IndyCar Scanner Frequencies

IndyCAR FREQUENCIES

Program your own!

 
 

(Last updated: 6/6/2022)

SCAN

Own your own scanner/radio

PROGRAMMING

HOW IT WORKS

Both Uniden and Baofeng equipment can be easily programmed trackside (or at home) by hand. Using just the radio and keypad. But they both have great PC programming options as well, which speeds things up quite a bit. It also makes changing the radio or scanner over between races much easier. I include in my frequency lists some config files for both radios. The frequencies I find come from official track spotters guides, and the Indy Speedway’s frequency guide. When I come across them, I try to include “bonus” frequencies such as IMS radio network, TV broadcast, safety crews, race control, and sometimes even track PA system. These are not guarenteed to work, and are often updated multiple times between when I first publish frequencies, and race day. If you find a frequency that I don’t have- please let me know!

 

For the Indy 500, My export includes local Indianapolis repeaters and national calling frequencies for HAM operators. You must hold a Amateur Radio License in order to transmit on these frequencies– but anyone can listen! (Learn more about obtaining your HAM license here)  The Uniden Bearcat export also includes additional ham frequencies.

If you’re ready to buy a scanner, I go over two options. The Uniden Bearcat BC125AT option is more expensive at $105… but it has everything you need right out of the box, except headphones. (Neither option includes headphones) It will work with a standard 1/8″ (3.5mm) headphone jack without a special adapter. It’s also much faster at scanning, and has some great features for scanning when you don’t know all the driver frequencies. I believe the Bearcat BC125AT to be the better route to take, but the Baofengs still work well, especially for the price point.  Baofengs start at $25. But you’ll likely need that programming cable, an adapter for headphones, and some people like an audio booster. 

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LET’S GO SHOPPING

1. gear

I have put together two options of what to buy. First is the Uniden Bearcat BC125AT – This is my new preferred method of scanning at the track. Second choice is one of the Baofeng radio options. There are more pieces you will need to buy, but this option is the cheaper overall solution.

Bearcat BC125AT

This year I made the switch to the Uniden Bearcat BC125AT from the past 7 or 8 years of using the Baofeng UV-82. Nothing against the Baofeng- for the price, it is incredible. But this one is faster, works better out of the box, and is an all around perfect fit for race day. Start your journey here into Indy 500 and Indy Car scanning with the right scanner. It costs a bit more, but there is almost nothing extra you need once you get it. Use your own earbuds, or get some nice headphones. This will cost about $105.

Baofeng UV-82

The Tried and True. I’ve programmed and used this radio exclusivly for the previous 7 or 8 Indy 500s. For just $30 to start, you can find out if this is something that peaks your interest, and if you want to go even further for future races. Keep in mind, that the $30 gets you the radio. You will likely need a programming cable, and a headphone adapter of some kind. All in, you’re looking to spend around $70 to enjoy the next race, plus the cost of earbuds or headphones if you don’t already have a set.

2. software

The Uniden software is free to download, and works immediately with the cable that comes with the BC125AT scanner. The ability to copy/paste directly into the software like it’s a spreadsheet makes programming an absolute breeze. The guide also includes a link to my own config file, so you can save even more time!

There is a free piece of software out there called CHIRP. It is easy to setup and use, but depending on the programming cable, there could be some driver issues or some general frustrations getting it setup the first time. It’s easy once you’re done. I also provide a CSV file that can be imported into the CHIRP program for quick setup. 

3. input frequencies

Here is where I show you step-by-step how to program your Uniden Bearcat BC125AT scanner with the software, or by hand. It’s always good to know how to quickly add in a few frequencies when you get to the track on race day, just incase a few things have changed.

The CHIRP software is easy to use once it is setup. There are a few quick notes to be aware of before you being, including backing up your current radio config first. But quick upload and download of your radio content, and you’ll be ready for race day.

4. scan

This scanner makes it easy. If you use my config, or make your own in a similar fashion, you simply scan just a few banks of drivers- but have quick access to all the programmed frequencies so you can jump over to Race Control, the track PA system, and even TV/Radio broadcasts. Learn how to quickly remove a channel that’s getting static and interference, so it doesn’t ruin your scanning experience.

Learning the tricks for scanning with the Baofeng is important. There are a few small details that you’ll want to remember. First- all channels are three digits. So to listen in on car #12, you’ll want to type in 012.  Second, the ability to add and remove frequencies is a little more complex with this radio than with a scanner. So be sure to familiarize yourself with the process!

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