Uniden BCD396XT and BCD996XT performance on Phoenix RWC

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p19997

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I'm Getting Great Performance

Hi.

I have both the 396 and 996 XT's and have applied the update. My results were very, very positive.

I live in an area where, for some reason, radio reception is very poor. This affects all scanners, not just Unidens. After the upgrade, P25 performance improved dramatically for me in the area in which I live. There are still a few dead spots in my neighborhood, but they were also there in the analog days.

I have taken my 396XT mobile and driven much of the Phoenix metro area. Here is where I really noticed the improvement. Performance is now virtually identical to analog (with digital voice clarity, of course). I have speculated that it must be very close to what actual police radios experience. I believe the only possible way to improve performance is to use dual antennas with a diversity system, just like police radios use.

Bottom Line: I am very pleased with the change and my radios. By the way, the settings I am using are 8 and 125.

Also, it is very easy to accidently set the squelch on these scanners to a high value when you think you are setting the volume, especially on the 396XT. Check your setting and make sure it is low or else you won't decode packets on weak signals. My squelch setting is 2.

Cheers and good luck.

Gaston
 

cellphone

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This is very surprising as your experience seems vastly different than mine. I primarily monitor the RWC Simulcast A and B which are the most problematic for me. I receive 5 bars of signal from my home. My squelch setting is also 2. I live in an area where I receive multiple Simulcast A and B tower sites. My experience is better with Simulcast F where I still get 5 bars of signal, but I am likely only receiving one tower site.

Looking at the error rate while monitoring, I consistently see error rates of 25-50% consistently and very choppy audio. All the while, my signal is consistently 5 bars. I have also tried Attenuator which knocks my signal strength down where it bounces between to 1-2 bars, error rate is much higher, and audio quality is even worse.

I also take the 396XT mobile on a daily basis, and my experience is poor independent of location. I primarily monitor in the Phoenix proper and around the border between Phoenix and Tempe. All of these locations, I receive good signal but garbled audio.

As mentioned in the other post, my 996XT that is attached to an external antenna is useless on Simulcast A and B. Error rates are consistently in the 80% range and little intelligible audio. When I add ATT, it helps. On the 996XT with ATT, signal is still 5 bars and error rates drop to 25-75%. Audio is even worse than the 396XT with the stock antenna.

When I listen to non-simulcast sites like White Tanks or Sky Harbor the audio quality is great and always has been. Likewise, the MSCO system sounds great.

Am I the only one still having problems after the firmware update?
 

rpgaun

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I maybe in the minority but my 996XT is receiving much better even on the other conventional frequencies. I use to hear Casa Grande PD broken up but now they are clear. The only time get choppy messages is when I have the priority scan on. When I lock on a TG (lets say K11) for an incident the radio receives 200% better then it did.

Just my 2 cents (well these days more like .5 cents..LOL)
 

janetball1994

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Down here in Ahwatukee the 1.06 update makes a negligible difference on my 996XT's. I appreciate the new adjustments in 1.06, but I'm still in multipath hell and I've gone to a log periodic and now a Wilson 800 Mhz cell yagi with mixed results. Simulcast C with the yagi pointing roughly NE seems to lower the error rate down to 10-15% and that's where I have been leaving it absent better info on transmitter locations.

Incidentally, Dave's log periodic (DPD productions) works well but being a log periodic doesn't have the side and back attenuation I was after down here in south Phoenix.
 
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janetball1994

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Simulcast C with the yagi pointing roughly NE seems to lower the error rate down to 10-15% and that's where I have been leaving it absent better info on transmitter locations. Incidentally, Dave's log periodic (DPD productions) works well but being a log periodic doesn't have the side and back attenuation I was after down here in south Phoenix.
Further on the above . .

I've had further experience with Wilson's 700-900Mhz yagi (Part # 301111) and the RWC over the past few weeks. My conclusion is that properly aimed, it's as an effective multipath fixer as there is available commercially and it's cheap at about $45. Once I got the GPS coordinates of the Deck C and F towers (closest to my house and quite close together in Tempe) and pointed it, my multipath problems went away and my error rates on the 996XT's are in the single digits. I've had good results with Decks A & B as well, but I'm not line-of-sight with either. Dave's UHF antenna worked well but at $100+, it's more expensive and being an LP, it has less side and back attenuation even with the "omni" element absent. Of course, you need a rotor with either. FYI.
 

jambo

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This seems to be the main issue with Uniden starting with their first digital scanner. I bought the 396T thinking it was going to be a good radio, and I ended up having the same problem/s. That's why I vowed to never buy another one of their products again, and mainly because they can't seem to get it right when it comes to the audio as well as tracking on certain systems. I now own GRE products and never had a problem with any of it since. It seemed to me that all Uniden wanted to do is sell radios, and who cares if they work right or not IMHO.
 

janetball1994

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I feel your pain, jambo, but I'm not sure GRE stuff is any better. I own a PSR-600 and a couple of 996XT's -- all of which are connected to the same antenna through an MCA-204 active multi-coupler. Thus, I can have the PSR-600 and one or both of the 996XT's receiving the frequency. At least on my set-up, there is no discernible difference between the GRE and Uniden radios. They both suck with multipath absent a multi-element yagi which helps when it's pointed at a tower.

Of course, difference are in the ear of the hearer and your mileage could (and apparently does) vary.
 
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jambo

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I feel your pain, jambo, but I'm not sure GRE stuff is any better. I own a PSR-600 and a couple of 996XT's -- all of which are connected to the same antenna through an MCA-204 active multi-coupler. Thus, I can have the PSR-600 and one or both of the 996XT's receiving the frequency. At least on my set-up, there is no discernible difference between the GRE and Uniden radios. They both suck with multipath absent a multi-element yagi which helps when it's pointed at a tower.

Of course, difference are in the ear of the hearer and your mileage could (and apparently does) vary.
Sounds like your probably in a bad spot for receiving a signal then. I have the GRE 500 paired with RS 800 MHz antenna and live in the southwest side of the valley and have no problems receiving transmissions on phoenix A or B. On the other hand with the 396T I can't track anything worth a darn on the same simulcast systems. Heck I even have an old Pro96 that can still track them both as well. The only problem I have with the 96, is finding a sweet spot in the house, but after you do it tracks just fine.
 
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Kadlu

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Uniden BC 796D programming

Looking for help programming a Uniden BC 796D. I am in Ahwatukee and am willing to pay :) Contact me and I will send my contact info.... Thanks!!
 
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