Handheld upgrade from my 396T For Canada Use

Status
Not open for further replies.

Gearjam

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
158
Location
Ontario Can.
I'm getting my radio interest back again after a few years.
I have the Uniden 396T that I do plan to still hang on to,
but I'm looking to buy a new handheld.
I,m looking for the best handheld for Canada or Ontario use.
I like to listen to anything interesting like most would.
What scanner would you choose for a upgrade to the 396T?

Thanks for your sugestions and input

Dan
 

Gearjam

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
158
Location
Ontario Can.
The new Uniden 436 looks interesting.
I noticed they say to key in your Zip code to find nearby signals,
I wonder if this scanner will allow you to key in a postal code.

The 396XT also looks nice
 

LordJ

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
635
Location
South-Eastern, Ontario
The newer 436 doesn't appeal to me. The 396xt still seems like it's going to be my main device for awhile yet. Features are great, the screen gives me all the info I want to see, and the unit's size is just right, the 436 is too bulky....
 

Gearjam

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
158
Location
Ontario Can.
I did a bit of reading on the 436 and I'm holding off on buying one.
The 396XT looks good, I have good luck with my 396T and i'm still using the old firmware 1.13.17
I did like the Idea of the card in the 436 , I thought it would be a plug and play scanner.
Tomorrow I'm going to find out how to update my old 396 and sit on the fence for a while.
 
Last edited:

Gearjam

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
158
Location
Ontario Can.
So far my interest is in the 396XT.
Hard to believe the 436 comes with no charger...wow.
Even if they iron some of the bugs out of the 436 I hear that the screen wont show what your locked on to.
IMO a better scanner needs to have a easy to read screen, plus being more user friendly.
Not hang on for updates...or this will be fixed in our next what ever.
Anyway I'm still interested in what you would pick for a upgrade from a 396t.
 

lamarrsy

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2003
Messages
61
Location
Rimouski, PQ, Canada
Hi,
I had a 396T since it's intro in 2005, I later then switched to a 396XT, that I still have and still like very much.
Last week I ordered a BCD436HP, received it on Friday, played with it over the weekend, but I will be returning it.

First thing off, it is a beast of "portable" radio... I was expecting it to be a bit more than the 396XT but wow, I was thrown back to the '90s, I can't stop thinking of the Radio-Shack brick HTX-202 2meter HT every time my eyes stops on the 436HP. At least the HTX-202 had text fonts size that took all the space of its display! The 436 has good screen real estate but displays tiny fonts all cramped together, while having lots of free space above and below, go figure.
Frankly, I have no intentions of carrying this thing on my belt.... Way too much bulky and nerdy. Maybe it was cool in the 80's & 90's, but hey, we're 2014 ;-)
Also, the BCD436HP is way much less sensitive than the 396XT, at least on analog signals: low signals that are one bar on the 396XT are not received at all by the BCD436HP.
In my context it's unusable.
Maybe it's the unit i received that is defective, if it is so, then it would be one more reason to send it back but anyway, even with a top notch receiver, I wouldn't want that brick around me. It's more a "transportable radio" than a "portable" one.

YMMV

73's

De VE2LAM
 

EJB

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
3,341
Location
Downtown Hamilton
So far my interest is in the 396XT.
Hard to believe the 436 comes with no charger...wow.
Even if they iron some of the bugs out of the 436 I hear that the screen wont show what your locked on to.
IMO a better scanner needs to have a easy to read screen, plus being more user friendly.
Not hang on for updates...or this will be fixed in our next what ever.
Anyway I'm still interested in what you would pick for a upgrade from a 396t.
If you are looking for something portable the 536 I think its called, is portable. The 396XT might be able to scan the newer P25 systems like Halton, Hamilton and Metrolinx, I am not sure but I know that the 396T, you couldnt scan them.

The 396XT makes it easier to build scan lists with and listen to a system like Fleetnet from one tower to another. The 396T will stay on the control channel until you lose the signal if you have more than one tower that you programmed in. The 396XT was designed so that if tower A is quiet and you could hear tower B it would switch from A to B,and back and etc.

If you are looking for something thats portable stick with the 396XT or go with a GRE, PSR800. The 396T I used to have was perfect for mobile use. When I was out walking it fit perfectly in a pocket, I also had one of the short stubby antenna"s perfect if you are not trying to attract attention. I also enjoyed it while driving, it would easily stick on my vents and I could see what was scanning as I drove without taking my eyes of the road.

Where are you in Ontario? Are there new systems in your area? A lot of the new systems are MOTO Turbo, a scanner by itself will not allow you to monitor them but there are programs that you can use with a computer to listen in. Do a search here about DSD, and see what you come up with.


I have been buying scanners for over 30 years, I cant remember getting a charger with a scanner, the 396T comes with a AC power source and you can use that to charge your batteries but I never used it to charge, I invested in battery chargers to charge the batteries outside the scanner so to speak.

I had a Radio Shack purchased PRO scanner, handheld with an outlet for AC use and another to charge the batteries. I picked up a AC power source with different power settings as needed. Using the correct amount of power I was able to get 6 years of use from the batteries, Radio Shack Double A's. I have not been that fortunate with batteries since.


There are some cheap chargers available anywhere, or you can look at the appropriate wiki page and threads about batteries and chargers, some take 12-16 hours to charge, some do it in an hour, I have one that charges batteries in 15 min. There are chargers that can 'repair' batteries. A lot of people have different opinions on chargers,if you need speed and understand that the fast chargers may lower the length of the batteries then get one of those.
 

Gearjam

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
158
Location
Ontario Can.
Well I went to have a look at scanners today.
The 436 was bulky and the readout on the screen was hard to see for me.
So It was hands down on the 396XT ...There goes the dual exaust on my pick up truck LOL.
I have it hooked up now.
The first thing I guess I need to clear all the USA channels preprogramed.
My next question is do I go with Butel or the free scan for programming.
It was many years ago Eric helped me out with some files...Thanks Eric.
From what I can remember I could never get the talk groups in correctly, so I need to start over again.
They said that I could clone the 396t with the 396 xt but I'm not sure if that's the way to go, since that info has been in there for many years.
I want to make the programing as easy as possible, any sugestions on this will help me get something to listen to.
Thanks all for your help and thoughts

Dan
Rockwood
 

EJB

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
3,341
Location
Downtown Hamilton
Well I went to have a look at scanners today.
The 436 was bulky and the readout on the screen was hard to see for me.
So It was hands down on the 396XT ...There goes the dual exaust on my pick up truck LOL.
I have it hooked up now.
The first thing I guess I need to clear all the USA channels preprogramed.
My next question is do I go with Butel or the free scan for programming.
It was many years ago Eric helped me out with some files...Thanks Eric.
From what I can remember I could never get the talk groups in correctly, so I need to start over again.
They said that I could clone the 396t with the 396 xt but I'm not sure if that's the way to go, since that info has been in there for many years.
I want to make the programing as easy as possible, any sugestions on this will help me get something to listen to.
Thanks all for your help and thoughts

Dan
Rockwood
Happy to help, I am sure that you can either use a free software program to make good scan groups and there are many people here who can send you some as well.

I used to use BUTEL Arc Pro software and I think I even have it for the Home Patrol, I am not sure if the ARC software I have for the 396T, 246, 296, and HP can work with the 396XT. I'd try it out, if you like it you can buy a software key from Butel or Scannermaster or get a CD rom with it send to you.

You can also pay $,to be able to directly load in files with software to the scanner. The powers that be here would love that but if you are cheap and poor or dont want to give the site $ you can use excel files to copy and paste, alter and change files and directly copy them to software to load to the scanner.
 

Gearjam

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
158
Location
Ontario Can.
I have 2 errors now useing the demo Butel software.

#1 Serial port is not available or used by other software....< I get this on 2 computers
#2 Demo version you can only upload 5 systems... < I havent got any systems loaded, and I was just trying to load 1 system.

I can see its going to take a while for me to get this figured out.
 

Gearjam

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
158
Location
Ontario Can.
Ok I got the errors fixed.....running like a charm now, I will rig it up to the base antenna tomorrow.
It sure sounds good and clear....Glad to be in the radio game again
 
Last edited:

Gearjam

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
158
Location
Ontario Can.
The 396T SIDE BY SIDE THE 396xt the 396XT sounds clearer....plus its more sensitive.
Now for a base the 536 Uniden maybe a better scanner than the 996XT, I'm not sure.
The reason why IMO is the screen.
The 396 scanners have a easy to read screen...I found the 436 hard to see
But the base 536 maybe the better scanner compared to the 996XT
 

LordJ

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
635
Location
South-Eastern, Ontario
I don't even look at my base scanner screens.. I run the virtual control software on the computer, that shows me a much bigger display.. If you are going to be setting it up on the computer, think about if you would even look at it... I should get around to posting some pics on my profile one of these days.. I'll make sure they have the screenshots..
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top