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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Scanners | Uniden BCD396T Help

Reviews Summary for Uniden BCD396T
Uniden BCD396T Reviews: 7 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $544.50
Description: Hand held TruckTracker IV Scanner
Motorola APCO 25 Digital, Motorola Analog Type I/II/IIi Hybrid including SMARTNET & PRIVACYPLUS trucking systems. Also decodes EDACS & EDACS SCAT, and LTR Trucking radio systems. Continuous Freq. coverage of 25MHz-1300MHz excluding UHF TV and cellular frequencies. Advanced Dynamic Memory System, Close Call RF Capture Technology. 6000 Dynamically Allocated channels(3000 typical)
Product is in production.
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SIERRAHOTEL Rating: 4/5 May 1, 2011 05:14 Send this review to a friend
Good RF performance, bad digital audio decoding.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I would give this radio a 3.5 if it was available. I rounded it up to a 4 instead.

I bought a 396T soon after they came out. I didn't keep it for long, as the bad digital audio annoyed me too much to tolerate. I had a GRE PSR-500 already, and it blew the 396 out of the water on digital decoding. It wasn't a bad radio in other areas at all, but it "lost" about 20% of the voice traffic that the PSR-500 had, and it never sounded as good, ever. When I did the first DSP and firmware update on the PSR, the gap widened even more, so I sold it.

It is better built than the GRE PSR-500 and RS Pro-106, and friend's 396T's look much better after a couple years of use than their GRE built radios do. I don't like the display on the Unidens at all, the font isn't a good choice for pleasant reading. To me, the better digital audio, and more pleasant operation make the GRE radios a better choice. If you are in a heavy RF environment, such as inside a city, or near paging equipment, etc, the Unidens will be a better choice.

VE3BXB Rating: 4/5 Jan 8, 2009 08:43 Send this review to a friend
No Firmware Upgrade Required  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hello Every one. I just am sending this post to say that I am very happy with my BCD396T scanner. It performs reasonably well and the only thing that I don't like about it is that the casing is made of plastic. I have never upgraded my firmware for the exact reasons of the posting that is listed below. I spend my time listening instead of adjusting my scanner. I do use Arc 396 software and it sure makes life a whole easier for programming. When connected to the net, a click of the mouse is so simple to do and personally I would never manually program my scanner. I also own the 999T model and it also performs very well with no firmware upgrade required. The way I see it is if it is working great, don't change anything.
Thank for taking the time to read this posting
WB8UUJ Rating: 5/5 Nov 7, 2008 22:44 Send this review to a friend
I love both of mine!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Let's put it this way....I'm a seasoned citizen with a dedicated interest in public safety scanning/listening....I have two 396s, one as "a base" as it were, and one as "a grab 'n go"....I bought them because three of my geographical areas went to trunked P-25 systems and I had to buy an appropriate scanner, or give up the hobby....

I AM NOT a computer enthusiast....I know nothing about "downloading software" etc etc....I read the Motorola BCD396T manual, carefully prepared the paper worksheets as UNIDEN directed, and then I programmed my 396s manually....with my fingers....yes, it took a long time....but by doing so I now have a good knowledge of how my 396s the systems and groups are organized....and most importantly, I now have a good working knowledge of how trunked P-25 systems actually work....

Other than an antenna, an external power source, and an external speaker, I've not plugged anything "foreign" into either of my 396s....hence, I've not damaged them....they've both worked perfectly from the beginning....

I read on 396 user groups about using software to program the 396s, and to update the 396 firmware....and yes, I wish I had the skill to do 396s would be easier to programn and the new firmware would make them more up to date....but to be completely honest, sometimes it seems that folks spend more time working with their computers and their scanners, and correcting problems that have been introduced, than actually listening to their scanners....

My scanners are all programmed....they function perfectly and, except for occasionally adding a new talkgroup and alpha tag, 99% my scanner time is spent listening to all the public safety action....and listening is my hobby!

K5XS Rating: 5/5 Oct 17, 2008 20:33 Send this review to a friend
Great!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have owned many scanners, and this one is undoubtedly the best.

Downloading new firmware is straightforward, and there is plenty of help at for those who have trouble with it. And there are several add-on software packages that make loading area-specific frequency sets a breeze.

A note on performance: This scanner really beats my GRE scanner on selectivity. Off-frequency signals that open the GRE's squelch don't bother the 396T at all.

It is very small, doesn't suck down batteries, and works very well.

I strongly recommend it as a small, high-erformance P25 capable scanner.
W8TRC Rating: 5/5 Aug 21, 2008 18:14 Send this review to a friend
Excellant!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have owned more scanners than I can count since the days you had to buy a crystal for each frequency, but after purchasing and setting up the BCD396T it is the best of the breed. I wanted it mainly for Digital P25 monitoring and found it far superior to the Pro-96 it replaced. The GRE made Pro-96 was a good beginning but the dynamic memory system and clean audio of Uniden is great. Some of the minor critisism is valid, the manual is a bit confusing but if you do your homework and write the programs first, and then put them in, it goes a lot easier. I know programming with software is easier, but I did it manual with no problems. I noticed in other reviews complaints about audio going up and down, but a lot of firemen and police officers in my home area (north of Detroit/Macomb County) use power mikes on thier radios and when transmitting increase the audio volumne over the Dispatch audio. I don't see in my radio a lot of difference otherwise between analog and digital signals. The size is just right and with the blue display and ease of operation it is worth the price.
N0OQA Rating: 5/5 May 31, 2008 20:13 Send this review to a friend
Impressive Technology  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I give the BCD396T a high rating because of the intriguing amount of great technology in such a small package...

I really like a new technology toy that takes time to master... This thing has so many features its like a puzzle...

I really like this thing!!!

May not be a good scanner for the technicaly limited... Sign up on the "BCD396T Yahoo Group" is helpfull...
N9JJN Rating: 3/5 Mar 15, 2008 12:01 Send this review to a friend
Marvelous little radio, but..  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
They really did their homework when they put this scanner together. It covers just about everything, is compact, battery friendly, easy to read display, loud audio. Only problem, is that programming is very challenging and not intuitive, particularily with the trunked frequencies. I am in the process of getting familiar with the program to load trunked frequencies and will revise my comments when I have that mastered. Until then, the preloaded frequencies are marginal coverage at best. Unless you want to learn how to program multiple levels of input or are willing to pay about $100 to have someone program it for you, I would NOT recommend this as your first scanner.

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