The Japan based company GRE (General Research of Electronics) has been supplying us with radio and telecom products since the mid 70’s and over the years has produce many of the numerous Radio shack models that were sold all over the world.
As with many makers of radio scanners GRE moved into producing trunk tracking systems which are essential in many countries of the world for effectively listening to public and emergency broadcasts.
Among the best that handheld scanners have to offer is the GRE PSR500 with a massive range of options and flexibility.
Before we go through the functionality features of this scanner lets take a look at the basic specs starting with that most important frequency coverage.
VHF Low 25-54 MHz, Aircraft 108-137 MHz
VHF High 137-174 MHz, Mil Aero 216-299 MHz
UHF Standard 300-512 MHz, UHF High 764-806 MHz
800 Band 806-960 MHz (no cellular phone coverage)
1.2 GHz Ham 1240-1300 MHz
The coverage of the PSR500 is extensive enough to cover all the usual trunked radio networks and make use of the flexible trunked systems this scanner has to offer while giving options for listening to other frequencies popular with scanner users.
Many public service radio transmissions are now handled by trunked radio where a central control will allocate a working frequency to the users wishing to talk to each other. This means that tracking a particular user or sometimes even a full conversation is impossible on a scanner without trunking capabilities.
If you are new to using a trunked scanner having a understanding of how it works will let you get the most out of your scanning hobby, a quick search online will give you many resources for learning about this system.
Because these radio systems are not all the same and accept different sounds codes to channel each transmission when choosing a trunked scanner its good to pick one that can decode as many of these protocols as possible.
The GRE PSR500 work with digital Motorola and analog Motorola systems, GE/Ericsson and LTR systems
This is where it gets interesting as in the basic mode this scanner has 1800 frequency memories for you to use but because of a “virtual scanner” system this is potentially expandable to 37,800. The virtual scanner system works by giving the option to store 21 complete scanners on memory and switching between them will change not only the stored frequencies but all the personalized settings you have made to each virtual scanner.
By using the system you can program the “virtual’s” to cover different types of transmissions or set the scanner up to operate in multiple areas of the country or even different countries making it ideal if you travel a lot and don’t want to reprogram your scanner every time.
The PSR500 is loaded with controls that will delight the expert scanner user while not getting in the way of the basic operation but if you want to use this radio to its full potential then we suggest using a PC based software package to program it much quicker than using the handheld keypad.
This is a comprehensive piece of scanner technology for the serious enthusiast and if you take the time to master all the functions it can be an amazing tool for tracking down radio signals.