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