Bcd396t- bcd436hp

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clutchdisk

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I own the 396T and it works fine. Thanks to FreeSCAN and RadioReference data base. But I was about to buy BCD436HP scanner. I have been reading throughout the forum to get a handle on the 436. Now I'm gun shy about getting it. Seems complicated. I do like the feature of the zip code entries. A few questions I have. Might sound dumb but..
1. What is the first thing that you do in regard to turning on the scanner ?
2. Sentinal software is it installed from the scanner itself or from a cd ?
3. What data base is used to update and program using this software ?
4. I have read and saw a video on setting the distance on the scanner sounded ok when the distance was 20 or 30 miles, but one had recommended that the distance could be set at 0 miles and set-up with the zip code. I think that's what I understood.
5. I regards to question one do you plug in the usb cable to the scanner and computer for the first time and
then turn the scanner on ? Or turn the scanner on by itself and do an initial set-up as far as date, time, and
zip code ?
The 436HP seems vastly different then the 396T. The more I read about the 436 and what some had posted, especially those that where having difficulty's in using the 436 is making me a little hesitant about taking the plunge.
 

ofd8001

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Several of your questions should be answered by visiting the page below:

BCD436HP < UnidenMan4 < TWiki

2. Sentinel is downloaded from the site above.
3. The Uniden database that Sentinel uses is a weekly download of the Radio Reference Database. You have the choice of downloading as often as you wish, which is something you do in Sentinel.
4. Distances set via the Range button is your option. Different folks have different preferences. It's all dependent upon how wide of a scanning "net" you wish to cast (and what kind of radio horsepower the systems are pushing out).
5. See the Uniden page above.

Without a doubt, the 436 is vastly different than the 396T. It has a lot more features and is capable of doing multiple sites for large trunked systems such as the North Carolina VIPER system and the Fort Bragg system (if you listen to that).

There is a learning curve to this radio, but if you have the concepts nailed down from the 396T, you have a very good start. I suspect that some folks may have gotten frustrated with the learning and may have given up on it too easily.

Just be patient with it, be prepared to make some mistakes in the beginning. There isn't anything you can do from a programming standpoint that will blow the scanner up - you'll be able to restore it back to square 1 if needed.
 

clutchdisk

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Fayetteville, NC
Thank you. Just went to the web site and downloaded the manual. Looked through it and a lot of info. Some looked familiar and a lot was well pretty interesting and some what complicated especially since I don't have the scanner yet. It will be ordered in about a week. I did see a download on the above site for windows serial drivers is this needed for the 436 ? On the 396t only thing I did was add a usb to serial cable adapter plugged it into the usb port, picked up the 396t on com 3. Didn't notice any mention of serial drivers mentioned in the manual or use of a serial cable. Or does the 436 need these drivers installed so windows can pick up the scanner as a drive ? Manual also makes reference to formatting the sd card if needed makes reference to web site sd card formatter 4. So I guess the windows formatting cannot be used on this sd card. Is it a special type format so that some operating info is formatted to the sd card for the 436 to pick up the card ? Just trying to get my ducks in order at ground level. Rest will come later. Again thank you.
 
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ofd8001

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Serial drivers are only needed for things like virtual control provided by third party software developers. (ARC and Pro Scan).

For basic programming purposes (updating the master database, firmware updates, profile creation, favorite list building) serial drivers are unnecessary.

If the time comes and you need the serial port function, the provided USB cable performs as a serial cable.

When you plug in the provided cable and select "E" for Mass Storage mode, the scanner appears as a removable drive on your computer.

SD Formatter is freeware and works better than the windows formatting. You only need to be concerned with formatting an SD card if you get a new one for larger capacity reasons (which many do and they are inexpensive).

It is also good to have a spare SD card just in case. I have several SD cards. Depending upon whether I'm traveling or in my local area, I'll use different SD cards as I have a couple of different profiles.
 

clutchdisk

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Apr 24, 2011
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Fayetteville, NC
Appreciate the reply. Cleared that up fine. Had me going when I saw the serial drivers on the web site. At first I thought it would be like the 396 for some reason. 396 with the serial cable. Just downloaded the sentinel software and will install it. You have been a real help in clarifying my questions. Laying the ground work gets me off to a good start. Again I appreciate that.
 
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