Scanner Recommendation


May 28, 2022
Hello forum members. I'm a bit new here and this is my first post so please take that in consideration. Headed to the GP this weekend and 500. Attend the 500 every year. I have invested in Racing Electronics scanners and intercom headsets for myself and my son. Every year something appears to get broken or cable goes bad. Best feature of the scanner for me was ability to update frequencies over the air and as we all know that ended last year. This year the scanner itself appears to be flakey. Only used for about 3-4 years so not pleased. So my question to all of you is what is the best scanner for race day? Factors for me is reception, ability to monitor some channels (favorite drivers) and ease of programming. I have never really looked at any other brands for scanners or options out there. Thanks to anyone for suggestions! If there is another thread that may already discuss this please point me to it so I don't derail the Indycar frequency thread. Thank you!


Premium Subscriber
Jul 3, 2019
If you are committed to selling the RE3000, Uniden scanners are the next best option.

For Indycar, I suggest only the Uniden BC125AT or a used Uniden SC230. Both allow "alpha tagging" to assign a driver name to a channel and can be programmed with a Windows PC.

The SC230 was designed for racing and is still used by Nascar Fox pit reporters. It has nice features such "race mode" to assign multiple frequencies to a single car number. The downside is that Butel sells the ArcSport software to program in race mode with a PC. This software is a bit more advanced. Racing Electronics will still program this scanner at Nascar events.

The BC125AT is the simple option. It can be programmed with the free Uniden software and included USB cable. The software is as easy as filling out an Excel sheet. Only one frequency can be assigned to a single channel (car) number.

You bring up reception. Keep in mind that Indycar and Nascar rules require teams to use unencrypted analog radios during the race, which naturally has radio transmissions that are less clear than the digital radios used by Formula 1 and WEC.

Both Uniden scanners and the Racing Electronics scanners have the ability to assign CTCSS/DCS tone code (aka PL tones or subaudible tones). This allows you to set the squelch to highest sensitivity and use a large antenna because all noise and transmissions outside of the driver/crew communications are filtered out. The downside is that if a race team changes the tone (which many do each year), you will hear nothing as anything outside of the tone entered in your scanner is filtered out. These tones are not public knowledge and you either have to manually search for DCS tones with the Uniden scanner, or scour posts here or on TrackForum to find the tones.

I plan to post PC programming files on the Indycar 2023 thread next week for the Indy 500 for the BC125AT and SC230.


Dec 19, 2005
Good advice from @chocolate_nault there. For analogue only the SC230 is a good scanner. Note a BCD246T is very similar but the volume level is very low, so not as good for racing. If you want to get after IMSA, again driver-pitcrew comms must be analogue in the clear so an analogue scanner will suffice, but not the pitcrew comms for many teams. For endurance racing these pit channels can be very interesting as strategy is discussed as well as issues. For those comms, you'll generally need a NXDN/DMR digital scanner. For coverage of most of WEC comms you'd again need a NXDN/DMR digital scanner, but also now a TETRA scanner for some teams (ie an AOR DV10). Same goes for F1.

I think the BCTool+ software - which is free - works with an SC230.

To add to the detailed explanation above on CTCSS/DCS, the SC230 does automatic tone detection which is a big help. I often program up with CTCSS/DCS set to search until I find the right one in use, vs get it wrong and miss stuff. An alternative is to program the channel twice, one with expected tone and one on search. Then lockout one of the channels when you find the right one.