BCD996XT2 vs BCD536HP

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llwade

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Looking for anyone having both the BCD996XT2 & BCD536HP. I am trying to decide which one to purchase. Hoping to campare the two scanners while running the SAME systems and antenna setup
 

jonwienke

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The 536 will match or beat any feature of the 996 in RF performance and scanning features. The 536 will also monitor P25 Phase II and other digital formats that the 996XT2 will not. But it costs more.

The 536 is a better option if you scan from a vehicle, as it has a nationwide database that is updated weekly. With a GPS, you can drive anywhere in the US and scan local traffic the whole time. You can't do that with the 996, as it doesn't have the memory. The 996 also won't handle large statewide or multistate trunked systems as well as the 536.
 

mule1075

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I am almost sure you can use a GPS with the 996p2.Actually can use it with the 996t and 996xt as well.

Sent from my SM-S907VL using Tapatalk
 

jonwienke

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I am almost sure you can use a GPS with the 996p2.Actually can use it with the 996t and 996xt as well.
You can, but the memory limits of the 996 series make it a lot less practical. You can't program everything along a multistate road trip.
 

marksmith

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You can, but the memory limits of the 996 series make it a lot less practical. You can't program everything along a multistate road trip.
You actually can program everything along a trip route and run GPS in both the 996xt and 996p2.

The GPS is a much more efficient process in the firmware of the 536 however. And the combined database and improved GPS function makes it the much better radio if this will be how it is used.

The system size memory limitations of the XT line continue in the p2. The 536, while a little more complicated radio, is easier to program as well, since the Sentinel software and database are available.

The cost is about a hundred $$ more, but what you get for that extra hundred is worth it.

536/436/ws1095/996p2/996xt/325p2/396xt/psr800/396t/HP-1/HP-2 & others
 

jonwienke

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You actually can program everything along a trip route and run GPS in both the 996xt and 996p2.
If you're going from Michigan to Arizona, and have to make a route change on the way due to road closures or bad weather ot last-minute change of plans, I rather doubt it. You'd have to look up the freqs on the new route and reprogram the scanner. Whereas with the 536, you wouldn't have to do anything but drive.
 

JamesO

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The 536 will match or beat any feature of the 996 in RF performance and scanning features. The 536 will also monitor P25 Phase II and other digital formats that the 996XT2 will not. But it costs more.
I assume the OP is actually asking about the 996P2 which by default will support Phase 2 P25, and there is a DMR and ProVoice upgrade available for the 996P2/325P2 just like the 436/536.

I have both and a bunch of other radios, a number of 996XT as well. I use the 996's mostly in a fixed Base set up so I do not really need the GPS feature. If you do not travel beyond your home area much, the 996P2 can be used with the GPS with decent results. If you travel long distances the HP scanners are a better bet. I have a 436 and 536, but usually use my HP1 when traveling, but I have recently been running into area with P25 Phase 2 that the HP1 does not support, so I may use my 436 or get an HP2 at some point. The HP1/2 is easy to stick to the windshield with the suction cup mount and has a bigger display for easier viewing when driving. But the RF performance of the 436/536 is probably better than the HP1/2.

The 536 also has the ability to use the WIfi for a remote head where as the 996P2 does not have an official remote head, the older remote head for the 996T/996XT will not work with the 996P2.

We are "hopeful" that Uniden may have NXDN available as an optional upgrade for the 436/536HP at some point not sure if and when this may happen, not sure this will be available for the 996P2 if it ever comes to life.

Also keep in mind, usually if you are a hard core listener you will never have just 1 radio. You might want to start with the 996P2 and then consider the 536 or the next Uniden offering that may pop up on the radar in the future.
 

ofd8001

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While I don't have the 996P2, I do have the 996XT. The only major difference is that the 996P2 "does" P25 Phase II.

As marksmith said, you can program the 996 to cover a long distance trip. But I found it to be a royal pain, probably several days worth of programming just to cover a 4 state trip.

This model scanner isn't very friendly when it comes to importing statewide radio systems. The biggest problem is that the scanner is limited to 20 groups and statewide systems involve way more than that. So to get around this limitation, you have to import a given system several times and do a lot of fancy editing.

And then even using a GPS is cumbersome because the scanner processes everything programmed, then "turns off" the "stuff" not in range. That is a several minute process each time the scanner is powered up. There is a way around that with System Quick Keys, but that's more effort.

The 536 is so much more easy and is worth the additional cost if you are a serious scanner who travels.

Another benefit is that if you mount your scanner in a vehicle, for updating the programming (including occasional firmware updates) with the 536 all you need to do is remove the SD card, put it in a card reader on your computer and make the changes. With a 996P2, you have to haul a laptop to your vehicle to make the changes.
 

scrotumola

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As both the 996p2 and 536hp will do P25 type 2 and are capable of being upgraded to demodulate provoice and DMR, the only advantage of the 536hp is the zipcode auto programming. The advantage of the 996p2 is a more robust front end. My 996p2 has superior filtering and receive performance and in my experience is superior to the 536s that I have. The 996p2, when compared side by side with the 536hp, exhibits much better sensitivity and selectivity and will receive further and weaker signals with more clarity. There are areas where my 536 will stand idle, yet the 996 will be chugging along with DX stations.

My .02 YMMV.
 

jonwienke

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I've compared numerous x36 and 996 units side by side with the same antenna feeding to both. While there may be an occasional aberrant unit that doesn't follow the trend, the x36 line of scanners have better receivers in general.
 

phask

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I have to disagree and find the 536 has a slightly better receive.

I have both - the 536 sits on top of the 996. It might just be they are identical and slight differences in production. Then what I listen is diffeent than you . I'm mainly 800 trunked and some VHF.

I much prefer the 536 for ease of use and adapability.

Neither go mobile.

As both the 996p2 and 536hp will do P25 type 2 and are capable of being upgraded to demodulate provoice and DMR, the only advantage of the 536hp is the zipcode auto programming. The advantage of the 996p2 is a more robust front end. My 996p2 has superior filtering and receive performance and in my experience is superior to the 536s that I have. The 996p2, when compared side by side with the 536hp, exhibits much better sensitivity and selectivity and will receive further and weaker signals with more clarity. There are areas where my 536 will stand idle, yet the 996 will be chugging along with DX stations.

My .02 YMMV.
 

marksmith

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If you're going from Michigan to Arizona, and have to make a route change on the way due to road closures or bad weather ot last-minute change of plans, I rather doubt it. You'd have to look up the freqs on the new route and reprogram the scanner. Whereas with the 536, you wouldn't have to do anything but drive.
I agree.

I was just saying that technically it is possible on the 996 radios, even though the 536 would be recommended for GPS use. Not because of the detour issue you mention, but because of the incredible suck on system resources a GPS is on an XT radio. The whole GPS process is a little stressing for an XT radio, and because it pulls so hard, Uniden designed it to work very sluggishly in order to save processing power for scanning.

I actually have HP2 radios with GPS in my vehicles. Same capabilities as the 536 in terms of Sentinel favorites list programming, full database and GPS but the screen is a lot more readable while driving than the miniscule print on a 536 screen. I think it actually seems to decode some digital systems clearer, and while mobile, I find it's reception is as good as a 436/536.

536/436/ws1095/996p2/996xt/325p2/396xt/psr800/396t/HP-1/HP-2 & others
 

N9JIG

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While I don't have the 996P2, I do have the 996XT. The only major difference is that the 996P2 "does" P25 Phase II.

(Rest clipped for brevity)
While that is the major difference between the XT and the P2 there are a few other ones that some people find important, including:


  • DMR & ProVoice updates available on the 996P2 but not on the 996XT.
  • USB jack on the front of the 996P2 vs the serial port on the 996XT.
  • CloseCall results are directly displayed on the 996P2 without needing to press a button like on the 996XT.
  • The RH96 works on the 996XT but not the 996P2
 

llwade

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Gentlemen thank you for all of your responses. I assure you it was appreciated and informative. Just as a side note, the scanner is to add to the base and will not be in the automobile. You cannot help but look back and appreciate where we are now vs the late 60s / early 70s. After everyone's input it is right up there with which truck to buy: Chevrolet or Ford. Bottom line, I don't think I can go wrong, no matter which scanner i finally decide to choose. Anyone have a quarter I can borrow to flip and help me decide the right path to follow?
 

ofd8001

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If it helps you any, particularly with the scanner being in a fixed location rather than for travel use, the same programming you use in your 996XT will go right into the 996P2. So there won't be a lot of programming effort needed (assuming you'll be monitoring the same things).
 

AA6IO

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I have both the 996P2 and 536HP. The 996P2 is a good scanner and you may eventually want one. However, if you are going to just buy one scanner and spend nearly $400, you mind as well spend another $100 or so and get. what is in my opinion, a much better scanner in terms of flexibility. With the on-board recording, WiFi, database, and unlimited memory, I would advise anyone that if you're going to spend that kind of money, then go for the 536HP. If I had to recommend 3 base scanners to someone (certainly not unusual for most enthusiasts- I own about 30 scanners), I would recommend in order (assuming you want digital trunking), the 536HP, TRX-2, then 996P2.
I still stand by the 536HP and 436HP as the best base and portable consumer grade scanners currently available. Next, the TRX-2 and TRX-1, followed by the 996P2 and 325P2. Of course, YMMV.
 

jonwienke

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I actually use the 436 as base, mobile, and handheld. Its RF performance is very similar to the 536, and with an outdoor antenna and a stand, it makes a perfectly good base unit. The only thing you're giving up vs the 536 is the wifi streaming. It's the performance and features of the 536 (minus wi-fi, but plus internal battery power) for the price of the 996, in a compact package that can be used effectively in any scanning role.
 
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