Anyone using a BCD436hp in Phoenix Az?

Joined
Dec 6, 2018
Messages
20
Location
Chandler, Arizona
#1
Just moved to Phoenix and I’m looking into getting a digital scanner, which I never owned before. The Uniden Bcd436hp looks like a good choice and it seems as though you can have it scanning minutes after receiving it. Don’t know if I’d be able to program it with the software on a computer so that’s why this 1 looks good. Is anyone using this scanner in the Phoenix area? If so would you recommend it or a different one.
 
Joined
Aug 17, 2003
Messages
3,527
Location
Peoria, AZ.
#2
Be prepared to get several different opinions on what the best scanner for the Valley is.

Some have had success with the 436/536. Some will say the HP1/HP2 is just as good, and may be even easier to program. Some may suggest the 325P2/996P2.

Others will say that because of the widely experienced simulcast issues here, only the SDS-100 will work, and others will say even it has problems.

Still others will say the only real choice is a Unication G4 or G5 pager, even with its limitations due to being a pager and not a scanner.

Others will say you need a professional grade public safety radio, such as *Motorola, just be careful with programming a Big M radio, because you don't want it to affiliate with the system. Others may say that a Harris radio is a better choice, because it's easier to program so it won't accidentally affiliate with the system.

There are so many different experiences with so many different models of scanners, pagers, and two-way radios. Asking which is best may leave you with more questions than answers it seems.

I only know that in my experience, my older GRE PSR-500 does not handle simulcast at all. Yet a friend with the Radio Shack equivalent, the PRO-106, seemingly has no issues.

John
Peoria
 

rpgaun

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Apr 26, 2010
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Sun City, Az
#4
I have a 536HP and I’m not very fond of it, in fact I took it out of the car and replaced it with a 996P2. It receives well but for some reason scans slow to the point where I’m missing traffic that I’m getting on my 325P2 and my 996P2. The 536 is set up in the garage (my radio room) and I hardly use it since I have the 325 there also.

Just my 4 cents (inflation).

Rich
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2018
Messages
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Location
Chandler, Arizona
#5
I really appreciate al the responses. I’m taking all your replies into consideration and I’m sure it’ll help me decide one the right scanner to buy
 

JohnSpartan

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Mar 16, 2013
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#6
As the others have said, it's to each their own. All of these devices have their merit. I have a 536HP on my desk, and one in the truck. I also have multiple XTS5000s set up for NA scan. There are pluses and minuses to each, and you first must decide what is important to you in terms of what you want to get out of scanning radio traffic - least that's how I look at it. As you will also note here in the forums, where you are, and what you are monitoring can be tricky to hone. This may influence your decision on which route to venture down first.

Here are my observations after implementing the 536 and an XTS:

536HP Pros:
-Legit Scanner, typical scanner capabilities (bands, capacity, speed, etc)
-Easy to program and maintain

536HP Cons:
-Does miss some traffic on P25 trunked systems
-Sometimes suffers from simulcast issues (band specific antenna does help when mobile)

XTS5000 NA Pros:
-Excellent audio quality (blows any scanner out of the water)
-Never misses any traffic
-Simple to operate

XTS5000 NA Cons:
-Doesn't function like a scanner (it's a radio after all!)
-If you mess up the programming, you turn it into a brick, and worse, disrupt public safety comms
-Limited space for systems and channels (capacity I guess you could call it)
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2018
Messages
20
Location
Chandler, Arizona
#7
Thanks, I’m new to digital scanning and it’s overwhelming. All I really want is a scanner that monitors the Phoenix area public safety but I can see where it’s more complicated than the days with my realistic scanner. Thanh you for your feedback I really appreciate it.
 

radiochuck

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Mar 5, 2013
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204
Location
Los Angeles, CA
#8
My $.02.

I use a handheld BCD325P2 and use GPS while mobile. I’m happy with the results. I use an ext antenna when I’m in the car and a Radio Shack 800 MHz when not.

I mostly monitor DPS and the Maricopa County Motorola type II system. No complaints at all.

I used to monitor RWC G when I lived in Peoria. That worked well, too.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2018
Messages
20
Location
Chandler, Arizona
#9
I’m told Phoenix PD is simulcast are you able to pick up any of theirs? (Sorry, but I don’t know very much about digital radio, I’m just learning)
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2018
Messages
20
Location
Chandler, Arizona
#13
I’m still wondering if anyone around the Phoenix area is using a Bcd436hp and how well (if at all) it handles simulcast. If anyone can please let me know their experience with this scanner I would really appreciate it.
 

KR7CQ

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May 20, 2013
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594
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Phoenix
#15
In answer to the original question...

I have used the 436 for years and in my view it's the best scanner for the Phoenix area, because it will simply not play as much "simulcast garbage" as other scanners will, and it's a heck of a lot cheaper than an SDS100 and in my view is just as good in 90% of situations. From what I have seen in testing of my own and along side others, the SDS100 was full of issues and has weak 700 MHz reception, and did the worst job on the 800 MHz MCSO Smartzone system that I've seen out of any digital scanner ever made. If you want one device for a reasonable price that "does it all", I would consider the BCD436HP, or a used PSR-800 / PRO-668. If you mainly care about P25 700MHz simulcast, there is no comparison to the Unication G4/5 in terms of reception / decoding simulcast, but these are pagers, and you will want to do some reading in the Unication forum to understand the limitations and workarounds before buying one. The Unication is truly a different animal from scanners, but with some creative programming it serves well for many in the valley, myself included.

Unication aside, let me say one thing about true scanners monitoring simulcast systems. The main factor in how well one works for you will be location, location, and then, location. I can literally drive you around Phoenix and show you specific locations where ANY digital scanner, even the ones produced 14-15 years ago, will work flawlessly, and sound beautiful. I can then drive you a block away where it all falls apart. It's THAT location-specific. Predicting how well any given scanner will work in your location is absolutely impossible, and you will have to experiment around to find out. You MAY, find that a 15 year old PSR-500 will work perfectly where you are for what you want to hear. You may also find that NO scanner will work correctly on simulcast where you want it to work, in which case the Unication will be your only option. This is all speaking to stationary reception.

When driving around in a car it goes like this: All scanners aside from the SDS100 are awful most of the time. With the SDS100, if you have one or more sites nearby, you can do OK much of the time, but simulcast range is pitiful, so you need to be fairly close to a tower, and you can usually forget about monitoring distant simulcasts while moving (and even when stationary). Keep in mind that many people including myself have also found the SDS100 to be quite susceptible to interference, causing the unit to avoid switching from control channel to the voice frequency (meaning you don't hear people talking, the unit just hangs). The Unication G4/5 will work well stationary, moving, wherever you are, and reception on distant simulcast systems is in another universe compared to any scanner, but again, it's a PAGER, and you must understand the limitations and workarounds before purchasing one.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 6, 2018
Messages
20
Location
Chandler, Arizona
#16
Thank you very much. I really didn’t want to spend the extra money on the sds100 when just about all the 436 owners say how good it is. You’ve answered my question about the simulcast and the 436 monitoring it and that’s exactly what I was looking for....someone’s personal experience with it.
 

etihparg

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Dec 25, 2002
Messages
46
Location
Gilbert, Arizona
#17
I mostly monitor Gilbert PD and Mesa/Gilbert Fire. I have tried a BC796D, not to good. Then went to a 996P2, no better. Finally got the Unication G4 and just blows everything else away. Unfortunately, it's very limited, not a scanner. So I have Gilbert channel 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6, plus fire dispatch and C Deck 3. If a call goes out on C Deck 4, I can't hear it. It can be programmed to scan, but there is no scan hold. I hear Unication might be working on a software update that will allow this, and that would make this so much better.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
35
Location
Salt River, Arizona
#18
I got one, use it for work and leisure, I mostly monitor Scottsdale, Gila River, DPS, it works fine, it was pretty simple to program, mostly did all programming on my own, the only issue is you can't charge the battery while using the scanner, it has to be turned off, got a after market 800 mhz antenna to solve most reception issues
 

b1100mac

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Feb 23, 2013
Messages
173
Location
Fountain Hills,AZ
#19
Just moved from Fountatn Hills to Montana where they aparrently have never heard of digital radio, as EVERYTHING in this state is repeated analog. Having been in this hobby for 50 years and can say collectively, have owned every scanner ever made at one point or another. The ONLY radios that worked to my (high) standards in the Phoenix valley was the Unication G5, and it worked phenomenally.
The g-5’s dont have an external antenna for analog only (just digital) so the dont perform any better than my older analog unidens do here on analog so they have become surplus to me. I have 2 G-5’s for sale that are already programmed for the entire valley, one with the amplified base. Bear in mind that these radios do not receive the old motorola smartzone systems so i ran a RadioShack pro-668 to get the maricopa county sheriff until they switch to their new system soon. (It is already programmed in both g-5’s when it becomes active)
Bmaclean at reagan dot com for info
 
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