Is Anybody Else Here Using A Uniden BCD396XT As A "Poor Man's Mobile?

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JASII

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I have a Uniden 396XT that I use in my pick up truck to monitor a digital, trunked 800 mHz system. I have been using a cigarette lighter cord for power and an external antenna. I have a double, side by side Panavise Clip Caddy on my dash PanaVise Products, Inc. and it seems to work out just fine. I have pondered adding an external speaker, but the searches I have done here all seem to indicate that I would need an amplified speaker. Anyway, I am just wondering if anybody else here is getting by with a handheld on the dash and, if so, do you wish you had a regular mobile or are you fine with the handheld on the dash?
 

KE4FGD

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Poor Mans Mobile

If your pick up is a late model with an aux jack, you can just plug it in direct and listen through the radio.
If not, an RF modulator plugged in directly to the cigarette lighter will provide the same capability.
If you don't have the room, Radio Shack should have a standard (Unamplified) speaker for you.
 

ka3jjz

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I use a 396 (not the XT model) in my car, and I use a small FM transmitter - cost me less than 40 bucks - which I broadcast into a clear channel. Unfortunately as I get closer to my family's home in NJ that tends to work less well, as the sheer number of FM stations in that area is tremendous, so finding a clear channel becomes a challenge. But for my home area (just north of DC) it works just fine

best regards..Mike
 

PVPD730

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If your pick up is a late model with an aux jack, you can just plug it in direct and listen through the radio.
That's exactly what I do most of the time. My setup consists of the 396XT itself sitting in the cupholder with an attached RS 800 MHz antenna. It runs in conjunction with an installed (wired-in) RS Pro-197. Both work well about 70% of the time depending on location and what types of systems are being monitored.
 

lfd8e4

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I use the exact same set up in my Fusion. I've done it for years and it's worked out fine. I use the aux jack to listen over the radio speakers, when my kids not in the car listening to her music. I have no complaints and its easy to take in and out as needed.
 

SDavis90

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I do this all the time. Grab the 396XT on the way out and set it in the center console cupholder...volume set at 12 works fine for me. No externals...a little bit of static here n there but clearly readable. Also have system quickkeys set up according to geographical areas as I drive.
 

DannB

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Mobile

I use it in my car also i do have a external antenna on roof...its own Battery power works fine for me and speaker in the radio is all i need also. OHH how is this a poor mans radio its a $500 unit...??
 

JASII

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.....If you don't have the room, Radio Shack should have a standard (Unamplified) speaker for you.....
I have been thinking about that, but I have read here that the audio is lowered because it was designed for headphones and won't drive a regular speaker.
 

EJB

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JASII said:
I have a Uniden 396XT that I use in my pick up truck to monitor a digital, trunked 800 mHz system. I have been using a cigarette lighter cord for power and an external antenna. I have a double, side by side Panavise Clip Caddy on my dash PanaVise Products, Inc. and it seems to work out just fine. I have pondered adding an external speaker, but the searches I have done here all seem to indicate that I would need an amplified speaker. Anyway, I am just wondering if anybody else here is getting by with a handheld on the dash and, if so, do you wish you had a regular mobile or are you fine with the handheld on the dash?
A 396 is IMO not a poor man's anything, they are terrific scanners and can walk, drive and mount it almost anywhere.

Like a few others I plug mine directly into my speakers and its great. I used to have a 396T and there was a little clip on thingee that I could attach on my heater vents and I was able to see and hear activity without taking my eyes on the road.
 

minskie

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Yep, often take my 396T or 396XT in the pickup.

I have a portable external magmount antenna that I stick to the cab roof and just feed through the drivers window. works great.

The scanner speaker is usually plenty but I could plug it into the AUX jack on the car audio if I wanted.
 

minskie

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Oh, just one word of caution (common sense).

Don't leave your scanner in a vehicle on a hot day. I learnt that lesson the hard way many years ago with my 200XLT.

Luckily for me, the only damage was a deformed/buckled fascia. (the plastic plate that has the #no's printed on it that is glued in place/fits over the buttons).

I managed to flatten it out and stick it back in place.
 
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garys

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Oh, just one word of caution (common sense).

Don't leave your scanner in a vehicle on a hot day. I learnt that lesson the hard way many years ago with my 200XLT.

Luckily for me, the only damage was a deformed/buckled fascia. (the plastic plate that has the #no's printed on it that is glued in place/fits over the buttons).

I managed to flatten it out and stick it back in place.
That's actually called an escutcheon in radio speak. At least Motorola radio speak! :) Once upon a time I needed to know that in order to buy them for a radio system I did repair work.

Back to the original topic. I use my 396XT as a base station along with the RH96 control head, external speaker, base antenna, and power supply. If I'm traveling in my wife's car I use it as a mobile scanner with the control head, head phone, and mag mount antenna.

In either role, it works very well.
 

pathalogical

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Nothing poor about the 396 T or XT, they're quite expensive. Nothing wrong with using a handheld in the car, that's what I do. I use a cassette adaptor to play through the stereo speakers and usually just use it on battery power. I keep my radios 12v cords in the car just in case.

OT...

Is there an ext speaker that runs off batteries instead of 12v ? With a new batt is would provide amplified sound, if the batt runs out, it would be just a regular ext speaker. I tried one of those iPod portable speaker but they were, well....iCrap !
 

a29zuk

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Fabricated a small mounting bracket that slides underneath the air vent. It holds my 396T and a small FM transmitter to listen to the transmissions over the car speakers. With the mounting bracket up on the console the display is easy to monitor and the antenna is over the dashboard for better reception. The FM transmitter runs off two AAA batteries.
 

scanningisfun

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If, by "poor man's mobile", you mean that I was somewhat poorer after spending nearly $500 for it, then, yes, I have done it. I use a Speco amplified speaker, and a window clip antenna mount.
That's exactly what i thought. I'm thinking he says that because you can use the 396XT as a portable everywhere, obviously. It would be pretty cool to carry around a 996, however.

Jacob
 

tampabaynews

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I use my 396's for both mobile and portable. I bought a couple mounts for the newer Uniden handhelds from Ram, affixed to the center console. They slide and lock right in, with power and external antenna cable readily accessible.
 

SDavis90

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I use my 396's for both mobile and portable. I bought a couple mounts for the newer Uniden handhelds from Ram, affixed to the center console. They slide and lock right in, with power and external antenna cable readily accessible.
Can you provide the link to your chosen mount? I'm curious now...
 
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