Comparing the BCD436HP to the BCD536HP

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hydrasports

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Besides the dongle and being able to connect to your computer via wifi with the BCD536HP. What are the pros and cons of both?

I've heard that the shielding of the 436 is not as good as the 536.... does it really make that much of a difference?

Will one pick up signals further then the other?

If I was not planning on using the dongle and wifi would the 436 be the better buy?

I look to you all for your expertise on the 2 scanners. I honestly haven't figured out which one to get but if one is that much better then the other I could see me getting it but I honestly do not plan on using the wifi feature. Please give me your input. Thank you!!
 

jonwienke

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Shielding is a non-issue in most situations, even if you're using it handheld. Getting an antenna better than ths stock duck makes more difference in reception than putting foil tape on the battery door.

The receiver performance is essentially identical between the 436 and 536. So you aren"t going to see differences when using an outdoor antenna or a mobile antenna in a vehicle. If you don"t need the wifi functionality, there's a lot of good reason to get the 436.
 

hydrasports

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Shielding is a non-issue in most situations, even if you're using it handheld. Getting an antenna better than ths stock duck makes more difference in reception than putting foil tape on the battery door.
I have to be honest I am a bit nervous regarding this putting aluminum foil BS on the battery compartment... It's just that spending $400 - $550 on a scanner I don't want to make a decision I will regret later. If it's worth it for the 536 I will totally get it... who knows maybe I will want to use the wifi feature in the future. Just not sure.
 

jdcaples

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I listen pretty much exclusively to the 800 mhz frequencies on my BCD436HP.

I picked up the Radio Shack 800 mhz antenna (Catalog #: 2000283) after a couple of weeks using the stock duck. With the stock antenna, I had severe signal degradation in the basement.

With the RS antenna, I can hear everything in the basement that I can in the front yard.

-Jon
 

captainmax1

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I have both 436 and 536 scanners. I can't see any performance difference between the 2. Of course the 536 has a larger speaker and easier access to certain controls but no performance advantage of one over the other. The question is do you want a handheld scanner for carry along or a mobile/home scanner. You can't go wrong with either one.
 

hiegtx

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I have to be honest I am a bit nervous regarding this putting aluminum foil BS on the battery compartment... It's just that spending $400 - $550 on a scanner I don't want to make a decision I will regret later. If it's worth it for the 536 I will totally get it... who knows maybe I will want to use the wifi feature in the future. Just not sure.
I added the foil to one of my 436's. To be honest, I don't see any difference before and after. I realize some people have posted better results, but for the systems I monitor, there's no noticeable improvement.
 

jhampton2000

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hydrasporsts - perhaps a few pointers to help you decide:

1. Under the skin, they are both essentially the same as has been mentioned before.
2. Portability: Will you ever want go mobile (clip it to your belt, vs in a vehicle) with your scanner: if the answer's yes, then the 436 is what you need: the 536 will be for static monitoring.
3. If you're static, you'll get most out of any scanner with a proper outdoor antenna. The issue with some 436's and the foil battery cover lining may only impact when using the handheld antenna: it has no positive or negative effect if your antenna is several feet from the scanner.
4. Only you can weigh up the pros and cons of the cost difference vs the other features unique to the 536 such as the dongle/wifi.
 

AA6IO

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The 536HP and 436HP are pretty much the same in performance. But you're going to get a lot more audio out of the 536HP. Also, don't assume you're not going to want to use the WiFi. You may be surprised, but being able to locate the scanner near a window, on the second floor, or somewhere away from a noisy source, and then being able to access the scanner with the Siren application is a real benefit to some people. Unless you intend to do a lot of portable operation, you might want to reconsider the 536HP and at least have the ability to use WiFi.
If you really enjoy using one, you, like many others including myself, will end up getting the other.
 

sparklehorse

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If you see yourself using it mainly at home I'd go with the 536. It's true you could use the 436 at home, but connecting an external antenna to a handheld radio is cumbersome at best. You might get by OK with the stock antenna on the 436, but most folks wind up using some form of external antenna when scanning at home. If your local systems are simulcast P25 digital you may have to use a Yagi type antenna to get decent reception, even if the nearest transmitter is just a few miles away.

.
 

jonwienke

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If you see yourself using it mainly at home I'd go with the 536. It's true you could use the 436 at home, but connecting an external antenna to a handheld radio is cumbersome at best.
Not really. Put the 436 in a RAM mount with the BNC adapter, and it's easy. A 90-degree adapter on the antenna cable is helpful.
 

dave3825

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Cumbersome? I have been using external antennas with hand held scanners for years. As long as you have coax running to where you like to listen, it's cake.

As far as what scanner type would I likeat home, I will always own a portable as my primary scanner. Something big happens, and you're forced out of your home, you will have the portable.
 

KR3LC

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...As far as what scanner type would I like at home, I will always own a portable as my primary scanner. Something big happens, and you're forced out of your home, you will have the portable.
I agree with this sentiment. I own a handheld first and foremost but I do prefer the mobile/base for fixed use. If you are fortunate enough to own both then do it but if you can only buy one then the decision should be in part based on how you intend to use it.

As for the tape inside the battery door issue, I did this and I experimented with distant UHF systems before and after. It made a difference. I used 3 layers of copper tape. Today I can slide the battery cover off and back on and experience the improvement with the tape in place. But it is only critical for fringe signals and it is not at all an issue if you use a remotely mounted external antenna.
 
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