Old SoCal Scanner user needs to be sure BC785D is current & wants to get back into it

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etard

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Old SoCal Scanner user needs to be sure BC785D is current & wants to get back into it

Hello guys.. been a long time scanner user in North County San Diego area. Back to the days of Realistic and Radio Shack scanners with crystals.

Anyway, have had a Uniden BC785D - with antenna on my house - for years and had it programmed for my area many, many years ago (maybe 5) by a local guy. I also have the Butel ARC250 Software on an old PC and my database. Over those years, I added to it and tweaked it. But, I admit, since I started listening to Sirius radio 2-3 years ago that took my time and I neglected my scanner habit and keeping up on things.

I want to come back to it... I miss it.

So, here are my questions please as I am sure things have changed:

1. how do I find out if the database and programming I have for my scanner is the most current & up-to-date now as I have not done any changes in the last 3 years or so. I have the Butel ARC250 "mem" file backed up.

2. Is there some more current software I can use - preferably on my Mac - to manage my scanner via computer? I can do it from my newer PC, but prefer my mac.

3. I know this scanner uses an old school serial port for the remote control terminal, is there a way I can reliably convert this to USB - maybe a USB to serial with USB tip - so I can control from a more "modern" computer :)

thanks so much for any help
 

ka3jjz

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Hi and welcome back (maybe this forum should be for getting RE-starting, too, hi).

I'm not going to get into the state of the California data on the DB, as I'm not familiar enough with it. No doubt combining that with the big Directory book that I've heard so much about would be a step in the right direction.

I will say that a major change in the last couple of years is the establishment of the RR Wiki, which now houses a lot of data that you can't really touch with the web service. The California article is below (all links - here and on the wiki - are in blue)

California(US) - The RadioReference Wiki

However, the 785 is another matter.

a. Let's take the most painful part first. If there are any Motorola Trunked systems in your area that need to be moved due to rebanding, the 785 won't handle them. That radio's firmware cannot be flashed, as can many of the newer models out there. Rebanding EDACS systems are another matter - all that takes is reprogramming. Here is an article from our wiki that discusses rebanding

Rebanding - The RadioReference Wiki

b. It's still a very fine conventional - and milair - scanner. In fact, a certain member in the Maryland forum runs 6 or 7 of them for milair alone. There is a socal milair Yahoo group that no doubt has tons of information. It's linked on that California article above.

c. There's nothing I know of for the Mac that would run the 785. However, better software for that radio would, no doubt of it in my mind, be ProScan . The developer is a frequent visitor here.

d. The USB business is a bit trickier. I don't believe the USB-1 cable that Uniden sells would work - get in touch with UPMan about that. However there are alternatives. For example, the folks that run Scan Control have their own USB cable that is (supposedly - I haven't needed to try it) certified to work with their software. No doubt there are other distributors. Questions on the Uniden forum, as well as on the various 785 Yahoo groups, would undoubtedly bring more answers.

That should be enough to get your head reeling. Time to go to the California forum and make yourself at home....73 Mike
 

etard

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SoCal
thanks so much for the info. I will have to read that Cali link you sent and start to get back up to speed.

Bummer to read about my somewhat defunct radio. Thats a drag... but figured it might be an issue now.

Thanks for the software tip, I will check that out. I really only use it to enter freqs/bands and backup data -- so not sure what sophistication level I need.

Also, need to spend more time browsing this site to get the lay of the land and where I would be best to hang out.
 

MtnBiker2005

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Database Admin
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San Diego County, California
785D is still a good scanner.

Regarding your old programming....

1.) Most FIRE talkgroups has new names for them. So start looking in that area!
2.) Might want to delete the Oceanside fire talkgroups If you still have them. Now dispatch by Northcom(old name Rancho).
3.) It's a waiting game! Rebanding(unknown date) or the new RCS P25 system comes online(End of 2012 / First of 2013 subject to change as the date gets closer!).
4.) List of software for that scanner on the 785D wiki.
5.) Southern California Frequency Directory Available online or at Ham Radio Outlet in San Diego

ScanDiego - Local Scanner Website.
http://scandiego.com/
ScanDiego Forum
http://scandiego.com/phpBB3/index.php
 

loumaag

Silent Key - Aug 2014
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Oct 20, 2002
Messages
12,911
Location
Katy, TX
The other guys covered most of the points you brought up; however, in reference to the USB situation. If you still have your old serial programming cable, almost any USB->Serial adapter will work fine, of course this is assuming you can get your MAC to run any of the software in Windows emulation.
 

etard

Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2003
Messages
22
Location
SoCal
The other guys covered most of the points you brought up; however, in reference to the USB situation. If you still have your old serial programming cable, almost any USB->Serial adapter will work fine, of course this is assuming you can get your MAC to run any of the software in Windows emulation.
actually, it would be for using my Intel mac, booted into XP... and we know they do not have serial ports these days :)
 

etard

Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2003
Messages
22
Location
SoCal
785D is still a good scanner.

Regarding your old programming....

1.) Most FIRE talkgroups has new names for them. So start looking in that area!
2.) Might want to delete the Oceanside fire talkgroups If you still have them. Now dispatch by Northcom(old name Rancho).
3.) It's a waiting game! Rebanding(unknown date) or the new RCS P25 system comes online(End of 2012 / First of 2013 subject to change as the date gets closer!).
4.) List of software for that scanner on the 785D wiki.
5.) Southern California Frequency Directory Available online or at Ham Radio Outlet in San Diego

ScanDiego - Local Scanner Website.
Scan Diego
ScanDiego Forum
ScanDiego.com • Index page
thanks for all of this.. part of my question was more wondering if there is anything new that came on line in the last few years that I would want to add rather than delete. If I have the banks, I do not mind leaving what is there.

Part of me wants to see if I can maybe find someone in the Yahoo groups who lives local, who runs a 785 and ARC250 and review my ARC file and see what I have going on and see what I might be able to add/delete/rename.

as for rebranding in my area, I will not sweat that just yet.
 
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