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BCD436HP: Need help with programming - Will tip $$

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jjuneau

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#1
Hello friends, I have a $$$ proposition for you. I'm fluent with computers but new to portable scanners, especially the BCD436HP. Before you tell me to read the instruction manual or to read "Mike's" simplified instruction manual, I've already done that and I'm still lost. But that's my problem and not yours. I really wish this was as simple as typing in a DEC/HEX # or System ID# and I'd be good to go. (Please slap me silly if it really is that simple):

I'm expecting to get a lot of responses such as, go search, go use google, go do something, blah blah blah.. So to prevent those unhelpful responses I'm willing to tip $$ users (paypal) if they can walk me through how to program my scanner and answer some of my questions. (I only have two questions)

Here's my situation, I want to program a specific city (police dept) using the information from RR's database. I have all the info I need (I think) except I have no idea how to program this into my unit. If you want to explain this in a youtube video using the Sentinel software on a computer, that will work for me. On the other hand, if you want to explain how to do it from the device itself, that will also work. Anyway, here's the challenge:

The Police Dept. I'm trying to program is located in: USA -> California -> Los Angeles -> Pomona (city)

Cheers! And the first people to respond with the most helpful answers, I will PM you to discuss how I can $$ tip you for your knowledge.

Thank you in advance!
 

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ofd8001

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#2
There are several You Tube videos on how to create a Favorites List, which is what you want to do. A search on that site using the terms "Uniden" and "Favorites List" will get you started.

Attached is a zipped file. Save it to your computer and click on it. It will show up as an HPE file. Then start your Sentinel and click File>Import From HPE file and you are started.

Please note that all but two of the talkgroups are encrypted - those with the "E" in mode. You cannot receive them on your scanner.
 
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jjuneau

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#3
There are several You Tube videos on how to create a Favorites List, which is what you want to do. A search on that site using the terms "Uniden" and "Favorites List" will get you started.

Attached is a zipped file. Save it to your computer and click on it. It will show up as an HPE file. Then start your Sentinel and click File>Import From HPE file and you are started.

Please note that all but two of the talkgroups are encrypted - those with the "E" in mode. You cannot receive them on your scanner.
I appreciate the fast reply...I've watched a couple videos on creating Favorite lists but nobody explains why they set the options they do for each network... Can you explain why you set things the way you did in your file? The manual does a lame job of explaining exactly how you need to set things for a given network and your scanner in order for it to scan those frequencies and actually work. I was hoping you or someone could fill in that void.

Is setting a favorite for a P25 phase 1 system the same way I'd set up any other system? I feel like I'm missing something here.

Kind regards,
 

ofd8001

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#4
It was pretty easy. . .

1. Started Sentinel
2. Clicked on the + sign by USA under Database, which expanded the list.
3. Clicked on the + sign for California, which further expanded the list.
4. Clicked on the + sign for Los Angeles, which further expanded the list.
5. Clicked on the + sign for County System, again expanded the list.
6. Clicked Interagency Communications Interoperability System (ICIS) Proje to highlight it.
7. Right mouse clicked which opened a little window, clicked "Append Favorites List". Another window opened.
8. Clicked on New Favorites List and entered Pomona as the Favorites List Name, clicked OK.
9. Then went to Edit>Edit Favorites List.
10. Double Clicked on Pomona to open Favorites List Editor.
11. Clicked on Interagency Communications Interoperability System (ICIS) Proje
12. Deleted all the departments that were there except for the Pomona which you desired.
13. Clicked File>Save
14. Clicked File>Exit

I didn't do anything else, just your basic "down and dirty" import from the database.

Then if I was programming my scanner for real, I'd connect the USB cable and do a write to scanner.

Yes you'd do these same steps for any other Favorites List you'd create by importing from the database. Only if you create a Favorites List from scratch is where you have to choose the correct settings.

I've created a fair number of Favorites Lists. I have always at least started with an import from the database. Then I refined things, if I wanted to, with the software.
 

jjuneau

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#5
It was pretty easy. . .

1. Started Sentinel
2. Clicked on the + sign by USA under Database, which expanded the list.
3. Clicked on the + sign for California, which further expanded the list.
4. Clicked on the + sign for Los Angeles, which further expanded the list.
5. Clicked on the + sign for County System, again expanded the list.
6. Clicked Interagency Communications Interoperability System (ICIS) Proje to highlight it.
7. Right mouse clicked which opened a little window, clicked "Append Favorites List". Another window opened.
8. Clicked on New Favorites List and entered Pomona as the Favorites List Name, clicked OK.
9. Then went to Edit>Edit Favorites List.
10. Double Clicked on Pomona to open Favorites List Editor.
11. Clicked on Interagency Communications Interoperability System (ICIS) Proje
12. Deleted all the departments that were there except for the Pomona which you desired.
13. Clicked File>Save
14. Clicked File>Exit

I didn't do anything else, just your basic "down and dirty" import from the database.

Then if I was programming my scanner for real, I'd connect the USB cable and do a write to scanner.

Yes you'd do these same steps for any other Favorites List you'd create by importing from the database. Only if you create a Favorites List from scratch is where you have to choose the correct settings.

I've created a fair number of Favorites Lists. I have always at least started with an import from the database. Then I refined things, if I wanted to, with the software.
Again, appreciate the prompt reply... Since the entire US and Canada are already downloaded to my SD card (I think) - Is there an easy way I could have done this from my scanner? As in, could I have typed in a Group ID or Decimal number to quickly locate it in the database?
 

ofd8001

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#6
Since the entire US and Canada are already downloaded to my SD card (I think) - Is there an easy way I could have done this from my scanner? As in, could I have typed in a Group ID or Decimal number to quickly locate it in the database?
No. To restrict your listening to certain things, a Favorites List is the way to do so. Sentinel or ARC 536 (software programs on a computer) are the only ways to create Favorites Lists.

I do not know of a way to directly access a given channel, or group of channels when scanning the full database.

The US and Canada databases are stored on the SD card. When a zip code is entered, the scanner will load the appropriate "stuff" based on the location associated with the zip code. But that "stuff" which is loaded, casts a fairly wide net and that net is much wider than what you appear to be interested in. Hence, a Favorites Lists is a better way.

FWIW, I only do full database scanning when I'm travelling. Any other time, the full database is off and I'm only scanning Favorites Lists I have created.
 

jjuneau

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#7
Thank you OFD8001... You are definitely going to be tipped and I'll contact you via PM. Can you or anyone else explain the process to "manually" create a favorite/new entry based off of information from the RR database, for this scanner? I still feel like I'm missing something... Does nothing have to be manually entered since it's "already there"? Is it just a matter of finding it in the database and creating a shortcut/favorite for it?
 

ofd8001

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#8
No gratuities necessary. We are hear to help each other and I've been on the receiving end numerous times. Consider it my contribution to the greater good.

You would create a new Favorites List by using those steps mentioned above, but give each Favorites List its own name.

Also see:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgz7heeOUKY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECOUceSdVCo

Another one shows how you could create a Favorites List directly from the scanner (but I've not tried this myself):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1kHvFXTu1M
 

UPMan

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#9
If the system is already in the database (as in your example), then there is no need to create it from scratch. Just make a Favorites list and put the system there (assuming you want to isolate to just scan that system). All settings come over from the main database for correct scanning of the system.
 

rcool101

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#10
Excuse me if I'm wrong but under mode I see a bunch of Es. I always thought that meant encrypted and Ds meant digital. I'm sure somebody will correct me.......... Well I missed it. Somebody did mention it
 
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AA6IO

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#13
Jjuneau,
I saw your post earlier today and was going to send you a Pomona PD file. But it looks like ofd8001 beat me to it. I live in Cerritos. I can monitor POM PD Blue and POM PD Access here off the ICIS Montebello site and ICIS P25 Pasadena site. Your are probably using the ICIS P25 Pomona site.
On the Montebello ICIS Motorola mixed site (analog/P25), these are listed as PmnPD-Blue 1 (TG 37680) and Pmn PDAccess (TG 37776). I hear PmnPD-Blue 1 all the time when monitoring the Montebello site. Rarely do I hear Pmn PDAccess.
As ofd8001 noted, only two of all the Pomona Police talkgroups, as you can see in the RRDB list you posted, are unencrypted. However, you will eventually find lots of law enforcement activity in the area that you can monitor, if you are so inclined.
Now to the real point. Yes, what ofd8001 did is the way to go to limit what you want to hear. You have all you really need in the Sentinel/Radio Reference database on your computer, and after you get the hang of it, you can make favorite lists (FLs) quite easily and pinpoint exactly what you want to hear.
The 536HP/436HP with Sentinel software has a learning curve, but when you get the hang of it, you will love the flexibility. I know you said in your OP (original post) that you don't want to read any manuals or watch videos, but we have all been there at one time or another. I think you will love the 436HP/536HPs for your purposes. Also, there are some Phase 2 P25 trunk site beginning to come on line in the area, and you will appreciate your scanner even more at that point.
I live in Cerritos. If you ever need any help, please feel free to contact me (will send my phone by private e-mail if you so request) and you can come by. I will show you how to program some different things. I own three 536HPs (one is at my daughter's house in Phoenix waiting for a Wi-Fi application) and two 436HPs. Best scanners I have owned, and I have been scanning for 35 years plus (Been an amateur radio operator for 53 years).
We don't take tips on this list (at least most of those who I know will not). I certainly will not. But you could buy me beer or two. Enjoy your scanner.
Steve AA6IO
 

wolfe27

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#14
Tacoma Fire

I live in Tacoma and having the same issue with programming the same type of system. Please let me know If you find a helpful person or good answers.
 

jjuneau

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#15
Jjuneau,
I saw your post earlier today and was going to send you a Pomona PD file. But it looks like ofd8001 beat me to it. I live in Cerritos. I can monitor POM PD Blue and POM PD Access here off the ICIS Montebello site and ICIS P25 Pasadena site. Your are probably using the ICIS P25 Pomona site.
On the Montebello ICIS Motorola mixed site (analog/P25), these are listed as PmnPD-Blue 1 (TG 37680) and Pmn PDAccess (TG 37776). I hear PmnPD-Blue 1 all the time when monitoring the Montebello site. Rarely do I hear Pmn PDAccess.
As ofd8001 noted, only two of all the Pomona Police talkgroups, as you can see in the RRDB list you posted, are unencrypted. However, you will eventually find lots of law enforcement activity in the area that you can monitor, if you are so inclined.
Now to the real point. Yes, what ofd8001 did is the way to go to limit what you want to hear. You have all you really need in the Sentinel/Radio Reference database on your computer, and after you get the hang of it, you can make favorite lists (FLs) quite easily and pinpoint exactly what you want to hear.
The 536HP/436HP with Sentinel software has a learning curve, but when you get the hang of it, you will love the flexibility. I know you said in your OP (original post) that you don't want to read any manuals or watch videos, but we have all been there at one time or another. I think you will love the 436HP/536HPs for your purposes. Also, there are some Phase 2 P25 trunk site beginning to come on line in the area, and you will appreciate your scanner even more at that point.
I live in Cerritos. If you ever need any help, please feel free to contact me (will send my phone by private e-mail if you so request) and you can come by. I will show you how to program some different things. I own three 536HPs (one is at my daughter's house in Phoenix waiting for a Wi-Fi application) and two 436HPs. Best scanners I have owned, and I have been scanning for 35 years plus (Been an amateur radio operator for 53 years).
We don't take tips on this list (at least most of those who I know will not). I certainly will not. But you could buy me beer or two. Enjoy your scanner.
Steve AA6IO
Thank you Steve and everyone else who responded! I'd be happy to talk with you more about understanding these scanners. I have an old Radio Shack Pro-97 analog handheld I picked up 10 years ago and was able to program that scanner on my own without much difficulty. When I started working for the Pomona police dept. I decided to embrace the new P25 system with my new scanner and I'm still trying to figure the thing out. It's not that I don't want to read a manual or watch a YouTube video, I have actually done both. My problem is the information I've read or come across assumes a basic understanding of the systems and thats where I get lost. I simply want to know why I'm doing something and the consequences (or limitations) I'll impose on my device by not enabling or disabling certain options.

I guess this all comes down to trial and error. Meanwhile, I'll play around with creating favorite lists and send you a PM. Thanks again for your help kind sir!
 

UPMan

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#16
As of the last update, the Tacoma Phase II system had no channels identified, so was not included in the database pull. Channels were identified and added on 1/14, so this weeks update will include that system.
 

jjuneau

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#17
I wanted to clarify the difficulty with the user manual for the BCD436HP and possibly other models from Uniden. I'm going off of my memory here so some details and statements might have inaccurate assumptions, etc.

The owners manual tells you how to create a favorite list, great! But for new guys like me, the manual fails to explain that you need to create favorite lists in order for you to tune into specific sites/repeaters. Without knowing that piece of information, I simply skip past creating favorites and look for a section titled "how to scan custom frequencies" which doesn't exist. (AFAIK)

There are other topics on how to create a site, department, etc. But, there doesn't seem to be any clear indication as to why I would create these to begin with. The manual seems to "assume" I know what these features are used for and that's where new people like me get lost and frustrated.

On a side note, I purchased a HomePatrol-2 to accompany my handheld scanner and the instructions for that device do a MUCH better job of explaining favorite lists, etc. I'd like to see the same 'effort' put into the manuals for the BCD436HP and future scanners.

I'm sure Uniden could sell more of their high-end units to rookies and pro's if they could work out the fundamental flaws in their documentation. If you think I'm the only one confused by the owner manuals, check out the reviews on Amazon to get an idea of how unhappy users are with programming these things. Just my two cents. Keep up the great work and thx for your support (here)!!!
 
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#20
Not UPMan, but HomePatrol on Sunday and x36 on Monday.

I happened to notice UPMan is busy with things from another forum.
 
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