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Old 10-11-2008, 12:19 PM
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Default Kent County Programming Help

Using a BCD996T and have ARC996Pro and bcTools. Everything works except I'm a user of the old Bank system of setting up a scanner.

This System/Group/Quick Key stuff is I'm sure a lot better but I'm looking for an example of how best I can implement this new approach. I'm sure there are lots of variations but I'm hoping someone in Kent Cty or close by could share a file with me that could get me started in the right direction. Either a file for ARC or Tools would work.

If this isn't possible, can anyone point me in the direction of an article or some generic examples of a good way to setup and get started.

I'm thinking that perhaps a setup that would let me quickly scan a few frequencies that when active could then let me open additional frequencies to follow the action. Does this make sense?

Anyway any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 10-11-2008, 8:10 PM
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I'll wager there are so few scannists in the Kent area (that know about RR, anyway...) that it's unlikely to get much attention. However, I'll throw something out here, and let others tear into it.

If it were me (sure wish it was - don't have the money for a 996 right now...) I would set up 1 system, 1 site with 2 groups - one for fire, one for police. Since the portables tend to have different channel configurations, I'd align the groups along those same lines. You would then need 1 system quick key, 1 site quick key and 2 group quick keys. If all you were interested in was fire, I'd keep the police group locked until needed, and vice versa.

There's so little in our database for that area, it doesn't make much sense to make a lot of little groups out of it, but I guess you could.

If we examine the map in the database, you have Cecil to your north (not much good there - their system is unmonitorable), and Queen Anne to your south (monitorable). If you are reasonably close to the water, depending on where you are and your antenna situation, it might be possible to get Anne Arundel, Baltimore county, Baltimore city and Harford county. You're probably in a fairly quiet area, so a discone or ScanTenna (and maybe even a preamp in line) would get you a great deal - and as it's so quiet, I wouldn't ignore milair possibilities, either. Nor would I ignore any marine stuff...

There are even some digital possibilities. For AIS decoding you would need a seperate discriminator-tapped scanner (so you can use your 996 for other things), and for ACARS, just a simple connection from the speaker to a line in will do (again, using another scanner so you can use the 996 for other things). That might be a quite impressive way to go from such a quiet (chuckle) area. Oh hell I'd better stop while I'm ahead - I think I'm actually getting jealous...(hi)

http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/AIS

http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/ACARS

Even an old 895 scanner - which can be had very cheaply - once it's tapped (we have the directions in our wiki) would be more than suitable for both apps. These radios can be had for less than USD100 real easy. In fact, I've seen 2 or 3 on the lists lately...

You have some thinking to do, clearly. A spreadsheet to organize your freqs might be in order to get your ducks in a row. I think there's examples of one in the 996 Yahoo group - if not, I'm sure the 396 Yahoo group has a couple, which I can send you if needed 73 Mike
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Last edited by ka3jjz; 10-11-2008 at 8:37 PM..
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:31 AM
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Default Kent County Programming Help

Mike......first let me say thanks for the detailed response and suggestions. I've looked a little more and if I focus initially just on Kent County, my thinking is:
System - "Kent County" then the following groups within the Kent County System......

Groups -
Police......Fire....Ham Radio....Medevac....Marine....CB....Business....MD Local DNR....Coastal Marine....USCG LANT

If I try this as my initial setup, what I'd like to have is perhaps a Group I'd call Primary and within this group maybe I have just the police dispatch, fire dispatch, marine ch 16 etc......the idea being if something is happening I can then open up other groups and listen to it all and not be scanning 100's of frequencies. Does this make sense?

I can hear the the Eastern Shore consortium, Queen Anne and Talbot counties and I can hear the western shore very well.....I live in Rock Hall on Swan Creek, just 1/2 mile off the bay.

I've done the AIS thing using an old marine ht tapping into the discriminator. It worked just fine but I felt I could hear more with a newer better receiver. Never tried ACARS but it looks easy and worth checking.

Went looking for a worksheet and found one as you suggested in the Uniden Forum.....good idea.

Just FYI, I've run a weather web site http://www.belcak.com for the past 2 years. I stream the Sudlersville weather on my site. NOAA and Weatherunderground use my stream for their sites.

Thanks again for your help......any suggestions you may have are appreciated.....are you active on any of the ham bands?

Enjoy the weekend.

Steve
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Old 10-12-2008, 11:25 AM
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I wish I was more ham active - I live in a condo, and recently had to take all of my antennas out of the attic due to some physical problems. I ended up having to sell just about every ham item I had when I was out of work for over a year. Suffice it to say that right now, I can't afford to do much with that...

Anyhow, I can see where you are going with your setup. It's not a bad idea, frankly. However, you didn't say much about what antenna you are using - and this would also help with AIS, as well as ACARS and anything else you might be interested in. Given where you are I kinda doubt you're going to end up with hundreds of frequencies. In most of those categories you've listed, you're well short of that. The LANT channels are something I've never seen listed anywhere for our state, so if you did find them, it certainly would be interesting to get them listed and entered into our database.

I probably wouldn't use CB as a group though - if you happen to run into some long-winded chap, it's likely to tie up the scanner big time. CB, like the ham 10 meter band, isn't going to be real active right now - but when the solar cycle starts to kick in, you might find that you would have that group locked out more than actually used. Too, not all channels will be receivable on the 996; if memory serves, channels 16 and 36-40 are usually SSB, which the 996 is not equipped to handle.

I have some of the DNR channels entered in an old 895 here, and from time to time, they can get kinda interesting, particularly when some rescue ops are in play. I would likely put that third, medevac 4th.

Clearly with a good antenna, you're going to hear more - no question.

I trust you've added links to RadioReference and the various forums and wiki on your website, right? I'll have to check it out when I get back to work on Tuesday (audio on a crummy dialup sounds...well...crummy...)

73 Mike
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Old 10-12-2008, 12:07 PM
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OK Mike.....

Antenna is a 2 meter ringo that is mounted up in the attic.....scanner is in my office.....not the best ant for sure but better than something just plugged into the back of the scanner. Since it's in the attic, it's easy to replace and it's probably a late fall early winter project....any recommendations?

I tried the AIS thing but after a while got just a little tired of watching boat synbols move up and down the bay...am I missing something.......been thinking maybe ACARS is more of the same?????

As far as the LANT freq. - not sure where I got them and also not sure that they are specific to MD. If ur interested, I send a file of what I have and you can decide if u think they are worth anything.

OK on the group recommendations....like I said, my idea is to scan the dispatch and emergency freq. and then if something sounds interesting I can open up the specific group and listen to all of the channels.....does that make sense? Now there are exceptions.....big holiday weekends and I listen to the marine frequencies....it can land up being a comedy of errors, sailboats running aground, people can't back into their slip, speed boats cutting across guys who are trolling and on and on!

One more questions.....do you have a recommendation on what you have found to be the best setup for hold time and delay time? You mentioned the issue of long winded transmissions.

Regarding RR links......send me a PM with a list of what you think I should add and I'll make sure to put them on my links page.

Have a great day Mike.....any more ideas about setting up my groups is always welcome!

Steve
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Old 10-12-2008, 1:43 PM
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Always set your hold/delay times to 0 unless you want to wait on something. In fact, if you haven't seen this, this online manual is a much better read for the 996 then the Uniden one...

http://myweb.cableone.net/marksscanners/996/996.html

Re the antenna - while a 2m ringo will probably work just fine for the Kent public safety stuff, the further off you go in frequency, the less it will perform well (it will hear, to be sure, other freqs but nowhere near as well as you should). Of course, outdoors - even on the roof - would be far better as you will get away from the attenuating effects of all the surrounding stuff in the attic. A ScanTenna (available from MANY places) or a Discone (such the one Icom sells) will do a far better job when you are wandering that far off the beaten path (and that would become evident if you started searching business bands outside of the VHF Hi band...). Of course low band (27 mhz) reception would be iffy in any case, but who needs to hear CB anyway (hi)?

In fact, if you are in homebrewing state of mind, the off center fed dipole in the wiki has long been regarded as a winner. Just keep in mind that it has been found that the wider the diameter of the elements, the more broadbanded it tends to be. We have lots of possibilities in the scanner antennas wiki.

As for links from RR - it would make perfect sense to have the NOAA website for other frequencies in the area, the Kent County RR database page, and the Kent County ARS site. Of course a general link for both the RR site itself and the home page of the wiki would be right on target too. I'll get those first 3 links, along with the off center dipole link, in a moment....73 Mike

[edit] and here they are - the off center fed dipole can be found in the homebrew section of:
Scanner Antennas: http://wiki.radioreference.com/index...anner_Antennas

Kent County database page
http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=1202

Kent County Radio Society (Ham)
http://www.k3ars.org/

NOAA Maryland page
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/CntyCov/nwrMD.htm
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Last edited by ka3jjz; 10-12-2008 at 1:54 PM..
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:10 AM
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im in kent co MARYLAND and were on hi band not trunked,kent co DE is,im not shure what county your in but the rr files for kent,md are all you should need.
Quote:
Originally Posted by evets-md View Post
Using a BCD996T and have ARC996Pro and bcTools. Everything works except I'm a user of the old Bank system of setting up a scanner.

This System/Group/Quick Key stuff is I'm sure a lot better but I'm looking for an example of how best I can implement this new approach. I'm sure there are lots of variations but I'm hoping someone in Kent Cty or close by could share a file with me that could get me started in the right direction. Either a file for ARC or Tools would work.

If this isn't possible, can anyone point me in the direction of an article or some generic examples of a good way to setup and get started.

I'm thinking that perhaps a setup that would let me quickly scan a few frequencies that when active could then let me open additional frequencies to follow the action. Does this make sense?

Anyway any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks
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