BC346XT: Uniden vs Whistler

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dansmall

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Sep 27, 2013
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Well, I believe I've made the same mistake twice !!! I purchased a 346XTC a couple of years ago, one reason was the remote control head which I unceremoniously found was discontinued AFTER I bought the scanner, the second is 2 years worth of confussion and the inability to program this unit the way I wanted to and actually have it work. This unit was stolen in November and what did I do, I went and bought an identical replacement...new unit, same headaches.

My question for anyone is, am I better off abandoning the 346XTC, perhaps using it for a doorstop or leveler for a crooked table leg and moving to a Whistler TRX-1? Is anyone familiar wit the differences (other than the database on SD card)? Can I turn different "departments" on and off within trucked systems via a "quick key" (such as a police, fire or ems within a county trunked system)?

I'll be honest, I have a 165 IQ and I cant figure this 346XTC out, they should have brought Tylenol on as a sponsor.

Thanks for any help or opinions !!
 

marksmith

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IQ does not directly correlate to scanner programming. But once you figure them out you can't imagine how it was so difficult in the beginning.

Steep learning curve.

536/436/ws1095/996p2/996xt/325p2/396xt/psr800/396t/HP-1/HP-2 & others
 

milcom_chaser

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Well, I believe I've made the same mistake twice !!! I purchased a 346XTC a couple of years ago, one reason was the remote control head which I unceremoniously found was discontinued AFTER I bought the scanner, the second is 2 years worth of confussion and the inability to program this unit the way I wanted to and actually have it work. This unit was stolen in November and what did I do, I went and bought an identical replacement...new unit, same headaches.

My question for anyone is, am I better off abandoning the 346XTC, perhaps using it for a doorstop or leveler for a crooked table leg and moving to a Whistler TRX-1? Is anyone familiar wit the differences (other than the database on SD card)? Can I turn different "departments" on and off within trucked systems via a "quick key" (such as a police, fire or ems within a county trunked system)?

I'll be honest, I have a 165 IQ and I cant figure this 346XTC out, they should have brought Tylenol on as a sponsor.

Thanks for any help or opinions !!
The Uniden has 10 search banks which can be all user defined. That means search step size and mode (AM, FM, NFM, etc). Whistler's band plans are fixed. Personally, we find this frustrating, for our purposes.
We also find Uniden's quick key's very handy out in the field. Whistler is slowly evolving, as they "inherited" the design ideology from GRE, and are making changes. Uniden seems to already have many request features of Whistler already in place, and has for sometime.

We find the DMA approach to programming the scanner quite simple to understand - System > Group > Frequencies. Large container has smaller containers within it, and each of those containers holds things (frequencies). Programming Uniden's can happen rapidly as the user interface is easy to use. Whistler's EZ-Scan we find lacks an "intuitive" approach, and thus makes programming tedious, repetitive, and time consuming.

It really depends on what you want out of your scanner, what you want it to provide...

Other's will chime in, and this is a Uniden forum. For us, we say take a moment to read mark's easier to read manuals for the radio your interested in. That may yield an easier decision for you to come to.
 

dcisive

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Salt Lake City, Utah
I really wanted to love the Whistler but their system is simply NOT as "user friendly" as the Uniden established setup. Some would love to argue, but it is indeed simpler to manipulate and I've found also just getting the end results as well. About the ONLY thing I can say in the Whistler's favor is the sound quality of the way they have a speaker smartly facing UPWARD and not downward. But I got around that as I use a nice outboard speaker that sounds GREAT with the 536. I feel the 436's sound is also excellent on it's own as well. All in all the layout of the Uniden's is just faster, more intuitive and simpler overall.
 

KK4JUG

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Whistler or Uniden; boxers or briefs; Ford or Chevy, etc.

Out of 50 responses, you will get at least 55 opinions.
 

seth21w

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If you are used to the uniden i would stick to unidens, as the whistler and its software/programming is completely different. You will be learning a whole setup of programming. However if you do get the whistler and learn to program it, it has exceptional recieve and better audio.
 

dansmall

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Sep 27, 2013
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Well, after talking with the President of Whistler and one of his cronies, I think I would be shooting myself in the foot by using their product. The real solution to my problem I guess is to make the 346XTC do what I want it to do. It appears that my real issue is with one trunked system for the City and County of San Francisco (https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=60). There are a number of "talkgroups...Police, Fire, EMS etc which I have loaded into the receiver but I want to be able to quickly and selectively turn these talkgroups on and off so I only scan the one I need at that given moment. I can do that with conventional systems with no problem but this trunked system is killing me !!
 

Eugene

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Portsmouth, VA
I have a 396XLT and I am pretty sure the programming is similar, however I hate to tell you but I am pretty certain that the 346 will NOT receive the future San Francisco APCO P25 phase 1 digital system they will be going to. In the meantime I have my 396 programmed in this fashion......System- Name and Assign what ever quick key you want.. say QK-1. Then for site- Plug in the control channels only and make sure it is set to "control channel only". Assign same QK. Then group- Name for instance, PD and plug in talk groups, use QK1 , Then next group, say FD, Talk groups- QK 2, Then next group EMS, Talk groups- QK3. You may eve subdivide PD and Fire into respective TAC groups using assigned QK's. For the 396 and most likely the 346, all you have to do then is hit "Function" and whatever QK you want on or off. You might also get some type of software such as Butel or Freescan so you don't get carpal tunnel. You also may want to start thinking about getting a 325P2 so you will be able to listen to phase I and II systems. You can also get Provoice and DMR upgrades to this one. The 436 is more expensive and still has a few bugs. Good luck.

Eugene KG4AVE
 

jonwienke

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The 436 is more expensive and still has a few bugs.
The P2 series of scanners have similar firmware bugs, but Uniden is focusing on fixing the x36 line first.
 

Eugene

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Ah.....did not know that. I'm sure there have been threads about it but all I seem to read is 436 this and 536 that.....not that it is good but glad to know it is germane to both product lines as I bought a 436 and after reading about the bugs was having 325P2 angst. I am interested to know if the original poster had any luck with his programming issue??

Eugene KG4AVE
 

marksmith

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I think the "bugs" are now largely associated with DMR.

The main issues, such as clock, screen display lighting and such seem to be pretty much handled now in terms of new radios.

The P2 bugs are also mainly DMR firmware related, as the key bug in those radios, a problem when listening to a Phase 2 system and anything else, was resolved quickly with a firmware update.

536/436/ws1095/996p2/996xt/325p2/396xt/psr800/396t/HP-1/HP-2 & others
 

Eugene

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Messages
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Portsmouth, VA
Good to know........we have few DMR systems in this area and nothing I really listen to. I did read about the "battery door" issue, but foil is cheap and even I can put foil on a door. I did have a problem when in Las Vegas....wouldn't receive the new P2 system but read that for some reason a poster said that full squelch for reason resolved the issue.

Eugene KG4AVE
 

cistercian

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Oct 7, 2016
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north carolina
Well, I believe I've made the same mistake twice !!! I purchased a 346XTC a couple of years ago, one reason was the remote control head which I unceremoniously found was discontinued AFTER I bought the scanner, the second is 2 years worth of confussion and the inability to program this unit the way I wanted to and actually have it work. This unit was stolen in November and what did I do, I went and bought an identical replacement...new unit, same headaches.

My question for anyone is, am I better off abandoning the 346XTC, perhaps using it for a doorstop or leveler for a crooked table leg and moving to a Whistler TRX-1? Is anyone familiar wit the differences (other than the database on SD card)? Can I turn different "departments" on and off within trucked systems via a "quick key" (such as a police, fire or ems within a county trunked system)?

I'll be honest, I have a 165 IQ and I cant figure this 346XTC out, they should have brought Tylenol on as a sponsor.

Thanks for any help or opinions !!

I have a HP-2 and like it a lot. I recently bought a TRX-2 and like it too. Learning the whistler programming was a steep learning curve but worth it. I think owning both is a good way to go. I am 55 and my eyes are not so hot anymore so I really like the HP-2 display...but the TRX-2 works wonderfully once you figure it out and It decodes more modes too.

The HP is easy to edit departments on the fly with the avoid feature as well as the services. It is different on the whistler and not as quick or easy. But you can build your own custom edits of various systems on it and use those. My TRX-2 is running right now and since I got it I am using it everyday. Once set up it is fantastic for my P25 phase 2 simulcast city. Both radios have their strengths and weaknesses. The HP-2 is easier to me for quick changes via the front panel. The TRX-2 is slower for me from the front panel but it will do way more than the HP-2 and seems to have a better receiver as well. I think it is a system worth learning and using if for no other reason the new modes it will open up to you.
 
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