If you can learn to program it manually that will help you understand the radio and a little how the systems are set up - in my opinion. I have a 396T that I bought used after having the 296D, and I programmed the 296D manually - I was too lazy to learn how to hook it up to my computer, as I have owned and manually programmed my scanners like you have for a number of years. I had the 296D for a while as all or most of the systems here went to APCO 25. As everyone on this list will confirm it is a pain in the neck (or other body parts) to manually program these radios with these P25 trunking systems (396XT, et.al.). When I got the 396T and the Butel software and the subscription to RR it has taken my scanning to new heights. Its kinda like, why didn't I do this sooner ? Anyway, I think once you get past the learning curve, you will be really satisfied. From what I read here on this list the 396XT is a really cool radio and I am sure you will love it.
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2010 19:33:45 +0000
Subject: [BCD396XT] New to APCO 25
I am seriously considering purchasing a new 396XT next week. I have owned several non APCO 25 scanners over the years which were very easy to use by simply inputting the frequency and listening to both sides of the conversation for Public Service. I understand that a Radio Reference subscription is absolutely necessary to operate the radio properly. My question is, will this radio be easy to program and enable me to listen to both sides of the conversation for my local Police Departments without too much trouble. The last thing I want to do is spend the money on the radio, Butel software and a subscription to radio reference and then not be satisfied. Your comments would be greatly appreciated.
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