BCD436HP TDMA(dual slot)

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RonBon

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will this code scanner decode TDMA phase 2? Will it to decode the correct talkgroup if it falls on and already active slot. What I mean is if there's a talkgroup active on one slot of a specific frequenc, will it recognize them properly decode another talk group activation on that second slot. Better yet will it be code for talk groups simultaneously if the system was completely active. By this I mean if every talk group on the system had traffic at the same time what it properly decode all talk groups.

better question I have a PSR 800 is this worth buying to replace that spoty scanner when it comes to simulcast systems
 

UPMan

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I'm not sure what you mean by the use of the word "code" in multiple ways, above, so I'll answer the simplest question I can discern: Yes, the BCD436HP can trunktrack APCO P25 Phase 2 systems.
 

troymail

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If I understand the question correctly, you want to know if the radio will detect activity in both "slots" at the same time.

Keep in mind that trunking scanners will only give you what the control channel data stream shows. For the most part, once the radio switches from the control channel to an active voice frequency/slot, it will generally hold on that voice activity until something causes the radio to return to the control channel. This is the same for FDMA (Phase 1) or TDMA (Phase 2). Either way, the radio will only "handle" one voice channel/frequency/slot at a time.

As far as your PSR80 - I'd keep it (See my collection below - I rarely dispose of anything - although the BCD536 may be up for sale soon). While there is some improvement in simulcast reception (for some) with the x36 radios, many still see/have problems receiving simulcast system activity. Since day one, the position on this being improved, the caveat applied to it is YMMV (your mileage may vary) - meaning - it might work in your situation - it might not - or somewhere between.

There are still other issues/things you might like better on one radio verses the other also.

Best case scenario - if you can do it (and want to risk it), keep anything you have already and get your hands on a new unit (find someone who has one that will let you see how or works - or even better- will loan it to you) and make other decisions after doing your own evaluation.
 

RonBon

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Thank you! You answered my question. the area I am in is over saturated with towers. I had this problem ever since they opened the new system. Due to dead zones they added multiple new sites in my area of the county. I even have the problem with phase 1 systems.

on another note correct me if I'm wrong doesn't Motorola turbo systems require that both slots are monitored to hear the audio properly. For example, a large area trbo system or another DMR flavor.
 

troymail

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Thank you! You answered my question. the area I am in is over saturated with towers. I had this problem ever since they opened the new system. Due to dead zones they added multiple new sites in my area of the county. I even have the problem with phase 1 systems.

on another note correct me if I'm wrong doesn't Motorola turbo systems require that both slots are monitored to hear the audio properly. For example, a large area trbo system or another DMR flavor.
Sorry - I have no knowledge of TRBO systems and my knowledge of P25 is limited to experience with scanners and other discussions/reading.
 

troymail

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I wish there was a way try this scanner out before buying it.
Many folks are in the same place you are. I was lucky enough to find someone to let me try out their 436 before I bought one. Far less happy with my "rush" 536 purchase.

You might want to check around at various vendors like HRO in Woodbridge and see if any have radios on display/in action. I know Woodbridge isn't close to Sterling so this option would really limit your evaluation.

The other option is to post something in the Virginia forums and see if someone in your area has one and they'd at least meet up with you.
 

kruser

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Both my 536 and 436 models run circles around all of my GRE made radios as far as P25 systems go, both Phase I and II. Most of that is due to my location between several hospitals with high power paging transmitters on their buildings high points that desense the heck out of the GRE models.

The older Uniden's like the 3/996 models also worked very well for me but the original T models always worked better then the XT models as they allowed true manual P25 adjustments for each system or site.
The new x36HP models brought back the manual P25 setting for each site like the T models had and I do make use of that. It helps tons in my case.

So far, the x36HP models have been vastly superior for me over any other model I own when it comes to P25 reception. The only other one I have that does Phase II is the PSR800 but it also suffered from all the RF in my area so I did not use it much.
They all worked great when I took them to the farm far away from the cities high RF levels.

I agree with what troymail said about trying to get your hands on one for a test. Your location and what kind of in and out of band RF levels are in your area can make a huge difference in how well a particular scanner will work. The GRE's are susceptible to desense from FM Broadcast band towers. Many can put an FM Broadcast band notch filter inline and the GRE's will work just fine. In my case, I also need to notch the two common VHF paging bands before I can use the GRE's at home.
Unfortunately for me, the states new VHF P25 system uses frequencies that are on unused VHF paging channels so adding notch filters also kills some of those sites.
The ton of Uniden models I own are not bothered by the high RF levels in my area so they work well with no external filtering.
I also have 20+ something cell towers within a mile or less of my home location and the areas electric utilities 800 Mhz P25 site is just down the street. All of that creates one heck of an RF mess for a wideband receiver like a scanner.
Some handle it much better than the others so I own several of each from both manufacturers.
I honestly believe that Uniden does a much better job with internal bandpass filtering over any of the GRE's if you are in a high RF level area.

Like I said though, they all work very well when I get away from all the RF at home.
The GRE's are more sensitive and I can see that when I go to the farm. Both receive distant P25 systems just fine when at the farm. I do not have a Phase II system within range of the farm though so I cannot say if the new Uniden's work better than the PSR800 or not for TDMA.
 

troymail

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Overall, from my usage, the PSR800 performs much better than the 436 and definitely much better than the 536 - but the x36 is slightly better on simulcast systems (under some but not all circumstances).

I will say that the x36 radios are terrible in my opinion - when it comes to older Motorola systems that use digital voice. There are other issues as well from my experience which once again leads back to that essentially only you can determine if these radios work for your situation.

Both radios have features I like and I've also said it would be nice if they combined efforts and put all these features together into a single radio line. Of course the down side to that (not that is will ever happen) is that we'd be talking about a single vendor - never good for the consumer!

I would never get rid of anything before determining satisfaction with either the 436 or 536. I have no plans to rid myself of anything - except as I stated earlier - the 536 may be up for sale soon. Two things stopping me - the off chance Uniden ever delivers on promised features (that we all paid upfront for) and what I can get for it (I'm not "giving it away").
 

kruser

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There are other issues as well from my experience which once again leads back to that essentially only you can determine if these radios work for your situation.

Both radios have features I like and I've also said it would be nice if they combined efforts and put all these features together into a single radio line. Of course the down side to that (not that is will ever happen) is that we'd be talking about a single vendor - never good for the consumer!
I think this is what starts a lot of the "wars" that GRE is better and the next guy says Uniden is better!

It really boils down to the fact that both do work but for some, one brand will work better than the other.
If one works great for one person, it does not mean it will work well for a guy across the state or even on the other side of the same city!

Scanning used to be horrible back in the days before triple conversion radios if you lived in an area with a lot of RF and a NOAA WX transmitter. Then GRE came along and released the triple conversion Pro-2004 for RadioShack. That alone made a huge difference in how well scanner radios worked in such areas. Those that lived in rural areas probably don't know what intermod was.
Then trunking came along. Trunking by itself did not really introduce any reception issues per se. It was digital modes that seemed to re-invent the 'my scanner is better than yours' wars!

I agree 100% that for some users, one brand will work way better than the competition and at the same time, some users will find they need a model from each manufacturer if they wish to hear it all.

It's a shame not everyone can afford to purchase one of each and then return what does not work or keep both if both work.

I gave away a lot of pre Pro-2004 models when I moved from the country to the city. Gave them to friends back in the country where the radios worked fantastic but they would not work where I moved due to the high levels of RF. I could not handle the constant intermod and co-channel interference!
And decent notch filters were unheard of back then. At least anything affordable.
I knew how to build stub filters but they were so wideband that I'd end up killing the signal I wanted. Then triple conversion scanners came out and they were like Alka-Seltzers!

Today, I have dozens of scanner radios (plus commercial radios). Many are old crystal models that still work fine thanks to affordable (and very tight) notch filters and multi-couplers etc. I'm once again able to enjoy the old radios that worked so well before I made the move back into a city chock full of RF.
Not everything works perfect so you must play with filters and antennas until you find a combination that does work but that alone is half the fun for myself.

What amazes me more than anything is that anything works at all with all the RF floating around in your typical large city! It can be a real challenge making it all work without one thing killing off something else.
I no longer give radios away, instead, I find ways to make them all work one way or the other.
The downfall is I now have more radios than I have room for!
I manage to fit them in though but I still have not overcome the problem of only having two ears.

Maybe in time, a very long time, human hearing will have evolved into a digital format. I guess if that ever happens though, we will all have been replaced by machines and robots!
 

Dewey

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Then trunking came along. Trunking by itself did not really introduce any reception issues per se. It was digital modes that seemed to re-invent the 'my scanner is better than yours' wars!
...
Actually, there was one small problem when the first trunking scanners were released. Radio Shack's first trunker, the Pro-92, reportedly followed trunking via the data stream on the audio channel rather than following the control channel due to Greg Knox working with Uniden on his discovery on following control channels. That led to many problems in trying to follow trunked systems. Radio Shack fixed the problem with the release of the Pro-92B, but somehow all of those suffered reception problems... hence, near deaf. (I returned my Pro-92A for the trunk following problems, and HATED my deaf Pro-92B 'till the day I threw it in the trash). On the other hand, Uniden was a hit right away with their first trunker, the BC235XLT. It's only problems were it's failure to wake when going into battery saving mode and the fact that it could only scan conventional frequencies, or scan a single 800 MHz trunked system. Uniden fixed those problems with the release of the BC245XLT, but some of those were released with cold solder joints.

And now to the topic at hand, I am happily following the PG County (Maryland) Gov't Phase II TDMA system with the following exceptions:
- I can follow single talkground conversations much better on my 436 than my 536. I attribute this to simulcast/sensitivity since my 436 uses a RS800 duck and my 536 uses a roof mounted antenna.
- My BIGGEST pet peeve problem... I wish Uniden would fix their inability to follow patches! I will lose conversations two or three times a week due to talkgroups that are routinely patched.

Dewey
 

UPMan

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Radio Shack's first trunker, the Pro-92, reportedly followed trunking via the data stream on the audio channel rather than following the control channel
I'll confirm that, having been responsible for the push to the PRO-92B.
 
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