What Do Think Of The Uniden 436?

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mkaskavitch

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I've owned a scanner my entire life. However, the units I've had are true Uniden analog antiques. Since relocating to Denver it's obvious I need a digital/trunking scanner. Here are my questions:

-- I'm looking at the Uniden BCD436HP. As Colorado (Denver Metro) enthusiasts what do think of this unit?

-- We're blessed with great coverage for many systems in our state. Living in the City of Denver how important or unimportant is an outdoor antenna? I'll mostly be monitoring public safety/military/aviation.

I look forward to your input!

de KC9LWC
 

natedawg1604

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Frankly there aren't a huge amount of scanners to choose from that work well with huge multi-site P-25 systems like DTRS. Also the market for "Phase 2" compatible scanners is even smaller: currently only two scanners support Phase 2, namely the GRE PSR 800 and the newest Unidens. There are several Denver-Metro P-25 public safety systems which will eventually switch to phase 2 for some or all talkgroups. Nobody knows when it will happen, but when it does you will need a phase 2-compatible scanner to keep listening.
 

ecanderson

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-- We're blessed with great coverage for many systems in our state. Living in the City of Denver how important or unimportant is an outdoor antenna? I'll mostly be monitoring public safety/military/aviation.
Since no one addressed this part of your query...

No way to answer this one, unfortunately! So we'll work around the edges to see how it goes.

If you've been scanning for some time, you'll know that everything depends upon your own site location and what it is you're trying to hear. If you're on the first floor of an apartment building, facing the wrong way in a fairly deep 'hole' in the topography, it's a very different situation from being on a hill in a single family home. Understand that nearly all of the public safety agencies here are on digital in 700/800MHz with VERY few hold-outs still using VHF for anything. At those frequencies, line of sight to a transmitter matters more. Being digital, signal quality matters more in any case. Odds are slim that you'd be unlucky enough to live in one of the 'holes' in the area, though. The metro area isn't as flat as it might first appear, but we have towers up on the mountains nearby that deal with that problem pretty well.

On the whole, you'll probably be OK with an indoor antenna if you're reasonably well sited in the Denver area. Aviation (VHF) should be great from DIA and other regional airports, and since there are several sites serving public safety around the metro area on our DTRS system, you should be able to pick up most anything of interest to you from one tower or another. Denver itself is about to move from EDACS to DTRS APCO Phase II (as noted, you'll probably need a new radio for this), but I have not heard if there is any intent to upgrade their transmitter site count or antenna systems as part of the change. There might be someone here who is more familiar with the entire scope of Denver's plan to update their system.
 
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I've had the 436 for about three weeks now. In the past I was pretty heavy into monitoring most everything in the Denver area, but for the past few years I have been on the sidelines after having three kids. I have to admit the learning curve, even for someone as techie as myself, was pretty steep, but once you get it, it's a phenomenal radio with more than enough capability to monitor the state DTRS system efficiently. I am using the classic RS 800MHz antenna indoors and that gives the radio plenty of ears. I can pick up the West Creek DTRS site from my house in Arvada (maybe 30-40 miles), as well as the DIA trunked system. Most systems of interest should be easily monitored with either the stock antenna or an 800 rubber duckie. If you are in the city of Denver, you might need an outdoor antenna if you want to pickup aircraft on the ground at DIA, APA or BJC, but once they are 500-1000' up, you'll be fine without an outdoor antenna.

If you do decide to go for it (I'm very happy I decided to spend my credit card rewards points on it!), I would be more than happy to help you with figuring it out, as I'm sure there are others that would be willing.
 
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