• 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.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Are base scanners more sensitive?

Status
Not open for further replies.

overlord1

Member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Messages
10
More specifically, are base scanners typically more sensitive than their handheld counterparts? For example would a Pro-2096 be more sensitive than a Pro-96? Would the Uniden BCD996T be more sensitive than the BCD396T? This would be using the stock antennas and using both in the same location (my house). Due to the homeowners regulations where I live, I cannot mount any external antennas. Therefore I am forced to use the stock antenna or one I can discretely mount indoors. I am asking because I have a Pro-96 which receives my city's trunked system quite well, but I always wonder if a dedicated base scanner would receive those borderline transmissions more clearly or pick up more distant signals that I am missing now. I am contemplating getting either the Pro-2096 or the BCD996T as a new toy anyway, but I wonder if either would let me hear more than I can now with the 96. All opinions are appreciated, particularly from those that have both types of scanner and can share their observations.

Ed
 

Bucko

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2005
Messages
1,024
Location
Marietta, Ohio
I see no difference myself between my 96 and 2096, I have had them hooked up to the same antenna to compare. As for the Uniden scanners someone who owns them will need to tell you but my guess is they are the same way.
 

ButchGone

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2004
Messages
830
RE: sensitivity

I don't think there really is a noticable difference in sensitivity. That said, there IS a difference in the way various hand helds and base radios handle interference. For example, the Uniden 396 hand held is EXCELLENT at rejecting interference. I can drive right under and beside cell towers known to wipe out most scanners and the 396 is rock solid on 800MHz analog & digital trunked systems. They engineered/built that one well!! Better than anything I have used, Uniden or Rat Shack.
I did have a Pro 2096 base for a short time and returned it because it was very sensitive but it got hammered with interference and strong signal overload on UHF, VHF-hi and VHF air bands. I could only use it with the attenuator on and it was still noisy. This was in car and at home with both outside antenna and the telescoping whip. My computer and a few other radio thangs in the shack also made the 2096 sound bad.
The Pro 95 and Pro 96 handhelds were just about as sensitive as anything else and offered better strong signal overload rejection than the 2096. Not as good as the 396.
I loved my Uniden 780 base. Great sensitivity and interference rejection. It also did very well mobile with a 5db gain "pigtail" antenna.
The Uniden 796 base for some reason doesn't handle interference as well and tends to get hammered near cell sites, especially the 1KW Next-Hell splatter sites. It also gets overloaded on VHF-hi band stuff.
The Uniden 296 handheld is very sensitive and with analog can get squirrely with interference in a very few situations; but what's weird is when I'm listening to a 800MHz digital system in the car it is rock solid with not even a peep of cell tower interference on the 296 when going anywhere in Nashville TN. The 296 and 396 are my favorites! The Pro 96 is very close.
Haven't tried the 996 yet, but hope to.
Hope the comparison helps and good luck!!
BG
 

CLB

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2005
Messages
160
Location
Goose Creek SC
I think base scanners have a little better audio. That might be the reason people say they're more sensitive.

However, my Pro-2052 seems to pick up a lot that my handhelds miss. Dunno if it's the area or what.
 

RISC777

Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2005
Messages
935
Given there are a lot variables, but I've found my 996 to be more sensitive and quicker to grab a digital control channel frequency than my 396 and 796s. Even if the 396 is not on one of the exterior antennas. But that's me, my environment, and my setup.

poltergeisty, I haven't had problems with overload with my 396 on exterior omnis or beams (just a by the way thing).

`Doug
 

poltergeisty

Truth is a force of nature
Joined
May 7, 2004
Messages
3,828
Location
RLG, Fly heading 053, intercept 315 DVV
ButchGone said:
For example, the Uniden 396 hand held is EXCELLENT at rejecting interference. I can drive right under and beside cell towers known to wipe out most scanners and the 396 is rock solid on 800MHz analog & digital trunked systems.
I have actually walked on many roofs that have cell antennas on them and my BC296D still grabs the control channel.

I don't know if this has more to do with the fact the cell signals are more directed there and when your on the ground it tends to be everywhere.
:lol:

BTW~ I was never right near the cell antennas just on the same roof as them.
 
Last edited:

kb2vxa

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Banned
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Messages
6,126
Location
Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.
Hi all,

The easy way to find out is to look up the receiver specs for comparison. There are two flies in this jar of ointment though, first the specs say nothing about overload and intermod and second the individual unit may not conform to factory specs due to production variables.

A perfect example is testing of my very first digital scanner, a BC-101 which exceeded factory specs right out of the box and improved slightly with a complete alignment. Another was side by side comparison testing of my Azden 2M mobile and Azden 2M HT which showed the HT to be far more sensitive but prone to overload and intermod although they both advertize the same specifications. FYI, a portable used AS a portable usually doesn't present a problem but mine did when standing across the street from a cell tower. The VHF repeaters clobbered the hell out of it but that can be expected from a broad band receiver in such close proximity to a powerful transmitter. Professional hand helds like thier base and mobile counterparts are nearly immune because they have to be from the standpoint of reliability.
 

poltergeisty

Truth is a force of nature
Joined
May 7, 2004
Messages
3,828
Location
RLG, Fly heading 053, intercept 315 DVV
kb2vxa said:
but mine did when standing across the street from a cell tower. The VHF repeaters clobbered the hell out of it
Cell or VHF?

kb2vxa said:
Professional hand helds like thier base and mobile counterparts are nearly immune because they have to be from the standpoint of reliability.
Damn right, it is why I'm migrating to the industrial/commercial stuff. Do you know the way to Ebay? :lol:
 

MacombMonitor

Member
Joined
May 18, 2005
Messages
3,551
A true base, communications receiver such as an ICOM IC-R7000, IC-R7100, or IC-R8500 will perform much better than a scanner. However those types of receivers do not have many of the features scanner users have become accustomed to.
 

poltergeisty

Truth is a force of nature
Joined
May 7, 2004
Messages
3,828
Location
RLG, Fly heading 053, intercept 315 DVV
Um, what's so featureless???

They host tons of features.

The good receivers also support separate antenna connections for a specific bands and impedance!

I'd rather have a 8500 over anything. I'll even take that over digital, I'll just use a P25 decoder node or IF injection into another radio.

BTW~ I think just going out using a radio to transmit to your scanner would be a good test. Record the audio or have a video camera watch the scanner. Unless its connected to a computer with the right software.
 
Last edited:

kb2vxa

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Banned
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Messages
6,126
Location
Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.
Hi Polder and all,

I do believe I wrote "...when standing across the street from a cell tower. The VHF repeaters clobbered the hell out of it..." so does that give you a clue that the cell tower's VHF repeaters and a VHF receiver (2M Amateur HT) were involved? I really didn't enjoy hearing phone calls while trying to monitor railroad comms at the terminal.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top