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Uniden SDS100 Review

Quality is important when searching for a police radio scanner. With a reliable radio scanner, you’ll be able to view police channels without having to waste time with manual programming. That’s where the Uniden SDS100 comes in.

Note: This scanner is not available for sale at the moment. Instead, check the review of the SDS200 here.

Pros

  • Comes with an FQ Receiver
  • Operates with RF Capture Technology
  • Easy startup configuration

Cons

  • Bulkier than other police scanners
  • Battery life is good for casual use, but not for extended use

In this review, we’ll help you know more up to date information about the Uniden SDS100. With the consumer opinion, you’ll get a clear perspective on how the device operates.

With that being said, let’s start the SDS100 review!

Design

The Uniden SDS100 is a digital handheld scanner that features an LCD display with customizable color.
 
It feels short but has a thick handgrip that’s molded to the device. It’s rubber trim around the bottom areas, and we like that the handgrip feels slicker than previous models, giving it much more durability.

Some users have stated that the SDS100 was too bulky and wished it could be as compact as the BC125AT. While it does have a thick outer covering, it can be difficult to carry it around in your pocket.

Even if the radio is attached to your belt, you’ll still find yourself bumping into every doorway you walk through. Just a note if you share the same page.

Features

USB Compatibility

The scanner has two connectors located on its right side. One is a Micro USB connector, and the other is used for USB PC connections and battery charging. 

So, you can plug your scanner into your computer and save your recorded files onto your desktop.

Uniden Sentinel Software

Uniden uses its trademarked Sentinel software to help with its connectivity. 

This device is compatible with Windows 2000, X, Vista, And Windows 7-10 operating systems. It sends programming updates through the Mini USB connector and a Micro SD card. Keep your device up to date.

The software’s new version can support up to three scanners.

You can program information/frequencies on the scanner’s keyboard. Thus, making it a great tool for advanced users who want to have complete control over their scanner.

FQ Receiver

The SDS100 comes with a True FQ Receiver. It’s designed to improve the device’s digital performance even in the toughest RF environments. It uses an I/Q receiver that capture’s the waveform signal in 3 dimensions.

This creates better signal recovery and good error correction, ensuring you receive transmissions from digital simulcast systems.

This makes the SDS100 the first police scanner to use SDR (software defined radio) technology. Uniden’s digital performance is better than competing scanners in both weak-signal and simulcast RF environments.

RF Capture Technology

The RF Capture Technology feature allows you to set the scanner so it can provide information on local radio transmissions. 

It can do Do Not Disturb checks for channels that are between the channel reception so the active channels aren’t interrupted.

This helps you receive and tune into the channels you’re interested in without wasting space.

Other Uniden scanners like the BCD436HP also have the feature. Find out how the two compare in our Uniden BCD436HP VS SDS100 article.

Easy Startup Configuration

We like how the Uniden SDS100’s easy setup. 

Users can program each of their favorite lists using a Startup Key (0-9). This helps because once you start up your police scanner and select the key number, the Favorites Lists that are assigned to the key can be scanned.

Battery Charging Time

The battery charging time has been subpar when in use. For instance, users would only be able to use the radio for 2 hours of use, before needing to be charged. The usage time vs. charged time is rather disappointing for a product of its caliber.

Still, this one performs well in use, making it the best radio scanner for tuning into local police conversations. Just make sure that its battery is at least 80% to ensure that it continues to perform while operating.

Consumer Opinion

Overall consumers have had a positive review and reception about the new Uniden SDS100. Here’s what they had to say.

First, the scanner is miles ahead of its previous models. It comes with a customizable screen, making it easier to tune into your favorite channels. And it consists of a Li-Ion battery that can be charged while the scanner is in use.

This scanner is compatible with most systems because it operates on Motorola, EDACS,  Single Channel DMR, DMR Tier III, NXDN, P25 Phases I and II, and much more.

The location-based scanning is great even without replacing the antenna. 

If you’re using a simulcast system that has multiple repeaters, make sure to turn on the Location-based scanning on your favorite’s list. Then, you can set your current location or area.

This would help with catching the beginning of the traffic.

The close call alerts work really well. When in use, the handheld scanner beeps once it’s on and then starts playing audio from the nearest police station, automatically.

Users who are interested in weather alerts would like the Uniden SDS100. This one would alert you once the SAME alert transmits through an NOAA weather channel. 

This system makes it easier to get weather reports and find if there are any natural emergencies within your area.

However, some consumers also expressed concerns in their review when they used the Uniden SDS100. 

This first one is that the battery charge port is weak and can snap the plug off the circuit board. We share the same page and suggest that you remain careful with this device when it’s charging.

Another thing is the antenna connector. Some reported difficulties attaching the antenna to the unit.

Despite its minor issue, users like using the Uniden SDS100 and the reviews you’ll see reflect that it’s great for the price. It allows you to set priority to your talkgroup IDs, making it easier as well to organize your police broadcasting stations.

Its digital performance is even improved in weak-signal and simulcast areas. Due to its customization options, state of the art technology, and its easy setup, you can utilize this device to hear everything around you! 

Just note that DMR, NXDN and Provoice are optional.

Uniden SDS100 Review Conclusion

Now that you’ve read our SDS100 review, you have everything you need to know before you purchase. Overall, the Uniden SDS100 is a great all-rounder police scanner.

Not only can it program 10 search ranges, but also quickly search for channels at a displayed frequency. It has DMR, NXDN and ProVoice operation. 

If you want to get a high-end up to date radio to hear transmissions clearly at the best price, this is a great option!

You can also find out how this model fares against another offering by Uniden. Read our article on the Uniden BCD436HP VS SDS100, next!

William