• BC72XLT - Is this a good scanner?

  • Discussion related to railroad radio frequencies, railroad communication practices, equipment, and more.
Discussion related to railroad radio frequencies, railroad communication practices, equipment, and more.

Moderator: Aa3rt

  by caf0929
After reading some posts here about scanner recommendations, can you tell me if this is a good scanner? It seems to meet the requirements, the price ain't bad and I like that it is handheld. My 3 year old and I love to watch trains and would love to have a better idea of the activity in the area when we are sitting by the tracks! Thanks in advance!

Christine, Mommy to future Engineer Nicholas

BC72XLT - 100 Channel Scanner

100 Channel Compact Scanner

100 Channels / 10 Banks

Compact Design - The Uniden BC72XLT is designed to be compact for added flexibility and portability.

Close Call™ RF Capture Technology - Instantly tunes to signals from nearby transmitters

Frequency Coverage***** - Includes the most interesting "action" bands where you can hear police, ambulance, fire, amateur radio, public utilities, weather, and more. 25-54,108-174,406-512 MHz

10 Programmable Search Ranges - Helps you find unlisted frequencies in use in your area

6 Preprogrammed Service Searches - Public Safety, Railroad (by channel), Air, Marine (by channel), CB (by channel), GMRS/FRS (by channel), Weather, News Media, Ham Radio and Special

Backlit Display*** - Makes It Easier to Read Display in Low Light Conditions

2 AA Battery Operation - Provides flexibility in choice of batteries: Alkaline for long life, rechargeable for economy (batteries can be charged while in the scanner)

Priority Scan - Frequently scans the channels you have designated as priority channels

Delay - Helps prevent missed replies during 2-way conversations

  by railohio
That is a very good scanner for railroad use. One thing I would suggest doing is replacing the stock antenna with a new one which will greatly improve your range. Better options include the Diamond RH77CA and the Coment BNC-24, both available from any reputable ham radio store. (If you're interested in this I can reccomend a few shops that carry these products.) Either scanner will perform a great deal better and considering they are both only about $25 it's a very worthwhile investment compared to the price of the scanner.

I would also suggest in powering the scanner with NiMH rechargable batteries like those carried at Wal-Mart, etc. for digital cameras. Two sets of batteries should easily out last the attention span of a three-year-old trackside and will be much cheaper in the long-run than constantly replacing alkaline cells.

  by Aa3rt
Christine, welcome to the forum! My wife & stepson purchased a BC60XLT for me last year as a combined Father's Day/birthday present and I'm very happy with it. The model you're considering should perform well for the purposes you describe.

Brian has already mentioned two subjects that I would have brought up: A. rechargeable batteries-most important when spending time (hours) trackside and B. the antenna. The best receiver in the world isn't much good without a good antenna. I don't know where you live but be aware that the terrain can also be an important factor in what you can (or can't) receive. Radio signals will carry much further on flat terrain than they will in hilly or mountainous territory. Living in southern Maryland, the terrain is fairly level here and I can listen to the Washington Area Metro Transit Authority, about 30 miles to my northwest.

One other item that you should consider is a good carrying case. If you're carrying a toddler and all the attendant amenities, dropping your scanner is a real possibility. If it happens to fall from an auto to a concrete or asphalt parking lot the results could be disastrous. A good carrying case that surrounds the scanner and will absorb impact, rather than the plastic case of the scanner, would be a good investment. It should have a belt loop that can also be attached to a camera case or purse strap.

There are lots of knowledgeable folks on this forum who are willing to share information with you.

BTW-my father started taking me trackside when I was about Nicholas' age. 49 years later I'm still fascinated with railways.

  by The S.P. Caboose
I usually ask to look at the owners manual before I buy a scanner. I have a good idea what frequencies I want to listen to so I check in the manual to see what the sensitivty is. The closer to 0.3 the better. All this does is tell me what my chances are for bettor reception on the unit. The higher the number (i.e. 1.0) the worse the reception.
  by caf0929
Thanks to everyone who replied. I did read that I should get a better antenna, thanks for the recommendations! I will check the sensitivity level also on it. We watch the trains in downtown Akron, but our house sits on abit of a hill so I am hoping we can even listen at home. The tracks are about 2 miles or so away so with a little luck, we should do pretty good. Thanks again!