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Multi-Site Trick: 396T

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Ablice

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Hey guys,

Uniden claims the 396T can't do multi-site trunking. If so, how come you can trick the 396T into doing multi-site trunking? "Tricking" the 396T to do multi-site trunking takes up more memory, but doing it properly would save on memory. The 996T has multi-site trunking and almost identical memory specs as the 396T.
I heard about this, and couldn't find more information on how this works. As I'm stuck with a 396T, I'd like to learn about this trick.

Show me what ya got.
 

tampabaynews

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Make a system for every site and put it under the same quick key. Technically it's isn't multi site, but it works.
 

garys

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Make a system for every site and put it under the same quick key. Technically it's isn't multi site, but it works.
Well, yes and no. The big thing you would lose is the ability to use multiple start up keys for different sites. If you have a state wide, or large area system it's pretty easy to set up different sites with different start up keys and not have to enter the talk group information more than once. Just setting up multiple sites with the same SQK doesn't allow that, but I suppose it's better than nothing.
 

tampabaynews

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Well, yes and no. The big thing you would lose is the ability to use multiple start up keys for different sites. If you have a state wide, or large area system it's pretty easy to set up different sites with different start up keys and not have to enter the talk group information more than once. Just setting up multiple sites with the same SQK doesn't allow that, but I suppose it's better than nothing.
I know it's not the same as multi site but it's a solution for those with a 396T, as there is no other solution.
 
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garys

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I know it's not the same as multi site but it's a solution for those with a 396T, as there is no other solution.
Well, other than buying an XT! :lol: Still, I know a lot of people are more concerned with paying the mortgage, putting food on the table, and so on.
 

Viper43

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Well, other than buying an XT! :lol: Still, I know a lot of people are more concerned with paying the mortgage, putting food on the table, and so on.
Or better yet an HP and have all the sites and TGID's in one neat tidy system. It's great not having to mess around with the scanner while driving from one end of the state to the other and let the scanner do all the work for you, even better when going through several states. And using the Uiden "hockey" puck GPS makes it even better. Virtually no startup time if you use it a lot. It stores your last location and sat locations up to 4 or 5 days so when you plug it in it's ready to go.
 

Ablice

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I can tell you what I did with the San Diego Country Type II Trunked system: I copied all the trunk freqs and threw them all into the Site Frequencies list.

I'm guessing that won't work optimally?
 

exkalibur

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In Ontario, we have a few large VHF Smartzone systems with numerous sites. I just program in all the control channels (there can only be 32 of them) and let the scanner take care of business. It works good enough that there's usually never an issue.
 

Jay911

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Putting all the control channels for all sites in one "system" in the scanner does what you want, but has one caveat. If you can "hear" more than one site, the scanner will lock on to the first control channel it happens across in your list of frequencies. For example, if you have frequencies for site 1, site 2, and site 3 all in your frequency list, and you are in the area where site 2 covers, but can still hear site 1's control channel, your scanner will lock on to site 1. This will cause you to have poor reception even though you are in an area with great coverage - you're listening to the wrong site.

The only way I have found to get around this particular problem is to power-cycle the scanner and hope that it doesn't pick up site 1 again, or go in and physically remove site 1's frequencies (either by locking them out, if you can, or deleting them). The latter is obviously not the best option if you intend to roam around (back into site 1's area, for example).

It would be nice if the Uniden scanners compared signal strength of the control channels on a multi-site system and used the strongest one, as the pro radios do - but I get the feeling that's a patent issue or something similar that they can't get around, because it's been in the scanners since the 250D and possibly earlier than that.
 

mike_s104

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Putting all the control channels for all sites in one "system" in the scanner does what you want, but has one caveat. If you can "hear" more than one site, the scanner will lock on to the first control channel it happens across in your list of frequencies. For example, if you have frequencies for site 1, site 2, and site 3 all in your frequency list, and you are in the area where site 2 covers, but can still hear site 1's control channel, your scanner will lock on to site 1. This will cause you to have poor reception even though you are in an area with great coverage - you're listening to the wrong site.

The only way I have found to get around this particular problem is to power-cycle the scanner and hope that it doesn't pick up site 1 again, or go in and physically remove site 1's frequencies (either by locking them out, if you can, or deleting them). The latter is obviously not the best option if you intend to roam around (back into site 1's area, for example).

It would be nice if the Uniden scanners compared signal strength of the control channels on a multi-site system and used the strongest one, as the pro radios do - but I get the feeling that's a patent issue or something similar that they can't get around, because it's been in the scanners since the 250D and possibly earlier than that.
I found if you use quick keys, turn that "site" off then back on. Works on VA STARS and Loudoun Co. VA.
 

torontokris

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2 options as pointed out

either create different systems and give them the same quick key (doesnt save memory)

put all control channels under one systems frequencies (hence tricking the scanner) and let it scan... however as mentioned the 396T will find the FIRST control channel it sees as LOCK onto that control channel. So its not really multi-site... BUT its doable. When it looses that channel it will lock onto the next available one. I use a "lockout" if you no longer want to listen to that site (unlock that frequency when you want it back again".

The trick works but its not a FULL multi-site solution.

Also as mentioned you can sell the 396T they still get a good value and at times with only $100 on top get a XT (refurbs are $400 on ebay).
 

XTS3000

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Send me a bit o'dat whatever y'all is smokin', lol!
We are not smoking anything, could it be your the one smoking? Just because you "think" it can't be done doesn't mean it can't. Try researching and thinking outside the box before making a crack comment on a subject you apparently know nothing about.

I'm sure your on many peoples ignore lists on various forums with comments like the above.......
 

Ablice

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Well, if I lived in San Diego County, I would just program ~8 systems with the appropriate control freqs and just copy all the trunk IDs. I would then make a composite map with the tower locations, and use that to decide which trunk system to use. As it is now, it has all of CA Public Safety and only has 66% memory used, so I'm not to worried.
 

Skypilot007

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Actually I kinda like putting all the control channels in the same system on the 996T. I program the control channels in the order of what site I want to hear the most and so on. This seems to work when roaming around the county when just using the rubber duck antenna. The 996T pretty much looses the sites and picks up the next one as I go around. However when using a good quality mobile antenna you may have to do some site switching manually as mentioned. I supposed it's a pick your poisen situation, try one of the methods mentioned or buy an XT. Have fun now.
 
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