Caltrans

Legal1313

Newbie
Joined
Aug 27, 2016
Messages
3
Does anyone have any knowledge they could share with me on the subject of scanning for Caltrans? I’m confused on what frequencies to program into my scanner. What frequencies should I program from “statewide” and what frequencies from the low band channels? I’m in San Joaquin county and would like to hear everything in district 10 and in the mountains district 3. I have put in some frequencies into the scanner but have yet to hear anything. This is my first post on radio reference forums, hope I’m doing it right!
 

vagrant

ker-muhj-uhn
Joined
Nov 19, 2005
Messages
1,826
Location
California
What frequencies should I program from “statewide”
All of them

and what frequencies from the low band channels?
Probably none of them unless you have an antenna tuned for that. Still, you can try as it won't hurt.

I’m in San Joaquin county and would like to hear everything in district 10 and in the mountains district 3. I have put in some frequencies into the scanner but have yet to hear anything. This is my first post on radio reference forums, hope I’m doing it right!
Also put all of the frequencies from District 10. As for District 3, unless you're physically further north in those counties, you probably will not receive anything. Again, it won't hurt to try, but doubtful unless you're in the northern area of San Joaquin County.

If you have trouble hearing anything, you may need an outdoor antenna up in the air above your roofline. Still, most of those frequencies are in the upper 700 and various 800 MHz frequencies, except for the low band. An improved antenna is a Remtronix 800 MHz antenna. It is specifically tuned for 700, 800, and 900 MHz frequencies. It should not cost you more than $25. Also, make sure the connector on your radio matches up to the antenna. Basically, purchase the correct antenna. There are three options.

Others will chime in, so share with us which receiver/scanner you are using and if you are using the stock antenna that came with it, or what antenna you are using now.
 

Legal1313

Newbie
Joined
Aug 27, 2016
Messages
3
I have a Uniden BCD996P2 using the stock antenna. Stock antenna is working fine for local public safety, as for listing to CALFIRE, its not that great but still am able to pickup Tuolumne, Calaveras, and El Dorado counties with static.
 

gmclam

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
5,818
Location
Fair Oaks, CA
Although my interest is more for when I travel, I have programmed all the Statewide lettered channels and monitor them from home. 800MHz doesn't travel all that far, so if you're hearing something there it is likely "close by". I personally haven't programmed in channels for each district, but that's what I'd do if I had the interest you do.
 

vagrant

ker-muhj-uhn
Joined
Nov 19, 2005
Messages
1,826
Location
California
The Diamond RH77CA is fine for Cal Fire and other frequencies. The Remtronix 800 will handle the Caltrans better as it is tuned for those frequencies. You will need a BNC right angle adapter, or a small patch cable for either of those antennas. These are referred to as rubber duck antennas. They are small and flexible which typically work well (bending not breaking) for handhelds and can be used with your particular Uniden as well. Again, you'll want to use a right angle adapter and keep the antenna vertical.

Another option may be to use a discone antenna, either indoors or up above your roofline would be better. That will require a bit of coaxial cable and a mast to hold it. If you're using this scanner mobile, there are also a variety of choices. Are you using this at home, in a vehicle, or both?

Not having a BCD996P2 I am unsure how well or poorly the included antenna performs. From the looks of it, I don't have much hope plus it may need adjusting depending on frequency. If you want to throw money at this please advise. Happy to point out an improved coaxial cable and antenna system so that you can enjoy Cal Fire and Caltrans at a further range. Still, you may be quite happy with the results the Diamond RH77CA antenna provides.
 
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