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Hillsborough County, looking for a Programmer

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Mar 30, 2008
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#1
Hey there. I live in Ybor next to the Sheriff's Office. I am retired law enforcement and looking to buy a high-end scanner pre-programmed. Anyone local have any recommendations? I am really not wanting to buy on-line. I would like to pick something up that is ready to roll.
 
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Dec 22, 2013
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#2
I recommend the Uniden BCD536HP. From Amazon it will be preloaded, but may have out of date database and firmware. So. Once you receive it, You will have to connect to your PC with the supplied USB cable, install Sentinel program from the scanner, update Sentinel, update the scanner firmware, then download the nationwide database into Sentinel and into your scanner. Using your local zip code, the scanner will activate all the systems in your area. From there, you will want to make favorite lists, which you can do with Sentinel. It is actually easier than building a template and codeplug for a Motorola or Harris radio. You are in the right place for information.
 
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#4
Will that work with Mac as oppose to PC?
You may have to use an emulator for the Sentinel app. You should ask on one of the main Uniden user discussion groups. My gut feeling is yes, I think some are doing that as I have seen comments about programming the SD card (where the database sits) using Mac.
 
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#5
You might still need the ProVoice option ($50) with the Uniden BCD536HP if Hillsborough hasn't moved onto P25 mode yet. I haven't kept track of them since I did some work for them (Steve Mitchell) back in 2000.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2004
Messages
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Location
Florida
#6
You can monitor the current Hillsborough County EDACS without the Provoice upgrade. I just did last weekend. The Hillsborough P25 system is listed as a TDMA system, so you will likely need a Phase II TDMA capible scanner in the future. Check out some scanners from online stores like scanner master, zip scanners, etc. most carry the Uniden & Whistler scanners to monitor these systems and offer programming at an additional costs but it will take the initial headache of programming it until you get comfortable with it.

I used the Sentinel software to program my BCD436HP on my Mac just fine, using Parrells program with Windows 7. Of course both of those are additional costs as well unless you have access to a Windows based PC which I found easier. Some have also programmed and updated the SD card through a card slot on their computer which is faster but I have never tried it myself.

If you need any help or advice just let me know.
 
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2,937
#7
The Phase 2 is one reason I went to the 536. The 436 will do Phase 2 as well if you need portability. I do most of my scanning in my office . If I want portability I can throw the 536 in my car and use the included AP point and Siren app and get a couple hundred feet from the car with my android or Ipod touch device.
 
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#8
The Hillsborough EDACS system is mostly analog, but there is a little bit of ProVoice Activity. The new P25 system appears to be up and running, but there's only a few users on it. Only the West system on the P25 is active. It is mostly Phase II, but there is an occasional Phase I transmission for some reason.

Honestly, the best thing you can do is spend the time and do your own programming with software so you can LEARN. You'll get more out of it if you understand what you're doing. Having someone out-of-town program it for you will be lackluster because they're not here in this area. There could be stuff wrong with how they'll program it.
 
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#9
I would volunteer, but being I am in Oviedo, no way to test the results. I have been in the radio biz some 41 years, and even so, found the Uniden a bit overwhelming until I realized that out of the box, plus the updates to firmware and RR database, it actually was scanning nearly everything in a 20 mile radius of my zip code. So it was more a matter of creating favorite lists in Sentinel and downloading via USB to the scanner. After which I can more easily turn on the traffic I wish to hear.
 

tampabaynews

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Jan 26, 2007
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Tampa, FL
#10
You will need a P25 Phase II capable scanner as the new Hillsborough P25 system is Phase I & II mixed. Provoice capability is useful as Hillsborough SO and Tampa PD use the mode on certain talkgroups on the EDACS system.

Picking up a "high end" scanner local is probably going to be difficult unless you find something on Craigslist. Scanners are more of a niche product so it doesn't make sense for chain stores to carry it in stock.

I'm not a fan of the Uniden HP series, but I have the BCD996P2 and BCD325P2 and love them. I have the Provoice upgrade. I can point you in the right direction in regards to programming or a good online retailer (may be your only purchase option). Just message me.
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2008
Messages
9
Location
Tampa,Fl
#11
Thanks for all the advice. I'll be purchasing soon. So much info. Back in the day we just programmed in a handful of frequencies and it was golden. Now we need a 4 year college degree to get this straight!
 

Theo

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Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
200
Location
Odessa, FL
#13
Thanks for all the advice. I'll be purchasing soon. So much info. Back in the day we just programmed in a handful of frequencies and it was golden. Now we need a 4 year college degree to get this straight!
Hi, I'm in Westchase retired FF from upstate NY been scanning 40 years. I have the BCD536HP and several BCD436HP and a BCD996P2 all with programming software. I'm more than happy to help out. Just email me. Ted
 
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