New Functions for the BCDx36 Scanners

From The RadioReference Wiki

These scanners are a fusion of the Uniden Dynamic Memory Architecture of previous series melding with the HP1 and HP2. Its most prevalent feature from the fusion is the series now contains the Radio Reference Data Base (RRDB) on a SD card. The SD card also contains their freeware programming software called Sentinel.

The BCD436HP and BCD536HP Scanner FAQ has many additional links including those for the Easier to Read manuals

Additional Filtering

There's an additional IF filter, in the series, which helps narrow down narrowbanded frequencies, as well as, 12.5khz & 25khz frequencies, ultimately helping the radio scanner pick-up signals cleaner than ever before, without traps and filters. Originally a user idea, through many discussions here on RR, with the previous DMA scanners, showing promise when users hacked there way into having 2 IF filters inline before the Voice decoder, showing somebody at Uniden is responsive to user ideas.


User navigation within the menus now allow for visual list for Services, Favorites, and Systems in a Menu with easy toggle ON/OFF, making Quick Keys a thing of the past for some users. The old 2 layer system of the DMA architecture with System and Groups has been revamped to include a new entity above Systems making it a 3 layer system: 'Favorites', 'Systems' and 'Departments' (which were called 'Groups' in previous versions of DMA). There has also been some changes in the nomenclature; for example, LOCKOUT / L/O is now AVOID.

Ports and Jacks

There's a standardized USB Mini-B 4-Pin port on both for programming/control/updating/powering, and a semi-proprietary square port from prior BCD scanners on the BCD436HP for GPS

On the rear of the BCD536HP, there's a standard Serial port, USB port for the Wi-Fi input, a standardized USB Mini-B 4-Pin port on the front, and Headphone jack, with the rear containing a Stereo BTL jack on the rear that should not be connected to ground.


With the microSD card you can replay up to 240 second clips and instantaneously replay all that has been captured, or you can record all transmission until you move them to a computer to play back. You can individually select which transmission you what to listen to as they are sorted by time and date stamps. There isn't any dead air time in the recorded files unless there was an open carrier. There is one caveat; you can NOT use the instantaneous "Replay" while "Record"ing.

SD Cards for Memory

With the price of memory and SD cards decreasing by half every year, the switch to using SD cards makes sense, but also makes the scanner more prone to memory or data corruption. SD cards have what's called in the computer world a "FAT File Limit"; this is related to the amount of named files or folder (not size) to be saved, before a larger card is filled: i.e 5Gb of a 16Gb card with between 55k and 65k files written, before the BCDx36HP begin to show signs that the data may be corrupt and the scanner reboots itself. See the Replacement SD Cards thread for more on replacing your SD card.

WiFi Connectivity

The BCD536HP is unique to the scanner world, in that it has a Wi-Fi dongle, which can stream Audio and the User interface across a network. The Dongle provides ad-hoc and infrastructure modes, along with WPA and WPA2 networked security. At this point it's only been flushed out through a few third party apps, along with their iOS & Android Siren App's. Uniden purportedly had a year-long standoff with the Wi-Fi Vendor, making the dongle unusable at it's initial release. The Firmware has since been updated to version 7.28. Additionally, Android users waited for it's application for an extra 16 months. While both iOS and Android user's still believe their version are clunky and not fully finished, it does show promise. Links to known third party applications, and Siren, can be found here.