BCT15X: Ease of Progamming

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avdrummerboy

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Hey all, just curious, looking at buying a BCT15X. I currently own two RS PRO-163's and one PRO-164. I like RS as they are easy to program and operate, but they do have some limitations. Just wondering, how easy is it to hand program the BCT15X and is it intuitive to use?

Thanks
 

ka3jjz

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No I wouldn't call them either easy or intuitive. You would need to first discard your thinking about banks - DMA scanner don't use them.

But there is an easy and almost-free way to program them. Unlike the GRE/RS scanners, there is freeware (FreeScan) along with a premium subscription (so you can download data from our databases) takes about 70% of the work. Or if you are very comfortable with setting trunk types and other things manually, there's also a copy/paste utility you can use.

Really though, to program these scanners effectively you need to understand how DMA works - regardless of what software you use.

Mike
 

avdrummerboy

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Thanks for the reply, I've always hand programmed everything, most of the scanner listeners that I talk to say you need software to program Uniden scanners and I'll probably be suicidal by the time I have any of it figured out lol.

Is it at least possible (even if slow and tedious) to hand program this model?
 

fxdscon

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most of the scanner listeners that I talk to say you need software to program Uniden scanners and I'll probably be suicidal by the time I have any of it figured out lol.
Many have said that about the GRE/RS scanners also, it's all in what you're used to.

Is it at least possible (even if slow and tedious) to hand program this model?
Yes, it certainly is.

Some good reading here:

Easier to Read BCT15-X Scanner Manual

and here:

Dynamic Memory Architecture - The RadioReference Wiki

.
 

avdrummerboy

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Right on, thanks. I'll probably get one and give it a try, they're not too expensive (comported to digital) so why not, I might actually like it!!
 

ka3jjz

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Before you plunk down money for a scanner you can't use due to digital (or other modes) in your area, it's a goo idea to become more familiar with your RF lay of the land. Check our database, wiki and ask questions in our California forum.

Mike
 

avdrummerboy

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As I said, I currently listen on RS scanners to my ares, we are not digital yet, though the backbone is in place. I am just thinking about adding another scanner to spread TG's around, I live in a busy area.
 

KD4UXQ

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It is by far the best analog scanner I have ever owned. The Dynamic memory takes some getting used to. When I got my BC246T years ago and first saw the dynamic memory programming all I could think was this is awkward! Take the time to learn it and you will be glad you did. Use Mark's easier scanner manuals. http://marksscanners.com/ These are a huge asset. And use software to program it. I use Freescan and it is quite easy to use and works great, and it is free. With a Radioreference subscription you can download systems into Freescan to program the scanner. You can also edit what you download in Freescan if you want to customize the scanning groups.

Get Freescan here. https://sites.google.com/site/sixspotsoftware/products/freescan
 

LIScanner101

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As I said, I currently listen on RS scanners to my ares, we are not digital yet, though the backbone is in place. I am just thinking about adding another scanner to spread TG's around, I live in a busy area.

I see you live in CA. I put together a decent Los Angeles area FreeSCAN file for when I travel there. If you want a copy PM me.
 

pinballwiz86

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Hi OP. I suggest you sit down with a piece of paper and write down how you wish to set up your scanner.

An example:

At the highest level you would have :

Police
Fire
Amateur Radio
Civil Aviation

Then under Police you can set up a lower level like "Pulaski County, Phelps County, etc."

Then, under Pulaski County you add in the frequencies. Like, 155.000 and you label it St. Robert Police. etc.

Then, you go back to Fire, Amateur Radio and Civil Aviation and repeat the process. Don't forget to add "quick keys" to each. That's it. Not too hard to do. Just takes some planning. Have fun. I'm personally looking forward to getting a BCT15X. Should get it here by Friday! :)
 

avdrummerboy

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Right on, thanks for the replies everybody, ordered it yesterday, should be here Friday ish or so, I'll just play with it until I get it working and doing what I want it to do!
 

hiegtx

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Right on, thanks for the replies everybody, ordered it yesterday, should be here Friday ish or so, I'll just play with it until I get it working and doing what I want it to do!
If yo look at the Easier to Read manual for your new scanner
Easier to Read BCT15-X Scanner Manual

Take a look at the section titled Planning Systems, Sites, and Groups

At the bottom of that section is a link to some downloadable worksheets you can use to plan how you want to set up your scanner. There are worksheets in pdf file format for conventional (non-trunked) systems, as well as the various type of trunked systems.
 

kayi4cle

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Thanks for the reply, I've always hand programmed everything, most of the scanner listeners that I talk to say you need software to program Uniden scanners and I'll probably be suicidal by the time I have any of it figured out lol.

Is it at least possible (even if slow and tedious) to hand program this model?
Yes it's possible and I would say it's even easy to hand program the Dynamic Memory Uniden radios that I have (which include the 15X and an old 996T). Whenever you learn to program something new it's always challenging at first, whether it's a new scanner, weather radio, DVR, etc. But once you spend a couple days using the online manuals you will learn how to do it and you may even find it enjoyable and rewarding. Just relax and learn one step at a time (taking deep breaths as needed, LOL!). I much prefer Uniden's setup which allows you to make many different systems which are then available as quick keys and can be turned off/on at the press of a button or two.
 

avdrummerboy

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Got it yesterday and sat down with Mark's manual (an absolute godsend!!!) Had it following the local TRS in no time flat, and yes, I programmed it by hand, not any worse than the RS, just time consuming. Definitely a learning curve to the thing, does things differently than I'm used to with the RS stuff, but overall not a bad little scanner. The DMA was figured out pretty quickly, takes a little bit of getting used to, but it is MUCH nicer than the bank/channel system that I've known for so long!
 

ML143606

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I too just got my BCT15X (analog) . Actually.... Just got delivered MSG that it is sitting at the post office and I’m going to pick it up within the hour.

I have downloaded Freescan, Proscan, and one other (don't remember the name) so I thought I was all set.

I am curious though.... Where I live it is simple. We don't have many trunking or digital systems and its just mostly conventional radio and analog. Now I'm sure there might be some in the big cities but nothing that interests me at the moment but will expand in the future and now I have a scanner that can do more later when I need it and learn how. But Id like to know what I'm in store for when I go to program this new BCT15X scanner and which software to use for what I want to do with it. I know there is free ones and full trial versions and stuff but hate to install and uninstall stuff on my computers because it always leaves something behind and overwrites some files and DLLs and stuff so you have to keep them.

Anyways.... I live on the line almost bordering 4 counties. I have been to many sites and have downloaded everything into an Excel spread sheet. I have columns listing, transmitting city, operating city, county, name, freq, ctcss and a whole lot more for sorting purposes. From there I can use tabs to sort by city, freq, county or entity name and I just cut and paste them into my BC125AT so simply and easily. Only limitation is I have to cut and paste 50 at a time into each of the 10 banks. With excel I can sort by order, remove duplicates and paste them in the same order listed on my spread sheet and enter any documentation as I listen. So I thought about buying another BCT125AT but thought I’d get better receive from a mobile unit instead of a mini handheld…. Then the price dropped on the BCT15X.
Problem is the BC125AT only has 10 banks of 50 (500 Channels). So I have been cut and pasting only one county at a time or a piece there of an area if it is more than 500 channels. So I thought I would get a 9000 channel scanner and make it easier just putting them all in there at once and separate banks into counties or something. So I thought.....

From what I seen on the splash screens, screen teasers and screen shots of this unit and programming… am I not going to be able to just simply cut and paste hundreds or thousands of simple conventional frequencies in and have it search ctcss tones and log more close calls, etc….

I know people have asked which is the best software, and I know how that is such a loaded question. I too always buy the best when I can afford it. But what am I in for here and which of these software’s will allow me to do such until such time when I start downloading databases’ from this site and share with others and learn about trunking and tracking, etc….?

What is this “thing” about “Dynamic Memory” that I have been reading all over here…

Thanks in advance for any "start up" suggestions...
 

jonwienke

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Problem is the BC125AT only has 10 banks of 50 (500 Channels). So I have been cut and pasting only one county at a time or a piece there of an area if it is more than 500 channels.
The 435/536 series doesn't have this issue. You don't have "banks" that limit how you can store channels. You just program systems (or easier yet, download them) and tell the scanner where you are and what kinds of stuff you want to listen to. The only limitation is that Favorite Lists cannot be larger than 1MB. But that still allows several thousand frequencies in one list, and you can have several lists active at the same time.
 

ML143606

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Yea, ARCXT PRO was the third one I downloaded. That one looked good and everyone rants and raves about it. I'm technically inclined, so I'm not worried about being confusing or hard to read or anything like I heard some people complain about with this scanner. I just want to know if I can simply cut and paste or import frequencies from excel like I have been doing until I learn how to properly program systems and such.

So am I going to have to cut and paste "Systems"?

Or can I just cut and pastes a list of frequencies like I was doing with previous scanners. If your familiar with the BCT125AT how different will it be pasting to the BCT15X or will I not be able to import a list or something like that? Or which of the 3 software packages allows me to do that.

On my way to the post office to see what I got.....
 
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