Uniden Scanner GPS Features

From The RadioReference Wiki

Some Uniden scanners include the ability to automatically change settings and display information when connected to an external GPS receiver.

Location-Based Scanning

(also see Population Area Centerpoint)

If you connect a GPS unit to the scanner, it can automatically enable/disable systems based on the geographic information you provide:

  • Latitude (center of the range)
  • Longitude (center of the range)
  • Range (radius of a circle around the Latitude/Longitude) which can be selected from .5/1/3/5/10/20/30/50 miles.

When the scanner is within the "circle of coverage" defined for a site or system, the scanner will automatically unlock and scan the site or system. When the scanner moves outside the "circle of coverage", the site or system will automatically be locked.

Rather than center the lat/lon on the antenna site for the system and set the range to the receivable range for the system, it makes more sense to center these settings on the geopolitical center of the system, and bound the range to encircle that entity. That is, while I can technically hear the Arlington TRS from west Fort Worth, I don’t really want to. Instead, I’d set the lat/lon/range values to approximate a circle around the Arlington city limits so that I would not hear Arlington until I approached/entered Arlington.

Also, not all geopolitical areas are perfect circles. You can modify the shape of the system by entering multiple sites for the system (even though the system might have only one site) and use different location settings for each site. For example, stack two circles to make a tall, narrow scan area for the system.

Non-Radio Location-Based GPS Features

The scanner can display information or provide an alert when certain location requirements are met. The following are the types of location features allowed.

  • Dangerous Xing (DXG): Stores location, range, direction of travel. If you are within range, traveling in the specified direction, you receive an alert.
  • Dangerous Road (DRD): Stores location, range, speed. If you are traveling at a speed greater than the one specified, and are within the range of the specified location, you receive an alert.
  • Points of Interest (POI): Stores location and range. If you approach the specified location, you receive an alert.

In general, a location alert can have:

  • Latitude
  • Longitude
  • Speed (optional)
  • Alpha (optional)
  • Alert Type and Level (optional)
  • Vector (optional)
  • Heading

Alerts are based on:

  • Speed setting > 0 and no vector entered, non-directional speed alert
  • Speed setting > 0 and a vector is entered, directional speed alert
  • Speed = 0 and vector is entered, dangerous intersection alert
  • Speed = 0 and no vector entered, point-of-interest alert

The user can quickly save a location by pressing GPS. Scanner prompts for the type of location to store (Speed, Intersection, or POI).

Contributed resources


GPS Display Mode

Location information is displayed, as well as information about the scanner's position relative to a selected point of interest.

Compatible GPS receivers

Any GPS receiver meeting the following requirements:

  • Female, 9-pin serial connector
  • NMEA-0183 ver.3.01 compliant, including GGA and RMC sentences.


  • Garmin GPS 18
  • Delorme Tripmate (with modification for autostart)
  • GARMIN eTreX
  • GARMIN eTreX Legend Note: Now discontinued
  • GARMIN eMap
  • GARMIN Rino110
  • GARMIN GPSmap 60CS (needs Garmin 010-10141-00 or equivalent cable)
  • GARMIN GPS2 Plus
  • GARMIN 176C
    • This Thread explains that a Uniden BCD436HP "successfully relocated itself from the west coast (90210) to the east coast (11730)", when "using the cable from the Uniden br330t(BWZG1616001), a DB9 Male to Male Mini Null Modem Data Transfer Adapter/Gender Changer , AD-N05M and the serial cable from the Garmin 176c".
  • Lowrance iFinder GO2
  • MAGELLAN Meridian Marine
  • Uniden BCGPSK
  • Uniden Mystic
  • GPS1 Module Kit sold via Scannersoft website Note: No longer available.
  • HOLUX Mouse GR-213 (when ordered with a serial cable)

GPS Connections

  • The wiring here is shown for the BCT15X and presumably the BCT15. The BCD996T and 996XT should be identical (verification wanted)

Radio connection            Kenwood D-700                         GPS connection

DB9 Serial end #5-----------------Shield------------------------------GPS  ground

DB9 Serial end #3-----------------Ring-------------------------------GPS transmit data

DB9 Serial end #2-----------------Tip--------------------------------GPS receive data

GPS unit should have separate power supply. Beware most GPS units do not use the same voltage as the BCT15X. You can use the GPS on its battery or supply a fused power lead at the proper voltage for the GPS. The DB9 connector on the radio does not supply power to run the GPS

GPS Internal Power Feed Modification

The BCT15X and other scanners with rear mounted DB-9 serial connections can be modified to supply power to the Byonics puck style GPS reciever. You will need to disassemble the scanner and find the 5 or 6 volt regulator. Solder a wire from the output of the regulator to pin 4 of the DB-9 connector. Reassemble your scanner and plug in the Byonics GPS reciever. The LED on the receiver should start flashing, and the GPS icon on your scanner should start flashing. Both lights will glow steady once the receiver acquired a position fix.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I decipher coordinates that look like 445812.79N?

Geographical coordinates -- latitude and longitude -- can be represented in a few different ways. Both the following examples refer to the same location:

  • 38.89767, -77.03655
  • 38° 53′ 51.61″ N, 77° 2′ 11.58″ W

Note that they use different notation for the number of degrees. The first example is in decimal degree ("Deg") notation while the second is in DMS, or degree-minute-second.

The Uniden's UASD software uses this format, but discards the symbols. So, this same set of coordinates would be entered as 385351.61, -770211.58

Decimal degrees simply use the degrees expressed as a decimal number. 38° 53' 51.61" equates to 38.89767°.

Mathematically, you can change DMS to Deg using the formula DDD + MM/60 + You would perform the reverse calculation to convert Deg to DMS.

To more easily convert Decimal Degrees to the DDDMMSS.sss format or vice versa, see the FCC's handy converter.

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