Help Request - BC346XTC (noob here)

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sullys2

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hello to everyone who happens to read this post.

I am definitely new this scanner tech but I am not new to computers. I purchased the BC346XTC for my Dad for his x-mas present. He requested a uniden police scanner and I decided on that particular model. Actually from my reading I wanted a BC346XT but could not find a new one anywhere. I think it would have saved much trouble. Of course it became my job to set it up as my Dad was under the impression this would be like the scanner his Dad got way back and he would just turn it on and it would find the one police station he wanted to listen to. :) Oh boy have I learned how far off base that is.

Ok so that is just a little tidbit about how I got into this situation.

I originally tried to use FreeSCAN but that was of no use as it would only see the scanner and do nothing else (read plenty of posts about this to). So after much, much reading I downloaded ProScan 6.8. I also signed up for a Premium account here so I could just auto-import the databases instead of trying to program them manually. Well worth the premium membership. And thanks to everyone involved in creating and managing such a vast database. I was shocked at all the frequencies and different places available to listen to.

So my issue is I read plenty on Rebanding and I believe I should do this to make sure my Dad is getting everything possible out of his scanner. However I can not figure out how to do this with ProScan or manually. I have read this about 100+ times,
Easier to Read BC346XT Scanner Manual
, and admittedly somethings become more understandable after rereading them over and over! These instructions mention the following,

"Edit Band Plan (Motorola Custom/VHF/UHF only) Band plans are required so the scanner can correctly determine the voice channel frequencies.
For Standard Motorola 800/900/Splinter Systems
Scroll to 'Edit Band Plan' and press E/yes.
Scroll to '800/900 Standard' or '800Splinter' and press E/yes."

,I can not find such a setting anywhere. I see two spots where I can enter frequenices manually in ProScan but there is no option for listing an offset, polarity, or spacing. If so I would think I had found what I was looking for. These settings appear to just be manually entered scanning ranges you can assign to systems, groups, or sites.

To add more information I found this from the database,

012 (C) Pearland Brazoria 851.15000c 851.17500 851.30000 851.40000 851.65000 851.70000 852.05000
852.15000 852.20000 852.40000 853.67500a
, on this page,
Texas Wide Area Radio Network (TxWARN) Motorola Trunking System, Metro Houston area, Texas - Scanner Frequencies

It seems I should be entering these frequencies so my Dad can listen to all of the TxWARN stations in Pearland. The Brazoria County - Pearland Talkgroups. If I read everything correctly this talkgroup is of the Motorola II variety and the BC346XTC should be able to listen to them.

If I am misunderstanding something or missed a web site/page somewhere can someone please let me know or provide instructions in how to get this setup?

All the conventional channels seem fine but you rarely hear anything on them.

Now for even more information, on the TxWARN channels we do hear channels kick in but sometimes it seems like we're missing the dispatcher. Like we hear someone come across a channel and say something that seems like they are answering someone. I know that doesn't mean it's so but it seems that way. Another question I have is if we are hearing anything at all does that mean I don't have to worry about Rebanding? Or is it possible we're just hearing the main frequencies and missing some chatter when the trunking kicks in and switches frequencies?

I have also read this,
Rebanding - The RadioReference Wiki
and found there is no firmware update for a BC346XTC and even came across a post of someone who tried updating the firmware with the latest BC346XT and found that this did not work. (same idea had occurred to me as well. thankfully someone else already attempted it)

thanks for any and all help in advance
(I tried to include as much information as possible to be informative and helpful from my end but if I can answer any questions or provide any other useful information please let me know)
 
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sullys2

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one other question, I read a lot on upgrading the antenna to get better reception. if someone has found a particularly good upgraded antenna for the above Uniden model (like you have used it or know someone who has) can you please provide the name, brand, and where my Dad could purchase the antenna?

thanks again!
Uniden BC346XTC

wanted to say I did see another user with a question about trunking lines with a BC346XTC but I chose not to post my question with his as I felt my question is a little more in depth and I did not wish to high jack someone else's question with my own. hope that is alright.
 

UPMan

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There have been no firmware updates for the BC346XTC (it includes all changes incorporated in the latest update for the BC346XT, including rebanding capability).

If you imported from RadioReference, then the software should already have set up the system for rebanding, if necessary. I'm not familiar with Proscan, but perhaps someone else will chime in with where to look for those settings. Likewise, if you told the software to import that TXWarn system, it should have already brought them in. As to missing some comms, that is the nature of scanning more than one thing. It will often happen that when a comm starts, the scanner is checking a different system or frequency.
 

W8RMH

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If you imported the systems from RR then the rebanding should already be included.

I don't understand your issues with FreeScan. I use it to program and control all the scanners listed below, and it didn't cost me a cent.

As far as antennas go it is not determined by the scanner, it is the frequencies you wish to receive. If he will mainly be listening to the 800 MHz. TxWARN system I suggest the Radio Shack 800 MHz. antenna.
 

sullys2

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I don't understand your issues with FreeScan. I use it to program and control all the scanners listed below, and it didn't cost me a cent.
thanks for the information! and for the link to the antenna.

to answer about FreeScan, I would have loved to have used that software. Even downloaded it. As I believe I mentioned, it did not work. Hey, I like free to! :) After attempting to use it I did research and found multiple posts as far back as August up through December from other's who purchased for x-mas I would guess. FreeScan sees the BC346XTC and even recognizes the name but refuses to communicate further than that and only states an error when you try to actually access the scanner. It appears it only knows the older model, the BC346XT at this time. I believe the person who codes FreeScan answered in a couple of the posts I found stating this would be fixed in the next update but as of yet this update is not out it seems.
 

sullys2

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If you imported from RadioReference, then the software should already have set up the system for rebanding, if necessary. I'm not familiar with Proscan, but perhaps someone else will chime in with where to look for those settings. Likewise, if you told the software to import that TXWarn system, it should have already brought them in. As to missing some comms, that is the nature of scanning more than one thing. It will often happen that when a comm starts, the scanner is checking a different system or frequency.
first off, thank you!

so if I just imported the sites it would have also taken in those specific frequencies for Brazoria County - Pearland then? I did not come across them which would have confirmed this. Possibly I missed them but I clicked on everything possible in the software.

Also, if we don't hear the whole conversation it's because we weren't sitting on the channel the whole time? And the scanner was perhaps moving from another channel/frequency when we picked up the conversation? Maybe I will get my Dad to hold on one channel for an extended amount of time and see what he hears. Hope I understood what you meant correctly.

thanks again!
 
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