Uniden BCD396XT only picking up very little radio traffic

cfdthebest

Newbie
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 29, 2009
Messages
4
Location
ohio
Good Afternoon! I have a Uniden BCD396XT that is only picking up very little radio traffic in Columbus Ohio. Anyone have the same problem? Thanks
 

Enjoi19

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
85
There’s a lot of factors to get here. What are you looking to pick up? Were you previously getting something? What are you scanning for? What scanner are you using, what is your antenna situation, etc. We could use some more details.
 

cfdthebest

Newbie
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 29, 2009
Messages
4
Location
ohio
There’s a lot of factors to get here. What are you looking to pick up? Were you previously getting something? What are you scanning for? What scanner are you using, what is your antenna situation, etc. We could use some more details.
I an looking to pick up CPD and Nrecc. My friend programed it. I’m using a Uniden BCD396XT. The antenna I have on it is a Diamond antenna SRH77CA
 

Attachments

cfdthebest

Newbie
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 29, 2009
Messages
4
Location
ohio

Attachments

RandyKuff

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Messages
770
Location
Lorain, Ohio
Someone is telling me that with this radio there is a lot of distortion and there is nothing I can do about it picking up all the radio traffic. Is that true?
True... Columbus area MARCS IP is simulcast... Only the SDS's can handle that well... Unless you happen to be in a sweet spot...

I should say Franklin county is simulcast...
 
Last edited:

Nasby

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2004
Messages
2,445
Location
Ohio
Someone is telling me that with this radio there is a lot of distortion and there is nothing I can do about it picking up all the radio traffic. Is that true?
Yes that's true.
The MARCS Systems in C-Bus are simulcast systems. They are difficult if not impossible to receive with an older digital scanner like the 396XT.
You will need an SDS-100 or SDS-200 to reliably receive any of the MARCS systems in your area.
 

Ronaldski

MI DB Admin
Database Admin
Joined
Aug 23, 2005
Messages
2,410
Location
Bay City MI
My 396xt works quite well in the car while going through a couple nearby simulcast counties.
True that an SDS model will work, but are indeed costly at $650 everywhere. Lets work to get what he has up and running.
Since you that model, you probably have had it for some years and it worked in prior years? Unless you recently picked it up on the used market?

To decipher if its the simulcast issue take a drive out just inside or a bit farther to a neighbor county, that way your reducing the number of towers your receiving compared to inside the county. If it starts to receive outside the county, its the simulcast issue and you should apply the firmware update in message 9.
If it still doesn't work, I'd say its the programming in the scanner is out of date or is flawed.

Do apply the latest firmware. Latest is 1.11.01 and improvements were made that helped decode simulcast better.
On yours, to see what yours is at,
Press on the left side switch on the side of the radio to get to the menu system. Go to Settings with the volume knob, Press E button, scroll to See Scanner Info, press E button, scroll to Firmware version, Press E. Press Scan to well, Scan

To apply the firmware definitely or any programming from software to the 396xt, you would need
a windows computer,
software as mentioned above - freescan since you are a premium subscriber use that perk to program it.
How-to videos's at the bottom here -

and most likely what will be troublesome is the cable. While you dont have to program with software as you can program through the scanner itself, makes life much easier. You as I mentioned have to have a cable to do the firmware. update.

The cable that came with it is for an old serial port that haven't been on computers for many years. Likely you dont have a serial port on yours.
What you can do and I have is get a serial-usb converter cable which allows the existing cable to work and is much cheaper then getting the usb-1 cable from uniden. This what I use and it works with windows 10-

This video isn't for the 396xt, but it works the same way. Obviously in the firmware loader select 396xt is all.
 
Last edited:
Top