Looking for sub $200 scanner BC125AT vs BCT15X

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toastycookies

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the far east
Howdy.

Just getting back into the radio scene after many years. My 2 most recent (10 years ago?) dedicated receivers were the Icom IC-R10 and the RS Pro-64 (i know, OLD). They are long gone.

Anyways, a little background.
I am up here in Maine and have been stuck inside for the past month due to the snow. I lost interest in radio due to a lot of other things going on in my life and had really no time for it. I got my ham tech license around 15 years ago, still active, and even before that I was very interested in radio at a very young age as my father had gotten me into it.

I dug out the last HT I own a couple weeks ago, a Kenwood TH-D7A(G) and programmed in a few of the local "big 3" (police, fire, ems) as well as the local ski mountain, and started scanning.

The bug has returned to bite again.

I would like to spend under $200 for the best scanner I can get. Our Project 25 system up here is still in the works and has not become 100% active yet. Therefore I just would like to find a basic analog scanner for the local worked frequencies around here (mostly VHF/UHF).

As of right now I have narrowed it down to the BC125AT and BCT15X as stated in thread title.

The majority of listening will be done at home, and I will be attaching an external antenna to it around 75-100' high.

I really do not need the mobility of a "handheld" scanner.

I suppose I am just trying to figure out the best "bang for my buck" so to say.

I have nothing wrong with spending an extra $50 or so for the BCT15X if it has better internals.

I would like to keep the purchase under $200 since I plan on upgrading to a system that will be capable of receiving Project 25 once our state completes and moves over to the system within a few months.

Anyways I am sure this is a long rant for easy stuff and would just like to hear your suggestions.

If any other scanners within the sub $200 mark would be better suited for me than the other 2 which I am considering now I would appreciate the input.

Thank you.
 

popnokick

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I have both a BCT15 (mobile) and a BC125AT (portable). Setting aside the major difference in form factor since you wrote portability is not important for you... I have noticed the BCT15 is more sensitive in three areas: VHF low band, civil air, and military air. This is purely anecdotal and not based upon side by side comparisons using the same signal and same antenna on each. But on the times when I've connected the 125 to the BCT15 mobile antenna, I've noticed the difference. If you're thinking about a base scanner the BCT15 is also going to be simpler to manage from a power, external speaker, external antenna, and other physical considerations associated with a base / desktop radio. Use your computer and software to program them: I use the Uniden software (free) for the BC125AT, and Freescan on the BCT15.
 

UPMan

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If you don't need trunking at all, the BC125AT is going to be more cost effective. It does not cover 800 MHz, but that is 99% trunked, anyway (and moving to digital in most areas), so you'll not miss much by not having it. It does have mil-air coverage. And, generally $75 or more less expensive than the BCT15X.
 

fenderblue

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The BC125AT is the best analog portable that I have had. Using just a stubby antenna and I pick up departments 15 miles away. A good choice and it fits in your front pocket easily.
 

ME343

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Messages
491
Location
Farmingdale, ME
Howdy.

Just getting back into the radio scene after many years. My 2 most recent (10 years ago?) dedicated receivers were the Icom IC-R10 and the RS Pro-64 (i know, OLD). They are long gone.

Anyways, a little background.
I am up here in Maine and have been stuck inside for the past month due to the snow. I lost interest in radio due to a lot of other things going on in my life and had really no time for it. I got my ham tech license around 15 years ago, still active, and even before that I was very interested in radio at a very young age as my father had gotten me into it.

I dug out the last HT I own a couple weeks ago, a Kenwood TH-D7A(G) and programmed in a few of the local "big 3" (police, fire, ems) as well as the local ski mountain, and started scanning.

The bug has returned to bite again.

I would like to spend under $200 for the best scanner I can get. Our Project 25 system up here is still in the works and has not become 100% active yet. Therefore I just would like to find a basic analog scanner for the local worked frequencies around here (mostly VHF/UHF).

As of right now I have narrowed it down to the BC125AT and BCT15X as stated in thread title.

The majority of listening will be done at home, and I will be attaching an external antenna to it around 75-100' high.

I really do not need the mobility of a "handheld" scanner.

I suppose I am just trying to figure out the best "bang for my buck" so to say.

I have nothing wrong with spending an extra $50 or so for the BCT15X if it has better internals.

I would like to keep the purchase under $200 since I plan on upgrading to a system that will be capable of receiving Project 25 once our state completes and moves over to the system within a few months.

Anyways I am sure this is a long rant for easy stuff and would just like to hear your suggestions.

If any other scanners within the sub $200 mark would be better suited for me than the other 2 which I am considering now I would appreciate the input.

Thank you.
1. MsCOMMNet is fully active. All agencies have switched over.

2.If you decide what one you're going to get both the 125AT and 15X support the VHF Simulcast sites for the system.
 

Blackink

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Nov 30, 2012
Messages
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Central Vermont
Here's my thoughts....

My BCT15X is set up as a base station connected to an external antenna, ST2. It picks up frequencies easily 50-60 miles away.

My BC125AT is used as a mobile but that is for mostly around the house, outside when I'm working in the garage or when I'm sitting on my deck in the summer. It works well also.

Here's my issue: I need to use reading glasses when I'm trying to make adjustments, entering frequencies, hitting the "Hold" button or other buttons, in a certain order to "get to where I want to" in the scanner.

While I'm using my base scanner, I'm mostly at the computer working, so my reading glasses are already on making any functions on my scanner easy.

If I'm using my BC125AT scanner, I'm usually not wearing my glasses which makes making any changes or trying to push buttons for whatever reason very difficult because I can't see the keypad or the display very well.

Now if your eyesight is better than mine, you'll have no problems with either scanner but as UPMan said, the BC125AT is not a trunking scanner.
 

Michael-SATX

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San Antonio, Texas
Question Looking for sub $200 scanner BC125AT vs BCT15X ?

Well some folks would want to take full advantage of the RS stores that are on deep clearance prices !
Check with your local RS if you have one and ask them to see if any area stores are at 70% off yet ?
That makes a Uniden HP-1 just $149, BCD-396XT $140, RS Digital Pro-651 or 652 only $119
Now very few clearance stores will probably still have these awesome bargains but you have to try ;)
 

torontokris

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Toronto Canada
look on the RR classified there is some radio shack digitals for just over $220

that is getting the most bang for your buck, and if your county goes P25 (phase 1 unencrypted) then youll still be able to pick them up! And not have to buy another scanner

also user garys has a handheld 346XT (nice analog radio for $150) !!! meets your criteria and its trunking so better then the bc125t.. it a handheld equivalent of the 15x

if between the two radios only...
bc125T isnt even a trunking scanner... 500 channel
bct15 is 9,000 channels (max) triple trunking
 

bucket2

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Feb 27, 2015
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hello guys, I am new to this also, dont have a clue as what to buy for my first scanner.
am looking at a GREcom PSR-500 and an old Uniden BC-200xlt, would like the old 200xlt to play with
they are cheap so if I destroy it haven't lost much .
Does anyone know if I can find programing software for the 200xlt?

thx

bucket2
 

bucket2

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Feb 27, 2015
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o.k thx for the info, like I said I am a Newbie for sure..

guess I will hold out for the GREcom 500. :)
 

corvet

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Feb 6, 2016
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Eclectic, AL
BC125

Speaking of the free Uniden software for programming, the only download I find is for a Windows computer. Is there software for a Mac?
Thanks!
 

mparker

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Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
350
Location
Ohio
Speaking of the free Uniden software for programming, the only download I find is for a Windows computer. Is there software for a Mac?
Thanks!
I don't think there is anything for Mac... I am a Mac only house and I had to get a cheap netbook off craigslist.

As far as radios go, I would save little longer and double your budget. main reason being newer tech it will last longer. the others you mentioned are already outdated compared to the features the top o' the line ones have. Buy one and be done for years to come... second reason, if you decide the hobby isn't what you thought, you be able to recoup more of your money.
 

seth21w

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Mar 21, 2010
Messages
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Somewhere monitoring the air.
How many analog frequencies do you plan to monitor? If only 9-10 channels you could get a baofeng radio for 30 bucks, and save for a digital when the time comes. I just bought a bf-f8+ on ebay for 20.99 free shipping. They are very sensitive on vhf as well.
 
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