BCD396XT vs. BCD996XT Audio on CQPSK Systems

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JASII

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I know that this is going to sound unlikely, but I have both a Uniden Bearcat BCD396XT and a BCD996XT and I monitor the ARMER system in Minnesota, which is a digital P25 trunked simulcast system (CQPSK). The recovered audio on the BCD396XT sounds better than the BCD996XT! I am using the internal speakers on both units right now. To me this doesn't make sense. If anything they should be equal or the 996XT should sound better because it has a bigger internal speaker. I am just wondering if anybody else here that has both scanners and monitors digital trunked simulcast systems has noticed that the 396XT sounds better than the 996XT. I am also brainstorming on what to do to try and make the 996XT sound better. I might try an external loudspeaker and/or a different antenna.

I think I have the most current firmware on both units. The firmware is as follows:

-BCD396XT: Firmware Version 1.08.14

-BCD996XT: Firmware Version 1.04.00

I do seem to recall criticism of the internal loudspeaker on the BCD996T and people suggesting to use an external loudspeaker. I seem to recall that the internal loudspeaker on the BCD996XT is better than the BCD996T, but should I still consider an external loudspeaker for the BCD996XT, despite reports of an improved internal loudspeaker?
 
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RoninJoliet

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I have both the 396XT and 996XT, i monitor the ILL-Starcom Digital 700/800 System....The audio on the 396XT is very good next to the 396t, and the audio on the "base" 996XT is "EXCEPTIONAL", its better being a base than the H/H, and results are even better using a RS external speaker....The 996XT does not compare to the tinny 996t audio....
 

911scanner

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Hey JASII,

Maybe your question might have been better serviced by placing it in the Minnesota forum, as the ARMER system is unique in some ways compared to other systems, and the sound quality can really suck at times, depending on the quality of the decoding.

That being said, I did appreciate RoninJoliet's comments, as I have both of the 396's and am not having anywhere near the experiences he is.

As me for, I use a BC296D, (2) 396T & a 396XT to listen to the ARMER system.

As expected, I have more decoding problems with the 296 when compared to the 396T.

However, when comparing the 396T to the 396XT, I'm finding that I am having much better decoding on the older, less advanced unit. The 396XT is not decoding nearly as well. This conclusion has been made using exactly the same antenna (which can always make a difference) when the two radios are within 6 inches of each other.

While this isn't an exactly same, real-world comparison to your situation, I think it shows that some of the XT series units have been coming off the line with some "difficulties". My XT is crap compared to the older unit(s) I own, and it just should not be that way.

As an aside, I will say that when I use some sort of external speaker, every one of my scanners has supremely better audio (if it decodes properly).

I hope this helps a bit, if at all. I know it was a bit of a "I'm frustrated" rant, and for that I apologize.

We now return you to your regularly schedule thread.....


MM
 

sjlamb

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should I still consider an external loudspeaker for the BCD996XT, despite reports of an improved internal loudspeaker?
While I find that the audio on the 996XT is PLENTY good and clear; it still has a downward facing speaker. As good as the audio is; I find that it is even better when hooked up to a good foward pointing external speaker such as the Uniden ESP20, which can be had for about 15 bucks or less on eBay.
 

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iMONITOR

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I have both a Uniden Bearcat BCD396XT and a BCD996XT and I monitor the ARMER system in Minnesota, which is a digital P25 trunked simulcast system (CQPSK). The recovered audio on the BCD396XT sounds better than the BCD996XT! I am using the internal speakers on both units right now.
When monitoring a P25 simulcast system, the problems associated with it usually have nothing to do with the audio circuits, or the quality of the speaker being used. The break-up, distortions, and garbled unclear sound is due to multi-path. This happens when the scanner is receiving exactly the same RF signal, and corresponding audio, from numerous antenna sites, at the same time.

All digital scanners are plagued by this problem, GRE's, Uniden's, Radio Shack's, hand-helds, mobiles, desktops. The difference you're experiencing between your two radios, and the quality of reception, is most likely due to the antenna being used, and it's location. No matter how slight the difference, it can have a significant effect on the output.
 

XTS3000

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Hey sjlamb, notice you have a Midland WR-100. Be carefull with this wx receiver, it's been known to "out of the blue" stop decoding SAME alerts.

My WR-100 worked fine for a few months, then one day stopped responding to any SAME alerts (even the weekly test). I had to removed the batteries and power plug for a few minutes for it to start working and decoding SAME slerts again. All you have to do is reset the time, your SAME codes are still programmed.

My 396T decoded the starcom21 P-25 9600 700Mhz better than the new 396XT does. The 396T seems to grab the control channel better when the control channel is weak as well.
 

911scanner

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My 396T decoded the starcom21 P-25 9600 700Mhz better than the new 396XT does. The 396T seems to grab the control channel better when the control channel is weak as well.
While my therapist is not happy, I thank you for your observation. It seems to me now, that while UPMan may be in disagreement (or just ignoring the issue) I'm glad to know that I am not just plain crazy when I experience the same issue.


MM
 

sjlamb

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Hey sjlamb, notice you have a Midland WR-100. Be carefull with this wx receiver, it's been known to "out of the blue" stop decoding SAME alerts.

My WR-100 worked fine for a few months, then one day stopped responding to any SAME alerts (even the weekly test). I had to removed the batteries and power plug for a few minutes for it to start working and decoding SAME slerts again. All you have to do is reset the time, your SAME codes are still programmed.
Have never had an issue with either of mine.
 
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