Bearcat III compatabilty

Status
Not open for further replies.

Bearcat-Stu

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2017
Messages
6
Hello Folks,
First time poster here. I picked up a Bearcat III scanner the other day. Works fine for the local NOAA station on 162.55.

My Location: NH, Strafford County, Rollinsford
Also right on the Border: ME, York County, South Berwick

I Grabbed 2 crystals, on for Rollinsford,NH PD and one for South Berwick, ME PD.

Learning the hard way....
154.72500 KTG709 RM 527 NAC Rolfrd PDisp Rollinsford Police Dispatch P25 Law Dispatch looked up P25 - so it looks like a no go.

155.83500 WQFI859 RM 192.8 PL SBerwickPDFD Police/Fire FM Multi-Talk
Not sure why this doesn't work - probably obvious.

Is there anything I should be looking for specifically that should work with this?
I certainly understand this is old tech and pretty limited - I have a soft-spot for old electronics.

Here are the county links:
https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=1188
https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=1769

Thank You!
 

Bearcat-Stu

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2017
Messages
6
Update: So it looks like 155.835 works! I'm pretty excited about that. There just hasn't been a lot of activity on it.

I have done a bit of searching, wiki, google, etc. I'm guessing still at this point that if the MODE is "FM", it should work. Looks like "FMN" would be ok too?

The other thing I'm still not sure about is TYPE. Looks like it's just the equipment type being used on that frequency channel. Not sure how that would equate to usability or if it should matter.

Thanks in advance.
 

ofd8001

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
6,873
Location
Louisville, KY
If you hover your mouse on the TYPE column header, you'll see what the B,M, R and F mean.

You definitely have an antique scanner, bringing back some fond memories of the 70s.

About 4 years ago the FCC mandated narrowing of the radio bands, called "narrow-banding". So that's why frequencies are like 155.83500 instead of 155.83.

As you've found, you'll still hear something because of "leeway" in the scanner, but the volume is probably a little softer.
 

wtp

Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2008
Messages
2,996
Location
Port Charlotte FL
close

155.835 was an old frequency.
155.8275 or 155.8425 would be new.
still correct about the receive window being wide enough to hear adjacent frequencies.
 

tglendye

Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2002
Messages
1,763
Location
Virginia
...
I have done a bit of searching, wiki, google, etc. I'm guessing still at this point that if the MODE is "FM", it should work. Looks like "FMN" would be ok too?

The other thing I'm still not sure about is TYPE. Looks like it's just the equipment type being used on that frequency channel. Not sure how that would equate to usability or if it should matter...
Yes, in short look for FM and FMN. Stay away from P25, NXDN or any other digital format you may find, as they are an indicator that it is a special digital flavor and hose you up trying to listen And stay away from any type of Trunked Radio System. Look at the "Tone" column as well. Anything that has a PL, DPL or does not have any listed should work- although this scanner will not "care" about the tones. From the links you provided it looks like you have quite a bit that can be monitored.

One cautionary note- and I am not clear on this. I think the Bearcat Electra III is a two-band scanner. My first one was a Low-Band (30-50MHZ) and UHF (460's) band scanner. It did not receive VHF-Hi (150-160's). I've seen others- like yours that had a VHF-hi board in it, but missing UHF. So... with that being said I am wondering if you are missing the Low-Band or the UHF. I don't think you can have all three. Just be careful before you purchase too many crystals out of the VHF-Hi band.

The Bearcat Electra III was my first- and one of my favorite all time scanners. Of course, it's not very relevant in today's hi-tech world, but still very capable to receive analog (non digital), non-trunked traffic.
 

Bearcat-Stu

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2017
Messages
6
Many thanks for the replies folks!

Indeed - from what I can tell now, if you want to pick up anything in Southern Maine, there's a ton of FM available. While Southern NH does have some broadcasts to pick up, the Police seem to be all on P25 or upgraded.

The Bearcat III came in a couple versions. This one is the "H", which is the VHF-HI version. But yes, that also means that it has the H board only. There is room for 2 boards total , so a VHF-LO or UHF board could be added. The 3 rows of crystal connectors on the main board would then allow you to pick which board to be using by repositioning the crystal. I believe the Bearcat IV had all 3 of those bands, built in and ready to go.

In the radio reference chart here on the website, on TYPE I guess I just didn't understand if it mattered whether handset, repeater etc was being use. It apparently just describes what's being used on the system for equipment- "type". I might have seen something about "trunk" somewhere, which I now understand after reading about it....oooooh so that's what it means =)

Unfortunately, while I think the sound was pretty good, especially local PD, there's a bit of hum, even with the volume turned all the way down. Visual inspection shows a swollen electrolytic capacitor. So it's up on blocks- so to speak, until I can change that and the other 5 electrolytic caps out.
 

tglendye

Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2002
Messages
1,763
Location
Virginia
It sounds like you're rolling now. I think the hum is common in the units- not saying that it is or should be considered normal.

I have a Bearcat III and a IV. The IV does not scan and will only monitor a single channel. I tried cleaning the contacts but I can't get it going. I was actually looking on eBay a few days ago to see what was on there. I like seeing old units that were taken good care of. Most of them were not, however.

I received my first Bearcat Electra III in the mid 80's. I was around 12 and got it for Christmas from my parents. It was the best Christmas gift, ever. I ended up selling it a few years later at a yard sale and bought a programmable scanner. I wish I still had the first one, but it had to go. Big money, back then.
 

Bearcat-Stu

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2017
Messages
6
It sounds like you're rolling now. I think the hum is common in the units- not saying that it is or should be considered normal.

I have a Bearcat III and a IV. The IV does not scan and will only monitor a single channel. I tried cleaning the contacts but I can't get it going. I was actually looking on eBay a few days ago to see what was on there. I like seeing old units that were taken good care of. Most of them were not, however.

I received my first Bearcat Electra III in the mid 80's. I was around 12 and got it for Christmas from my parents. It was the best Christmas gift, ever. I ended up selling it a few years later at a yard sale and bought a programmable scanner. I wish I still had the first one, but it had to go. Big money, back then.
I've looked at these off and on recently and finally pulled the trigger. This one was in nice shape, and pretty complete with 12v power & car antenna adaptor, car mount bracket, sales tag for the knob, manual, Betty Bearcat brochure, 10 codes, warranty card, frequency chart & original S/N matched box! $17.00

Once I add all the crystals though & recap, I'll be well over $100...
 

Attachments

chief21

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
1,312
Location
Summer - Western NC; Winter - Tampa Bay FL
Bearcat-Stu -

I have a bunch of old Regency and Bearcat crystals. If you're looking for a particular crystal, post the frequency and I'll check my stash. It may be a long shot but you never know.

John AC4JK
 

Bearcat-Stu

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2017
Messages
6
Bearcat-Stu -

I have a bunch of old Regency and Bearcat crystals. If you're looking for a particular crystal, post the frequency and I'll check my stash. It may be a long shot but you never know.

John AC4JK
Thank you for the offer, that is very kind John. I may take you up on that before I purchase the next round of crystals.

🍻
 

Bearcat-Stu

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2017
Messages
6
For reference- don't use the Radio Shack brand cleaner and lube on the volume & squelch controls. Blew the carbon ring right out of the pot! Oh the humanity!

��
 

markemtjd

Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
105
Location
Simi Valley, CA
Bearcat-Stu -

I have a bunch of old Regency and Bearcat crystals. If you're looking for a particular crystal, post the frequency and I'll check my stash. It may be a long shot but you never know.

John AC4JK
I hope you don’t mind my butting in, here, but… I also have a Bearcat III, that I bought on eBay a few years ago and thought about getting some crystals just to hear my local county fire department, which is really all I want to have going in the house. So, wondering if the offer you made to “Bearcat-Stu” might still be open. If not, that’s OK.

I’m looking for the following frequencies, in case you happen to have these. Otherwise I’ll keep looking.

153.875
153.985
155.955
155.985
154.280
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top