• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

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    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

996T First Impressions

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wabc770

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After much research, I decided to buy one.

My impressions in our first 24 hours together:

The differences in dynamic memory vs bank/channel and all that goes
with manipulating data are great enuf that it really wouldn't be fair to opine.
I'm used to a lifetime of bank/channel operations. Wanting to perform
certain actions with dynamic memory at this point are a freeking nightmare.
I'll keep reading the f'ing manual and learning.

I read much praise about how cool the 996's backlights were n' all that.
And they're nice. But I bought a radio, not a damn lava lamp, so all that stuff was moot.

What I was mainly concerned about was what happened between the antenna
and the speaker. I read much about great image rejection, impressive immunity
to overloading, things that mattered most to me.

So far, in those aspects, it's a very mixed bag.

Comparing it mainly to my BC780 and Pro2096, the sensitivity across the board
is as good, and I'd say somewhat better on VHF-HI vs the 2096 and equal to the 780.

I've found the 996T to have more intermod problems on VHF-HI, and to be subject to overload in that area as much as if not moreso than the other radios in my location.
Disappointing.

I loaded the 996 with the same channel lineup as the other radios in conventional/trunked, and the same as the 2096 when digital channels were included, and it seemed to take the 996 a lot longer to scan thru the same channel lineup. I zeroed the hold times, checked delay times, etc....

Perhaps I had my hopes too high after reading MT's Larry Van Horn and all the
other scanning experts' opinions.

I'm no expert, but I find myself wondering just how expert they really are.

There's more, but those are the main impressions over the first day.

Perhaps more time and examination of this radio's capabilities will change
my mind. Right now, I'm disappointed in what I've purchased.
 

blueline_308

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May 24, 2006
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I felt alot of the same things as you for about the first week I had mine. After 'playing' with it for some time, I like it more. I still have some issues with it, and it's definately not a pro-grade RX, but it has some features that you wont find elsewhere. I think that with time, you may like it more. I had buyers remorse in the beginning, but am getting over it. I hope that some issues will be addressed with some firmware updates.
Good scanning,
Jim
 

northzone

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I too buy a radio to work as a receiver, not a "lava lamp". I found the selectivity so bad that I returned mine. I think this radio has a great feature set, but as a receiver it is a piece of junk. My 50 dollar pro-83 is a better receiver by far.
 

wabc770

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pinellasfirefighter said:
you guys want to sell them?
I can be totally irrational about radios.

$500 for a virually anything -- I will do a long debate.
$500 for a nifty radio -- all too happy to fork it over.

But the first 24 hours with my 996 has me realizing, for me, 'thatsa LOTTA MONEY!!'
This thing had better knock my daggone socks off!!

So far, it hasn't. So yeah, if my feelings don't change soon, then the first, ohhh,
$475 bucks, give or take, that comes my way will see the radio find a new owner.
 

Thayne

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I went to programming mine right away, but after a few nights of that I havn't touched it for 2 weeks now. (Way more work thgan I expected)
I just got the credit card bill today, so now I'm starting to get motivated again.
 

hotdjdave

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"The Valley" (SFV), Los Angeles, CA
When I first got my BCD396T, I was very excited, as it was my first scanner purchase in a long time (since my iCOM IC-PCR1000 about six or seven years earlier).

Actually, before I got the radio, I read all kinds of posts and BCD396T/Pro96 comparison threads here at RR. I even downloaded the software for it and began setting up the freqs/channels I wanted. I began to become somewhat confused, because I was so used to programming banks and whatnot. And I did radio as a living as Lieutenant in charge of communications technology for my agency as one of the many hats I wore.

When I finally got my scanner (2005 Christmas gift from my wife), I got it out of the box and began reading the manual. Man, did I get confused. I thought I was never going to figure out this radio. I thought that I did not like this radio at all.

But I stuck it out. I read more posts and asked some questions. I am glad I did. Now I think this scanner is the greatest. And the fact that we get to communicate with the guy (UPMan) who has influence on the radios' firmware updates is amazing to me...no other company I know does this.

There there was the problem with P25 and the audio...but this all got fixed by the updates through the communications process with UPMan (Uniden guy). I am not sure how any other companies plans to fix the problems with their radios.

So hang in there!
 
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UPMan

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My advice to all those new to Dynamic Memory is "Hang in there." Actually, if you don't know anything about Banks and only know how trunked radio systems work, you are ahead of those who know Banks...less to unlearn. The Systems approach more accurately models real world radio systems than Banks do.

If you don't know how trunked radio systems work, read up on that, first. The O/M tells you how to use the scanner, but isn't a tutorial for the ins and outs of control channels, talk group ID's, sites, and such...but there is very good information about all this in the Wiki on this very site.

If you've been through it already, you will recognize this, but there are very definite stages you go through in learning how to use the new Uniden scanners:

The 7 stages of Dynamic Memory world view conversion (for those familiar with banked scanners) are:

Confusion :confused:
Frustration :(
Anger :mad:
The "Aha!" Moment :eek:
Understanding :)
Devotion :cool:
Willing Slave :D

You are still at stage 2. We'll forgive you for what you are going to say (at least under your breath) during stage 3, but look forward to your ultimate conversion. Keep at it...
 

newbie

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Nov 23, 2004
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St Clair, Michigan
UPMan said:
My advice to all those new to Dynamic Memory is "Hang in there." Actually, if you don't know anything about Banks and only know how trunked radio systems work, you are ahead of those who know Banks...less to unlearn. The Systems approach more accurately models real world radio systems than Banks do.


You are still at stage 2. We'll forgive you for what you are going to say (at least under your breath) during stage 3, but look forward to your ultimate conversion. Keep at it...
I would agree with that 100%

Looking at my multi site systems in the Dynamic memory makes so much more sense. It took a bit but I like it so much better.

After programming a few multi site systems and then going back to re-program my Father in laws bank system scanner for the same system I am even happier with the dynamic memory model.
 

1075

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Jul 21, 2006
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This thread pretty much sums up how conflicted I am right now. I have been listening to a scanner here in central MD for about 35 years now but have not purchased a new one for 16 years. I still have an old black box Bearcat crystal model in addition to a Uniden Handheld (don't know the model roffhand)..

I have been considering buying a 396T in the hopes of adding the capability of listening to digital and analog trunked 800 public safety systems in the area in addition to some still operating on low and high UHF bands.

Instead of "buyers remorse", I am at the "just plain remorse" stage right now, which is a little better I guess since I still have the $500 in my bank account. I don't know if I would ever be able to figure out how to program the 396 if I do get one, much less if I will be able to hear what I want to listen to. I am not all that computer literate and the thought of having to connect a scanner to a PC based computer is pretty intimidating. I may wind up not doing anything.

Sorry for the long post and I hope that this reply is not too far off topic, but I can really sympathize with what you are thinking right now. Five hundred dollars is a good deal of money.
 

garys

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UPMan said:
The 7 stages of Dynamic Memory world view conversion (for those familiar with banked scanners) are:

Confusion :confused:
Frustration :(
Anger :mad:
The "Aha!" Moment :eek:
Understanding :)
Devotion :cool:
Willing Slave :D

You are still at stage 2. We'll forgive you for what you are going to say (at least under your breath) during stage 3, but look forward to your ultimate conversion. Keep at it...
You forgot the Zen of understanding Multi Site Trunking. Which I finally do. The only thing I don't like is that each site takes up a System Quick Key, but I can even work around that.

Gary
 

UPMan

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All the sites can use the same SQK, if you want (or no SQK at all...).
 

northzone

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Actually this is the second thread were someone (not including me) as complained about the selectivity of the 996.
http://www.radioreference.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42655

I also have a pro-96, BCT15, and pro-2096. They all work fine which makes me wonder if the 996 I got was just bad? I would think the BCT15 and BCD996 use the same receivers just one has P25 decoding. But now at least 3 people have voiced concerns about the performance of the 996. Mine was so bad it was useless on VHF, channels 15khz away and sometimes even 30khz away got into the channels I was trying to listen too. Just be aware, this may not be the radio it has been hyped up to be.
 

wabc770

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Thanks to all for your observations and words of encouragment.

Tho my original post mentioned dynamic memory first, it wasn't really
the major issue that left me feeling less than wild about the 996.
It was the basic RF performance.

But, let's touch upon the dynamic memory first since so many focused on that.

I don't have an issue with the concept. Quite the contrary. It's a main
reason for the purchase. I think it's a brilliant idea. I think it'll put
banks/channels right up there with crystals as a thing of the past.
And programming a scanner utilizing it wasn't where the problem lied.

Before my 996 arrived, I tried to spend time reading the online OM, I dl'ed the UASD
and programmed some local systems, and while I didn't get it all right the first time,
it's not all that bad.

My problem is what happens once you've gotten things loaded....

Perhaps I can best describe it with a situation that occurred just hours
after my original post -- a major fire just a block away in a 3-story apartment complex.

In a bank/channel setup, listening to my local FD was MAN-21-MAN. To listen to only
the other local PD's/FD's/etc, I left Bank 1 active, and turned off the other bank #s by just hitting
the bank numbers.

On the 996, when it came to listening to ONLY my local FD, or ONLY the local bank of PDs/FDs,
I found myself confused and dizzyed by a maze of menus or dial twists to find that one channel,
or having to turn off many systems by an endless series of .no22/.no23/.no24... and on and on.

THAT'S what I'm talking about by manipulating data. Now, if there's an easier way and the
fault lies with me for not taking the time as yet to figure out how to simplify it, then
crucify me now.

But if that's how it goes to do such a thing under dynamic memory, then it would be helpful
to streamline it.

While some have belittled comments about the Pro83 vs the 996, I will say the 83 was what I used
to quickly choose the channels I wanted to listen to thru it all....so the 83 does have its worth.
And what made it worse, a local REACT group was using GMRS Ch 11 during it all, and my 996 kept
stopping on channel 10 -- the selectivity keep locking it up there. The 83 went to Ch 11. Sigh.

To give the 996 its due, the CC DND performed very well during all this. It was easy to use
and made me feel a little better about my 996 purchase.

Okay....that's enuf ranting for now...and I didn't even touch on the RF performance and some
digital decoding blues.

Hopefully I'll learn how to use this thing and reach the Willing Slave stage so I
can feel better about things. :)
 

RoninJoliet

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Reading these posts in this section tonite has been the greatest , im laughing and crying, Upmans chart of smilies and adjectives are fantastic, i own the 246 so i do share the grief but now that i can understand the new wave of scanning its great. I do share the thoughts of not finding some FD or PD in a quick moment like on the old method. I thought i was ready to purchase one of the 396 or 996 cause here in IL were starting to trunk 700 and my PRO96 and 2096 will not do that . But im more frustrated than ever, thanks to a great bunch of scannists that are sharing there info on these new products......
 
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