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New User / Getting Started Forum The place for new users to discuss how to get started, and generally feel safe from the rest of the rabid technical community. If you just got your first scanner, this forum is for you.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-24-2013, 10:38 AM
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Default Newbie needs help with bcd996xt

I got a brand new Uniden bcd996xt this week and I am working on getting it setup. I installed freescan and loaded up the scanner with all the new england channels. I drive around the area a lot and will be getting a mobile antenna but for now it just sits on my desk. Now I have all these channels but nothing happens...... Where to start?
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:57 AM
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Just do a search on this website and many of the same questions have been asked. Yep digitals arent easy to program for the novice.
Standard replies is to look at Easier to Read BCD996XT Digital Scanner Manual
Programming Your Uniden Scanner - The RadioReference Wiki

Also its for a 396xt but works fine for a 996XT,
FreeScan User Guide - The RadioReference Wiki
See near the bottom for the two video links. Take note of my reply on the videos.

Original thread where it started Freescan Programming Videos
Quote:
For video demos on how to use this software check the links below. FreeScan Video 1 FreeScan Video 2

Correction on the videos it says to put a check mark by each system you want to load into the scanner at the 'system quick key editor'. Actually the check marks are for those systems you want enabled to be scanning upon finishing the upload to the radio. The check marks for what systems you want to load into the scanner are done at the 'Send wq scanner' window

Last edited by Ronaldski; 12-24-2013 at 11:02 AM..
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:19 PM
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Are you saying the scanner powers up properly and the display shows that it's scanning channels/talk-groups, but no transmissions are being received? I'm guessing you have the stock whip antenna connected for now? Did you populate FreeScan with RadioReference databases for your geographic area? Without knowing anything else right now, you'd need to make sure you've downloaded frequencies you can receive from your location. Using the stock whip, and depending on house construction and outside terrain, you'd be lucky to pick up transmissions from a 10 to 15 mile radius. If you're in the middle of nowhere, and New England has plenty of that, you'd be hard pressed to hear anything.
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:25 PM
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Didn't the scanner come with a metal telescopic whip antenna? Plug it in you should get something.
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:29 PM
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I'm going to suggest starting "small".... I don't know if "new england" channels means everything from Maine to New York or just Boston. So, start out with your local city/county. Make use of start up keys and/or quick keys to keep the number of channels scanned to a minimum. If your scanning 1000 channels, but only 20 are within range, you stand a pretty good chance of missing a lot of stuff.

Same thing goes for large trunked systems, there's no need to scan every frequency for every tower in the state if only 2 towers are within range.

I think we'll need a bit more info on who/what/where you're trying to scan, though, to help much more.

Jeff.
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Old 12-24-2013, 2:32 PM
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maybe I bit off more than I can chew, I loaded the scanner up with all new england channels. I have now cleared the scanner and will start small I guess. I will populate freescan with the radioreference database for my local county here in southern NH and go with that.
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Old 12-24-2013, 2:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JStemann View Post
I'm going to suggest starting "small".... I don't know if "new england" channels means everything from Maine to New York or just Boston. So, start out with your local city/county. Make use of start up keys and/or quick keys to keep the number of channels scanned to a minimum. If your scanning 1000 channels, but only 20 are within range, you stand a pretty good chance of missing a lot of stuff.

Same thing goes for large trunked systems, there's no need to scan every frequency for every tower in the state if only 2 towers are within range.

I think we'll need a bit more info on who/what/where you're trying to scan, though, to help much more.

Jeff.
I want to scan local police and emergency services, I will reprogram it this week.
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Old 12-24-2013, 3:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JStemann View Post
I'm going to suggest starting "small".... I don't know if "new england" channels means everything from Maine to New York or just Boston.
No bigger way to offend a New Englander than to imply that New York is part of New England :-)

For the OP, do you get any activity? Can you receive any weather channels?
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Old 12-24-2013, 4:38 PM
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Default Where in Nh exactly?

I just picked up one of those scanners this past weekend and have a whole bunch of programming files and a cable of you need any help. I am in Nashua.
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Old 12-26-2013, 9:53 AM
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I have cleared the scanner out and it is back to factory settings with no channels. I live in Stafford county nh, so I will start with that and go from there. What is the best way to program it? Free scan and the import feature?
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Old 12-26-2013, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unhcp View Post
I have cleared the scanner out and it is back to factory settings with no channels. I live in Stafford county nh, so I will start with that and go from there. What is the best way to program it? Free scan and the import feature?
That is the easiest way.
When you import from RR to the software, you'll need to set a Quick Key and Group Key. The Quick Key will be the county location on the scanner, and the Group Keys will be for the different county public service and cities in the county. Name the file. Upload it to the scanner and you should be ready to go
If you have more questions, please ask. I do have a 396XT and a 15X and use nothing but FreeScan to program.
HTH,
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Old 01-06-2014, 2:23 PM
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just got back today, so going to work on this programming thing.
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Old 01-06-2014, 2:56 PM
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Is it possible to program all of new england? or will that just cause more problems than its worth?
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Old 01-06-2014, 3:42 PM
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There's no need to post the same question more than once...

I would start by programming your home area - wait to program the areas in New England that you travel to, so you have some time to learn all the nuances of programming using DMA. As a base station, you're not going to hear all of NE anyway. Later on you can program the NE states to which you travel, and learn how to use Location Based Scanning...walk before you can run, my young paduwon...

Just my 2 pfennig...Mike
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Old 01-06-2014, 3:44 PM
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ok so i started doing NH, I set my quick keys for the system but after I do 9, keys for a group within the system it says no more quick keys are free, is this a problem?
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Old 01-06-2014, 3:54 PM
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It kinda sounds like you're mixing up quick keys here. There are several 'quick key' types, but the basic ones are:

a. System Quick Keys - used on conventional systems
b. Site Quick Keys - used for trunked systems. All trunking on XT scanners is done at this level. The system is simply a logical gathering point for all sites for this system
c. Group Quick Keys - in a conventional system, these groups will contain frequencies; for trunked systems, talkgroups. There are only 10 available

Keep in mind that you will not be able to hear all of NH just sitting with a telescopic antenna indoors. Concentrate on your home county (as Jstemman suggested) - that should be more than enough to get you familiar with all the ins and outs.

I would step back and do some reading. We have an article in our wiki which is geared toward folks just getting started (anything blue is a link). I'd spend some time with the Easier to Read manual (as Ronaldski suggested) and the links found here...(the Easier to Read manuals links are all found at the bottom of this article)

Program your DMA Scanner - The RadioReference Wiki

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Old 01-06-2014, 3:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ka3jjz View Post
It kinda sounds like you're mixing up quick keys here. There are several 'quick key' types, but the basic ones are:

a. System Quick Keys - used on conventional systems
b. Site Quick Keys - used for trunked systems. All trunking on XT scanners is done at this level. The system is simply a logical gathering point for all sites for this system
c. Group Quick Keys - in a conventional system, these groups will contain frequencies; for trunked systems, talkgroups. There are only 10 available

Keep in mind that you will not be able to hear all of NH just sitting with a telescopic antenna indoors. Concentrate on your home county (as Jstemman suggested) - that should be more than enough to get you familiar with all the ins and outs.

I would step back and do some reading. We have an article in our wiki which is geared toward folks just getting started (anything blue is a link). I'd spend some time with the Easier to Read manual (as Ronaldski suggested) and the links found here...(the Easier to Read manuals links are all found at the bottom of this article)

Program your DMA Scanner - The RadioReference Wiki

Mike

I was referring to group quick keys, it maxes out at 9. So what do you do after there are 9 groups in your system?
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Old 01-06-2014, 4:00 PM
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According to our db, there aren't any trunked systems in Strafford County that you could hear (there's a TRBO system, but no scanner can decode that).

Strafford County, New Hampshire (NH) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

I would rethink how you are building your groups. There are many ways to go about that. You could, for example, have a system for each topic in the database, then 1 or more groups for the frequencies. So you'd have a few system QKs, and use just 1 or 2 group QKs for each, but that's only one idea. You may have others, and be perfectly valid. Mike
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Last edited by ka3jjz; 01-06-2014 at 4:03 PM..
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Old 01-06-2014, 4:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ka3jjz View Post
According to our db, there aren't any trunked systems in Strafford County that you could hear (there's a TRBO system, but no scanner can decode that).

Strafford County, New Hampshire (NH) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

I would rethink how you are building your groups. There are many ways to go about that. You could, for example, have a system for each topic in the database, then 1 or more groups for the frequencies. So you'd have a few system QKs, and use just 1 or 2 group QKs for each, but that's only one idea. You may have others, and be perfectly valid. Mike
ok, so basically have the groups be bigger than just a few frequencies. I have groups right now with very limited number of frequencies in them, I guess I will have to make them bigger?
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Old 01-06-2014, 4:44 PM
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You don't have to make any group a certain size. There are limits to how many freqs you can have in a group, but with what we have in the database you're in no danger whatsoever of approaching those limits. You could even have just 1 frequency in a group, and it would be entirely valid

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