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.
Deep dive on programming here.
We HIGHLY recommend letting our experts program your scanner.
Programming issues are, by FAR, the #1 reason for...
- 99% of any negative comments about the WS1040 you'll read while researching
- 99% of any negative comments about us
- 90% + of all support questions
- Our reseeding hairlines
Basically, you're about to spend hundreds of dollars on a snappy new gadget, might as well spring a few extra bucks so it will actually work right out of the box.
- Check & install any firmware updates (OS may have updates since production).
- Sync & update frequencies to ensure accuracy.
- Create favorites lists for as many States & Counties as ordered.
- Set clock & date.
- Program with 3rd party software.
- Use national frequency database for frequencies.
What is 'one touch programming'?
With 'one touch programming' our technician will program your scanner for your area. All you need to do is simply power your scanner on. Choose as many Counties as you'd like and our scanner technician will create favorites lists for police, fire and EMS in that County using frequencies from a national frequency database.
When you choose a County, we also program the State that County is in. For example, if you choose Cook County Illinois, we will program Illinois State police, fire & EMS in addition to Cook County police, fire & EMS. If your County is large and you want to listen to a specific City within that County, add this to the notes section. Please note that programming adds 2-3 days to shipping.
Air, Rail & Race programming?
Each of these will count as '1 County'. So if you want to listen to Air and Rail you would buy '2 Counties' of programming and in the text area, type the name of the Airport and Rail you'd like to hear.
Programming is the #1 concern of potential police scanner radio buyers. Each scanner's programming is unique & we added how-to's on each scanner product page showing how to program that particular scanner (see above for this model). We recommend watching programming videos to determine whether you should have your scanner professionally programmed. 95% of all scanner sales include programming either at purchase or after—when users get frustrated.
Can I program on my own?
We created a programming decision tree as well as programming videos (above) to help you decided on whether you should include professional programming with your scanner, but we HIGHLY recommend adding programming.
Programming Questions? Chat with a programming expert now.