Decisions, decisions: Home Patrol or BC396XT?

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Mar 4, 2008
I'm thinking of looking around for either a used HP or BC396XT to compliment my GRE PSR 500.

My big question is: Which should I get?

I'm in the suburbs outside of Boston. There aren't a huge number of trunking systems that I can pick up out here other than the state police. Only a few cities have P25 and I can't pick them up easily. Mostly interested in police and fire.

With the PSR500, I essentially have to lock out nearly all frequencies in the 160-165 range (other than the WX channels) because they just stop and broadcast white noise. VHF reception is middling. I'm using several rubber duckie antennas and they work best in the 400Mhz to 800Mhz ranges. I'm used to working with Win500 to create my own frequency lists and scanning lists, so I have no problem with programming.

In thinking about a scanner, I'm leaning a little more to the HP because of the novelty for having a different kind of scanner than the PSR500, which I think might be too similar to the BCD396XT to create a truly "different" scanning experience.

At the same time, however, I'd at least like a scanner that pulls in the same frequencies as well as the PSR500 and perhaps the VHF stuff that doesn't come in as well. I'd also like to have some level of flexibility in adding additional frequencies, even if it's through PC software.

Any thoughts?
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