BUTEL ARC XT PRO / BCD396XT recording issues

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Dec 19, 2002
I am curious if anyone has had any recording issues with the Butel ARC XT PRO software and Uniden BCD 396XT scanner.

Before the arrival of my XT, I was fairly satisfied with the recording quality of the Butel ARC 396 PRO software with my BCD 396T. The “zero-loss” recording functioned well assuring that the beginning of each recording would be intact and clear.

Upon the arrival of my XT, I patiently awaited the release of the Butel ARC XT PRO software. I looked forward to recording with the better sensitivity of the XT and the ability to select digital only to reduce interference and noise.

Upon its release I found that my recordings with the XT PRO and 396XT were not sounding nearly as good as my recordings with the 396 PRO and 396T. The two main recording issues with XT PRO & XT (which may or may not be separate issues) are as follows:

1. Each transmission during a recording would begin and end with a popping sound that never existed with the 396 PRO & 396T.

Example: (begin recording) (POP) “car 123” (POP), (POP) “go to car 123” (POP) (end recording)
This popping is passed through the computer speakers during the actual transmission and is on the subsequent recording of the transmission.

2. Each transmission on a recording would start off sounding low with the voice distorted into an unintelligible buzz that would steadily strengthen and clear and over a 1 to 1.5 second period. This effectively cuts off the beginning of each transmission.

Example: (same transmission as above with distortion / buzz added) (begin recording) (POP) “(unintelligible voice/buzz) ...23” (POP), (POP) “(unintelligible voice/buzz) …car 123” (POP) (end recording)

The popping is heard through my computer speakers as the actual transmissions are being made and ended but the distortion / buzz is not heard; it is only heard on the recording. There is no popping over the scanner speaker when the headphone jack is disconnected.

Both of these issued remained regardless of conventional or trunked, analog or digital.

I took several steps in an attempt to identify the cause of these problems. I made sure all of the settings in both scanners were identical. I speculated that maybe the AGC somehow played a role with the distortion / buzz at the beginning of transmissions. I set the AGC to off (digital and analog) in both the T & XT, but it made no difference. I would only record on one frequency or talkgroup at a time (on hold), ruling out channel scanning issues. At this point I somehow still assumed that the problem had to be the XT PRO software until I thought to unplug the XT and plug in the T (with the XT PRO still running). The popping and distortion / buzz was now gone. The problem was the XT not the software! I know the audio on the XT was improved, but maybe somehow these improvements have caused a degradation to the recording quality with Butel. I searched the RR forums for similar problems but failed to locate anything useful.

I would appreciate any input / suggestions to alleviate these problems recording with my XT. This is the first disappointment I have experienced with my XT. Thank you in advance for your replies.

(UPMan / Gommert, any ideas?)

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