GRE 410 Desktop / Mobile Scanner Mini Review

Amateur Radio Projects and Software Defined Radio

GRE 410 Desktop / Mobile Scanner Mini Review

Introduction

If you are not yet in an area where APCO 25 has taken over, or looking for a good desktop analog trunking scanner for your Ham shack, look no further the GRE 410 offers a lot of radio for a little money. The GRE 410 desktop scanner can be found online for around $160, making it an excellent value for an analog trunk tracking scanner.

Specifications:

 Frequency Coverage

29-54, 108-174, 216.0025-512, 764-781.996875, 791-796-996875, 806-823.9875, 849-868.9875, 894-960 (excluding cellular bands), 1240-1300 MHz

 Receive mode

AM/NFM

 Frequency step

3.125, 5, 6.25, 7.5, 8.33, 10, 12.5, 25 kHz

 Selectivity

AM 25-27.995 MHz: 

  4 kHz / 6 kHz (-6 dB / -50 dB)
  Other frequency and modulation: 
  7 kHz / 13 kHz (-6 dB / -50 dB)
 Scanning Rate

Up to 55 channel/seconds (Nominal)

 Search Rate

Up to 90 steps/seconds (Nominal)

 Receiving system

Trip conversion PLL synthesize super-heterodyne

 Antenna Impedance

50 ohms

 Audio Output

1.5 mW (10% THD)

 Power requirement

13.8V DC negative ground

 Current drain

200 mA nominal (Squelched) at 13.8V DC

 Operating temperature

-4 to 140 deg. F (-20 to 60 deg. C)

 Dimension (HWD)

2 1/4 x 7 1/4 x 5 5/16 inches (55 x 185 x 135 mm)

 Weight

Approx. 42.3 oz (1200 g)

 Included Accessories

Telescopic Antenna, DC Cable assy., AC Adapter, Mounting bracket kit

 

Build Quality

The GRE 410 case is mostly metal which gives it a nice heft. The GRE 410 is a pretty hefty piece of radio equipment. This actually makes it ideal for desktop use since it will not slide around as much when pushing the buttons. For desktop use, you can mount the radio in the included bracket to tilt the face up for easier viewing. GRE includes three rubber feet that can be stuck to the bottom of the mount to keep the 410 from sliding around. This works reasonably well on a smooth surface desktop. A DIN mounting bracket is also included if you would like to mount the GRE 410 in your vehicle. The control buttons are backlit orange to help you see them if you keep your shack dimly lit. The buttons seem well made and it takes a firm press to activate them. The main display is excellent. Very easy to read and brightly lit by a white backlight. The GRE 410 also features a bold font setting that makes the display even easier to see. The GRE 410 looks very pleasing when running in your dim shack, but may need to be dimmed at bit for mobile night time use. Power is supplied by and included power adapter. There is also a mobile power cord included for powering the radio from your vehicle power supply. You also get the prerequisite back of the set extendable antenna. Audio quality from the GRE 410 is superb and plenty of it. AM aircraft bands sound nice and full and FM signals are very clear. The GRE 410 produces audio that is pleasant to listen to without being fatiguing. Overall the GRE 410 is built like a tank and presented in a very attractive package.

Programming

Programming Software

In my opinion trying to program a modern scanner with 100s of frequencies by hand is a colossal waste of time. I am sure programming the GRE 410 this way would be as tedious as most scanners, but certainly doable. The best way to program the GRE 410 is to buy the Radio Shack USB Programming Kit and your computer. Programming software packages are available from Win500, PSREdit310, and ARC-310. These programs all offer trials so download them a pick your favorite. You may also wish to become a RadioReference.com Premium Member. This will allow the programs to directly download frequencies from the RadioReference website rather than add them by hand. The GRE line of scanners use Object Based programming which is very simple and very flexible. This replaces the old bank system that scanners have used for years. Programming the scanner is very easy when used with one of the programming packages and RadioReference.com data. There are two types of frequencies basically used in the Object Oriented programming method. The first is a Trunking System which includes the frequencies for the trunk system and the associated talk groups. The other basic type of Objects are conventional frequencies. You can store over 1,800 objects. There are other Objects like search ranges that can be setup, but we will just focus on what it takes to get going. All you have to do is import your local trunk system from RadioReference.com into a trunk group along with its associated talkgroups. Conventional frequencies are imported separately into one large group. Then you must assign each talkgroup into a scan list. Any object can be assigned to a scan list. Scan lists can be mixed with talkgroups or conventional frequencies. You can have a scan list that covers and entire trunking system or one that just contains police frequencies. There are 22 scan lists that you can customize. One other cool thing is that you can do is that the GRE 410 has a bright multi colored LED than can be assigned to come on when a certain talkgroup or frequency becomes active. The LED can be set to your choice of color to indicate what service you are hearing. You can set it to flash or to remain on while the service is active. You can even set audible alarms if you wish. All this can be set up very quickly using the programming software. The GRE 410 also includes SAME weather alert monitoring if you wish to use it as a weather radio. There are plenty of tweaks you can make to the receiver to customize it for your application. I would suggest taking a look at the Easier to Read PSR310/410 Manual to get the most out of programming the GRE 410.

Sensitivity

Sensitivity of the GRE 410 seemed to be as good if not a bit better than some of the other scanners I have used. I don’t have any strong RF sources near me so I didn’t notice any issues with intermod or desensitization. I was using the back of the set antenna and noted that the 800 MHz reception seemed very good. The AM airband seemed very good also. The GRE 410 appears to be a very solid receiver.

Scanning

The GRE 410 will scan your frequencies very quickly and does not seem to skip any. There are several tweaks you can make as to how it scans such as how long it sits on an active frequency after the squelch closes. You can set up your own search ranges and the 410 even has a built in hit counter that counts the number of times the frequency has been active. The search ranges can be added to scan lists as an object. There is also the obligatory super fast scanning mode (Signal Sweeper) that looks for nearby frequencies. The GRE 410 also provides support for CTCSS and DCS sub-audible tones. Interestingly, the GRE 410 also provides for decoding of trunking data so that it can be used with 3rd party control channel monitoring programs.

Conclusion

The GRE 410 offers a terrific value for a scanner in its’ price range. It offers a wide range of features on the Object Oriented programming feature makes it very flexible to use. The GRE 410 offers a lot of solid value in its’ build quality and its’ receiver.  I think you would be hard pressed to find a better analog trunk tracking scanner in the GRE 410s price category.

 

 

One Response

  1. I just purchased the GRE 410 from Scanner Master and had them pre-program 4 counties of police, fire and EMS into the computer.

    All I want to do now is program maybe 50 of my own frequencies like aircraft, military, etc., into the scanner. Is there anyway to do this without having to go through (with all due respect to those who appreciate the electronics), the encyclopedia of terminology?

    Gratefully,

    Mike Daugherty

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