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BCD436HP: GPS Location Based Scanning

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#1
Ok,
So I'm going on a work trip (eastern PA to Detroit area) tomorrow, and just got the GPS attachment for my 436. What I'm not sure I understand correctly is how the GPS works when scanning the "full database" (ie, not using a favorite list).

If I select the Full Database as the only list to monitor, and attach the GPS, and then "Set Location" with "Auto Locate", will the scanner continuously update based on my range (0 miles)?

Or do I need to create a favorite list with PA, OH, and MI, and turn "location control" on in that favorite list?

Thanks in advance.
 

UPMan

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#2
Auto Locate has nothing to do with GPS. When the scanner detects the GPS, it will ask if you want to use it. Say yes. Channels that match your selected service types will be continuously selected and scanned as you drive.
 

ofd8001

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#3
Typically what I'll do is create a Favorites List for my ultimate destination. When I'm traveling from home to my destination, I'll use the full database and let the GPS "do its thing" as I'm going along my way.

When I arrive, I'll turn the full database off and turn the applicable Favorites List on. I use a Favorites List at the destination because the full database has a lot more stuff for the area than I'm interested in.

I think you'll find traveling with a GPS/scanner setup to be a pleasant experience.
 
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#4
Hmm. Already used it in the car this afternoon, and got no "request" to use GPS, however there WAS the "GPS" indicator at the bottom of the screen.

What does it use for "range"? Default to 0 miles?
 

ofd8001

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#5
It uses whatever you set via the Range button or in Sentinel. Strictly user preference.

Range is a tough concept to grasp at first. Think of circles, the system you are trying to receive as one circle and your scanner as another. The radius of the "System circle" is established in the database. The radius of the "Scanner circle" is what you set. When the two circles overlap, the scanner attempts to receive.

For example a system has a range of 30 miles and your scanner is set at 0. You'll need to be 30 miles or less from the system's center point. However if you set the range to 10, then when you get within 40 miles, the scanner will attempt to receive.

Thus a larger range set by keypad or Sentinel essentially is widening the net cast by the scanner. Its strictly your choice how wide you want the net. Since its easily changed you can experiment.

I don't recall seeing any message when I first connected a GPS device to my scanner. (I use a 536, the mobile version of the 436 in my truck and its always connected). That GPS indicator tells you a GPS device is attached and is receiving.

There are a couple of things you can do to confirm that GPS data is being received by the scanner. I posted one that you can search for the other day. The second way is to unplug the GPS and enter a zip code of 55407 in your scanner. You should see the scanner attempt to load Minneapolis "stuff" as that is the Minneapolis zip code. Then connect the GPS device, give it a few minutes to start receiving satelittes. The scanner should then load "stuff" for where you are.
 
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#6
OFD: Thanks for the clarification. I understand the range definitions perfectly, I was just unsure what the unit used when connected to GPS. As soon as I get a GPS lock next time, I'll double check the RANGE value. Should have a lot of right seat time tomorrow to fiddle around as I'm driving out with my boss, and he prefers to drive.
 
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#8
OFD: Thanks for the clarification. I understand the range definitions perfectly, I was just unsure what the unit used when connected to GPS. As soon as I get a GPS lock next time, I'll double check the RANGE value. Should have a lot of right seat time tomorrow to fiddle around as I'm driving out with my boss, and he prefers to drive.
The radio should default to zero range if using the GPS, otherwise there is no reason to use GPS. You want it to pick systems and channels WHERE YOU ARE, and not somewhere else.

Mark
WS1095/536/436/996P2/HP1e/HP2e/996XT/325P2/396XT/PRO668/PSR800/PRO652
 

ofd8001

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#9
The radio should default to zero range if using the GPS, otherwise there is no reason to use GPS. You want it to pick systems and channels WHERE YOU ARE, and not somewhere else.
This is a situation where reasonable minds can differ. I like the ability to "reach out" a little farther, especially when I'm traveling. That way if there is something going on (an accident for example) that may affect my travel, I can think about a detour before getting stuck in the middle. So I bump up the range to 10-20 miles.

Also the way departments within systems are set up in the database, their range is confined to the geographic area they serve. However in many cases, reception can occur much farther away.
 
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#10
You can change the range of systems in a favorites list so that they activate faster, but not the full database. In areas that are known, this helps without generally increasing overall range.

I am not sure you can increase the scanner range while using GPS. Never tried.

If you could, when using the full database would not know how much or when to increase range for the accident scenario. Who is to say that the system can be heard outside it's reported range?

Also, increasing the overall range would increase the number of systems, decreasing the chance you would hear the accident broadcast in that scenario.

Like you said. Differing thoughts.

Mark
WS1095/536/436/996P2/HP1e/HP2e/996XT/325P2/396XT/PRO668/PSR800/PRO652
 

ofd8001

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#11
Just so both sides of the discussion are presented so that others can choose. . .

I can change the Range value on my scanner via the RANG button to more than 0 when a GPS device is connected. Essentially increasing the range of the scanner increases the database ranges.

The rules of the database are such that ranges are based on service area of an entity. So a city serving an area that is 5 miles in radius will have a range of 5 miles. However in many instances I can receive their transmissions much more than 5 miles away. For example I live 40 miles away from Elizabethtown Kentucky. The database shows a 20 mile range, so with location control, that system would be off. Still I hear them perfectly.

I'll grant the point that if you try to hear 20 miles ahead, you are also going to hear 20 miles behind. However in my 39 years of public safety experience, big incidents means more radio traffic so it won't be long before you start hearing something. Also I've done a fair amount of traveling and I've never come across an incident that I didn't hear about before I got there.
 
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#12
Update (after the road trip):

The scanner DOES NOT ask me if I want to use the gps, it just uses it. Not sure if it adjusts the default range to 0, as I had it set to 0 before plugging in the GPS.

As to the functioning, I guess it worked perfectly. We really didn't hear anything other than police pull-over calls (location of the stop, number of passengers, license plate - you know the schtick). it took several hours to figure out how to get my favorite list of CB channels to scan - as they were all defined as service type "other", and when turning on "other", we'd get a lot of garbage comms that we didn't want to hear. Finally changed CB channel 19 to "Police Talk" and was able to scan that as well. I'll create a custom service type for CB/FRS/GMRS/HAM so that I can switch only those on.

So bottom line - worked as advertised. It was an uneventful trip (no accidents, etc) so we really didn't hear much of interest. Thanks for all the help in getting it set up.
 
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#13
Congratulations on a successful GPS scanning trip. Usually an interesting expedition, but boring uneventful trips are also generally safe ones.

I have also run into the CB "other" issue, and have built a list of /GMRS/CB/FRS stuff without location control that I can turn on while traveling to run in conjunction with GPS operation as at least 19 can be interesting while traveling, and when using multiple cars often use FRS radios.

Mark
WS1095/536/436/996P2/HP1e/HP2e/996XT/325P2/396XT/PRO668/PSR800/PRO652
 

ofd8001

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#14
There are several ways of skinning the cat. You could also set the Service Type fo CB tp Custom 1, FRS to Custom 2 and so on, assuming you created these as channels in a Favorites List.
 
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#15
There are several ways of skinning the cat. You could also set the Service Type fo CB tp Custom 1, FRS to Custom 2 and so on, assuming you created these as channels in a Favorites List.
This would still need to be a favorites list without location control on, or you would need to set up some bogus coordinates and range to keep it in a favorites list with location control on.

Since it is something that I add as a layered item on top of other scan lists, I tend to keep it in a separate no location list,

Sent from my LG-V410 using Tapatalk
 
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