Scanner upgrade ?

Status
Not open for further replies.

AWH100

QRT
Joined
Jun 21, 2006
Messages
38
I am thinking about getting another scanner (Again). I have a (1) 996T, (2) 996XT and (1) portable 396T. Living in the Northeast of CT, I cannot pickup the Mass State police or Worcester, Mass from my location. However, I visit the area a couple of times per week and use my 396T with a trunk mount antenna. From what I am reading, Worcester and the Mass State police are transferring over to Project 25 Phase ll. Once the transfer to the Phase ll is complete for Worcester and Mass State police, I will no longer be able to pick them up on any of my scanners because none of them are Phase ll capable.

Looking at the BCD436HP for the upgrade. I have a few questions. Other than being the newest portable capable of picking up phase ll, and being able to program using zip codes, will I notice an improvement in reception compared to my 396T ? The 396T came out about 2005, almost 12 years ago. Those of you that have a 396T and bought the new BCD436HP. What do you like, or don't like about the BCD436HP compared to the 396T scanner ?

One last thing please. The BCD436HP has an option for DMR. What is DMR ? Why would I get this option ?

Thanks for all that reply
 

N2MWE

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 30, 2001
Messages
2,462
Location
New York State, Land of King Putz
I just gave away my 396T to a friend. I own two 436HPs, love them both. One is portable and the other is in my Escape connected to an Austin Spectra. I am very happy with the reception of Connecticut SP West District, which I am closer to. It has performed well for me on my travels. DMR is the actual name for MotorTRBO and the like. Check the database to see if there is anything you listen to that is DMR, as it is a 60 dollar upgrade. The 436 handles MSP quite well. Another thing I suggest is if you also plan on using the scanner portable, get a different antenna. The stock portable antenna stinks. I use a Watson WSMA 801 with good results. Hope this helps you.
 

garys

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 13, 2002
Messages
4,697
Location
Eastern MA
It's more accurate to say that Worcester and the western part of MSP are using P25 with Phase 2 capability, but are mostly Phase 1. From what I have seen, most Phase 2 talk groups (but not all) are encrypted.

The 436HP is a whole different animal than the 396T. If you want more simple scanner that has Phase 2 capability, take a look at the 325P2. If you decide you want DMR, you can get it for the 325P2 as well. DigitalMobileRadioUpgradeforBCDxxxP2 < UnidenMan4 < TWiki

Here is a good primer on DMR DMR - The RadioReference Wiki. There isn't very much public safety use on DMR, at least not around here. Here is a list of DMR users in MA and CT, MotoTrbo Stations In Our Listening Area - Scan New England Wiki

Finally, keep in mind that CT is building a P25 Phase 1 system. How long that will take I have no idea, but it might affect your choice of scanners.
 

AWH100

QRT
Joined
Jun 21, 2006
Messages
38
Thanks for some feed back. I use Butel software to program all of my scanners. Been using it for years. Very comfortable with the software. I read Garys post, which he states from what he sees is that most Phase 2 talk groups are encrypted. I also think (might be wrong) that Worcester also encrypts a lot of talk groups. This is what bothers me. To spend another $ 400.00 and to be able to listen to just a few un-encypted talk groups. I know nothing can be done about it. But seems a high price to pay and not be able to listen to all talk groups. We could be missing out on a lot of traffic. Sign of the times I guess.

I know that CT is building out a P25 Phase l system, but my 396T, and 996XT are capable of receiving that system, so I am good there. Garys, you also said the 436HP is a totally different animal. Besides zip code programing, SD card, is the quality of the scanner just as good as the 396T ? Reception ? How about speaker quality, (sound), does it have a good speaker like the 396T ? What don't you like about the 436HP, if anything ? Spending $120.00 on a simple scanner is one thing, but when you need to spend that kind of money on a 436 HP, I really need to think about it. Especially if a lot of the Phase ll talk groups are encrypted, I won't be able to hear anything anyways.
 

trp2525

Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
1,028
...I know that CT is building out a P25 Phase l system, but my 396T, and 996XT are capable of receiving that system, so I am good there...
The 396T is somewhat dated technology (circa 2005 per your post #1) and can have some shortcomings when monitoring newer, larger radio systems. For example the 396T has a limit of 200 talkgroup IDs per trunked system. If you monitor a large trunked system (i.e. the Rhode Island statewide RISCON system) it may leave you wanting for a scanner with newer technology/features/capabilities.
 

jonwienke

More Info Coming Soon!
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
9,751
Location
PA
you also said the 436HP is a totally different animal. Besides zip code programing, SD card, is the quality of the scanner just as good as the 396T ? Reception ? How about speaker quality, (sound), does it have a good speaker like the 396T ? What don't you like about the 436HP, if anything ?
The 436HP has the same RF guts as the 536--about as good as it gets for a scanner for sensitivity and selectivity. The GPS capability and the included database are great when traveling, and it is easy to extract stuff from the database to make your own favorite list(s). The updated memory structure eliminates arbitrary limits on what you can scan; it handles large and complex statewide or multistate trunked systems easily.

I use Uniden's Sentinel software for programming, it is better than most factory software; complex (because of the many features of the scanner), but full-featured, and other than some menu items that have some Engrish labels, it has a fairly intuitive user interface. I've never felt the need to look elsewhere.

The 436 speaker is a little bit tinny and not super loud; the speaker they fit into the HT case isn't very big. If you intend to use it in a loud environment, you'll want an amplified speaker, or headphones.
 

captainmax1

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
484
Location
Florida Keys
Jonwienke took the words right out of my mouth. Great evaluation of the 436HP and the included Sentinel Software. I own one 436 and 3 536's and love them all. You will not go wrong with this scanner.
 

SCOTTER

Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2007
Messages
254
Location
SOUTH BEND IN.
I need a little help from you guys since your bringing up some older radios . I live in the michiana area between IN MI and im trying to come up with a price for a near mint 7 year old 396xt thats been in a non smoking house and has a RS 800 antenna on it so I can get the 436.Can you give me a ballpark price on what it might be worth? And dont say whatever someone will pay for it Ive heard that one a 1000 times just a guess please Thanks PS it has new battries and all cables.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top