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PSR-500 or BCD396XT Hunt County and DPS

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sehuff903

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#1
So I've decided to put some refund money to good use and get a digital scanner.

My choices have boiled down to the BCD396XT and PSR-500. Leaning more to the 396XT even though I am a big fan of the GRE scanners of the past (2004, 2006, 43). From the research I have done it seems to me that Uniden's DMA approach is more flexible than GRE's OOUI, the Uniden also does better with multi-site trunk systems, from what I read.

My main scanning interest will be the Hunt, Hopkins, and Rains Counties Area, generally all across the spectrum, trips into the DFW area occasionally, the occasional air show now and then . I visit Mississippi once or twice a year and would listen to the scanner on I-20 across North Louisiana ( Shreveport and Bossier Trunks and the LSP multi site trunk system) and in Central Mississippi which is I believe converting to a state wide P25 system.

The only sticking point I have at this point is the P25 decoding. I live in Campbell in Hunt County. Greenville is now a single frequency P25 system I believe and Texas DPS is a multi frequency but non-trunked P25 system if I understand it correctly, and I think Mississippi will be a simulcast system, if I remember correctly. I have read several posts on the Radio Reference Forums and in other reviews as well that the 396XT has trouble with multi-path (?) on P25 Simulcast systems.

My questions for the BCD396XT users, especially those that have or had a PSR-500.
Does the 396XT work satisfactorily on P25 systems in NE Texas (DPS and Greenville).
Is the 396XT's performance on P25 Simulcast on par with the PSR-500.
Is it possible the issue with multi-path is addressable with firmware upgrades.

The feature set of the Uniden appears better to me, but all the features in the world will not make a difference if I cannot hear the important agencies in my area.

Thanks for any light you can shine on this decision.
 
Joined
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Messages
514
Location
Sherman, TX
#2
I started off with a 396 and then switched to a 500 for the NAC decoding. I ended up buying a 600 as well. As much I liked these radios I needed the memory set-up on the 396XT & 996XT and ended up buying these as well. The main drawback with the GRE's is the reduced sensitivity in high frequency areas. I found I was missing transmissions because of this. I recently replaced the 600 with another 996XT. I'd go with UNIDEN.

Mike
 
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Stinkadena, TX
#3
LWIN (Louisiana) and MSWIN (Mississippi) aren't simulcast system-wide but can have individual simulcast sites. Look at LWIN for example; the New Orleans-area sites are individually simulcasted (multiple transmitter sites, same frequency set, all transmitting at the same time) but the rest of the system is single-site non-simulcast. No scanner that I'm aware of, be it Uniden or GRE will "hear" a simulcast site very well because their receivers just aren't built for it. For the rest of those systems, however, either one will serve you fine.

My preference has been and always will be for Uniden because of their superior receiver front end construction.. which is to say, they are marginally less susceptible to front-end overload and intermod than their GRE counterparts. When listening to 700 or 800 MHz trunking, you will see this most noticeably in the vicinity of cellular tower sites which will wipe out the reception of your target system; you're hearing static and garbage but the S-meter is showing full-scale. I also greatly prefer the programming matrix and menu structures of the Uniden radios over GRE; to me they seem more intuitive and easier to get a grasp of. My preferred programming method is to use the Uniden UASD software to create the individual systems, then use FreeScan to load them into the radio (so far as I know, Uniden hasn't released UASD software for the -XT radios.)
 

sehuff903

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Dec 30, 2010
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#4
Thanks for the info.
After reading some more info I have decided on the BCD396XT, even though the PSR-500 can be had for around $140 less right now.
I have been playing around with Freescan and am chomping at the bit to get a 396 to go with it.

Thanks again
Steve
 
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