REVIEW: by Charles Lowrance WA4MCK
Computer Aided Technologies
P.O. Box 18285
Shreveport, La. 71138
1-318-636-1234 Order Line.
1-318-686-0449 Fax 24 hour.
1-318-687-2555 Live tech support. - 9 AM. 1 PM.CST
NiteTime BBS - 1-318-631-3082 7 PM. 6AM.CST
For 35 years now, radio communications has been my main interest-anywhere from Low end broadcast to satellite TVRO. When I saw advertisements in most of the various communications magazines I was immediately interested In all the different scanner control programs, and downloaded most of them. I also downloaded the Scancat demo program from the NiteTime BBS.
I was very impressed with the simple start up and the ease of use. It did not take a manual to get the gest of the programming procedure, and by the way the manual does have a great index if you do need help. Scancat Gold is almost 2 Megs of files, and must be run from the hard drive. The opening screen show the main menu and it's divided into sub-menus - each controlling certain aspects of the radio that it is interfaced with. The selection of your radio is the first instruction. The list of support radios was well over 35 radios It covers Icom, Kenwood, Yaesu, AOR, R/S Pro2005/2006 and the OS456 plus many more.
Menu (A): invokes a sub menu that allows the input of data such as frequency , Mode , Step size. One feature that I like is you can change the Mode ( AM, FM, SSB, CW ) with a single keystroke. I like that, you can also change the frequency with the UP/DOWN key. Scancat Gold also gives you a great looking radio control panel screen view of what your receiver is doing, such as Frequency readout, Mode, Step size, and Relative signal strength.
Scancat Gold will allow you to create/edit/merge up to 15 files. This feature would let you custom create individual files. Example one for Ham radio, Shortwave radio file, VHF air band, etc. As you can see, the files that you can create are almost unlimited. This will let you program your receiver and it makes the radio/computer interface give you the full control that makes scanning a much more exciting experience. I found myself staying up late and trying to push the system to the limit. Another great plus with Scancat Gold is the ability to control your TNC like the MFJ-1278 or the PK-232 plus others. Scancat Gold can now give you full control of your receiver/scanner, plus your TNC automatically. Just think-load a file-say the 20 Meter band, and you can copy RTTY-PACKET-CW or any other mode that your TNC will support. Scancat Gold also has a spectrum analyzer built in that works very well I had a lot of fun with this feature.
This Utility is also included with Scancat Gold. The Utility will let you import frequency files from say a BBS frequency list, CD-ROM file, Ascii text files, plus many more, and Scanport will convert them automatically into a file that you can load into your receiver. Scanport will even remove dupes from the imported file-one great time saver. For those of you that don't like editing frequency lists for your computer control program to use with your receiver. You save time because now you don't have to enter each frequency, and the mode manually. Boy, how many hours have I spent doing just that.
Scancat Gold Ver 6. is well worth the price of $94.95. It more than makes scanning the fun it should be. I did not find any other scanner control program that would even come close to the power of Scancat Gold. Mr. Jim Springer the author and programmer of Scancat Gold is personally available for live tech. help at his Tech line phone number 1-318-687-2555 9am to 2pm CST Monday - Friday.
There is so much more about the program that I wish I could tell you about but it would take many more pages.
A must for anyone that love to monitor the radio spectrum.
I rate Scancat Gold Ver. 6 with a big A+