Scanner for Harris County?

BLHutch

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Joined
May 13, 2022
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1
Good Morning,

I'm looking at getting a scanner having not owned one for about fifteen years. A lot has changed since then. I live in SE Harris County now and I'm thinking about either a BCD996P2 or a BCD 436HP. If anyone has either of these scanners and can let me know how well (or not) they work with the TxWARN system in Harris County, I would appreciate it!
 

Echo4Thirty

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Oct 6, 2021
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139
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Houston, TX
I would highly recommend you get an SDS series radio. The simulcasts are very sporadic with a radio cannot handle the simulcast distortion.
 

Soundman

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Jan 1, 2001
Messages
445
Location
N.C
If you have simulcasting don't get the bcd996p2 thy hate simulcasting. The bcd436hp works ok but not great . I live where there is 5 towers and it was hell to get reception with the 436hp I had to run around the room to hear the call by the time I hear the call it was over . I finally said screw it and got the sds100 and the sds200 and now I can hear everything without a problem . It was worth every penny .
 

Robert721

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Mar 20, 2009
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Klein, TX
SDS radios will do the job. Use software to narrow your choices other wise you will get all kids of traffic. Also dont expect to get anything in Montgomery county every thing is encrypted.
 

hiegtx

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May 8, 2004
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9,514
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Dallas, TX
Good Morning,

I'm looking at getting a scanner having not owned one for about fifteen years. A lot has changed since then. I live in SE Harris County now and I'm thinking about either a BCD996P2 or a BCD 436HP. If anyone has either of these scanners and can let me know how well (or not) they work with the TxWARN system in Harris County, I would appreciate it!
As already noted, Simulcast will be an issue no matter where you are in Harris count. Multiple simulcast sites in use, in various areas, for both Harris county & smaller towns, as well as Houston itself.

Read more about Simulcast in the Wiki:
Simulcast digital distortion - The RadioReference Wiki

The 436HP is marginally better than the P2 scanners (325P2, 996P2), but it will struggle as well. If used solely at a fixed location, there are a few work-arounds for simulcast that occasionally work. Such as use a directional antenna, use 'less' antenna (even so far as only using a paper clip), use the attenuator, and a few others. In some cases, these might work, especially if you are very close to one of the actual transmit sites. But all bets are off the minute you walk out the door & start moving.

If you still want to try the 996P2 or 436HP, be sure to purchase from a dealer that does not heavily penalize you for returns (in case the scanner simply cannot handle simulcast at your location). The SDS series scanners are, of course, more expensive than the two models you mention, but they are designed to work well in simulcast conditions.

I would also avoid paying the dealer to program your scanner, no matter what model you decide to use. The database scanners, such as the 436HP/536HP, as well as the SDS100 and SDS200, can be programmed by the purchaser, or simply use location, range, and service types to specify what you want to hear. There are a lot of helpful threads here on RadioReference, as well as Wiki pages & YouTube videos on programming your scanner.The dealers charge $60 and up for one county, with charges exceeding $100 if you want two or more.

Also, don't pay for the dealer to install any upgrades, such as DMR NXDN. They'll charge you $75 or more for something you can do for much less yourself, by dealing direct with Uniden. I would also suggest not adding either of the upgrades until you receive the scanner & are confident it will do what you want, as being free from any issues. If you bought, say, a 436HP, and immediately purchased the DMR upgrade, but then needed to return it, you would not be able to recoup the upgrade costs.
 
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tunnelmot

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Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
320
Location
Conroe, TX
SDS series.
Steep learning curve, but the days of set and forget conventional FM frequencies are for the most part (with exception to some area Fire/EMS dispatch channels) over for law/fire monitoring. Buy once...cry once. This is simulcast country my dude.
And the SDS series will give you room to grow which will inevitably happen.
 

tunnelmot

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Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
320
Location
Conroe, TX
Also dont expect to get anything in Montgomery county every thing is encrypted.
Correct. Pretty much all MoCo law is E. But...there is some stuff up here that helps paint the picture so to speak incident wise. But with OP being in SE Harris Co should still have plenty 'o fun LEO wise.
 
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