BCD396XT: Is this a good deal?

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Dusco25

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I live in a small county where the entire population is 11,523 and they just spent millions on a new digital radio system(seen it in the paper) for what I do not know.. I found this on ebay Uniden BCD396XT Digital Scanner USB Programming Cable Included | eBay Is this a good deal or do I need to look else where for a digital scanner.. I am new to all of this.. All I know if my old RS scanner no longer picks up nothing.. Sometimes it does but it is just a loud noise..
 

jonwienke

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Need to know your location to know for sure.The 996 will pick up some things, but not P25 Phase II. If your local system is compatible with the 996, great, If not, then it would be a complete waste of money.
 

Dusco25

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All it said in the news they said project-25 whatever that is.. I looked at the database and it says "Project 25 Phase I" news talked about other agencies being able to communicate with each other.. What is Project 25? All I know if my old scanner picked up the cops etc then all at once.. Nothing or loud noises.. I am in Western Kentucky
 
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fredva

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You might want to check in the database and see if any of the talkgroups for the system have a mode of "E" or if they are "D". E means encrypted and you wouldn't be able to listen to that particular talkgroup with any scanner. D means digital and you should be able to hear it.
 

fredva

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I also recommend doing a search in the Kentucky forum on that county's name and see what other people might be saying (if anything) about the new system and how well they can receive it.

Project 25 is an adopted standard format for digital systems. Two different companies can build Project 25 systems and they ought to be interoperable with each other because they follow the same standard. I don't know exactly why it's called "Project 25" instead of something else.
 
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fredva

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It appears that there isn't much info about the usage of the new system in the database. Nobody has submitted info about the channels (talkgroups) being used to the database, except for one test talkgroup. It's impossible to tell from looking in the database if the new system is actually online and being used for real yet. Most likely, it is online and the database just hasn't been updated. However, you may want to verify that your old scanner didn't just quit working. Are you able to pick up other transmissions that don't come from the Hopkins County agencies, such as NOAA weather radio, an adjacent county's analog system, aircraft, trains, etc.?
 

fredva

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And to answer one of your original questions - $275 isn't a bad deal for that particular model of scanner. You can get some older model digital scanners for a little bit less, but most likely, you'd be paying a minimum of $200 for a digital base scanner. The only potential negative is that particular seller doesn't have a long track record on ebay, so the trust factor might not be as high.
 
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lep

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Project 25 is an adopted standard format for digital systems. Two different companies can build Project 25 systems and they ought to be interoperable with each other because they follow the same standard. I don't know exactly why it's called "Project 25" instead of something else.
The background is explained in the wiki-article on APCO Project 25. Since the standard is an internationally agreed and published standard, there is really no limit on how many manufacturers might be able to build equipment that meets the standard(s).
 

ofd8001

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From what I can tell Hopkins County is going to a P-25 system.

The scanner you reference is capable of receiving P25 systems, and it sounds like Hopkins County is migrating to such a system. Where they are right now is hard to tell from the Kentucky discussions. A wildcard in this will be whether talkgroups will be encrypted. If so, then they cannot be monitored by any scanner. Law enforcement likes this, but most fire departments do not use encryption.

Whether this is good news or not, you'll at least be able to monitor KSP. That too is a P25 system, but isn't encrypted.
 
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