New user of Uniden BCD996P2. Where to start?

KB1MM

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Before I ask the questions, I'll give you a little about myself as I am new here. I grew up in Carroll NH and joined the navy in 75. Spent 6 years as an avionics tech and was discharged in 81, moved back to NH and have lived here ever since...My wife and I just sold our house and moved in with my son, wife and family in Hopkinton until I retire in September '21. Then the plan is to move to south central Missouri where my wife I own acreage.

I'm guessing this question has been asked a gazillion times here. I guess I'll make it a gazillion and one ;). I used to listen to the old analog feeds 24/7 here in NH since the 80's but when they went digital/trunked, everything was too expensive so I gave it up. Fast forward about 20 years and the scanners today have dropped enough in price and I have a bit more spending money so I splurged and bought the BCD996P2 scanner.

UPS dropped it off this afternoon and I am a bit overwhelmed (and supremely confused) where to start on this thing.

I usually don't have too much problem understanding stuff, I'm an electronics engineering tech but this is a bit more than I was expecting. I have been a ham radio operator for almost 40 years and I don't seem to have a problem sussing out digital stuff as well as troubleshooting my own radios but I am at a loss of where to start learning this new way of listening to scanners.

Can someone point me to a thread for newbs like me or maybe a website that would put me on the straight and narrow?

Thanks all,

Tim KB1MM
 
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Can someone point me to a thread for newbs like me or maybe a website that would put me on the straight and narrow?
Hi Tim.

Great scanner!

Here's an easier to read manual for your scanner:


There are software programs to assist you.

Proscan is a great paid program. You can read more at Proscan.org.

It has a fully functional free trial period and lots of features.

Freescan is another program you can use.


Do some reading then ask away. There are plenty of people here to help.

Good luck!
 

ka3jjz

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Apart from various YouTube videos, I would start here. This page will start to give you a handle on where to find terminology and the Easier to Read manual for this radio...


Your first step should be to specifically identify what you want to hear. Will you need the DMR and/or the NXDN upgrades? Precisely what trunk system(s) are you interested in hearing? These are the questions that you should be asking

Mike
 

KB1MM

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Wow! thanks for the quick suggestions! I am mostly looking to listen to State Police and county/town police and fire feeds. I was on an LEO track when I got out of High School but decided to go the military route instead. I always liked listening to the feeds on the analog channels, especially when I knew some of the LEO's personally.While I didn't end up being a full time LEO, I was an auxiliary LEO for a while in one of the towns I moved to when I got out of the military.

I will look up the "Easier to Read" manual. I ran across that when I was waiting for my scanner to show up today but wasn't sure if it was just hype. If it's recommended here than I can assume it's worth it.
 

WX1N

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Once you get familiar with the different DMA programming vs. channel-based programming, definitely use a program to start putting together everything you want in there. ProScan is a great program, I use it for remote control and audio streaming, but I prefer FreeScan for programming - just a personal choice. I'd be happy to share a programming file from my scanner with you, and I'm sure others would be as well, whether you want to just review them to get familiar with the DMA programming, or take bits and pieces of them to paste into your own programming file.
 

dispatch235

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The 996P2 is a good choice for south/central MO. There are quite a few of us here in MO that can help you set it up for this area. It is actually one of the easier radios to program in my opinion though I started with the Radio Shack 106/197 then migrated to the 396/996 series, which are like apples and oranges. Main thing is to get the programming software (Freescan is freeware and works well for starting out, then Proscan which is a paid software but more advanced) and read through the above mentioned article links and just play with the radio/software. Always save a copy of your file, if you mess up a setting then you can always just re-upload your last working file.
There are some that prefer to program the radios manually which is always good to know, but it is alot more than how we did the old school scanners, and the software is much faster and easier to use.
 

KB1MM

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Thank you everyone so far that has responded to my OP. As is usual as of late, as soon as I put something new on my radio bench, life gets busy so I don't get the time I was hoping to put into figuring this out. Hopefully this Sunday I'll have a chance to actually sit down and look through these links and maybe figure this thing out. Lots to learn.

For now, the scanner sits on my bench, looking at me blankly :cool:.
 

WX1N

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Thank you everyone so far that has responded to my OP. As is usual as of late, as soon as I put something new on my radio bench, life gets busy so I don't get the time I was hoping to put into figuring this out. Hopefully this Sunday I'll have a chance to actually sit down and look through these links and maybe figure this thing out. Lots to learn.

For now, the scanner sits on my bench, looking at me blankly :cool:.
If you want, I can send you a file with just NHSP, to give you something to listen to.
 

KB1MM

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If you want, I can send you a file with just NHSP, to give you something to listen to.
That would be great! I'll PM you my email address. I'll have to figure out how to actually upload it to my scanner but that's what this is all about...learning something new.
 

Ronaldski

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Freescan download link Downloads - Sixspot Software

Again since your a premium subscriber you can look at those videos with the link I gave in message 9 on how to do your own programming. Its essential since as time goes on new frequencies, talkgroups more than likely will be added or even deleted, your city, county might change to a new radio system.

More than likely you have uniden firmware 1.06 latest is 1.08.01 and improvements were made.
On yours, press MENU silver knob go to Settings, Press E button, scroll to See Scanner Info, press E button, scroll to Firmware version, Press E. Press Scan to well, Scan

How to do it, (que cheesy music :p )
 
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KB1MM

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Freescan download link Downloads - Sixspot Software

Again since your a premium subscriber you can look at those videos with the link I gave in message 9 on how to do your own programming. Its essential since as time goes on new frequencies, talkgroups more than likely will be added or even deleted, your city, county might change to a new radio system.

More than likely you have uniden firmware 1.06 latest is 1.08 and improvements were made.

How to do it, (que cheesy music :p )
Thanks for the information. I downloaded the USB driver for the BCD998P2 and the Freescan software the other day but have yet to install them. I have been watching a few Youtube videos at work during lunch as well to familiarize myself with some of the terminology used. It's like any other new hobby, job or whatever, I need to learn new lingo, etc.
 

KB1MM

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OK, I had a chance to sit down for a while tonight and was able to figure out how to upload a file from RR using Freescan into my scanner and it actually worked right out of the gate!

WX1N had sent me a file of NHSP frequencies today so I erased what I had uploaded and loaded his file into the scanner and his seemed to be better so I'm leaving it in as is for now. When I uploaded the NHSP files from RR, I just dumped them into the scanner with no thought as to how to organize the files (put NHSP in one group, EMS/Fire in another, etc)...I think they all ended up in the same group, if that's the correct term. I still have a lot to learn about how to organize channels, groups and subgroups. All in time.
 

KB1MM

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Freescan download link Downloads - Sixspot Software

Again since your a premium subscriber you can look at those videos with the link I gave in message 9 on how to do your own programming. Its essential since as time goes on new frequencies, talkgroups more than likely will be added or even deleted, your city, county might change to a new radio system.

More than likely you have uniden firmware 1.06 latest is 1.08.01 and improvements were made.
On yours, press MENU silver knob go to Settings, Press E button, scroll to See Scanner Info, press E button, scroll to Firmware version, Press E. Press Scan to well, Scan

How to do it, (que cheesy music :p )
It was indeed version 1.06. I just updated it to 1.08.01. Thanks for the heads up.
 

WX1N

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OK, I had a chance to sit down for a while tonight and was able to figure out how to upload a file from RR using Freescan into my scanner and it actually worked right out of the gate!

WX1N had sent me a file of NHSP frequencies today so I erased what I had uploaded and loaded his file into the scanner and his seemed to be better so I'm leaving it in as is for now. When I uploaded the NHSP files from RR, I just dumped them into the scanner with no thought as to how to organize the files (put NHSP in one group, EMS/Fire in another, etc)...I think they all ended up in the same group, if that's the correct term. I still have a lot to learn about how to organize channels, groups and subgroups. All in time.
Tim, I'll send you my full file so you can take a look at how I organized the systems and subgroups. It's a matter of personal preference how you set them up, but it'll give you something to look at.
 

KB1MM

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Tim, I'll send you my full file so you can take a look at how I organized the systems and subgroups. It's a matter of personal preference how you set them up, but it'll give you something to look at.
Thank you...I got the email/file and will look at it later tonight or tomorrow. Company coming today...
 

Firebuff66

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I 2nd Proscan, $50 for lifetime updates and when you move you are going to want it for programming the huge trunk system down there. At least with NH you only have 2 small trunk systems if your near them and Most of the state of NH is still conventional analog & P25.
 

KB1MM

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I 2nd Proscan, $50 for lifetime updates and when you move you are going to want it for programming the huge trunk system down there. At least with NH you only have 2 small trunk systems if your near them and Most of the state of NH is still conventional analog & P25.
Thanks...I absolutely plan on paying the $50 for Proscan perhaps as early as this weekend. It never hurts to have another tool in the toolbox.
 
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