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Old 02-09-2013, 4:03 AM
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Default Cheapest-priced Digital Scanners??

Hello all, does anyone know a good website I can find a decent-priced Uniden Digital scanner?? Maybe a used one in good condition?? I have a BCT-15X right now but my area is pretty much digital now so I need to upgrade and can't really afford a $500+ shipping digital unit right now, but I'd be open to a used or refurbished one. Anybody know of any decent websites that aren't a scam or rip-off? Thanks in advance!




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Old 02-09-2013, 5:22 AM
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You will find a lot of used and refurbed units on Ebay. I found a new BCD396XT digital scanner for $412 and free shipping on Ebay last summer from a seller I had dealt with in the past.

I did not need the PC cable, belt clip, or charger that came with it so I sold them on Ebay as well to recoup some of my cost.. That scanner ended up costing me about $360.

A lot of people buy these scanners and they can not program them so they sell them off, usually at a savings to the buyer. If you shop around a little you can find a good deal. I see a couple on Ebay now with bids starting at $349. You can also save by looking for an older discontinued model like the BCD396T or BCD996T. Or start saving up a little before you buy, then sell off your BCT15X.
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Last edited by W8RMH; 02-09-2013 at 5:37 AM..
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Old 02-09-2013, 5:33 AM
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A new BCD996XT can be purchased for well under $500, though you have to look harder right now because inventory is low after the holidays. One popular seller on eBay has the BCD996XT for only $438 with shipping. Sell your current scanner to fund the purchase of the new one, and the cost becomes even less than $400 for a new scanner. You will have peace of mind with a radio that provides many years of trouble free service.
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Old 02-09-2013, 6:52 AM
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Generally speaking, eBay would be a good place to look. However, there is currently a supply and demand issue that has driven up the cost of scanners from what they were a few months ago, including those on ebay.

Among the cheaper digital scanners would be the PRO-96 and the BC296D (with APCO-25 card) handhelds. There is a BC250D out there, but it won't handle digital trunking, so you might want to stay away from it. The PRO-96 and the BC296D don't have all the features of the current generation scanners.

I would recommend studying what type of digital systems are in your area and using the Radio Reference wiki page on each digital scanner, along with info in the forums, to decide which scanners would meet your needs. Look at the frequency ranges for example - only the later model digital scanners handle the new 700 mhz public safety band.

One thing to be aware of: If your digital systems are simulcast systems, it can be difficult for a lot of digital scanners to decode them clearly. Uniden has released firmware for the BCD996XT and BCD396XT that is supposed to help decode some of the simulcast systems.
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Last edited by fredva; 02-09-2013 at 6:55 AM..
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Old 02-09-2013, 7:17 AM
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Radio Shack is having a sale through "Today" on the Uniden BCD396XT digital handheld scanner for $399.99 (regular $469.99). Free ground shipping to your home. Lowest price from a retailer for a brand-new BCD396XT with the full manufacturer's 1-year warranty.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredva View Post
....There is a BC250D out there, but it won't handle digital trunking,....
To be correct it won't handle 9600 baud Control Channel Trunking. The 296 will, hence the "96" in the part number.

The 250 will decode APCO 25 voice with the digital card installed.

In depth Control Channel operation
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmc36 View Post
To be correct it won't handle 9600 baud Control Channel Trunking. The 296 will, hence the "96" in the part number.

The 250 will decode APCO 25 voice with the digital card installed.

In depth Control Channel operation
This is how the wiki puts it: "Please note that this scanner will not track a P25 trunking system. While it can decode P25 digital voice (with the optional BCi25 card installed) it cannot follow a P25 (9600 bps) control channel."
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredva View Post
This is how the wiki puts it: "Please note that this scanner will not track a P25 trunking system. While it can decode P25 digital voice (with the optional BCi25 card installed) it cannot follow a P25 (9600 bps) control channel."
Correct, will not follow 9600 baud CC. From the link:

All data transmission, or signaling, occurs at 3600 baud. [Note: This is not bits per second (bps), it is cycles per second. A cycle would be one full wave.] Considering everything is represented by bits, or digital information, it makes the trunked system digital. Many people will argue what makes a system digital or not. Every Motorola system is digital in that all signaling occurs digitally whether it is sent at a slow rate or a high speed rate.

With the creation of the APCO-25 trunking standard there is now a common format for data signaling over the control channel and a standard format for OSWs. The data rate is 9600 baud and the OSW consists of a block of 11 octets creating a total of 88 bits.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredva View Post
This is how the wiki puts it: "Please note that this scanner will not track a P25 trunking system. While it can decode P25 digital voice (with the optional BCi25 card installed) it cannot follow a P25 (9600 bps) control channel."
That is because P25 TRUNKING SYSTEMS are 9600 baud ... The 250D WILL decode an EDACS trunking system as well as MOTOROLA DIGITAL TRUNKING SYSTEMS that are 3600 baud system. DIGITAL systems are NOT limited to ONLY P25.. It is P25 that is limited to 9600 baud.

So what DAVIDMC36 is telling you is 100% correct.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:16 AM
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Thank you ALL for your replies, I appreciate all of your input! But if anyone else knows of a place or has something else to add I will leave this feed open and current. Happy scanning!
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidQT69 View Post
Thank you ALL for your replies, I appreciate all of your input! But if anyone else knows of a place or has something else to add I will leave this feed open and current. Happy scanning!
If you are patient, you can find a good used BCD996T on Ebay for $220 or less. I got one for $166 shipped about two months ago, but that was a rare deal. With the latest firmware update they are an excellent scanner. The 996XT has better audio and a few additional features, but most won't see any difference from the 996T.
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Old 02-11-2013, 9:37 AM
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I second ebay. Just make sure the seller has good feedback.

Bought my 396XT on there for $350 brand new.
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Old 02-11-2013, 3:30 PM
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I also bought a Uniden homepatrol from ebay for $220 it was missing the stand, battery cover and ac adapter. I bought the parts from Uniden right before Christmas when they had free shipping for about $30 or so.

I have bought and sold many items on ebay and only had one bad experience but after I got the law involved it was solved.
 

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