396 / 996 updates

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doctordave

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Folks,

There's an enormous amount of ongoing chat on the Uniden board regarding the impact of the 396/996 updates on performance. That particular thread is growing by the second and the post-update experiences seem to vary wildly, depending on the specific systems monitored across the country. Is anyone able to directly comment on post-update performance for monitoring of any digital systems right here in the Balt-DC area? I must admit, I'm happy with the baseline performance of my radios and am holding off on doing the update until a few people have taken the plunge.
 

Dewey

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doctordave said:
Folks,

There's an enormous amount of ongoing chat on the Uniden board regarding the impact of the 396/996 updates on performance. That particular thread is growing by the second and the post-update experiences seem to vary wildly, depending on the specific systems monitored across the country. Is anyone able to directly comment on post-update performance for monitoring of any digital systems right here in the Balt-DC area? I must admit, I'm happy with the baseline performance of my radios and am holding off on doing the update until a few people have taken the plunge.
So far, nothing noticable yet on the 396 or 996. However, I'll really be able to tell next week when I go back into DC. Last night, I did get a Montgomery Co transmission which I normally don't, BUT, it could have been atmospheric also. Still watching closely.

Dewey
 

ka3jjz

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I'm watching, too - although I'm going to be hard pressed to apply the updates, since I don't have access to a XP or better machine, and I understand the files are quite huge...I may just grab the files and put them away until I can afford to upgrade my PC situation.

I'm hoping some of these updates will help with the motoroboating I occasionally get on the Baltimore city and Howard systems, but I guess time will tell

73 Mike
 

EyeSpy

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I posted this in that thread, but will follow it up here so we can keep the MD stuff together...

O.K., update on my update fix on my 996T

* Listened to Harford County, MD (APCO-25 ) this morning. Had about the same amount of motorboating as before. Some before transmission, some after.
* Listening to Baltimore County, MD (800 analog), nothing really changed at all.
* Howard County, MD (APCO-25) typically had a little motorboating, not as much as Harford County, but listening this morning, I noticed more than usual in the few comms I heard.

All of my systems were loaded using the Butel software and the RR information pulled through the software. Not sure what else I can do... or if it is just the system...


As for the file size, they are actually small... the program updater file is not that big either. Firmware is really a small file.
 
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troymail

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I loaded the update last night and have been listening since.... I really don't notice a whole lot of difference for the systems I listen (BWI/MAA, BCity, Howard, Ft Meade, AA[analog]). Then again, it could actaully be a bit better but I wouldn't notice since I've been listening almost exclusively to my PSR-500 since November.

They mentioned improved P25 decoding, etc. and I think the AGC is better than it used to be but I still think the sound is muffled/distorted somewhat....

I've seen comments about unloading the radio (go back to factory defaults) and reload the information with USAD .. some have reported big changes after that... I plan to try that and see if there is any further difference....
 

ScanManQSL

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I also loaded the update last night on my 996... I am able to decode the Washington, DC 460mhz/800MHZ TRS systems much better then before. Normally the 460/800 system comes in all garbled, this is the only big improvement I can notice for the Washington, DC area.
 

troymail

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So I 'flushed' my radio, reset to factory defaults and restored my systems.... still no real significant improvements noted... on the other hand, if the 396 is the only (best) digital radio you might have, it's not bad.... I'm just used to listening to my 500 which is much clearer. I think that fact "clouds" my opinion of the digital decoding on the 396. I do, however, believe that the 500 also just receives distant signals better which make a huge difference when trying to decode and listen to digital systems.

I'm also planning to meet up with a friend who also has a 396 -- sometimes I wonder if the speaker in my 396 is damaged in some way....which might also be making a difference...
 

EyeSpy

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Well, after several days of listening to the scanner, I have concluded outside of the digital voice being louder, there is no real change in my scanner picking up/decoding signals. All of the systems I have listened to over the past several days (Harford, Baltimore Co, City, Howard and MdTA), nothing has changed in picking up or listening to any of them. I still seem to miss some of the transmissions on the P25 systems, Baltimore Co, although analog, still sounds as good as I can get in terms of trunk tracking. Howard may be a bit worse than before. I was really hoping to rid the 'motorboating' I get on these few systems with this update, but maybe they will try again...
 

maus92

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I applied the new firmware last weekend, and took a drive to Frederick from Annapolis. The route took me by BWI Airport (P25), Baltimore City(mixedmode), Ft Meade(P25), and Howard County(mixedmode). I had high hopes for the update, but sadly it falls far short of my expectations. The most annoying part of P25 scanning with the 396 is the distorted audio while listening to digital systems. This has not changed appreciably for me, at least for those systems mentioned above. I am disappointed.

I am curious about how the update has improved the 996. UPMan said somewhere in his posts the the design of the 996 gives them more flexibilty to improve the audio decoding vs. the 396 - I'm assuming that compromises were made to make the 396 such a small radio. Does anyone have experience the the update on a 996?

When AACo finally flips the switch to digital, I will have to buy a new radio because I cannot put up with poor audio. I perfer the Unidens, but I will add a GRE if this issue is not resolved. Can anyone give an informed opinion about the GRE 500 vs. 600? Is there a difference in audio performance between the two?

CA
Annapolis
 

troymail

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maus92 said:
I applied the new firmware last weekend, and took a drive to Frederick from Annapolis. The route took me by BWI Airport (P25), Baltimore City(mixedmode), Ft Meade(P25), and Howard County(mixedmode). I had high hopes for the update, but sadly it falls far short of my expectations. The most annoying part of P25 scanning with the 396 is the distorted audio while listening to digital systems. This has not changed appreciably for me, at least for those systems mentioned above. I am disappointed.

I am curious about how the update has improved the 996. UPMan said somewhere in his posts the the design of the 996 gives them more flexibilty to improve the audio decoding vs. the 396 - I'm assuming that compromises were made to make the 396 such a small radio. Does anyone have experience the the update on a 996?

When AACo finally flips the switch to digital, I will have to buy a new radio because I cannot put up with poor audio. I perfer the Unidens, but I will add a GRE if this issue is not resolved. Can anyone give an informed opinion about the GRE 500 vs. 600? Is there a difference in audio performance between the two?

CA
Annapolis
First - there is a huge difference in the reception and digital decode quality between the 396 and the 500. I agree that th muffle and distorted voice coming out of my 396 is tough to take. I've tried everything Uniden has given us to get past this. If it was the only radio I could have, it's fine and I'd live with it. I had a PRO-96 several times just to try it out and the digital voice was always so much clearer... I just didn't want that huge honkin' radio. The 500 is smaller than the PRO-96 but still larger than the 396 but you get used to it...

There are down sides to the 500 but they are easy to give up once you see the overall performance.

Occasionally, someone in AA County goes to a digital group and/or pops up on a private call in digital... For AA County, it isn't that bad but that's based on limited listening since it really isn't being used yet.
 

EyeSpy

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Well, after lots of playing around with the different AGC options and Digital P25 Wait Tine and found my P25 Wait Time was set at 400/msec. I changed it around and put it on 600 and my motor boating has stopped now. I will continue to monitor and see what happens. Sound on most systems is louder, but most of the decoding at times is not as good as I had hoped with this long awaited update. Still seem to miss some of the comms at times on the digital systems (Howard/Harford/Baltimore City)...
 
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