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Dewey

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Does anyone use a BCD396XT Scanner here in MD? I just bought one and am having a hell of a time getting it programed.
There are probably hundreds of 396XTs "here in MD". Would you care to be at least a little more specific?
 

Kumba

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There are probably hundreds of 396XTs "here in MD". Would you care to be at least a little more specific?
Our numbers are Legion...


Does anyone use a BCD396XT Scanner here in MD? I just bought one and am having a hell of a time getting it programed.
Going to need more detail. Like, what count[y|ies] you are trying to program in and such.
 

Firefighter28

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I got my programed the other day, thanks to a friend. I was wondering if anyone in MD that has one has had any issues with them ( Weak signal, poor audio, interference, not picking up signals or transmissions, etc) also anyone having any issues with durability? Thanks
 

Kumba

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I got my programed the other day, thanks to a friend. I was wondering if anyone in MD that has one has had any issues with them ( Weak signal, poor audio, interference, not picking up signals or transmissions, etc) also anyone having any issues with durability? Thanks
Good to hear, but again, location is going to determine that a LOT. I.e., Charles county has a pretty strong signal. I can pick them up around the DC Beltway and even as far away as MD4 in Upper Marlboro. Calvert County, on the other hand, doesn't have such a strong signal. I tend to loose them less than a few miles away from their county line.
 

Firefighter28

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Im in Mont. Co, So Montgomery, Frederick, Carroll, Howard, PG, Washington Co, Loudoun VA, DC are my main listening area (which have strong systems), But I do and will be at my vaction home in Berkeley Co Wv alot so I know those radio systems (Berkeley, Morgan, Jefferson) don't have a lot of @ss behind them like the other countties listed above. I know with my older scanner in my truck I can pick up Montgomery Co Fire all the way into Berlin MD (almost to West O.C) along Rt50 before it faded so I was told this new radio should pick up M.C in O.C. My back-up hand held Scanner - Reqular Cheap 30 channel Bearcat and my home scanner - bearcat 100 channel scanner w/ tower can barely pick up D.C and PG only on certain days. Already this new 396XT picks them up load and clear from home.
 

ocguard

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Well, with your "old scanner in your truck" you were most likely listening to the VHF high-band dispatch frequencies. VHF signals carry further but have less in-building penetration, and may require larger, higher antennas. On the other hand, 800mhz signals penetrate building better, but don't carry very far at all. This is why a county may be covered with only 1 or 2 VHF transceiver sites, but the same county would require ten times as many 800mhz transceiver sites.

Lastly, some systems come in better than others. Some have more strength -- may have a tower site in an optimal location, up high, where it can "see" for a distance. Others simply aren't as powerful, and may be difficult if not impossible to monitor from outside the designed coverage area.

Adjust your scanner's squelch settings, and also the P25 decode settings when applicable.
 

maus92

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My 396T doesn't receive Montgomery County 800 east of Bowie using an 800 specific antenna. Doubtful that your new scanner will receive Montgomery in O.C. - however you might get some reception while transiting the bay bridge.
 

Firefighter28

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Before the 800 System went on-line in M.C when we use to take units to O.C for the convention and once we crossed the Bay Bridge the radio transmisions wouldn't be picked up in M.C, so they became CB radios while at the beach. With the 800 system, last year I was able to pick up M.C all the way to the Bridge going into the inlet.
 

maus92

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Sounds like the 396XT has a better receiver than the 396T. Do you use an external antenna?
 

maus92

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Sounds like the 396XT has a better receiver than the 396T. Do you use an external antenna?
Oops - didn't read that correctly. Are you saying that your 800 radio in the apparatus was able to receive Montgomery at the OC Inlet Bridge?
 
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Firefighter28

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Sitting at the traffic light on Rt 50 by the Home Depot in Berlin we could still pick up Mont.Co. In O.C Im not sure if the radio picked it up because we switched to a far back channel in the system so we wouldn't interfer with any daily ops in the county while we were down the road. Last year in my POV I could still pick it up on my scanner in my truck on 50 @ the bridge heading into the inlet. I have a small (12 -16) inch antenna on the roof of my truck.
 

maus92

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Rgr that. Can you hook up your 396XT to your roof antenna? BTW, the OC trunked system is fantastic - you might want to program that into the 396.
 

Firefighter28

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I'm not sure, My neighbor owns RF Connections in Gaithersburg that handles cables, wiring, antennas etc, Im going to check with him this weekend to see what we can come up with.
 

ocguard

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Sitting at the traffic light on Rt 50 by the Home Depot in Berlin we could still pick up Mont.Co. In O.C Im not sure if the radio picked it up because we switched to a far back channel in the system so we wouldn't interfer with any daily ops in the county while we were down the road. Last year in my POV I could still pick it up on my scanner in my truck on 50 @ the bridge heading into the inlet. I have a small (12 -16) inch antenna on the roof of my truck.
I'm thoroughly confused by your questions. Does this comment imply that the actual fire department radios were working on Route 50 in Berlin? Or you were listening to Montgomery County fire dispatching on a scanner?

It seems highly unlikely that you were connecting to Montgomery County's 800mhz system from Worcester County, even with a mobile radio. It is possible that you would receive the VHF dispatch frequency (154.160) from that distance with a good external antenna.

When you say "switched to a far back channel" do you mean FALL-BACK channel? Were you using the radios on the fire apparatus to talk to one another? If so, it's possible that you were on simplex-mode frequencies and talking directly with one another -- not connected to Montgomery County's radio system.
 

Firefighter28

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On the old Montgomery co system once we got just over the bay bridge (around Queenstown) with the in unit radio's you could still hear Montgomery but very weak and broken up and they could still pick you up, a little farther down the road (5-10 miles) you could no longer pick up Montgomery and they couldn't pick you up. At which point the mobile and portable radio's were more of Two way radio's or walkie talkies and we used them as such while in O.C .....better then cell phones LOL.

After the new 800 system went on-line & two years ago when I went in my POV to O.C I could still pick up montgomery county Fire/Rescue radio traffic loud and clear as far as to Rt50 in Berlin, with a short (12-14inch) roof mounted antenna on my truck. I'm not sure if the in unit radio's that week worked the same or not but Im pretty sure that if my cheap scanner in my truck picked them up then the multi thousand dollar radio's in the units did the same. I have yet to be down that way with my 396XT since I have only had it a week.
 
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