New user - BCD996xt recommendations on getting started - a beat dead horse I know lol

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jeremytuma

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So after many many many months of discussion with a coworker that lives by the nickname Radio, I went ahead and splurged and picked up a brand new BCD996xt. After all my research I realize that I went from before crawling to running but I have a habit of doing everything that way. Already downloaded freescan and got a subscription here as well as starting to go thru the the easier to read manual from marksscanners. Live in the temecula area and commute to north county san diego daily and on most days am running around both Riverside and San Diego counties. Any input on anything additional getting started so I can listen to as much as possible would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance everyone.
 

ka3jjz

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Hi and welcome Jeremy

You got a good start by reading the Easier to Read guide and getting FreeScan. There's two more steps - you will need a USB-serial cable to connect to your PC, and you will need to set up the scanner's ports.

Fortunately we have both bases covered. Our 'Connecting Scanners via USB' article is linked in our Getting Started article, below (anything blue is a link)

Program your DMA Scanner - The RadioReference Wiki

There are several off the shelf cables (apart from the USB-1 by Uniden) that are known to work. Beware the el-cheapo knock offs you can find on Amazon and fleaBay. Prolific (a major manufacturer) has gone so far as to put microcode in their cables that checks for these and disables the cable. These knock offs are known to come from China.

There are also some gotchas for Win 8 /8.1 that you will need to know about. These are also documented in the links in that article.

As to setting up the ports on your scanner, see this page from the FreeScan user guide....

Freescan - Connecting Scanner to PC - The RadioReference Wiki

Keep the article I mentioned first bookmarked - you will, no doubt, come back to it again.

You might also go over to our California forum and ask for a file. Be sure to tell them that you have FreeScan - formats aren't always compatible between software.

GL...Mike
 

LIScanner101

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Wow, as more and more folks grab up 996XT's there's more and more questions about how to program them - but have no fear, we're here to help :D !!

As Mike said above, do a little reading-up on FreeSCAN, but when get that program up & running it's always helpful to play around with a sample file. With that said, I have a file made specifically for Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Not exactly what you'll need, but I can email it to you so you can pick it apart and see how it looks. Please PM me with your email address and I'll send it on its way!
 

ofd8001

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You might also go to Youtube and search for Freescan. There are several videos that might be informative.

Lastly - welcome to the forum!
 

ka3jjz

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There are a couple of videos posted at the bottom of the FreeScan user guide (you can get to it by clicking Help / Online Help from within FreeScan) - however you should learn why things work in DMA the way they do. Using the resources in the article I gave you will do the job. Take your time - htere's a lot to learn

Mike
 

Jaxco

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Using freescan, I have fun programming my scanner. I make up different channel lists (996 files) for my listening mood. I have a 'minimal' list created for listening to only closest rail, favorite ham network, ems, fire and LE on weekends. I have only those within 15 miles or so programmed in without the extra agency channels (It STILL required 275 channels)

I do this so that I can keep up with what is going on, no matter which tac channel they switch to.

I have a 'maximum' as well, that includes every control tower, aviation frequency, school, business, utility, ham operator and every minor functionary within range - if they use a radio, I have them in the list.

Culling your list should be done mentally before importing systems/groups.

I like the minimum list for the weekends, I actually HEAR more important content than other times.

I also have a 996 file made up that just has my town's LE, fire and ems - with 3 favorite broadcast stations! It makes it easier to listen to the broadcast stations I like and fill the commercial breaks with scanning time.
 

JoeyC

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here is a Freescan file for north san diego county.
No offense, but that file is full of crap much of which is not usable from the SD north county, outdated or just plain wrong.

Use this one and activate the QuickKeys that utilize the North or Northeast cells on the RCS. (Quickkeys in the 70s will most likely not be necessary and are recommended to be locked out.)

Note: File is a Freescan file, not a valid pdf file. Do not try to open it as is or it will corrupt. Instead, simply rename the file by removing the .pdf extension and it will open in FreeScan.
 

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Jaxco

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Teufler, the .996 file you sent me to get things started off was a HUGE help! I was able to see the organization of each system and add frequencies that aren't listed in the DB in appropriate areas and understand the structure of the programming function - thanks for that! It encouraged me to branch out and try it for myself because, after all, I had that one to fall back on if I screwed up!

It was very nice as well as helpful.
 

JoeyC

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Teufler, the .996 file you sent me to get things started off was a HUGE help! I was able to see the organization of each system and add frequencies that aren't listed in the DB in appropriate areas and understand the structure of the programming function - thanks for that! It encouraged me to branch out and try it for myself because, after all, I had that one to fall back on if I screwed up!

It was very nice as well as helpful.
See my comment and file above...
 
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