Uniden BCD536 HomePatrol Review
Uniden have consistently released products that are easy to use, and the BCD536HP model is no exception. They even claim that it’s the “easiest-to-program mobile professional scanner” they’ve ever made.
In this review, we’ll take a deeper look at the Uniden BCD536HP and see whether it lives up to the hype.
Let’s start by taking a quick look at how this mobile/base scanner looks from the outside.
The BCD536HP has a typical horizontal design, with the display screen on the left and the keypad on the right. On the far left of the scanner, there’s a knob for scroll control. Below the screen, there are various buttons for different functions, a MicroSD slot, a mini USB slot, and a headphone jack so you can listen to transmissions even better.
Now that you’re familiar with the design, let’s take a look at what makes the BCD536HP Uniden’s flagship model!
On the back of the scanner, you can find a port in which you can connect the Wi-Fi Dongle that comes with the device, and just like that, you can now connect the scanner to the internet. This opens up an amazing feature since it lets you use the exclusive Uniden Siren App with which you can access and listen to your scanner from anywhere in your home or vehicle.
The Uniden BCD536HP features a S.A.M.E. (Specific Area Message Encoding) technology that allows you to receive weather reports and alerts from NOAA for emergencies regarding your nearby location. With this feature, you can easily avoid weather surprises when going on a road trip or have any other outdoor activities planned.
Close Call RF
The Close Call RF feature lets you set the scanner to receive transmissions from the nearest source it detects, allowing you to receive information as soon as something happens. In addition, there’s a do-not-disturb option that prevents other transmissions you have at the moment from being interrupted.
The Uniden BCD536HP comes with an already programmed MicroSD Card with all the known radio systems in the US and Canada so you don’t have to spend countless hours searching for all the channels. The database is constantly updated through the free Sentinel Software that comes with the scanner, so you always have relevant information.
Trunk Tracker V
With the amazing TrunkTracker V technology, you can follow communications on trunked systems such as APCO 25 Phase 1, Phase 2, X2-TDMA, Motorola, EDACS, and LTR. This technology also allows for extremely easy setup – just enter your zip code and you’re good to go!
You can even connect the scanner to an external GPS receiver to track your location and detect local frequencies while you travel.
- Frequency Coverage: 25-512 MHz; 758-824 MHz; 849-869 MHz; 894-960 MHz; 1240-1300 MHz
- Frequency Steps: 5, 6.25, 7.5, 8.33, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 25, 50, 100 kHz
- TrunkTracker V
- Pre-Programmed Database
- Sentinel Software
- Close Call RF Capture
- Back-lit display and keypad
- 4GB MicroSD Card
- Range Control
For the full list of specifications for the Uniden BCD536HP, click here.
What’s in the Box
The Uniden BCD536HP comes with the following items included:
- AC Power Adapter
- USB Connection Cable
- Installed MicroSD Card
- Wi-Fi Dongle
- Telescoping Antenna
- Cigarette Lighter Power Adapter
- DC Cord with Orange Wire
- Mounting Bracket with Screws and Feet
Here’s an official unboxing video so you can check out all the parts for yourself:
What Users Love the Most about It
All these amazing features are worth nothing if the product does not work as described. Luckily, a quick look through online reviews of customers who’ve already used this product is all you need to know that this scanner really is as good as it seems.
“As a scanner newbie, I was looking for something to listen in to local police and fire departments. My first purchase was the RS PRO-652 from my local RS store and had a very difficult time with the programming. After that, I ordered this Uniden model from Amazon. 30 minutes after I received the package I was good to go. I put in the zip code and all the local channels started loading. I even use my iPad to listen to it through the app and sometimes do some programming through the iPad as well. I even got it to connect to my PC through the wifi. Even though I’m still learning, this scanner seems to be miles ahead of all the others, especially with the built-in home patrol software. I’m amazed that I can pick up radios two counties away. Extremely pleased!” – DanTana.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the BCD536HP different than the BCD436HP?
Even though both were released in the fall of 2013, the main difference between them is that the BCD436HP is handheld and the BCD536HP is for home/base and vehicles. You can check out our review of the BCD436HP to find out more about the handheld model.
Can you power this unit from the USB cable in the car?
The Unit cannot be powered from the USB cable the scanner comes with a cigarette lighter adapter and hardwire cable to connect to a car battery. You can use either one of those cables to power the unit but the USB cable is for data transfer only for this scanner.
The 996 will switch all modes and analog/digital during a scan. Will the 536 switch analog/digital also? What does the 996 do that this radio does not?
The proper question is what the 536 will do that the 996 does not. 3 of the biggest improvements over the 996 are streaming over the web to a tablet, smart phone, or PC, Apco 25 Phase II, and being able to program (just like the Home Patrol line) using only your zip code. There is also improved simulcast performance.
If you are a technology geek that can appreciate all the amazing features the Uniden BCD536HP offers, then surely this scanner is the right one for you. It will take some time learning to use the countless features, but it’s all worth it when you consider the outstanding results you’ll get from this scanner, no matter what’s your reason for using it.
Final rating: 4.5/5