Uniden Bearcat BCD436HP first impressions

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yaesumofo

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Jan 4, 2003
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314
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los Angeles
I received my 436 this morning. (LEFT OUTSIDE BY FED EX!!).

The radio is light.
The belt attachment point on the radio is made of plastic.
(is this a cause to make the radio lighter or to lower costs? Either way I prefer the metal attachment point vs the plastic.

The 436 Has a BIG display.
It is a LARGE radio when compared to the 396.
I have not looked at the spec but the 436 is not as dense as the 396. they have about the same mass yet the 436 is larger.
It came with 3 x 2300 mah (super cheap) rechargeable AA's.
I updated the unit and asked it to auto locate.
This worked perfectly.
I have lots of database work to do but now that I have the 436, Navigating the favorites list memory system somehow makes more sense to me now that I am doing it on the 436 than when I was trying to do it on the 536.
I wish I could search the database by dept within the radio. or within the software.

The audio is strong and clear.
The antenna does nothing for me. I am using a Diamond SRH77CA ANTENNA which is a great antenna.

I wish it had a case.
I hope it is as robust as the 396 has turned out to be.
I will put the radio through its paces in the Los Angeles area as time progresses.
I will post my ongoing impressions here as time allows.

Yaesumofo
 

greggk

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822
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Palatine, IL.
I thank you for starting this thread. I wanted too, but since they closed the 436 post release thread I didn't know if this would work. It will.

I purchased my 436 from "abetterwaytobuy. Net" They had the 436 in stock and gave free shipping. In fact they did 1 day priority mail; I had it in less than 48 hours after I placed the order. I do not work for them, and in fact I was a little concerned over spending this much money on a site I do not know, but they are great people. they respond right away to e-mail as well, and stress that you should call them with any problems.

I know some of the larger sites out there are not giving free shipping, and I heard horror stories of long wait times.

I have a BCD 996T, and PRO 106, and a few smaller, older models. This new one will be a challenge for me, but I always learn...put a good deal of time into research and trials.

I connected the cable to the scanner and downloaded the Sentinel software. No problems. By following the options in the software, it was easy to figure out what to do. After all is done, disconnect the cord and turn the radio off...it will show a screen that it is updating. No issues for me at all. I turned it back on, put in my ZIP code, and in a few seconds it was scanning everything possible in this area. (I need to figure out how to make a favorites list; right now the Baby is in a blanket and sleeping while it charges.)

How many of you will be putting a screen protector on?

It also comes with a BNC connector in the box. There is a wrist strap and batteries as well.

To me, the radio sounded very good. It was picking up an area quite far from me and they sounded like they were next to me. Chicago Police were scratchy to the point I locked them out. We are about 60 miles away however. It could have been the weather, the antenna, or location.

I would consider replacing the antenna, and open to any suggestions.

There are settings for back-light duration and brightness. Also a contrast setting. Thats about as far as I got.

I figured out one important thing others may need to know: Pressing the FUNCTION button on the left side brings up various menus. You turn the control knob until you get what you want, then press the E button. That may take you to sub menus, and again scroll with the knob and select with the E key. When you are done, in order to back out of what you were doing, press the function button on the left. It will take you backwards one step at a time for each press. I don't mean to insult anyone's intelligence, but it took me a few seconds to figure it out, and new people may get stuck on this issue.

I think the radio is well built, of course I don't use it for rock climbing or anything like that. As with my GPS and Escort MAX, I treat them better than I treat myself. :D I really do. The back light has a light blue tint to it; it is not pure white.

Well, this may be a useless post for many of you, but that is what my experience has been with it so far. I am charging the batteries and clock battery now.

If you have a cat..consider not putting the wrist strap on; I laid my scanner down for just a few seconds, and one of my cats grabbed the strap. Had I not caught her...God only knows....

Enjoy your 436; Have fun; I will answer any question that I can.

Greg
 
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greggk

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2006
Messages
822
Location
Palatine, IL.
Okay..I read the entire manual, looked in HELP, started up Sentinel software which apparently has NO help file...just one thing:

Every time I turn the 436 on, it says "Loading Database" or something very similar.

I've seen this topic/question before, but searching yields no help.

Could someone help please?" I'm just like everyone else in hoping my scanner is not malfunctioning. Thanks.

Greg
 

yaesumofo

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2003
Messages
314
Location
los Angeles
I thank you for starting this thread. I wanted too, but since they closed the 436 post release thread I didn't know if this would work. It will.

I purchased my 436 from "abetterwaytobuy. Net" They had the 436 in stock and gave free shipping. In fact they did 1 day priority mail; I had it in less than 48 hours after I placed the order. I do not work for them, and in fact I was a little concerned over spending this much money on a site I do not know, but they are great people. they respond right away to e-mail as well, and stress that you should call them with any problems.

I know some of the larger sites out there are not giving free shipping, and I heard horror stories of long wait times.

I have a BCD 996T, and PRO 106, and a few smaller, older models. This new one will be a challenge for me, but I always learn...put a good deal of time into research and trials.

I connected the cable to the scanner and downloaded the Sentinel software. No problems. By following the options in the software, it was easy to figure out what to do. After all is done, disconnect the cord and turn the radio off...it will show a screen that it is updating. No issues for me at all. I turned it back on, put in my ZIP code, and in a few seconds it was scanning everything possible in this area. (I need to figure out how to make a favorites list; right now the Baby is in a blanket and sleeping while it charges.)

How many of you will be putting a screen protector on?

It also comes with a BNC connector in the box. There is a wrist strap and batteries as well.

To me, the radio sounded very good. It was picking up an area quite far from me and they sounded like they were next to me. Chicago Police were scratchy to the point I locked them out. We are about 60 miles away however. It could have been the weather, the antenna, or location.

I would consider replacing the antenna, and open to any suggestions.

There are settings for back-light duration and brightness. Also a contrast setting. Thats about as far as I got.

I figured out one important thing others may need to know: Pressing the FUNCTION button on the left side brings up various menus. You turn the control knob until you get what you want, then press the E button. That may take you to sub menus, and again scroll with the knob and select with the E key. When you are done, in order to back out of what you were doing, press the function button on the left. It will take you backwards one step at a time for each press. I don't mean to insult anyone's intelligence, but it took me a few seconds to figure it out, and new people may get stuck on this issue.

I think the radio is well built, of course I don't use it for rock climbing or anything like that. As with my GPS and Escort MAX, I treat them better than I treat myself. :D I really do. The back light has a light blue tint to it; it is not pure white.

Well, this may be a useless post for many of you, but that is what my experience has been with it so far. I am charging the batteries and clock battery now.

If you have a cat..consider not putting the wrist strap on; I laid my scanner down for just a few seconds, and one of my cats grabbed the strap. Had I not caught her...God only knows....

Enjoy your 436; Have fun; I will answer any question that I can.

Greg

In terms of Protecting the screen... I normally use a hunk of packing tape on my Unidens. The tape almost never needs to come off... BUT this time I am using an iPhone 4 screen protector trimmed to fit the unidens screen just right. It works fine and kills a bit of the reflections when outside.
In the OP I mentioned the Diamond SRH77ca, this is the SMA version of the RH77ca one of the alltime great scanner antennas. That said. I have noticed that the radio seems to be VERY sensitive. I have no doubt that the SRH77CA will work for you as well as it does for me.

One thing I did not mention in my initial impressions is the radio really has a great look and feel to it. it has the FEELING of quality to it. It is light but not to light.
After further examination it looks like uniden has gone down the "less expensive" route when it comes to attachment points. The 396t has a metal insert that the screw which holds the "belt clip button" onto the radio. The 436 has no such metal insert. It all plastic. So the button is plastic, the screw is metal and the part that the screw drives into is plastic.
Dont get me wrong its well done. but nowhere near the quality level that the 396T's attachment point. That is a bit of a disappointment, This radio really needs a CASE!!!
a $500.00 held to your belt with a 5 cent screw and a couple mm of plastic.
They must have saved all of 50 cents a radio by going this route. I can imagine....They probably had a half dozen meetings on this topic alone.
 

yaesumofo

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2003
Messages
314
Location
los Angeles
Okay..I read the entire manual, looked in HELP, started up Sentinel software which apparently has NO help file...just one thing:

Every time I turn the 436 on, it says "Loading Database" or something very similar.

I've seen this topic/question before, but searching yields no help.

Could someone help please?" I'm just like everyone else in hoping my scanner is not malfunctioning. Thanks.

Greg
The loading Database message is totally normal.
it does it each time it starts.
Yaesumofo
 

greggk

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2006
Messages
822
Location
Palatine, IL.
THANKS for all the info!! As far as the Loading database question, I just took my first breath in 5 minutes!

Thanks!

Greg
 

mrkelso

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Premium Subscriber
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Dec 4, 2008
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1,439
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NNJ
My First impression is
I like the screen size,it is good for these old eyes and i am able to crank the contrast up a little.
What i don't like is so far it is eating through enelope batteries at the rate of 3 fresh ones every 8 hours. Any one know if this is an ok rate?

I don't like the fact that i can't plug the scanner in and scan while it charges the batts or with batts in the unit or out of the unit like past models can.

The scanner picks up signals farther away then anything i have owned so far. It works great with the new Interop system that New Jersey has as well as all the state PD's

I absolutely hate the Senile software to program it. I PRAY that freescan comes out with something for this thing or Proscan, AMEN.
 

yaesumofo

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Joined
Jan 4, 2003
Messages
314
Location
los Angeles
I plan on ordering me the belt clip button from the 396 series scanner. So on that note, anyone have a part number for one?
I also plan on putting on some type of screen protector. Thats a lot of plastic that can get scratched. I like the iPhone 4 screen protector idea.

Edit: I found the part. Belt Clip Hanger Assy - Accessories at Uniden
Dont bother ordering it.
I took the one off my 396 and tried to mount it on the 436 and it did not fit correctly.
there are a couple tiny cut outs that do not match the plastic unit. I suspect a little fine file work and it would fit.

Yaesumofo
 

Skypilot007

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Medford, NJ
I plan on ordering me the belt clip button from the 396 series scanner. So on that note, anyone have a part number for one?
I also plan on putting on some type of screen protector. Thats a lot of plastic that can get scratched. I like the iPhone 4 screen protector idea.

Edit: I found the part. Belt Clip Hanger Assy - Accessories at Uniden
Thanks for that link. I've been looking for those. Of course Uniden customer service told me it was a discontinued part and they don't have them anymore. I just ordered two.:roll:
 

yaesumofo

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2003
Messages
314
Location
los Angeles
Thanks for that link. I've been looking for those. Of course Uniden customer service told me it was a discontinued part and they don't have them anymore. I just ordered two.:roll:
The belt clip assembly is NOT the part you need to order you need to order the button.
http://www.uniden.com/accessories/metal-belt-clip-button/invt/metc4a3542ag

Look here for parts with PHOTOS.
http://www.thefind.com/electronics/info-belt-clip-assembly

I tried the button a second time and got it to fit fine. Im still not confident that it will last...

The thing that really worries me is NOT the button. it's the lack of a metal (brass) thread on the radio side.
The plastic does not have the same strength...
We will all have to find our own way of dealing with this. for some it's a non issue. for others who might EDC this on their belt may find this low end engineering to be a problem.
The fact that the radio is light helps.
I am not going to worry about this if it breaks I will send it into Uniden and ask them to replace the rear cover.

I had the entire case replaced on my 396 and the radio looked NEW. so...whatever.
 
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Blackink

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Nov 30, 2012
Messages
964
Location
Central Vermont
Thanks for that link. I've been looking for those. Of course Uniden customer service told me it was a discontinued part and they don't have them anymore. I just ordered two.:roll:
They're probably worried that most of the new BCD436HP owner's will see this thread and order them.

Which will mean they'll probably be out of stock soon......
 

wise871

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Jun 23, 2006
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Florida
I ordered mine because I don't use the belt clip assembly. Mine is mounted in my vehicle with the ProClip V slot holder. Order at your own rick.
 

Skypilot007

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Messages
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Medford, NJ
The belt clip assembly is NOT the part you need to order you need to order the button.
Metal Belt Clip Button - Accessories at Uniden

Look here for parts with PHOTOS.
Belt clip assembly - TheFind

I tried the button a second time and got it to fit fine. Im still not confident that it will last...

The thing that really worries me is NOT the button. it's the lack of a metal (brass) thread on the radio side.
The plastic does not have the same strength...
We will all have to find our own way of dealing with this. for some it's a non issue. for others who might EDC this on their belt may find this low end engineering to be a problem.
The fact that the radio is light helps.
I am not going to worry about this if it breaks I will send it into Uniden and ask them to replace the rear cover.

I had the entire case replaced on my 396 and the radio looked NEW. so...whatever.
I need them for my 396T. Now if I could just find a new volume/squelch control I'd be good.
 

redburgundy

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Messages
337
In terms of Protecting the screen... this time I am using an iPhone 4 screen protector trimmed to fit the unidens screen just right. It works fine and kills a bit of the reflections when outside.
I tried to use the 436 in my car during the day today, mounted on the dash, and the reflections were so bad I could not read the display.
 
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