I am patiently waiting for my new 996XT which is in transit as I type and I was wondering how close does the Close Capture actually work? Do you need to be right on top of the signal or does it work within miles?
Just remember: They call it "Close Call" for a reason
You want to use it for nearfield transmissions. Kind of like the old
Scout Frequency Counters.
That feature is not really designed for long distance reception.
Nonetheless, it is very handy feature to have
I have the 396XT so maybe it is different. However the issue I found with the Close Call is it only stops on signal that are extremely strong. In other worlds don't be surprised when it doesn't stop on a transmission from a hand held radio even a 1/4 of a mile away. I tried using it to find the frequency of the fast food drive thru and it didn't work even when I was at the window a few feet from the transmitter. I wish it had a sensitivity setting to find lower power transmissions close by. BTW if their is a setting for sensitivity I don't know about please tell me!!!
Detection does not require sensitivity. The method used requires that the target signal be at least 14-16 dB above any other in-band signal. Drive through headsets can be less than 5 mW. Find a Dairy Queen in the middle of the desert, and if the cash register isn't leaking too much RF you might get a Close Call hit (well, maybe not that bad, but not by much). On the other hand, I get Close Call hits every few days from passing aircraft, as well as from commercial 2-ways, etc.
Not practical with the 996, but with the handhelds I almost never fail to get a hit inside big stores (Wal*Mart, Fry's, etc).
I've had the 396T for several years and I've been very pleased with the Close Call feature. I don't use the stock antenna that came with it and usually have either a Diamond RH77CA or a RHF40 hooked up to it, which probably helps.
I used to live in downtown Cleveland, and right when every football, baseball, or basketball season would start up I'd sit outside the stadium and log all of the hits, and then use that list of frequencies to listen to all season long. At the Quicken Loans Arena, I was surprised the first time I did this because I started getting hits a good 3-4 blocks away. I think they had all of their radios at max power. I even got a close call hit from a blimp that was flying over the stadium to get aerial shots for the TV. When that happened, I knew that the close call feature & I were going to be lifelong friends.
At the baseball and football stadiums I'd have to be a little closer to get the hits, despite them being open-air stadiums-here again, I think it was due to the power settings on the radios being used. At any location, once I was close (and still outside the stadium), I'd hear just about everything-security, parking, maintenance & laundry crews in the lower levels, etc. At air shows I'd get hits anywhere on the tarmac, and when the city hosted a formula 1 race a few years back I stood outside the gates and close call got each of the race crews & drivers, the TV camera men, and all of the hospitality operations within an hour or so. I'd say everything was a good 500 feet away, if not more.
I recently added an FM notch filter to lower the RF floor. Uniden has a broadcast screen for the FM band that causes it to ignore FM hits, but I didn't know if "ignore" just meant it doesn't sound the alert but still measures the signals, or if it blocks out the FM signals completely. But after adding the notch filter, I noticed it was pulling in much weaker signals with close call, presumably, ones that would have otherwise been missed because I was in the same places before without the notch filter and CC never picked the new frequencies up. It should be noted, I wasn't using the Diamond antennas with the notch filter due to the added length on the notch filter. The Diamond antennas are tall enough as it is.
Some people have had good luck using pre-amps, but I haven't tried that angle yet. But you'll definitely want to use CC when you're mobile, it isn't going to catch as much at home.