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Software for bct8 and bc 246t

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OldGeaser

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I am new here. This most likely has been ask several times before.

I am a fire dept commissioner. We are about to change to 800 mhz. I have the bc246t and am thinking of buying the bct8.

I have looked at a couple software programs for the scanners. What is the popular one for the bc scanners. Also must be easy to use. Got "OLD" you know.

Can the software be used for both scanners, or do you have to have a separate one for each?

Thanks

Bert
 

ka3jjz

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Hi Bert; while ARC8 and ARC246 from BuTel are very popular, I don't believe they offer any kind of data exchange - where data from ARC8 could be directly imported into ARC246 (once the groups are defined). Something to keep in mind here is that the BCT8 uses conventional memory - banks are fixed, as are the number of frequencies per bank, the BC246 uses what is known as Dynamic Memory Allocation (DMA is the way you will see this written). To put into basic terms, you define the number of channels, groups, ect. from a pool of available channels.

I'm sure Gommert will come in here and correct me ;)

Keep these 2 pages handy - just click on them to go to...

http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/BCT8

http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/BC246T

There are 2 programs that support both radios - Scan Control and Scancat Lite Plus. I would imagine all you would need would be programming support - and both programs are set up for this. Scan Control comes in 2 flavors - a light (programming only version) and a full version (programming and control). Scancat Lite Plus is a programming only package.

I reviewed both programs (using different radios) and was not particularly impressed with Scancat Lite Plus. It struck me as being a half finished product - it supports only so many of the radios features and stops right there. Part of this is because the spreadsheet like format is from a third party vendor and is difficult to modify. I also found it a little clumsy to work with.

Scan Control is a better product - more straightforward in its approach, and it does support most of the features of the scanners it support. It has a data migration function that would allow you to move your BCT8 data to the BC246 once all the setups are complete.

Scan Control handles primarily the Uniden line (plus the PRO-2052), while Scancat Lite Plus handles various scanners in the Uniden and RS line. Scan Control's users manuals (one for the regular scanners - the so-called non-DMA radios, and one for the DMA radios) are downloadable from their website, which is given in both pages. The last I looked, Scancat Lite Plus didn't have much of one - and really does need it.

Since you mention that you are migrating to 800 Mhz, many companies around the country are moving to a digital 800 mhz platform - this means that neither scanner will be able to monitor your department. There are radios that can. It is an important consideration if you are to buy the right radio for the right application. Probably your radio shop is probably the best place to find out whether digital is or will be in use in your new system - or if you mention where you are (city/state is fine), there are many knowledgable folks here that already know....:D

Before we go any further, let's find out whether your department is indeed going digital or not. 73s Mike
 
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OldGeaser

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Thanks for the reply. Before I start, Your name looks like you are a you a ham? My call is N7TKO.

Thanks for the info. I have been pricing the bct8 and Scan Control has a good buy package with their software. They have 2 programs. I imagine I should go with the SC Full. They say you can use the same program for both scanners. I suppose I would have to download both soft wares and use the same registration.

The 800 mhz they are using here is Motorola and is not digital, so the bct8 and bc246t will work.

All emergency, City etc, in Snohomish County, WA are changing to the 800. I Think it changes next month. Lucky our fire dept. received a grant for radios both hand held and mobil.

Thanks again for the info. I am sure I will have more questions later.

Bert Gold Bar, WA
 

ka3jjz

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OldGeaser said:
Thanks for the reply. Before I start, Your name looks like you are a you a ham? My call is N7TKO.

Thanks for the info. I have been pricing the bct8 and Scan Control has a good buy package with their software. They have 2 programs. I imagine I should go with the SC Full. They say you can use the same program for both scanners. I suppose I would have to download both soft wares and use the same registration.

The 800 mhz they are using here is Motorola and is not digital, so the bct8 and bc246t will work.

All emergency, City etc, in Snohomish County, WA are changing to the 800. I Think it changes next month. Lucky our fire dept. received a grant for radios both hand held and mobil.

Thanks again for the info. I am sure I will have more questions later.

Bert Gold Bar, WA
Yep, that's my call - been a ham for about a decade or so.

If you buy SC, don't fret - if you buy the full version, it includes all the Lite functions, plus more, so there's only 1 software download to do. One package handles some 16 different scanners - more, with the BCD996 and BCT15 being added in about 3 weeks. I would, however, put the BuTel products and SC side by side (download the user's manuals) and see which one fits your needs best. Remember that SC has 2 seperate manuals - one for the non-DMA radios (BCT8) and one for the DMA radios (BC246). They are seperate simply due to the size of the files. 73s and GL Mike

[edit] I just checked the databases here for Snohomish - and it says that the county system is what we call 'mixed mode' - that is to say, some talkgroups are digital, others analog. If, for some reason, your department does go digital in the future, you will be set with the software, at least, as SC fully supports the Uniden digital trunktrackers. BuTel has seperate products for them.
 
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