BCD436HP: Travelling with my scanner

Tlenzi

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Jun 12, 2020
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Hi everyone. Newbie question. I will be travelling across several states and I could have sworn that I saw a feature that will allow the scanner to constantly receive frequencies as you travel without having to keep adding info into the scanner. I don’t believe it had anything to do with GPS capability (which I do not have). I have three manuals; the one that came with the unit, the “easier to read” one by Mark Lauretta, and the Nifty Manual. Can anyone help me locate it, or was I just dreaming? Thanks in advance.
 

nessnet

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By "adding"... You mean having to input anything manually, right?
You don't have to add anything, the full US database is already in there, as long as you've used Sentinel to update it. But, the radio needs to know where it is at, in order for it to know what to scan. Done by entering the zip code, or manually inputting lat/long.

So.... either you have to keep (manually) inputting the radio's location - or the radio needs to know where it is at - via GPS.

GPS is cheap and VERY useful. Strongly recommended.
 

KK4JUG

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I think what you read was probably the fact that, with GPS, the scanner will periodically update the scanned frequencies. Like nessnet said, everything is already in the scanner. Using GPS, the scanner will pick the pertinent files from the database as you move from one area to another.
 

drdispatch

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I second (or I guess third) what nessnet and KK4JUG said: GPS is the way to go, and definitely worth the investment.

That said, I know that there is also a way for the scanner to find its (approximate) location using the sites that it is receiving and their range as listed in the DB. Full disclosure: I have never used this method. I have heard/read that it is not as accurate as using a GPS. I also don't know if the scanner will automatically update its location as you travel using this option.

Bottom line: Spend the money and get a GPS. It will pay for itself by way of a lower stress level while you drive.
 

KK4JUG

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Bottom line: Spend the money and get a GPS. It will pay for itself by way of a lower stress level while you drive.
Drdispatch makes a good point. Highway driving is stressful enough without needlessly adding to it. The GPS will almost eliminate any button-pushing on the scanner. You won't have to enter ZIP codes (after you go to the trouble of finding the ZIP code). I have also found that if you have enough amperage going in, the SDS100 will also charge (and/or maintain the full charge) while you're listening.

That's the way I've always done it until now. As we speak (or write), Jon is modifying my SDS100 to include the internal GPS.
 

jasoyeom

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What is the cheapest GPS available for the Uniden scanners? It's likely cheaper in the US than in Canada.
 

nessnet

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What is the cheapest GPS available for the Uniden scanners? It's likely cheaper in the US than in Canada.
Depends - do you have skills (to make one)?
This is the same as the Uniden GPS puck, different label.
However, it needs to have a mini-USB jack to plug into the radio. There are instructions to make this cable on this forum, if you want to DIY.

Or, the complete stock Uniden GPS

If you have the skills, make one. It is rather easy and you don't have to put up with that kludgey RS-232
 

ofd8001

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That said, I know that there is also a way for the scanner to find its (approximate) location using the sites that it is receiving and their range as listed in the DB. Full disclosure:
I think you are referring to the Auto Locate feature. However, it only works with P25 and certain Motorola systems (rare ones) AND the system has to be active. If it is off due to location, until you change scanner location, the system won't come on. And since you've entered a new location, you must have an approximate idea of where you are. So this feature is interesting, I doubt it is used much as a practical matter.

Yeah, the GPS device is the "most bestest" way. You could change the zip code every X miles, where X corresponds to the Range value you enter, but that's a pain and a driver distraction.

The Amazon setup may actually be more costly in the long run. In addition to the GPS puck, you need a cable to connect it to the scanner as well as a power cable. So "bite the bullet" and get the Uniden GPSK BC-SGPS. (Don't discard any of the cables - you never know if you will get a different scanner and need a different cable.)

Lastly, do some research on the legality of having a scanner in a vehicle. Some states have prohibitions, though there are exemptions for amateur licensees, etc.
 

drdispatch

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I think you are referring to the Auto Locate feature. However, it only works with P25 and certain Motorola systems (rare ones) AND the system has to be active. If it is off due to location, until you change scanner location, the system won't come on. And since you've entered a new location, you must have an approximate idea of where you are. So this feature is interesting, I doubt it is used much as a practical matter...
Yeah, I figured that it was probably the "no-other-option-available" option.
 

nessnet

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The Amazon setup may actually be more costly in the long run. In addition to the GPS puck, you need a cable to connect it to the scanner as well as a power cable. So "bite the bullet" and get the Uniden GPSK BC-SGPS. (Don't discard any of the cables - you never know if you will get a different scanner and need a different cable.)
Probably correct (cheaper).
I forgot to mention that the GPS signal on a 436 is input via a separate port (the one above your mini-USB). So, you have to source this also.

But, if you have the skills, making your own 436 GPS cable is way more 'clean' than any stock Uniden solution.
 
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