BCD536HP vs. BCD996XT

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AE7Q

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I have a BCD996XT which I am reasonably happy with. It has its quirks (for me, mainly the user panel interface, coupled to a poorly-written HTML manual). I'm in the Seattle area, and as far as I know, the additional P25 phase II stuff is not in common use here (correct me if I'm wrong).

So, I'm considering getting a BCD536HP, especially since the BCD996XT units are selling at a decent price on eBay. Perceived advantages to me would be a potentially better user panel interface, coupled with a much larger internal database.

So, any comparisons between the two from users more knowledgeable, would be helpful. Specifically:

1. A comparison of relative capabilities of FreeScan (also quirky but VERY useful) and Sentinel (which I have zero experience with).

2. In particular, since I have spent some time in really customizing my database, can in be imported into Sentinel?

3. Once one makes customizations to the internal database (some of the naming of talk groups in the radioreference database are truly awful, and some of the aviation frequencies are more than five years out of date), and then decides to get a database updated from Uniden, is there a reasonable way of merging systems? FreeScan has a reasonable way of doing this.

4. A comparison of the user panel interface, from users who have used both. In the BCD996XT, I find that you press a numeric button to lockout a system/site, but you use "Func" before pressing a numeric button is used to lockout a group. However, if you want to just listen to a particular channel or talk group, after you press hold, you press "Func" and rotate the knob to scroll through systems, and then turn off "Func" and rotate the knob to rotate through groups and channels. It's like the developer of each part of the BCD996XT firmware, decided on his own user panel interface. Ugh. Double ugh. I hope a better user panel interface was DESIGNED for the BCD536HP.
 

kellykeeton

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Hey it's kelly k7mhi we had lunch together.

1) your likely not going to be happy with the provided software, it's very limited right now. As for the free scan at this time there isn't support that I am aware of for the new scanner format. You can download sentinel and play with it free.

2. No it can't but you can hack and paste - and if free scan supports the scanner going forward it's just a easy import to a fav. List

3. Yes, IMO - I would recommend watching upman YouTube video on the software, explaining favorite lists.
Also you can update the lists on this site - which would get updated on the radio in 2 weeks or less.

4. This will likely drive you crazy there are areas where I feel it's easy and areas I haven't learned the "new way yet" welcome to come play with mine.
 

phask

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1) your likely not going to be happy with the provided software, it's very limited right now. As for the free scan at this time there isn't support that I am aware of for the new scanner format. You can download sentinel and play with it free.

I find just the opposite - Have freescan and while I find it usable - I find it more of a PITA than Sentinel. I also have ARC and a version coming for these, I don't like all the features.

Sentinel has issues - does it get the job done - Yes - could it do it better - yes.

You can not entirely eliminate Sentinel as you need it to do any firmware update.

If you want to use the entire database and keep it updated - need it for that also.

I've now used it for several year and still prefer it.
 

smithken

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If I remember correctly I read in one of the many x36 threads that Freescan was not going to be updated to handle these scanners.
 

kellykeeton

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1) your likely not going to be happy with the provided software, it's very limited right now. As for the free scan at this time there isn't support that I am aware of for the new scanner format. You can download sentinel and play with it free.

I find just the opposite - Have freescan and while I find it usable - I find it more of a PITA than Sentinel. I also have ARC and a version coming for these, I don't like all the features.

Sentinel has issues - does it get the job done - Yes - could it do it better - yes.

You can not entirely eliminate Sentinel as you need it to do any firmware update.

If you want to use the entire database and keep it updated - need it for that also.

I've now used it for several year and still prefer it.
I do understand your point, but do you feel that the OP's question of "I have spend a long time modifying my data" that Sentinel is a good replacement for an excel table entry of data? I have found that the manual entry area of a favorites list to be terrible. needing to click add each time no quick key entry etc..

yes the software works well for sure, but not compared to the data entry components of a more classic editor .. its a huge change. But arguably the software isnt intended to enter data like "the old way"
 

AE7Q

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Can Sentinel import CVS files?

Hey it's kelly k7mhi we had lunch together.

2. No it can't [import from FreeScan] but you can hack and paste - and if free scan supports the scanner going forward it's just a easy import to a fav. List

..

4. This will likely drive you crazy there are areas where I feel it's easy and areas I haven't learned the "new way yet" welcome to come play with mine.
Re: #2. Can Sentinel import CVS files?

Re: #4: I'd like to take you up on your offer (see my private message to you).
 
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