PSR500 reception vs. BC396 - non-800 freqs

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troymail

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For what it's worth -

I was out of my normal area the other day so I decided to enter some conventional frequencies for that area into my PSR500. I noticed that although I could pick these freqs up (494-495 Mhz) from my home, there were pretty scratchy and weak. They were better (a little) when I got into area.

The next day I was sitting outside listening again from my home and decided to also listen to my BC396 to do some comparisons of the digital on my 396 with my 500 while listening to Baltimore City Fire. I also decided to plug in 2-3 of the same 494-495 UHF frequencies into my 396.

As expected the Baltimore City digital was still not all that great on my 396- I could hear the conversations but they were "patchy" and broken - I attribute this to the 396 just not being able to pull in the voice channels as well as the 396 needs them to decode the digital signal (even though I ain't that far from the city). The PSR500 on the other hand continued to do the job - no problem.

Then, I noticed something else -- the 396 was excellent on the UHF frequencies where the PSR500 was very weak and scratchy... I was using one stock rubber duck antenna and one RS 800Mhz so I tried swapping them to see if there was a difference - not really. I also tried attenuating the UHF channels on my 500 but that didn't help either.

Which leads me to this -- I think the PSR500 is designed and tuned better to receive 800 Mhz frequencies and the BC396 was probably still trying to "do it all" and even though it is a trunking capable scanner, it really isn't "tweaked" for that.

I guess this is what happens when we want one radio that does everything....

EDIT: one addt'l thing - the speaker on the 396 is more "bassy" which is great for analog channels but it's pretty bad when trying to handle the improved quality of digital voice - this seems to have a reverse affect on the PSR500 which generally sounds much better when listening to a digital voice channel vs. analog.
 
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RoninJoliet

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I also agree with your results, i have the 396 and GRE500, im listening to the ILL-Starcom700/800 and the GRE and my PRO96/2096 decode digital better and sound better...When i go into the City of Chicago i take the 396 as it is excellent on not receiving intermod....The CPD is on UHF and works great on the zones and city-wides...Its amazing how good scanner listeners even at oposite ends of the country can agree on the quality of these products....Been listening and owning these scanners for some 35 years and tried them all.....
 
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