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2096 VS. 996t

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timjude

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Here is my take on the two scanners,I presently have 3 scanners 2 996t's and one 2096,as far as features go and options the 996 is a great scanner..but here i am talking performance not bell's and whistles, i have played the 2096 and the 996 side by side for comparison,i am in a very rual area and listen to Ksp simulecast p25 convintional and federal prison trunking motorola smartzone II p25 uhf,the 996 has a way to come yet to compare with the 2096 when it comes to decoding p25 systems and audio quality without turning and twisting adjustments to get it to sound good.The 2096 is awsome sounding straight out of the box and with the 996 i had to make more than one adjustment to get even close to the 2096.And i read one thread on here that the 996 beat the 2096 on vhf hi pretty bad?Well not at my house the 2096 is just as good if not better than the 996,i have read that the 2096 suffers from front end overload,well i can't say that as i don't have any big systems close by to monitor..I am not writing this to ruffle anyones feathers or down uniden..But as far as performance all the way around gre and the 2096 have the edge on digital decoding and reception of analog systems as well,and one other thing the 996 scan rate is by far slower than advertized seems it takes forever and a day to scan those analog freq's.. I just bought 2 996t's and for over a 1,100 dollars i am not very pleased with the performance vs. the 2096 that i have always had and yes i am going to sell both of the 996's and stick with the 2096.So take it for what it's worth an honest observation from a very fringe area where a good reciever is a must if you want to hear anything i have played the two scanners side by side and gre is the winner here at my station....let the hate mail begin..LOL
 
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ipod

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thanks for the review. guess, i'll should be looking at the 2096 unless radio shack has a great deal on the 96!
 

fmon

Silent Key Jan. 14, 2012
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My mobile 2096 will slightly overload only when I drive near a cell phone tower. The 96 in the same car does not.

Never laid eyeballs on a 396 or 996.
 

werinshades

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timjude said:
Here is my take on the two scanners,I presently have 3 scanners 2 996t's and one 2096,as far as features go and options the 996 is a great scanner..but here i am talking performance not bell's and whistles, i have played the 2096 and the 996 side by side for comparison,i am in a very rual area and listen to Ksp simulecast p25 convintional and federal prison trunking motorola smartzone II p25 uhf,the 996 has a way to come yet to compare with the 2096 when it comes to decoding p25 systems and audio quality without turning and twisting adjustments to get it to sound good.The 2096 is awsome sounding straight out of the box and with the 996 i had to make more than one adjustment to get even close to the 2096.And i read one thread on here that the 996 beat the 2096 on vhf hi pretty bad?Well not at my house the 2096 is just as good if not better than the 996,i have read that the 2096 suffers from front end overload,well i can't say that as i don't have any big systems close by to monitor..I am not writing this to ruffle anyones feathers or down uniden..But as far as performance all the way around gre and the 2096 have the edge on digital decoding and reception of analog systems as well,and one other thing the 996 scan rate is by far slower than advertized seems it takes forever and a day to scan those analog freq's.. I just bought 2 996t's and for over a 1,100 dollars i am not very pleased with the performance vs. the 2096 that i have always had and yes i am going to sell both of the 996's and stick with the 2096.So take it for what it's worth an honest observation from a very fringe area where a good reciever is a must if you want to hear anything i have played the two scanners side by side and gre is the winner here at my station....let the hate mail begin..LOL

I do not own a 996T yet, but I do own 2 Pro 2096's and 4 Uniden 796D's. I use outdoor Radio Shack Discones and can give a comparison on these two models but it's really fruitless at this point. The one thing you have to remember is the lack of feateures a Pro 2096 has. MIL-Air band is one I know was quickly mentioned, and of course the 700Mhz. Trunking is becoming important. I've seen the 2096's price drop to below $500 now, but for the lack of features it has, it should be below $400. I do like the 2096's especially the audio, but I use it for analog monitoring and have a few Digital analog frequencies in as well. If you do not need 700Mhz. Trunking or enjoy Mil-Air (which I don't) , i'd say watch for this scanner to drop if Digital is needed. Hopefully RS will improve upon what they have here and include the features mentioned. A larger display would be nice as well, but i'd take all the other features first.
 

timjude

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werinshades said:
I do not own a 996T yet, but I do own 2 Pro 2096's and 4 Uniden 796D's. I use outdoor Radio Shack Discones and can give a comparison on these two models but it's really fruitless at this point. The one thing you have to remember is the lack of feateures a Pro 2096 has. MIL-Air band is one I know was quickly mentioned, and of course the 700Mhz. Trunking is becoming important. I've seen the 2096's price drop to below $500 now, but for the lack of features it has, it should be below $400. I do like the 2096's especially the audio, but I use it for analog monitoring and have a few Digital analog frequencies in as well. If you do not need 700Mhz. Trunking or enjoy Mil-Air (which I don't) , i'd say watch for this scanner to drop if Digital is needed. Hopefully RS will improve upon what they have here and include the features mentioned. A larger display would be nice as well, but i'd take all the other features first.
All i can say is if you don't like the digital audio on the 2096 you better not buy a 996 because the gre blows it out of the water on readability and clarity and constant volume levels to where i am not always turning the volume up and down...and my 2096 has the mil air band and it receives very well with the software mod..
 

Tom_G

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GRE Baby......!

Timjude,
Thanks for writing this up. I appreciate the information.
I also like the PRO-96 and the 2096.
I do not have any of the new Uniden models so I can't speak for them, but from what I have been reading, the overall concensus is the the GRE radios are still better performers on both digital and analog audio.

My biggest concern now is what is the future of Radio Shack / GRE radios ???
I'm hoping we hear something soon. Thanks, Tom/G, N1VVD
 

fmon

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What other features are needed in a scanner other then 700/385 MHz trunking, which are not needed in most areas in this country at this time. I'm totally lost on the hype of GPS in the 996.

If the scanner is sitting at my desktop is GPS doing anything for me? If the scanner is programmed with the areas system while traveling down the highway, is GPS doing anything for me? Not really in either case, and certainly not anything more then the programmed 2096 or 96. And how much additional effort will be required setting the GPS perimeters for the route which I travel.

Reports in various forums (this forum included) indicate audio is better with the GRE in all digital as well as analog which to me is why I monitor - to hear what they are saying. I can't hear GPS.
 

timjude

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Well i bought the 996 hoping that i was getting a great scanner,but for the money vs performance i was dissapointed somewhat.Uniden needs to do some research on there p25 decoding problems because mine will not switch from fm to digital automatically i have to go in the menu and set it to digital only before it will decode p25 signals.If i don't set this option it will miss 60% of p25 conversations..The 2096 isn't perfect but i can say it's much better at performing what it was designed to do..I don't know a lot about this 700mhz trunking nor the 300mhz but i know it's not in use anywhere around my area..The 2096 upgrade 1.3 has a few issues i have noticed it as well has decoding problems when it stops on a not trunked p25 signal it as well misses a lot of p25 signals so i went back to v.1.2 and the problems aren't there i hope that they look into this as well because it hurt the performance of the 2096 and it needs to be addressed by gre as well...back to v1.2 and all is well with the 2096...
 

n4voxgill

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Tim, thanks your your observations. There are a couple of points that need correcting.
1. Radio Shack regular price for the 2096 is $499.99, current sale 449.99 and on sale for $399.99 frequently.
2. The 2096 and Pro96 do pick up milair with WIN96 software. They pick it up just as good as the BC780 at my location.
3. Better read the proposed rule change by the FCC, look at Tavern and FCC 700 rules. If they adopt their proposed rules the Uniden will not cover the new expanded 700 frequencies for public safety.
 

RoninJoliet

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I totally agree with the first review as here in ILL we have had "700 Starcom grid testing for two weeks now. I have the Uniden 396, it trunks the 700 system grid testing well but even adjusting the P25 the audio goes up and down at times and signals are good but need at least two bars on the signal graph to hang in there. The stock antenna does best HERE.The 2096 with a RS groundplane in the attic with 30' of LMR400 does fantastic in CONVENTIONAL mode , signals great, audio very even and loud and clear. Using the PRO96 with the RS800 rubber duck and in the proper spot in the house catches the conv-signal very well and decodes it perfect, even audio loud and clear=NOADJUSTMENTS, i really like scanning with all three but for now i have to give the award to the RShack models for digital= a 10 for RS and a 8+ for the Unidens.....Ron in Joliet= Personal Opinion
 

mancow

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I really wonder if some of the problems associated with digital decoding have to do with systems that have mismatched pieces of equipment or maybe DSP updates haven't been done in some time.

The Kansas KSIS system is all brand new and the 996 decodes perfectly ever single time. I can't recall a dropped or garbled transmission. That pretty much goes for the 396 too. Of course there are times when I'm in a weak area and that's not the radio's fault. Even in weak areas both radios do a very good job of keeping up with very few dropouts.

I have listened to the new Independence, MO 700 Mhz system when the band is up and even at that the audio has been outstanding. It seems the 996 has a bit more bass to it but it was very clear and rich.

I haven't had a chance yet to try the radios on a system that isn't brand new and it makes me wonder if there would be a difference.
 

Eng74

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I haven't used a 996T only the 96/2096. I like the V folders of the 96/2096. I kow where I am at and which banks to turn on and off. Anyone know of a trunking system that used a 1+1 tone out? We are going to be getting a 1+1 system soon but it will be a back up to the Z-TRON if/when it goes in service. I have a 330 and it is ok but it is a pain to program. the program is not anywhere near WIN96.
 

timjude

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I don't think that people in a city with nearby transmitters would notice any problems with the 996 but i am out in the woods and the nearest transmitter tower for p25 is 30-35 miles away and my 996 is very poor performer compared to the gre 2096 most of the signals i do get are weak because of the distance and believe me when i say that it takes a good reciever to decode the ksp from here and the federal prison..i am not a very technical person but i do have enough sense i think to compare 2 recievers and i hooked them both to the same antenna and with the federal prison control ch the 996 will not even decode the system id ...the 2096 decodes it and i can receive 90% of the conversations without dropout's and it's not just a fluke that one 996 can't do it i have two and the same result's from both uniden's ..yes i suppose i am a bit sore licking my wounds as i spent so much money on 2 scanners that i had first thought would blow my mind..perfomance wise i was let down and think they need much improvement with the digital decoding and the scan speed is slow like a turtle...anyone else noticed how slow the 996 seems to scan?kinda like buying a new car with a v6 but will only fire on 4..cylinders
 
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K3GI

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I'm brand new to the world of digital and trunking. Picked up the Pro-2096 on Aug 19 for $399.99 and so far am very happy. I've not used in on any conventional frequencies on the 2096 yet. My house is about 0.8 from a tower for Delaware's public safety system (Motorola Type II SmartZone/ APCO-25) so my outside antenna is connected to my new Pro-2052 which I'm using for analog scanning. I'm happy with my purchase and the $100.00 plus savings over the 996.
 
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newbie

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fmon said:
Reports in various forums (this forum included) indicate audio is better with the GRE in all digital as well as analog which to me is why I monitor - to hear what they are saying. I can't hear GPS.
Really not that har to enter the GPS co-ords. Mapping software that comes with the GPS will display the co-ords for where you are hovering over in the map.

Now I drive > 50 miles each way to work on a daily basis. This allows me to turn on and off sytems as I get in range of them without having to take my eyes off the road and hit buttons on the scanner. I happen to like that. Now when I travel to my relatives it is even a longer drive and I use this feature as well. If you don't drive thsi far it probably is of little use to you.

Right I can't listen to GPS but I can't listen to systems out of range either and why waste cycles hitting towers that are too far away?

When the system is on my desk at work or home I use gpsFeed+ to emulate a GPS and send the system the co-ords of where I am located and then it only scans the things near me. Or I turn on and off the systems by the quick keys.
 

UPMan

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I have the systems I want to listen to when at work assigned to a different startup configuration. So, when I plug in at the disk, I power up w/2 held down and all the GPS systems are locked out and my "work" systems are unlocked.
 

timjude

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I decided to try an expriment with the 996t i programmed 500 conv freq's in the scanner and to scan thru them with a stop watch it took 30 1/2 seconds can anyone tell me how this is anywhere near 100ch a second?more like 20 ch per second and thats giving it some ground
 
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GTO_04

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996 vs. 2096 Machine Gunning?

How does the 996 compare to the 2096 with machine gunning? I was thinking about a base station and was seriously considering a 996. But if the 2096 machine guns less (digital systems) I may have to rethink that. I own a 396 and a Pro 96. The 396 machine guns more often than the 96. It is not so much as to be intolerable, but I would much prefer not to have it. The Pro-96 is better overall on digital than the 396, but I have some RF interference issues with the Pro-96 at my workplace that the 396 does not experience.

GTO_04
 
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