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BCD396T Vs BCD996T thoughts?

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kc2jfs

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Gentlemen,

Let me start of by saying thanks in advance for your time and input.

I would like to hear from people that either own both models or who at least operated both long enough to have formed an opinion. I am in the market for one of these and would like some personal thoughts and insights. Yes, I am well aware that one is a handheld portable and one is more of a base/mobile model. Overall the portability factor will not come into play that much. I do have a shack and will be using the scanner there as well as other rooms. On a day to day basis I will say home use will be 80% and road use will be 20%. Is it that big of a deal to move the 996 from room to room and or the car? Or do you think the portability of a handheld outweighs the 996? Or, is the 996 that much better than the 396 that the little inconvenience of portability plays better toward the 996? Look forward to your answers.

Thanks,

Scott
 

WX4JCW

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I chose the 396T For the Portability, however if that is not a factor the features of the 996 would have leaned me towards that. however the 396T is very small and I think it has excellent audio even in my big Semi.
 

pinellasfirefighter

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what kind of scanners are you using right now? i own both the 396t and 996t. they both can be moved around easy enough. but for portable use i say the 396t is much easier to move around due to the size difference. i love both scanners.
 

rbm

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I have two BCD396T's and one BCD996T.

I thought the 396 was great until I got a 996. Other than the obvious difference between a handheld 396 and the 996 there are a few things I really like about the 996.

I program all three radios using exactly the same set of USD files using the Uniden software. The 996 finishes programming in around 15 minutes. With the 396 I can literally go out to lunch while it's loading. It takes around 45 minutes or more. I haven't timed them precisely because I don't usually have an hour to sit around watching the clock. But the 996 programs a whole LOT faster. (By the way, this is using the same PC, same port speed, cable, etc. I just close the 396 software and open the 996 software.

Many people won't be bothered by this if they only reprogram their scanner occasionally. I program mine every couple of days or so. I have had a few times when I had to take a trip on short notice and didn't have enough time to sit and wait for the 396 to finish programming. I'm constantly tweaking, adding, deleting, or changing search ranges on my scanners depending on new found activity in my area.

The 396 requires two hands if you want to change anything. You have to hold the function button with one hand and do everything else with the other hand. Not fun while driving. The 996 has a 'sticky' function button that makes everything a lot easier (and safer if you're driving).

I find Close Call on the 396 annoying because it chops up all the transmissions. On the 996 CC Do Not Disturb is great. I never use CC on the 396 unless I dedicate the scanner to only CC. On the 996, I have CC DND on all the time.
 

hiegtx

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kc2jfs said:
Gentlemen,

Let me start of by saying thanks in advance for your time and input.

I would like to hear from people that either own both models or who at least operated both long enough to have formed an opinion. I am in the market for one of these and would like some personal thoughts and insights. Yes, I am well aware that one is a handheld portable and one is more of a base/mobile model. Overall the portability factor will not come into play that much. I do have a shack and will be using the scanner there as well as other rooms. On a day to day basis I will say home use will be 80% and road use will be 20%. Is it that big of a deal to move the 996 from room to room and or the car? Or do you think the portability of a handheld outweighs the 996? Or, is the 996 that much better than the 396 that the little inconvenience of portability plays better toward the 996? Look forward to your answers.

Thanks,

Scott
The convenience of portability is something you'd have to decide. Since you'll mostly use it at home, with limited mobile use, that may be a non-issue. If you mostly use it in your your shack, occasionally in other rooms (presumably with the included antenna in the other rooms instead of an external), then you could get one or more extra ac adapters for the alternate locations if you did not want to plug & unplug the original every time you moved about the house. I have a couple of extras for my 396/330/246 in my home office. The originals are in my bedroom, where I listen the most.

Sensitivity on the 996 is reportedly better than on the 396 (I only have the 396 at this time). The larger display and controls on the 996 would make it easier to use, and a base/mobile has a larger speaker, which translates to better audio quality.

You did not indicate your location. If your state, or region, has a multi-site trunked radio system, then the 996 would be my choice without further debate. It is set up to allow programming of the multiple site frequencies, sharing the talkgroups, even if you are not utilizing the GPS function. With the 396, you cannot combine overlapping sites; the scanner will only check the first active control channel, then move on to the next programmed system. You have to create multiple systems in a 396 to cover what can be done in one system in a 996.
 

DaveIN

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The 996 is really hard to beat. If I had to choose it would be the 996 over the 396.

Audio from the speaker is louder, two metal cases (inside and out) of shielding, more features, and display options would be the reasons.
 

JGP

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Franklin, Wisconsin
Bcd996t

I have both the 396 and the 996. The 996 has a really great display. I can lean way back in my chair and still read the display without my reading glasses. The display can be changed to green or to what Uniden calls red. There is no eye strain after watching the scanner for hours.

The 396 has a small display with the blue color. I need my reading glasses on all the time to read this display, and it is really hard to read at night in a dark room.

The two scanners cost about the same money. You will get much more for your bucks getting the 996, and you will be happy with it.

Joel
 

kc2jfs

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Nov 20, 2004
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Location
Mountainside, NJ
Thanks to all that have responded. I am going with the 996 and will be picking it up on Saturday. One quick question...... Can you place the 396 memory files from the Butel software into the 996 Butel software?

Scott
 
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