BCD396XT.COM

Overall Comparison

Below is an overall comparison of the BCD396XT & the PSR-500/PRO-106.
Feature Winner Notes
Display BCD396XT Bearcat has a far more informative display.
Digital Decode PSR500 / PRO106 GRE still decodes digital better than Uniden, especially on Simulcast systems.
Analog Audio PSR500 / PRO106 Louder audio from a larger speaker.
Ease of Use PSR500 / PRO106 Once the radio is programmed the GRE is easier to use, and it is easier to add channels on the fly.
Ease of Programming BCD396XT Even with the Multi-Function Knob instead of more buttons the Uniden is more straightforward once you learn how. It is way more complicated now to add a new system than it was to reprogram a Bank on older scanners however.
Sensitivity PSR500 / PRO106 The GRE is more sensitive than the Uniden but can be prone to interference in high RF areas.
Selectivity BCD396XT The BCD396XT is less prone to interference in high RF areas.
Susceptibility to overload BCD396XT  The BCD396XT is less prone to intermod and adjacent channel interference, especially in high RF areas. 
Better Strategic Radio BCD396XT If you are traveling and can plan ahead the BCD396XT allows fast access to preprogrammed systems via the Quick Keys and Start Up Keys. While it takes planning, once you get the radio programmed up it is easy to switch from set-up to set-up. The GRE's V-Scanner works well, but it takes time to program and deploy the various V-Scanners, and only one can be active at a time.
Better Tactical Radio PSR500 / PRO106 The larger size and more extensive keyboard makes it easier to change things on the fly, once you understand the programming method.
Object Oriented vs. DMA Tie This depends on personal preference. The GRE Object Oriented format and the Uniden DMA perform the same goal in different ways.
Close Call vs. Signal Stalker PSR500 / PRO106 GRE and Uniden go about in different ways to accomplish the same goal. The GRE picks up weaker signals than the Uniden but often these might not be of interest. Due to the difference in methods use the Uniden will pick up signals faster than the GRE, but the GRE will not be blocked as much as the Uniden would in strong signal areas. While it is a matter of personal opinion, we definitely prefer the Uniden method.
Overall Size BCD396XT Uniden's compact size wins out over the bulky GRE.
Belt Clip BCD396XT The GRE's belt clip is flimsy and fixed, The Uniden allows the radio to rotate. We suggest however that you use a protective case and remove the clip altogether and make the issue a tie.
Battery Life Tie We found very similar results from both radios. While the GRE has 4 AA cells, it apparently draws more power, which makes the battery life pretty much equal.
Overall Feature Set BCD396XT With Fire Tone Out, GPS and Site Trunking the BCD396XT beats out the GRE.
Best for a Novice Tie Coming in fresh with no previous reference, new users could learn either method, although expect a very significant learning curve that sometimes can be frustrating. Novices have to learn both a solid understanding of how advanced trunking and digital radio systems work plus an understanding of how to program and operate these scanners. It's going to be a challenge either way, but a very rewarding and enjoyable life-long experience in the end. (Buying software and/or having Scanner Master pre-program the scanner for the user's area will save a tremendous amount of time in this process though and will help lessen the learning curve for either radio.)
Best for a Pro BCD396XT Easier to convert from Banks and Channels to DMA than Object Oriented Scanning.
Best Construction BCD396XT The Uniden has a better "fit and finish".
Best Overall Operation and Design PSR500 / PRO106 GRE's individual volume/squelch controls are easier to use and more of the programming can be done with the keyboard directly.

Feature by Feature Comparison:

Below is a feature-by-feature comparison of the PSR-500/PRO-106 and BCD396XT. Specifications are as reported by the manufacturer.
Feature GRE PSR-500 / RS PRO-106 Uniden BCD396XT
Regular Price ($US) 500 495
Scanner Interface Type Object Oriented DMA
Maximum Channels <1800 25000
Maximum Talkgroups 1500 500/System
Maximum Banks/Systems Depends on available memory (usually hundreds) 500
VScan Folders Yes No
Nearfield Type Signal Stalker CloseCall
CloseCall Do Not Disturb No Yes
PL Search on CloseCall Yes Yes
CloseCall Lockout Yes Yes
CloseCall Temp Store Yes Yes
Broadcast Screen on CloseCall No Yes
Digital Reception Yes Yes
AGC Yes Yes
Digital Adjust Yes Yes
P25 NAC Yes Yes
Auto Digital Adjust Yes Yes
PC Programming Yes Yes
Clone Yes Yes
Firmware Upgrades Yes Yes
Computer Control Yes Yes
Included Computer Cable USB Serial, Optional USB
Frequency Range (Cell excluded) 25-54, 108-174, 216-512, 763-960, 1240-1300 25-512, 763-960, 1240-1300
VHF & UHF Aircraft bands Yes Yes
Broadcast Bands No FMB,TV-V
Step Size Adjust Yes Yes
Weather Band SAME Alert Yes Yes
Priority Yes Yes
CTCSS Yes Yes
DPL Yes Yes
Quick Search or Tune Yes Yes
Attenuator Yes Yes
Keyboard Lockout Yes Yes
Auto Search and Store Yes Yes
Duplicate Frequency Alert Yes Yes
DataSkip No Yes
Rebanding Capable Yes Yes
Signal Strength Meter Yes Yes
Dimmer Control on display Yes Yes
Key Beep Off Yes Yes
Temp Lockout Yes Yes
Repeater Reverse No Yes
Startup Key Yes Yes
Scan List Grouping Yes No
Quick Key Yes Yes
Carrier Activated Display Light Yes Yes
Fire Tone Out No Yes
GPS No Yes
SkyWarn Yes No
Channel Alert Yes Yes
Alert LED Yes Yes
RH96 Compatible No Yes
Power Supply 9VDC, 500 MA 6V 800 MA
Battery Nr and Type 4 AA 3 AA
Power Port Type "C" 4MM Coax (+)
Power Save Yes Yes
Antenna Jack BNC SMA
Record Jack No No
Backlit Keyboard Yes Yes
Height 5.71 5.35
Depth 1.65 1.22
Width 2.56 2.4
Weight (oz.) 8.5 6
Search Scan Yes Yes
Service Search Yes Yes
Search Lockout Yes 500
Range Searching Yes Multi
Preprogrammed Systems No Yes
Trunked Repeater Activity No Yes
Moto Yes Yes
APCO25 Trunking 9600 Baud Yes Yes
EDACS Yes Yes
ED Narrow Yes Yes
EDACS SCAT No Yes
AFS Search Yes Yes
LTR Trunking Yes Yes
LTR Repeater finder Yes No
LTR Auto Move Yes No
Control Channel Trunking Yes Yes
I-Call Yes Yes
Belt Clip Type Flat, Removable Spring w stud
Included Antenna Type Flat, Removable Rubber Duck w SMA-BNC adaptor
Includes AC Adaptor Yes Yes
Includes recharegable batteries No Yes
Alpha Tag Max Length 16 16
Audio Output mw 250 310
Display Lines 4 4
Selectivity -6 to -50 Unk
Sensitivity at 150 MHz. 0.5 .3
Sensitivity at 450 MHz. 0.5 .3
Sensitivity at 850 MHz. 0.7 .3


FEATURES

•25000 Channels

•TrunkTracker IV

•Close Call

•100 Quick Keys

•Multi-Colored Display

•Alpha Tagging

•Fire Tone-Out

•Band Scope

•S.A.M.E.

•Compact Size

•Audio AGC

•Search with Scan

•PC Control

•NAC Decoding

 

Note that many of the opinions contained herein are of a personal, subjective nature. Others may have a different viewpoint of the features and performance of the radios discussed in this report. We welcome your opinions, many of which we may post on this site in addition to this report. Also, if you find any factual errors in this document, please let us know so that we may correct them.
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