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Old 01-14-2014, 1:00 PM
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Default Any CO Admins Expecting a BCD536HP?

Per UPMan's Post it sounds like RR Admins will be getting the first shipment of BCD536HP scanners. Curious if any of our CO admins ordered one. If so, please let us know how it works out!

(would love to hear how it works on the DTRS Adams County Simulcast site)
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Old 01-15-2014, 9:22 AM
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No, I didn't grab one. Too many radios already
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:17 AM
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One can never have too many radios ;-)
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by abqscan View Post
One can never have too many radios ;-)
I couldn't agree more! I ended up pre-ordering a BCD536HP the other week from Scanner Master. If someone doesn't beat me to it I'll try to make a few videos of the new scanner in action on some of the Denver-area systems when I receive it.

Out of curiosity, anyone on the CO forum planning to get one?
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Old 01-17-2014, 8:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve2003 View Post
I couldn't agree more! I ended up pre-ordering a BCD536HP the other week from Scanner Master. If someone doesn't beat me to it I'll try to make a few videos of the new scanner in action on some of the Denver-area systems when I receive it.

Out of curiosity, anyone on the CO forum planning to get one?
Yes why certainly, like Erik said can never have enough radios.

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Old 01-19-2014, 12:21 AM
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As fast as things are changing around the metro area right now, that factory 'zip code' programming won't last long, if it's even current as shipped! Anyone know who will be supporting them on the software side (e.g., Freescan)? Also - since this is a 'Home Patrol' feature type device, does anyone know if that means that they will use the HP 'box' definition for GPS areas, or will it use the BCD396 style 'radius' approach to defining areas?
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Old 01-20-2014, 5:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ecanderson View Post
As fast as things are changing around the metro area right now, that factory 'zip code' programming won't last long, if it's even current as shipped! Anyone know who will be supporting them on the software side (e.g., Freescan)? Also - since this is a 'Home Patrol' feature type device, does anyone know if that means that they will use the HP 'box' definition for GPS areas, or will it use the BCD396 style 'radius' approach to defining areas?
Uniden has already released BCDx36HP Sentinel & updates the database every Saturday. The software is the same layout as the version used for the Home Patrol. I would guess other software developers are waiting to get their hands on the new radio and start developing.

It also looks like you can use both Rectangles & Circles for location data:



I'm usually stationary and don't use the GPS. If anyone uses it with one of the new radios let us know how it works!
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Old 01-20-2014, 6:10 PM
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In my view, the GPS feature is absolutely worthless for DTRS. IMO, in the absence of a scanner with dynamic site roaming based on relative RSSI & BER values from adjacent sites (which you won't find in any scanner), the only viable option with DTRS is to manually test signal levels of each nearby site, at each and every location where you wish to use your scanner.

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Old 01-20-2014, 7:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natedawg1604 View Post
In my view, the GPS feature is absolutely worthless for DTRS. IMO, in the absence of a scanner with dynamic site roaming based on relative RSSI & BER values from adjacent sites (which you won't find in any scanner), the only viable option with DTRS is to manually test signal levels of each nearby site, at each and every location where you wish to use your scanner.
One of the things I really like about these scanners is that Group Quick Keys (GQK) can be used for sites and departments.

They have also increased the number of GQKs you can have in the BCDx36HP radios to 100 (10 with the 396T, 396XT, 996T, & 996XT)

I am planning using GQKs 1-70 for Departments and 71-99 for sites. DTRS Programming example:

GQK 1 = Arapahoe County Law agencies
GQK 2 = Jeffco Law
GQK 3 = Adams Law
GQK 10 = MACs & Network First
GQK 71 = Chevron Site (164)
GQK 72 = Lookout Mtn Site (108)
GQK 74 = Admin Site (101)
GQK 73 = Thorodin Site (105)
GQK 75 = Adams County Simulcast Site (322)

When I want to listen to Arapahoe Law I would use the following GQKs:
1, 71, 72, 74

For Jeffco:
2, 72, 74

Adams County:
3, 73, 75

MACS & Network First:
10, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75

The GPS is great if you are a new to the hobby or traveling. As a power user I am going to love having the ability to quickly turn sites on/off! Hoping my 536HP comes this week....
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Old 01-20-2014, 9:42 PM
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I have to say I love the GPS mode. When travelling down I-80 to Iowa for instance I really like to have sites, counties, cities etc automatically turning off and on as I go. Even when travelling to different parts of Colorado, like when storm chasing having sites and VHF/UHF frequencies turning off and on is a big time saver. Now with 100 GQK's to work with perhaps its not quite as essential.
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Old 01-21-2014, 8:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natedawg1604 View Post
In my view, the GPS feature is absolutely worthless for DTRS. IMO, in the absence of a scanner with dynamic site roaming based on relative RSSI & BER values from adjacent sites (which you won't find in any scanner)...
Many of the GRE / Radio Shack units are capable of using BER thresholds (by way of successful decode rates) for determining both when a site will be used, and when it will be discarded in favor of another if available. Those settings are even available for modification directly from Win500. While I like the way Uniden does some things, they certainly would benefit by adding this feature. It's not perfect as GRE has set it up, but providing you've set the drop-out threshold correctly, you should have intelligible signals if they're out there to be had at all.
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Old 01-21-2014, 8:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natedawg1604 View Post
In my view, the GPS feature is absolutely worthless for DTRS. IMO, in the absence of a scanner with dynamic site roaming based on relative RSSI & BER values from adjacent sites (which you won't find in any scanner), the only viable option with DTRS is to manually test signal levels of each nearby site, at each and every location where you wish to use your scanner.

-Nate
Now on to the larger issue of the usefulness of GPS. Is it time consuming to program well (especially if stuck with radii)? Yes. Does it require some foreknowledge of propagation in order to do it effectively? Yes. Is it anywhere near as easy to use this way to manage site selection vs. the GRE approach? No. Wish that it was. It can become especially messy if using programmed start-up group numbering where there is going to be overlap and where the bloody radii approach means using eight stupid circles in an attempt to represent a rectangular entity such as a typical county. It took me the better part of 3 days to get a decent version built and I still tweak coverage areas from time to time.

However, if you've got time on your hands, it can be done, and done effectively, and is the only option to a 'wide open' DTRS site programming solution that WILL bog a consumer unit down (you'll miss the front end of many transmissions) if in need of a mobile solution.
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Old 01-26-2014, 7:12 PM
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Hello Group.

I visited my (fellow scanist) brother in Loveland last weekend with my 536. I will need to get an exact download from him which DTRS sites were appreciably better but below is a brief report.

We were comparing against a 996 primarily. Radios were hooked up to 9dB Larsen Yagi's near the peak of his roof. 16' AGL on the far east side of town.

All DTRS sites had clearer audio (digital decoding) as did Denver EDACS, Arvada and Westminster. All were considerably improved reception wise. 1 bar over the 996 which may or may not have the same meter calibration. The proof was in the subjective listening.
Aurora was about the same.

There were a couple distant DTRS sites that were not receivable on the 996 due to adjacent CC's from more local systems but the 536 provided good tracking and decoding.The exception being Loveland's site still blew out Lookout Mtn. CC since they are .0125 away (as expected) Note that these sites just "should not come in" I am told. We were able to confirm the sites were what we thought they were via site ID's with some creative programming...

The selectivity of the 536 is on par with the old 2005/6 scanners for those that go back that far. (I still use one)

VHF performance was stellar. We were able to get a good lock on a few Wyolink sites and the AFB AFB VHF TRS too using a 5/8 VHF GP antenna on the roof (Larsen BSA)

Fed activity was quiet for the short time we were monitoring but we were pulling in more 167 band P25 "Burps" than on the 996.

I use this radio in Delaware and it's performance on 800 and VHF mirror our experiences in CO. I have much more 700Mhz to hear including Phase II systems and operation is seem less for those groups that are clear.

This radio appears to be a winner.

I will report back (or get my brother to post) with more specifics when I get them. I will answer what I can but it was based on only 48hrs of use...
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Last edited by Audiodave1; 01-26-2014 at 7:47 PM.. Reason: Added lookout montain
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Old 01-26-2014, 9:45 PM
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There were a couple distant DTRS sites that were not receivable on the 996 due to adjacent CC's from more local systems but the 536 provided good tracking and decoding.
That's good news. Apart from total overload (your Lookout issue), it sounds as though selectivity is improved a good bit. That's important for my fixed location since Mead's CC has hurt me a few times on an adjacent channel, too.

I haven't looked, but will if no one else has -- will the 436 be sporting the same basic receiver specs as the 536? I have one use model where the smaller form factor is important, but even a subjective positive comment about selectivity, if applicable to the handheld as well, could push me over the edge into a new purchase.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:49 PM
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Thanks for the report Dave! Are you saying this has sensitivity similar to that of the Pro-96??? If so that is awesome!

Did you get the chance to test on the Weld County Simulcast site? My 536 should be here Wednesday and I can't wait to try it out on the Adams County Simulcast cluster.
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:53 PM
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If they materially improved co-channel selectivity as compared to the XT scanners, that would be WONDERFUL news!
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Old 01-28-2014, 4:42 AM
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Steve,

Could you please cut back on the `resolution size' of the various graphics you post in your messages? My poor old laptop doesn't deal to well with anything over 1024 X 768 and it causes me to have to scroll L-R all the time just to read everyone elses replies in the thread. Thanks.
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Old 01-28-2014, 8:08 AM
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Somehow I didn't press the post button on my original reply...
We tested against a BC996 and the selectivity was improved on 800 for sure. Not sure about how the XT compares to the 996.

I do not own a PRo96 but would say this receiver is about as hot as you would want it in an urban setting.

We did monitor Weld quite a bit and it worked great...but has not been a challenge since they switched towers, paperclip reception as I like to say.

That's all I have for now (Go Broncos!)
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:57 AM
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Steve,

Could you please cut back on the `resolution size' of the various graphics you post in your messages? My poor old laptop doesn't deal to well with anything over 1024 X 768 and it causes me to have to scroll L-R all the time just to read everyone elses replies in the thread. Thanks.
Sure thing, I'll start using thumbnails that link to the larger images.
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Old 01-29-2014, 4:09 PM
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Sure thing, I'll start using thumbnails that link to the larger images.
Thanks!

BTW, I even have to scroll to the right once those large files are uploaded to a thread just to find the reply buttons! {Wan Grin!}
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