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Do I need all sites in a county enabled?

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jayb2468

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#1
New here, Crow Wing County, Uniden BCD536HP, I've scanned a lot in the vhf days, ham license, but never ARMER. Crow Wing has 5 sites I think, Baxter, Crosby, Jenkins, Garrison, Emily, Cass has several too, Pillager closest to me, leader seems strong too. Do I need these all enabled? or just the site closest to me which would be Baxter? I seem to be missing beginning words or even complete transmissions and I think it is because I am scanning too many items.

I'm only scanning ARMER, have crow wing, cass, state patrol, and North ambulance in my favorites list that I am using. I also have all cass sites enabled. I live in Brainerd, but want to listen to crow wing and cass if that is not too much to slow things down.

Crow wing, I'd like to hear the whole county, actually Cass too, but less important from my home location. And when I get this mastered, I'm going mobile too. Thanks. Jay KAØDYN
 

ofd8001

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#2
That's pretty much of a philosophical matter. If you want to monitor as much as you can, then the cost you pay is missing something coming in on another site. For example if your scanner is monitoring the Baxter site, then anything on the Pillage site won't typically be heard.

You'll know if you are in Range of a site as the scanner will "dwell" on a site for about 2 seconds if it receives control channel data. If the scanner seems to pass over a site, as in not "dwelling" on it, then it is too far and you might wish to avoid it.

Here is what I would do: I'd program my Favorites List ARMER System with those sites you might monitor both home and mobile. Then assign one Department/Site Quick Key (such as 80) to those sites only in your home area. A different Department/Site Quick Key (such as 81). When at home, I'd turn off Department/Site Quick Key 81 so I'm listening just to those "local" sites. When I went mobile, I'd turn on Department/Site Quick Key 81 so I can begin listening to the distant sites (in addition to the "local" sites).

These scanners are very flexible and you can get to the same result through a variety of ways. The best thing is to do some experimenting to see what works best for you.
 

rwier

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#3
For my home listening (scanners rarely move, antenna on the roof), I use the analysis features of the HP-1(E)s to determine the Site with the overall preferable signal for each TG I wish to hear. This, of course, also identifies the active CC. I trim the data down to a single frequency (CC) from a single Site. I then give those TGs associated with that Site their own FL, ScanList, etc., even then limiting the total number of TGs per Scanlist, or FL, to about ten, or so. In the case of a very large TRS, where I may end up with 20+ (desirable) TGs associated with a single Site/CC, I will figure a way to create multiple FLs, or ScanLists, allowing the smaller number of TGs per FL,or ScanLIst. This is normally done by duplicating the large TRS (and doing a lot of name changing) so that the scanner treats, what are actually duplicate Sites and CC Frequencies, as unrelated data.

For travel, outside of my home County (Maricopa), and especially if out of state, I use all Sites, CCs, and CC alternants, when attempting (lol) to monitor a portion of an unfamiliar TRS.

In between (out and about in Maricopa County), there are several TRSs with desirable TGs that are not receivable at home. For these, I usually end up with something in between the above two examples. This could be 2, 3, or even 4 Sites, per FL or ScanList being monitored. These entries are determined by a ongoing subjective reflection as to the listening pleasure in regard to any individual TRS entity (trial and error).
 
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ofd8001

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#4
The Minnesota ARMER system is a pretty complex system. It's possible that some talkgroups can "show up" in multiple sites, occasionally. This would happen if a user "roams" from one site to another. Once that user leaves the "roamed" site, the talkgroup no long is on that other site.

In some instances, such as the state patrol, the main dispatch talkgroups are "pushed" to all sites in the district area, even if a trooper is not close to a given tower.

When I'm in Minnesota, I've got three Favorites Lists. One is for the Minneapolis area and another for the East Grand Forks area, which are the two primary destinations. My third FL is for the entire state for when I'm going from point A to B. (While I could use the full database and let my GPS device sort out which should and should not be turned on, I have a decent list of Radio Unit IDs, which require the use of a Favorites List).
 

rwier

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#5
" ... or just the site closest ... "
When TRS monitoring scanners first came out, I spent about 18 months hearing practically nothing of interest. I had my programming (I hate to call it that) fixated on a Site about two miles away on a mtntop, visible (from the Captain's Chair) out my rear sliding glass doors. Only after acquiring my first HP-1(E), and falling in love with its "Analysis" features, did I (start to) understand the relationship between Sites and TGs. That nearby Site, while listed in nearly all of Maricopa County's many Public Safety related TRSs as a viable and active Site, now only shows up in my scanner for some "rarely" monitored, and obscure TRSs and their associated TGs.
 

peq387ab

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#6
I monitor the Crow Wing and Cass County area a lot during the summer when I go to the lake. With those sites that you are mentioning, program in all of them, do Pillager, Leader, and Brainerd and any other ones that you can get and scan them all. Pillager broadcast both Crow Wing and Cass County 24-7. Also Leader does Cass 24-7 and Crow Wing about half. Brainerd site will broadcast both Cass and Crow Wing. Also all theee of those sites will pickup Morrison County as well too.
 

jayb2468

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#7
Could someone share a Minnesota or Crow Wing or Cass County favorites list with me? I'd post mine but don't see where to. and I'm a rookie so doubt if it would do any good.

I can't seem to send a private message or an email, maybe because I'm not a premium subscriber.

my email address is jayb@aol.com

Thanks in advance. Jay
 

peq387ab

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#8
Sorry, with me living close by and venturing that way often, i am not on that scanner, I do have configuration for the HP 1 and Pro 197s
 

ofd8001

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#10
Attached is a zipped file of the Minnesota ARMER system HPE file I have.

Once the zipped file is downloaded, it should extract to F82 Minnesota State.hpe.

From there, start your Sentinel, click File> Import from HPE file. A window pops up and you'll probably want to create a New Favorites List. After giving it a name, click OK, then a Windows File Explorer window opens so you can locate that HPE file that was extracted. When you find it, highlight it and click OK. It then loads into your Sentinel.

This is for the whole state of Minnesota. You could delete the sites and departments that are not of interest to you. However, my suggestion is change the Avoid from Off to On. That way if you travel elsewhere in Minnesota, all you have to do is change the Avoids for the area you are going to.
 
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Faribault County, MN
#11
"or just the site closest to me which would be Baxter?"

Since Brainerd is the county seat I would expect the Baxter site to carry all of the MN State Patrol, CW County Sheriff, Fire, and EMS traffic.

I have my scanners setup "by Talkgroup", instead of "by Site". I can listen to the State Patrol, but most of what they do is out-of-my-area anyway. And anything that is important (to me) or cross-jurisdictional, starts as a "SR Call" from the State Dispatch/ Rochester, or as a County Dispatch call to the State Patrol Dispatch.

Also have "ID Search" enabled so if any ARMER radio keys up in my county I see it on my log.
 
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