While analog police scanners are responsible for most of the popularity around products of this type, they have since been superseded by the next generation of digital police scanners. With the improved technology behind them, digital police scanners are far more capable, but they also tend to be a lot more expensive.
Even handheld models, like the TRX-1 from Whistler, that we’re going to review today, are usually more expensive than larger, analog desktop scanners.
Whistler TRX-1 Features
One of the best things about the TRX-1 handheld digital scanner is that it can work on systems like DMR and Motorola TRBO. As well as these systems, this model can work on P25 Phase I, Phase II, and X2-TDMA. All of the required frequencies for the US and Canada come programmed on the included SD card.
The inclusion of a USB cable and software for your computer mean that you can program this scanner by connecting it to your PC, making it a lot more approachable for beginners. The backlit keypad means that this scanner can be used in the night and the day without any loss in efficiency.
The straightforward user interface on this scanner is designed to provide you with all of the functions that you use frequently. There are scan, pause, and skip buttons on the front of this scanner, which helps cut down on the number of menus that you have to go through to use key features.
Since this model is so closely integrated into the included software, you can update several pieces of firmware so that it won’t end up getting obsolete. You can improve the DSP firmware, CPU firmware, and the library. This model also implements Skywarn storm tracking so that you can stay safe in dangerous weather.
The TRX-1 features a spectrum sweeper that will go through all of the nearby frequencies to see if any of them are active. If it finds a network with active transmissions, then it will automatically tune into them, ensuring that you won’t miss the first few broadcasts that can provide extra context.
The V-Scanner II storage system on this model allows you to save as many as 200 configurations, going a step further than just saving contacts and channels. This model is also loaded with extra features, like a clock and a calendar.
This scanner is loaded with features that make it more user-friendly, and that’s its main advantage over similar models in the same price range. There is even a programmable LED that you can adjust the colors on so that you know the situation before you even look at the scanner’s screen.
A signal strength meter makes it a lot easier to see whether or not a transmission is worth listening in on, and if it’s gradually getting weaker or slower if you’re on the move. The build quality is another one of the best things about this scanner since it’s made to last a lot longer than cheap ones.
Another thing that we loved about this scanner is that it came included with a detailed instruction manual that made it easier to set up, though it was still a bit tedious.
Like we just mentioned, this scanner needs a better learning curve because it has a way of throwing the user right into the deep end. While one can argue that this is to be expected from such an advanced scanner, that ensures that it’s a lot harder to use for customers who don’t have a lot of experience.
The USB driver is another weak point for this scanner, and that’s nearly unacceptable for a model that’s almost completely reliant on being connected to the computer. Finally, the display is a serious weak point, as most models in its price range feature full-color displays with better resolution.
While this model has its fair share of downsides, we’d say that the pros far outweigh the cons and that it’s still one of the best police scanners around. While the price of the TRX-1 is a little steep, it comes included with some advanced trunking features that help improve its capabilities.
For those of you that like the look of this scanner and want to purchase it, simply click the yellow button to be redirected to the Amazon page for it.Amazon