Some positive words for the 436/536

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KF7IJZ

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I come from the world of marketing and advertising and we know that people are 7 times more likely to go out of their way to discuss a negative interaction with a product, service, or company than they are to say discuss a positive one. This effect is even more exaggerated in a world of constant social networking. Because of this, I wanted to take a moment and say something positive.

My first scanner was a Uniden something or other that my uncle gave me when I was 12. I remember listening to police, fire, ems, hams, and cordless phones with great interest! Everytime I was home, I was listening to my scanner. I fell asleep with it on by my bed every night. I was always telling stories at school about the neat things going on that I heard because of my scanner.

As I got older and my interested expanded in high school, I put scanning and radios in general behind me. It wasn't until a few years ago, when I realized that I could finally pursue being a Ham, did I rekindle my love for RF. My radio adventures eventually paved the way for me to get back in to Scanning. I purchased a PSR-800 but never really enjoyed it. It was a tool-sometimes. It was finicky, and not pretty, and fragile, and odd. It also annoyed my wife quite a bit. It never really scratched the itch of getting good situational awareness.

Three weeks ago, I walked in to the local Ham Radio Outlet and was fortunate to find that they had a few 536s for sale that weren't yet spoken for. I plopped my money on the counter and walked out. When I got home and set the unit up on my night stand, I was delighted once again. The decoding quality far surpassed anything I had come to expect shy of having my own Motorola radio. Once I had my favorites set up, I found myself listening to the 536 with the same childhood excitement that had gripped me many many years ago. As a side benefit, my wife doesn't get annoyed due to the VASTLY superior audio quality.

Was I frustrated by all the reported issues on the forum? Of course, but all of this will (hopefully) be but a distant memory in a few weeks. At the end of the day, I believe that Uniden has delivered a good product, that for me at least (who hasn't bought every single radio of the last 25 years), has restored my interest in the hobby. Sending my 536 off was difficult not because it was a new toy, but it is genuinely part of my day. I look forward to getting my replacement and all the great features and surprises Uniden has in store.

I'll finish with my $0.02 in speculation. I'd like to believe that at some point, Uniden will make available for sale several other decoding schemes that can be added or unlocked. The radio's processor has a lot of potential, and the AMBE based vocoding is very similar for a lot of the schemes. I do hope to be able to listen to our local DMR repeater with these radios one day.
 
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