DMA Scanners and Software

From The RadioReference Wiki

Which Scanners Does This Article Cover?

This article discusses software and various programming errors for the following DMA based scanners

Non-XT XT P2
SC230 BC346XT(C) BCD325P2
BC246T BCD396XT BCD996P2

Programming and Virtual Control


I don't have a serial port on my PC. How do I connect the scanner?

  • See our Connecting scanners via USB article for specific hints and tips. Uniden sells their own USB-1, and other distributors (such as Keyspan products) have also been known to work well. Be sure to download and install the most up to date drivers for your OS. Be aware that there have been several reports of drivers for 64 bit Win7 being very hard to find and sometimes just don't work well.

Ive loaded the drivers and hooked up the cable, but the scanner doesnt connect

  • You must go into the scanner's menu system and select the proper speed (and in some cases, the port on the scanner). The instructions can be found on each of the scanner's Easier to Read manuals, and a summary can be found here

Where do I get the drivers for the BCD325P2 and / or the BCD996P2?

Software and Data Issues

I Want to Program My Scanner via Software. What Packages are Available?

  • Each scanner's article linked in our wiki has a listing for supporting software. See the Uniden DMA Software Support article for other popular packages that support multiple scanners. If you have more than one DMA driven scanner this can be an advantage.

Is there any freeware to program/control my scanner? I cant find the UASD for the XT Models?

  • Unfortunately Uniden never supplied the UASD (or Uniden Advanced System Director) for the XT models. However, FreeScan works with both the T and XT models and is freeware. The FreeScan User Guide is hosted on our site. BcTool is also popular; however the Professional (paid) version is required to use the RR Web import.

Where can I get a file for the program I'm using?

  • Programming files for these packages can often be had from several different sources;
    • Make a request for a file on your state's forum;
    • Check the Yahoo group(s) for your state;
    • Check the Yahoo group for your scanner. This is listed in every article (usually toward the bottom);
    • Check to see if someone has set up a web page with file(s) for your scanner and area. Look for websites in your state or area using the Collaboration Gateway
    • Many programs now have either dedicated forums on their website, or on Yahoo groups
    • Download data from the RadioReference database.

Some of these packages support connecting directly to, and downloading data from, the RadioReference database. This is often the easiest way to get started.

To use this service, you must be a paid subscriber. The list of applications that are known to be compatible with the Web service can be found here.

If you make a request for a file, be sure to specify which software package you are using. For example, ARC396 can read UASD files as an input source; the UASD cannot directly read ARC396 data.

Audio Recording

How do I set up my PC and software to record what I am hearing?

  • The first thing to do is to get a shielded cable that goes from the earphone or line out jack of the scanner to the proper input of the PC. This can be a bit tricky, particularly with laptops. See our Connecting Radios to Soundcards article for more information.

What software has the capability of recording audio?

  • Many of the BuTel ARC PRO versions (ARC330, ARC396, ARC996, ARC15. ARC-XT)
    • Support for these packages is supplied by the author, and found on our Software forum.
  • Also see the listings found on the Uniden DMA Software Support article. Items in blue or green can record.

Programming Questions

Im getting the message INIT not ok, cant read user data when trying to connect to RR (BuTel programs). How do I fix this?

  • One way this happens is that a firewall is blocking your access. If you are using Hughes satellite internet, disable the turbopage option

Im getting a memory full message, even though the scanner stats say otherwise

  • This can happen after repeated attempts to add data to the scanner, even though you really intended to replace it. Keep in mind that the US versions of the scanners includes numerous state systems that are pre-loaded; it's likely not all of them will apply to you, and are therefore a waste of memory. If you are using software, make sure the Erase function is used first (to clear all systems and options), then Replace it thereafter.
    • The state level data is really a copy of data kept in another memory location; you cannot erase the original data.

Im getting a Nothing to Scan message; how do I fix it?

I have several systems defined, but I'm not hearing anything

  • There are a couple of ways this happens. On a trunked system, defining a system as P25 when it really isnt can cause this issue. Another way this can happen is you have defined system(s) with no active Group Quick Keys (GQK). Remember to define and enable at least 1 GQK for every system.

Which mode is the correct one? AM/FM/NFM/WFM

  • AM is generally only used for the Air bands (108-136 and portions of the 225-400 MHz) and CB. WFM is only used for FM or TV broadcast. FM is the correct setting for most communications the scanner can receive, but newer systems could use NFM. As a rule of thumb, try the FM mode first. If the audio on that channel sounds weak compared to others, NFM may be the correct setting. Looking up the FCC license is another hint. If the emission is 11K, NFM should be the correct choice. If it's 16K or more, FM is likely correct most of the time.

Does it matter which port I use for programming? (BCD996/BCD996XT/BCT15/BCT15X)

  • Yes it does, to a certain degree. If you ever decide to upgrade the firmware, the rear port cannot be used for this purpose. You must use the front port. As this is the case, it's probably better to allocate the front port for programming to save the confusion of having to reallocate ports just for a single function.

I can't get my EDACS system to work

  • EDACS systems must be programming in LCN or Logical Channel Number order to properly trunk.
  • You must also select the correct mode for EDACS. Most systems are Wide (AKA Standard), but some will be Narrow. Look on a web site such as for details about particular systems.

I can't seem to get the scanner to trunk my LTR system

  • Like EDACS systems, LTR must be programmed in LCN or Logical Channel Number order to properly trunk. In addition, it's not uncommon to see channel numbers skipped. Program this precisely as shown
  • LTR Standard is the only type of LTR system that can be trunktracked. Others such as Passport or Multinet cannot be trunktracked, but can be monitored by programming the frequencies as conventional channels.

How do I program my scanner to receive a conventional (i.e. non-trunked) station that has APCO 25 (IMBE encoded) voice?

  • Program the channel as you would any other conventional channel. DO NOT set a CTCSS or DPL tone for the channel or set the channel to tone search (doing so will disable P25 audio decoding). The scanner will automaticallly sense the P25 (IMBE encoded) audio and decode it!

I can't hear a nearby trunked system that I KNOW has APCO 25 encoded voice. I programmed the 396t with system type set to APCO25. What's wrong?

  • The APCO25 system type setting on the 396t is only used for true, APCO 25 Common Air Interface (CAI) compliant systems. In the RadioReference database, those systems defined as APCO-25 Common Air Interface Exclusive in the System Voice field are true P25 systems. Those systems defined as Analog and APCO-25 Common Air Interface should be set up as a Motorola Type II system, in which case the scanner will detect and decode the digital voice when it's encountered.

I am scanning a service search range (news, ham, marine, railroad, air, CB, FRS/GMRS, Racing) along with everything else I programmed. How do I stop this?

  • F+L/O, L/O while it is scanning in the service search (XT Scanners). (thanks UPMan)

No matter what I programmed, the scan starts with (insert state name). How do I stop this?

  • BCT15, BCT15X only - These 2 scanners have all 50 states pre-programmed and active by default. It's called the BearTracker function. It's likely that the state has been set up with a group that was programmed by a user, in which case the state programming takes precedence. Press the HP & POL keys repeatedly until the icons PL, DT, HP & BT on the bottom row of the LCD are no longer displayed. If you are using software, make sure the STATE pulldowns are set to OFF on every system defined.
  • All other DMA US-based Scanners - Various state systems are preloaded and assigned to a number of System Quick Keys (SQK). If these keys are disabled, the system won't be scanned; the better solution is to wipe the scanner clean before programming. This frees up resources taken up by the state programming; if you don't travel, most if not all of these states are not receivable. The following sections from the Easier to Read manual pertain to the pre-programmed data;

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