Uniden BCD396XT

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mroderick00

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Looking for help! I have a Uniden BCD396XT that I just dug out of the closet. I used to scan local PD's in MA with no problem. Just moved to Illinois and I am trying to get my local PD / FD. I am not a savvy user at all. It seams Carol Stream (and northwest suburbs) use STARCOM21. Can anyone tell me if my scanner is able to pick up these channels or am I outdated? I do not know much about P25. Any help on where to begin is appreciated!! Thanks!
 

RadioSc

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I hate to tell you this I also have a BCD396XT which I don't use anymore.
BCD396XT is only P25 Phase 1 capable. It won't pickup phase 2 Digital transmissions. 78656
 

tvengr

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Almost all talkgroups in DuPage County are presently Phase 1 which the 396XT can receive. Any talkgroup with a Mode of D can be received by the 396XT. It cannot receive talkgroups with a Mode of DE or T. You need to set up a single site for the DuPage County simulcast site, the first one listed in the STARCOM21 system. The System Type will be P25 Standard. Here is the link for the system: STARCOM21 Statewide Illinois Trunking System, Statewide, Multi-State - Scanner Frequencies
 
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K4EET

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mroderick00, as mentioned in tvengr's post:
<snip> It cannot receive talkgroups with a Mode of DE or T. </snip>
The reason that a Uniden BCD396XT scanner cannot receive those two modes is this. A mode marked as "DE" means full-time encryption on a digital talkgroup. No scanner will ever be able to decode an encrypted talkgroup. In a similar scenario, when the mode is marked as "T" the talkgroup is TDMA enabled which the scanner is also not capable of receiving.
 

jaspence

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I spent a few days in Illinois last week. Encryption is spreading but some systems are still open. Knowing how the state is run and the financial problems, it will used as one more step to take from the people. Just one of the reasons they are on a list of states where people are leavng to escape taxes and regain their freedoms.
 

RBMTS

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Carol Stream is on the DuPage simulcast site. I strongly suggest you consider either the SDS100 or 200. Other scanners just won't work well with this area's simulcast system. You'll miss way too many comms. The Unication units also work very well on this system and have excellent performance. Yes encryption is starting to spread but most of DuPage county departments are still in the clear. Carol Stream PD and FD are dispatched by DuComm. The PD channel does utilize P2 much of the time. FD is still P1.
 

mroderick00

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Thank you all! Going to do some shopping but in the meantime. I added the Dupage simulcast frequency from the STARCOM21 page that tvengr provided me.

Possible stupid question:: there are 19 different frequencies... do i put them all in or no? I am hearing several communities at the moment. mostly villa park / lombard / possibly elmhurst. Is there a way to isolate Carol Stream? ( at least what comes through on P1 if i can't get P2)
 

Ronaldski

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I drove to-from last week using a 396xt and I downloaded all the counties from Chicago to s.w. IL the 396xt worked fine. What I read and heard from another admin is that IL is only phase II capable, but is not operating in phase II. One reason is IL had a couple corrupt governors and I recall reading a couple years ago in these forums is they cant afford to pay for P2 upgrades.

Far as simulcast I have taken my 396xt into many simulcast counties, it works fine, maybe not as good as an sds of course. Load it with Dupage county see how well your 396xt performs. I do highly recommend having the latest and last firmware in it that helped in simulcast areas. In settings see if its 1.11.01 see BCD396XTFirmwareUpdate < UnidenMan4 < TWiki

What is Changed by This Update?
This update improves performance on APCO Project P25 sites operating using Linear Simulcast Modulation (LSM)
- This is simulcast.
 
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RBMTS

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You won't be able to isolate just Carol Stream by itself. By frequencies I believe you mean "Talk Groups". PD is on 2609 (PD 1W) and is shared with Bartlett PD. There is some "tac" talk groups for PD but they are usually encrypted. FD is 2701 (DuComm FD North) and that talk group is shared with several other communities (Bloomingdale, Glendale Hts, Wheaton, Glen Ellen). There are some "OPS" talk groups for FD that you might want. Also you'll want to program in some of the conventional VHF "fireground" frequencies (red, blue, white).
 

mroderick00

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You won't be able to isolate just Carol Stream by itself. By frequencies I believe you mean "Talk Groups". PD is on 2609 (PD 1W) and is shared with Bartlett PD. There is some "tac" talk groups for PD but they are usually encrypted. FD is 2701 (DuComm FD North) and that talk group is shared with several other communities (Bloomingdale, Glendale Hts, Wheaton, Glen Ellen). There are some "OPS" talk groups for FD that you might want. Also you'll want to program in some of the conventional VHF "fireground" frequencies (red, blue, white).
I appreciate the feedback RBMTS - do I add just 1 of the Freqs below? or all?
And at what point do i add the talk groups (2609).

I am reading through the manual now. i apologize for being completely incompetent with this at the moment!

RFSSSiteNameCountyFreqs
1 (1)001 (1)Du Page County - Simulcast DuPage, IL769.16875769.33125769.46875769.75625770.05625770.21875770.80625
770.95625a771.10625771.43125772.05625772.45625772.93125773.48125
773.73125773.84375c774.18125a774.40625774.43125a
 

tvengr

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Possible stupid question:: there are 19 different frequencies... do i put them all in or no?
You only need to enter the red control channel frequency and the three blue alternate frequencies. You can enter them in any order. It is a lot easier if you have programming software. You can download and install FreeSCAN for free. I use Butel ARC-XT. You can use that for a free trial period to see how you like it before purchasing. You can also use ProScan. I have never used that one to program a scanner but have seen a lot of favorable reports. No stupid questions! Programming a scanner is a learning experience. We are here to help.
 
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mroderick00

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You only need to enter the red control channel frequency and the three blue alternate frequencies. You can enter them in any order. It is a lot easier if you have programming software. You can download and install FreeSCAN for free. I use Butel ARC-XT. You can use that for a free trial period to see how you like it before purchasing. You can also use ProScan. I have never used that one to program a scanner but have seen a lot of favorable reports. No stupid questions! Programming a scanner is a learning experience. We are here to help.

Thank you tvengr! I really appreciate it!
 

N9JCQ

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You can use your 396XT to monitor the ISP (District 15, District 2 and District 3) on Starcom SC21 as I use the earlier version, the 396T to do so everyday. Use Freescan to download the talkgroups you want and you should be all good.
 

tvengr

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You can use your 396XT to monitor the ISP (District 15, District 2 and District 3) on Starcom SC21 as I use the earlier version, the 396T to do so everyday. Use Freescan to download the talkgroups you want and you should be all good.
What system or conventional frequencies do you use for ISP for DuPage and surrounding counties? What is the breakdown by district? Is District 3 Chicago/Cook Co? Thanks!
 

N9JCQ

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You need to look at the database to get the talk groups you want. Dist 3 is District Chicago, District 2 is Elgin (Ibelieve) and District 15 is the Tollway. My advice is to use programing software to program the radio. Its a snap. Freescan is free and all you need is to subscribe to Radioreference to download from the database to the software. Here is a lik to Starcom's section. You'd use the Dupage Multicast site for the site and then you will want to identify those talkgroups for the districts and units you want to listen too. a bit confusing I know but it will make sense the more you play with it. STARCOM21 Statewide Illinois Trunking System, Statewide, Multi-State - Scanner Frequencies. The map here on teh wiki page may help as well. STARCOM21 Statewide Illinois - The RadioReference Wiki
 

tvengr

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You need to look at the database to get the talk groups you want. Dist 3 is District Chicago, District 2 is Elgin (Ibelieve) and District 15 is the Tollway.
My apology! I was checking another system for someone else and the state police was all TDMA. I had already created a file for DuPage Co for mroderick00 and I will add the state police to it. I created the file using ARC-XT and can easily convert it to FreeSCAN or Proscan with the aid of a scanner. Thanks for your help!
 
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