BCD996P2: Is the 996 real good

bearcatrp

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I love my SDS 200. But looking for a desktop airband radio for scanning both UHF and VHF. My SDS 200 is busy listening the P25, which it does great. Need a second scanner of the air band. Had a 780 but sold it. Want something more updated. Have read many forums and so far this radio to be one of the best. Is it?
 

Mastiff2013

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The 780 is one of the best airband/milair scanners. Yes, it is dated, but is still one of the best ever.

The next best might be a BCT15X if you want a newer model.
Reviews on Amazon state that it is hard to program. It's not plug and play like SDS200?
 

hiegtx

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Reviews on Amazon state that it is hard to program. It's not plug and play like SDS200?
It’s not ‘plug and play’, because it is not a database scanner. You would need to program the frequencies and trunked systems (if any) that you wanted to monitor. It is not difficult to program. Software and lots of videos on YouTube, plus a lot of pages in the Wiki here can be of great help. I don’t put much stock into Amazon review comments. The reviewer probably thought it would program itself when enroute, and made no real attempt to program the scanner once it arrived. Plus, Amazon tends to stack reviews for multiple models if they are all the same manufacturer. You’ll sometimes see complaints about it won’t do digital, when the review is for, say, the 125AT, but Amazon stuffed it in the reviews for an SDS or x36HP scanner.
 

JoeBearcat

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You’ll sometimes see complaints about it won’t do digital, when the review is for, say, the 125AT, but Amazon stuffed it in the reviews for an SDS or x36HP scanner.
Some of those "won't do digital" reviews are for the BC125AT. Some people don't read the specs.

If the OP can program the 780, the 15 would be trivial.
 

ofd8001

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If you are doing Airband (conventional) frequencies, the 780 is pretty simplex to program. I use ProScan without issue. Trunking is a whole different story on that as well as the 996.

I still got my 780 chugging along as well as the 996XT. I only use them for conventional. As noted above, trunked programming is difficult and if simulcast, sound is awful (at least where I am).
 

hiegtx

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Some of those "won't do digital" reviews are for the BC125AT. Some people don't read the specs.

If the OP can program the 780, the 15 would be trivial.
Yep. Amazon has often lumped all reviews for "Uniden" scanners together, so you end up with a bunch of reviews, whether positive or negative, are actually for a different product than the one on the page you are viewing.
 

dispatch235

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The 780 is one of the best airband/milair scanners. Yes, it is dated, but is still one of the best ever.

The next best might be a BCT15X if you want a newer model.
Spot on @JoeBearcat on the BCT15X. If you are just going to use for airband/milair it is widely used for that and analog, and half the price of the BCD996P2. I have a BCT15 just for analog scanning.
 

iMONITOR

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A BCD996P2 might be considered for aircraft as well if cost is not an issue. More and more P25 digital mode is used for aircraft in Michigan for example. Detroit PD, Macomb County PD, State PD, EMS, Hospitals, USCG, and others have Talk Groups on MPSCS.
 

n1chu

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“ More and more P25 digital mode is used for aircraft in Michigan for example.”

I question this practice (if in fact it is true). It’s been a while since I updated myself with FAA and FCC rules regarding aircraft comms so I would appreciate your take on this... I was under the impression the air band traffic mode was AM by design. If two transmitters transmitted at the same time on the same frequency heterodyning would most likely occur. The two signals would mix and produce a squealing. The example given was when two aircraft try to contact the tower at the same time. If one had better signal strength using FM it would “cover” the weaker aircraft’s signal and the tower would only hear the stronger signal, and possibly cause two aircraft to believe they both were cleared to land on the same runway at the same time. But with AM the weaker signal would make its presence known by the heterodyning squeals and the tower would be made aware there were two aircraft asking for landing clearance. Wouldn't Digital P25 act like FM in this regard?
 

n1chu

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There are other scanner offerings for the air band that work as good (or better) than the BCD996P2. A dedicated air band radio with only two bands can have better selectivity and sensitivity than a multi-band scanner such as the BCD996P2. A search for a scanner with the bands you are interested in and a comparison of their specs would be helpful. It’s been my observance that dual band ham radios “hear” better because VHF and UHF are comparable when you consider the multiplier. They are not observing the trade-off multi-band scanners are susceptible to. You just may find a better playing radio for less money!
 

JimD56

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The OP is a "Premium Subscriber". That means you can download from RR into "Freescan" software, easy programming. You can grab a BCT15x "repack" sold by Uniden on Amazon for no more than $120.00
 

Ubbe

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There are other scanner offerings for the air band that work as good (or better) than the BCD996P2.
What you should be looking for are scanners/receivers that have narrow filters, preferable the onses that autotrack to the frequency, like BC780 in the VHF band.

Uniden uses good fixed filters in VHF and for airband it's usually 108-137MHz. The bottom 108MHz usually needs FM trapfilters to keep broadcast transmitters out of the receiver.

The components and the circuit design in the receiver states the performance of desense and overload issues and Uniden have pretty good performancies with their conventional BCD scanners.

/Ubbe
 

iMONITOR

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From imonitor's post #9: “ More and more P25 digital mode is used for aircraft in Michigan for example.”

I question this practice (if in fact it is true). It’s been a while since I updated myself with FAA and FCC rules regarding aircraft comms so I would appreciate your take on this... I was under the impression the air band traffic mode was AM by design. If two transmitters transmitted at the same time on the same frequency heterodyning would most likely occur. The two signals would mix and produce a squealing. The example given was when two aircraft try to contact the tower at the same time. If one had better signal strength using FM it would “cover” the weaker aircraft’s signal and the tower would only hear the stronger signal, and possibly cause two aircraft to believe they both were cleared to land on the same runway at the same time. But with AM the weaker signal would make its presence known by the heterodyning squeals and the tower would be made aware there were two aircraft asking for landing clearance. Wouldn't Digital P25 act like FM in this regard?


I can assure you it is true that numerous aircraft based communications mentioned in my post #9 are performed daily on Michigan's MPSCS statewide P25 digital communications system and it works perfectly well. They're all assigned their own unique Talk-Groups. If you look in RR's database go to the State Of Michigan, then go to the TG's for the entire state, then hit CTL-F (FIND) and enter "air" you will be overwelmed with how many are doing this.
 

maus92

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“ More and more P25 digital mode is used for aircraft in Michigan for example.”

I question this practice (if in fact it is true). It’s been a while since I updated myself with FAA and FCC rules regarding aircraft comms so I would appreciate your take on this... I was under the impression the air band traffic mode was AM by design. If two transmitters transmitted at the same time on the same frequency heterodyning would most likely occur. The two signals would mix and produce a squealing. The example given was when two aircraft try to contact the tower at the same time. If one had better signal strength using FM it would “cover” the weaker aircraft’s signal and the tower would only hear the stronger signal, and possibly cause two aircraft to believe they both were cleared to land on the same runway at the same time. But with AM the weaker signal would make its presence known by the heterodyning squeals and the tower would be made aware there were two aircraft asking for landing clearance. Wouldn't Digital P25 act like FM in this regard?
Aircraft use analog AM for ATC communications per international treaty - nothing has changed. The poster was probably referring to public aircraft using P25 in public safety bands for public safety comms, not for aeronautical functions.
 

iMONITOR

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Aircraft use analog AM for ATC communications per international treaty - nothing has changed. The poster was probably referring to public aircraft using P25 in public safety bands for public safety comms, not for aeronautical functions.

Correct. I thought I made that clear in post #9.
 
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