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  • 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 bearclaw36
I am considering purchasing a scanner. The 2 models I am looking at are 1)a UNIDEN/Bearcat BC 92XLT programmable handeheld scanner and 2)a UNIDEN/Bearcat 245XLT.

Which scanner is the better value (balancing performance and price)?

I also notice that the BC 245XLT has trunking capability. What is trunking? Is it necessary or extremely helpful for monitoring railraod communication?

Ed Kaplan

  by Kazaam
Hi bearclaw36, This is just my opinion...but I would go with the cheaper of the two, and no you will not require "trunking" for railroad operations unless things have changed, at least we (CPR) do not using trunking as of yet. I don't believe you would need anything too fancy as far as being a train enthusiast, however, if you plan on listening to emergency services as well, then yes, these days you pretty much have no choice but to get a scanner with trunking capabilities. Hope this helps you out :-)

  by kr4bd
I don't think most railroads are using trunking systems--YET! But I have noticed that NS and CSX have applied to the FCC in some of their service areas for 800 mHz trunking systems (usually 5 frequencies per system). There are many trunking scanners available that don't cost much more than the conventional ones and will give you the "best" of both worlds should railroads choose the go "trunking" in a big way. I use a Radio Shack Pro-94 for trunking (of my local Fire Dept) and regular scanning (railroads). I think this model is are available at some Radio Shacks. The Pro-92 will also do both, but I find this model to be much more difficult to program and operate.

  by starionwolf
I agree with the previous posters. From your choice the Bearcat BC 92XLT will be a better choice. Most scanners around $100 and under have pretty decent reception.

Public service, government and some businesses use trunked radio systems. I think metro buses in the US use a digital trunked systems.
I don't think any railroads in the Washington D.C. area use 800 MHz or the trunked radio system. If you can, save the money and buy the Bearcat BC 92XLT or a similar radio without 800 MHz.

If you can, buy a telescopic whip from Radio Shack. It'll improve your reception drematically. If you have room indoors or outdoors, you can mount an external antenna. I have a ground plane antenna in the attic and another one outside.

Hope this helps.