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Best way to organize systems/groups in 396XT for category retrieval?

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FurrySeaCoral

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Jan 24, 2010
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I am setting up my new 396XT for the first time, using freescan to load a bunch of freqs. Why doesn't the display show the site name when it is scanning (it shows the group name instead)? Right now I have the SQKs organized by geography. If I travel somewhere but then I decide I want to quickly pull up a certain kind of conversation, let's say there is a widespread power outage and I want to select the electric utility freqs I already have programmed in the scanner, what would be the easiest way to find it? Would I take along with me a printed spreadsheet of all of my freqs? That would seem like going back to cave man days.. does the 396XT have a way to "label" certain groups into interest categories? Bundling these under Systems or Sites doesn't work because the interesting freqs may span across different types of systems (conventional, P25, etc) and it would take a lot of work to reorganize the way these are pulled in from the radioreference db. Also I'm not sure if the 396XT will even display the Site names. hmmm maybe this is what the SQKs are supposed to do.. should I re-arrange SQKs according to interest areas and then bring along a spreadsheet saying what 0-99 means?
 
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sjlamb

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Location
Lakewood Ranch, Florida 34202
You need to study and learn how to use BOTH "System Quick Keys" and "Group Quick Key". You will never truly be able to properly organize and have selectable access to the various agencies or groups until you master the use of Quick Keys.

The top line of the display WILL alternate between the site and the group provided that YOU create site names and group names and program that display information. Until you learn and apply Quick Keys to the various sites and groups; you're just staggering drunk in the woods, so to speak. Tip: You can assign the same Quick Key to multiple sites and/or groups. For example; the same System Quick Key can be assigned to every tower site in your County's system. A single press of that assigned Quick Key will then literally activate / de-activate that entire County System.

Start by reading this post authored by RVictor: Read it, Learn it and Apply it....



With respect to conventional frequencies, there are SYSTEMS which contain one or more GROUPS. A GROUP contains one or more channels. For each channel you enter the frequency, alpha tag, and various other parameters that relate to that channel. There are no sites for conventional channels.

SYSTEM 1
.....GROUP 1
..........CHANNEL A
..........CHANNEL B
.....GROUP 2
..........CHANNEL C
..........CHANNEL D
SYSTEM 2
.....GROUP 1
..........CHANNEL E
..........CHANNEL F
SYSTEM 3
.....GROUP 1
..........CHANNEL G

With respect to trunked systems, there are SYSTEMS which contain one or more SITES and one or more GROUPS. In each SITE, you enter the frequencies for that SITE. For each GROUP you enter one or more TALKGROUP IDS. For each TALKGROUP ID you enter an alpha tag and various other parameters that relate to that talkgroup.

SYSTEM 4
.....SITE 1
..........FREQUENCY 1
..........FREQUENCY 2
..........FREQUENCY 3
.....SITE 2
..........FREQUENCY 4
..........FREQUENCY 5
..........FREQUENCY 6
.....GROUP 1
..........TALKGROUP ID 1
..........TALKGROUP ID 2
..........TALKGROUP ID 3
.....GROUP 2
..........TALKGROUP ID 4
..........TALKGROUP ID 5
SYSTEM 5, etc.

System/Site Quick Keys (SQKs) allow you activate and deactivate systems or trunked sites for scanning. For conventional systems, the SQKs are set at the system level. For trunked systems, the SQKs are set at the site level. There can be more than one system or site assigned to a SQK.

The single digit SQKs are toggled between active and inactive by pressing the corresponding key on the keyboard. The two digit SQKs are toggled between active and inactive by pressing the ./NO key followed by the two digits on the keyboard.

The display

S0:1234--7**0 indicates that SQKs 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 0 are active; SQKs 8 and 9 are inactive; and SQKs 5 and 6 are unassigned.

S1:12---678** indicates that SQKs 11, 12, 16, 17, and 18 are active; SQKs 19 and 10 are inactive; and SQKs13, 14, and 15 are unassigned.

Etc. to S9:12345678790

Each system can have up to 10 Group Quick Keys (GQKs). The indicator for the GQKs is the line below the SQK line and works the same way except that it only has ten possible values and therefore is only single digits. There can also be more than one group assigned to a GQK.

GQKs can be toggled active and inactive by pressing FUNC and the keyboard number while the scanner is scanning the particular system which contains the groups that you are controlling.

If you use software to program your scanner, you can assign the SQKs and GQKs as you set up your programming and can also set the initial state of the SQKs and GQKs.

Dick
__________________
WD9GRI
Milwaukee, WI
 
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RoninJoliet

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Jan 14, 2003
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ILL
Not sure this is what your looking for but, each SQK is #'d, and in each system in the "options menu" you assign the same # so if you have for ex: City of Chicago in SQK20, Group QK1 has the first "channel as the "Fire Dept"155.13, you can press "20.1""menu" and the scanner will go directtly to that channel...Maybe you already practice this but in time you start remembering where things are....Just an example...You must # every SQK and every channel or IDTG in trunk systems are there easier to find...
 

FurrySeaCoral

Member
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Jan 24, 2010
Messages
15
I'd like to clarify what I'm attempting to ask. RoninJoliet came close with "but in time you start remembering where things are." I found the post by RVictor earlier in my studies, it helped a lot... but:

For example right now I am listening to a freq and the text is alternating on the screen: Countywide / MetroNet&Central. "Countywide" is the Site name, but the Trunked System name that I have at the top level node above this is in freescan is called "OrangeCounty Depts." I am not sure if there's any way I can make OrangeCounty Depts appear on the scanner display and select between trunked systems at this level, by rotating the knob for example, this would help me to quickly get to high level groupings of interest.

I might be describing/wishing for a feature that doesn't exist in the 396XT? Instead of having to "remember" what the SQKs and GQKs mean (refer to a piece of paper or try to remember the number mappings) there could be a way to store the meaning of the SQKs in the scanner and then I could rotate the dial to select categories of interest.. for example it would be nice if could rotate through Electrical Utilities, Orange County, Animal Control, Police, EMS.... all of which correspond to one or more SQKs. I noticed there was something similar for the default Search categories but I couldn't quite decipher yet how to use Search in a practical way.
 

UPMan

Uniden Representative
Premium Subscriber
Joined
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Messages
13,287
Location
Arlington, TX
I normally rename the sites to something that actually is more descriptive (too many sites are named "Simulcast"...).

Some users just develop/use a common scheme for GQK'ing all their systems. For example:

GQK 1 : PD
GQK 2 : FD
GQK 3 : EMS
GQK 4 : Utilities
etc.

This way, no matter which system you are on you know how to quickly turn on / off specific agency types for that system.
 

torontokris

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Premium Subscriber
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Messages
1,625
Location
Toronto Canada
Rename your sites OrangeCounty1 or OrangeCountyW (if west tower)
That way you know the system name and which tower your hearing

As for groups everybody has their own method.
UpMan suggestion is good.

I use what I call the 7890 setup (I'm open to suggestions for a better /catchier name)
7 being west end 8 north 9 east 0 south groups
When you look at the keypad you can easily turn on west end groups etc.

That can work for both groups and systems.
 
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pdfdems286

Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Messages
1,680
Location
coastal/eastern Monmouth NJ
i'm not sure i have the best system in place,but here's what work's for me. with my first batch of dma scanner's i used the system/group's organization. i found it hard to keep the group thing organized.
my second round of dma scanner's, i take all the "banks" if you will and organize them into their own systems with no groups. ie:

system 1 - local/priority.
system 2 - north.
system 3 - south.
system 4 - state police trunk.
system 5 - local pd.
system 6 - county fire.

this way it make's it a breeze <at least to me> to select/deselect what i want too. with the add on of 99 system key's in the newer scanner's,it make's it easier. i can honestly say that i love my bcd396xt.
it's one of the best and most flexible scanning aid's.
 

W9BU

Lead Wiki Manager
Super Moderator
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Messages
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Location
Brownsburg, Indiana
I put the SQK in the system name, e.g. "21 SAFE-T Hend" for the Hendricks County SAFE-T site.

Then I put the GQK in the group name, e.g. "21-5 ISP D5" for the ISP Distict 5 talkgroups on the Hendricks County SAFE-T site.

Makes it easier to figure out what SQK and GQKs you selected to get you where you are and easier to read than the the S and G strings along the bottom of the display.
 

FurrySeaCoral

Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
15
Excellent ideas.. I think if I combine torontokris' suggestion of renaming the Sites to something more descriptive to include what the System is all about, and I really like W9RXR's idea to add the SQK number in the Site name. So for example I'd have something like:

System Orange County Depts
Sites:
1 OC CtyWide
1 OC Dispatch
1 OC Central

System Vancouver Winter Olympics
Sites:
8 VWO AthltVillage
8 VWO SkiTeams

etc..

For groups it sounds like that part is a bit trickier to come up with a good scheme..
 

FurrySeaCoral

Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
15
After renaming the Sites per the combined suggestions, now it makes a LOT more sense. So I have the quick key number programmed into the beginning of the Site name, and I changed the Site names to be more descriptive of what the System is all about. Without doing this, I can easily see how any newbie would be totally confused just like I was. If anyone is reading this from Uniden product design, here's a chance to make the product a lot easier for beginners. 1. Display the current quick key assignment for the Site name while the Site is active. 2. Show more characters on the display so that the more descriptive System name can be displayed alongside its child Site name.
 

FurrySeaCoral

Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
15
It already does this. Look at the bottom two lines of the display. You will see the active SQK when the scanner stops on a site.
You are right, I didn't even notice the quick key number is flashing. Then the only suggestion I have is to include the System name on the display.
 

W6KRU

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Messages
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Location
Oceanside, CA
You are right, I didn't even notice the quick key number is flashing. Then the only suggestion I have is to include the System name on the display.
Here is another tip. Suppose you have a lot of SQKs and you need to turn one on and you don't remember the QK. Just push Func. and then turn the scroll knob. The radio will go through the QKs and show you the name and the QK number in the same line as before. Once you know the QK, release Func. to resume scanning and punch the QK.
 
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