My New Scanner

I followed my own advice, with the help from others, and picked up a handheld scanner.

I went to J & S Radio Sales in Willimantic on Monday and picked up a Uniden Bearcat BCD396XT Scanner.

It is currently programmed to Windham County, Tolland County, Connecticut State Police and Troops D, K and C. I had to charge it when I got home, but it’s working great now.

It weighs about twice as much as my iPhone, but it has a belt clip so I can easily walk around without holding it.  I’ll look like a dork, but that’s okay. It has a million buttons on it that I don’t know how to use, too. I don’t plan on touching half of them.

The guy at the store understood I had no idea what I was talking about. He explained how to use it as best he could. I told him that I will probably drop in there later this week with questions. As of right now, I don’t think I’ll have too many. I just need to make sure I don’t drop it.

Basically, I turn it on and keep it on. With the six “channels,” I can actually turn any of them off if I’m not in that area so that the scanner will only scan what I want it to. It’s pretty neat. I haven’t tried my Apple headphones in it yet, but that’s what I’ll be listening to from now on, while I’m driving.

I’d list all of the features it has, but I have no idea what 90 percent of them mean. I got the Uniden because I wanted a “powerhouse.” I’ve been getting Willimantic calls while I’ve been home. I live 20 miles from Willimantic, so that’s pretty good. Actually, everything has sounded pretty good on it.

It’s simple enough to turn on and has a handy backup light button for when it’s dark out.

I’m really glad I got one. It set me back about $500, but it’s definitely well spent. With most of the towns we cover not having their own police department, having the Troops on my scanner will definitely give me a heads up to what is going on.

This whole thing may be a bit intrusive or weird, but I really think that it’s vital to keep tabs on what’s going on. I’m not saying we miss a lot of things at the Chronicle, but it’s nice to be in the loop about things good or bad.



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