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BCT15X: BCT15x vs. BearTracker 885 -changes?

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rvacs

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#1
So my questions revolve around BCT15x vs. BearTracker 885

@UpMan

What in regards to the frequencies pre-programmed have changed? Are they more current in the 885?
(Guess it has a Update feature) - Does the 15x have a way to update its pre-programmed frequencies for the states?

Is the BearTracker feature any different?


Besides the CB function - and for one just using a scanner while driving trips - listening to agencies pre-programmed or CLOSE CALL - is there anything that makes the BearTracker 885 better?

Does the 15x update at all? Or do you just get to manually program other frequencies?
 

UPMan

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#2
BCT15X preprogrammed channels are based primarily on FCC band allocations and is not updated. It is a shotgun approach. BT885 uses the specific channels per the RadioReference database and is updated weekly.

BCT15X BearTracker Warning System uses a similar shotgun approach. BT885 uses the specific frequencies used on the input (low-power) side of the repeaters and is much more accurate.
 
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#3
The 15x does not update. You're stuck with whatever was programmed at the factory years ago or whatever you program manually. The 885 uses a database that is updated weekly, and can scan digital trunked systems the 15x cannot.
 

ShyFlyer

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#5
I think the best way to think of the BT885 is to think of it as a really, really, really simplified version of the 536HP grafted onto a CB. Also, the BT885 can't be "upgraded" with ProVoice and/or DMR capability.

As mentioned, the 15X is going to require a lot more "hands on" work to load the frequencies you want to hear. Whether that's better or not is really subjective and I'd guess depends largely on your comfort level with programming via a PC.

The digital/analog aspect has already been covered
 

iMONITOR

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#6
With the BCT15X you can program the frequencies and systems you want to monitor, as long as they're analog. You can also customize the alpha-numeric tags to your personal preference. If you use the GPS option, it can automatically reconfigure itself for the area you're traveling through.

The BCT15X is a underrated sleeper these days. But if you don't need the digital modes, I don't think anything else beats it.
 

rvacs

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#7
Thanks ShyFlyer and iMonitor - really just wanting something to use in the 2 states I drive. Texas and Oklahoma - really using it for casual car listening and some Beartracker warnings.

I wonder if Texas DPS and Oklahoma Highway Patrol are DIGITAL when it comes to their Low Power Signals (from the car) - the ones the Beartracker detects off of? This is where the BCT885 could win...but if they are still analog. I have no probs programming a BCT15x.

@UpMan - you would probably know in regards to Texas.
 

rvacs

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#9
Thanks JonWienke

I did see this... (Looks like Oklahoma - mobile to mobile for sure) (Texas APCO 25 - but shows freq. in the 155 Mhz. range - are these digital - confused)

Oklahoma

OHP uses two pairs of low band frequencies state-wide. They call the low band channels sides rather than channels. The cars use one of the frequencies in the pair and the base uses the other. The cars can use the base frequency to talk car to car without the dispatcher receiving the transmissions. You must monitor both frequencies to hear the conversation provided you are in range of the mobile radio.
*
These frequencies are often linked to a series of VHF and UHF repeaters in the troop area. The mobile relays repeat the cars. The base relays repeat the base. Different troops use different pairs to avoid interference, but any of the sides can be used statewide.
The following is the programming for low band radios in OHP cars:
Side 1 - Receives 44.700, Transmits 44.700 - Car to Car
Side 2 - Receives 44.700, Transmits 44.900 - Car to Base
Side 3 - Receives 45.220, Transmits 45.220 - Car to Car
Side 4 - Receives 45.220, Transmits 45.180 - Car to Base

Oklahoma Wireless Interoperability Network (OKWIN) (P25) ***
Project 25 Phase I ***
Much of Troop E is on this system. However, the Low Band VHF frequencies are still used for car-to-car transmissions and much of the southeast part of the state where 800 MHz coverage is poor

============================================================


Texas

All regions have converted to Conventional (non-trunked) Project-25 / APCO-25 digital mode with some exceptions on interoperable and surveillance frequencies.

Statewide APCO-25 Channel Plan

*155.46000*DPS Base A Base A*P25*Law Dispatch*154.68000*
*
DPS Mob A Mobile to Base A*P25*Law Dispatch*155.46750*
 

rvacs

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#11
So just looking at Texas DPS - all comms seem to be DIGITAL now which puts the BCT15x out... Looks like Oklahoma is only still analog.
 
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#12
Equipment availability

While Texas DPS uses P25 conventional extensively, based on the Oklahoma frequencies posted above (and without ever listening to them), it is probably analog since there are few, if any, DMR, NXDN or P25 digital radios available in the frequency range. For successful Oklahoma listening, a good antenna, preferably external, will greatly improve your experience.
 

bojangle

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#14
BCT15X Display

BCT15X scanner display inside of vehicle is horrible at best. With it set on the highest setting of (3) and the contrast adjusted to best view. The scanner is difficult to view the display in daylight. My scanner is mounted on top of the dashboard of a new jeep. It is very difficult to see when driving. Prior to this I had a older uniden scanner mounted in the same location and I could see the display with no problem.
Help, if anyone has an idea on how I can improve the display, I am open for suggestions. I am considering an accessory LED light mount next to the display.
 

rvacs

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#15
Ok got hold of a Beartracker 885 to try out....here are my thoughts.

BWS - Bearcat Warning System
- Unlike days of old the BWS did not go off too often...2nd time I got an alert - (got another alert within about 30 seconds). Then after about 4 miles later my Radar went off on Ka Band - prob. police - but never saw him. But think the BWS is doing its job - Kudos to Uniden...Great for those Road Drivers.

CB - Nice Features / Good Volume - Nice Mic. Worth the CB portion.

Scanner - Ok - so the reason it goes back - sorry - Several transmissions heard - pretty good reception - mostly digital - But never knew who they were? Local Sheriff / Police - who knows. If this had a display of the APHA ID's like the HomePatrol or BCD536HP or BCD436HP - it would be a keeper.

GPS - Love this is integrated. No extra power line for this receiver for the GPS !! Worked Well

Final Result - if I was a Trucker driving day in day out - this is a No Brainer and worth the $$$. But because I have been spoiled with the ALPHA tagging - its not for me.

WHAT WE ALL WANT TO SEE:
- Homepatrol 3 - with Integrated GPS - just need the antenna module like this on the 885.
- BCD446/BCD546 - like above with integrated GPS just plug in antenna.
- Breartracker 895 - Just like 885 but add ALPHA Tagging.

* Oh and of course if you want to throw in some upgrades like: BETTER SIMULCAST RECEPTION, More upgrades like ProVoice etc...
 
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#16
With the 436 and HomePatrol, it is possible to integrate the GPS into the case of the scanner, if you don't mind voiding the warranty. With the 536, an external GPS is necessary because it must be outside the metal case. But it can be modded so the GPS is powered directly by the scanner so that no cables are needed other than the cable connecting the GPS to the scanner.
 
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