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Uniden SDS100 Police Scanner

Best scanner of 2020

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This is—beyond a shadow of a doubt—the best scanner on the market and the one you should buy.

Launched in June of 2018, it's the newest and...I'd say shiniest...but it's flat black (not even matte, which is the only disappointing aspect of this scanner).

The SDS100 is fast, easy to use, has a color interface, and simulcast monitoring capabilities that blow all the other digital phase 2 scanners out of the water. That reminds me: it's waterproof(!) Uniden has set a new standard with the SDS100.

View our SDS100 deal & save on programming!

Chat with a SDS100 expert now

Specifics & Compare

Handheld Digital Phase 2 Police Scanner Comparison

Model Number




Scanner Type


Monitor Digital Phase 2


Monitor Digital Phase 1


Monitor Trunking


Monitor Analog


Monitor Weather & NOAA


Monitor P25, TDMA, APCO-25, EDACS, LTR, Analog Motorola, Digital Motorola


ProVoice EDACS

YesWith Paid UpgradeWith Paid UpgradeWith Paid Upgrade


YesWith Paid UpgradeWith Paid UpgradeNo


YesWith Paid UpgradeWith Paid UpgradeWith Paid Upgrade

Frequency Range

25 MHz - 1.3 GHz25 MHz - 1.3 GHz25 MHz - 1.3 GHz25 MHz - 1.3 GHz

AM/FM Reception


Number of Channels

Virtually UnlimitedVirtually UnlimitedVirtually Unlimited25,000

GPS Capable


Alpha Tag


NAC Decoding


Fire Tone-Out


Location Based Scanning


Close Call/Stalker


Record & Playback


Lit Keypad


Headset & External Speaker Compatible


PC Programmable


Mac Programmable


Easy Programming


Software Included

EZ ScanSentinelSentinelNone

USA & Canada Database


Storage (GB)

4 GB8 GB4 GBDynamic

SD Card


Range (mi.)*


Battery Type


Battery Life**

8 hours8 hours8 hours6 hours
Size (inches)1.25 x 2.25 x 5.25N/A2.5 x 6.5 x 12 x 6 x 1
Weight (oz.)12N/A1212


1 year1 year1 year1 year
LaunchedSummer 2016Summer 2018Fall 2013Spring 2015
Key FeatureNXDNSimulcast CapableGPS CapableSoftware not included


› AC Adapter
› miniUSB to USB Cable
› Hand Strap
› 8GB MicroSD Card (installed)
› Lithium Ion Battery Pack
› SMA to BNC Connector (Antenna Adapter)
› SMA type Antenna
› Sentinel Software
› Belt Clip
› Printed Inserts


What’s the difference between the SDS100 and the BCD436HP?
Go to 'Specifics & Compare' tab to see all technical differences. The main differences are:

› The SDS100 can pick up simulcast.
› Faster; the SDS100 is suppose to be 25%-50% faster than the BCD436HP.
› Clearer screen resolution.
› SDS100 is 'water proof'.
› SDS100 is more sensitive and superior at picking up weak signal and 'RF environments'.
› The SDS100 can charge and run at the same time; the BCD436HP must be powered down to charge.
› You can customize the color screen to show what you’d like.
› BCD436HP came out in 2013; SDS100 in June 2018. Like all new technology there have been several minor upgrades.


What’s the difference between the SDS100 and the Whistler TRX-1?
Go to 'Specifics & Compare' tab to see all technical differences. The main differences are:

› The SDS100 can pick up simulcast distortion.
› TRX-1 came out in 2016; SDS100 in June 2018. Like all new technology there have been several minor upgrades.


I need a digital phase 2 scanner, why should I buy the SDS100?
The SDS100 is the newest scanner on the market and the new flagship scanner from the largest police scanner manufacturer in the world; Uniden. The simulcast capabilities are one of a kind and you can buy add ons for NXDN, DMR and ProVoice. So basically, this scanner can pick up everything possible no matter where you live.


Will the SDS100 go on sale anytime soon?
We don't know. Uniden does not disclose when they will be dropping prices and even when prices do drop, it’s only $5 -$10. You can sign up for our emails & we'll keep you posted.


What are ProVoice, EDACS and NXDN and do I need them?
These 3 are forms of digital phase 2 that affect some parts of the U.S.. If your area uses these - you must add them (buy above) to hear those broadcasts. Not sure if your area uses these formats? No biggie (this is confusing) chat with a scanner expert now and we’ll look up your area.


Additional memory?

You can add a larger memory (SD card) to increase favorites lists and recording space. Recording time by SD card size:

› 2 GB = 6 hours
› 4 GB = 12 hours
› 8 GB = 24 hours
› 16 GB = 50 hours
› 32 GB = 100 hours
› 64 GB = 200 hours


What is simulcast distortion?

Check out our simulcast distortion article to learn more.


Software Upgrade Fees

The rate we charge includes the software license(s) and our time to install upgrade. You can upgrade on your own directly from Uniden after you receive your scanner but we will not provide support if you do not purchase from us.


Does this come with the larger battery?


Buyers Say

Already have your SDS100? Leave a review on this page to help others.

› Simulcast distortion monitoring works as advertised.
› 25%-50% faster than the BCD436HP & TRX-1.
› SD card placement is better than BCD436HP so card is not easily corruptable.
› Much more sensitive and can pick up weak signals.
› Able to charge and run at the same time, unlike the BCD436HP.
› Customizable color screen is easier to read than the black & white BCD436HP.
› The stock antenna is just OK. Uniden degraded the antenna to get certified waterproof. This on set antenna increases range up to 100%.
› Battery issue: There was a battery issue when first launched which has been fixed, this issue will not affect any orders placed after November 2018.
› If knob (multi function scroll) is not functioning properly, pull the knob off and reattach.
› New battery tends to get hot—doesn't always last 8 hours as Uniden suggests.


› If you do nothing else - save this page. This guide is hyper detailed & explains how to do everything on this scanner. When you get your scanner go ahead & burn the paper owner’s manual & use this bad boy.

Uniden SDS100 Owner's Manual. This is the official Uniden SDS100 owner's manual.

Uniden SDS100 Technical Specs one pager. This is the official Uniden SDS100 one page spec sheet.

› Radio Reference is the largest police scanner radio forum with over 850k users. There are several threads about the Uniden SDS100 where just about every question imaginable has been asked and answered.

› Review of the Uniden SDS100 on Radio Reference thread. And a new SDS100 review.

› Radio Reference wiki page for the Uniden SDS100

› Our Uniden SDS100 YouTube playlist has several videos of the Uniden SDS100 in action so you can see the SDS100 and BCD436HP side by side and compare the simulcast capabilities.

› Facebook group for Uniden SDS100 owners. Private group so you’ll need to request access.

Uniden SDS100 scanner discussion group.

Uniden SDS100 Yahoo Groups page. There are two Uniden SDS100 Yahoo Groups.

Uniden SDS100 forum thread on Scan Riverside.

Download Sentinel software for the SDS100 free. Not sure if you want to program on your own? Download the software that comes with the SDS100 (Sentinel) for free and test drive.

› User generated Simulcast report from around the US. This is a google doc that provides an apples-to-apples comparison for all the different scanner models and how they handle simulcast in specific areas and different networks. While not the prettiest, this the best, most up to date, unbiased information.

› SDS100 simulcast discussion on a Radio Reference thread where SDS100 owners discuss simulcast issues, Unication vs SDS100 and more.

› SDS100 review from an Australian POV from someone how purchased from us.

› Have something you think we should add here? Awesome! Send it on over and we'll add: [email protected]


The new Uniden SDS100 comes with Sentinel software like other Uniden scanners including 436, 536 & HP2. While there is a version of Sentinel Software for each scanner, they operate the same. The SDS100 includes Sentinel Software (download free SDS100 software here). Watch our Uniden Sentinel software programming video here or above in video gallery.

Police Scanner Programming FAQ

What is 'One Touch Start Up'?

Adding this with programming allows our technicians to make hardware, software & frequency updates prior to shipping your scanner. You can buy only the programming which will give you everything needed to listen in your area but 'one touch start up' ensures a smooth experience right from the start with zero technical know-how. 'One touch start up' is popular with gifts as this allows the scanner to simply 'work' by powering on.


How long does this take?

Programming adds 1-2 additional business days to delivery.


What if this does not work?

We have a 100% money back guarantee if you’re not happy with your programming.


How are you so much cheaper than other scanner programming places?

We’re awesome.


Can you program X, Y, Z?

We can program anything that is in Radio Reference. If you have frequencies that are not in Radio Reference, as long as you can put them in a CSV file, we can program them.


What if I need help?

We’re always here to help.


Can I programming this scanner myself?

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.


Can't I just punch in my zip code for programming?

When you type in your zip code, it scans EVERYTHING in your area, which is kinda like getting the phone book thrown at you. This is why over 95% of orders include programming & why we highly recommend. Our professional programming filters the junk out so you don't have to listen to things such as the dog catcher, repo guy, power company & such.


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 as well as scanner & general tech familiarity.


Why should I buy programming?

Programming is the #1 reason police scanners are returned. 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. 95% of all scanner sales include programming, so 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 having your scanner 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 it works right out of the box.


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, love to do so. We made how to videos and can help point you in the right direction, but we will not teach programming.

Pro Tips

Start up tips once you have your Uniden SDS100.

First Steps

› Install battery pack, plug cable (included) into the scanner’s USB mini port, other end into PC computer.
› Power on by pressing the power button (bottom right on keypad) for 2+ seconds.
› When prompted, select ‘Mass Storage’ mode.
› Run Sentinel software.
› Follow prompt to update firmware & database.

Initial Settings

› Tap scroll (knob on top of scanner) to display volume. Turn (within 3 seconds) to adjust.
› Tap scroll again to close volume (or wait 10 seconds).
› Press ‘Func’ then tap scroll to display the squelch.
› Tap scroll again to close the squelch.
› To begin scanning, press the ZIP SERVICES button to select your country & zip/postal code. Scanner loads channels in your area from the database & starts scanning.

How to Avoid Frequencies?

› Press AVOID (bottom left button) once to temporarily avoid the current channel/frequency.
› Press AVOID twice to permanently avoid the current channel/frequency.

During scan, or scan hold:

› Press SYSTEM (upper left button) then tap AVOID once (for temporary avoid) or AVOID twice (for permanent avoid).
› Press DEPT, then tap AVOID once (for temporary avoid) or AVOID twice (for permanent avoid).

How to Adjust Volume?

› Tap scroll to display volume level.
› Turn scroll (within 3 seconds) to adjust.

Replay & Record

› Press FUNC then REPLAY/RECORD to start/stop recording.
› Press & hold REPLAY/RECORD to view recordings.

Enter Zip/Postal Code

Sets location as center of a zip/postal code (not exact location) & default scan range of 10 miles.

› Sets location as center of a zip/postal code (not exact location) & default scan range of 10 miles.
› Press ZIP SERVICES to enter your zip/postal code.
› Select your country (USA or Canada) & press E/YES.

Auto Locate

Allows monitoring of any Motorola or P25 system that is in your area & Radio Reference. This sets the center of the discovery radio tower as your location (not your exact location) & a default scan range of 30 miles.

› Press E/YES or ./NO to accept location. Press MENU to cancel.

Set Manual Location

Set your exact location & a default scan range of 0 miles. You can then edit the location name & save location. Using keypad, enter your latitude & longitude.

› Press ./NO to toggle N or S, & press E/YES. Using the keypad, enter your longitude.
› Press ./NO to toggle E or W, & press E/YES.

Set Range

Override default range for your location to increase/decrease number of channels received when scanning from database & favorites lists (when location control enabled).

› Enter the range (0-50) & press E/YES.

How to Delete Location?

Last location set will be saved when scanning database.

› At Confirm Delete?, press E/YES or ./NO.

Menu Reference

› See pages 24-32 in Uniden SDS100 Owner's Manual.

Managing Favorites Lists

Favorites Lists hold all custom Systems, Sites, Departments, & Channels. Some system, department, & channel options are only available for specific types of systems. Each option is tagged with the type(s) it applies to:

› See page 33 in Uniden SDS100 Owner's Manual for graphic.

System Settings

Some settings are only available for specific system types; MotoTRBO & DMR are optional, paid upgrades. Edit Name – Enter any name for system then press E/YES. Edit Sys Option:

› See page 34 in Uniden SDS100 Owner's Manual.

Edit Unit ID PMDE

› Unit ID must be set to On in the Display Options menu to view Unit IDs.
› Select a Unit ID or New Unit ID, then press E/YES.

If New Unit ID selected, enter Unit ID & press E/YES. Then, set following:

› Edit Name: Choose name to be displayed for the Unit ID
› Edit Unit ID: Edit Unit ID Number.
› Set Alert:

Set Alert Tone: Alert 1-9 or Off.

› Set Level Level: 1-15 or Auto (the master volume level)
› Set Alert Light: Off, Blue, Red, Magenta, Green, Cyan, Yellow, or White.
› Set Alert Pattern: On, Slow Blink, or Fast Blink.

Delete Unit ID: At ‘Confirm Delete?’ press E/YES or ./NO.

Display Customization

To control colors & items displayed select:

›  MENU - Display - Options Customize

Customizable Items:

› Simple Conventional
› Simple Trunk
› Detail Conventional
› Detail Trunk
› Search/CC Mode
› Weather Mode
› Tone Out Mode

Display Customization Tips

› During scan, switch between Simple & Detail display modes by holding on channel & pressing F+DISP.
› Some display modes or display fields only allow you to change the colors.
› Trunking/Conventional modes share the same display field colors, but each scan mode can display different data items.
› Every possible data item cannot fit into all the different display fields.
› After selecting a display mode to customize, a sample of display appears. Rotate scroll to highlight modify area, press appropriate soft key to change attribute:
› Item: Change item displayed in field.
› T-Color: Change text color in field.
› B-Color: Change background color field.

When selecting one of the above, the display will switch to showing the available options. Select the option to use, then press E/YES to return to the sample display.

This confused? No biggie, this is why we have lifetime tech support. Chat with an SDS100 expert.


Use spaces to separate tags. Use single quotes (') for phrases.

Customer Reviews (78)

Jim AcklinReview by Jim Acklin
Review Rating
Jim Acklin (Posted on 10/7/2018)
heila chateauneufReview by heila chateauneuf
Review Rating
From our first phone call to actually receiving our product, we are very happy to say that Zip Scanners are extremely helpful. We ordered the Whistler TRX2 Police Scanner and had all the necessary information loaded onto the scanner so that when we received it we just had to plug it in. That was amazing. Zip Scanners were able to answer all our questions beforehand so that we could decide which scanner was best for us. Upon receiving the Whistler TRX2 Police Scanner, we plugged it in and after a few very easy instructions, our scanner was working. We do have one minor concern, for some reason the town we live in (which is what we are interested in receiving), does not come in very well. We have tried everything but nothing seems to help. Every other town/city is working just fine, so we assume it must be our town?? Other than that we highly recommend Zip Scanners to anyone interested in purchasing a scanner. Thank you Zip Scanner...... (Posted on 10/2/2018)
Review Rating
For a small company, Zip scanners stands above the big ones. They are dedicated to do everything they can to please the customer! I know if and when i need help, they will. Will definitely get my business! 100% satisfied. (Posted on 9/30/2018)
Greg LeeReview by Greg Lee
Review Rating
Excellent service and fast shipping. The people at ZipScanners are the best! They are friendly and very knowledgeable. With the programming that they offer, you will be up and scanning immediately. (Posted on 9/25/2018)
.Review by 64 Jumpers
Review Rating
These Guys are the Best. This is my first Scanner (SDS 100) and when i say they hooked me up, They really and truly did. I highly recommend them, and i myself will be back to get more of their products. (Posted on 9/19/2018)
.Review by jeff koesling
Review Rating
These guys are AWESOME! Super fast reply to any questions that I had during the ordering process and answered all of questions in regards to the programming that I had requested. I purchased an SDS100, and I have been close to calling them for operating instructions, but so far have tried to learn it on my own. Thanks for such Great service!!! (Posted on 9/18/2018)
Overpriced, underbuiltReview by Volt
Review Rating
In this day and age they could do a little more R&D before pushing out yet another scanner that could have been designed much better. Also when you pay this crazy kind of money for a scanner you should get upgrades of all types for free, for life.
Not happy with the sound quality nor the range of this scanner, it makes me want to throw it out the window some days. VERY sorry I bought it, don't make the same mistake. (Posted on 9/12/2018)
Sds-100 love itReview by Rotorwash
Review Rating
Love my SDS100 (Posted on 8/24/2018)
Poor quality audio. Poor receive range. Poor battery life. Review by Firebiz
Review Rating
Received my unit yesterday. Updated the firmware and loaded the favorites frequencies. Set the unit side by side with my 436. The 436 blows the 100 out of the water in audio quality and receive distance. The 436 pulled stations out and the 100 was silent. The battery life on the 100 sucks, though Uniden states they will ship a new battery. Not much they can do about the audio quality in existing radios. They are going to need a bigger speaker.

Overall....,disappointed in this product.

WX6AAA. ‘73 (Posted on 7/23/2018)
.Review by Michael Matteson
Review Rating
Shipped as promised. When it looked like there would be a delay they stepped up and pushed the order through. Thanks for your help. (Posted on 7/17/2018)
.Review by Geri Squitieri
Review Rating
. (Posted on 7/17/2018)
Below fair Sds100Review by Mrscanner
Review Rating
Receive on the Sds 100 is pretty badd the TRX is a better scanner receive on trx1 blows in the SDS out of the water (Posted on 7/6/2018)
.Review by Junior Lehman
Review Rating
Great Company. Ordered late on a Monday night, showed up on Wednesday. Recieved a phone call on Teusday confirming my order before shipping. Customer service was fantastic. (Posted on 7/6/2018)
.Review by John Thurston
Review Rating
Very prompt service! Ordered SDS-100 on a Thursday and arrived on my door Monday.... (Posted on 7/6/2018)
David LipinskiReview by David Lipinski
Review Rating
great place to order from they responded quickly to my email to Che k inventory and after I placed my order I received it within 2 days I will definitely order from them again. (Posted on 7/6/2018)
.Review by Moe
Review Rating
Very happy with the communication and service of Zip Scanners will be back.Thank You (Posted on 7/6/2018)
SDS100 Disappointing Review by Michael O
Review Rating
Though it looks beautiful and has cool features, I returned mine because it didn't perform very well. It does demodulate LSM (P25 simulcast), but the receive range is pretty bad. It was lucky to lock onto a simulcast that it was sitting within, forget about receiving distant simulcasts. My Unication G4 can pull in every simulcast within 30+ miles for comparison. The SDS100 is also quite prone to failure to switch from the control channel frequency to the talk frequency in some situations. I was told this was likely "interference" that I needed to eliminate, but note that the BCD436HP and Unication G4 were not affected by this "interference" in the same locations. End the end, the SDS100 didn't work well in my office, and at home wouldn't even receive my home police department's simulcast (which my home sits within). Driving around it doesn't "break up" as much as the 436 so long as there is one or more towers nearby, but overall I have to say the SDS100 is just a repackaged 436 for the most part, with pretty similar performance in most areas. I gained nothing with this device. The Unication G4/5 are still the way to go if you are serious about receiving simulcast systems, especially if you want to receive more than the simulcast you are sitting within. (Posted on 7/2/2018)
.Review by William Ott
Review Rating
I ordered one of the new Uniden SDS100 scanners from Zip Scanners via a phone order. I'd never done business with them before. My usual outlets were already out and had waiting lists. Zip's website indicated they had some in stock, so I called on a Monday morning. The process was easy and the personnel were very nice and professional on the phone and were able to answer my couple of questions. The radio shipped on Wednesday and arrived in Cary NC on Friday. I had a standing order for 25 of te SDS100 units at one of my other usual dealers. Oddly enough they arrived the same Friday as well. I'm completely pleased with my transaction with Zip Scanners and will order from them again. (Posted on 6/30/2018)
Love my SDS100. Review by Earl Suitor
Review Rating
Love my SDS100. The order came in 2 days......I've had a "scanner" since I was 13. I am 62 now. Ex Police dispatcher / firefighter / paramedic. Definitely will use Zipscanners for my future radio needs! Earl WV4NSS. (Posted on 6/30/2018)
Very disappointed Review by Mike
Review Rating
I’m really disappointed in the sds 100..Wish I could return for a refund..Still having issues with garbled p25 transmissions Full signal bars ..Not much better then previous radios..I’m amazed at the hype for this radio..Very sorry I purchased.. (Posted on 6/29/2018)

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