Newbie looking for help.

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JonDickson

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Hi all. New to scanning and the forums here in North Portland metro. Recently got a Uniden BCD996XT, the butel Arc pro software and a radioreference.com subscription. I have imported a lot of systems from the database and have had a lot of success pulling in PPB and Fire/ems. Just wondering if the database is complete? Does anyone have a file for ARC Pro they would be willing to send me? Maybe you have the ultimate database? Also, would I benefit from an external base antenna in the metro area? I seem to get a lot of traffic, but not sure if I am hearing all I can. Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Jon
 

PMJ2kx

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Utah County, Utah
Hi Jon!

I wouldn't say that the database will ever be "complete", considering that technology keeps evolving, and local governments keep upgrading their systems. Are there a few things missing? Sure, but for the most part (in my opinion) it's pretty darn close.

Gordon did an AWESOME job at putting together a statewide location-based scanning file for FreeSCAN - I'm not sure if you can convert that, but you can certainly download a copy of FreeSCAN and try it yourself (your 996XT should work just fine)
http://forums.radioreference.com/oregon-radio-discussion-forum/215687-location-based-freescan-file-oregon.html

As for the antenna...I know nothing. I'll leave that for the experts to kick around.

Welcome to the forums!


Michael
 
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Also, would I benefit from an external base antenna in the metro area?
I'd actually be a little worried about receiving too well with an external antenna. Although you are using a Uniden product, so it's less prone to overloading. Still, it might be a little hot.

Something you might try first is picking up a Diamond RH77 antenna and a right-angle BNC adapter. Would run you about $25. I've used that setup on my Unidens in the past and had great results. That might just do the trick for those fringe signals.

Diamond RH77CA Amateur HT Antenna

Next up would be a suction cup adapter on a window with a handheld antenna (such as that RH77) mounted. Or another idea is a Larsen 150/450/800 or Radio Shack scanner antenna on a magnetic mount attached to a large metal object (filing cabinet, cookie sheet, round pizza sheet, etc.).

Personally, I think reception in the metro area is excellent to begin with, unless you are limited by geography (hills or mountains in the way) or home construction (lots of metal or brick). At some point you are going to be chasing a small boost in reception with a growing expenditure of cash.
 

JonDickson

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Hey guys. Thanks for the advice and the kind welcome! I actually ended up returning the 996xt and exchanging it for the 396xt as I found myself moving the 996 a lot and realized I should just have a handheld. I did not know that the 396 was basically the same radio less a few lbs. And a couple of ports. I have been spending too much time online and now worry about these people talking about "leaky transistors" on their 396xts. Anyone hear about this? I plan on eventually getting a mirror mount antenna for my scanner to put in my 18wheeler. It has two factory installed antennas on the mirrors themselves that i think both run to the cb. Will having my scanner antenna mounted basically on top of the cb antennas cause my scanner to melt down or overload? Is it possible that only one of the factory installed antennas is for the cb and the other is for the fm/am and television? Anyone got some advice on that one?

Thanks,

--Jon
 

DickH

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... now worry about these people talking about "leaky transistors" on their 396xts.

I wonder what those people are smoking.
Although your CB legally puts out only 5 watts, it could be enough to blow out the front end of your scanner if it's antenna is too near. Why don't you get a magnetic mount and put it in the center of your roof. That should far enough away from those mirror mounts.
 

JonDickson

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Thanks again friends. Got my bcd396xt and boy am I glad I exchanged. Amazon makes the process so easy! Anyways, this little scanner blows my mind. Runs so long on the batteries, pulls in a ton and I can carry it around in my pocket. I am on vacation right now in Maryland and I think there is a repeater literally down the street from me. With the little 800mhz RS antenna I am getting all surrounding counties and even some conventional MSP traffic. I am very pleased with my purchase and can't wait to get this little guy in my truck driving around the 11 western states. If anyone has any questions about the 396, please feel free to ask. I have one and it involves the trick to hot-wire the antenna and headphone jack to run a non-amplified external speaker. I have a few laying around and would like to put them to use. Maybe someone knows of a step-by-step guide or some pictures? Or maybe a warning about not doing it? ThAnks again. Hope your staying cool out there!

--Jon
 
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I have one and it involves the trick to hot-wire the antenna and headphone jack to run a non-amplified external speaker. I have a few laying around and would like to put them to use. Maybe someone knows of a step-by-step guide or some pictures? Or maybe a warning about not doing it?
Glad you are enjoying the new scanner! I *think* I remember reading something that doing so might damage the 396 and the other newer Uniden models. Not 100% sure on that. (I know back in the day I used the paperclip trick to boost the audio from my Unidens. Then I finally caved and got an amplified speaker.)
 
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