I just got one last week, and was totally confused with it. Just read through the manual, and experiment with it--you won't break it. I have programmed in several systems and groups and it works very well. Now I have to learn how to program in trunking systems.
CS1911 be more specific about what it is you are looking to do. And say something about where you are (city/county/state will do nicely). We have forums for each of the 50 states, as well as a cross reference of numerous state-driven scanning related Yahoo groups in our wiki. Between the 2 you have lots of help available.
These 3 links should be a big help - anything that's in blue and/or underlined is a link -
The 396 does not have 'banks' - rather you dynamically allocate groups and systems using a common pool of some 6000 memories. This article will introduce you to a little of the concepts and terminology. It too has links for understanding trunking - which is why it follows the above....in addition, you should pay attention to finding data for your particular area, and getting a premium subscription so you can use the database to help you program. This too is described here.
This is the wiki article that covers the 396. In the 'related pages' section, go to the 'Easier to Read' link and download it. The manual Uniden gives you is not really the best - this is far better.
As for software that can connect to the database...it's probably easier to say which does not connect. RadioCtl, Scancat Lite Plus, and the Uniden Advanced System Director (UASD) don't. However, you should know that most of the better software packages can import UASD files as an import source. Scan Control doesn't connect, however it has a copy/paste tool designed to work with the database. I've heard very little about Trunkstar Elite. IDTracker II is not a programming package - it is basically set up to capture activity logs and audio; however it can use the database to add tags to your hits (it uses a plugin that you would need to get seperately). The BCD396T Manager (which I understand is a bit rough in it's implementation), BcTool and FreeScan are all freeware. You may find file(s) for your areas in the Files section of the BCD396 Yahoo group. They may well need some updates from the database, but at least you have a template to get started.
 I mentioned we have a cross ref in our Wiki of scanning related Yahoo groups - here it is..
I Cant Be very Secific Because I dont Know Any thing about it. I inherited a bunch of scanners and other things like that from my Grandfather and im trying to figure out what each one is capable of doing. The only thing i know how to do is to search the groups already in there like public service, marine, air, etc. I dont Know anything about scanning in general. I dont know What most words, abbreviations or any of that mean. I dont even know what trunktracking is.
And as for Where i live:
Nort Fort Myers
I really want to get into Scanning and everything like that. I just need alot of help.
I just got a 396 and I think programing with software is the only viable solution since it takes too much job to input one by one. It is too much job and the input system is kind of awkward.
The only gripe i have is that at this age i am amazed a company will sell you a radio with a serial DB9 port. The USB cable is $30 another big mistake or may be extra revenue for uniden.
I just bought mine a week or so ago. Love it! As Greenstuff said, programming with the software is the way to go. Just set aside some time to get things together before you start.
I used the Butel free trial. It only took me a few min to program three of the systems here is Fairfax Co. that I wanted. Worked like a charm. (I will want to add more, and will buy the license from Butel soon.)
Okay, I am technically oriented so it was a breeze, but it REALLY is easy via the software. (The whole serial cable thing IS bazzaar, though. Kind of like time travel.)
A few things to keep in mind if you are a newbie:
1. Take your time to learn as you go. You rush and miss something and you will get frustrated.
2. Think about what you want to listen to & where you are: police, fire, railroad...?
3. This site is a great resource. Also, you can of course Google some specific words, etc. & see what you get. I got a lot info this way since I had not scanned in oh 20+ yrs.
4. Look in on the forums for your state and areas & interest.
Note the Florida SLERS (or Statewide Law Enforcement Radio System) appears to be mostly unmonitorable by any scanner - including the 396 (it's listed as using ProVoice and analog - basically put, you cannot listen to the ProVoice stuff, but possibly any analog stuff you could. Don't worry if that's a little much right now - just file that away for future ref). However you have lots of other potential targets.
Time to start reading - and start asking questions about Lee county comms in the Florida forum. You will learn quickly what is where when you are talking with the locals :.>>