The WS1040 is an updated version of the popular GRE PSR500 which was rebranded when Whistler acquired GRE in 2013. The WS1040 is the only handheld phase 1 digital police scanner radio left on the market. As all communication in the U.S. is moving (most has already moved) to digital phase 2, we highly, recommend buying a phase 2 scanner.
I need a digital scanner, why should I buy the WS1040?
The WS1040 is the only Whistler phase 1 handheld digital scanner, so if you're not a fan of Uniden (the other scanner manufacturer), then this is the scanner for you.
Will the WS1040 go on sale anytime soon?
We don't know. Whistler does not disclose when they will be dropping prices and even when prices do drop, it is usually only $5 to $10. You can sign up for our emails & we'll keep you posted.
What’s the difference between the WS1040 and the old GRE PSR 500?
Not much. Whistler bought GRE in 2013 and relaunched all the existing GRE scanners under new model numbers. So the PSR 500 turned into the WS1040.
Can I charge the batteries from the scanner when it is on?
Yes, HOWEVER, this takes a very long time and the batteries will not fully charge. We recommend an external battery charger and 2 sets of rechargeable AA batteries—all of which can be added on this page. This way you can always have a fresh set of batteries. The batteries we sell last about 8 hours on single charge—Energizer/Duracell last about 5 hours.
What do WS1040 buyers say?
- 4 AA batteries are not included.
- WS1040 is not GPS capable.
- The WS1040 is basically the old GRE 500, so when looking for videos and reviews, this will help in your search.
Looking to deeeep dive?
We took the time to scour the internet for you.
- Mark's Scanners is an excellent, very detailed website comprised of digital owner's guides for all police scanner radios, including the WS1040. We highly recommend this page to all WS1040 owners (and potential buyers). It is loaded with how-to's, screenshots, and more.
- Download WS1040 Software here or here. Software is not included with this scanner & there is not a free version, but you can buy this software, set up favorites lists, configure for your area & see if you're comfortable operating before buying your scanner. If you buy, you'll have everything set up & ready to go.
- WS1040 Owner's Manual. This is the official WS1040 owner's manual, but we highly recommend Mark's Scanners WS1040 guide over this.
- Radio Reference is the largest police scanner radio forum with over 850k users. There are several threads about the WS1040 where just about every question imaginable has been asked and answered by WS1040 owners.
- There are Yahoo Groups for every police scanner radio including the WS1040.
- View our customers' reviews of the WS1040, which is under the "Reviews" tab below.
- eHam is a great source for unfiltered user reviews of the WS1040. While not as in-depth as professional reviews, you can get a good general idea of what users think about the WS1040.
- Our WS1040 YouTube playlist contains several reviews of the WS1040 from users.
- Radio Reference has several pages dedicated to the WS1040 with several reviews from WS1040 owners.
We do not offer professional programing on this police scanner model.
We DO offer programming on these models which we highly recommend buying over this model.
Can I program this scanner myself?
We created programming videos to help you decided whether you can program on your own. If you going to program, we highly recommend watching videos and download the free software & programming BEFORE you buy. This will save you a lot of time and frustration. Maybe your programming needs are simple and this is not a big deal, maybe this is a huge program you can avoid.
How long does programming take?
It takes our scanner tech over an hour to program each scanner & this is ALL he does. For new & moderate scanner users we estimate 3-12 hours of programming. Setup time varies wildly based on scanner, area, scanner experience & general tech familiarity.
Programming is the #1 reason police scanners are returned and the root issue with 99.999% of any negative review you'll find.
While scanner programming is much easier than the days of crystal scanners, there is a learning curve like any other electronics purchase. While some scanner enthusiasts are highly technical and want to learn the ins and outs of programming, others want their scanner to just ‘work’ right out of the box.
Unless you’re familiar with scanners, scanner terminology, own a PC (Mac’s do not work), and want to learn the nuances of programming, we highly recommend buying a scanner that can be professionally programmed.
Scanner technology is fairly user-friendly, but scanners are not smartphones or iPads. If you're spending hundreds on a scanner, we recommend springing a few extra bucks so to get one that you're happy with long-term.
Can't you teach me programming with your lifetime technical support?
No. Lifetime technical support is not unlimited technical support. We are always here to help and love to do so. We made how to videos and can help point you in the right direction, but we will not teach programming.