Questions about the BC246T

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KC9VZV

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I am probably going to get the BC246T because my other scanner is dyeing. I was looking at the picture, and the display screen reads:
Ft. Worth Police
East Side Patrol.

Does the "East Side Patrol" part mean that the scanner can display which unit is talking? If not, what does it mean?

Picture: http://www.uniden.com/images/images500/BC246T.jpg

Also, bigzelectronics.com has a lot of scanners at a good price. Are they legit and safe?

Thanks!

Dan
 

MarkWestin

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Caribou, Maine
The BC246T is a very good but slightly outdated scanner. The BC346T recently replaced it in the Uniden lineup. When I bought my BC246T, I paid $229.95 plus shipping.( about 5 years ago). The current price for the BC346T from Scannermaster is $214.95 plus shipping (actually I bought it on a Father's day special for $204.95 with free shipping). The BC346T is a better scanner than the BC246T in every way. The only reason that you should pick a BC246T over the BC346T would be if the BC246T was significantly less expensive than the BC346T.

I think that the "East Side Patrol" would probably be an Alpha Tag for a "Talkgroup" in a trunked system or a "Group" in a conventional system. On the BCD396XT, when listening to a system that uses P25 Digital, the scanner can decode a "NAC" which is sort of equivalent to a PL/CTCSS or DCS on an analog system. As far as I know, the only Scanners that can show or decode a unit ID are the GRE 500 and 600 and their Radio Shack equivalents. These scanners can only show unit IDs on P25 systems.

As for "bigzelectronics.com", I have never heard of them. I tend to use the same venders all the time. I currently have been using Scannermaster and Ham Radio Outlet for what I need with good results for both.

Mark
 

hiegtx

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I am probably going to get the BC246T because my other scanner is dyeing. I was looking at the picture, and the display screen reads:
Ft. Worth Police
East Side Patrol.

Does the "East Side Patrol" part mean that the scanner can display which unit is talking? If not, what does it mean?

Picture: http://www.uniden.com/images/images500/BC246T.jpg

Also, bigzelectronics.com has a lot of scanners at a good price. Are they legit and safe?

Thanks!

Dan
The "East Side Patrol" on the scanner used in the display picture represents the talkgroup being monitored, not an individual unit. Fort Worth PD is on a trunked radio system. Start with trunking basics in the Wiki for more information on how these systems work. As Mark already noted, you'd need to look at either the GRE PSR-500 (handheld) or PSR-600 (base/mobile) if you really want to monitor individual unit radio id's. (The Radio Shack equivalent model numbers are Pro-106 for the PSR-500, or Pro-197 for the PSR-600). These are digital radios. Brand new, their price range is $450-$500.

To listen to Fort Worth Police (and Fire, if that also interests you), you'll need a scanner capable of tracking this system. The BC246T would handle that, as would a number of other scanners. As also noted, the 246 is now discontinued, replaced by the BC346XT. While you don't need a digital scanner for most of the DFW metro area for now, you may in the near future (say a couple of years). For now, digital scanners are only required if you also are interested in Tx DPS, Parker County, Mansfield, and Grand Prairie.

As for bigzelectronics.com, I also have not heard of this vendor. They have no rating at resellerratings.com (no history, good, bad, otherwise), and also none at the BBB site either. The ~$109 ballpark price they show for a 246T is for a refurbed unit. They list a new one @ $195+, more than well established scanner dealer Grove Enterprises, $189.95. A number of other dealers still have stock on the 246 as well, besides also having the replacement model (BC346XT). Remember that a refurb unit normally carries only a 90 day warranty; a new one has a one year warranty.
 
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