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New scanner options narrowed down, still have a question...

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Oct 20, 2016
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Appleton, WI
#1
Hello again, my question I feel is rather simple so here it goes....I currently own a Icom R5 with a SRH-77CA antenna and just recently acquired my dads old Radio Shack Pro89 scanner. I mostly listen to MIL/CIVIL Air, ATC, (would listen to local police/fire and EMS, but everything is changed to digital locally), I have the RS PRO89 tuned into my local ATC and my Icom tuned into my MIL/AIR, AIR to AIR freqs. Ok, on to my question....I really like the BCD396XT, would I benefit on the MIL/CIVIL AIR and AIR TO AIR if I got the 396XT versus having both the other scanners and keeping what I know works?? Obviously I would benefit it being digital on the local Fire/police and EMS, but I don't want to take step backwards in the AIR bands.

Hope that makes sense!!

Thanks,
Luke


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Joined
Apr 8, 2005
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1,568
Location
Springfield MO
#2
I don't think the 396XT is going to be leaps and bounds better in terms of receiving CivAir and MilAir and the setup you have now appears to work for you as well as it does. I think having the 396XT gives you more options and especially offers at least some digital reception - it only does P25 Phase I so you won't get P25 Phase II or DMR or NXDN support or anything else ever with that device.

Having said that if the now digital systems in your area are only using P25 Phase I then it's a win-win I'd say: you'd get another more capable device for CivAir/MilAir monitoring since it covers all that very well (25 to 512 MHz with no gaps at all) but also the P25 Phase I support you'd need for those local systems. If it's at a great price meaning something you can afford and find reasonable then I'd say go for it. If, however, the local systems are P25 Phase II/DMR/NXDN then it's not necessarily a great addition to what you've got now and could be just tossing money away for no really good reason.

There's of course the SDR route using "cheap USB TV tuner" sticks and that could allow for monitoring basically anything including P25 Phase I and II systems as well as DMR and NXDN as well but a) it won't be a portable solution like a handheld scanner is and b) it's more capable in many respects and c) it's super ultra cheap in terms of cost given the setup you eventually put together.

The 396XT is a damned fine handheld and yes it'll handle the CivAir and MilAir bands without any issues, potentially better on the CivAir than the old Pro-89 does (I think the 396XT will be more sensitive in the AM reception but don't quote me on that) and it might work as well or better than the R5 (could offer faster scanning rates but don't quote me on that either as I don't have any firsthand experience with an R5).

Look at the pros and cons of the situation then make a decision which I'm sure will be right for you when you make it.

Good luck and happy holidays...
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
6,685
Location
Fortunately, GA
#3
Hello again, my question I feel is rather simple so here it goes....I currently own a Icom R5 with a SRH-77CA antenna and just recently acquired my dads old Radio Shack Pro89 scanner. I mostly listen to MIL/CIVIL Air, ATC, (would listen to local police/fire and EMS, but everything is changed to digital locally), I have the RS PRO89 tuned into my local ATC and my Icom tuned into my MIL/AIR, AIR to AIR freqs. Ok, on to my question....I really like the BCD396XT, would I benefit on the MIL/CIVIL AIR and AIR TO AIR if I got the 396XT versus having both the other scanners and keeping what I know works?? Obviously I would benefit it being digital on the local Fire/police and EMS, but I don't want to take step backwards in the AIR bands.

Hope that makes sense!!

Thanks,
Luke


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

If you can find a 396XT in great shape, it would work great for your county system, and the VHF/UHF air bands. One thing Uniden got right in the 15/15X and x96XT scanners was the air bands.
Larry
 

ofd8001

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
6,101
Location
Louisville, KY
#4
Back a few years ago I visited the fire truck factory and brought my 396XT scanner along to listen to the new public safety radio system in that area. I had pretty good results.

With that said, your local system is a six site simulcast system. A 396XT can have issues with simulcast distortion if you are between towers. I guess I was close enough to a tower so as to avoid the distortion problem.

(You can do some things to make it better, but not perfect).
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
Messages
42
Location
Appleton, WI
#6
I have found that the BCD325P2 is a better airband receiver than the 396 for me. May be worth checking out.


Checked out the 325P2, must say that I like that scanner more then 396XT, says it's the upgraded model from the 396 and the direct replacement for the 996P2 desktop model, has all the same features and more...also has Phase 2, which would probably work better for me cause I'm not sure what my local Fire/Police and EMS are running. Here is another couple questions...I have a friend that might be interested in buying my scanners, what could I sell them for? I was thinking 200 for everything...I have everything except the AC plug for the RS pro89....is that too much or too little?


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