sctl - Bearcat scanner control program

Quick information

Current stable version Current developer version Changelog Contact
None sctl-0.2.3.tar.gz Oct. 21, 2002 Changelog page reaper at obairlann dot net
Also, see the Sourceforge page at

A note about the current version

This version of the software is "late alpha," verging on beta. I have personally tested all of the features I can, and other engineers have tested features specific to the scanners I don't own. It's currently (August, 2004) very stable for me, with no bugs I've been able to detect. Chances are good that it will work for you as well, but keep in mind that it's still development code.


sctl is a program designed to control Bearcat model BC-895xlt scanners. It also controls the BC-245 and BC-780 scanners (780 still has limited functionality). It provides a command-line interface, and is extremely small (it would be described as "fast" too, but 9600 baud communication makes anything seem slow). It should work with any *nix system, and more targets will be tested as time goes on. It seems to run well on any reasonably modern Linux system.

I have of late been receiving enthusiastic help from Matthew Cashdollar, which I greatly appreciate. Unfortunately, he's moving faster than I am, so I'm having a hard time keeping up with him. The recent updates (0.0.4, 0.1.0 and 0.2.0 so far) are all his work.

Current capabilities include:

Capabilities slated for future releases:

Features I won't be adding:


In writing this program, I primarily consulted the Bearcat programming manual (as re-interpreted by me). I found that I was unable to use the original programming manual, and had to re-translate what they wrote into something that more closely resembled English. Note that the original documents are available on each page.

Bug reports, feature requests, etc.

I am open to bug reports and feature requests, but I ask your consideration - this is a side-project for me, and I haven't always got free time I can devote to it. I want to make it a useful program for people, though, so let me know what it should do. In the same vein, I'd like to know what's broken.

If you want to help, send me an email and we can discuss what needs to be done and what you're interested in doing. I'm particularly interested in enlisting the talents of someone who can do graphic design or tech writing (aka, making a logo or writing the manpage).

Please send any correspondence regarding sctl to me at reaper at obairlann dot net.

Copyright, GPL, etc.

As is becoming more and more common, this software is placed under the GPL. If you really want to thank me, send me an email or sing my praises on freshmeat or something. If you decide to incorporate this code into a commercial product, I'd like to know about it, and you must include the source code with credit for my work.

Source Archives

Version Status
0.2.3 devel. unstable, new sreport function.
0.2.2 devel. unstable, bugfixes, documentation updates, and new idreport function.
0.2.0 devel. unstable, changes submitted by Matthew Cashdollar, "dump" and "load" commands.
0.0.3 devel. unstable, changes submitted by Matthew Cashdollar, ~/.sctl config file, trunking with the 245, 245-only version command.
0.0.3 devel. unstable, changes submitted by Matthew Cashdollar, including BC245 compatibility, data, limit, search, and light commands.
0.0.3 devel. unstable, deals with either \r or \n equally well
0.0.2 devel. unstable, fixes \r line-end bug
0.0.1 devel. unstable, initial version