Lost my Uniden BCD 396T! Looking for cheapest comparable.

krazyka85

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
5
Location
Cayuga County
Long story short, I've lost my Uniden BCD 396T that I bought used about 8 years ago. I wanted a digital one to tune into my area's police and other emergency services outside of relying on internet radio feeds.

I've been out of the scanner scene for years and I can't even remember all the research I did before I decided to get this particular model but I know I spent a few hundred on it and I'm super disappointed it came up missing since I moved to a new house in the last year.

I HAVE to get a new one to put this behind me or else I will drive myself insane not knowing where an expensive piece of hardware went.
I'll do some new research on forums for models that will get the job done for me but figured someone out there reading this may be able to speed up my research and give me a hand.

Where do I start to find out the minimum specs I need?
Looking for the cheapest route possible to still tune into my local networks. (I can provide exact location in PM if needed)

Any help is GREATLY appreciated in this uncertain time we live in with everything going on around us.
 

tvengr

Active Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
1,966
Location
Baltimore County, MD
Cayuga County, NY I assume, uses a 10 site simulcast system. Depending on your location, you may have a problem with simulcast distortion. The BCD325P2 is a reasonably priced good handheld scanner which will work on the Phase 2 system and is very similar to your 396T. The BCD436HP includes a nationwide database, has longer battery life, and would require a learning curve. I would suggest that you post a thread on the NY forum asking members in your area if they have simulcast problems with the 325P2. If there are problems, then the SDS100 would be required. If no problems, the BCD325P2 is an excellent choice. Cayuga County is on this system:
 
Last edited:

marksmith

Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2007
Messages
4,160
Location
Anne Arundel County, MD
The above responses are right on. The 396xt was just discontinued a year or so ago and if you can find one, it is pretty much exactly the same as your "T".

The 325p2 is what replaced it, and is exactly the same except in a slightly different body, can also handle phase 2 digital. I have one and it is a very good radio, and similar in size to your old T.
The operating system is also basically the same in terms of how it is programmed.
 

jonwienke

More Info Coming Soon!
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
11,327
Location
VA
With simulcast, your odds are maybe 50/50 or less you will get good reception of a simulcast system from a radio not designed for it. For that reason, I would recommend a SDS100 instead of the 325P2.
 

krazyka85

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
5
Location
Cayuga County
Thank you all for the fast responses! I'm quickly remembering why I went to this site for research and community help.

Now that I have a quick idea on comparable units to what I had, what about any cheaper units out there that I can get by with and still have the specs needed for my region Central New York Interoperable Communications Consortium (CNYICC) Trunking System, Regional, New York - Scanner Frequencies ?

I'm not even sure how I settled on getting my old unit but at this stage I'm looking for the cheapest solution as possible given finances at this time. Any other models out there cheaper than what we're discussing? I'm perfectly fine with buying second hand used unit if I can find the right older model.

I'm not a member of any emergency organization which requires this for my job but looking to have a battery operable unit capable of working in any emergency situation specifically if we lose power.

Thanks again for the help so far!
 

tvengr

Active Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
1,966
Location
Baltimore County, MD
Any other models out there cheaper than what we're discussing? I'm perfectly fine with buying second hand used unit if I can find the right older model.
I would stay away from the Whistler and Radio Shack scanners. They are worse on simulcast that the Uniden scanners. The BCD325P2 is the most economical of the Uniden P25 Phase 2 handheld scanners. Next is the Uniden BCD436HP. The most expensive is the Uniden SDS100. The SDS100 handheld and SDS200 desktop/mobile were designed for simulcast systems.. Other handheld Phase 2 scanners are the Whistler WS1080, WS1088, TRX-1 and the Radio Shack Pro-668.
 

jonwienke

More Info Coming Soon!
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
11,327
Location
VA
if you don't have a receiver specifically designed for it, predicting reception on a simulcast system is difficult to predict. In the most extreme cases, you can have excellent reception in a location, but receive nothing a few hundred yards away, even with a strong signal indication. If you choose one of the cheaper options, make sure you can try it anywhere you plan on trying to use it to test reception.
 

Bob1955

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2016
Messages
489
Location
Eastchester, NY
I would stay away from the Whistler and Radio Shack scanners. They are worse on simulcast that the Uniden scanners. The BCD325P2 is the most economical of the Uniden P25 Phase 2 handheld scanners. Next is the Uniden BCD436HP. The most expensive is the Uniden SDS100. The SDS100 handheld and SDS200 desktop/mobile were designed for simulcast systems.. Other handheld Phase 2 scanners are the Whistler WS1080, WS1088, TRX-1 and the Radio Shack Pro-668.
The MOST trouble free base is the BCD-996P2, NOT the BCD-436HP. And it is the BEST value out there now too at $330.00 on Amazon.com as of today.
Be safe out there.
 

kruser

Active Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
3,576
Location
West St. Louis County, MO
Now that I have a quick idea on comparable units to what I had, what about any cheaper units out there that I can get by with and still have the specs needed for my region Central New York Interoperable Communications Consortium (CNYICC) Trunking System, Regional, New York - Scanner Frequencies ?

Thanks again for the help so far!
You may want to post in the New York forum and see if anyone lives very near your area and get their comments on how well the 325P2 handles the simulcast system you want to monitor.
Like has been said though, just moving the radio one foot in one direction or another can make it work well or make it much worse.
There are a lot of tricks one can try to help with simulcast issues but most or kind of like snake oil remedies.
Simulcast is tricky and the only real way to find out is to test a radio on the system of interest in the locations you would use it. That's not always an easy option but may be possible with the 325P2 when purchased from a dealer with a great return policy with no restocking fees.

Also as mentioned, the SDS100 is probably the safest choice as far as not having any simulcast problems but unfortunately, it is also the most expensive of the options other than the SDS200 base/mobile model.
 

krazyka85

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
5
Location
Cayuga County
Thanks again for the details and info provided in this thread. I know I started this with intentions to target a replacement HANDHELD device but I'm wondering what the cost difference are for a non handheld scanner model that meets the min specs for me to tune into
Central New York Interoperable Communications Consortium (CNYICC)

Do they make affordable non hand held models to achieve this which might also have battery backup options to them?
 
Top