BCD996P2: 996P2 vs 436

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neilbell

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I have a 996P2 which I am quite happy with on P25 and conventional systems performance here in the SF bay area. If I want to add a second "base" or "desk" system I am wondering whether to get a second 996P2 or go for the newer 536 system.

I have no interest in location based capability or "Zip" code programming. I will use computer based programming and my Radio Ref membership to set up the scanner(s). So my question is, specifically why should I get a 536 instead of a second 996P2 ? I understand about "future new systems" might be implemented on the 536 and not on the older 996P2.

Specifically what would benefit me by going to a 636 ??

Neil Bell.
 

SOFA_KING

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I'll second that. The 996P2 scans almost twice the speed of the 536. The 996P2 sounds better than the 536. The display is easier to read on the 996P2, has all the info you could want in MODE 2, and even has some pleasing color options the 536 doesn't have. And now that DMR and even PV are available options, just like the 536, there is no other mode advantage on the 536. Plus you save a little money. A win/win all around.

I have pretty much all of them and have come to really love my 996P2 over them all. Now that encryption is skipped, and I found the MANUAL P25 threshold value that gives me maximum P25 range, this is my main scanner for all the right reasons. My "top of the line" 536 is only listening to a small amount of primarily local trunked stuff, and that is really not utilizing all it was designed to do. I may do some auxiliary searching or listen to skip on low band when the bands are open, but because it is slow at scanning I no longer use it as my primary scanner.

You have one wonderful scanner, so why not double the fun?

Phil
 

N5XTC

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I have a 996p2 and find the scanner does not hear as well as my Pro 197 base scanner. i have posted videos on this on my channel. prob with my channel is that i have a lot of videos and it is buried somewhere. the pro 197 does not have the pretty multi-color display like the uniden, but man can she hear. disadvt is that she only does p1. but, we have only 1 place here that does p2 thus far so no matter. reading the 536 review below makes me not want to order one of those. for local stuff the 996p2 does fine, but far off things, it does not hear them and the pro 197 does. have tried diff antennas and all that, no matter. just MOP. i'd prob try one of the new whistlers instead of getting a 2nd.
 

N5XTC

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by the way, i bought a 436hp recently. if you are really looking for another scanner, get that one. it rocks and is portable. i LOVE that scanner. prob my fav of all my scanners and i have 7 incl 2 396xt's, my 2nd fav scanner. the 396xt is small and does awesome, but only p1. again, no matter here.
 

jonwienke

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The 436 and 536 have better narrowband filtering than the 996. The x36 scanners also have more sensitive receivers.
 

SOFA_KING

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I have a PRO-197 on the same outside Discone using a Stridsberg multicoupler, and it doesn't come close to the 996P2 for P25 reception when the 996P2 is manually set on P25 Threshold. In descending order, P25 reception decode ability with all adjustable parameters tweaked to maximize signal alignment is x36, 996P2, TRX-2 and PRO-197. True, the x36 scanners have narrow filtering and do just a hair better on P25 when manually set, but not that much better that I miss anything. Scan speed on the 996P2 catches much more traffic than the x36 scanners. And the 436 is NOT a good portable if you use it as a portable on VHF or UHF. FACT...Wideband noise emitted out the back of the 436 scanner most definitely interferes with reception on ANY antenna mounted on the scanner. So, not only is it slow, but it is deaf. Works ok with an external antenna, but then it's not really a "portable", is it? The 325P2 is the perfect portable mate to the 996P2. However, you stated you wanted another base, so there you have it.

Phil
 

mciupa

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You can improve the capturing of traffic on the x36 series by increasing Hold Time on trunk systems. It is defaulted to zero, but increasing it to two or five seconds will yield more results than it zipping by at turbo speeds.
 

sprite1741

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I got rid of my 436. It was slow and missed traffic that all my other scanners catch. Based on that I wouldn't touch a 536. If your happy with the 996, go with that. My 996t is first generation is far better at scanning and stopping on traffic than the 436 ever was. I tried all the tweaks that were recommend on this site. Did not help. Glad it's gone.
 

SOFA_KING

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You can improve the capturing of traffic on the x36 series by increasing Hold Time on trunk systems. It is defaulted to zero, but increasing it to two or five seconds will yield more results than it zipping by at turbo speeds.
All you're really doing is robbing Peter to pay Paul when you add trunked system hold time. Everything else is put on "hold", as it takes longer to get to other channels/systems. Sure, if you hang around long enough your chances are better on that one trunked system, but you effectively made SCAN slower.

Besides, not everything is "trunked". I guess it could be...it all depends on what you choose to listen to. I will say this...The x36 scanners rectangle type lat/lon GPS tracking features for custom tailored wide area channel/system/department selection is a fantastic feature IF you go some distance from home. I wish the 996P2 had the same rectangular structure...it doesn't...and the max distance allowed is too limiting for my use. For that reason I put my 436 to use in the car. Slow? It is, but I trim down scan lists as much as possible with location control to try and recover speed. Not perfect, but best I can do given the choices. At least it hears well on the vehicle mounted outside antenna (17 1/2" whip...with no "wonky" coils).

Phil
 

jonwienke

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Your experience with the 436 is very different than mine. I have 2 of them. The only channels that scan slow are DMR OFT--the current firmware has a glitch that causes those to scan 1/4 the speed of conventional channels. It's a known issue and being worked on. I've not had issues scanning as a portable/HT with either 436 I've had. The RFI leakage from the battery door may affect some units, but not either of mine. I've not been able to find RFI from the radio on any UHF or VHF frequency I've tested--noise that only shows up when a HT antenna is connected, and not when an outdoor antenna is connected.
 

safetyobc

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The 536 has onboard recording and the 996P2 does not. If that isn't a big deal to you, then the 996P2 is a great radio. I enjoy both of them but if I am sitting at my desk and only turn on 1 scanner, it's always the 996P2.
 

marksmith

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I have both radios.

It sort of depends on what you are after. I sort of like the ability to update one big freescan file and use it to update a bunch of different XT radios, 325 and 996 p2 radios. Use the same keys across all radios so they remain consistent. If the systems are local and not any travel involved, the 996 p2 does everything the 536 does except record, is limited to system size, which limits programming big systems or unit id data without breaking systems down to smaller pieces, and no SD card problems.

On the other hand, programming with Sentinel is quite quick, a more modern interface, the SD card keeps a nationwide database available, recording is useful (though there are ways to do this with a 996), more informational display with lots more than 18 characters, etc.
It's basically just a more modern radio with additional features and the unlimited system size or other issues resolved using an SD card.

Won't even mention the upgrades, as both have them available with a fee.

Mark
536/436/WS1095/HP1/HP2/996T/996XT/996P2/396XT/325P2/PSR800/15X/others
 

captainmax1

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Go for the BCD436HP. Best handheld scanner on the market in my opinion. I don't have any of the problems that some have stated in these forums.
 

marksmith

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The original poster headed the message comparing 996p2 to the 436, but in his question, he is talking about a second desk radio as the 536 compared to the 996p2.

A lot of people are suggesting the handheld 436. If it is between the 996p2 or 436, I would go for the 996p2. Its a solid radio.

Between the 996p2 and 536, I would probably go for the 536 for the additional options and additional cost. It is also a very solid base radio. Having most of the recent radios, and all discussed here, the 536 would be my suggestion overall, but what you consider to be the significant use and features should rule, per my previous post. Both ate good radios.

Sent from my LG-V410 using Tapatalk
 

neilbell

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I should have asked about the 536 as you pointed out. Yes, I am looking for another desk unit not a handheld. And yes, the 996P2 is a great radio.
 

marksmith

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I should have asked about the 536 as you pointed out. Yes, I am looking for another desk unit not a handheld. And yes, the 996P2 is a great radio.
You can't go wrong either way as far as I am concerned. Both are great radios. The 536 just eliminates some of the limitations of the 996p2, as I have indicated. It depends how you will use it.

Mark
536/436/WS1095/HP1/HP2/996T/996XT/996P2/396XT/325P2/PSR800/15X/others
 

iMONITOR

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I'll second that. The 996P2 scans almost twice the speed of the 536. The 996P2 sounds better than the 536. The display is easier to read on the 996P2, has all the info you could want in MODE 2, and even has some pleasing color options the 536 doesn't have. And now that DMR and even PV are available options, just like the 536, there is no other mode advantage on the 536. Plus you save a little money. A win/win all around.

I have pretty much all of them and have come to really love my 996P2 over them all. Now that encryption is skipped, and I found the MANUAL P25 threshold value that gives me maximum P25 range, this is my main scanner for all the right reasons. My "top of the line" 536 is only listening to a small amount of primarily local trunked stuff, and that is really not utilizing all it was designed to do. I may do some auxiliary searching or listen to skip on low band when the bands are open, but because it is slow at scanning I no longer use it as my primary scanner.

You have one wonderful scanner, so why not double the fun?

Phil
I agree 100% The BCD996P2 build quality appears to be much better than the 436/536 scanners as well.
 

marksmith

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I agree 100% The BCD996P2 build quality appears to be much better than the 436/536 scanners as well.
That's because it is basically the bulletproof, tried and true, indestructible and excellent performing 996xt at heart.
... and it runs as hardware and internal memory. No SD card involved. This eliminates a ton of problems and improves reliability, though features provided by SD card operation are absent.

The 996xt is still one of the best scanners ever made, along with its 396xt cousin, which, unless you need phase 2, are great radios. I have several of each. The 996xt radios run 24/7 and have since they were originally manufactured. Flawlessly.

Mark
536/436/WS1095/HP1/HP2/996T/996XT/996P2/396XT/325P2/PSR800/15X/others
 
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N5XTC

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I have a PRO-197 on the same outside Discone using a Stridsberg multicoupler, and it doesn't come close to the 996P2 for P25 reception when the 996P2 is manually set on P25 Threshold. In descending order, P25 reception decode ability with all adjustable parameters tweaked to maximize signal alignment is x36, 996P2, TRX-2 and PRO-197. True, the x36 scanners have narrow filtering and do just a hair better on P25 when manually set, but not that much better that I miss anything. Scan speed on the 996P2 catches much more traffic than the x36 scanners. And the 436 is NOT a good portable if you use it as a portable on VHF or UHF. FACT...Wideband noise emitted out the back of the 436 scanner most definitely interferes with reception on ANY antenna mounted on the scanner. So, not only is it slow, but it is deaf. Works ok with an external antenna, but then it's not really a "portable", is it? The 325P2 is the perfect portable mate to the 996P2. However, you stated you wanted another base, so there you have it.

Phil
i am curious, what manual thershold value have you found to be effective on the 996p2. i have the scanner and have been displeased that it does not hear as well as my pro 197. it may have to do with this as i have not messed with the threshold value. i just dont mess with that scanner much as i mainly use it to copy the local system. others i use for other systems more distant.
 
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