VCD-396XT vs PSR-500 - Which One Should I Buy?

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michaelmaxim

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Woodbridge, VA
I'm taking my Pro-164 back today to the Shack and getting either a VCD-396XT or a PSR-500 today to scan the digital comms in my area. I talked to a guy a Ham Radio Outlet (who said he couldn't offer any assistance on programming it) and said that the PSR-500 can be programmed by a software utility that was an extra $40 or so. I am very new to using scanners and have zero programming knowledge. I was hoping that I could get something at this shop (since they seemed to be the experts) and have them help with the programming. I would have offered to pay for their time but they simply didn't want to do it. I thought that was kind of odd... It's kind of like.. we'll sell you the car but we won't service it. Hmm.. I don't understand but whatever.

So based on everyone's experiences with these two digital units... which one would be my best bet for programming and getting the talkgroups setup with ease?
 

kb8rvp

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Jul 4, 2003
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551
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Michigan
The BCD396XT and the GRE PSR500 are both great scanners and both come with power and programming cables to get you started. Both will have a learning curve to get them programmed. I have both and am leaning toward the Uniden XT model as my favorite. You can use the freescan software to program the Uniden scanner and if you get the 6 months subscription from radio reference you can use the freescan software and then connect to radiorefrence database from within the software to download and program your scanner. Of course you can do the same with the GRE scanner using the win500 or the psredit software as well as others. You may want to purchase your scanner from a dealer that will let you try the scanner and if it doesn't work well in your area then sent it back and try a different brand or get a Pro-106 from radio shack (it's the same scanner as the PSR-500)...

GRE has the most sensitive receive if you are in a really remote location but can be over powered if high RF areas of a city.

I know for the Uniden scanners communication electronics in Ann Arbor Michigan had a 60 day trial period and scanner master may also but I'm not sure.

Mike
 

michaelmaxim

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Woodbridge, VA
I did want assistance but I also wanted to be a part of it so I can learn on my own too. I ended up getting a GRE PRS-500 about 15 min ago at Ham Radio Outlet in Woodbridge,VA... So now I am going to look at WIN500 and get that downloaded. I just signed up as a premium member to take advantage of being able to import the frequencies here and get what I need... This really is a learning experience!
 

wogggieee

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Sep 30, 2005
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Hugo , MN
Perhaps you might want to think about contacting a local amateur radio group to help you program it. They would likely have someone who knows something about scanning and programing them in your area and would likely be cheaper or free as opposed to stores which are over priced very badly.
 
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