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BCT15 Frustrations in Colorado Springs

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cp308x01

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Sep 10, 2006
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I just purchased a BCT15 scanner, but I think it may have been a mistake. I want to listen to Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) and the Colorado State Patrol (CSP), and as a secondary interest the local military bases and military air. I also especially want to monitor the CSPD helicopter, which always seems to be either where the action is, or buzzing my house.

I thought the “Trunktracker III” would allow me to listen to CSPD since my research told me that CSPD uses a Motorola type II system, but from what I read on this site, it requires a “digital scanner.” Since I just paid around $200 for the BCT15, I’m not to happy at the prospect of buying another, even more expensive unit….. but I think I can still return the BCT-15 especially if I upgrade.

Also, this scanner is very hard for me to understand. I have some older scanners, and I understood how they worked- you figure out the frequencies you want (either by using the scanner to search for them, or looking it up in a book or online) and you program them into the scanner. If you have a lot of channels, you divide them up into “banks”- organized by type (police, fire, ambulance, etc) or by geography if you travel, or both if you have a lot of banks. This scanner is much more complicated than that- It has CTCSS / DTS, alert tones, tone-outs, talk groups, control channels, close call options, weather SAME settings, and much, much more, all accessed through a menu system whose organization baffles me. There are even indicators which appear on the LCD that are not described anywhere in the manual (that I can find anyway). Maybe some good scanner interfacing software will let me see the big picture better.

Anyway, are there any books or websites I can study get a sound understanding of how this all works so I can understand how to use all these settings and how to set up to monitor various systems? I find the owner’s manual to be very disorganized, as if 20 different people each wrote a chapter, and assumed someone else wrote the section that imparts the understanding of how to make the leap from “this is how to turn it on and how to listen to the NOAA weather channels” to Thumbnail sketches of each trunking system.

I don’t mind doing some reading and putting out a little effort to make this thing work, but I bet most people who buy one of these end up returning it or giving up and hiding it in the closet unless they are more than just casual scanner listeners. Maybe it is the case that with trunking becoming so popular, the days of the “casual” scanner listener are at an end.

Sorry this is so long, but I have a lot of frustration to vent. Anyway, to sum up:

Can you recommend a scanner which will work for CSPD?
Helicopter?
Can you recommend some places to get a good understanding of how these communications systems work so that I can understand how to program this or similar scanner?
 
Joined
Dec 5, 2004
Messages
1,334
Location
Colorado
Short answer: You have the wrong scanner. You MUST have a digital capable scanner (such as the Radio Shack Pro96/2096, Uniden BC996T, etc) to listen to pretty much anything in Colorado Springs, (actually, all of El Paso County). You'll also need a digital capable scanner to listen the the State Patrol.
Your current scanner is basically useless for what you want to listen to. Sorry.
 

red8

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Jan 16, 2004
Messages
613
Location
denham springs la.
Also the scanner is not set up with banks like the old scanners, they
known as systems. And yes you need to go to a digital scanner if
you want to monitor the Colorado Highway Patrol. I also had problems at first trying to understand what was meant by systems
or groups but after I really sat down and read MOM my owners
manual, I then got a hold of what they were talking about. And that
was when I received my 396
 

cp308x01

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Joined
Sep 10, 2006
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Thanks for the input guys. I guess I will have to invest in a BCD996T....$500, but I should be able to get credit for my BCT15.

I'll check out the "Wiki" to learn more about the systems.

I think the right software package would also help my understanding, as it would then be possible to interact with the scanner without drilling down through all the menus and interperting the relatively small and limited display (compared to a computer monitor). Any reccomendations regarding software?

-Carl
cp308x01
 

n0doz

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
673
Location
Metro PHX AZ
BuTel's ARC996 (or ARC396 if you go portable with the BC396) is the way to go, IMHO. While I did have a good understanding of trunking prior to buying my 396, trying to program by hand was not too thrilling. I bought ARC and haven't looked back. I'm constantly tweaking my systems, such as adding just a single talk group, using the software rather than the keypad. It's almost as much fun as the radio itself.
 

jimmnn

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
14,327
Location
Colorado
For software programming and ease of use you can't beat win96 for the Pro-96/2096 line and the logging ability of pro96com far outweighs the Uniden line especially when your talking about a growing statewide system and the soon to be DTRS system in El Paso and Pueblo Counties.

Good luck and welcome aboard.

Jim<
 
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