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BCT8 - is it good enough?

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radiojoe13

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Sarnia
I'd like to get a scanner for Sarnia fire and ambulance, but really don't want to spend a lot. Is the BCT8 good enough for this area, or do I need to spring for something better (I think this one is analog only; sorry I'm just getting back into scanners after a long absence).

Thanks
RJ
 

mciupa

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For Sarnia (excluding the OPP) it would be fine. It is relatively cheap (see link from Durham
Radio)http://www.durhamradio.com/s/product.php?productid=44934&cat=1840&page=1

I know it's funny to say something close to $300 is inexpensive , but if you look at the prices
of the digital models, you know what I mean. If you can live without monitoring the OPP talkgroups than perhaps this would suit you.
One caveat though, I have read in this forum of someone who bulk-ordered this scanner and had some performance issues with 4/12 of them. Be wise and ask more questions before you spend.
I think there is another member who lives in Sarnia on this board and maybe could give you some advice.
 

radiojoe13

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Thank you very much. Sorry to need so much hand holding, but I do appreciate all the help. Anyone from using this model in Sarnia?

RJ
 

hastingsmedic

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Peterborough Ontario Canada
BCT8 Yes

Hey there, yes the BCT8 would work fine for EMS and FD here in Ontario.
One caution, Fleetnet has a notoriously low volume, and you might find that you get blasted by FD conventional freqs if you're listening to both. Not a huge issue really, but you probably don't want paging frequencies programmed, or you really will be going through the roof when you get a tone-out.

I have three BCT8s on Fleetnet, two cars, one at home. All work for about 98% of EMS communications (still miss a reply here and there). This is mostly a geography and programming issue.

I have two close friends with Radio Shack Pro 2051 scanners (which are exactly the same as a BCT8) who have no problems, and as well I have heard good things about the Uniden 250D and Radio Shack Pro 97 on fleetnet.

All that said, I am also the guy who bought 12 BCT8s and had four of them be defective.

They have been repaired under warranty, but still a bit of a 'kick in the head' if you ask me.

Basically you can get any of these scanners used on Ebay for $150-225, or get one new for a bit more. Buyer beware though.

Have fun!

Hastingsmedic
 

MetalCarnage

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Ajax Ontario
hastingsmedic said:
Hey there, yes the BCT8 would work fine for EMS and FD here in Ontario.
One caution, Fleetnet has a notoriously low volume, and you might find that you get blasted by FD conventional freqs if you're listening to both. Not a huge issue really, but you probably don't want paging frequencies programmed, or you really will be going through the roof when you get a tone-out.

I find the low volume to only be the analog side of Fleetnet, OPP digital comms come in pretty potently loud compared to EMS and such...
 

jellotor

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Have you programmed the Fleetnet voice frequencies as NFM modulation? If they are programmed as FM there is usually a large discrepancy between P25 and analog audio levels.
 

mrweather

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I found it didn't make that great difference on my 796D. There was some improvement but nowhere near parity with Astro in terms of audio level.
 

hastingsmedic

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Peterborough Ontario Canada
Oh Yes.

Sorry, I re-read my previous post... I should have clarified. ANALOG Fleetnet has a low volume. Sorry for any confusion (I'm too cheap to have a digital scanner so I forget about "those" guys)!


Hastingsmedic
 

hemi

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Nortumberland county Ontario
I hate that. I have the MOH cranked to hear something and forget to turn it down, and on comes the OPP and rattles the speaker right out of my 250d. I love my radio.....but the audio on the 250d sucks!!!!
 

radiojoe13

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Sarnia
My BCT-8 is here -- now how do I go about programming OPP, ambo and fire talk groups? The way I've done it so far has produced no results, and I have no clue about DEC, Hex, etc. Anyone in Sarnia area who can help?
 

jellotor

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Well, for OPP you'll have to check the database and hope there's a BEAT repeater nearby or constant uses of vehicular repeaters since the BCT8 won't do P25 digital...
 

mciupa

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First , let's get you started with the city Fire/EMS . Disregard HEX , we talk DEC in the scanner world.:p
Select the EDACS mode for trunking.
Enter the freq's found at this link:http://www.radioreference.com/modules.php?name=RR&sid=2376

Be sure you start an EDACS trunking system at ch 001 , 101 , 201 etc. , in other words always at the beginning of the bank you have selected.
Put you scanner in to SEARCH and if there is any activity , the talkgroups should appear.
Once you have this up and running, then it's time to tackle VHF trunking for MOH ambulances.
 
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radiojoe13

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Jun 10, 2006
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Sarnia
Well, after RTFM-ing several times, I think I may have it. Just waiting to hear any action in that area. Heard a test on one band/group and I didn't plug in that AFS number or anything, so I am (possibly dillusionally) thinking it is ok. Will let you know further soon.
 

radiojoe13

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Jun 10, 2006
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Sarnia
Not too busy, but at least I managed to program it. Not as hard as I thought! Well, it did take a dozen tries ... Now ready to try ambo. And already thinking of upgrading to a digital. Thanks to all for your help.
 

STiMULi

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Tucson, Arizona
You have already ordered your BCT8.

Why did you not choose the BCT15?

Much more flexible! (yes a few bucks more but...)
 

mciupa

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radiojoe13 said:
Immediate gratificaiton complext combined with lack of research. I know better now ...
Why do you feel like that ? :confused:
If your radio is staying stationary at home then 250 channels would probably be sufficient for the Sarnia area.

If you travel heavily then the BC 15 is great because of the dynamic memory for all the systems you would be passing through.

Try it for a while , you'll know sooner or later if you need more radio .
 
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