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Uniden Prospective Owners - A discussion area for those interested in purchasing specific models and have questions about them.

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Old 06-14-2018, 7:01 PM
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Default Handheld vs desktop scanner

I am considering upgrading my scanner to either a BCD436HP or BCD536HP and am wondering if there is any difference between getting a handheld scanner vs a desktop. I know portability is a main difference but besides that im not sure if there is any main difference.

I am looking to scan P25 phase 2 as well as MR Motorola Capacity Plus Single Site and MR Motorola Capacity Plus Multi Site.

I apologize in advance if this was already brought up in the forum, but did a quick search and could not find anything.

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Old 06-14-2018, 7:42 PM
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Much of a muchness. Your aerial and location will make the biggest difference.
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Old 06-14-2018, 7:43 PM
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The 536HP allows you to use wi-fi to connect to it (thanks to the dongle) remotely and locally using the Uniden app (using ProScan to connect remotely).

Other than that, the specs are the same. I have both because I'm a HUGE scanner enthusiast!
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Old 06-14-2018, 8:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBGVOLFF View Post
I am considering upgrading my scanner to either a BCD436HP or BCD536HP and am wondering if there is any difference between getting a handheld scanner vs a desktop.
Short answer is no. The 436 and 536 are very similar in terms of receiver performance, and identical in terms of frequencies covered, programming software, database, GPS support, etc. The only differences are the display and control layouts, battery operation (436), and Wi-Fi (536).
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Old 06-15-2018, 2:17 AM
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A portable are always a compromise as everything has to fit into a small closure and it's hard to avoid that different modules of a receiver do not interfere with each other and there's little room for proper shielding.

A bigger box base/mobile scanner are always to be prefered.

If the performance of a portable where as good as a base/mobile they could save huge money by having the same small portable unit to easily install in a car or hide away on a table and have a big front panel to operate, attached with a cable to be powered by 12v and have a bult in high power audio amplifier.

/Ubbe
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Old 06-15-2018, 6:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubbe View Post
A portable are always a compromise as everything has to fit into a small closure and it's hard to avoid that different modules of a receiver do not interfere with each other and there's little room for proper shielding.

A bigger box base/mobile scanner are always to be prefered.
This is not true, for several reasons. The 436 has extensive shielding. There is a large piece of shielding between the circuit boards, and several smaller pieces of shielding covering various RF-related parts of the circuit boards. With modern fabrication technology, you do not need a huge metal box to implement RF shielding.

There's also the practical matter that I own both the 436 and 536, and have done many comparison tests, and there is very little difference between them in terms of RF performance. Even though I live right next to a cell/pager transmitter tower.

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If the performance of a portable where as good as a base/mobile they could save huge money by having the same small portable unit to easily install in a car or hide away on a table and have a big front panel to operate, attached with a cable to be powered by 12v and have a bult in high power audio amplifier.
There isn't that much of a price difference between the 436 and the 536. And most of it can be attributed to the Wi-Fi streaming capability (the dongle, and the associated internal circuitry), and the larger internal audio amplifier and speaker. The 536 is mostly the same RF guts as the 436, in a different form factor, with a larger audio amplifier, 12V power, and Wi-Fi.
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Old 06-17-2018, 7:18 AM
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Thank you guys for all the responses. I have always had a handheld scanner and never a desktop. I like the portability of a handheld but the wifi and other features is hard to pass up.
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:11 PM
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Agreed. I'd rather have a hand held. Economical, if you only have limited radio cash.
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:25 PM
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I prefer the handheld. It will connect to the same antenna, if you're using one. Then when mobile, it's much easier to carry around than the base unit.
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Old 06-17-2018, 3:28 PM
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Handhelds are nice and they certainly can be used as a base but you may need an amplified speaker of some kind to match the audio performance that a B/M model can do on its own.
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:15 PM
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I prefer base models over handhelds simply because they are stationary and you can dial them into a system with a roof-mounted antenna and they perform better in that regard. I use a splitter and run a line inside the house from one of 2 antennas to my portable (TRX-1). I also use a window-placed Snoop Scanner ($35 eBay) antenna that works very well with the TRX-1. I also line out to a Vertex 4" speaker for better audio. With the right accessories you can convert a portable to a base station, but you'd be hard pressed to get similar or same results when mobile in a vehicle. Just my opinion.
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:35 PM
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I really think it comes down to how often do you take a radio with you or do you just listen at home? If you like to listen in a lot of different places, handheld is the way to go, if you are just doing it at home, go with the base/mobile unit.
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Old 06-18-2018, 1:32 PM
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I normally prefer base/dektop models, but in the case of the SDS100 I wanted a portable as I am getting good simulcast performance with a Yagi antenna and my 536. I can't replicate a setup like that when I want to go portable so that drove my decision to get the SDS100 and not wait for a base/desktop model to show up.
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Old 06-18-2018, 2:24 PM
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The portables that take AA battrys are what I prefer because when the commercial power goes out you still have a scanner to listen to.
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Old 06-18-2018, 2:38 PM
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Think about this - would you like it if your (smart) phone was tethered to the wall with a required power cable? Do you want to only listen to your scanner in a fixed location?
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Old 06-18-2018, 3:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captncarp View Post
The portables that take AA battrys are what I prefer because when the commercial power goes out you still have a scanner to listen to.
Ding,ding - a winner. You are correct. A lot of scannist's, are also prepper's, or prepperish.
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Old 06-18-2018, 8:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonwienke View Post
This is not true, for several reasons. The 436 has extensive shielding. There is a large piece of shielding between the circuit boards, and several smaller pieces of shielding covering various RF-related parts of the circuit boards. With modern fabrication technology, you do not need a huge metal box to implement RF shielding.

There's also the practical matter that I own both the 436 and 536, and have done many comparison tests, and there is very little difference between them in terms of RF performance. Even though I live right next to a cell/pager transmitter tower.



There isn't that much of a price difference between the 436 and the 536. And most of it can be attributed to the Wi-Fi streaming capability (the dongle, and the associated internal circuitry), and the larger internal audio amplifier and speaker. The 536 is mostly the same RF guts as the 436, in a different form factor, with a larger audio amplifier, 12V power, and Wi-Fi.
Jon, is there any difference in your view between the 996P2 and the 325P2? Any performance differences or differences in reception capability? Audio amplifier, etc.? Is it superior to the 325 in any way?
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Old 06-18-2018, 9:05 PM
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Quote:
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Jon, is there any difference in your view between the 996P2 and the 325P2? Any performance differences or differences in reception capability? Audio amplifier, etc.? Is it superior to the 325 in any way?
I don't own either of those models, and haven't had the opportunity to do any head-to-head comparisons, so I have no opinion.

But I own the 436 and 536, and have done numerous comparisons between them. And in terms of RF performance, there's very little difference. There's probably differences you could quantify in a test lab, but in real-world performance, they pull the essentially the same traffic when connected to the same antenna and running the same programming.

And this seems to be the case with a large sample of 436s. When I do a GPS install, I generally run it for a while on the same antenna as the 536 to verify that the GPS install didn't bork reception due to RFI issues or whatever. Unit variation seems to be fairly low, the performance of the 436 is pretty consistent unit to unit.
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Old 06-19-2018, 2:36 PM
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Can anyone else share if there are differences between the 996P2 performance and the 325P2? (Or is it more dependent on the type of antenna you have connected to them?)
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Old 06-19-2018, 3:06 PM
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Quote:
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Can anyone else share if there are differences between the 996P2 performance and the 325P2? (Or is it more dependent on the type of antenna you have connected to them?)
I own both, and yes. Its all down to the antenna..

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