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396T vs. PSR-500

Should I buy the 396T or the PSR-500


  • Total voters
    52
  • Poll closed .
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Joined
Jul 2, 2005
Messages
104
Location
Fishers IN
#21
What I like about the 500 is the fact that you have systems and then lists. I can scan only eastside of the city on 4 different systems all in one list. It's awsome!. Just something to think about.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2004
Messages
8
Location
Salt Lake City, Utah
#23
well....... the winner was....... a coin toss!!! LOL ..... so i flipped a coin!!! well, not quite!! I am not the proud owner of a 396t!!! what did it for me was form factor and being familiar with the uniden system!! Thanks for all of your input!!!!
 

Airdorn

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
428
#24
I chose Uniden because I like Uniden products. To me, Uniden is one of those companies that, when I think about them, I get a warm feeling of good-will in my heart.

So I was predisposed to like the 996T before I even messed with one. I bought it sight-unseen, and I'm glad I did. I love everything about it.

Having said that, the GRE is prolly a great scanner. I've never even seen one.
 

KC2ZHY

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 29, 2008
Messages
356
Location
Somerville, NJ
#25
troymail said:
There really isn't a simple answer for this--- depends on your needs...

Listen to mostly DIGITAL or distant trunked radio systems? No question - PSR-500.

Analog and close by with no belief you'll need digital anytime soon? BC-396T..
the system I use encompasses a near 50/50 usage of analog and digital... so which one should I go for? i would assume PSR-500 from what you've said... I need one that does analog and digital and does them both well.
 

jerk

Active Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2003
Messages
2,446
Location
jerkville
#26
sjmars0x said:
the system I use encompasses a near 50/50 usage of analog and digital... so which one should I go for? i would assume PSR-500 from what you've said... I need one that does analog and digital and does them both well.
Both do analog well. Both do digital, but the GRE does it better or best.
My Uniden still has trouble with "good" decoding of digital. And probably always will according to Uniden. No digital only option, conventional or trunked. The GRE does have the option of sorts.

But it is personal; preference for size, the number of talk groups you'll monitor, the good thing about the GRE is all sites can be in one "bank" the uniden requires a separate site (System) programmed for large ones, but they can all turn on and off with one Quick Group key.

If I were buying one today, I would get the GRE.
 

troymail

Silent Key
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
9,977
Location
Supply (Lockwood Inlet area), NC
#27
newsalan said:
Both do analog well. Both do digital, but the GRE does it better or best.
My Uniden still has trouble with "good" decoding of digital. And probably always will according to Uniden. No digital only option, conventional or trunked. The GRE does have the option of sorts.

But it is personal; preference for size, the number of talk groups you'll monitor, the good thing about the GRE is all sites can be in one "bank" the uniden requires a separate site (System) programmed for large ones, but they can all turn on and off with one Quick Group key.

If I were buying one today, I would get the GRE.
If listening were the only thing to consider - PSR500 - but Uniden seems to have more features and flexibility.

If I didn't have both already, knowning what I now know having both already, I'd get the PSR500 - even with losing the bells and whistles that come with the Uniden
 

KC2ZHY

Member
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Joined
Feb 29, 2008
Messages
356
Location
Somerville, NJ
#28
troymail said:
If listening were the only thing to consider - PSR500 - but Uniden seems to have more features and flexibility.

If I didn't have both already, knowning what I now know having both already, I'd get the PSR500 - even with losing the bells and whistles that come with the Uniden
well in all seriousness, how much more functionality would I get with the Uniden? I mean, all I ask for is something where I can program my frequencies, set up my UHF and 800MHz trunkers and store & name talk group IDs. if the GRE does all of that fun stuff, I guess I'm set
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
635
Location
Phoenix Arizona
#29
Psr-500

Sold the 396, bought the 500.

The 500 has MORE memory, not less. Over 37,000 memory locations. Yes, there are "only" a mere 1800 objects per v scanner, but so what? If you are one of the rare birds who cannot get by on such a "paltry" amount of objects, then get the 396.

The V scanner makes perfect sense. #1 is for my local area, and I have v scanners for LA, San Diego, SE Texas, Norther AZ, etc. It takes two seconds to load a different one, and I don't find myself needing to scan San Diego and Phoenix at the same time too often.

The 500 has nac codes which have come in handy monitoring federal VHF P25 stuff, as well as Texas DPS frequencies which also use the nac codes. The 500 has audio boost for "quieter" frequencies, the 396 doesn't. The 500 has all sorts for backlight / led / alarm options to alert me when one of those frequencies come up that rarely have any activity, somtimes frequencies I am watching for squelch codes.

The 500 is more sensitive. Overload in dense RF areas? Use the attenuator, it works. The PSR scanners are better in VHF high reception as well.

Digital decode? Not even close, the 500 rules. Digital audio quality? Same story. Do a quick google search on the 396 and put "under water sound" in with it, see what you find. You are supposed to play with these stupid dwell time and threshold settings to make digital decode properly if you have problems, the PSR does it all on it's own, and does it better.

This leaves the 396 as a more expensive unit, with the only advantage being the supposed "better in dense RF areas" defense, which I get a chuckle out of. I live on a flat desert floor, where most towers are on mountains, in a 3.5 million person city, with TONS of RF energy flying around. The PSR outperformed the 396 in all areas, period. Extensive testing was done with different settings, antennas, etc. Of course, this is just MY testing, and MY findings, and opinions and results will vary, without a doubt.

I do LOVE the blue display of the 396, and the smaller, more modern look.

As a long time scanner guy, I HATE the way the 396 does squelch in increments. The difference between 0 and 1 is too great IMHO. Hate it. I want an infinite adjustment on my squelch, thank you, call me old fashioned if you like.

The real shame of PSR vs Uniden BCD scanners for PSR lovers like me, is that the 996 has the big beautiful display, and top notch feel and appearance, while the PSR radios look and feel cheaper, with inferior displays. Oh well, you can't have it all I guess.
 
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