BC250D digital upgrade or new BCD396XT?

Status
Not open for further replies.

jkbodden

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Messages
27
Location
Maryville, TN
I've recently moved to Gainesville, FL (Alachua County) and to my dismay, learned the public safety system is an APCO 25 system. Since I mostly only monitor local public safety and assuming I can locate one, can I "get away" with just purchasing the BCI25D digital card for my BC250D, or do I need to sell it and step up to the new 396XT? The biggest issue so far (in addition to finding a digital card for sale) is the digital card for the 250D will not receive the 3600 baud rate transmissions and I can't figure out if Alachua County's system transmits at 3600 or 9600. There are some features the 396XT has that I like, but are these upgrades worth the extra $300(ish)?
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
22,059
Location
Bowie, Md.
Assuming the database is correct...

Gainesville / Alachua County Trunking System, Gainesville, Florida - Scanner Frequencies

The Alachua trunk system has undergone rebanding. The 250 will not handle this, nor can it handle a true P25 system (which uses a 9600 baud CC); the BC25i card only enables 3600 baud decoding (which is what the Alachua system is using).

The 396XT will handle the rebanding issue, no problem - I'm sure you can find much more information in the Florida forum on this topic. 73 Mike
 

torontokris

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
1,625
Location
Toronto Canada
Good advice from ka3jjz. Even with the card it will not work.

Note you can looking into a cheaper used 396T or even a 296D (ensure it will work for your area first).
 

jkbodden

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Messages
27
Location
Maryville, TN
You Guys Rock!

Mike & Torontokris,
Thanks for the heads up...and saving me the brain damage on investing another $200 into a scanner that won't work.
Cheers,
Jeff
 

AZScanner

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
3,352
Location
Somewhere in this room. Right now, you're very col
Getting a new scanner is definitely the optimal solution but if you happen across a BCi25 card, you can still monitor the comms in conventional mode. I did this on my own 250D here on the Phoenix RWC system before selling the digital card to someone in LA who would get better use out of it than me.

Another trick I used was that I programmed the input side of the frequencies, so that the scanner would only stop on close transmissions. I would then push the "." button to flip over to the repeater side and get both sides of the transmission. I even wrote a quick and dirty little VB app that did it for me automagically. Good times, especially when the PD helo would be circling overhead and I wanted to follow what was going on.

-AZ
 

hdralleiii

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 13, 2004
Messages
32
Location
Shenandoah Valley, VA
I've recently moved to Gainesville, FL (Alachua County) and to my dismay, learned the public safety system is an APCO 25 system. Since I mostly only monitor local public safety and assuming I can locate one, can I "get away" with just purchasing the BCI25D digital card for my BC250D, or do I need to sell it and step up to the new 396XT? The biggest issue so far (in addition to finding a digital card for sale) is the digital card for the 250D will not receive the 3600 baud rate transmissions and I can't figure out if Alachua County's system transmits at 3600 or 9600. There are some features the 396XT has that I like, but are these upgrades worth the extra $300(ish)?
I think you have it backwards.. The BCI25D card WILL work with 3600 baud analog and digital systems but will NOT work with 9600baud. Most new Moto systems are to be 9600 Phase 1 or 2 so a new scanner would be required. Assuming the database info is correct, the system appears to be a mixed mode analog and P25 CAI system which operate on a standard Type-II 3600 control channel (Fairfax Co, VA is another example) The 250 with a card will work on this system FOR NOW but it will likely migrate to a full 9600 all digital system sometime in the future.

I wouldn't spend any money on a card unless you can find one dirt cheap. Instead I would save for a new or used Uniden 396 or GRE PSR-500 that will work on just about any system with the exception of a Provoice or TDMA system. Thyey can be purchased for as little as $300 on ebay, RR classifieds, etc.
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
22,059
Location
Bowie, Md.
I'm afraid you're missing something very important - the Alachua system has been rebanded and the BC250 - with or without the card - will not properly trunk on that system.

You would be far better off asking in our Florida forum if the 296 or 396T (as TorontoKris accurately suggests) would work well for listening in the Alachua area.

73 Mike
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top