My Early BCD536HP Evaluation

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dcisive

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The UPS guy came late today for a next day delivery from Amazon. I mainly got it from them for their easy return policy "just in case". It came nicely packed. Man what a nice solid as a brick build. I did NOT expect that. It is truly built like a "flagship" type of product. I can well appreciate this having come from high end audio and communications receiver background. I always liked having top gear for it's build and this does NOT disappoint. The buttons, switchgear and even back panel are all well constructed, NOT cheap. OK so I guess enough of that.

I loaded the version of Sentinel for it last night and configured a dozen or so Favorites very carefully this time editing them. I have come to respect the Sentinel software design even more now. It was rather easy and sensible. Including my addition of my true favorite, the "Unified PD" which was corrected by RadioReference just the other day (thanks guys for reporting that for me). I plugged in the cord after firing up the program and loaded the new firmware, then uploaded the newer database. Started it up and did the usual startup stuff, after adding my zip and indeed there it was playing frequencies.

I will say this from the get go. it was so intuitive I didn't even need to read a book. I immediately was able to go in and set up my Favorites to scan instead of the entire database. So indeed the comments about the built in speaker are true. It is a bit on the muffled side for those of us fussy about sound quality. I plugged in a RadioShack Minimus speaker from back in the late 80's I used with my communications receiver when I was real serious about this stuff. WOW the audio quality is near HiFi. Super clear and natural sounding and plenty loud to say the least. Speaking of which pretty much ALL the frequencies sound superb. NO static. I've already discovered easily, that this unit is considerably more sensitive than my HP1. I don't have a meter on it but let me tell you I doubt it is any less than at least 3db or more. A station I was very familiar with that barely came in at all is now perhaps as much as 80%+ perfection in listening. This goes for a good number of the frequencies I heard before, just didn't sound very good and were full of static. No more. This is on the exact same antenna. A Watson 881 which in my room works superbly well.

I'm liking the display and have adjusted the contrast for perfection at the angle I have it at mounted on the bracket with it's little feet on there as well. I'm enjoying the settings for the blinking light for blue for PD and red for Fire I set in the Sentinel program. Everything works perfectly so far. I will be adding the DMR next week no doubt. I noticed there is a fair amount of it listed in the database on the Sentinel program already so this should be fun. Right now I'm listening to a stakeout preparing for an arrest of someone in a home not wanting to come out. This is great hearing all the broadcasts on the Unified channel as it happens during this event. Very cool indeed. So far I'm a happy camper. I'll keep you all posted on the progress. I can't thank you all enough for your coaching me on my decision which scanner to get as I'd been out of it for so many years. I can also see how it just might be possible, if I run into a bunch of extra $$ down the road I'd get a 436 just to have a portable version just in case. These suckers are fun!
 

captainmax1

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Congratulations on the purchase of your Uniden BCD536HP. I own 3 536's and 1 436 and enjoy them every day. I believe they are the best scanners I have ever owned. Have fun playing with your new toy.
 

dcisive

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Salt Lake City, Utah
Thanks. I can now see why sometimes just ONE radio just isn't enough ;-) I'll be thinking about the 436 down the road no doubt. They are indeed excellent radios.
 
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