Worth upgrading from a 2096?

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geoff5093

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I have a RS Pro-2096 scanner currently, which actually has a damaged mainboard (bought another damaged one on eBay that had a bad LCD, so I'm looking to fix it up). Anyways, I'm caught between just keeping the 2096 or selling it on eBay for around $300 or so, and then pickup the 396T which goes for a bit under $400 on eBay.

I was looking at the 996 but I would really like a portable so I can bring it in the house to monitor stations, versus just in the car.

So basically what I'm asking, is if you guys think that the 396T would be a worthy upgrade from the 2096 (ignoring the portable vs base difference). What kinds of features does the 396 offer over then 2096? Have you guys had positive results with your radio?
 

WouffHong

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396T vs 996T vs 2096

I had always been a R/S scanner champion (since tuneable and Xtal days) and still have PRo-96 I occasionally use. I purchased a 396T because it was smaller. Audio was not as good at the PRO-96, unfortunately..

Now, I understand you are asking about a 396T - I swapped mine for a 996T recently and it is a jewel, IMHO, and recommend it highly. Great audio also.. :)

It slips in and out of a DIN sleeve if you want a secure car mounting, yet easily removeable with the "keys" supplied.. The GPS input was a delight driving back and forth from here in North GA to FL, with the radio obediently switching local programming for each town or area we passed through unaided.

They put a lot of thought into this beast and as a cool mini-feature you can even flip the readout "upside down" for cases where the 996 might be upside down with speaker pointing up! - In my case, I mounted velcro on the XYL's small dash-top and matching mating Velcro on the Top of the scanner.

I then just flip the 996 upside-down onto the dash with speaker facing up, push a few buttons and the LCD display flips upside down and is now readable directly while 996T is inverted!

(Display color has a good number of selections for night/day use and the 996T can even give you speed, direction and warning spots (speed traps, cheap gas, etc) that you have noted while driving by to find later. )

Been a Ham for 55 Years and am increasingly amazed at how communications/monitoring technology has shot forward, even in the last 4-5 years..

Tom, W4NOV
NASA-KSC STS/ISS Comm/Nav Systems PE (Ret'd)
 
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loumaag

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geoff5093 said:
...
So basically what I'm asking, is if you guys think that the 396T would be a worthy upgrade from the 2096 (ignoring the portable vs base difference). What kinds of features does the 396 offer over then 2096? Have you guys had positive results with your radio?
I have a 2096 (also a Pro-96) and I have a BCD396T. The biggest advantage of the 396T over the 96/2096 is DMA vs Banks/Lists memory. Also the 396T will trunk track in the 700 MHz band. The biggest disadvantage between the two 96/2096 and 396T is that the 396T will lock onto the first control channel (CCh) on Motorola or P25 systems and will not change or "see" another until it loses that signal; compared the 96/2096 ability to scan all CCh's set up in a bank.

As far as I am concerned the 396T is a clearly better overall scanner, especially from the user's standpoint; although it is more involved to program, that involvement gives you better control of what you hear and when you want to hear it.

I need to add, that the 996T (mobile) does not suffer from that single CCh per system problem present in the 396T.
 

torontokris

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you could also look into a PSR-500 handheld.
im a huge Uniden fan just giving suggestions

And there is no need to have multiple CChanels together as you can set them up as different systems. Its totally different from "banks" in your 96.
the 396 won't track multiple CCh in a single system because there is no need to.
Memory is dynamic amd 6000 channels no v-folder crap


or stick with a base/mobile and have a mount in the car (not in dash) so you can carry it in the house
 

Viper43

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I have the 396 and 2096, each has it's pro's and cons, but I mainly use the 2096 now with Pro96Com software, but feature wise the 397 blows the 2096 out of the water and one I use a lot is the Fire Tone Out or FTO. I use the 2096 in search mode as well as it does seem to pull in weaker frequencies better, but if I'm doing serious searching I use an old Pro2035 with an OS235 board in it and Probe software for logging. The long and the short of it is all scanners have a use, you just have to decide if certain models have the features you will use, so I'd suggest you download the manuals for the models your looking at and read the forums here to help you decide whats best for you :)


V
 

geoff5093

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Thanks for your suggestions so far. I did look at the 996 as well, but what I may do (haven't decided for sure yet), is to get my 2096 fixed and keep that in a fixed location, either in my car or in the house and then use the 396 for when I want to bring it other locations, although I also think that it's a bit pointless and expensive to have two digital scanners when I will really only use one at a time.

As for the audio, I have an external speaker and NMO scanner antenna that I used with my 2096, so I wouldn't have to worry about the audio being too low in the car (unless the audio is so low even with a non-amplified speaker).

The biggest disadvantage between the two 96/2096 and 396T is that the 396T will lock onto the first control channel (CCh) on Motorola or P25 systems and will not change or "see" another until it loses that signal; compared the 96/2096 ability to scan all CCh's set up in a bank
I'm not really sure what you mean, don't all scanners stay on a certain frequency until it is either out of range or the communications stop? Or do you mean the 396 will stay on that P25 frequency even if communications have stopped, while still in range?
 

Viper43

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Actually what he should have said was that after a transmission the 396 will not look for another control channel in that system but switch to another system. So if a system has multiple sites each site has to be set up as a system instead, where the 2096 and 996 can have multiple sites and scann each control channel the 396 only uses the first one it finds. For short it doesn't do multisite trunking.

What you run just one scanner at a time?? try running 16 of them! Although lately I'm only using 4 24/7 :)
 

loumaag

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geoff5093 said:
haha, well I have an FT-7800 that I use to monitor a few local repeaters and the major 140Mhz frequencies, such as fire, hospital, security, etc.

I was looking at RadioShack and according to the reviews, they don't seem to be too pleased with the 396...

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2952982&tab=custRatings#showReviews
:lol:
Yeah, and if I had paid what RS asks for it, I would have plenty to say negatively about it also. That RS price is about $80 higher than the next highest retail price you will find anywhere.

As for the confusion on the single site/per system. Imagine that if you loaded all the CCh's for a large Moto or P25 TRS in your Pro-96/2096, and you were only monitoring that one bank. Generally you would expect it to check each CCh for activity as you drove or moved around. The 396T, assuming you were monitoring only one system, will stay locked on that first CCh it found until it can't decode it any longer, then it will find the next and lock onto it. Yes, you can set up multiple "systems" but those would be entire systems (frequencies and TG's) for each site you wanted to monitor; both a memory waste and a major performance hit. As I said, the 996T does not suffer from that problem as you can have multi-sites per TRS programmed. The details are bit more complicated, but that is the general overview.
 

geoff5093

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Thanks for the clarification, I don't monitor too many P25 channels, none of which are trunked, so I'm hoping it's not a huge deal. The only negative things I hear/read about the 396T is that the audio levels between digital and analog can get annoying, but I'm hoping I'll be able to tweak the (AGC?). The 996 is definitely a nice radio, but I would like a mobile scanner more then a base, since I probably will end up selling my 2096 once it's fixed.

I'm watching one on eBay that ends in 8 hours and is only up to $355, so I may bid on it if you guys think it's a good deal. I already asked the seller if he registered the radio on uniden.com, because it's my understanding that if it's already registered, then you may not be able to download the V2 firmware, correct?

Heres the link: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=140225610013&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=004
 

Viper43

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No, even if it's registered you can update it. You just might have to give the registration a couple tries before it accepts it.
The AGC, there is one fot digital and one for analog so they can be done seperately, and it works pretty well, I have both of them on.
The 996 is a BASE/MOBILE ie in the house or in the car.
 

geoff5093

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Oh ok, I went to the Uniden website and tried to go as far as I could with registering, and I saw that you need to enter some registration information. But if you're sure that I can still download it, then thats even better to hear.

So do you think that around $360-$400 is a good price for a used 396T?
 

geoff5093

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That last auction got up to $465, which is way too much for a refurb model, especially seeing as how the same exact item had been going for $390-$430 before, so I am going to try and bit on another one for hopefully around $400.

Any last comments or suggestions? I already bought the USB data cable and car adapter, so I am really set on getting one, but all comments are still welcome.
 
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