BCD436HP and BCD536HP Scanner FAQ

From The RadioReference Wiki

Welcome to the BCD436HP and BCD536HP Scanner FAQ. This will cover the BCDx36HP Series 3 tier DMA scanners. Please feel free to add any commonly asked questions and answers related to these 2 scanners here. This page is devoted to usage, concepts, firmware and known issues. Items regarding software, third party accessories, reflectors and YouTube videos can be found on page 2 of this document. Uniden's Sentinel Software has its own special pages listed under Sentinel (Uniden software).

NOTE: We have separate FAQs for other Uniden products;

The Nuts and Bolts

  • If you're a newcomer, you've probably already discovered that there's a huge amount of terms that seem unfamiliar to you. Our Glossary has lots of these terms, along with definitions. Just click on the term you wish to view.
  • When looking at frequencies in our database, float your mouse over the column header, and you should get a balloon with a brief description of the terms and abbreviations that are used there.
  • The biggest hurdle for many is the concept of trunking. Our Trunking Basics article will get you started, as well as this PDF file written by UPMan. Note that you will need Adobe Acrobat or a compatible reader (such as Foxit) to read it.

Relevant Source Material

Easier to Read Manuals
Other Links
Related Wiki Articles
Uniden TWiki Links

What Must I Do First?

My new BCD436HP/BCD536HP is constantly asking me to set the time and date...what gives?
  • From Uniden's UPMan:
Keep the Time!
Plug in your scanner and turn it on. The first things you'll see are prompts to set 
the date and time. The scanner has a real-time clock with backup power that will run 
the clock for about 1 week. The backup power needs to charge for about 50 hours 
before full backup-time becomes available. If the backup source is depleted before
power is restored, you will be prompted to set the time again upon power up.
  • Upgrade the Firmware to a newer one if prior to 1.09.02.
Where do I go to register my new scanner(s)?

BCD536HP Only

Where can I download ""?
  • Download the file from here
    • Run these updates as Administrator to ensure full hardware access.
    • Thread on wifi issues

Tips on Preventing Database Corruption

  • Always turn off the power switch, wait about 10 seconds then unplug it
  • Use recording and the replay options as little as possible
  • Periodically reformat the SD card
  • I am getting a corruption message. My favorites are in (French, Spanish, etc.)
    • Make sure that the Regional Setting in Windows is set correctly.
  • Here is another method to restore your database and the date on the database is the same as the one being downloaded
  1. Look in C:\ProgramData\Uniden\BCDx36HP_Sentinel\Updater\ (note the ProgramData directory may be hidden. Use View and make sure Show Hidden Files is checked
  2. Remove the GZ file in that folder
  3. In Sentinel select Update --> Update Master Database.

Feature List and Function Discussions

Control Channel Only

Digital End Code Detection

DMR/MOTOTRBO Programming


  • Where is the official BCD436HP Firmware page?
    • Go to this page on the Uniden TWiki
  • Where can I find the ProVoice or DMR upgrade for my BCD436HP?
  • Where is the official BCD536HP Firmware page?
    • Go to this page on the Uniden TWiki; f/w update can only be made through the front port or by dropping f/w bin file into Firmware Folder
  • Where can I find the ProVoice or DMR upgrade for my BCD536HP?
  • Where can I find information on the NXDN update for the 436 and 536?



How do I set up I-Call (also known as Private Call)?
  • See this section in the Easier to Read manual

LCN Finder

Location Based Scanning

Manually Add a P25 Frequency to any list

Modifications and Repair

(BCD536HP) Can I access the discriminator?

(BCD536HP) How do I replace the Backlight LEDs?

(BCD436HP) How do I mod the background color of the screen?

Can the power cord from BCD996XT be used with the 536HP?
  • Yes, in-theory any Power cord from 10.5vDC at 1500ma/1.5amp to 16v at 500ma/.5a with 5.5mm o.d-2.1mm i.d can be used, double check polarity.

NXDN Programming

Audio from Simulcast Systems

The audio from my simulcast digital system is lousy / distorted. What is wrong?

Favorite Lists

Are Favorites Lists automatically updated when the database is?
  • No. It is prudent to keep an eye on the Favorites Lists you plan to use regularly and compare them to the latest database.

FM Broadcast Interference

I suspect I have issues with local FM BCers overloading my scanner. What are some good FM traps to use on these scanners?


If I am having headphones-issues, what can I do?

Noisy VHF Hi / UHF Reception

VHF-Hi and/or UHF Reception is noisy; the scanner seems less sensitive on this band when compared to other radios
  • I get a lot of noise decoding a DMR (digital) UHF signal
    • See this Thread for a full discussion of this topic

Nothing to Scan

Quick Keys

I am a little confused... What's the difference between Quick Keys and Number Tags?
How do I use Favorites Lists and Quick Keys?
  • See these, halfway down, on their respective pages: Favorites, Systems, Departments or Multi-Site Trunking
  • A Favorite does have to be Downloaded, Monitored, and Enabled, then the System has to be Enabled, then as well the corresponding Department - Group of TGID(s) and Site(s)

Receiving P16 or P25 Systems

I'm having trouble receiving P16 or P25 systems. Is there a fix?
  • See the UPMan's suggestion for P25 reception Thread
  • See the P25 audio decode level adjustment article for adjustment procedures, believe it or not, before Audio can be decoded the CC has to be, so adjustment of decode will effect both reception ability and decode ability.
  • See the Simulcast digital distortion article for a full explanation
  • Check Band Plan setting is set to Custom for Motorola Type I or Type II where it's 800 MHz, or VHF or UHF, proper plan should allow reception
  • Check to see System Hold Time is greater than 2 and "Digital Threshold Mode" is set to "Manual", for LSM Phase I or Phase II systems.

Simulcast Distortion

Simplex Reception

Why is Simplex reception not perfect?
  • Scanner is has only a single receiver, not the 2 required for proper decode and reception.
  • You may have overloaded the scanner with your Transceiver - transmitting close by.
  • Try FM instead of NFM with Manual Digital Threshold Manual of between 1-5 available in ProScan and ARC.

Unit IDs (UIDs)

My Unit Id's UID are not displayed correctly, even when replayed?
  • During a constant transmission, the scanner does not attempt to decode the UID multiple times, so therefore until transmissions breaks, the scanner will not re-attempt to decode another units identification number, as well as its not decoding digital data on the Control channel while it's on a voice channel, like your SDR or Commercial Radio can.

Issues Discussions (BCD436HP)

My BCD436HP seems to have "gone deaf"

In order of likelihood:

  1. Actual "Site" has switched to a different Control Channel
  2. DQK is not Enable/On, as well as Systems QKs or Favorites QKs aren't Enabled.
  3. Site is "Avoid"ed, and/or a frequency is Avoided (possible with older version of software)
  4. This is a situation where your unit has been operating without any issues, the user has made no changes to lists, the unit has not been moved, and the departments have not gone encrypted. In other words, everything looks fine but the unit just does not receive anything anymore. You will say, "It was working yesterday but today I'm not receiving anything." If you cannot even receive NOAA broadcasts, your unit has "gone deaf" and will need to be repaired. This is a repair covered under the Uniden one-year from purchase warranty and involves replacing the Q2 and Q3 circuits. When you ship the unit, describe the problem as "No channel reception."
  5. Site is Down
Repair Campaign

Uniden Started a Repair Program because some units have a problem with RTC battery and/or dimming display LED - time need to be adjusted again and again. Uniden launched repair campaign. To tell the difference determine what color tone the LED is Yellowish (older) Blueish (newer). As of September 30, 2020, the repair campaign has ended. *For more info Click Here

Poor Sensitivity on VHF and UHF

Some Users reported: poor sensitivity on VHF and UHF. Uniden did not officially confirmed the problem, but proofs in that Uniden made 3 revisions of the daughter board, so the newest are not affected. This causes problems with receiving relatively weak signals VHF and UHF. It is discussed in the BCD436HP: UHF Reception Issues due to Noise from Battery Compartment and the middle battery Thread with newer versions a capacitor was installed to suppress the injection of noise on both the VHF and UHF band, or simply by adding a few layers of EMI copper tape to battery compartment door. (Example without Fix [1] (without specifics or details and comments are Disabled)

Fixing the SD Card Door

Issues Discussions (BCD536HP)

Dongle is not found

Im having issues with my 536 not finding the dongle

Various Issues

One involves an Audio Jack problem on the BCD536HP with serial numbers in the 38000000 - 38002600 range. Also, a long delay, to get the Wi-Fi dongle (and the Firmware to make it work from the 3rd party Dongle Vendor), a premature Real Time Clock (RTC) Battery failure and a early dimming display LEDs. Several of these issues resulted in Uniden starting 2 separate repair campaigns, one to address the Audio Jack crackling and 18 months later the RTC & Dim Display LED's. This has left many users questioning the quality control process as these radios were released. Uniden has since issued fixed units with a series numbers in the 58001xxx (2015), 6800xxxx (2016) and 7800xxxx (2017)ranges. However, the battery and LED issues continue to show up from time to time, but doesn't appear to affect all users. Most of the RTC battery issues appear to have been with users that had purchased the scanner 9 to 12 months prior and/or had not properly charged the internal clock battery in the scanner as recommended in the User Manual.

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