North Hollywood Shootout Police Radio Calls
(And, they were analog!)

Digital-Scanner News & Reports
11/5/2004 NOTE: Due to the increasing number of digital scanners now on the market, I will no longer be updating scanner model information this web page. Check with Radio Shack, Uniden or GRE America for current information. I'll be leaving this page online for the foreseeable future, as a sort of "historical overview" of the first generation of digital scanners. Thanks to the more than 60,000 folks who've dropped in here since early 2002. -Harry

Current (2009) LAPD Radio Frequencies


Radio Shack Announces CPQSK Modulation upgrade for Pro-96
Also improved reception on weak C4FM signals:


Uniden site details on the new 296D & 796D digital scanners:
BC296D Handheld and BC796D Base/Mobile

Pro-96 Documents from the FCC website:

Attestation Statement - (or, "it won't tune in cellphones")
Owner's Manual - .pdf document
External Pictures - .pdf document
FCC Authorization - .html file

I realize this is VERY SLOPPY, but I've converted the 120-page manual to a straight text (.txt) document, for folks without access to a .pdf viewer (e.g. WebTV). Perhaps someone can do a better job. Here it is for now


Trouble getting your Digital Signals tuned in with your 250D or 785D??
Try these steps.

Watch this space for news of any LAPD internet feeds...
Or, if anyone sets up an LAPD feed, please let me know

LAPD Frequency List

No feeds yet, but here's 5 minutes of a "digital" pursuit in West Valley on 1/13/03:
.wav format - or - RealMedia format

For dealers & prices online, see Tracy's "Pricewatch" Page

Check out the reports on the message board


12/23/02: Uniden issues New "Fact Sheet" on 12/20/2002
(not much new that I can see... and release date is still given as "January, 2003")

12/6/02: Scott Halligan has perhaps the first real "review" of these scanners in action
Here's Scott's report, on the StrongSignals page

L.A.P.D. Fans: Yes, these scanners WILL decode LAPD's frequencies as long as you get the "APCO card" (BCi25D) too. See this and this.

Tuesday 11/12/02: Owners' Manuals Online !
BC785D Manual (2.273MB) - 100 Pages (.pdf format)
BC250D ManualOwner's Manual (2.01MB) - 110 Pages (.pdf format)

and, from the manuals (manual page 8, .pdf document page 12):

Saturday 11/9/2002: Perhaps THIS, from Uniden's flyer to distributors, clarifies the continuing saga of the 9600 baud rate issue (emphasis is mine)...

My interpretation is that they will not FOLLOW trunking systems that use the 9600 baud rate for the control channel. They will, however "decode" the digital audio so you can monitor whatever frequency you're stopped on. They will both follow and decode 3600-baud trunking systems, and will decode conventional APCO P-25 digital systems (such as LAPD's) where "trunking" and "control channels" are not an issue. Please post any comments here, to the "digital-scanning" yahoogroup. (I have no connection with the "digital-scanning" yahoogroup, but it seems to be the largest of a number of parallel email lists for this topic.)

11/8/2002: More ("slight") delays

Uniden has added more info & pics for the 250D ( here and here ) and
the 785D
( here and here ) to their website... including a new "Available in January" line. Things seem to have again slipped slightly since last week. They have a pop-up page on the BCi25D "APCO Card too. (Note that it says the card allows monitoring "...trunked (analog control channel, 3600 Baud and digital control channel, 9600 Baud)." Are they trying to confuse us or what?

LAPD fans: the 785D picture, when enlarged, shows this display...

484.8625 has been reported to possibly be the new dispatch frequency for Newton (& Hollenbeck?) Division, though it doesn't seem to be in use yet. On a recent weekday afternoon & evening I detected NO transmissions at all on that frequency, while Newton's "old" frequency of 507.1875 maxxed out my counter... with digital stuff.

Previous updates:

11/6/2002Uniden Issues new "Fact Sheet" on their Digital Scanners, with new release date info

Click here for "all browsers" version of the fact sheet - just images, no ".pdf" stuff

10/30/2002: Here we go again!
Thank you "Shaun in Southern California" for the heads-up

Apparently there WAS a reason for the 250D's "disappearance" from the FCC website. It has reappeared once again tonight, but now with a new FCC ID Number: AMWUB315. Apparently Uniden's "Permissive Change" request (to cover it under the same type-acceptance as the 785D) didn't hold up, so the handheld has its own separate ID number. Which isn't the least bit surprising, as it's hard to imagine the two different packages having all the same characteristics, emissions, etc. (I wonder if the units already built will now have to have their labels ripped off and/or replaced with new ones with the correct FCC ID... more delays as they open every carton to remove every box to take out and unwrap every radio and re-label it, then repackage everything???)

The supporting documentation, photos and manual for the 250D all appears to be identical to that originally posted on September 30 (exactly a month ago) and linked to below, with these exceptions:

New (the THIRD!) Application for Type Acceptance, now with AMWUB315 ID Number, dated October 30, 2002

FCC's newest Grant of Equipment Authorization, ALSO dated October 30, 2002! (The government can work fast when they want to)

Repeated Attestation from Uniden, dated 10/29/2002, that the thing can't be readily altered to receive cellular phone frequencies

ALSO, check out the StrongSignals Webpage for possible new availability dates... already set back a bit from "November" but earlier than some OTHER rumors had them. < Sigh>

Hang on to your hats, kids (and maybe your money too??)

The two Uniden Digital scanners will NOT handle the "APCO Standard" 9600 baud rate for the control channel on some "APCO" digital TRUNKED systems.
(Conventional P25 systems like LAPD's should not be a problem, as they don't use trunking control)
See the site for more info

Now, my admittedly limited understanding is that many Motorola digital/trunked systems use 3600 baud rate, and are "almost fully P25 compliant." It might be many years and dollars before they would convert to 9600 baud, so in the meantime the 250D and 785D would apparently work. Is anyone sure, and is there someone with a list of who uses what?

For more information, there are a BUNCH of fairly redundant hobbyist email lists out there discussing these new scanners, but a couple that seem to be the largest and most active lately are:

Finally, there is a "technical discussion group" for APCO/TIA Project 25 information, primarily for folks in the private and public land-mobile business. Even if you don't/can't contribute, their files and message archives are full of good stuff at

and also take a look at

"The Case For APCO Project 25" - includes some explanations and specs

Click HERE for the proposed "Part 15" compliance label
(this is image is from the label for "AMWUB268," whichever scanner that is...)

Click HERE for the proposed "Tampering" warning label

The 250D "Preliminary" Manual!

The Uniden 250D has been Type-accepted by the FCC -- Here's the manual!

Alternate Link, if above is busy

Or, at the FCC website

If you don't have the Adobe Acrobat viewer for these ".pdf" files, here are some VERY rough translations:

"Rich Text Format" (.rtf) for Word Processing Programs

Plain Text (.txt) format

HTML format for WebTV or any "HTML only" viewer

Stand by for more info and links...

Click here for larger image, downloaded from FCC's website

Other images on FCC site:
Back of Unit - Battery Compartment

My speculation below appears to have been correct. Click here for Uniden's letter to the FCC dated last Friday requesting a "Class II Permissive Change"


As of Friday evening 9/27/2002 , two new documents have appeared on the FCC "Equipment Authorization" site in connection with Uniden's forthcoming digital scanners:

The "Grant" lists Uniden and a company called Timco Engineering, Inc of Newberry, FL. Timco Engineering is an FCC-designated "Telecommunications Certification Body" which does certification testing for a wide range of RF-emitting equipment. (On the first application only Uniden and "Uniden Corporation-Chiba" ? were listed)

There are no new "exhibits" or other descriptive information on the FCC site (yet), so it's not clear just what these documents signify. For example, perhaps the new Application & Grant cover the BC250D handheld. Of course it's the weekend, so probably no official word from anyone until next week.

I found a section in the FCC regulations that allows a company to apply for a "permissive change" in an existing equipment authorization without filing an entirely new authorization request. This applies when there are "modifications which degrade the performance characteristics" but the equipment still meets "the minimum requirements of the applicable rules." - 47CFR2.1043, FCC Equipment Authorization Procedures. It may be that the new documents reflect an application and grant for the BC250D handheld. I noticed that at least one large dealer today began advertising prices and accepting orders for the BC250D.

9/17/2002: FCC Says BC250D has NOT been type-accepted

In light of the discussion/debate about FCC type-acceptance of the forthcoming digital-capable scanners, on 9/17/2002 I telephoned Kenneth R. Nichols, who is Chief of the Laboratory Division of the FCC Office of Engineering & Technology. His office includes the
Equipment Authorization Branch. Mr. Nichols told me that the handheld scanner (the "BC250D") has NOT BEEN type-accepted by the FCC. He stated that the AMWUB316 type-acceptance applies ONLY TO THE BASE/MOBILE VERSION (the BC785D), and that the applicant has been advised of this. To Mr. Nichols' knowledge, the OET has not yet received any testing documentation for the handheld radio, which is what their authorization would be based on.

I didn't get into the issue of whether dealers in the U.S. may sell or offer for sale equipment that hasn't been type-accepted, or what - if any - penalties could be imposed for doing so.


UNIDEN claims that the August 22 type-acceptance covers both models !
(though I've never seen one FCC authorization that covered two completely different models, base and handheld)
Note, 10/30/2002: I TOLD you so!)

Radios are slated to ship in late November 2002

Dealers with 785D and 250D Information Online
Some are taking orders/reservations now!

The Ham Station, Evansville, IN

Scanners Unlimited, San Carlos, CA

Scanner World, Albany, NY

Grove Enterprises, Brasstown, NC

Communications Electronics Inc, Ann Arbor, MI

National Electronics, Shawnee Mission, KS

Hobby Radio Stop, Kettering, OH

Amateur Electronic Supply, Various Locations

Advanced Specialties Electronics, Lodi, NJ

"Grant of Equipment Authorization" (includes frequency ranges)

As it appears that some of the "BC785D" documents and images on the FCC site are from BC780 rather than the 785D or 250D, check back here periodically for updates, which I'll mark clearly.

For A "Trunk Tracking Digital Capable Scanner"

CLICK HERE FOR THE MANUAL ! But hold the phone, folks... glancing quickly through it, there's nothing about receiving digital.. looks like they're using the 780s manual template in place of the real thing. (pdf FORMAT - 2 MB)


Latest news from Grove's Site

Latest news from

---------- FROM JANUARY, 2002 ----------

Scroll down or click here for Monday afternoon update
Scroll down or click here for Tuesday afternoon updates
See photos (the 785 sure looks like a renovated 780XLT!) here

Revised and formally issued on Wednesday January 9, 2002

Electronics Giant to Sell Software to Customize MonitoringExperience

Uniden lifts the curtain on its long-anticipated APCO 25 digital scanner models.


LAS VEGAS (January 8) – Uniden America Corporation today unveiled its new digital scanner line for 2002, including the consumer electronics leader’s much-anticipated base and handheld APCO 25 digital scanning models. Speaking at CES, product manager Scott Carpenter showcased the new scanner products, underscoring the company’s commitment to keeping its customers at the forefront of scanning technology. “Our retailers have been pushing us for a Uniden APCO 25 product for months, and our new BC250D handheld and our BC785D base/mobile scanning unit represent the fulfillment of our promise,” Carpenter said. “With the ability to monitor conventional, trunked and APCO 25 conventional and trunked systems these models are state-of-the-art radio scanners.

According to Uniden representatives, the Bearcat BC250D and the Bearcat BC785D models, which are slated to hit shelves in late 2002, offer 1,100 channels, 10 banks and a frequency range of 25MHz – 1300MHz. The BC250D comprises all of the features of Uniden’s market-leading BC780 XLT in a handheld model, plus adds APCO 25 capability and an additional 600 channels. Users of both models must purchase an APCO 25 card, the BCi25D, separately. “We’re pleased to be bringing these great Bearcat APCO 25 units to market,” Carpenter said. “We expect more big cities to migrate to the APCO 25 digital technology, like Los Angeles did this past year, to ensure agency interoperability among police, fire, EMTs and the like – and we know news organizations, businesses and consumers will want to monitor their signals.”

Uniden officials stressed that APCO 25 digital scanning technology simply gives users the ability to monitor the day-to-day activities and signals of standard city and government service departments – but in no way allows users to monitor encrypted signals from national and local security organizations.

In a separate announcement Uniden also announced its plans to market its own easy-to-use scanner programming software, which it is demonstrating in its booth at this winter’s annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The software will allow the users of all Uniden scanners with data ports to easily program frequencies into the channels and banks of their scanner.

About Uniden Uniden America Corporation: the North American subsidiary of Japan based Uniden Corporation, manufactures and markets wireless consumer electronic products including cordless telephones, business telecommunications systems, multimedia communications devices, scanner radios, CB radios, FRS, Marine radios and other wireless personal communications products. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, Uniden sells it products through dealers and distributors throughout North, Central and South America.

For information, please contact:  
Name: Melody Townsel
Phone: 214-744-0095
Fax: 214-744-0110

More news and "specs"!

Here is further information about the scanners, obtained Monday 1/7/2002 from a Uniden insider courtesy of Marcel <Marcelrf@BELLSOUTH.NET >

?????= He will inquire

APCO P-25 digital voice trunking capability?   YES

APCO P-25 digital voice conventional capability?   YES

Ability to scan conventional digital, conventional analog, trunked analog, and trunked digital, and multiple different trunked systems ALL at the same time  

APCO P-25 UNENCRYPTED Digital Voice (IMBE Vocoder) Demodulation to analog voice?  

APCO P-25 UNENCRYPTED 9.6K baud trunking control channel operation YES

APCO P-25 UNENCRYPTED 3.6K baud trunking control channel operation  YES

APCO P-25 Level III ENCRYPTED 3.6K baud trunking control channel operation NO

APCO P-25 Level III ENCRYPTED 9.6K baud trunking control channel operation  NO

APCO P-25 UNENCRYPTED C4FM modulation ????

APCO P-25 UNENCRYPTED Phase II 6.25KHz CQPSK Modulation ????

APCO P-25 UNENCRYPTED Phase II 6.25KHz Channel Operation ?????


OpenSky trunking capability NO

OpenSky UNENCRYPTED Digital Voice (AMBE Vocoder) Demodulation to analog voice NO

PL / DPL search & display   YES

PL / DPL use per channel  

Tuesday afternoon updates, January 8, 2002 - 2:10 pm PST

According to a report by Norm "Mr. Scanner" Schrein at, "Each scanner will have a suggested retail price of $350.00 and will be available late in 2002." He also reports that "the Bearcat APCO 25 digital card -- the BCi25D...will be just over $300.00." The units will receive analog, do trunk-tracking, etc right out of the box, but if you need digital demodulation, you'll need the card.

Tuesday evening: a little price hike already...

From: "Spectron - Tom Walker" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2002 20:46

Subject: RE: Uniden scanners   I am at CES and had the opportunity to talk to a Uniden Manager.  Radio will be released end of 2002, desktop and handheld.  Aproximate pricing is about
$350 and a APCO-25 decoder card will add about $325-$350 to the price of thescanner.

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