Looking for Scanner - BCD536HP vs BCD 996P2 Functionality Questions

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Armyconrad

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So I am looking to get a scanner to use in my truck as a mobile scanner. I'm unfamiliar with scanners (I'm used to actual two-way radios), so I could use a little help. I'm a volunteer firefighter both at my home area and where I go to college at. I'm looking to set it up to where I have a scanlist for my college area, and a scanlist for my home area. Then, have the ability to switch to one specific channel and monitor just that one without scanning the rest. Then in addition to this, be able to monitor multiple systems at my home area of different frequencies (VHF trunked P25 Phase 1 and 800 MHz trunked P25 Phase 1, in addition to some conventional systems). Is it possible to monitor both conventional and trunked systems at the same time depending on what channels I add to the scanlist, and is this all possible?

I'm looking at one of the two scanners mentioned in the title. Are they easy to program/will they be easy to program based on what I am wanted to do with them? Any help will be appreciated.
 
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I'm looking at one of the two scanners mentioned in the title.
Yes, you toggle things on and off with the use of Quick Keys on the 996P2, which I recommend for mobile use.

The 996P2 has no moving parts so it will be very reliable.

This explains the use of Quick Keys:
Easier to Read BCD996P2/XT Digital Scanner Manual

The 536 uses an SD card which goes bad over time, causing head aches:
When bad things happen to good scanners: SD Card Corruption | Scanner Master Blog

Here's an SD Card error from today:
HP-2: - HP2 SD card file error

Good luck!
 
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hiegtx

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So I am looking to get a scanner to use in my truck as a mobile scanner. I'm unfamiliar with scanners (I'm used to actual two-way radios), so I could use a little help. I'm a volunteer firefighter both at my home area and where I go to college at. I'm looking to set it up to where I have a scanlist for my college area, and a scanlist for my home area. Then, have the ability to switch to one specific channel and monitor just that one without scanning the rest. Then in addition to this, be able to monitor multiple systems at my home area of different frequencies (VHF trunked P25 Phase 1 and 800 MHz trunked P25 Phase 1, in addition to some conventional systems). Is it possible to monitor both conventional and trunked systems at the same time depending on what channels I add to the scanlist, and is this all possible?

I'm looking at one of the two scanners mentioned in the title. Are they easy to program/will they be easy to program based on what I am wanted to do with them? Any help will be appreciated.
You can utilize quick keys on either of these scanners. See these links:
and

While you can set quick keys, based on the system & site for the 996P2, you have a few more options on the 536HP. You can include specific systems on Favorites lists. In your case, you could have a list that covers what you can monitor in your home area, and a different Favorites list that covers your college area. Both of those lists, along with the systems (and their details) can be loaded onto the scanners memory card. Then you can choose which to use, either individually, or both at the same time. Yes, occasionally the SD cards go bad, either from time (however long it's been in use), or because of an unexpected power interruption corrupting the card's data. However, cards are now relatively inexpensive, and easily changed. It's never a bad idea to keep an additional, pre-programmed, card available for use as needed. And many of the card 'failures' can be rectified by formatting and reloading the card.

For the 996P2, which does not use a card, you can create individual programming files for your home, as well as your college area. But you can only load one of those files at a time to the scanner. To switch programming, you'd need to have access to a pc with the correct programming software, along with the cable to connect the PC to the scanner.

For either scanner, you can have a mix of both conventional, as well as trunked radio systems. And, you can either pause to monitor only one channel (or talkgroup on a trunked system), or only a single system. You also can assign Number Tags, allowing you to quickly jump to that single channel.

There is somewhat of a learning curve for either scanner, but there is a lot of help available here on the forums, in the Wiki, as well as videos on YouTube to help you understand how these scanners are programmed, and what works best for you.

You can program either scanner through the keypad, though using software is much quicker, and also makes it easier to spot and correct any errors in your programming. For the 536HP, you can use the Sentinel software provided by Uniden, update the database in the software and scanner, then enter your location, a range, and the service types you want, and let the scanner create a set of systems for you to listen to. Also, with the 536HP, you can use a GPS, and let it control your location, so that of you are on a trip, the scanner will automatically turn systems on and off as they come into, or pass out of, range. For the 996P2, you would need to create and load your programming file in advance. If used on a trip, either with or without a GPS, you still would need to include all of the systems that you might encounter, though once programmed, the GPS will only activate what is in range, based on your settings.

You are a Premium subscriber, so you can import what you want to hear directly from the database into software. FreeSCAN (which is, as the name implies) is no charge to use. While it is no longer supported by the author, it still works well for most systems, though it does not handle DMR systems correctly, and cannot program a NXDN system at all. Sentinel is the free software from Uniden for the 536HP, and is needed to keep the database up to date, as well install any firmware updates that are released (none at the present time). You can use Sentinel to set up and write Favorites lists to the 536HP. Paid software packages, which offer more capabilities, are available for either scanner. ProScan covers both models. Butel, the provider of the ARC software series, has ARC-XT for the 996P2, and ARC536 which covers the 536HP.
 

tvengr

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What is the city and county of your home and college? I would like to check on the types of systems you will be monitoring. You can monitor both conventional frequencies and trunked systems at the same time.
 
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