 much easier/better for searching for new frequencies: the TRX isn't intuitive on this
I find the TRX a bit more sensitive but much less selective vs the 3600
3600 much better on civil and milair vs the TRX
DMR simplex on the TRX is better than the 3600
The TRX doesn't trunk track (not a huge issue in the UK)
Close call on the 3600 much better than the equivalent on the TRX
Auto decode mode on the TRX doesn't work on several search techniques. Always works on the 3600
Delay in opening squelch on the TRX is annoying
Volume on the TRX earphone jack is quite low on the TRX vs the 3600
Recordings from the 3600 easier to work with but the TRX 'always enabled' way of recording is much better/sensible
TRX is slow to startup.
Lack of ability to configure step size and mode per bandplan is a real constraint on the TRX
The ability to search a band by digital mode only is very helpful on the TRX
I have very few issues reading/writing data on and off the 3600 SD card. I have frequent issues with the TRX
I find the TRX display a bit clearer to read but the way it displays some digital mode info is annoying/limited
4 AA batteries in the TRX means it lasts longer than the x3 AA in the 3600. Both eat batteries. Both can run happily off power to the usb port.
Software for the Uniden (eg ARC536) MUCH easier to deal with vs EZScan.
Both cover the same common digital modes

From what I gather the SDS100 just has a funkier colour display vs the 3600 but is the same performance, more expensive and a worse Lithium Ion battery setup. The SDS100 handles simulcast which is important is you live in many areas of the US but of no importance in the UK

If I had to decide one vs the other, I'd be going for the 3600 (largely because it is much better at/easier to search for new stuff - the TRX is good at scanning known stuff): so my 3600 is my main unit. But if I had the option to do so I'd still have both - I do and I have !

These are my own views based on my experience.

Re: Any thoughts on a new purchase?

Posted: 02 May 2020, 09:38
by tackrill
Good morning John,

Thanks so much for your detailed reply. I really appreciate the time & effort you've put in to help me out! I'm going to take your advice & go for another 3600.

I couldn't of asked for a better explanation & comparison!

Keep safe & hope to maybe chat again in the future :D