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Old 03-09-2018, 7:59 AM
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Question Old frequencies in DB

I know that typically after an entities frequency is submitted to the DB; it is up to we the monitors to determine if a frequency is still used, or not. But, I was recently wondering if there had ever been any discussion on an easier way to keep track of a frequecies status...

for example, with all the frequencies that are in the DB; how are the older, unused freqs being monitored to be "culled" from the DB. Would it be possible to have frequencies older than a year after submission; maybe turn a different color (other than the typical "yellow" or "green")? This would help others, like myself, get a visual indication of some of the older frequencies that might need checked on in our areas...

Just a thought,

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Old 03-09-2018, 11:09 AM
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Sounds reasonable to me.

It would also be good to allow entries to be given a thumbs up (perhaps with a reason - e.g. "I've heard this" or "corroborated by license database X") and/or flagged (e.g. as "listened, but could not confirm" or "confirmed as incorrect/invalid/no longer there" or similar).

This suggestion is similar to the interface of various voucher code websites who operate on a much shorter time-frames (e.g. hours or days versus months or years) but fundamentally have the same requirements.


Entries whose "last heard" date is greater than a given threshold (per the op's suggestion) or perhaps brand-new entries can then be flagged as needing an update/verification/corroboration from additional people in the area.

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Old 03-09-2018, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n8yid View Post
I know that typically after an entities frequency is submitted to the DB; it is up to we the monitors to determine if a frequency is still used, or not. But, I was recently wondering if there had ever been any discussion on an easier way to keep track of a frequecies status...

for example, with all the frequencies that are in the DB; how are the older, unused freqs being monitored to be "culled" from the DB. Would it be possible to have frequencies older than a year after submission; maybe turn a different color (other than the typical "yellow" or "green")? This would help others, like myself, get a visual indication of some of the older frequencies that might need checked on in our areas...
If a frequency in the database is no longer used and is reported as such, it is marked 'deprecated' in the database. Per the administrator handbook, the deprecated frequencies are to be deleted when they are truly obsolete.

This thread has more and may be of interest to you:

https://forums.radioreference.com/da...equencies.html
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Old 03-09-2018, 2:44 PM
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Thanks for the replies on this...

Ok, I'm looking at this with two main thoughts:

a) using it as an indicator for others to "check" its usage - then we can get to the marking it at the "deprecated" level;

b) looking at a way that we, the scannists, can help track these entities and be able to keep the DB up-to-date and free from unused frequencies. Using something along the lines of a visual indicator may help; giving someone the clue a frequency that was input over a year ago, may need checked...

I understand saving the unused frequencies from Public Safety arena in this case; but, find it useless in the less monitored areas, like business, schools, etc.... thinking it may be a good tool to help keep the "bloat" of unused frequencies from bogging down the Database...

Thanks,
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Old 03-10-2018, 1:13 PM
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I don't know whether this is practical in light of the DB's interactions with the FCC database, but would it be feasible to mark an entry in the DB if its FCC license has become inactive (expired, cancelled, etc.)?

The change in license status does not prove that the frequency is no longer in use, but it would be a good flag to check and verify it.
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Old 03-10-2018, 2:34 PM
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Gents,

Dave, that's kind of what I shooting for with this thought... but, I'm thinking not so much jumping right into DELETING frequencies... I am just looking for a way that we can get something to show when these entries were last "checked" or "field validated". Heck, even when they were input into the database...

I am in no way saying that entities with expired licenses are not used and should therefore be deleted... I've ran into expired license users numerous times... I'm just thinking of a way to give the radioreference user a way to "see" when some of these entries were input into the system; so, they can do their own checking to see if its worth putting into their radio. To do that, I was wondering if it was possible to have an entry, maybe, change color to signify the amount of time has passed since it was put into the database; and, could stand to be "field verified" for use...

Bear in mind, I DO NOT wish to make this more labor intense for the DB admins, etc...
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:27 AM
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The concept of periodic updating of frequencies and systems as (still) active is a good one. However, I see multiple reasons for it not being implemented:
  • the database (today) probably won't handle it; as an example, we already see lots of newer technologies (DMR, NXDN, and their attributes) being "jammed" into a system that wasn't designed for it; may a future system would account for "last heard/validated" field

  • it would have to be shown how that information would be used for the the consumers of that information (i.e. Win500, ProScan, EZ Scan, Sentinel, etc.); I have no numbers but I suspect most folks that use the information are getting it through their Premium subscription or one of the SD card based libraries provided with the newest scanners vs. actually spending time looking at the online database pages

  • you've already to some degree mentioned this but in some areas, it already takes weeks for the DB admins to react to and update submissions as it is (personal experience) - imagine what would happen if they started getting flooded with submissions to mark existing things as "still existing"; to make this work, there would probably have to be some type of (controlled) user "self-service" feature that allowed an extended group of authorized users (beyond only the DB Admins) to make these type of "minor" updates; this might be where the "value" could come in but it would require someone (admins?) to start asking users to help determine if those things not being updated as "still existing" are really still in use (and users may not really know for sure)

  • there is already lots of information missing from the database - either through the lack of user submission and/or RRDB policies the restrict listing all talkgroups, etc. because they are encrypted and/or someone can't provide very specific details of the talkgroup use; I'm personally more concerned about what is missing than what is old/outdated - I recently submitted an update for a new DMR system for a business near me. It replaced an obsolete Motorola system that used the exact same frequencies at the exact same location. I'll admit that I initially did not state that in the submission of the new system but it became obvious that if I didn't say something, both systems would continue to be listed (side by side). Sometimes it takes the admins asking these types of questions to determine if something old is still active so they can make those updates. However, I guess they don't because in many cases, they aren't anywhere near those locations and it doesn't really affect them. Having some admins closer to these various locations could help fix some of this. FWIW - I know of two systems in a Maryland county where this is occurring today - the new P25 system in that area was posted many months ago as using nearly all of the same exact frequencies as the old EDACS system (not possible) that it just replaced - and it is still that way today

As far as "expired" licenses - I do see quite a few licencess already labeled as such - I suspect some are through the FCC license data (which is not 100% by any means) while some other is probably DB admin (manually) updated.

And as I eluded to earlier, I am also finding that there are some areas where - for various reasons - users refuse to submit any updates.... to each his own.
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Old 03-11-2018, 12:32 PM
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Ah - another example:

https://forums.radioreference.com/in...ml#post2896664
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Old 03-11-2018, 1:13 PM
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Thanks for the input, Troy...

Ok, how about the bare minimum... having an entry display its date of entry into the DB? Even that would help in most cases (for what I would be looking for?)

Dave T.
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Old 03-11-2018, 1:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n8yid View Post
Thanks for the input, Troy...

Ok, how about the bare minimum... having an entry display its date of entry into the DB? Even that would help in most cases (for what I would be looking for?)

Dave T.
Yes - something that automatically stamps a date on the last time an entry was updated (or added) makes sense and wouldn't require additional effort... that data may actually already be in the database - but the page itself would still need to be changed....
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Old 03-11-2018, 2:45 PM
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Ok, now the $64 question....

How do we go about submitting this for possible implementation?
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Old 03-11-2018, 2:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n8yid View Post
Ok, now the $64 question....

How do we go about submitting this for possible implementation?
I'd suspect this thread has already done that for you....
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Old 03-11-2018, 7:14 PM
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I'll throw out an idea.

It might be possible to implement a "trusted" monitor/member to check to see if a freq is still active. I know in my area, some freqs aren't used for weeks on end and only used during special events or situations, speaking on the public safety area.

On the business arena, in my area, I know of some businesses that are strictly seasonal and are in business for 4 to 6 month of the year, then totally unused, minus the owner taking a buddy hunting in the mountains. I am also aware of some business that don't even own radios, but maintain their license, why? Honestly I don't know.

Some of our members travel, some more than others. So they would be able to check the areas they are in at that time.

That way we have a QC/QA of the data in the database.

Any data that is questionable would be tossed out the the "monitors" in the area and also to the traveling "monitors" to ask them to check if the information was still valid. They would Answer; Yes, the data is still accurate, or no traffic noted, or check to see if the data is not accurate IE "It is listed as a XYZ PD dispatch when in fact it is a EMS to Hospital channel.

These monitors would be a trusted source, volunteer.

Just throwing this out there.
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Old 03-11-2018, 8:02 PM
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Kb7gjy,
I like that idea. ... I would more than gladly volunteer for something like that. ..
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Old 03-12-2018, 12:36 AM
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I would say maybe have a bounty system to check if something is still used. A user could ask someone in an area to check it and if something changed, submit it.
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Old 03-12-2018, 7:05 AM
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My preference would be to have confirmation of hearing/seeing traffic as this is somewhat definitive - if you hear traffic then the frequency is definitely is use in that particular area (for one thing or another).

The reason I dislike the idea of submitting anything relating to not hearing traffic is, as quite rightly pointed out above, not hearing traffic doesn't tell you anything useful and would need verification/corroboration from some other authoritative source (e.g. personal knowledge of the users/licensees).

The benefit here is that users new to scanning or new to an area can then start/prioritise their listening on recently confirmed frequencies/modes (quick gratification, motivating) rather than chasing after something that was in use 5-15 years ago but is now quiet/rarely if ever used (dull, demotivating).



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Old 03-12-2018, 7:07 AM
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Similarly, for those asking about scanning - if you can see what is recently active in your area, it will give an idea about what frequencies/modes your scanning/radio equipment needs to support in order to hear what is active within your area.

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Old 03-12-2018, 12:10 PM
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First off.....
Thanks for everyone's feedback on this topic!

Second...
I, again, would be happy just to see a "Date Submitted/Entered" on each Entity, in the DB...

Third...
Again, I am not saying this is the prime motivator for DELETING frequencies on which nothing is immediately heard when monitored for a short time....Even in the current situation; a DB Administrator most likely doesn't monitor all the frequencies for his/her area of responsibility.; so how would he/she know to DELETE any frequency anyway. If I understand correctly, if a user submits information regularly enough in his, or her, area; typically a DB admin is going to know who he can, or cannot, trust with allowing things to be entered into, or deleted from, the DB...

Again, baby steps on this... Only asking for a "Date Submitted/Entered" per each entity...
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Old 03-12-2018, 12:24 PM
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Since everything here is pretty much user submitted I see no changes taking place. No sense in trying to reinvent the wheel.
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