Best set up for BC125AT

N4DJC

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How do you set up your banks for rail?

Right now I have separate banks set up for CSX, NS, and the local short lines. All alpha tagged. Do any of you have the AAR channels programmed as well? I‘ve not tried setting them up yet.

Thanks....
 

JoshuaHufford

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I have the BC75XLT, it has 30 channels per bank. What I did is program all of the 97 AAR channels in channels 1-97, which take up the first 4 banks. This way AAR 30 is channel 30 on my scanner and so on. This is VERY helpful if you are in an area where you aren't sure what channels are in use, then when you pick something up it is easy to know what channel/s are in use.

Bank 5 contains EOT/HOT/DPU frequencies, bank 6 I keep for my local rail channels so when I'm in my home area and I only want to listen to those channels I can easily switch to them and not scan channels I don't need to.

7-9 I keep open for programming in what channels I want when I'm traveling, and I keep a reference sheet of all of the AAR channels and what frequencies they are in the vehicle.

Bank 10 is my local police, fire EMS etc, for when I want something else to listen to besides rail stuff.
 

N4DJC

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I have the BC75XLT, it has 30 channels per bank. What I did is program all of the 97 AAR channels in channels 1-97, which take up the first 4 banks. This way AAR 30 is channel 30 on my scanner and so on. This is VERY helpful if you are in an area where you aren't sure what channels are in use, then when you pick something up it is easy to know what channel/s are in use.

Bank 5 contains EOT/HOT/DPU frequencies, bank 6 I keep for my local rail channels so when I'm in my home area and I only want to listen to those channels I can easily switch to them and not scan channels I don't need to.

7-9 I keep open for programming in what channels I want when I'm traveling, and I keep a reference sheet of all of the AAR channels and what frequencies they are in the vehicle.

Bank 10 is my local police, fire EMS etc, for when I want something else to listen to besides rail stuff.
Great ideas, thanks!
 

jbhunt04

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You can scan all the the AAR channels without having to program them in. Just hit Function, Search. Then disable all the bands except Railroad.
 

JoshuaHufford

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That is true, but the handy thing about programming in the AAR channels into channels 1-97 on the scanner is you can easily identify what channel is in use in a particular area when you aren't sure what is in use. When you use the Railroad service band in the scanner you just get the frequency on the display, at least this is the case with the BC75XLT, maybe the 125 shows the AAR channel number when using the Railroad service band?

Also, the rail service band scans all of the "in between" channels that as far as I'm aware mostly aren't in use by the railroad, so it takes longer to scan the entire band and you take more of a chance of missing something, and I've found your more likely to pick up intermod when using the rail service band scan than if you are just scanning the main 97 AAR channels.
 

N4DJC

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That is true, but the handy thing about programming in the AAR channels into channels 1-97 on the scanner is you can easily identify what channel is in use in a particular area when you aren't sure what is in use. When you use the Railroad service band in the scanner you just get the frequency on the display, at least this is the case with the BC75XLT, maybe the 125 shows the AAR channel number when using the Railroad service band?

Also, the rail service band scans all of the "in between" channels that as far as I'm aware mostly aren't in use by the railroad, so it takes longer to scan the entire band and you take more of a chance of missing something, and I've found your more likely to pick up intermod when using the rail service band scan than if you are just scanning the main 97 AAR channels.
The channels can be alpha tagged in the BC125AT and it does show the numbers IIRC, but I also am programming a SR30C that doesn't have that capability and a couple of older Bearcats that just have the banks and channels. I wanted to get a good set up for some friends that have older scanners. We have NS, CSX, a few local shorelines that are active. The handful of individual frequencies are adequate but assigning the correct AAR channel is instructive for new railfans. Having the first 100 channels occupied is not a big deal, also with the changes going on with NS it's better to have all of them than not. Having them all in two banks speeds up the scanning speed and it's easy to get to a particular AAR channel. The the EOTD and HOTD can probably be heard on close call. Hope that makes sense.
 

jbhunt04

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Yes, it’s true it does take longer to scan all of the channels this way, and you may miss some of the desired traffic. The BC 125AT does have alpha numeric display, and it shows the AAR channel with the corresponding frequency.
 

jbhunt04

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I just wished the BC125AT had better battery life. But since I live close to the tracks, I mainly use my BC15x.
 

N4DJC

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I just wished the BC125AT had better battery life. But since I live close to the tracks, I mainly use my BC15x.
Yep, it's pretty terrible.

I was hearing traffic pretty well until a few weeks ago, NS has done something different. The transmissions barely break squelch, don't seem as clear either. The local shorelines aren't as active but may pick up when the businesses start operating full schedules.
 

jbhunt04

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Yep, it's pretty terrible.

I was hearing traffic pretty well until a few weeks ago, NS has done something different. The transmissions barely break squelch, don't seem as clear either. The local shorelines aren't as active but may pick up when the businesses start operating full schedules.
That may have something to do with NS reconfiguring their communications since they have moved their HQ and dispatch to Atlanta. I don’t monitor NS, since they don’t operate in Western Kentucky, so I couldn’t say. Occasionally I can pick up weak signals on other channels, but I don’t know what they are.
 

N4DJC

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I'm hearing good signals on the NS road channel (160.950) this afternoon, 160.905 was pretty active a month ago on the weekends later in the afternoon and at night. All the leaves back on the trees ain't helping...

I don't usually hear CSX frequenters unless I'm on the other side of the county.
 

jbhunt04

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I took off the rubber duckey stock antenna and replaced it with a Diamond antenna. It picks up so much better, especially when I’m outdoors.
 

N4DJC

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Amazon has the BC125AT for $85.33 right now. That’s a great price. I’m tempted to pick up another one.
 

ScanMaine

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Im using a BCT125AT as we speak for Rail and I love it. Not really much going on here in Maine on a Sunday though!
 

jaspence

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Good for air band too. I heard the Blue Angels and a super tanker during the flyby a couple of days ago.

For rail scanning, be aware that a few have moved to NXDN already and the only scanners that handle that without a paid upgrade are the Whistler brand, Icom IC-R30, and two from AOR. This link refers to my area, but applies to all systems. Michigan - Michigan Railroads Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference
 

marlin39a

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I use. BC125 in my truck along the Phoenix Sub in Arizona. It worked great, until I added a Tram 1094 mag mount antenna. Now it is phenomenal!
 
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