New BC246T Handheld Scanner New User

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currytoys

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Jun 13, 2008
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Ellisville St. Louis County, MO
I just bought a new Uniden BC246T Hand Held Scanner and I am using the ScanControl Software. I have downloaded a few Conventional Frequencies but there seems to be a lot of dead quiet time while scanning. Does Trunk Frequencies eliminate this? Can you have Trunk & Conventional Frequencies on the same scanner? This is all so new to me and I just started learning on all this a couple of days ago. I know I have a lot to learn. I am getting the frequencies from RadioReference.com. I am mainly interested in Ellisville & Ballwin (St. Louis County) Police, Fire and EMS. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Cheers,
Sandy in St. Louis
 

LEH

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Yorktown, Virginia
First, welcome to RR, best scanning and other listening site on the web.

Dead time is not all that uncommon. Especially for smaller areas. St. Louis should be much more active.

Taking a look at the database for St. Louis county, the 246 will be able to scan nearly everything that is there. It does look like the city is going to a P25 (that is digital) system in the forseeable future. The 246 will not be able to pick that up when it happens.

The county itself is still showing conventional frequencies, so the 246 will be excellant for that.

As to whether or not you can mix trunked and conventional, the answer is yes you can. With the dynamic memory allocation of the 246, you can even set more than one trunked system up under the same quick key.

Now you cannot mix conventional and trunked information in the same system. That one may take some getting used to. As you work into the scanning world and begin to better understand the 246, that statement will become a bit clearer.

Software is the best way to program, so you started out smartly.

Also take time to look through the rest of the forums (there are close to 100 including one for each state and various types of radios). Learn to use the database. It is better now than ever.

Some systems that you cannot track with the 246 (or anyother scanner for that matter) include EDACS Provoice and LTR Multinet (system? forget the proper name as I don't have any near me). Provoice is a proprietary digital format and LTR in general is difficult to track, the Multinet cannot be.
 

ka3jjz

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The folks on the Missouri forum, as well as the St.Louis scanning Yahoo group should be able to help with pinpointing which freqs are the most active. Always best to get local help for a local question. Here's the link for that group:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/StLASE/

I'll recommend that this thread be moved to the Missouri forum.

Too, there's an 'Easier to Read' manual for programming the 246. While you are using software, it's often helpful to have such a reference handy so you know exactly why some setting does what it does. In addition, Scan Control can use a UASD (Uniden Advanced system director) .usd file as an input source, so you can easily see what others have done. There are several places to find them; the 246 Yahoo group, the St. Louis group, and the 246.org page.

These links and lots more are found on our wiki article for the 246:

http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/BC246T


73 Mike
 
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ka3jjz

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Let me add that the antenna on the 246 - indeed most handhelds - is a compromise at best. Depending on your situation, an outdoor antenna, mounted nice and high and fed with the right coax, might do a much better job, but with a caveat. Most handhelds can't hold up under the larger signal levels particularly if you are in an urban environment, with lots of pagers, taxis and local broadcast media.

Locals can suggest better antennas, since they're more familiar with your environment. However, one fairly safe bet is a Larsen 150/400/800 mhz antenna, which is nominally meant for a mobile antenna, but would work fairly well on a nice metallic surface with an appropriate mag mount.

73 Mike
 

mjthomas59

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Messages
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I have a 246t also and have been using it for several years. You'll find that having the 'dynamic memory' is really a godsend when it comes to having tons of frequencies in your scanner but not being stuck monitoring all of them at once.

I use the Butel ARC software to program almost every scanner I own and find it much easier than any other i've tried. If you google "Butel" you will find the company and you can download a demo of the software for free. You'll need Butel ARC246. If you get the demo let me know and I can e-mail you the file I have, it contains St. Louis County, St. Louis City, MSHP, and pretty well all other surrounding counties. If you are interested let me know, it may help you in getting started.

EDIT: Something I just thought of with this particular scanner is the amount of interference I would get when travelling through RF rich areas. Antenna selection is very important and although you can, I wouldn't personally recommend an outdoor antenna on that scanner. The St. Louis County radio system is so large and powerful that I can easily pick it up from Warren County with little if any static. I'd have to check the database so see what kind of system Ballwin and Ellisville have, but if you are talking about Fire or EMS, those frequencies should be active all day. I'd recommend a Diamond RH77ca antenna for your scanner, although the antenna is a little big it works very well for what you are trying to monitor.

Enter 154.8750 into your scanner, it will be nonstop 24/7. That is the dispatch channel for Ellisville, Eureka, Chesterfield, and many other muni's in your area. What you will find is that St. Louis County Police dispatches for a vast majority of the municipalities within the county, so they lump a bunch of small muni's onto 1 channel. Works great from their point of view, but sucks for scanner listeners if you don't care about what is going on in Eureka when you live in Ellisville.

The best of luck and welcome to the world of scanning.
 
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currytoys

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Jun 13, 2008
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Location
Ellisville St. Louis County, MO
Thanks MJ,
I'm still so green at all of this--I couldn't figure out how to put in that code using the keypad, so I used Scan Control to add it. Now I'm going to go get the Butel ARC246 Demo Program you suggested. The Diamond RH77ca Antenna that you mentioned--is that for your car, the house or is is a replacement antenna for the actual scanner? Where can I buy that? I could probably find it on-line. I stopped at Radio Shack today and picked up a little earphone for it so I can listen and not bother everyone all the time. This is really a fun addicting hobby. I need to read the manual and learn about all the functions--I'm just anxious to learn it all really quickly. So far I have Ballwin, Ellisville, St. Louis County plus the one you just told me about, Arnold, Festus, MO Prison System, St Louis County Jail, STL Skywarn & KLOU Oldies Radio...the Skywarn & Radio Station isn't coming through and either is the TV Channel 5 KSDK News that I just added. Oh and I added the Wireless 900 thinking that I might capture some neighboring conversations but that isn't coming across either.
Well, I have a lot to learn. Thanks for your help--I really appreciate it. Sandy Curry, currytoys@yahoo.com
 
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