2022 Holiday Buyer’s Guide

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Are you looking for a new Uniden Scanner or Whistler Scanner Radio?

Are you unsure of what to buy and what is the right scanner for you?

Our 2022 Holiday Buyer’s Guide will help you navigate the current Scanner Radio Landscape from both Uniden and Whistler, and also give you some tips, tricks, and free resources along the way.

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Part 1 – The Basics

What is your budget?

Setting your budget will help you narrow down what type of scanners you can afford.   Many do not realize that the entry level scanners do not have the correct options and protocols to monitor their local systems.

And while many radios might be out of your reach, there are still plenty of ways to get into the scanner radio hobby without having to shell out north of $500.

Where are you located?

Not every area is equal when it comes to scanning.

Some areas are still mostly analog, which means that the budget friendly scanners are perfect.

Other areas might be P25 trunking.  Or even worse, may be encrypted or be a protocol that scanners have yet to adopt.

Knowing what challenges might be waiting for you is paramount when looking for your first scanner or upgrading.

It might even be illegal to scan where you live.

Part 2 – Different Scanner Types

Handhelds vs Desktop/Mobile Scanners

How do you plan on using your scanner?

Do you want to be able to carry it around with you or do you want to mount it in your car and leave it there?

Do you want to use it on your desk and possibly control or listen to it over a network connection?

Your personal preference on how you plan on using your scanner will dictate what scanner you are looking for.

Example, if you were into attending air shows or watching trains, you wouldn’t want to invest in a desktop scanner for those outdoor activities.

Part 3 – Analog Scanners

Conventional Scanning

Many of these radios all have the same features.    Some are better than others.

For example, the WS1010, WS1025, and SR30C scanners all operate and program like scanners of decades gone by.   If you are looking for a simple to use analog scanner that does not do trunking, these three radios are perfect.

The BC125AT is my recommendation at this level as it includes alpha tags and pl/dpl codes.

For a desktop scanner, I like the BC365CRS because it can double as a NOAA weather alert radio.

I do not recommend the BC355N.   To find out why, you’ll need to listen to the podcast or check out the YouTube Video.


  1. Uniden SR30C
    Scannermaster Link: http://www.scannermaster.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=10-502016&Click=6262
    Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/3GzoN9WUniden BC125AT
    Scannermaster Link: http://www.scannermaster.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=10-501770&Click=6262
    Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2R4ot6sUniden BN355N
    Scannermaster Link: http://www.scannermaster.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=10-501825&Click=6262
    Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/3XkeoFaUniden BC365CRS
    Scannermaster Link: http://www.scannermaster.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=10-501921&Click=6262
    Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/3tKsH8y

    Whistler WS1010
    Scannermaster Link: http://www.scannermaster.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=55-501873&Click=6262
    Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/3hQsduI
    Whistler Direct: https://bit.ly/3OmwSRq

    Whistler WS1025
    Scannermaster Link: http://www.scannermaster.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=55-501873&Click=6262
    Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/3hQsduI
    Whistler Direct: https://bit.ly/3Ot8UDZ


Trunktracker III

The Uniden BCT15X is the only scanner in this category.  

If you need a scanner that can track analog EDACS, Motorola Type I/II, and LTR Standard, this radio is perfect.   Of course, it also supports analog conventional scanning.

I own several BCT15X and some of their prior models and they are great.    This scanner does program using the DMA architecture and is easier to program via your windows PC than via keypad.

Part 3 – Digital Scanners

P25 Phase 1

Uniden decided that they were going to retire their scanners that only operate on Phase 1 and concentrate on Phase 2 only capable scanners.   However, Whistler maintains two excellent scanners that do not support Phase 2 talk groups.

These are rebranded and slightly changed GRE model scanners.

The WS1040 is an upgraded PSR-500.  The WS1065 is an upgraded GRE PSR-600.

Both radios operate identically to their long lost GRE cousins and will even use the same programming software.

  1. Whistler WS1040
    Scannermaster Link: http://www.scannermaster.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=55-501875&Click=6262
    Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/3GB9qhy
    Whistler Direct: https://bit.ly/3EsjjuZWhistler WS1065
    Scannermaster Link: http://www.scannermaster.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=55-501876&Click=6262
    Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/3tPdZ04
    Whistler Direct: https://bit.ly/3Az2D40

P25 Phase 2

The Uniden BCD325P2 and BCD996P2 support all the prior categories and include APCO-25 (P25) phase 2 talk group support.

The BCD325P2 (handheld) and BCD996P2 (desktop) operate nearly the same and programming from one can be transferred over to the other.

Both these radios can be upgraded to include NXDN, DMR, and ProVoice with additional upgrade fees from Uniden’s online portal at https://my.uniden.com

Uniden BCD325P2
Scannermaster Link: http://www.scannermaster.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=10-501892&Click=6262
Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2Fv5AZl

Uniden BCD996P2
Scannermaster Link: http://www.scannermaster.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=10-501891&Click=6262
Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2QXMLz0

Database / Zipcode Scanners

Whistler’s answer to Database Scanning is the TRX-1 and TRX-2.

The TRX-1 might be the most rugged scanner on this list thanks to the hard plastic insert on the back of the radio that is held in place by an oversized rubber shell that surrounds all sized of the radio, except for the front.

The TRX-2 is the mobile / desktop cousin, and it is the only mobile radio with a detachable face plate!   How cool is that?

Uniden’s BCD436HP and BCD536HP support database scanning and also GPS scanning.

The Uniden HP2 is a color touch screen scanner that runs on external power or internal AA batteries.   This radio is a little be too big to be and handheld as other scanners, but it is the only desktop scanner that doesn’t need to be dedicated to a single desktop location.

  1. Uniden HP2
    Scannermaster Link: http://www.scannermaster.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=10-501885&Click=6262
    Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2KknXPxUniden BCD436HP
    Scannermaster Link: http://www.scannermaster.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=10-501853&Click=6262
    Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/3tM7fQrUniden BCD536HP
    Scannermaster Link: http://www.scannermaster.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=10-501854&Click=6262
    Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2DyksDt
  2. Whistler TRX-1
    Scannermaster Link: http://www.scannermaster.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=55-501926&Click=6262
    Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2TrN1bj
    Whistler Direct: https://bit.ly/3VigqEaWhistler TRX-2
    Scannermaster Link: http://www.scannermaster.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=55-501927&Click=6262
    Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2DAtDnc
    Whistler Direct: https://bit.ly/3OoGjzD

Simulcast Scanners

Multiple transmitter sites can cause issues on P25 Trunking.   When a scanner sees too many signals coming in and can’t re-align the timing, the scanner chokes and you miss a transmission.

Uniden went back to the drawing board to combat this problem that plagued their prior generations of scanners and released their “Software Defined Scanners”, or the SDS line.

The SDS100 and SDS200 are Uniden’s flagship models and support all prior specs from the previous categories listed on this page and add support for Simulcast transmitter sites.

These two scanners have the highest price point.

  1. Uniden SDS100
    Scannermaster Link: http://www.scannermaster.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=10-501979&Click=6262
    Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2S0KYJRUniden SDS200
    Scannermaster Link: http://www.scannermaster.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=10-502019&Click=6262
    Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/3Xn597i

Part 4 – Alternatives

Software Defined Radios

If you don’t mind using your computer or even using a RaspberryPi, you can build your own receiver for a fraction of the cost to buy a commercial unit.

Yes, there will be limitations on what you can do here, but when you look at spending around $100 for hardware instead of over $600, SDR’s begin to look rather appealing.

You can check out my free course on how to get started with SDR’s in an afternoon here:  https://courses.scannerschool.com

Are you looking for your first scanner radio?

Download our new e-guide, “5 Thinks You Need to Know Before Buying Your First Scanner”.   This free PDF is about 30 pages long and has 5 things you should look for, plus a few extra bonus items to make sure you make an educated purchase.

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