Freescan - Connecting Scanner to PC

From The RadioReference Wiki

Setting PC Control on the Scanner

You must set the Baud rate of the Port on the scanner. Generally speaking, setting the fastest rate will insure the fastest transfer speed, To/From the Scanner/PC. Typically you will want to set it up 4800bps for a GPS unit, 115200bps for PC interfacing.

  • On most of the Handheld/Portables, the MENU button is the lower portion of the rubberized button on the left-side of the case, to Scroll through Menu items turn the Vol knob, on the top of the radio.
  • On the Base/Mobiles, the MENU button is below the GPS key and above L/O on the left of the keypad, to Scroll through Menu items turn the Scroll Control wheel/dial, on the rightside of faceplate, the Silver large knob.
Notes & Tips:
  • Press MENU twice to go back a step/level.
  • Press E/Yes to enter a level or accept a change.
  • Press L/O to auto return to normal scan screen (w/o having to press MENU multiple times to back-out of all Menus).

Steps to Set Port Speed

In all cases, The First & Second Step is to access the MENU and scroll to Settings, then:

  • SC230, BC246
  1. Scroll to Xfer Information and press E/Yes.
  2. Scroll to PC Control and press E/Yes.
  3. Scroll to 9600, 19200, 38400 or 57600 and press E/Yes to save and exit.

  • BR330T, BCD396T, UBC3500XLT

Same as above, but skip step 1. The fastest rate these scanners can handle is 115200bps

  • BC346XT, BC396XT
  1. Scroll to Set Serial Port then press E/Yes
  2. Scroll to Off, 4800, 9600, 19200, 38400, 57600, or 115200 and press E/yes to save and exit.

  • BCD325P2
  1. Scroll to Set GPS Baudrate then press E/Yes
  2. Scroll to Off, 4800, 9600, 19200, 38400, 57600, or 115200 and press E/yes to save and exit.

  • BCT15, BCT15X, BCD996T, BCD996XT and BCD996P2

Notes :You typically set the ports as shown directly below and it's "Highly Recommended" that you don't change this setup, as Firmware updates CANNOT be done via Rear Port, and will be used only for GPS connected devices.

  • Front Port to match the speed used to communicate with a PC, default is 115200bps.
  • Rear Port to the speed used to communicate with a GPS device, default is 4800bps.
  1. Scroll to Set Serial Port and press E/yes.
  2. At Set Baud Rate press E/yes.
  3. Scroll to Set Front Port and press E/yes.
    1. Scroll to Off, 4800, 9600, 19200, 38400, 57600, or 115200 and press E/yes to save.
  4. Scroll to Set Rear Port and press E/Yes.
    1. Scroll to Off, 4800, 9600, 19200, 38400, 57600, or 115200 and press E/yes to save.

A Special note of Thanks to Mark's Scanner the 'Easier to Read' Manual series for these instructions and notes, website address is

Connecting the Scanner to USB Ports

Most newer PCs have no serial ports, so you need to make the connection between the scanner and PC via an USB device.Please see our Connecting scanners via USB article for more information and tips on how to set this up properly.

FreeScan COM Errors

Freescan Com port screen

This is the screen that you would see if you had errors during downloading, uploading or in the virtual scanner mode, and had clicked on 'Setup Com Port'. There are a couple of things that can be attempted here;

  1. Try to manually select the COM port and speed using the top pull downs. Return to the attempted function. You can use the TEST button to test your connection
  2. If this doesn't work, allow the AUTO routine to detect the port and speed. It starts from 115200K and steps downward. Note that this procedure is very slow, and may take some time to go through all combinations. If it is successful, return to the attempted function
  3. To correct excessive errors during downloads, you should select "Use Careful I/O". This slows down download speed by about 10% but helps prevent serial port errors with USB adapters and is enabled by default.
  4. It may also be necessary to reduce the COM port speed on your scanner. Insure that the USB driver you are using can handle the reduced speed.
  5. If your COM port doesn't show, try using a lower COM port number. FreeSCAN does not always work with COM port numbers above 11. If you are using a USB-Serial adapter, try plugging it into a different USB port to get a lower COM port number.
  6. Starting with version .7E, you can turn off the Data Terminal Ready line. On some systems using USB-Serial adapters this will improve communications reliability, on others it seems to decrease. You may have to experiment to find the best setting for your system.
  7. (XT Models) Be sure to disable control channel output before attempting to connect with FreeScan. This can be accomplished via Settings > Set C - Ch output. This may be set as a default in the edit/preferences screen

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