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|Did you mess up the programming? Or…
You can no longer receive what you or we have programmed?:
Note, there are reasons why you may be no longer receiving the agencies you once did on your scanner:
- Read the manual, it may help you determine how to reverse what you've done. You may have simply locked something out that can be easily restore.
- Call the scanner manufacturer for assistance. They sometimes can help.
- Send the radio in to us for a fee.
- Have us assist you over the phone for a fee ($60 half hour) and possibly
take control of the scanner remotely.
Scanners very rarely, if ever, suddenly break or stop working unless they are physically damaged. More than likely if you think this is the case it's just that frequencies or systems in your area have changed, systems have re-banded requiring a firmware upgrade or, the most common reason, you've accidentally locked out or disabled a system or frequency.
They moved to a new frequency or to a trunking and/or digital radio system. You may need a new scanner to hear them.
- They are now using encryption or some other type of system which cannot
- The trunking radio system has "re-banded" which means either you'll need
a new scanner (if you're using an older trunking scanner such as a
PRO-95 or a Bearcat 780) or you'll need to do a firmware upgrade (see
- Your scanner is no longer working properly or is being affected by some
sort of interference. This is very difficult to diagnose but for a fee
we can try to help.
|Do you already own the scanner?
||If you already own a scanner you wish to have programmed here are your options:
Option 1 - On Your Own
Programming on your own
Purchase our BuTel software for your scanner model and a RadioReference.com frequency database subscription and do the programming yourself for those scanners which are PC programmable. Note that a programming cable is also required (some scanners come with this cable included) and a comfort level with computer software.
See the links below to order:
---Option 2 - Programming/Firmware Updates Mail-in Service
Leave the programming to us!
Scanner Master offers a HomeTown Programming Mail-in service, if you bought from us or not, this is a great service for you. Ship your scanner to us and we can program it for you. - Read more
[See what scanners we program bellow]
Option 3 - Remote Programming, Firmware Updating, Troubleshooting & Training
Have us program your scanner for you over the phone by remotely controlling your PC.
Scanner Master now offers a remote programming service to solve your scanner programming and operational issues. This service allows you to have your scanner programing and problems solved without having to send the scanner in to us. - Read more
HomeTown Programming and Remote Programming Approved Scanners
|Uniden Scanners||GRE Scanners||RadioShack Scanners|
The following counties are so large with multiple complex radio systems there is an additional fee for programming as follows. If you are looking for one of these counties, choose the appropriate listing from below.
Cook County, IL
Select 5 counties/$175
Los Angeles County, CA
Select 5 counties/$175
Phoenix/Maricopa County, AZ
Select 2 counties/$105
San Diego County, CA
Select 2 counties/$105
Dallas County, TX
Select 2 counties/$105
Wayne County, MI
Select 2 counties/$105
San Bernardino County, CA
Select 2 counties/$105
||A great place to start is right in the scanner box, where a user manual is included. Or you can search the web for blogs or other misc. resources for help. Uniden also has a customer support phone number (1-800-297-1023).
However, as scanner technology advances to keep up with new communications systems, scanners have become increasingly complex to set-up and program. Scanner Master is the nation's leader in scanner programming, relying on our nearly 30 years of experience in reporting on the nation's communications systems. To learn the cost of our programming either a scanner you already own or a scanner you wish to buy, send an e-mail to email@example.com and tell us what scanner you have (or wish to buy) and the cities, counties and state that you want programmed. Pricing depends on the scanner type, the number of agencies you want programmed and the complexity of the radio systems in your area. Generally we program police/sheriff, fire and EMS unless otherwise requested.
Scanner Master offers programming services for scanners purchased direct from us or for scanners that you already own. Programming may include research into your local frequencies and trunking systems, conversations with you about what you would like programmed, and then the actual programming of the radio complete with frequencies, alpha tag descriptions, trunking systems, talkgroup IDs and PL tone codes (for radios that accept these parameters). Low-end radios without these features can be programmed more quickly and inexpensively. Either way the radio will be ready-to-go when you receive it. The cost for the service is based on radio used, the number of frequencies and systems being programmed, and the amount of frequency research needed.
This service is for those who do not have the time to program the scanner for their area, or for those buying the scanner as a gift and who want the radio to work as soon as their friend or loved-one turns the radio on. The service is particularly worthwhile for those who do not feel up to the technical challenge of determining the correct frequencies and understanding and programming trunked and other advanced radio systems. The great thing about having Scanner Master do the work is that once the radio is programmed properly you may never have to touch or worry about programming again.
Note: For those who already have their advanced scanner and a copy of ARC software, Scanner Master can create an ARC data file and e-mail it for programming so that you don’t need to send your scanner in to have the work done.
Some people say that programming shouldn’t have to cost very much. But to do it right the first time you want it properly researched and the frequencies properly entered -- specifically for the area that you want to listen to. You don’t want a general dump of frequencies for your area that’s entered without any thought or check for accuracy. You want a company that stands by its work. Have your programming done by Scanner Master and have it done right by the people who write the book on public safety communications.
Contact Scanner Master by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-SCANNER for pricing for your area. In an e-mail include the scanner you own or are considering buying and your city, county & state. Tell us exactly what communities, counties and agencies you want to listen to with as much detail as possible. The more detail on your interests the better. You can also review this material with the Scanner Master representative when calling to buy a scanner.
For basic scanners, such as the BC-60, 80, 72, 92, 150, 180 and SC-200 handhelds, and the BC-244, 248, 278 and 350 desktop models, programming is easy and almost everyone can do it themselves, especially if they have a local frequency guide with the channels for their area. Some frequencies can be found on the Internet as well. If you still wish Scanner Master to program your local police and fire department frequencies, the cost is $25 so long as standard “analog” frequencies are used. To monitor the advanced communication systems of many cities and counties however you must have an advanced scanner.
Again, some police and fire departments operate on very advanced trunking and/or digital radio systems. If this is the case you will need a more advanced, and expensive, scanner. If you’re not technically inclined or interested in spending some time learning how to program the scanner for these systems, contact us at the number or e-mail address listed above and we’ll be glad to help.
|Programming Additional Requests
||We program the radios according to the databases that are available to us. We try to modify text tags at times (for alphanumeric scanners) but we cannot commit to doing this and we cannot customize text tags or bank layouts unless previously agreed to with the Scanner Master sales representative or programmer. Generally such modifications will require an extra charge. If you are unsatisfied with the programming layout or alpha display of any of the programming there will be a charge to modify it.
Customers can always tweak and customize, add to or delete from, the programming by downloading demo copies of our Butel ARC software or buying basic versions of the program for $39.95. We highly recommend this as a way to back up the work that was done and to see how the programming was laid out in the radio.
If you have any problems or questions regarding the programming please contact Dan Mathews, our Frequency Data Manager, at Dan@scannermaster.com with questions. Include your phone number and best time to call. If Dan cannot help you by e-mail or over the phone with a programming problem and it is required that you send the radio back we will arrange for that.
Note though that often times problems result from three common factors: A) The customer hasn’t read through the owner’s manual and does not know how to operate the radio; B) The customer has disabled/locked out a channel or system and does not know how to unlock it; C) The customer is not close enough to the source of the radio signal (or is just in a bad reception area) and cannot receive certain signals. (The third problem is generally solved by moving to a better reception area or using an outdoor antenna, but there are never any guarantees that this will solve the problem.)
If you have any difficulty operating the scanner you must review the manual and then contact the manufacturer. Uniden can be reached at 1-800-297-1023 and GRE at greamerica.com. Scanner Master does not provide this service.
After 30 days any scanner re-programming work, fixes to locked-out banks, or any other modifications, changes, updates or fixes will cost $50 plus return postage. Any significant re-programming or major changes to the original programming will be charged at a rate to be determined by Scanner Master but will be no less than $50. Any additions to programming will be charged at our regular programming rates. At no time are programming fees refundable.
|Programming Return Policy
||Programming charges, consulting fees and other labor fees are not refundable. If you have any problems or concerns with any work performed by Scanner Master please contact us and we will do our best to resolve the issue, however agreed upon costs for programming or other labor services are not refundable at any time.
|Rebanding and Firmware
||Rebanding the 800MHz
The 800MHz band is shared by both NEXTEL/cellular and public safety communications. For over a decade now there have been problems with interference. To eliminate the interference, all public safety systems operating between 865-869MHz will "reband" to 851-854MHz and join with other public safety frequencies operating from 851-861 MHz. This will form a buffer between the public safety and cellular frequencies rather than being intermingled as they are today.
What does this all mean?
When the Rebanding takes place, your scanner will usually stop working
on Motorola trunking systems. If you are listening to conventional
(non-trunked) channels or EDACS channels you may need to simply change
frequencies. Depending on the model scanner you have you may need to
both update the scanner's firmware (operating software) as well as the
trunking frequencies. Scanners older than 8 years old may not support
Rebanding, so they will need to be replaced.
What is Firmware?
is the software inside of your scanner. This software can be updated
with firmware updates from the manufacture of the scanner. Updates can
fix bugs or add new features to the scanner.
Will my scanner work? Is there firmware available?
In the chart below you can see if your scanner needs a firmware update. You may not need a firmware update because your scanner has the latest firmware.
How do I check the firmware?
|Uniden Bearcat Scanners|
Step 1 - press menu
Step 2 - Scroll and Select "Settings"
Step 3 - Scroll and Select "See Scanner Info"
Step 4 - Select "Firmware Version"
|GRE/Radio Shack Scanners|
Step 1 - Power the scanner down
Step 2 - Press and hold the "3" as your powering up.
How to update the firmware?
In the charts below you will see helpful links on where and how to update your firmware.
Uniden Scanners Firmware Chart
GRE Scanners Firmware Chart
Can Scanner Master Update the firmware for you?
Yes we can, you can ship the scanner to us and we can update the firmware for you.
Cost --- Updating the firmware ONLY $39.95 plus return shipping $15.05 - Total Cost $55.00
Reprogramming Cost (add the following):
Reprogramming the first county: $69.95
Each additional county after the first: $35.05
Click here to fill out order form (PDF File)
Scanners we can update firmware for::
|Stream A Scanner
||Start Streaming Your Own Local Radio Traffic with a Scanner from Scanner Master!
To stream a scanner to receive public safety agencies in your area through the RadioReference.com interface, the most critical piece of hardware you'll need is a scanner radio (and a PC). At Scanner Master, a RadioReference partner, we offer the most complete selection of scanners available anywhere and we offer great prices to boot!
For full details on what you'll need to stream a scanner and the terms of service, see this page:
First you'll need to determine whether the public safety agencies in your area use conventional, trunking or digital-trunking radio systems. If you're streaming aviation or railroad channels typically a low-end conventional scanner will do the job. For public safety often a trunking or digital trunking scanner is required. Once you've determined the scanner type, select a desktop style scanner that matches the specifications you need.
To learn which scanner is required for your area visit the database section of Radioreference.com or log on to www.policescanners.net. If you're still not sure please call us at 1-800-SCANNER.
Now to order the scanner that you've chosen visit this page:
You can also call us weekdays to order if you prefer. We also offer programming services if you would rather not spend the time learning how to program the scanner (trunking and digital trunking scanners can be complex to program for novices and for many experienced users).
Scanner Master also offers outdoor antennas and other accessories to improve reception as well an audio cable to go between your scanner's speaker jack and the microphone input on your PC.
|Terms and Conditions for Programming
||HomeTown Programming adds an additional one to two weeks shipping time to all orders.
Programming services are not refundable even if you are returning a new radio. If you feel we have not done all the programming work that was agreed upon, or if you have any questions, please e-mail us at email@example.com.
While we provide the most thorough programming possible as specified by our discussions or correspondence, we cannot be responsible for minor inaccuracies of the programming work. We are not on-site so we cannot test for minor errors, unknown frequency changes, etc. Some agencies may be using, full or part time, encryption, mobile data terminals that are non-voice, or NEXTEL or other private carrier systems that are not monitorable. This is all beyond our control.
We do not provide a list of the programming that we’ve done. You can either scroll through the radio to review the programming - in most cases select MENU then PROGRAM SYSTEMS and then select each system to review it or you can review it by pressing HOLD during a scan and using the tuning control to review. You can also purchase our Butel ARC software package, available for most scanners, and easily back-up and review the programming on your PC.
|Want a scanner and already know which one?
||Whether you're new to scanners or you're purchasing a scanner as a gift, or you wish to purchase a more advanced scanner for yourself, programming a scanner can be a daunting task for all but the most patient and software-literate people. Scanners must be programmed to receive the radio frequencies, and radio systems, in your area. Once programmed scanners are fascinating and fun to use, but it's this initial set-up that takes some work.
To program a new scanner your options are:
1. Purchase a scanner from Scanner Master and program the radio from the front panel keypad.
This is OK for basic scanners and even higher-end scanners if you are very familiar with the frequencies used in your area (or in the area the scanner will be used) and if you accept that to program the "alpha tags" (the agency names in text which you can program on mid-range and high-end scanners along with the frequencies), or to program the complex trunking systems, it's going to be a very tedious job.
2. Purchase a scanner from Scanner Master and buy our programming software.
Programming software is available for many low-end scanners and all mid-range and high-end scanners. With our programming software (which is offered at a discount when you purchase it with a scanner for an average of $35) and a subscription to RadioReference.com which we also sell for as little as $15 and which provides you with all the frequency and trunking system data, you'll be able to program your scanner yourself far more easily than if you tried to do it by hand. You connect your PC (sorry, no Mac software is available) to the scanner, run the software, auto download data into the software from radioreference.com and program the radio automatically. It's not that difficult but there's still a learning curve to understanding the software and radio systems you're downloading. For some scanners a custom USB cable, also available from Scanner Master, will be required as well.
3. Have Scanner Master program the scanner for you. We will program it before the radio ships to you or to your gift recipient.
Our most popular option is to have Scanner Master Program the scanner for you.
(Note that there are scanners on the market today that come pre-programmed and for some folks this is a wise choice. However, there are some serious pitfalls. First, the only pre-programmed scanner on the market as of today, the PRO-107 which we sell, cannot handle digital transmissions which is the format most newer radio systems use. Secondly, pre-programmed scanners do not have the flexibility and functionality of a standard scanner as far as making changes to the programming and adding frequencies, especially "on-the-fly." You're locked into the manner in which the programming has been set-up for you unless you want to do your own tweaking, which is in effect just like programming. So while pre-programmed scanners are OK, we recommend them mainly for novices who do not wish to be anything more than that.)
|Your Own Scanner
||Own Your Own Scanner and Hear Exactly What You Want to Hear!
The RadioReference.com Live Audio site is fantastic but did you know that many of the communications that you may want to monitor are not available? While RadioReference has three thousand feeds, they only represent a fraction of the actual radio traffic that is out there.
RadioReference does not allow for feeds of police tactical, detective, vice, arson squad, SWAT and other fascinating channels. They also don't stream dedicated EMS channels, most Public Works Departments, utilities and much more. RadioReference, for the most part, streams public safety dispatch, aviation, railroad, marine and Ham Radio only.
This means that if you don't have your own police scanner you're missing out on loads of incredibly exciting and interesting local police, fire, EMS, DPW, business communications and more.
Buy your own scanner today -a desktop model for your house or a portable model you can carry around with you- and become part of the fascinating radio hobby, and start listening to what you want to listen to, right away!
Scanner Master is the nation's leading police scanner dealer with a full line of every police scanner on the market today. Click on the menu to the left to choose a scanner for listening in your area. We also optionally program scanners for you so they're ready to use for your area right out of the box. Check radioreference.com/apps/db/ or policescanners.net, or call us at 1-800-SCANNER, to learn which is the right scanner for use in your area. Then please order right through our scannermaster.com web site (select Scanners in the store menu on the left side of this page) or, again, feel free to call us at 1-800-SCANNER to order.