BCD536HP: BCD536HP New Owner Confusion

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Hello, I am wondering if someone can help me? I just purchased the above scanner BCD536HP. I have managed to program the P25 EMS/FIRE/PD frequencies into it. I did not do the programming with zip code as it loaded way too many areas that are far from me.

Here is my question. I just retired from our local school system as a school bus driver. I want to remain in contact with my fellow drivers by listening to their 2 way transmissions. Our system is the NXDN so after research I am seeing that this scanner cannot receive this without an upgrade. It is $75 on the Uniden site. Is this the only way I can receive my school bus friends? I can purchase it but with the new retirement income I don't want to unless there is no other way to get the school transmissions.

My other questions, which I am famous for putting the cart before the horse, if I do get the upgrade will I be able to program it myself? Am I better off to send the scanner to them to do it? I am pretty savvy with tech and I also have a co worker who is the one who programmed the P25s so we are fairly competent. Anyway, thanks so much to anyone who can help me out. It's kind of crazy but I feel so much withdrawal after driving the school bus for 20 years and for being a scanner junkie for over 22 years.

Thank you!!!

Beth
Retired Bus Driver, WaNee Community Schools, Nappanee, IN
 

n1chu

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You will need to upgrade the scanner from Uniden and pay the going rate. Once the scanner is capable of monitoring NXDN you can program the NXDN system. But if you are doing it manually you may have some difficulty because although you are tech savvy, it’s your first time tackling a scanner. It’s been said a steep learning curve comes with the radio and it’s true for the most part, some do ok, some need help. But the expertise is here for all your questions so before you pay to have it programmed, give it a shot yourself. Others will be logging in and I defer to them as I’ve had no experience with NXDN systems. Good luck going forward. (Your comment about missing your work friends rang true with me… the same thing happened to me when I retired!)
 

Whiskey3JMC

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My other questions, which I am famous for putting the cart before the horse, if I do get the upgrade will I be able to program it myself? Am I better off to send the scanner to them to do it?
Absolutely you can program it yourself. If the frequency(ies) is (are) known to the Radioreference database you can import it (them) directly into Uniden Sentinel then upload the programming into the scanner. See the Uniden Sentinel easier to read manual here for more info. Welcome to the RR forums & congrats on your retirement from a fellow school district employee (IT guy)
 

sfb88

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Just an idea. I noticed in railfan videos that a number of them use Chinese transceivers instead of scanners to monitor the railroads. IIRC, railroads use NXDN. Would one of these be cheaper than the Uniden upgrade if the frequency coverage is appropriate?
 

Whiskey3JMC

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Just an idea. I noticed in railfan videos that a number of them use Chinese transceivers instead of scanners to monitor the railroads. IIRC, railroads use NXDN. Would one of these be cheaper than the Uniden upgrade if the frequency coverage is appropriate?
I'd advise against using a transceiver (radio capable of transmitting) if you aren't authorized to transmit on the system. Stick to a scanner, much easier to program & no chance of keying up accidentally
 

GlobalNorth

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You can program the 536 with your Zip Code and set the range to 10 miles to avoid the distal systems. The NXDN modification is nothing more than an encryption key that when purchased from Uniden, allows you to punch it into your 536 and allow NXDN to be received. It is, IIRC, 16 characters of mixed letters and numbers and if you go slowly and methodically, you'll get it right on the first try.

As soon as you have NXDN installed, new systems that you never realized will pop to life in the business, utility, public works, schools, etc. groups in your scanner.
 

RandyKuff

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You can program the 536 with your Zip Code and set the range to 10 miles to avoid the distal systems. The NXDN modification is nothing more than an encryption key that when purchased from Uniden, allows you to punch it into your 536 and allow NXDN to be received. It is, IIRC, 16 characters of mixed letters and numbers and if you go slowly and methodically, you'll get it right on the first try.

As soon as you have NXDN installed, new systems that you never realized will pop to life in the business, utility, public works, schools, etc. groups in your scanner.
Doesn't matter if anyone see's this... It will only work with my scanners ESN (Electronic Serial Number) anyway...
Each key is unique to the scanners ESN...

This is what the key looks like...

key1.jpg
 

Ubbe

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I did not do the programming with zip code as it loaded way too many areas that are far from me.
Check your own GPS coordinates, you mobile phone should have that, and set the scanners location to that and set the scanners range to 0. Then it is supposed to only scan what you can receive. It is not perfect, some sites are still too far away and others are probably not scanned even if they are within coverage, but it is a good start.

/Ubbe
 

tvengr

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WaNee Community Schools, Nappanee, IN
I found a FCC License for Wa-Nee Community Schools (WPIA994). It is conventional NXDN with 3 frequencies.
452.250
461.675
463.225
There should be no problem programming it yourself. Here is the link to Uniden Sentinel, free programming software provided by Uniden for your scanner. BCDx36HPSentinel < UnidenMan4 < TWiki
 
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hiegtx

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Hello, I am wondering if someone can help me? I just purchased the above scanner BCD536HP. I have managed to program the P25 EMS/FIRE/PD frequencies into it. I did not do the programming with zip code as it loaded way too many areas that are far from me.

Here is my question. I just retired from our local school system as a school bus driver. I want to remain in contact with my fellow drivers by listening to their 2 way transmissions. Our system is the NXDN so after research I am seeing that this scanner cannot receive this without an upgrade. It is $75 on the Uniden site. Is this the only way I can receive my school bus friends? I can purchase it but with the new retirement income I don't want to unless there is no other way to get the school transmissions.
As Randy has already noted, you can purchase the code direct from Uniden, for $50. The $75 (and up, from some sources) is what one of the dealers would charge you to obtain the code. Since you already have the scanner, all they'd do for you is purchase the code, & email it to you so that you can enter it in your scanner. Save the $25 and purchase direct. That will generate a key for the NXDN upgrade that you enter yourself.

My other questions, which I am famous for putting the cart before the horse, if I do get the upgrade will I be able to program it myself? Am I better off to send the scanner to them to do it? I am pretty savvy with tech and I also have a co worker who is the one who programmed the P25s so we are fairly competent. Anyway, thanks so much to anyone who can help me out. It's kind of crazy but I feel so much withdrawal after driving
As John has noted, you can program it yourself via Sentinel. I would also advise against using a radio capable of transmitting on the frequencies. First, that would obviously bee illegal. Plus, using a scanner, you can listen to other agencies in your area, like your local law enforcement agencies & fire departments.
You can program the 536 with your Zip Code and set the range to 10 miles to avoid the distal systems. The NXDN modification is nothing more than an encryption key that when purchased from Uniden, allows you to punch it into your 536 and allow NXDN to be received. It is, IIRC, 16 characters of mixed letters and numbers and if you go slowly and methodically, you'll get it right on the first try.

As soon as you have NXDN installed, new systems that you never realized will pop to life in the business, utility, public works, schools, etc. groups in your scanner.
I would normally agree with this. But while the school district in question is shown on the county's database page, is listed as conventional, not NXDN, with only the one frequency. As the OP has recently retired from the district, and knows that NXDN is in use, Sentinel would be of no help until corrected information is submitted and entered into the database. If you look at the listed license, it now has several frequencies

If you have not already, install Sentinel on your PC.

I have attached a file that you can import into Sentinel. Download the file to your PC, saving it at a location that you can return to. Once you download it, then find the file using Windows Explorer (also known as File Explorer in Windows 10).

Click on the file to select it, then <right><click> on it.

1659476700221.png

Choose Extract from the pop-up menu.
Once you have done the extraction, you'll find a file named Wa-Nee.hpe. The hpe file can be imported into Sentinel. (The Import is listed under the drop-down File menu in Sentinel.)

1659476986752.png

If you are already using a Favorites list, you can import the file into that. Or, during the import, select New Favorites to create one specifically for this file.

1659477153246.png
The first system (NXDN One Frequency) has each of the three repeater frequencies on the license. It is set up as a One Frequency Trunked system so that, if individual talkgroups are used (say one for buses, a different one for maintence, maybe an admin channel, whatever), you can see and identify them.

The second system, set up as conventional, has the other frequencies on the license. These are listed "MO) (Mobile), so unless you are really close, you may not hear anything on them.
 

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hiegtx

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Be sure that, if you can monitor the system, and determine how it is used (talkgroups for specific uses, for example), then submit that information to the database so that corrected information will be available in Sentinel.
 

n1chu

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I'd advise against using a transceiver (radio capable of transmitting) if you aren't authorized to transmit on the system. Stick to a scanner, much easier to program & no chance of keying up accidentally
Most of the Chinese transceivers afford the option to deny xmit on any given frequency in the software. But agreed, if you don’t know what you are doing, it is a problem, and ilegal
 

palmerjrusa

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Hello, I am wondering if someone can help me? I just purchased the above scanner BCD536HP. I have managed to program the P25 EMS/FIRE/PD frequencies into it. I did not do the programming with zip code as it loaded way too many areas that are far from me.

Here is my question. I just retired from our local school system as a school bus driver. I want to remain in contact with my fellow drivers by listening to their 2 way transmissions. Our system is the NXDN so after research I am seeing that this scanner cannot receive this without an upgrade. It is $75 on the Uniden site. Is this the only way I can receive my school bus friends? I can purchase it but with the new retirement income I don't want to unless there is no other way to get the school transmissions.

My other questions, which I am famous for putting the cart before the horse, if I do get the upgrade will I be able to program it myself? Am I better off to send the scanner to them to do it? I am pretty savvy with tech and I also have a co worker who is the one who programmed the P25s so we are fairly competent. Anyway, thanks so much to anyone who can help me out. It's kind of crazy but I feel so much withdrawal after driving the school bus for 20 years and for being a scanner junkie for over 22 years.

Thank you!!!

Beth
Retired Bus Driver, WaNee Community Schools, Nappanee, IN

It's probably worth buying a NXDN key for your BCD536HP scanner and getting to know the free Sentinel software, I actually prefer it to the third party software I bought for this scanner. It can be a steep learning curve, but then it clicks, and it's all plain sailing from then on.

I didn't program the school bus talk groups in the local radio system here on my scanner for the longest time thinking they would be boring and uninteresting.

Then I did, and it's like listening to a military operation in full swing with all the drivers coordinating with the dispatcher to get the kids safely to school with all the attendent shenanigans that occur, both student and traffic/bus related etc.😯😁
 

donc13

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The NXDN key is $50 from Uniden... Not $75...

Create an account and register your scanner here...


You can then purchase the key there... And they will email it to you...

View attachment 125364
Once you purchase a key, it will show up on your devices page if YOU bought the key. If a radio store purchased it for you and installed it, it won't show up there. But once installed it's there forever unless the main board is replaced and then Uniden will reinstall the keys as part of the repair.
 

RandyKuff

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Once you purchase a key, it will show up on your devices page if YOU bought the key. If a radio store purchased it for you and installed it, it won't show up there. But once installed it's there forever unless the main board is replaced and then Uniden will reinstall the keys as part of the repair.
Yeah, I know that... He dosn't have the key yet... He's inquiring if he needs it... For NXDN...
I don't know where he see's Uniden selling it for $75... That sounds like third party price gouging to me...

If Uniden has to change the mainboard they reflash your original ESN into it... They did that with my 436 when it went in for the repair campaign...
 
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hiegtx

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There are several online dealers that style their webpages to stop barely short of claiming to be part of Uniden. And most all of the third parties are at $75 for upgrade keys (not sure where they're at now, but last time I looked, Zips Scanners was at $99).
 

RandyKuff

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Yep, and one off the top of my head is Bearcat Warehouse...
You look at that site and think your looking at a Uniden web page... NOT!

Not that BW is a bad place to purchase from... Not saying that at all...
All them places will gouge on stuff like that though...
Especially progamming your SD card for you...
 
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hiegtx

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Yep, and one off the top of my head is Bearcat Warehouse...
You look at that site and think your looking at a Uniden web page... NOT!

Not that BW is a bad place to purchase from... Not saying that at all...
All them places will gouge on stuff like that though...
Especially progamming your SD card for you...
Not to mention the markup on extra SD cards:
1659496098990.png
(from Zips Scanners)

vs
1659496182663.png
 
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