• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

How to program BCD996XT?

Status
Not open for further replies.

jrscpu2004

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 7, 2011
Messages
26
Location
Selden, New York
#1
I just purchased a used Uniden BCD996XT. It seems to be in working order but I have to admit, I can't understand ANY of the instructions at Uniden's website. There instructions are at an engineer's level.
I have older scanners, but this one baffles me. I have managed to get a few things up and running. I changed the screens back ground color. Got the WX channel, but Uniden's terminology Qck Save Cnv Sys and New System is beyond me.
I live in Selden, New York 11784 and there is no pre-loaded option close to me. I did some web searches and see there are companies you can send you scanner to be programmed, but I'm not comfortable with sending anything like this out for preprogramming. Besides, then I'll never learn how to do it myself.
I just loaded onto my computer, "Free Scan". I don't have the connector cord yet to attach the BCD996XT to my USB port yet, Any suggestions which cord will work. I see the unit has a Mini USB port right under the Function knob.
I came across a company located in Massapequa, NY but lost their information due to it didn't list in my
Favorites correctly. They claimed they can do it for 1/2 the price of others online who do preprogramming and Massapequa is more local to me, if I have to go that route.
Any suggestions out there that can get me started?? All help would be appreciated! Thank you.
 

garys

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 13, 2002
Messages
4,575
Location
Eastern MA
#2
I'd recommend ARC-XT, although other people have used Free Scan and are quite happy with it. Trying to program these scanners by hand is very, very difficult.

ARC-XT is not free, but it's pretty reasonably price. Free Scan is, as the name suggests, free. Personally, I never had any luck using it, but a lot of others have. If you sign up for a Radio Reference Premium membership, both programs will allow you to download directly from the database into the programs.

The manual says that a USB cable is included in the package. If that' the Uniden USB-1 cable, you can use that to program the scanner through the front port. If not, you can buy the USB-1 from Uniden.
 

teufler

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
2,347
Location
ST PETERS, MISSOURI
#3
Go to Whistler it is very well written and can be easily understood. As states Arc software and Freescan are what most of use use, If you bought he 996xt, you should have searal cable. You just need a serial to usb convertor so you can use on your computer unless you have a serial port in which case, you a good to go. And yes, importing data, via RR is the only way to go. As been reported, programming by hand is like getting a root canal without novacain.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2007
Messages
4,115
Location
Anne Arundel County, MD
#4
You can program that radio directly. Without using a computer or cable. Those things just make it slightly faster. The cable you need is proprietary specific for that radio (or the 15x or 396xt). A standard USB won't do it.

You will learn more about the radio by learning to program it without software, but Freescan is the best software if you do use a computer and cable.

Check online for other easier to understand online manuals that will teach you to program it step by step.

Mark
WS1095/536/436/996P2/HP1e/HP2e/996XT/325P2/396XT/PRO668/PSR800/PRO652
 

garys

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 13, 2002
Messages
4,575
Location
Eastern MA
#5
Sure it is. If you have three or four days to program it by hand. I programmed my first 780XLT by hand because there was no software available for it. Entering frequencies, trunking TG, alpha tags, configuration data, took me 8 hours over three days. I can't imagine who much more complex it would be to program an XT scanner considering how much more it does.

You can program that radio directly. Without using a computer or cable. Those things just make it slightly faster. The cable you need is proprietary specific for that radio (or the 15x or 396xt). A standard USB won't do it.

You will learn more about the radio by learning to program it without software, but Freescan is the best software if you do use a computer and cable.

Check online for other easier to understand online manuals that will teach you to program it step by step.

Mark
WS1095/536/436/996P2/HP1e/HP2e/996XT/325P2/396XT/PRO668/PSR800/PRO652
 

ofd8001

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
6,134
Location
Louisville, KY
#6
There are several informative videos on YouTube showing how to use FreeScan. I agree with importing data via RR subscription. It is much easier and reduces the opportunity for input errors.

As mentioned above, the original programming cable requires a serial port (the RS 232) on your computer. You have two options if your computer doesn't have that. One is to get a USB to Serial port adapter for about $14.95 at Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Plugable-Adapter-Prolific-PL2303HX-Chipset/dp/B00425S1H8 That's what I use.

The second option, about twice as costly, is the Uniden USB-1 cable. Scannermaster has them in stock. Uniden USB-1 Programming Cable (BC246/396/330/230/95/996/15/XT)

The most important thing to remember: Before connecting either the Serial Adapter or USB-1 cable for the first time on your computer, download and install the drivers for the cable.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2007
Messages
4,115
Location
Anne Arundel County, MD
#7
Sure it is. If you have three or four days to program it by hand. I programmed my first 780XLT by hand because there was no software available for it. Entering frequencies, trunking TG, alpha tags, configuration data, took me 8 hours over three days. I can't imagine who much more complex it would be to program an XT scanner considering how much more it does.
I have programmed many 396xt, 996xt, and comparable radios manually, and yes it takes some time. You will understand the radio a lot better when you are done.

I use Freescan, but only because I can copy the same programming among a half dozen radios. The initial programming it's based on was manually programmed.

Mark
WS1095/536/436/996P2/HP1e/HP2e/996XT/325P2/396XT/PRO668/PSR800/PRO652
 

fxdscon

Active Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
3,896
#8
, I see the unit has a Mini USB port right under the Function knob.
Although it looks similar, that is not a mini USB port on the front of the BCD996XT. It's a Hirose serial data port connector. The small connector on the scanner end of the Uniden USB-1 programming cable will connect with that port. If you try to insert a mini USB plug there, it could physically damage the port.

.
 

teufler

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
2,347
Location
ST PETERS, MISSOURI
#9
we should all submit little tricks we have learned since we have own the uniden xt products. I try to pass on what I have picked up from other RR listeners over the years. Today "fxdscon" told me what the mini usb was called. The books don't say this, I am not sure RR has a forum where little tricks are stored. .
 

jrscpu2004

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 7, 2011
Messages
26
Location
Selden, New York
#10
I purchased a cable at eBay, "FTDI Uniden Scanner Programming Cable and Remote Control BCD996T BCD996XT USB-1" at eBay item number:322101991209. The Seller when I bought the radio only had the BCD996XT and its OEM A/C adapter only. My question is that I see in the Uniden Manual that for this particular model they have pre-loaded options for many places around the USA but for some strange reason, NOT one for any in New York at all? One member here mentioned if I become a paying member at RR, they offer downloads? Is this just the program like FreeScan or was he meaning
actual frequency downloads? If it's the later, it's worth the membership alone.
I also note that my particular scanner is only version 1.04.00 and I believe they are up to 1.07??
I had picked up a BCT7 at a local thrift store for $3.99 and it worked perfectly. It was the first trunking scanner that I owned. This BCD996XT was offered in Letgo for $150! I traded him a 7" Visio VMB070
portable TV plus $50. If anyone is interested, there is another on selling for $225 and person is in Levittown, NY.
Again, thank you for some tips and hopefully someone here can answer my new questions here today?
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2016
Messages
38
Location
Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
#11
I just bought and programmed a BCD996XT. I did it all for free in about a week. 5 days research, 1 day to play with Freescan and its features, create some systems, groups, sites, play with and master Freescan's EasyGrab tool (very cool, works very well, easy to use, free RR data cut-n-paste), and the final day to create my .996 file (all systems, groups, sites and general settings) and upload the file to the scanner.

You don't need to spend another dime except for a serial to USB converter. If your PC has a 9-pin serial port you wont even need that. Or if you bought another cable.

Note the programming serial cable uses a special 4-pin connector that is NOT mini USB that plugs into the scanner. The other end is 9 pin RS-232. You can use a serial to USB (IO Gear) converter to convert the cable to USB unless you have a really old PC with an 9-pin RS-232 serial port.

Delete all the pre-programmed area data, or just save the data for your area and delete everything else. Why they pre-load all that crap is beyond me. And I like you live in an area not pre-programmed so its worthless unless you are using the GPS option and driving all over the country with it in your vehicle.

1.07.03 is the latest firmware. There probably wont be any update since this scanner is discontinued (but certainly not obsolete).

Connect your scanner antenna to a house rooftop VHF/UHF or HDTV antenna. Connect the twin leads thru a 300/75 Ohm matching transformer. Vertically polarize if you are able. I live at 1250 ft. elevation in the Santa Cruz mountains and get better than 75 mile (radius) range with that setup. Or buy a better antenna (Diamond, DHP OmniX). Use high quality low loss coaxial outdoor rated connectors and cable and keep it under 40 ft.

Start Here: Easier to Read BCD996P2/XT Digital Scanner Manual

Next get Freescan, install it, read the help files, and play with its features. Create your systems, groups, sites etc. From the RR frequency database for your area see if your safety services (police/fire/ems) or whatever you are planning to scan are conventional or trunked freqencies and develop systems for them that match their signal type.

There are a few automatically created systems if you do certain things with this scanner. If you quick save a held on frequency it gets stored in a Quick Save Group under a Quick Save System. If you Search and Store, those get saved into a Found Frequecies group in a Search system. If you enable Close Call Auto Save (or something like that) these freqencies get stored in a temporary (goes away after power cycle) sytem and group for Close Calls.
 
Last edited:

jrscpu2004

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 7, 2011
Messages
26
Location
Selden, New York
#12
Programming a Uniden BCD995XT

Thank you! Many years ago I had picked up a two element Sony AN-3 VHF antenna. I mounted that on a 18 foot stainless steel pole. Above that is my Channel Master HD UHF(HDTV) with the Channel Master (push/pull) amplifier. That sits atop a antenna rotor. I haden't considered that antenna as a possible scanner antenna. That Channel Master is amazing what it does for the HDTV.
 

milf

Careful, I CAN hear you!
Database Admin
Joined
Dec 18, 2002
Messages
12,700
Location
Indianapolis, IN
#13
Spend the cash get ProScan! Trust me, it's worth every penny! Not only will you be able to program, control, log,record, and monitor your XT, but you can also use ProScan to listen to live scanner feeds and if you choose to do so, set up an live feed yourself!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top