Whether Wednesday: BC346XT Scanner

Hello and welcome to another Weather Wednesday. This weeks post is all about another Weather Alert Radio, which I love. It is actually a Police Scanner and the Model is BC346XT from Uniden. It is a handheld unit and is a pain to work with, if I want to use it as a normal scanner. However, I am only interested in using it to hear the same things I can also hear on my amateur radio transceiver, which is also a handheld unit. I just use the Various search options to hear a bunch of different frequencies. These include: Marine, amateur radio, railroad, public service frequencies, air band, CB radio, GMR S/FRS radio, racing and miscellaneous.
As for Weather Radio, there is a WX button you need to press and hold after tapping the FUNC button, in order to hear the weather broadcast and or turn on the Weather Alert options. You can make the scanner either: a SAME radio or a TONE ALERT radio. You can make the weather alert a priority by tapping FUNC then tapping the WX button, which is the 0 key. You can only activate this function while on another frequency or channel.
The scanner can generate an alarm which can open up the Weather Radio to either a 1050 Hz tone or a Specific Area Message Encoding tone. I use the latter, with the option for it to go off for all counties. I don’t program individual codes because I like to travel and I also like to be alerted to severe weather where ever I am going. The other thing I like is that all the alerts can be heard on this unit and other scanners with SAME. Some standalone WX Radios don’t allow for the weekly test or certain advisories to open up the receiver and that isn’t good enough for me. I do have some but I have them around as main receivers anyway.
The other nice thing is that the BC346 also has great ears, in that it is sensitive, particularly to VHF and UHF frequencies. Unfortunately, this can generate birdies, which are annoying sounds which you may hear on some frequencies which are of narrow FM transmission. Sometimes attenuating the frequency solves the problem. In the case of a continuous broadcast, such as Weather Radio, don’t do that. It will only decrease the range.
What I didn’t mention is that this unit is best on the stock rubber ducky antenna. I don’t know why but I found that after a couple of weeks of using it the longer whips I used didn’t cut the mustard. I thought I would be able to hear more in my apartment but it turns out that if I am mobile or outside they are a great help. This is particularly true on the WX frequencies and those are what I listen to most often on this unit.
You can purchase it on the internet or at any specialty store, which cels this type of receiver. I recommend such stores as: Durham Radio, http://www.durhamradio.com/ Radio World http://www.radioworld.ca/ and Universal Radio http://www.universalradio.com and you will be in another world of radios altogether. Another store I recommend is http://www.weatherradiostore.com and you may find it there too. There are others but that just scratches the surface. There are other scanners out there but this one is and has been a friend to me over the last couple of years since I bought it in 2011, just before Christmas.
If you have any comments you can leave them here or you can email me at blindgordie@gmail.com and I will respond. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @BlindGordie and or @VA3WXA and if I’m not following you already I will follow you back.

2 thoughts on “Whether Wednesday: BC346XT Scanner

  1. Pingback: Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter Issue 14 | Weather Radio Listners Newsletter

  2. Pingback: Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter Issue 14 | Weather Radio Listners Newsletter

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