For a few years now those who frequent Radio Reference will have noted numerous mentions of an alternative piece of kit to enable the monitoring of P25 systems.
Many of those posts rave about the ability of said piece of kit to better monitor P25 simulcast systems, something that many seem to struggle with across the United States.
In Melbourne, Australia we have only a very small number of P25 simulcast systems when compared to our US counterparts and I must admit I’ve never really struggled with those that we do have when using my Whistler or Uniden scanners.
As stated many in the US have turned to another piece of equipment, that being the Unication G4 and G5 units.
The Unication units provide the means to monitor unencrypted voice talk-groups on P25 systems in addition to the traditional pager functionalities. From watching the numerous videos and on reading the umpteen posts on various forums they’ve come across as a pretty tough bit of gear and seem to be able to withstand far greater levels of harshness and exposure to the elements than a scanner.
What came as a real surprise to me recently was that there is actually a local seller of the Unication G5, right here in Melbourne, Victoria. Who knew!?! I certainly didn’t.
Unicom located in Mount Waverley are carrying the units and this includes units with the upgraded firmware to permit Phase II operation and conventional DMR.
The unit basics are as follows:
– Synthesized VHF/UHF
– DMR, P25 Conventional & P25 Trunk
– 2 Tone, 5/6 Tone, MDC1200, CTCSS
– Scan and Monitor
– GSM Acknowledgement Auto/Manual
– Encryption AES-256
– 64 Channels,(8 Ch @ 8 Zone)
– Voice & Text
– Voice Storage 16min
– Text Message Storage
– Auto Require Re-Send on clear message
– 2 inch colour display 9 lines, 22 character
– 6 Different pre-set modes including priority
– Lithium Ion Re-chargeable Battery
– Rugged Case IP67 MIL Spec, IP67
– Information sourced from: https://www.unicompl.com/product-details/21
The Unicom site doesn’t carry a price so all that really means is my wife remains happy, for now, and I get to live a little longer, for now. But if you’re interested in one of these I suggest you give Unicom a call to save you the hassle of importing from overseas or elsewhere, it also possibly means local support which is always a bonus.
Now a word of caution, these are not a scanner per say and so some may look at the lack of memory channels and limited bands as an issue. You need to remember these seem to be targeted more towards the commercial and ESO sector, however as we all know it wouldn’t be the first time scanner enthusiasts have appropriated equipment for use in manner not originally intended for.
Just in regards to the ESO sector, you have to wonder just what the possibilities might be for use within those circles. There may be some nice potential there if costs can be kept down and people get creative enough are willing to think outside the square. Imagine being paged to an event and being able to immediately monitor the related communications all from one unit? Save having to carrying a pager and scanner for those who only really concern themselves with matters to them locally and don’t desire the umpteen channel memories or access to bands not of interest to them.
Now admittedly I don’t know a whole heap on the flexibility to do the above, that is simply me thinking out loud and from watching various videos and reading various posts, as I mentioned earlier. But you really have to wonder what is possible given some of the details of the video provided below and those provided in the brochures.
At a quick glance surely the ability to do the above and following could only be seen as a benefit in the ESO sector, both career and volunteer based.
A further thing to note regarding the current ESO communications is that the MMR and RMR Networks are based on P25 Trunking and P25 Direct Mode Operation (DMO) so these units may actually lend themselves to being able to ‘fit’ with some aspects of the primary voice communications of our ESO entities, or at the very least share some aspects of network resources. Obviously that would need some much needed further researching.
If you are lucky enough to source yourself one of these units you should expect to find the following in the box:
· The radio
· Removable battery
· Removable antenna
· Quick instruction guide
· USB charger
· Plug pack
Provided here is a more detailed brochure which highlights further some of the units available functions and abilities.
It just may be worth investigating these further, as a hobbyist and those who are in government and commercial sectors looking to source a solution for current and future needs.