One More Time 436 vs. 536

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dcisive

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I'm sure this subject has been well worn for the years these 2 scanners have been around. There are some obvious reasons to choose one over the other but I wanted to get some more input from those with experience perhaps with both of them. So here's my criteria.

* I do like the idea of possibly taking the scanner into another room and such without fuss
* Sensitivity is a BIG desire, I don't care for compromise
* Performance on the P25 systems and even DMR will ultimately matter of course
* I realize the larger speaker of the 536 is louder but is the 436 all that bad?
* Aside from WiFi is there something exceptional the 536 does OVER the 436?
* Is the "battery compartment loss of sensitivity" on the 436 truly a issue these days?

I appreciate your patience and tolerance for answering this once more. Thinking of jumping on one of these next week but am unsure. As you know I'm currently working with a HP1 and have reason to believe there may be some minor at least improvements to be experienced with either of those other two.
 

captainmax1

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As far as performance, the 436 and 536 are the same. I own both and very happy with both. These are the best scanners I have ever owned. You can't go wrong with either one.
 

kb3isq

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I second captain1. I own both and am very happy with both, 536 in my vehicle and 436 to take along anywhere. 536 is not a portable radio as it must be plugged in. They both receive the same as far as I can tell.
 

tglendye

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I think it depends what you monitor with the unit. In my area, the types of communication I am monitoring are a VHF-hi digital trunking system and an 800mhz digital ProVoice system. I use a 436 and it sounds excellent on both.

That being said, in my opinion it has poor (audio quality) on UHF analog channels. But for my purposes, I am only listening to the digital systems anyway, so this does not matter to me. On the few occasions when I want to listen to UHF analog, I just deal with it and it doesn't bother me. I have tried the battery cover "fix" with the copper tape and have not really noticed any difference.

I probably would already have a 536, but the whole wi-fi/ siren app controversy has turned me off. I'm not saying I wouldn't buy one, but I think I will wait until my area converts to Harris Phase II or see if Whistler come out with a ProVoice firmware update.

If you are getting it for digital, I would say either one is a great option. If you are listening to a lot of analog channels, you may want something other than the 436 in my opinion.
 

dcisive

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that is interesting to hear tglendye. Ironically 98% of what is in the Salt Lake area is still analog, so analog quality for me is going to be huge. My HP1 seems to provide a good quality of sound reproduction so I'm not unhappy with that aspect. I've also heard compared to the TRX-2 Whistler the 536 is a more bassy muffled type of sound and not as clear. Seems one just can't have it all. I don't care for the layout of control on the Whistler which is what's kept me from them. I do rather like the easy access method Uniden has adopted. So if the 436 has poor analog sound character that would steer me away from that for sure. Sorry to hear that as I was leaning in that direction. I did manage to hear the audio off a Youtube video someone posted and it sounded rather nice actually, so surprised to hear what you've said. I don't need things terribly loud, just decent clear and quality.
 

pinballwiz86

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As far as performance, the 436 and 536 are the same.
I don't have time at the moment to do a research in the manuals for the receive specs of both radios.

But seriously? A base radio scanner has the same performance as a portable? That makes...no sense.

A base scanner should have better receive performance specs.
 

Nasby

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I don't have time at the moment to do a research in the manuals for the receive specs of both radios.

But seriously? A base radio scanner has the same performance as a portable? That makes...no sense.

A base scanner should have better receive performance specs.
Its true. They have the same guts. Thus, one is no more sensitive than the other (using the same type of back of set antenna of course).

Base units just have a louder volume due to having a larger speaker.

This is true with not only Uniden but the RS and Whistler base/handheld digital units too.
 

SOFA_KING

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I don't have time at the moment to do a research in the manuals for the receive specs of both radios.

But seriously? A base radio scanner has the same performance as a portable? That makes...no sense.

A base scanner should have better receive performance specs.
Why?

Just because it's in a bigger box?

Both have the same receive performance, EXCEPT for the desense issue on the 436, which I most definitely notice on the VHF and UFH bands if I use an antenna directly mounted on it. No desense if I use an external antenna away from it. But right now I'm favoring my BCD996P2 (set at P25 manual threshold 10) for my local area listening. It scans twice as fast as the x36 scanners. That means I hear more of what I want to hear. I like it so much (now that encryption is bypassed) that I really want a BCD325P2 as my local handheld scanner. Faster scanning with no desense...along with encryption skipping would be a winning combination. Looking for a good deal on one now.

No doubt, the x36 line is advanced and handles many options that the others don't, if your the advanced kind of scanner enthusiast, but NOTHING search scans (and records all the voice and data) like a Whistler TRX. Best search scan scanner ever. Sounds great, too. Much better than bassy sounding, no AGC Uniden scanners. Uniden scanners don't give you the information on searching when it lands on encryption or P25 data (bogus that they don't). So each have their place. We wish one would do it all, and do it well, but these companies don't care to do it full justice. They only go so far and push the marketing BS to sell the rest. That is a shame. It could be different if they really cared. They don't. It's only about the money.

If you're really interested is buying something, figure out what you really want to do with it, state your full intention and just buy it already. But it really depends on what is important to you. I would need a whole lot more detail before I could match you up with my best recommendation. No pun intended, but...you seem very "indecisive". :D

Phil
 

captainmax1

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I've never had the UHF VHF problems with my BCD436HP that some talk about in these forums. I put my 3 536's and 1 436 next to each other and they pick up the same whether I use a rubber ducky or outside antenna. I never see or hear any difference between the two in total performance.
 

dcisive

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If I AM indecisive regarding my ability to just get a scanner already, it would be largely due to the plethora of opinions based on a negative vs. positive thing here and there mentioned regarding just about EVERY scanner. If it's not one thing it's another. One is superior in search scan, another is superior in P25 audio quality, another has a sensitivity loss due to a design flaw that has to be gerry rigged to overcome with varying results, another's software is difficult to maneuver, another one's display isn't very good where another's is superb. Geez and you wonder why I can't pull the trigger.

Is there NO scanner that has Great audio quality, relatively easy to custom program to taste, built well with a good ergonomic design, reliable regarding no issues of card corruption and program, clock or display defects. One that has accurate and reliable reception of the new DMR as well as great analog sound and scan qualities? If not then I guess it leaves me with no desire to jump in for hundreds of dollars........and surely you can understand THAT!
 

SOFA_KING

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Yes, I can. Based off of what you are wanting to do now, and what may be heading to a town near you (maybe sooner than you think), I would say the BCD996P2 would be a great choice. It already does a good deal of digital, but can also be fitted with DMR or Provoice if you ever need it. It sounds and looks (display wise) great. It scans faster, and has pretty good sensitivity once set to manual threshold (not hard to do). No SD cards to corrupt, or power crashes to worry about. You said you got the hang of programming, so that should be a snap. Freescan is FREE, and works well enough, but ProScan can actually import HPE files which you can export from your Home Patrol. That means you can import what you have already done on the HP. You can also edit or create your own. Sounds like a winner to me.

Sure, the 536 has a touch more sensitivity due to its narrower NFM filter. It has the big built-in database, if you plan on traveling a lot with GPS attached. And it has full access code (NAC, CTCSS, DCS, CC) search options, and rectangular GPS location control options (if you plan on controlling it with GPS), but it scans slower, has smaller characters on the display making it harder to read, and has a more muffled tone to it making P25 it bit too muddy. From what you indicated you wanted to do, I don't think you would benefit from the more expensive scanner.

Now the TRX-2 is a great local scanner, as well. The sound is stellar on every mode. The display and color LED are pleasing to look at and read. The scan speed appears to be pretty good. Maybe the best sounding scanner yet, as Whistler's AGC is perfect. They even made DMR sound good. What are the downsides? That crappy EZscan software. It's manageable, but not much fun to program with, as they locked down cut/copy/paste functions. Plus it's hard (almost impossible) to reorganized anything once you have written your programming. The best feature about the software is the audio index with all the information it captures (when you enable code and ID search options). I like the way Whistler lets you choose what channels or talk groups you want to record. The x36 scanners don't. It's either "all or nothing". And that completely ridiculous 100 recording file limit, instead of a "daily file limit" makes it harder to review what you have recorded...but the x36 scanners have instant replay IF you are not recording. Does recording or replay matter to you? But if P25 encryption is used a lot on conventional channels you may monitor (where there is a mix of clear and encrypted traffic) the Uniden scanners pass by the noise and allow you to scan to other things. The 996P2 would be better in that scenario.

So those are your choices. Portable scanners are toys. They never sound as good, and they never "mount" as good. If you really want to hear great things and maybe from afar, put a Diamond Discone antenna on that scanner and use the best feedline you can afford. Mine is only up 30', but I feed it with hardline and routinely hear hundreds of miles away. And I live on foliage ridden flat land. A scanner is only as good as the antenna system you put on it.

Good luck on your choice. I hope my insight and hands-on experience helped some.

Phil
 

Nasby

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I basically quit reading most posts after the fifth sentence let alone the twentieth.

Just sayin'
 
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