Uniden Handheld TrunkTracker IV Digital Police Scanner (BCD396XT) Review
For years, I have been the owner of the older Uniden scanners that came out in 2003 and provided me with positive memories. In addition, as the years passed my scanner decided to say goodbye and I had to find a new one to replace it and bought myself the Uniden Handheld TrunkTracker IV Digital Police Scanner (BCD396XT).
The first thing I did was to read up on this scanner on the Internet and found that the BCD396XT was a great improvement over my previous model. Moreover, Uniden had tried hard to listen to customers who had asked for certain improvements and features. Reading about all the features is still not the same as to when you finally hold it in your hand that you start understanding all the features offered.
My thoughts regarding the Digital Trunking Police Scanner
The first thing I noted with the Digital Trunking police scanner is the fact that it is significantly smaller than the older models and very solid in your hands. When holding it you find two buttons on the side of the radio one are the function key and the one below is the menu key. The front panel with the display consists of 16 keys in total and the top of the radio has a single scroll knob you can use for the volume, squelch, and a couple of other functions.
When I used it for the first time, I was not that fond of the button method, however, once I got use to it I started appreciating the advantages it had. In order for you to adjust the scanners’ volume you need to push down on the knob, the display shows a line for the volume and as you fine-tune the control, you see the setting as well as hear the difference when the scanner is active. What is great about this knob is that it prevents any accidental changing of setting when it comes to the volume and squelch.
With one push of the power button on the police scanner and the radio comes on and in my case all, the banks were active. The scanner comes with a big memory that can hold 25,000 items and you can place it up to 99 banks that you toggle on and off as required.
Receiving of the BCD396XT
The receiving of P-25 digital signals is very good and even better than some other models that I have worked with. Although, I found the Uniden BCD396XT lacked audio sound, but not too much and easy to live with as I did not want to blast myself away while driving.
The scanner uses an SMA type connector and has many features to offer and some of them that I like are the “close call,” service search, programmable search, band scope, and more. another great feature I like the most is the ability to set-up a start-up key and you can set it up to come on with your pre-selected group of banks. The display is great and easy to read and provides you with six colored backgrounds to choose.
The Bottom line
To be honest, I love this new Uniden BCD396XT as it provides me with good digital reception and comes with many features. The Analog reception is excellent while the radio is a bit complicated because it has many capabilities and power.
- The BCD396XT can be updated to support Rebanding
- The scanner has APCO25 Digital Audio decoding and NAC decoding
- It supports P25 Conventional channels that include NAC and TGID client differentiation
- The Adaptive Digital Threshold allows you to automatically set the digital decode threshold for APCO 25 systems
- TrunkTracker IVwith Motorola Control Channel
- The scanner comes with Multi-Site support
- It has Multi-color display backlight that has six different color settings
- The System / Channel Number Taggingprovides quick access to a specific system or channel
- The Control Channel Data Output allows you to analyze the control data without the need to carry out persistent alterations to the scanner
- It come with Uniden Close Call, with Close Call Do Not Disturb, Close Call Priority, and Close Call Temporary Store
- It has GPS Support for location-based scanning, place alerts, and crows-flight navigation
- It comes with100 Quick Keys
- Adjustable Band defaults
- Individual channel volume offset
- With the Intermediate Frequency Exchange you can change the IF used for a chosen frequency to help evade picture and other mixer-product meddling on a frequency
- The Key Safe Mode lets you hand the scanner to a beginner user and avoid programming from being altered
- The Private Systems lets you highlight a system so that it cannot be read out of the scanner or altered
- Band Scope provides you with a graphic representation of signal activity
- The digital trunking police scanner comes with Startup Configuration
- The Frequency/ID AutoStore automatically stores frequencies from a service or limit search into a conventional system or store converse group IDs into a Trunked structure
- It comes with16 character text tagging for each system, site, group, channel, talk group, search range, location, Tone-out, and SAME group
- It has Quick Search
- The radio comes with 12 Service Searches
- With the Custom Search feature you can program up to 10 search ranges
- 3 Quick-Access Search Keys
- Fire Tone-Outalert
- Channel Alert
- The Independent Alert Tone Volume allows you set the volume level of the following tones: Key Beep, Emergency Alert, Channel Alert, and Close Call Alert.
- Weather Alert Priority
- Signal Strength display
- LCD and Keypad Backlight
- Battery level display
- Battery saver
- Key Lock
- PC Programming and Control
- Wired Cloning
- Uniden offers you with a one-year limited warranty
If you are looking for some great customer feedback Amazon provides you with some great reading when it comes to the Uniden Handheld TrunkTracker IV Digital Police Scanner (BCD396XT).
The majority of customers are pleased with the scanner as they use it for the railroad, emergency, and weather transmissions. The police scanner provides great transmission and receiving. Some customers advised that it is not one of the most user-friendly CB radios when it comes to programming and setting up with their PC.
One customer advised that he has been using scanners for more than half his live ranging back from the seventies and this police scanner is one of the best he has ever owned. It is compact, provides superlative audio, and the quality of the design has a class of its own.
Pros and Cons of Uniden Handheld TrunkTracker IV Digital Police Scanner (BCD396XT)
- The digital trunking police scanner is portable to use while in your vehicle or at home
- It comes with advanced programming features to use with your PC
- The battery life is good and I have left it on for eight hours before the low battery warning came on
- You receive a set of rechargeable batteries with the unit
- Many users advised that it is not that user-friendly when it comes to programming the scanner
Tips to make your life easier while using the police scanner
- If you want to use the BCD396XT in your car, buy yourself a car charger and a ninepin male adapter with USB port as the scanner only comes with a ninepin female adapter.
- Make sure that you order yourself ARC-XT basic software available on a trial basis to help you make the programming easier and provide you with an online manual.
If you are looking for a CB radio that provides you with all the thrills when it comes to the latest technology, then the Uniden Handheld TrunkTracker IV Digital Police Scanner (BCD396XT) offers you with a whole package in one. It may not be the easiest programmable CB radio, but once you have used it with a great program like Freescan you will never look back again.