Uniden Scanner Guide

Bearcat BC125at

Program your own scanner

 

(Last updated: 5/31/2022)

1. Gear

Uniden Bearcat BC125AT Equipment and Gear

  • (~$105) – Uniden Bearcat Scanner (NOT a 2-way radio, uses normal 1/8″ headphone jack)
    This option includes everything in a single purchase that you need to program your scanner. You only need to add earbuds or headphones (wired)

Extras (Will work with any set of scanners/radios)

Headphones

Adapters

  • (~$6) – Splitter to share one scanner with someone else
  • (~$5) – Splitter (another option)
  • (~$24) – Headphone Amp: If you’re going the ear-bud only route, you might find it isn’t loud enough when the cars are running. This amp (about the size of a deck of cards) can boost your volume higher.

Alternatives

2. software

Uniden Bearcat BC125AT Software and Drivers

The drivers and software used to program your BC125AT can be found on the Uniden website. You will want the USB drivers and the programming software.

3. Program

Once you’ve installed the programming software, it’s time to input frequencies. You can use my list to enter them in yourself, or just download my config file for the BC125AT, since the work has already been done!

Programming Step-by-Step - Using a PC

Programming the BC125AT by hand couldn’t be easier. It’s one of the reasons I recommend this scanner over the Baofeng route, because everything JUST WORKS right out of the box. No extra cables to buy, no weird drivers that don’t quite work and you have to fuss with. It works. So after you install the one driver and the programming software (See step 2) it’s time to put in the drivers and their frequencies.

The scanner (and therefore the software) is split into 10 banks, each with 50 channels. Bank #1 has channels #1-#50, Bank #2 has channels #51-#100, and so on. Because of this- I like to organize my frequencies along side a channel that matches the car number (the exception being Castroneves this year)  This way- I can quickly type in a channel number to jump directly to that car during a race. If you don’t care to do that, you can put all the cars on any channel, and just scan. You’ll still see the driver name when the scanner stops on a received signal.

The ONLY thing you need to input here, is the name, and the frequency. You can get those from my frequency list, a spotters guide, or any other source of frequencies. You can leave the columns of Modulation, CTCSS/DCS, Lockout, Delay, and Priority alone, unless you want to do some more advanced features.

BEFORE YOU PROGRAM YOUR SCANNER make sure you have a backup of what was on it first. Writing the frequencies erases everything on your scanner, and replaces it with whatever is in the software. So if you had anything important on a bank that you weren’t planning on updating, it will be gone. So I suggest clicking the READ FROM SCANNER button first, and saving that file. Then import my file, or create your own from a blank template. 

Screenshot of BC125AT Software Programming

If you want copy-paste, you can grab the name and frequency direct from my list, and paste in the two fields at the same time.
You can also use my BC125AT file, and have all of the programming already done! A little note on how my file is setup. Banks 1 & 2 are the drivers. This means car 12 is on channel 12. Easy. Banks 3 & 4 are their backup frequencies, if there are any. So car 12 has a backup frequency on channel 112. Banks 5 & 6 are empty. Bank 7 has some potential (untested) USAF Thunderbird Frequencies. Bank 8 are local Indy ham repeaters, Bank 9 are repeaters used by ham operators during severe weather for Marion County, and the counties directly to the west of Marion County. Finally, Bank 10 contains all of the “bonus” race-day frequencies. TV, Radio, PA, Safety, etc.

Screenshot of BC125AT Software Programming

You can look at some of the other options, and see if there is anything you want to change to tailor the radio to your style, but this is all that is really needed at this point. Click the WRITE TO SCANNER button, and you’re ready to go to the track!

Screenshot of BC125AT Software Programming

Programming Step-by-Step - By Hand on the Keypad

So you’ve made it to the track. Your scanner is programmed. You’re ready to go— and something is wrong. Maybe the scanner didn’t get all the info you wanted it to have. Maybe the guy you got the frequencies from got one wrong (I try not to!)

No problem! Programming by hand is a simple process. Especially if it’s just a few frequencies. If you’re trying to do the whole field of cars- well, I hope you got to the track early.

To add a channel:

  1. To put in a new frequency, first get to the channel you wish to program.
    If you’re currently scanning, Press HOLD, type in a channel number you wish to add to, and press HOLD again.
    If you were already held on a channel, just type in the number you wish to program, and HOLD.
  2. Press FUNC and PGM (E)
  3. Select Enter Frequency from the menu by either pressing down on the dial, or by pressing E
  4. Type in the frequency you wish to add, such as 450.2575 Then press E. This will return you to the menu.
  5. Scroll to Edit Tag on the menu and select it by either pressing down on the dial, or by pressing E
  6. Use the dial to scroll through letters, numbers, and symbols. Use the <4 and 6> keys to move the cursor. When you’re done putting in the name of the channel, press E. This will return you to the menu.
  7. If you know the CTCSS/DCS info, you can enter it next – but this step is optional.
  8. I leave Modulation, Priority, and Delay to their defaults. (Auto, Off, 2 Sec)
  9. Scroll down to Exit and press down on the dial, or by pressing E

You’ve now added the frequency to that channel, and it will be scanned once you resume scanning the bank you’ve added it to!

To delete a channel:

  1. Go to the channel you wish to delete.
    If you’re currently scanning, Press HOLD, type in a channel number you wish to add to, and press HOLD again.
    If you were already held on a channel, just type in the number you wish to program, and HOLD.
  2. Press FUNC and PGM (E)
  3. Use the dial to scroll down to Delete Channel. Select it by pressing the dial down, or pressing E
  4. Confirm by pressing E
  5. That channel is now deleted. Scroll down to Exit and press down on the dial, or by pressing E

4. scanning

Uniden Bearcat BC125AT Scanning

This section assumes that your scanner is programmed and ready to go. If you need to add a few more frequencies, or add them for the first time, check out the two parts of Section 3 above.

Scanning at a racetrack with the BC125AT is amazing. The features and options make it quick and easy to do. This guide will start off assuming you’ve programmed your scanner with drivers and various bonus frequencies, and that you’ve put them in banks the same way, or similar to how I did.

  1. Press and hold the Power button (lower left) to turn the scanner on and off.
  2. To adjust the volume, press the Sel/Vol/Sql dial down, and adjust the volume. Press it again to return it to normal mode.
  3. Press the Scan button to begin scanning.
  4. Turn off banks you don’t want scanned by pressing the number associated with the bank. For my setup, I turn off 3-10. This way, I’m ONLY scanning the drivers cars. I may turn on banks 3 and 4, to ensure I’m checking backup car frequencies. To turn a bank back on again, just press the number.
  5. At any point, if you want to stay on a channel, just press Hold. The scanner will stay put until you press Scan again.
  6. To dial in a specific car, first press Hold to stop the scanning. Type in the channel you want to change to (example, 12) and press Hold again. You are now listening to car #12. Press Scan to resume scanning all frequencies.
  7. If a channel is getting digital noise, random static, and no usable audio- you can press the Lockout button. This will temporarily remove it from the frequencies that get scanned. Restarting the scanner will put this frequency back in rotation. To remove it permanently, press the Lockout button twice while on the offending channel.  Review the manual for how to remove a channel from permanent lockout.
  8. You can press Func + 3 (wx) to listen in to the local weather report.

Here is how I have laid out the memory banks in my config file.

Bank 1-4 Cars
Bank 7 – Planes (Blue Angles and Thunderbirds – Thunderbirds at track this year)
Bank 8 – Local Indy Ham Repeaters
Bank 9 – Emergency Comms during weather for Marion, Boone, Hendricks, Morgan
Bank 1(0) – “Bonus” race-day frequencies. TV/Radio/Safety/PA/etc

This leaves 5 and 6 wide open for your own, or to program in things as needed on race day.

If you need to add or remove channels while at the track, scroll up and look at Section 3- Programming Step-by-Step – By Hand on the Keypad.

 

Front Panel of BC125AT

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