BCD396XT Or BCD436HP Which to buy?

Status
Not open for further replies.

AA6IO

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 10, 2007
Messages
1,493
Location
Cerritos, CA (LA County)
I have both the 396XT and 436HP. One difference I have not seen mentioned on this thread between the 396XT and 436HP is the built-in record feature on the 436HP. I think this is fantastic. If you really want to do stealth listening, you can just leave the 436HP in your backpack or bag with the record feature on, no one knows, and you can listen later. Since the 436HP records just conversations, like the HomePatrol, you can review 3 or 4 hours of activity in maybe 15 or 20 minutes. The built-in record is really an ultimate stealth feature. I went to pick my daughter up at John Wayne Airport in Orange County last week. Waited about 1 hour. I don't like having a scanner in my hands at airports. With the 436HP, no problems. Just think of the potential for close-call listening in some situations.
I also think the decode for P25 may be a bit better on 436HP than 396XT. One one problematic system I have near me in Orange County (So. Cal), the 436HP and 536HP are substantially better (not perfect) than my 396XT and 996XT.
That said, the 396XT does have one advantage, that is you can plug it into AC and still use the USB serial mode. If you're like me and use Butel software for logging, I can't do that with the 436HP if using AC power. Uniden did omit an important feature, IMHO, in that regard. But having used the 396XT for years and the 436HP for maybe 5 weeks, if I had to choose one, it definitely would be the 436HP.

Steve AA6IO
 

desert-cheetah

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Messages
664
Location
In the desert someplace
Actually there have been less issues reported with the 436 than the 536. The only thing we really don't know from a features perspective is the siren app and how the wifi will work.
I'd get the 536 except for two things: the extra cost and that it's not as portable as the 436. I'd like to use it in my car and at home. The only complaints I've seen about the 436 is with SD cards.
 

hiegtx

Mentor
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 8, 2004
Messages
6,459
Location
Dallas, TX
I'd get the 536 except for two things: the extra cost and that it's not as portable as the 436. I'd like to use it in my car and at home. The only complaints I've seen about the 436 is with SD cards.
The only "card trouble" I've had with my 436 was self-inflicted. I had been running the scanner most of the day on batteries, and finally got the low battery beeps. Instead of shutting down the scanner, correctly, I simply popped off the battery cover & pulled the weak cells out for a swap. Well, that corrupted the card, but not the scanner's fault. However, there have been enough other card related complaints to indicate that there may be some bad ones out there.

As I had an 8gb card that I was intending to use in the unit anyway, for extended recording capability, I just formatted it & replaced the card in the scanner. After I did a full download, I was back in business in less than 5 minutes. No problems since, That was several weeks ago.

I haven't had any issues with my 536. It does fall in the range for the headphone campaign, so I'll send it in, but I don't use headphones with it anyway. I haven't taken a trip as yet with the 436, but here around town, it seems more sensitive than the 396XT with the same antenna (Radio Shack 800MHz). The 536 is currently on a rooftop antenna, and has excellent range.
 

desert-cheetah

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Messages
664
Location
In the desert someplace
So...if I don't plan to use the record function, unless something happens to the card that comes with the scanner holding the database, I probably shouldn't have any problems with the card? Although a back-up DB card would probably be a good idea, huh?
 

al95

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
Messages
749
Location
Brownsville,Texas
I think you can buy a new card and update with the database using the free uniden software Sentinel program. I have been playing with this program, and programming my favorites for my new radio in a couple of months from now. I don't have this radio but I'm programming my sd card and have it ready just to install and to hear my local law enforcement. How can I add a ID search function in a trunking system?
 
Last edited:

hiegtx

Mentor
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 8, 2004
Messages
6,459
Location
Dallas, TX
I think you can buy a new card and update with the database using the free uniden software Sentinel program. I have been playing with this program, and programming my favorites for my new radio in a couple of months from now. I don't have this radio but I'm programming my sd card and have it ready just to install and to hear my local law enforcement. How can I add a ID search function in a trunking system?
You can go up to a 32GB card (that's the largest size Uniden supports), but that would hold several weeks of recordings for most people. You can use Sentinel to set up a new card, and I've seen comments where a few members have in fact made themselves a 'spare' card, just in case. If I were going on a trip, without my laptop, I might consider that, but otherwise, I probably would not.

You can turn ID Search on using the Favorites editor.
Start the Editor for whichever Favorites list you want to change.
Click on the System you want to change to ID Search.
With the System name selected (or highlighted if you like that term better) in the left side window, click on Options in the right side window.
There you have the setting to turn ID Search on or off.
 

hiegtx

Mentor
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 8, 2004
Messages
6,459
Location
Dallas, TX
So...if I don't plan to use the record function, unless something happens to the card that comes with the scanner holding the database, I probably shouldn't have any problems with the card? Although a back-up DB card would probably be a good idea, huh?
What you might consider, if it concerns you, is get another, or perhaps larger, card for the scanner, and keep the original 4GB one as your 'spare'.

Frankly, I'm not worried about it. The only problem I had was because of an improper shutdown on my part, not an issue with the scanner or it's original card. Also, remember that while you may not set the scanner to record any and all traffic, it still records the last few transmissions by default. You can select anywhere from the last 30 seconds up to 240 seconds worth for the 'instant replay' feature. which is very handy if something comes on and does not immediately catch your attention until it's about over. You can go back and review that to see if you heard what you thought you heard.
 

desert-cheetah

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Messages
664
Location
In the desert someplace
What you might consider, if it concerns you, is get another, or perhaps larger, card for the scanner, and keep the original 4GB one as your 'spare'.

Frankly, I'm not worried about it. The only problem I had was because of an improper shutdown on my part, not an issue with the scanner or it's original card. Also, remember that while you may not set the scanner to record any and all traffic, it still records the last few transmissions by default. You can select anywhere from the last 30 seconds up to 240 seconds worth for the 'instant replay' feature. which is very handy if something comes on and does not immediately catch your attention until it's about over. You can go back and review that to see if you heard what you thought you heard.
It does. That's...odd. Thanks for the tip about the sd cards. That's a good idea.
 

packet12

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 4, 2014
Messages
6
Location
Hereford, AZ
SD Cards

Can you purchase (separate from the original purchase) from Uniden a "spare" sd card for your specific zip code with associated data loaded and formatted for operation with the Sentinel software? If so can you request that the spare card have a specific storage capacity i.e. 4Gb, 8Gb, 12Gb, etc.

This of course applies to the BCD436HP scanner.

Thanks for any reply.

packet12
 

Jay911

.
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
9,189
Location
Bragg Creek, Alberta
I would doubt that you could buy a spare from Uniden, but you can buy a blank microSD card from any electronics retailer (and any size up to 32GB) and load all the appropriate programming yourself.
 

packet12

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 4, 2014
Messages
6
Location
Hereford, AZ
SD Card

Thanks for the reply.

How would you do this? Put a new "blank" higher capacity sd card in the scanner and ask the Sentinel drop down menu to "export data to a new blank card" during a pc hookup?

Thanks again

packet12
 

Jay911

.
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
9,189
Location
Bragg Creek, Alberta
What I would do, is use Windows Explorer to copy the entire contents of the original SD card to a folder on my computer, then put the blank card in the radio, and copy it all back, again using Windows Explorer. This presumes that you have your settings the way you want them on the scanner right now. I've used this procedure several times with my HomePatrol-1 radios and it works great.
 

UPMan

Uniden Representative
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
13,288
Location
Arlington, TX
The entire database is about 21MB, a fraction of the capacity of any SD card. To put the entire USA and Canada on it, you can just insert a blank, formatted microSD card into a card reader connected to your PC, then use the "Clear User Data" function in Sentinel.
 

al95

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
Messages
749
Location
Brownsville,Texas
I have a BCD396T with Brownsville System in it and Lower Rio Grande Valley Regional Radio System has 10 sites with all of the ids download from here RR. When a new ID appears I press enter it tells me it is full and does not save id it is only 23% memory used. I'm I doing something wrong. Please help.
 

ofd8001

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
6,323
Location
Louisville, KY
I ran into that issue myself. Here's the situation. The scanner has a limit of 200 channels per trunked system. When you try to add that 201st channel, you get the message you got.

So it's not a case of "overfilling" the scanner memory, rather it's a case of exceeding the limits for a system.

If you have your manual, look at page 121 and you see what those lmits are.

So to accomplish what you want, you'll probably need to create a couple of "mirror" systems. One system has the first 200 channels, the second system has the next 200 channels and so on until you got all there is.

Also, the 396T does NOT do multiple sites, so each site of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Regional System has to be programmed as a separate system.

Later models in the 96 series (996T, 396XT, 996XT) do multiple sites and their channel capacity is greater.
 

al95

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
Messages
749
Location
Brownsville,Texas
I decided to go with The BCD396XT it should get here by tomorrow or Monday. I did not need phase 2 and all of the Sd problems with BCD436HP maybe next year when the price lowers.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top