396t for $300 used, worth it?

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merlin2375

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I have a shot at a 396t for $300. The unit is about 4-5 years old but has been updated to the most recent firmware. The local seller has some extra batteries and an antenna, original box, etc.

I've been reading about the 396t vs 396xt. Right now I have a basic Pro97 from radio shack that works fine (analog only) and want to start scanning digital. Anyone have any thought as to whether this is a decent price and/or if a 396t is even worth getting. Many threads say the XT is way better, but I'm not sure how.
 

DaveIN

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Not a bad price for a good condition 396 classic. For P25 decode, the digital only settings are an advantage for the XT model on Motorola mixed mode systems.
 

merlin2375

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Thanks Dave for the response. The issue is I'm not familiar enough with Digital Scanning to know if that's important. For those who have both or have upgraded, any comments?
 

adamr368

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Go for it - sounds like a great deal to me. I have a 396XT and upgraded from the 369 "classic." I love the XT and it is an excellent product, however you will certainly get your money's worth from the 396. It would be tempting for me to pick it up at this price too!
 

sjlamb

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For a working unit in good condition, the price is more than fair and would be a good deal for you..... so long as you don't buy it and then spend the next 12 months whining about why it doesn't have or can't be firmware updated to equal the features and performance of the XT... like so many others before you have.

The 'T' is a VERY good radio.... BUT.... it is NOT an XT and never will be.

BTW.... What State and County do you live in? Are digital systems being used in your area now or scheduled for the near future?
 
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merlin2375

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Thanks, digital systems are supposedly coming in at some point right around where I live. However where I travel to, digital has already been implemented.

I just found out some places digitally encrypt, so that no scanner can listen. Am I correct in that regard? Are encrypted freqs not even listed in RadioReference?
 

rbm

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Anytime I see one under $330 I'm tempted to buy another one. I've bought a few that way so far.

If they're missing the ac adapter, programming cable etc. I'd pay less. (As long as they're in good shape.)

By the way, I have a few BCD396XT's and BCD996XT's but the BCD396T will do about 95% of what I want.

Rich
 

sjlamb

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Thanks, digital systems are supposedly coming in at some point right around where I live. However where I travel to, digital has already been implemented.

I just found out some places digitally encrypt, so that no scanner can listen. Am I correct in that regard? Are encrypted freqs not even listed in RadioReference?
The database will show encrypted talkgroups with an 'E' designation under the Mode colume. No scanner can receive encrypted channels. It is what it is.

Both the 396T and 396XT will ignore (not stop on) encrypted channels. Keep in mind that some channels with some agencies are only part-time encrypted as needed.
 
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merlin2375

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Thank you...

One of the systems I'm looking at on RR show "D" for the majority of talkgroups but then there is a note

"All but a very few of the talk groups are encrypted full time with no on off option for the user."

Too bad, how prevalent is the model of encryption becoming, will it be. Is there a strong push to encrypt stuff so that people can't listen?
 

sjlamb

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Thank you...

One of the systems I'm looking at on RR show "D" for the majority of talkgroups but then there is a note

"All but a very few of the talk groups are encrypted full time with no on off option for the user."

Too bad, how prevalent is the model of encryption becoming, will it be. Is there a strong push to encrypt stuff so that people can't listen?
Again.... without knowing what State and County you are in, I can't really comment further.
 

jaymatt1978

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My 246 died in the fall and I had a choice between getting a 396T or396XT because I knew digital would be upand coming in my area. I also never had a portable digital scanner before. I have all good luck with buying radios off ebay so Ibought a 396T for $330. For that price I couldn't pass it up. Also I am not in a heavily digital area yet, so there really no advantage to buying a 396XT over a 396T
 

poltergeisty

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I have a shot at a 396t for $300. The unit is about 4-5 years old but has been updated to the most recent firmware. The local seller has some extra batteries and an antenna, original box, etc.

I've been reading about the 396t vs 396xt. Right now I have a basic Pro97 from radio shack that works fine (analog only) and want to start scanning digital. Anyone have any thought as to whether this is a decent price and/or if a 396t is even worth getting. Many threads say the XT is way better, but I'm not sure how.
If you never played around with digital trunked systems before, the 396t will be a PITA IMHO. Price is good though.
 

jaymatt1978

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Basically from a purely programming perspective, it's the same thing programming in digital and non-digital systems, just a different selection from the drop down menu. Don't program this scanner manually use a programming software package like Freescan which as the name implies is FREE

If you never played around with digital trunked systems before, the 396t will be a PITA IMHO. Price is good though.
 

garys

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And your recommended alternative for someone who wants to step up to a digital unit would be what?
Not the GRE scanners in my opinion. I have one at work that I have "permission" to reprogram. I found that even with the manual it was hard to manually add objects. Maybe it's just because I'm more familiar with Uniden scanners. Not that manually programming them is a joy either.

Almost all current manufacture scanners are much easier to program using software of some sort.

BTW, the scanner is still available and is listed in the for sale forum here. :wink:
 

poltergeisty

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Nerd argument alert!

Sooo. a scanner is a companion to the commuter now? Like I need to carry a laptop with me on my belt???

Get it?

The thing is made to program like a business radio! If I'm in the field and want to do something I don't want to press this, hold this button and remember all these extra steps. But, it's manageable.

Relying on a scanner that has to be programed exclusively via software is just too much. I can do both, the software makes it easy for huge lists. At least that's what it used to be for.

I guess what they need now is a NEMA input for portables! :lol: Carry the leathermen, cellphone, blackberry,scanner, GPS and your dork status has gained an all time high. :lol:

believe me, I'm a dork myself... I carry a FMC in my briefcase. :lol: j/k
 
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