I need help on a digital scanner

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Don57

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Hello to all , I am a new member to the Radio Reference site . I am a long time scanner listener (about 35 years now , give or take a year) . I am interested in purchasing my first digital scanner and it's between the GRE500 and the Bearcat BC396XT . Can anyone help out letting me know their opinion on these 2 scanners . What are the pros and cons of each etc ?
All help is greatly appreciated.
 

ka3jjz

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Where you are, I would lean strongly toward the Uniden (nee Bearcat - that name has been gone a LONG time) 396XT, as its strong signal handling is somewhat better than the 500. The GREs have a hot front end - and in an urban area, maybe too hot. You may have issues with overloading and spurs, more so on the 500 than with the 396XT.

Note: from here on out, anything in blue is a link.

There is another advantage - there is freeware for the 396xt, and AFAIK, none for the 500. Look at FreeScan, and the user manual is in our wiki (when you install FreeScan, stay online and use the Help pulldown). We also have 2 FAQs - one devoted to the object oriented scanners, the other for the DMA scanners. Both are stored in our wiki - go to the blue toolbar under the Scanner Master ad, float your mouse over Wiki and select FAQs from the pulldown. You will see the GRE/RS and Uniden FAQs in the list. Read them for yourself.

One thing to keep in mind - you will undoubtedly need a USB-serial cable to connect to your PC. If memory serves, the 500 comes with one, while you need to purchase one from Scanner Master for the Uniden, called the USB-1. There is also another brand that some folks seem to like - in either case, installing and finding the drivers is discussed in the wiki article linked below..

Connecting scanners via USB - The RadioReference Wiki

73 Mike
 

sfd119

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Def would go with Uniden. I have a digital one and i've never looked back
 

Nightjock

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2 Things:

1) Don57: I looked at both models myself. I went with the Uniden 396XT for many reasons. One of them being the fit and finish of the unit. It just felt more solid and well built from the outside. It has grippy rubber around the edges and i believe it's smaller. Inside, you have great support from Uniden with firmware updates and the people who design them hang out here in the forums. It's a great unit and you won't be disappointed as long as you are patient and program it with software.

2)ka3jjz: My 396XT says "Bearcat" on the antenna. Just sayin'.
 

jclarkr6

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Coles County, Illinois
I have a Uniden BCD396XT and I think it is an outstanding scanner. It monitors Illinois' Starcom21 (a P25 trunked system) system very well, it does an excellent job of monitoring Indiana's SAFE-T (a Motorola Type II system) system, and it also does a good job of monitoring conventional analog traffic. I usually program my BCD396XT by hand (since I own a Mac), but occasionally I use FreeScan if I am able to use a friend's PC.

ScannerMaster did a nice comparison between the Uniden BCD396XT and the GRE PSR-500/Pro-106 (the RadioShack Pro-106 is basically the same as the GRE PSR-500), you can find it here: Uniden Bearcat BCD396XT Police Scanner Radio (scroll down the page to read the comparison). Whatever you decide, I hope you have fun with your new scanner!
 

rmiller818

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Marietta GA
I have to say, I have both and I like both for different reasons. I like the size and finish (as others have said) of the 396XT but not to fond of the limited buttons (thus having to use the function button etc) and the volume is a bit of a pain compared to the 106, I like how I can easily adjust the 106's volume while the 396XT I have to push a button.

The 106 would be nice if it was a little smaller and if it had more scanlists.

Both are great though.
 
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