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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-31-2012, 3:57 PM
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Default Deciding between BC350Aor older BC560XLT

I think I have decided to go with an older scanner to mount in my vehicle (my county uses VHF low for PD, fire and EMS). I had entertained the idea of a new HP-1, but can't justify the expense.

That being said, I have thought a lot about a 16 channel BC560XLT. I had one years ago and loved it. It was one of the several that I sold off when my home county went to OpenSky and ruined my hobby. Now that I live in a county I can monitor again, I want one in my vehicle (I have a PRO-2014 at home). If anyone has a BC560XLT for sale, let me know. I have seen one or two on eBay, but they looked a little rough.

The other I am considering is a BC350A. I believe it is also a model I had at one point. I know it wasn't the BC355C or BC355N.

So, if you have a BC560XLT to get rid of, give me a shout.

Dave
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-01-2013, 12:14 AM
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Last edited by W8RMH; 01-01-2013 at 12:51 AM..
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 01-01-2013, 12:31 AM
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I would recommend buying a BC355N. You won't find any of them used yet as they were just released, but you can get one brand new for under $100. It's a really nice little scanner, same size as the old BC560XLT.

The thing is, it will handle narrowbanding and the new 7.5 kHz steps on VHF. That means you'll be able to enter VHF frequencies that have four numbers to the right of the decimal point, like 154.7775, instead of the scanner trying to round it off to 154.770 or 154.785. Also, the audio won't be reduced by trying to listen to NFM in FM mode. Both of those factors might be an issue with older scanners like the BC560XLT, BC350A, BC355C, etc.

Of course, if you're only going to listen to low band and maybe a very small handful of VHF/UHF frequencies, you might be able to get away with an older scanner.
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 01-01-2013, 12:39 AM
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Default Deciding Between BC350A Or Older BC560XLT

Quote:
Originally Posted by W8RMH View Post
.....The BC560XLT does not do narrow band.....
It won't matter to him because he mentioned they are on low band, which will not be affected by this right now.

Radio Narrowbanding Myths & Realities - WirelessRadio.net

".....Reality: The Narrowbanding Mandate does NOT apply to Low Band (30-50 MHz) 220, 700, 800 or 900
MHz Part 90 systems, nor to FRS, GMRS, MURS, Amateur, Marine VHF, or CB radio users....."
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Old 01-01-2013, 1:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JASII View Post
It won't matter to him because he mentioned they are on low band, which will not be affected by this right now.

Radio Narrowbanding Myths & Realities - WirelessRadio.net

".....Reality: The Narrowbanding Mandate does NOT apply to Low Band (30-50 MHz) 220, 700, 800 or 900
MHz Part 90 systems, nor to FRS, GMRS, MURS, Amateur, Marine VHF, or CB radio users....."
There are also frequencies in the OP's county which ARE affected by narrowbanding. I gave him a FYI as this IS a very old scanner. I am aware of what bands are affected.

If it bothers you that much I will delete it. Reality - Take a pill.
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Old 01-01-2013, 6:42 AM
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Thank you both for the replies. And I will take the 355N into consideration. Is the only difference between that and the 355C the narrow banding? Ideally, I want to find the 560XLT in nice shape. If not, or I may get in addition to it, a BC350A or BC355N. I could kick myself for getting rid of the numerous scanners I had, but I had no need for them.

Dave
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 01-02-2013, 7:10 AM
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Chauffeur6 (or anyone else)...I am leaning toward the BC355N rather than take a risk on the older BC569XLT. Do you know if it comes with the vehicle mounting bracket? It appears that it does not from what I can tell. Does it have the same mounting system as the BC560XLT (U-shaped bracket with a knob that screws into each side)? I see that Uniden lists a permanent mounting bracket SOLD SEPARATELY of course.

Anyone that has one mounted that would care to share a pic of your mobile setup?

I think I decided on this unit so I can also program in the frequencies for Dauphin County, where I work. It is a trunked system now, so programming it will be a real learning curve. Plus, I like to listen to aircraft and it covers CB, which might be handy since I travel highway to and from work. I am going to get it from ebay...there's at least one seller with free shipping. Just gotta wait for my bank transfer to PayPal to go through (they are so slow). I think I am going to pair that with the SpectrumForce mag-mount antenna that several people have recommended. Now I just have to decide where in my 09 Tucson I want to mount it. I have to really think about it because my wife is a passenger frequently, so it has to be out of her way.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 01-02-2013, 10:45 AM
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According to the owner's manual, the BC355N does not come with the mobile mounting bracket. I'm pretty sure the BC560XLT's bracket will fit it, as it's basically the same outer case that hasn't changed much over the past 20+ years. The scanner is 5-3/16" wide, if that helps.

Here's the owner's manual for the BC355N, if you haven't already found it.

http://www.uniden.com/content/ebiz/u...s/BC355Nom.pdf


Be advised though that none of these scanners you are talking about are capable of tracking a trunked system. You're going to need something else if you intend on listening to a trunked system. And if you're talking about the Dauphin County Public Safety system, it's P25 digital, so you're looking at spending at least $400+ for a scanner that can monitor it.

Last edited by Chauffeur6; 01-02-2013 at 10:48 AM..
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:25 PM
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Thank you very much. I just posted that very question in the PA forum (can the BC355N monitor Dauphin's system?). It looks like I have to make a choice between just getting the 355N and using the extra capabilities to listen to air, CB, etc or just get a used 560XLT and concentrate on scanning Perry County's VHF system. I know a dispatcher for Perry County and he said that Perry will not be changing to trunked or OpenSky anytime soon. Decisions, decisions.
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Last edited by dmg1969; 01-02-2013 at 12:28 PM..
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:08 PM
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Do you remember your BC350A? Did you like how you had to program it? It's a bizarre way of programming to me - It's almost like they were forced to have a way to let you put in your own stuff - it's really oriented around "bear tracking" and hence no keypad.

I have a BC350C - can't stand it. I don't even know where it is right now. I would suggest a used BC780 or 785 (if you don't need rebanding of course) for your narrowband need, or just get the 560 and turn the volume up.

BTW, I have a BC560 and don't really have an issue with listening to narrowband VHF-hi on it.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:58 PM
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I have an old bc350a on my desk that I use for marine and stuff. It came with the GMC Jimmy I bought in '94 from a buddy who was a Frisco cop in the tenderloin. He had it in that truck since '93. This radio is 20 years old and still runs like it's supposed to-and does a nice job..so just putting it out there at least as far as quality and longevity.
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Old 01-04-2013, 6:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davedaver1 View Post
Do you remember your BC350A? Did you like how you had to program it? It's a bizarre way of programming to me - It's almost like they were forced to have a way to let you put in your own stuff - it's really oriented around "bear tracking" and hence no keypad.

I have a BC350C - can't stand it. I don't even know where it is right now. I would suggest a used BC780 or 785 (if you don't need rebanding of course) for your narrowband need, or just get the 560 and turn the volume up.

BTW, I have a BC560 and don't really have an issue with listening to narrowband VHF-hi on it.
I think it was the BC350A that I had. It was one pretty much identical to the BC355N in design. It is an odd way of programming it. Since I have limited scanning ability where I live, I don't want to spend a ton on a mobile scanner. I don't need one capable of trunking unless I wanted to listen to Dauphin County where I work. I wouldn't bring it into the office, so I would only be listening on the way to and from work. I just don't think it would be worth investing in a trunking scanner. If Perry County ever moved to a trunking system (which is doubtful...at least in the foreseeable future), I could revisit that decision. Plus, I like the ability to listen to air and CB on it. For the price, I think it would be a good choice for me at this time.

Dave
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 01-04-2013, 6:59 PM
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Default Uniden BC-355N/BC-355C--Mobile Mounting Bracket

Hi--If you need a mobile mounting bracket for a BC-355N......I have an extra one here with a inside mobile suction mount windshield antenna(BNC Connector), a cigarette lighter cord, 2 extra pull up antennas for Uniden Bearcat Scanners.(All brand new)Happy to help anyone and can ship them out via USPS/UPS. This would work on a BC-350A, BC-350C, BC-355C, and a BC-355N.(Mobile Mounting Bracket) The pull up antenna and cigarette lighter plug will work on several other models too except GRE/Radio Shack.
73's
PS:I don't think a BC-560A mobile mounting bracket will fit a BC-355N Chauffer but I could be wrong. If I remember, that radio isn't the same size but it has been discontinued for so long now.

Bob

Last edited by Bob3655; 01-04-2013 at 7:01 PM.. Reason: Typo Errors
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Old 01-04-2013, 7:07 PM
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dmg--Go with the BC-355N....the BC-560XLT is a not a great receiver and the old 2 digit LED channel indicator. Listen to Chauffer...he knows his stuff big time like me. The above unit is great for the money and will be narrow band ready. Very important to consider for the near future.

73's
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Old 01-04-2013, 8:09 PM
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Bob, you are correct regarding the size difference between the 560XLT and 350/355 series, but it's pretty minor, with the 355N being slightly smaller. I have an old Radio Shack PRO-2025 sitting right next to me, which was actually a 560XLT rebranded for Radio Shack (the knobs and buttons are shaped different, everything else is identical including the Uniden labeled circuit boards inside the unit). What I did was measure it and compared it with the specs in the 355N's manual.

BC560XLT = 5.5" (139mm) wide
BC355N = 5.1875" (131.7625mm) wide

Difference of .3125" (8mm) total, .1875" (4mm) per side

The 355N is a little narrower, but nothing too drastic that couldn't be overcome with a washer on each side as a spacer and maybe bending the sides of the bracket inwards ever so slightly. If dmg1969 already has an old 560XLT bracket laying around, I think he could definitely make it work and save himself a few bucks not having to buy a new bracket.
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Old 01-04-2013, 8:11 PM
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That BC355N looks to be a good little radio; especially to have 800 MHz.. I had one of the old 350's and it served me well for a few years..
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:47 PM
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Yeah, I have my mind set on the BC355N. Just waiting for my bank transfer to PayPal to go through and then I will buy on ebay. There are a few sellers under $99 with free shipping. I think I want to see how the included suction mount windshield antenna works when I first get it. If I need better reception, I planon getting a SpectrumForce wide and magnetic mount.

And thanks for the offer on the mounting bracket. I think I should be OK.

Dave
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Old 01-05-2013, 8:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chauffeur6 View Post
Bob, you are correct regarding the size difference between the 560XLT and 350/355 series, but it's pretty minor, with the 355N being slightly smaller. I have an old Radio Shack PRO-2025 sitting right next to me, which was actually a 560XLT rebranded for Radio Shack (the knobs and buttons are shaped different, everything else is identical including the Uniden labeled circuit boards inside the unit). What I did was measure it and compared it with the specs in the 355N's manual.

BC560XLT = 5.5" (139mm) wide
BC355N = 5.1875" (131.7625mm) wide

Difference of .3125" (8mm) total, .1875" (4mm) per side

The 355N is a little narrower, but nothing too drastic that couldn't be overcome with a washer on each side as a spacer and maybe bending the sides of the bracket inwards ever so slightly. If dmg1969 already has an old 560XLT bracket laying around, I think he could definitely make it work and save himself a few bucks not having to buy a new bracket.
Thanks Chauffer!
Happy New Year to you too. I think we straightened out our differences very well!

Bob(New York State Exempt Volunteer Fire-Fighter
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Old 01-05-2013, 8:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob3655 View Post
Thanks Chauffer!
Happy New Year to you too. I think we straightened out our differences very well!

Bob(New York State Exempt Volunteer Fire-Fighter
I would give dmg1969 a BC-355C/BC-355N bracket for free anyhow. This is what friends are for Chauffer. Also, it is laying in my desk doing no good there. I also have a direct cigeratte lighter cord for(BC-355C/BC-355N/BC-350A) (2) telescoping antennas(BNC), one inside suction window mount w/BNC if any members broke one or need it replaced as this is the best site out there and we need to all stick together and help each other out as I don't know everything either. I still cannot program my PRO-97 to Motorola Smart Zone ll UHF with 5 frequencies and 70 talk ID's for Westchester County DES. Maybe someone can help me here or via telephone?

Bob
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Old 01-06-2013, 7:35 AM
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Bob- re your Westchester question - this is the Uniden forum (hint hint)

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