Uniden BCD436 vs. BCD536

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ChuckWal

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Troy

I just got my 436 a few weeks ago and would have no problem switching for you to do a comparison. I live off off Hammonds Lane up the street from AAPD Northern District. My work schedule is a little goofy right now but let me know and we will figure something out.
 

troymail

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Went to my usual spot for listening to PG County (near the Target store in Maryland City/Laurel). Listened to PG on the 436, 536, and my PSR800. The x36's (and the 800) all did pretty well from this location. Nice smooth digital voice - no popping or other oddities.

The PSR800 still has the clearest voice followed by the 436. And then there's the muddy and muffled 536.

All three radios seemed to be picking up everything about the same although I do think the 436 while recording was taking slightly longer to start talking. I disabled recording and they all seemed to work about the same.

I need someone with a 436 (or 536) in the PG County area to check something for me.....

I've been monitoring the Goddard Space Center EDACS system (Goddard Space Flight Center Trunking System, Greenbelt, Maryland - Scanner Frequencies) recently on my PSR800. There is quite a bit of activity (run in ID SEARCH mode). I did a direct load from the Sentinel database.

For some reason, I have been unable to get the 436 to receive this system. I know it works on EDACS 800 Mhz (I was in Ocean City last weekend). This is a UHF EDACS system and over several days the 436 hasn't detected a single bit of activity on the Goddard system.
 

troymail

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Update on the UHF EDACS question in my last post -- I was able to take a brief drive towards the system in question and was finally able to receive this system with the 436 (yes, I finally made the purchase after getting a "loaner" for a week or two - thanks Steven!)... I'm happy to say the system decoded just fine but I'm not sure about the radio's ability to receive UHF from a distance. I've seen others ask questions/report issues about VHF reception ... My PSR800 was receiving the system long before the 436 did as I drove towards the area. Even near the system, the 436 was pretty scratchy using the stock antenna while the 800 (using the RS800 antenna) was fairly clear.

Again, the good news is that (a) most of my listening is 700/800 Mhz and (b) P25 and (c) it seems the x36's are tuned to receive (a) and (b)....
 

One13Truck

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Troy,

I realize this is hard to compare all of them based on what they're designed to do, what you're wanting to monitor, and the area you're in but from your testing which do you say is the better value? The 436 or the 536?

And how is the programming for both? I have the 996XT and the 396XT right now and I'm considering the 436. Any easy way to get everything I have in my 396XT over into the 436 or am I looking at a headache trying to go through everything to get it in there?
 

troymail

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Troy,

I realize this is hard to compare all of them based on what they're designed to do, what you're wanting to monitor, and the area you're in but from your testing which do you say is the better value? The 436 or the 536?
They program 99.9% exactly the same. I took a backup SD card programmed for my 536 and put it in the 436 and it worked fine. Later, I made same 436 specific changes (backlight, keypress, etc.).

If I could go back (or be more patient), I would have stuck to my plan to get/try the 436. I only got hte 536 because it was hard to find a 436 at the time. I like being mobile and the radios receive pretty much the same thing. This isn't to say their perfect.... as I've told others - each of the radios I have serves it's own purpose. They are each good at one things or another and not so good for some other things.

I wouldn't buy an x36 to listen to VHF or UHF conventional or trunked systems - particularly if I had a radio that works already. I also wouldn't buy an x36 to listen to Motorola digital systems. It's best at P25 for simulcast issues -- but still not perfect. The days of listening to conventional or trunked analog simulcast systems are long, long gone.

So which is better buy? That's up to you and the features (or promised but yet to be delivered features)..... Me? 436. In fact, the 536 is likely to go up for sale really soon... still waiting to see what that "app" does.....

And how is the programming for both? I have the 996XT and the 396XT right now and I'm considering the 436. Any easy way to get everything I have in my 396XT over into the 436 or am I looking at a headache trying to go through everything to get it in there?
I don't see any way to migrate programming from x96 radios - at least not in Sentinel. Butel's product might let you but I haven't really looked at that. Sentinel works well for creating favorites lists from the Sentinel/RR database. It's a bit of a pain to tweak the settings for sites, departments and channels but you can do it.

I'm having fun maintaining programming and libraries for various radios at this point - PSR500, PSR800, x36s (same programming in both), and now a new addition - a PRO96. Talk about switching gears.....
 

One13Truck

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Good deal. Thanks for all of the info. I've been very happy with my 996XT and 396XT so as of right now I've resisted the urge to get one of the new ones. Eventually I will but not quite yet. Thanks again!
 
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