SDS200: BCD536HP or SDS200 What to buy, what to buy

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WA1LMC

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I am ready to jump into the fire and spend heavy on a new scanner to replace my BCD996XT. granted, it is a great scanner but it's performance on simulcast P25 is deplorable. So my decision is to spend 470.00 on a bCD536HP or go for broke on a SDS200. 700.00 is a lto of money if the 536 can do the same. Somehow I don't think the 536HP is not going to be a big improvement over what I am using now (996p2 And no, I would never consider a Whistler after their over priced WS1065. Anyone have one of these two who can offer real life experience on either the 536HP or the SDS200 expecially on P25 simulcast?
 

JimD56

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See my post. May shed some light for you.

 

iMONITOR

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I've owned all the scanners you mentioned. I was very fond of my BCD996P2's for a long time. I had three of them! Depending on your needs the new features and capabilities of the newer scanners can't be ignored. In spite of the high price of the SDS series is what you will want eventually even if you don't need or understand the advanced technology right now. No scanner comes close.

My other hobby is firearms and we have a saying when it comes to justifying the money we spend on quality firearms. "Buy Once Cry Once"!

Note: See post #12

 
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sallen07

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Anyone have one of these two who can offer real life experience on either the 536HP or the SDS200 expecially on P25 simulcast?
If you are currently unable to listen to a simulcast system from your location using a BCD996P2, then it is highly unlikely that the BCD36HP will do any better, since neither of those scanners has a reciever designed to handle simulcast. You are better off spending the extra money on an SDS200 and being pleased with the results than spending less and being unhappy.

I have a BCD996P2. Doesn't work on the local simulcast system at all. I used to have a BCD436HP which worked minimally, if I had it in a "sweet spot" on my desk, which would drift during the day. I sold it. Now I have an SDS200 and it works great.

You may hear from others that tell you, "The BCD536HP works GREAT for ME" and I'm sure that's true. But unless they are sitting in your house listening to the system YOU want to listen to, it's also irrelevant.
 

JimD56

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I love my 2 996P2s. The 536HP I like the way it jives with Sentinel and my SDS100 is great for on the go but now Im trying to trade or sell the SDS100 for an SDS200. Don't really need the "on the go" feature of the SDS100.
 

JimD56

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sallen07 is SPOT ON. I keep the SDS100 just for a "maybe" simulcast issue. I'm a working Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic and a Feed Provider so I'm not missing anything that I don't want too.
 

trp2525

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...So my decision is to spend 470.00 on a bCD536HP or go for broke on a SDS200. 700.00 is a lto of money if the 536 can do the same...
If you want to save $100, Main Trading Company (located in Paris, TX) currently has one store demo SDS200 for sale for $600 with FREE shipping included. The store demo SDS200 scanner has the full Uniden 1-year warranty just like a brand-new unit.
 

greggk

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I am ready to jump into the fire and spend heavy on a new scanner to replace my BCD996XT. granted, it is a great scanner but it's performance on simulcast P25 is deplorable. So my decision is to spend 470.00 on a bCD536HP or go for broke on a SDS200. 700.00 is a lto of money if the 536 can do the same. Somehow I don't think the 536HP is not going to be a big improvement over what I am using now (996p2 And no, I would never consider a Whistler after their over priced WS1065. Anyone have one of these two who can offer real life experience on either the 536HP or the SDS200 expecially on P25 simulcast?
I heard NOTHING on my 436 and only part with my 536 since we moved about 1 year ago, I was hesitant that one magical scanner would solve my problem,. I bought the 100, and later the 200. They are great! Clear, customizable, and just lots of good stuff. If I were to personally recommend any , it would be the 100 or 200. You cannot go wrong. Greg
 

hiegtx

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I am ready to jump into the fire and spend heavy on a new scanner to replace my BCD996XT. granted, it is a great scanner but it's performance on simulcast P25 is deplorable. So my decision is to spend 470.00 on a bCD536HP or go for broke on a SDS200. 700.00 is a lto of money if the 536 can do the same. Somehow I don't think the 536HP is not going to be a big improvement over what I am using now (996p2 And no, I would never consider a Whistler after their over priced WS1065. Anyone have one of these two who can offer real life experience on either the 536HP or the SDS200 expecially on P25 simulcast?
This is the tower location map for the Providence City Simulcast site.
84083

If you are very close to the tower indicated just above and to the right of Cranston (a quarter mile or less), that signal might be enough to wash out the out of synch signals from the other sites farther north. But if you are not that close, I suspect that distortion from the sites 'back behind' the closest one (near the zoo) could cause you problems.

You probably be better served if you have your thread moved to the state forum. Hopefully, someone close to your area can tell you what does, or does not, work for them. Simulcast can be extremely location specific. If you are in the right spot, relative to the towers, or if something, such as hills or a number of buildings, blocks the signals from farther sites, then a 536HP might work. But that is only if all the pieces fall into place. Otherwise, simulcast can all but kill any reception. While some people use a directional antenna, to aim at a specfic site, that negates your ability to hear other systems that are not in the same direction. To have your query moved to the state forum, , do not create a new thread. Instead, click on the Report in the lower left corner of one of your posts, and request that a moderator move your thread to the state forum. Someone in the area would be more likely to see it there.
 

WA1LMC

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I've owned all the scanners you mentioned. I was very fond of my BCD996P2's for a long time. I had three of them! Depending on your needs the new features and capabilities of the newer scanners can't be ignored. In spite of the high price of the SDS series is what you will want eventually even if you don't need or understand the advanced technology right now. No scanner comes close.

My other hobby is firearms and we have a saying when it comes to justifying the money we spend on quality firearms. "Buy Once Cry Once"!

I agree on the 996P2 but I am between 3 simulcast sub sites in the same system. The receive audio is distorted much of the time. Mostly dispatch, it is not constant. I would say about 50% of the time on the P2 scanner. The 996P1 is even worse. I programmed up a new 536hP for a friend andh ave been listening on that and the problem on Cranston fire is much better. So my decision is if the SDS200 will perform better than the 536HP. The other concern is the problems the SDS200 has had since it was released in 2019. (hum in RX audio. display flicker and keyboard back light)
 

tglendye

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I think I would be leaning toward the SDS, simply because of simulcast. I guess you could always buy a 536 from Amazon and take advantage of their pretty liberal return policy if it does not work for you.

...
You probably be better served if you have your thread moved to the state forum. Hopefully, someone close to your area can tell you what does, or does not, work for them. Simulcast can be extremely location specific...
I think you've gotten some good advice in this thread, and I like heigtx's idea. I live in an area covered by a Harris P25 Phase 2 simulcast system. The x36's perform pretty well in most of the city/ county. But I know of another guy on the other end of the county that had bad performance at his home. He switched to one of the SDS's and loves it. On the other hand, I know of two guys who just purchased 996p2's, thinking they would perform as well as the x36's. But the 996p2's do not perform nearly as well on this system as the x36's.
 

bobruzzo

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This is the tower location map for the Providence City Simulcast site.
View attachment 84083

If you are very close to the tower indicated just above and to the right of Cranston (a quarter mile or less), that signal might be enough to wash out the out of synch signals from the other sites farther north. But if you are not that close, I suspect that distortion from the sites 'back behind' the closest one (near the zoo) could cause you problems.

You probably be better served if you have your thread moved to the state forum. Hopefully, someone close to your area can tell you what does, or does not, work for them. Simulcast can be extremely location specific. If you are in the right spot, relative to the towers, or if something, such as hills or a number of buildings, blocks the signals from farther sites, then a 536HP might work. But that is only if all the pieces fall into place. Otherwise, simulcast can all but kill any reception. While some people use a directional antenna, to aim at a specfic site, that negates your ability to hear other systems that are not in the same direction. To have your query moved to the state forum, , do not create a new thread. Instead, click on the Report in the lower left corner of one of your posts, and request that a moderator move your thread to the state forum. Someone in the area would be more likely to see it there.
I live in Cranston too, right down in bottom left of map where the little "295" state highway emblem is. I own a bcd996p2 and when I first got radio I had bad simulcast issues. But over time, mostly experimenting with antennas and location I was able to get adequate performance. I have a pretty good shot to the north and south, no obstructions. We live on a small hill but to my east is a big hill thats 100' higher than my location. To the west the land rises very high but there isnt anything out in that direction to hear. I didnt know Providence had 5 RISCON towers. I can receive the Providence system fairly well with some garbled audio at times. Mostly Prov police and fire dispatch. I have been having VERY good luck using a DPD 800mhz mag mount antenna. Works better than discone. I have the mag mount on a metal sheet ground plane up on edge of gutter outside my room. My radio room is on 2nd floor. This works very well. So maybe a dedicated 800mhz antenna might help a "little" with simulcast problems. I was tempted to buy an 800 mhz vertical but since the mag mount is working so well I decided just to keep what I have. I have been wanting to take my bcd996p2 in the car and do some mobile testing in various sites. I also have thought about getting an sds200. I am not to worried about the price, maybe just a little. But I recently bought the 996p2 AND a bct15x. So wife may squawk if she see's another radio! Plus I am outta room for mounting antennas.
 

hiegtx

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I live in Cranston too, right down in bottom left of map where the little "295" state highway emblem is. I own a bcd996p2 and when I first got radio I had bad simulcast issues. But over time, mostly experimenting with antennas and location I was able to get adequate performance. I have a pretty good shot to the north and south, no obstructions. We live on a small hill but to my east is a big hill thats 100' higher than my location. To the west the land rises very high but there isnt anything out in that direction to hear. I didnt know Providence had 5 RISCON towers. I can receive the Providence system fairly well with some garbled audio at times. Mostly Prov police and fire dispatch. I have been having VERY good luck using a DPD 800mhz mag mount antenna. Works better than discone. I have the mag mount on a metal sheet ground plane up on edge of gutter outside my room. My radio room is on 2nd floor. This works very well. So maybe a dedicated 800mhz antenna might help a "little" with simulcast problems. I was tempted to buy an 800 mhz vertical but since the mag mount is working so well I decided just to keep what I have. I have been wanting to take my bcd996p2 in the car and do some mobile testing in various sites. I also have thought about getting an sds200. I am not to worried about the price, maybe just a little. But I recently bought the 996p2 AND a bct15x. So wife may squawk if she see's another radio! Plus I am outta room for mounting antennas.
Using directional antennas is one way to minimize simulcast issues. If your location is such that you can pick a site, not necessarily the one closest to you, that is in a different direction from other sites, you may be able to get relatively decent performance on a specific system. The down side, though, is that you may be limiting yourself to monitoring that one system, since the other systems, trunked or conventional, might not be on the same tower, or the same direction, that you are aiming at. If your target is a trunked system that carries most everything in your area, such as the various cities and agencies in your county, then it may work well for you. But, if you also have an interest cities or agencies carried on sites in a different direction, you may not be able to successfully monitor them.
 

N4DJC

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Hard to beat the SDS200 for digital, especially simulcast situations. I'd say if you're interested in public service bands think of it as an insurance policy for the eventual move to all digital in those bands.

I'm selling my SDS200 and going back to analog, that's where my main interests lie (rail and air). The SDS200 is a great scanner but far more than I need.
 

bobruzzo

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I am ready to jump into the fire and spend heavy on a new scanner to replace my BCD996XT. granted, it is a great scanner but it's performance on simulcast P25 is deplorable. So my decision is to spend 470.00 on a bCD536HP or go for broke on a SDS200. 700.00 is a lto of money if the 536 can do the same. Somehow I don't think the 536HP is not going to be a big improvement over what I am using now (996p2 And no, I would never consider a Whistler after their over priced WS1065. Anyone have one of these two who can offer real life experience on either the 536HP or the SDS200 expecially on P25 simulcast?
I am getting ready myself to buy an sds200. I am not familiar with the 536. I live in Cranston and the simulcast is mostly pretty crappy on the Providence zone. The North, and South are pretty good and I can't hear the East zone at all. Dean Estates is in my way! I live right off route 5 in Oaklawn section. I took a chance buying the 996P2 hoping the simulcast issues would be minor. But since owning it I am steadily growing tired of the distorted audio when it happens. I will definitely need some help programming the sds200. I have Sentinel and Proscan but still not quite sure how to use the software.
 

N4DJC

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The SDS200 are pretty easy to get it set up initially. It will fool you into thinking, "this isn't so bad" :)

It's when you dig into the layers of settings that it gets interesting. I'm more of an analog guy, but anyone can appreciate the technology of the SDS series, and it does work very well.
 

zzdiesel

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I just got in my SDS200 on May 7th. I absolutely loved it until I ran into the occasional DMR with no audio issue. Some DMR channels on the radio will stop & display the correct color code & slot, but not the TG and with no audio. Others work great. This is on Conventional & DMR One Frequency.

If I'd known this in time; I would've likely purchased the SDS100 instead! This one also has the hum but it doesn't bother me.
 

bobruzzo

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The SDS200 are pretty easy to get it set up initially. It will fool you into thinking, "this isn't so bad" :)

It's when you dig into the layers of settings that it gets interesting. I'm more of an analog guy, but anyone can appreciate the technology of the SDS series, and it does work very well.
Hahaha yeah I am kind of intimidated by the sds200. But my monitoring needs are pretty simple and basic and not a whole ton of stuff. I am still hesitant to buy because of the hum issue and there was some other display problem I read about on here. I dont feel comfortable spending 700 bucks if there is a problem. I will wait till early summer when, hopefully new batches will be made at factory and fixing those issues. Got the money, just waiting till Uniden takes care of those issues.
 

bobruzzo

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I just got in my SDS200 on May 7th. I absolutely loved it until I ran into the occasional DMR with no audio issue. Some DMR channels on the radio will stop & display the correct color code & slot, but not the TG and with no audio. Others work great. This is on Conventional & DMR One Frequency.

If I'd known this in time; I would've likely purchased the SDS100 instead! This one also has the hum but it doesn't bother me.
We don't have any of those modes around here so I don't plan on getting those upgrades. I plan to use the sds200 for strictly P25 simulcast. Using bcd996p2 right now and its so-so with the simulcast issues. Not real bad except for one zone in particular. I just really don't want to deal with hum or display issues after spending all that money. I will wait further along down the road and hopefully the manufacturer will have fixed those things by summer time.
 
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