BCD396T + Close Call Use on the Highway ...

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Fast_Draw

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I am a proud new owner of a BCD396T.

I like to monitor state highway police as I'm making long driving journey - so my question is this:

Which is better to monitor police (which may be close by) during a cross-country trip:

Painfully long process of programming in each state's highway patrol (and then arranging all the systems, and naming them just right, etc.) using ARC396

OR

Just use the 'close call' feature, set to scan through all the 400 mhz and 800 mhz public safety frequencies. Only problem I see with that approach is the unit may not pick up a lot of trunked systems - especially the digital ones (correct me if I'm wrong there). Can the BCD396T figure out the trunked systems as I drive along?
 

Viper43

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Or an easier and CHEAPER way to program the scanner using FREESCAN, which is FREE.

As long as you do not have search for tones selected it will find digital channels

Personally I have one conventional system set up with nationwide channels, then set up other systems by county for the trips I make. If they have a state wide system I make those up as well.
 

danimac67

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Viper43 said:
Or an easier and CHEAPER way to program the scanner using FREESCAN, which is FREE.

As long as you do not have search for tones selected it will find digital channels

Personally I have one conventional system set up with nationwide channels, then set up other systems by county for the trips I make. If they have a state wide system I make those up as well.
I agree. Freescan is such an easy and simple program to use.
 

Fast_Draw

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Viper43 said:
As long as you do not have search for tones selected it will find digital channels
So you're saying it is possible, and a whole lot easier, to just use the close call feature - but under the "Srch/CloCall Opt" menu > "CTCSS/SCS Search" menu -- select "OFF" and it WILL find the digital trunked systems too?

If that way is easier, why did you decide to setup state/county systems that are along your route?
 

Fast_Draw

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danimac67 said:
I agree. Freescan is such an easy and simple program to use.

Ok, jeez, I'll check it out ...

Nonetheless, the main question remains: Better to find out what highway cops are saying in my general vicinity as I'm traveling by going through the programming process, or just leave it to close call.
 
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Fast_Draw said:
Ok, jeez, I'll check it out ...

Nonetheless, the main question remains: Better to find out what highway cops are saying in my general vicinity as I'm traveling by going through the programming process, or just leave it to close call.
I don't think close call is going to do you much good in this respect unless Johnny Law is calling in your plates. LOL
 

Viper43

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Close call is OK, but very limited range. I program the systems so I know what is way up ahead, not right next to me. There is nothing worse than getting caught in rush hour traffic in a city like Louisville and then having to deal with a rolled over semi too.
I use the scanner and Delorme Street Atlas USA, if there is a big traffic jam I work around it by using a different route. I hate traffic jams, but even more so with todays cost of gas!
 

Fast_Draw

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DamnDirtyApe said:
I don't think close call is going to do you much good in this respect unless Johnny Law is calling in your plates. LOL
I've heard cops call in the mile markers that they are 'setting up shop' at before - but that was after programming in systems for my area. I'm looking for an easy way out of programming in 15+ states of state highway patrols.
 

Viper43

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I like Freescan as you can cut and paste systems, but I like the logging of BCTool, they each have good points and bad points.

As for 15 states, shouldn't be too hard to program that up, it would take some time but if all your doing is the state troopers it would be 15 systems.... unless of course they are trunked.
Around here they rarely give a location.... they know were listening :)
 

torontokris

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get a radar detector if its legal in those states of course =)

otherwise program all of them in its the only way

close call is VERY limited range and ONLY signals that are +20 stronger then ALL other signals. So youd only get the cop if hes right behind u about to pull u over..
dont rely on it
 

Viper43

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Fast_Draw said:
Any idea how limited of a range?

It depends on the scanner & antenna, terrain etc. but I have had CC go as far as a cople miles, or not pick up a radio in the same room. There are a lot of variables. Not something I'd rely on though if I was worried about getting stopped.
 

jimlawrence

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I echo those who advise to program your 396 ahead of time.

When I go on multi-day, multi-state trips, I program my scanner for one day at a time. When I get to my day's destination, I find a public access computer (most hotels/motels have them in their business center or in the lobby) and come to this site and download the next day's trip information.

Most interstate highways are patrolled by state police as primary patrol agency. What gets tricky is when interstates go through a major urban area and are also patrolled by local or county PDs. Cleveland, OH is an example of that. In a case like that, I have to make sure I not only have the OHP in my scanner but the local agencies' systems as well. In addition, since Cleveland PD is unmonitorable using hobbyist gear, I'll also plug in the freqs used by the local traffic reporter for the time when I'm passing through the City of Cleveland.

Rural two-lane highways present a different scenario. My general experience has been that I see a lot of county and local PDs on these roads and relatively few staties. Here, I will use "signal stalker" technology to monitor stretches of highway (especially when passing through a small (population 1-10,000) town) along with having county and state agencies programmed in my scanner.

Some planning ahead really helps when it comes to making sure you hear most of the action ahead of you.
 
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Fast_Draw

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Great advice - much appreciated - especially since I live in Cleveland. I did notice local cops pulling over people on state roads here and was a bit confused. All-in-all it seems like the radio isn't much help to avoid a run-in with the law other than to know if someone else has called you in. Otherwise, it seems it's best to just invest in a good radar detector (V1) and a laser jammer (Blinder M20/25/40/25).
 

Viper43

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In our area immediate area East of Indy you get the gammit, state police, county and city on I70 and even my lonely country road I get 2 cities pd's county pd and state. The state comes by a number of times a day as it's the shortcut between their post and the on-ramp to the interstate. IE: you never know what you'll get here :)
 

GTO_04

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Fast_Draw said:
Great advice - much appreciated - especially since I live in Cleveland. I did notice local cops pulling over people on state roads here and was a bit confused. All-in-all it seems like the radio isn't much help to avoid a run-in with the law other than to know if someone else has called you in. Otherwise, it seems it's best to just invest in a good radar detector (V1) and a laser jammer (Blinder M20/25/40/25).
In Ohio they use a lot of air enforcement so you definitely want to have OSP programmed in. So you will need to know what TGs they use on the MARCS system or if they are still using VHF for that. My understanding is that most everything is switched over to the MARCS system. Or just drive a silver car LOL!

GTO_04
 
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