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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-17-2013, 7:52 PM
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Default 396XT Digital Decoding

Hello, I've got a boat load of trunking scanners even after having 6 stolen, but only one digital scanner which is the Pro 106. My county is going digital soon and one scanner isn't going to cut it. What sucks is going from $200-300 per radio to $500-600. I want to get a 396XT, but I've seen on other threads that Uniden sucks at digital decoding. What does that mean?
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Old 11-17-2013, 7:59 PM
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It would be far more informative if we knew what county/state you're talking about, but when someone says this, they're referring to the fact that the audio recovered isn't as clear as, say, a GRE radio does. It's also a bit more technically challenging, dependent greatly on the system being received. There are more tweaks and fooling around with adjustments to make it 'sound better'

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Old 11-17-2013, 8:12 PM
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Thanks for the reply. My system is in the testing phase. Although the Uniden is not as clear, is it still acceptable? I've always wanted a radio that I could change the bk light.

Last edited by RogerH11; 11-17-2013 at 8:15 PM..
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Old 11-17-2013, 8:15 PM
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Well, I have both the 996XT and the 396XT and with some P25 systems (simulcast systems broadcasting from several towers simultaneously and/or reception in mountainous terrain with serious radio wave reflections from the mountainsides causing multipath reception) they can miss to decode a message or decode only late into the message. However, this can be almost completely remedied by using the latest firmware and adjusting the P25 decoding mode from the default setting of 11 to 8 and by turning the squelch down to 0.

The advantage of the Uniden 996XT and 396XT scanners lies in many more advanced adjustment options than other scanners. For example, one can eliminate internal "birdie" frequencies by changing the IF for any affected channel, moving the "birdie" away from the received channel. I don't know of any other radio receiver under $10,000 that can do that. Also, these Uniden scanners can be connected to a GPS module and programmed to switch reception between systems according to current location.

I also have the discontinued GRE PSR800 scanner and it is as perfect as it gets for P25 digital decoding but it doesn't have the ability to move "birdies" out of the way, nor does it have GPS capabilities.

So there is no "absolutely perfect" digital scanner except perhaps the just announced new Uniden scanners arriving in 01/2014 if they hold up to their promise:

Uniden America to launch newest flagship scanners

Uniden New Scanner Launch - YouTube
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Old 11-17-2013, 8:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthias_h View Post
I also have the discontinued GRE PSR800 scanner and it is as perfect as it gets for P25 digital decoding ]
So the Pro 18 or whatever equivelant would be a good choice?
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Old 11-17-2013, 9:01 PM
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Sadly the PRO-18 is not the equivalent of the PSR-800. The 800 has features (and includes things) that the PRO-18 doesn't - most importantly for those that are affected by it, the PSR-800 can copy Phase 2, the PRO-18 can't. But that's getting way off topic - we have a different forum for both GRE and RS radios, so if you have further questions about these radios, please post there.

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Old 11-17-2013, 10:11 PM
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I have a Pro-197 (Radioshack) and know people who have Home Patrols, and other Uniden digital scanners and experience a lot more cutting out and interference. In the end. it just seems to be about location around my area though.
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:24 PM
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Expanding on a couple previous posts:

I do not have any simulcast systems where I am. Just a Motorola Type II SmartZone with APCO-25 voice.

I had a 296D and the decoding was acceptable. Able to understand 95.0 percent of spoken words.

Later got a 996T and decoding was very good. Able to understand 98.0 percent of spoken words.

Got a PSR-600 and decoding was extremely good with ability to understand 99.8 percent of words and tone was more pleasing to the ear.

After that got a 396XT and decoding is pretty much identical to the PSR-600 but tone is a little less pleasant to the ear, has to much "bass".

That is only one example which does not include the more difficult situations as land is pretty flat here and I am pretty close to transmission sites.

What it does tell you is my findings on the differences of the various radios listening to the exact same system with the exact same antenna/coax setup at the exact same location.
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:29 AM
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I was disappointed when I first heard P25 on my BCD396XT, but then I discovered the Low Pass Filter menu setting and the disappointment went away very quickly.

The digital audio quality will also greatly differ depending on what you're listening to. For example, the audio quality of the Los Angeles City P25 trunked radio system is FAR superior when compared to the P25 conventional system belonging to the Los Angeles Police Department. I don't know what they're doing differently, but the P25 TRS is not only easier on the ears but its much easier to understand and has fewer drop outs.
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Old 11-18-2013, 4:03 PM
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Default Uniden Digital Decoding

Well this is an area where everyone has their opinion. My honest experiences in traveling around several states with a 396XT , Homepatrol ,& PRO 106 & 197 is that the GRE radios have consistently been superior in the digital format. Unfortuantely the Unidens miss quite a bit of radio traffic even when paused on a talk group vs a GRE in the scan mode .The transmissions are more times than not broken & unintelligble . Also in the local area where I live several of us have experienced Hospital ER talkgroups mistakingly showing up on our local police depts talkgroups . The GRE's do not exhibit this issue. The AGC of the Unidens does not perform well either. Sensitivity wise on 800 mhz I have not see any noticable differences but the GRE's will decode digital further away into the fringe. I personally like everyting about a Uniden better except there digital . I hope they overcome these issues in the future. Additionally several of my friends and myself have tried all of the decode settings and they help some but still not close to the adaptive decoding technology of GRE.
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Old 11-18-2013, 8:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan_herbert View Post
I was disappointed when I first heard P25 on my BCD396XT, but then I discovered the Low Pass Filter menu setting and the disappointment went away very quickly.

The digital audio quality will also greatly differ depending on what you're listening to. For example, the audio quality of the Los Angeles City P25 trunked radio system is FAR superior when compared to the P25 conventional system belonging to the Los Angeles Police Department. I don't know what they're doing differently, but the P25 TRS is not only easier on the ears but its much easier to understand and has fewer drop outs.
Would you kindly elaborate on what/how you changed your scanner via the Low Pass? I'd like to pursue that with some of the systems I attempt to listen to. Thanx
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Old 12-05-2013, 8:24 PM
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From the Wiki:
P25 LP Filter - lets you set the scanner to apply a software filter that removes the 4kHz tone you can hear on some P25 systems. Note that turning on this setting increases the CPU load and could slightly degrade P25 decode performance on some systems. The option is on or off.

You note that it may actually slightly degrade P25 decode performance.

This will be found under "settings" or you could check out:

Easier to Read BCD996XT Digital Scanner Manual
 

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