uniden from 1990s

biolink

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Does anyone remember a uniden scanner from the1990s that alerted when a patrol car was near by? It did not detect radar but a signal that the car emitted. I always wondered if they actually worked.
 
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Token

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Could you be referring to the Beartracker function of Uniden scanners?

The Beartracker worked (and still does) by monitoring known short range signals from police cars. I think the first Uniden with this feature was the BCT7 in the mid 90's. Other people had been doing it for a while, but I think this was the first commercially advertised system with this specific goal. This was a known monitoring technique since at least as far back as the 70's.

For example, the CHP has an "extender" in every vehicle. Because of the conditions the CHP operates under, often in remote locations with marginal radio coverage, the hand held (HT) radios used may not be able to talk to control / dispatch under many conditions when the much higher powered, and better antenna equipped, mobile in the vehicle can. So the extender links the HT, via the car mounted radio, to dispatch. The paths go HT>patrol vehicle>dispatch and in the other direction dispatch>patrol vehicle>HT. The vehicle is a local repeater for the officers HT. If you monitor the link from the vehicle to the HT then you know anytime you hear a signal a vehicle is close. Anytime either dispatch called anyone, or the officer called dispatch, a signal on this freq was present, so it can be pretty active. More importantly, it is relatively low powered with confined coverage, so you know it is not too far away.

While not universal, many states have systems similar to this. And Uniden coined the term Beartracker for their technology that looked for these specific signals. It was really just a set of channels programmed with these frequencies and given priority status for the scanner.

Originally the CHP vehicles drove around with this low powered transmitter working all the time. So even if an officer was not outside the vehicle if you heard a signal that meant a car was not far away. Then (after monitoring it became popular) they modified the system so it only came on when an officer was not in the seat.

T!
 
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biolink

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Yes thats exactly what I'm talking about. I didnt know it was still a thing. I'll check it out. Thanks for the good info.
 

ljh505

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Could you be referring to the Beartracker function of Uniden scanners?
The Beartracker worked (and still does) by monitoring known short range signals from police cars. I think the first Uniden with this feature was the BCT7 in the mid 90's.
BCT2 was the original model if I'm recalling correctly.

The latest relase in the lineup, the Uniden BearTracker 885, is a combo CB/scanner aimed at the long-haul trucking market. It uses an exterrnal GPS receiver to monitor your current location, loads the scanner side from a SD card georeferenced frequency database, then alerts when a signal appears on the input channels of the local law enforcement systems (repeaters, trunking systems, etc.). You unplug the SD card from the radio and update the database via computer weekly.
 
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Klown

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Wonder of something like this could be integrated into Theia with it extra antenna input?
 

chaz517

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Damnit, now I literally have to buy this today haha. Looks awesome !
Post automatically merged:

Just bought it haha. $349 on ebay, can't wait to add this to the arsenal.
 
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jestric

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If you like the Uniden BearTracker 885 you would probably love the Uniden SDS200 Advanced X Base/Mobile Digital Trunking Scanner.


 

spinner55

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When the county used low power UHF portables to link to their VHF system they worked fine. But here in IL - all the LEO's (around here at least) have gone to the IL StarCom21 system. A state wide - hybrid 700/800 mhz trunking system and got rid of their UHF linked portables. Plus to make matters worst - they are 100% digital encrypted now. (city / county) Last I heard the state police (ISP) is still in the open except for their undercover comms.
 

ljh505

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But here in IL - all the LEO's (around here at least) have gone to the IL StarCom21 system. A state wide - hybrid 700/800 mhz trunking system and got rid of their UHF linked portables. Plus to make matters worst - they are 100% digital encrypted now. (city / county)
The beauty of the current BearTracker is that it doesn't need to decrypt the audio. The talk group IDs on the trunking systems are transmitted the unencrypted header at the start of the transmission when the mic is first keyed. So the BearTracker loads the talk group IDs for the state LEOs from the database based on your current GPS location. Then, if one of the LEO talk group IDs appears on one of the input frequencies of the trunking system, the BearTracker knows a LEO is near and alerts, without having to decrypt the audio. It just does "traffic analysis" on the unencrypted headers appearing on the trunking system input frequencies.


Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk
 

spinner55

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The beauty of the current BearTracker is that it doesn't need to decrypt the audio. The talk group IDs on the trunking systems are transmitted the unencrypted header at the start of the transmission when the mic is first keyed. So the BearTracker loads the talk group IDs for the state LEOs from the database based on your current GPS location. Then, if one of the LEO talk group IDs appears on one of the input frequencies of the trunking system, the BearTracker knows a LEO is near and alerts, without having to decrypt the audio. It just does "traffic analysis" on the unencrypted headers appearing on the trunking system input frequencies.


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What bands do these cover? I haven't kept up on those units. Since the new system covers 700/800 mhz now. Thanks Spin
 

ljh505

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What bands do these cover?
Uniden says 25 MHz to 960 MHz, so it will cover the VHF low band, VHF high band, UHF, and 700/800 MHz systems. Uniden also says:

"Scan system types include conventional analog, Motorola, LTR, EDACS, APCO P25 Phase I and Phase II"

It doesn't act like a regular programmable scanner, though. It's primarily an alerting system, though it will let you listen to the audio of a "hit" if the audio is not scrambled.

 
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mikeoxlong

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It doesn't act like a regular programmable scanner, though.

Actually it functions just like any other Home Patrol based scanner with a very limited set of services it scans for.
 

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