BCD396XT vs. BCD396T

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MtnBiker749

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Hello,

I am shopping for a handheld and currently considering the 396XT and 396T. I would like to know if the 396XT differences are worth getting as there are some nice deals on the 396T. I currently have nothing to compare to as it has been many many years since I had a handheld and now going to one of the new digital models. I am also considering the RS PRO-106 but I am very concerned about the cheesy build quality of that unit (regardless of great performance). Any advice would be appreciated.
 

tampatracker

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The 396xt has delivered me solid performance in all types of operating conditions and I am very satisfied with the construction of the unit as well. I have great reception on all bands, and if hooked up to an external antenna the radio is a powerhouse!
 
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I also have both. The T still works great and feels solid as a brick (except for a few nicks on the rock mineral scratch resistant display glass.... probably seat-beat gouges). I would get the XT, especially because I know that the XT is much more sensitive significantly in the 400 MHZ and 800 MHZ bands, and best of all the XT's audio is not distorted (the T sounds a little "mushly" compared side-by-side to the XT in both analog and digital voice). The newer features in the XT are very nice and useful. I use the "Hold system" feature nearly every day...
For example: I am scanning several systems and often a particular system (conventional or trunking) gets interesting and I want to stay on that system and not just the station, I would just press "Hold" for a few seconds until "System Hold is on" shows up, and when I want to go back to listening as before, I do the press again until "System Hold is off" shows up. I learned this feature by reading the posts on radioreference.com; so you are wise to ask questions here.

My only two dislikes on the XT:

1. The contrast on the display is not very good. The background is dark so that if you do an "Adjust Contrast", the background also darkens and the character-to-background intensity ratio can never be high. This makes it diffiicult to view, especially indoors (without the background light turned on).
2. Like the T, it is very easy to unintentionally tap the Menu key (lower part of left side rocker key). Very often if I do not use the keylock function, I inadvertantly hit the Menu key when I am putting the scanner into my shirt pocket (love this shirt-pocket size) or on to the belt holder, and then find the scanner is not scanning (or not on the station I left it on), but only in the Menu mode.

I hope the next version of the 396 will not have these "problems".

Have fun.
 
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sjlamb

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The XT series is an evolution of the earlier 'T' models, as you already know. As such, it is only natural for the latest models to have a significant number of well documented performance and feature improvements over their older siblings. That having been said, only you can decide whether those improvements are worth sacrificing for savings with an older model.

Many.... facing the same dilemma... have opted for the XT model and never looked back on that decision. On the other hand; I've read postings from many who opted for the earlier "T' model only to express endless hopes that Uniden would introduce firmware updates that would essentially turn their 'T' model into an XT. Wishful thinking at best. I can't imagine you having any regrets after buying an XT. Just make an informed decision based on what is most important to you.... and, hopefully you won't become one of those who jumped on the 'T' price wagon only to wish it would somehow magically turn into an XT.

As for comparison between the build quality between RS and Uniden.... There is no comparison as you have already noted. The Unidens are rock solid and have that "quality feel" as opposed to the "cheesy" look and feel that you mentioned on the RS Pro-106.
 
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jimg

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Hello,

I am shopping for a handheld and currently considering the 396XT and 396T. I would like to know if the 396XT differences are worth getting as there are some nice deals on the 396T. I currently have nothing to compare to as it has been many many years since I had a handheld and now going to one of the new digital models. I am also considering the RS PRO-106 but I am very concerned about the cheesy build quality of that unit (regardless of great performance). Any advice would be appreciated.
I had the 396T and got rid of it because of the poor digitial reception. I then got a GRE PSR 500, which was much better on digital. I now have the 396XT, and, in my opinion, it is the best scanner by far, especially on conventional frequencies, and is just as good on digital as the 500. Again, just my opinion.
 

bearcat991

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Jan 24, 2010
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Opinion

I have all three sitting next to each other scanning right now. The T has problems with digital period and the motor boating thing. Otherwise a good scanner. The PSR-500 is a fantastic scanner for digital systems. It is however a brick it is large but I like to refer to it as my portable base rig because of the size. It has excellent features and the best audio around. Then comes the XT. Can you fall in love with a scanner?...LOL
The XT is one fantastic little scanner. Uniden listened to users of the T and made improvements over and above my expectations. The XT is probably the one you want. The feel and size is perfect, rock solid radio about the size of a pack of cigarettes it truly will fit in your shirt pocket. Cool features I'm still learning. Anyway if you can afford it get the 500 and XT both try em for a while you can always sell the one you like least for almost what you pay for it if you keep it in excellent condition. You just may decide to keep them both as they are both great radios.

73
 

davidmc36

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XT Digital decoding improvements alone are enough to make it worth it. (Neck and neck with my PSR600)

Better 800 performance also by itself makes it worth it.

Have heard a lot of negative comments about Radio Shack models and power supplies/battery issues.

My two cents.....your mileage may vary.
 

MtnBiker749

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Thanks, guys. This is great information. It is interesting to see that discounts on these rigs are not very much so I will most likely pay the extra $$$ and get the XT as you've convinced me it is worth it. I would be willing to bet money, though that the 396T could be upgraded to a 396XT with a firmware update if it could be obtained. Likewise the 996T into a 996XT...... But it sounds like Uniden has also made some mechanical updates as well as I have heard some early models had some keys with numbers that rub off. Would it be safe to say the 996XT is also well worth the additional funds over a 996T?
 

sjlamb

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Thanks, guys. This is great information. It is interesting to see that discounts on these rigs are not very much so I will most likely pay the extra $$$ and get the XT as you've convinced me it is worth it. I would be willing to bet money, though that the 396T could be upgraded to a 396XT with a firmware update if it could be obtained. Likewise the 996T into a 996XT...... But it sounds like Uniden has also made some mechanical updates as well as I have heard some early models had some keys with numbers that rub off. Would it be safe to say the 996XT is also well worth the additional funds over a 996T?
In my opinion, the 996XT is also worth the additional investment for most of the same reasons. While many 'T' model owners may not like the fact... the truth is that it would simply make no business sense for Uniden to introduce a new model if an earlier version of that new model could and was going to be firmware upgraded to its' equal. I think that people tend to think anything is possible because the EXTERNAL appearance has essentially remained unchanged. Had the 996XT been designed with a totally diffrent "skin", you wouldn't hear half of the speculation / quasi-expectation for the "T" series.
 

08GMC4X4

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Sep 7, 2009
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I like the BCD 396XT so much I bought two

I recently bought the xt in July owned it up until about a month ago when I lost it. I put the unit on the back of my friends car while working on my truck so I could listen while working. My friend came out and before I could stop him he took off with the unit down the street. I looked for days but could not find where it was. I told myself I don't deserve another one needless to say I could only go about two weeks before I purchased a new one from scannermaster and then headed down to radio shack to attatch another stubby antenna.
 

sjlamb

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i recently bought the xt in july owned it up until about a month ago when i lost it. I put the unit on the back of my friends car while working on my truck so i could listen while working. My friend came out and before i could stop him he took off with the unit down the street. I looked for days but could not find where it was. I told myself i don't deserve another one needless to say i could only go about two weeks before i purchased a new one from scannermaster and then headed down to radio shack to attatch another stubby antenna.
Ouch!!
 

frankcastle

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Marshall County Indiana
I went form the 396T to the XT version. Awesome improvements in audio quality and features. I pack a ton of talk groups and frequencies in mine so that no matter where my day to day travels take me, I'll have the local systems scanning. I would have ran out of space by now on the T model.
 
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