Programming a Uniden BC895XLT/BC235XLT Scanner with the Bedford, Texas Trunked Radio System (TRS) by Ben Saladino, KC5IRJ

I've been asked many a time, "How do I program my BC895XLT scanner?". Here's the answer for this particular scanner. (You may find it helpful for other models, but no promises. In particular, Radio Shack scanners often require that you use the Program key prior to programming frequencies and talkgroups.) In this example, I use my favorite TRS, Bedford, TX. To see a complete list of talkgroups for the Beford TRS, please click here. You can of course with a little imagination use this as a guide to programming in the TRS that you want to listen to. If that's the case have the frequencies and talkgroups handy, and let's go! These steps work with the BC235XLT as well, just replace the bank letters with bank numbers.

Turn on the Scanner

If "Trunk" is displayed, then press the Trunk key.

Hold the Trunk Key for a few seconds, until you hear the scanner beep twice. This is the part that gives people the most trouble. You must hold the Trunk key long enough to get the two beeps.

Next, the bank letters should be flashing. Press the bank letter (A-J) key where you want to program the trunked system into. In this example, press the A bank key.

Channel 1 should be displayed. (or 31 for Bank B, 61, for Bank C, and so on...)

Key in 866.0375 followed by the E key. (if you make a mistake, you can hit the . (decimal) key to clear your entry, or simply repeat the process.

Press the Hold/Up Arrow Key

Channel 2 should be displayed

Key in 866.4875 followed by the E key.

Press the Hold/Up Arrow Key

Channel 3 should be displayed

Key in 867.1125 followed by the E key.

Press the Hold/Up Arrow Key

Channel 4 should be displayed

Key in 867.5375 followed by the E key.

Press the Hold/Up Arrow Key

Channel 5 should be displayed

Key in 868.7875 followed by the E key.

Press the Hold/Up Arrow Key

Channel 6 should be displayed

Key in 854.9875 followed by the E key.

Press the Hold/Up Arrow Key

Channel 7 should be displayed

Key in 855.2375 followed by the E key.

Press the Hold/Up Arrow Key

Channel 8 should be displayed

Key in 855.4875 followed by the E key.

(On one of those frequency that you entered, you should have heard a very annoying noise that kind of sounds like a diesel engine running. If not, you may not be close enough to the system to receive it.)

Next press the Data key.

If "E2" is not displayed, then press Hold/Up Arrow until it is, then press the E key.

You should now see "- - - - -" displayed, or possibly some numbers if there is a transmission active.

You are in Search mode which searches the trunked system for any active talkgroups.

You can also program Scan Lists that are used when you press the Scan key while in Trunk mode. With Scan Lists, you only hear the talkgroups that you have selected to scan and are not locked out, as opposed to Searching where you hear any active talkgroups that are not locked out. In the BC895XLT there are 5 Scan Lists (lettered A-E), each having 10 positions (numbered 0-9), so you can scan 50 different talkgroups.

To program Scan Lists, while in Trunk mode, press the Manual key.

Then press the A Key and the 1 Key to move to the first scan list position.

You should see "1 - - - - -" or perhaps "1 #####' where a talkgroup is already programmed in.

Type in 144 followed by the E key. ( You can clear a mistake by pressing the . (decimal) key, or simply reenter the talkgroup) 144 is Bedford Fire Department's dispatch channel.

Press the Hold/Up Arrow key.

You should see "2 - - - - -" or perhaps "1 #####' where a talkgroup is already programmed in.

Type in 176 followed by the E key. ( You can clear a mistake by pressing the . (decimal) key, or simply reenter the talkgroup) 176 is Bedford Fire Department's primary response channel.

Press the Hold/Up Arrow key.

You should see "3 - - - - -" or perhaps "1 #####' where a talkgroup is already programmed in.

Type in 208 followed by the E key. ( You can clear a mistake by pressing the . (decimal) key, or simply reenter the talkgroup) 208 is Bedford Fire Department's channel 3.

Press the Hold/Up Arrow key.

You should see "2 - - - - -" or perhaps "1 #####' where a talkgroup is already programmed in.

Type in 48 followed by the E key. ( You can clear a mistake by pressing the . (decimal) key, or simply reenter the talkgroup) 48 is Bedford Fire Department's channel 4.

Press the Hold/Up Arrow key.

You should see "5 - - - - -" or perhaps "1 #####' where a talkgroup is already programmed in.

Type in 151 followed by the E key. ( You can clear a mistake by pressinc the . (decimal) key, or simply reenter the talkgroup) 151 is Bedford Fire Department's dispatching alert channel.

Repeat the steps above to continue programming in the talkgroups that you want to scan on a regular basis. I have Bedford fire stuff in Scan List A, Bedford, police stuff in Scan List B, Colleyville fire & police stuff in Scan List C, Keller fire & police stuff in Scan List D, Euless fire & police stuff in Scan List E.

While scanning in the trunked mode you can enable and disable a Scan List by pressing its corresponding letter key, so long as at least one or more Scan List is enabled.

To return to scanning conventional frequencies, press the Trunk key, and you should not see "Trunked" displayed any longer.

To resume scanning a trunked system you have already programmed, press the Trunk key (releasing immediately), and selected the lettered bank key (A-J) of the trunked system you want to hear. Once the data signal is acquired by the scanner it goes to trunked Search mode by default, so you will need to press the Scan key to use your Scan Lists.

Note: The Bedford TRS is a Motorola Type II, and is somewhat easier to program than a Motorola Type I system which requires that you also program in a fleetmap. However, the steps above are still required, except that at the press the Data key step, you choose "E1", and follow extra steps to program the fleetmap (see your manual for more details).

I hope you find this helpful. Good Luck and Happy Scanning!

Ben Saladino, KC5IRJ