• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

New Member, New To Scanners!

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tarheelbuc

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2006
Messages
10
Hello!

I am new or might as well be new to scanners and this forum. I knew more about scanners when I was younger, going to radio shack to get crystals with my dad. These days, things are quite different.

Long story short, I live in Guilford County of NC and I dropped a hint a few months ago about "I would like to get me a scanner and get back into the hobby" Well, today for my anniversary present, the wife presented me with a Uniden BCD396T! Very nice gift...too bad I dont have sense enough to use it!

Somehow, I spent the entire day entering in some local frequencies for the county and made it work. I am not sure HOW I made it work, or if it is working right but, it seems to be scanning some of the things I put in.

I intend on jumping back into this hobby head first but, I need to learn how to USE this scanner first. I spent a couple hours on the forum looking for an "idiots" guide to scanning and couldnt find anything close to it. Yes, there is a wealth of info here but, I cannot make heads or tails of it.

Where might one go to learn the ins and outs of scanning, along with learning to use their new scanner. The manual for this receiver is very extensive yet, seems to be designed for advanced scanners.

Any and all help is appreciated. I dont want to be spoon-fed, just led in the correct direction. for now, back to google!!

Wonderful site...look forward to becoming a valuable member
 

KE4ZNR

KE4ZNR@radioreference.com
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Messages
7,069
Location
Raleigh, NC
Welcome to RR.com tarheelbuc! Thanks for making us a "2nd home"!
Now a 396T is a heck of a gift! That is a nice radio and one that you will be happy with in Guilford County....a lot of Guilford County is still analog but agencies such as the Greensboro Police Dept do operate in digital format (which the 396T can handle)...Now, you have a great scanner how about an easy way to program it? ARC396
is just the software to fill your 396T up with more than you will ever listen to! BTW: PBoy is not too far away from you (in the Hickory area) and I believe he also has a 396t....he might be able to provide us with a ARC396 software file for Guilford that you can use with your 396! I know there are a few 396 owners in your area so one of our scanner buffs in your area will be able to help out! :cool:
Thanks again for being a part of RR.com!
73's
Marshall KE4ZNR
 

jlh

Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2004
Messages
190
welcome tarheelbuc, i'm right below you in randolph county. not too active in radio any more, but if i can help with anything, holler.
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
21,782
Location
Bowie, Md.
This link from the 396 wiki page might be very useful - not an 'idiots guide' but it's a start...

http://myweb.cableone.net/marksscanners/330/330test.html

Keep in mind that the BR330 doesn't work on digital systems, where the 396 does; however, it would seem that most of the other basic operations are otherwise identical.

Whoever put that together should be congratulated - this is something long needed.

73s Mike
 

bonus1331

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
978
Location
Hogansville, Ga
Welcome aboard. I was in the same postion you were two years ago. Started with an old Realistic tunable when I was a kid in the early 70's, then crystal Bearcats. Then became a teenager and young man with alot more than scanners to think about (college, drinking, women, rock and roll).
Got back into it in the late 80's with an AOR100, BC235, and then BC245.
Then had a child and got back into it big time about two years ago and was completely lost as you are.
This website, which I actually used to go to when it was Dallas-related only, is a huge help.
I have a 396 and as most others here in this "community", will answer any questions as they come along.
Use the manual, use the search function on this website, use the software(either the Uniden or Butel), and feel free to the members questions.
Oh,..........and cool wife!
 

tarheelbuc

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2006
Messages
10
Thanks for the welcome guys. Yes, cool wife! Too bad I only got her some crappy gift certificate to a "spa" so she can go wear cucumbers on her eyes and waller in the mud. Hell, I have killed off half my back yard to reseed in a couple months, she can do all that right here come to think of it..oh well, too late now and I aint giving this scanner back.

I flipped when I saw the price at Radio Shack...699.99 "web only" I could not make her tell me where she got it but, she assured me it wasnt radio shack. Her exact words were "no, I looked there but, nobody would help me AND they were the highest place I looked at" Anyway, she bought it off the net, and I could not be happier.

See, where I was like the above poster, scanning when I was a kid in the 70's. It sounds like we had the exact same path...except you went back much sooner than I did! I missed a lot in between as far as scanners go..but not the "wine, women and song" or if you prefer "beer, old lady and the tv"

I have much to catch up on.

I think I am on the right path. I downloaded that arco software demo last night before I rechecked this website. I fiddled through it a bit until I stumbled upon where it links back to this website I think. Then it said "user is not a contributing member" or something to that effect. I had already download the uniden software but again, you can download it all you want..if you dont know what to put in it and where to put it, you are a lost cause.

I ended up resetting back to factory this am since I have the day off so I am going to tinker with it all day long. I will read as much as I can and do as instructed. Hopefully, when I do get back up and running, I can help out around here.

I have a friend who is a volunteer fireman and he brought me one of his scanners to "go by" if you will. It is a RS PRO-2050. Im not sure how I can take that and make it useful but, I will make something out of it!

Again, thanks for the welcome and hope to get up and running this weekend (wishful thinking)
 

bonus1331

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
978
Location
Hogansville, Ga
If your going to use the Web import feature on the ARC software, you need to become a paid subscriber to this website.
I would also recommend that you search in the Yahho Groups under "Uniden 396". There are a couple of groups. These groups have lots of files that people have uploaded. You may find one for your area you can download.
Keep plugging.
 

tarheelbuc

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2006
Messages
10
Hmmm, I have no problem subbing to this site because I believe it will become my homesite once I figure out what I am doing. I guess it imports all the info for you??


I am getting confused a tad..confusion is not good. I get too frustrated..too easily and then I have to walk away and come back after awhile.

Say I am setting up a "new group" for just my area....Stokesdale, Oak Ridge, Summerfield Say I want this group to MAINLY have the Stokesdale & Oak ridge and Summerfield fire dept on it while locking everything else out. Basically, around here, when anything happens, the fire dept responds. I remember very well in my youth that if you put in all the freqs for guilford cty, you will be missing alot of what is going on around you.

Am I better off putting in everything for guilford cty and then locking what I dont want out or, would I be better of setting up a group for just my area and then another one for GSO and the rest of the county. So, when I hop in the truck, I can take scanner with me and then switch it over to GSO instead of my local area.

I also am losing it on these trunking system parameter and trunk frequencies. Yesterday, I put in about 28 frequencies for guilford cty and that of course brought in everything. I do not think I put it in correctly. I never changed anything..just input the numbers and scan.

I think I may be trying to read and do things at the same time (which is usually how I learn) and instead, I should just read, read, read, read....and read some more. Something is just not "clicking" I think when it clicks, it will make much more sense.
 

scannerpro

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
14
Location
Raleigh, NC
Welcome to the club and enjoy scanning. I'm on the Wake/Johnston County Border in North Carolina. IF you need any help just give me a yell. That's so nice of your wife to do that. I wish my girlfriend would go and buy me a nice scanner like that. Take care!
 

tarheelbuc

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2006
Messages
10
Day Long Project...Results, Less Than Satisfying

Ok, time for me to give this a break before I pull what little bit of hair I have left.

Here is what I have done today, would appreciate any input as to whether any of it is correct. I became a premium subscriber so I could use the arc software. I think I realized that whether you know what and how you are doing, its a lot faster to program one of these things with the software rather than pressing buttons all day. Still, I think learning how and what to do manually is very important.

That being said, I joined up, used the software to load the settings for my area. I took these system frequencies
http://www.radioreference.com/modules.php?name=RR&sid=291

and copied and pasted them into the trunk frequencies using the software. THEN, I filled in the blanks for my location and set up a mot type 2 system and downloaded everything to the scanner. While I was doing that, I kept getting the message "your scanner can only download 200 channels" or something to that effect. It would then procede to download to the scanner and show some error when it was done. Still, it showed up on the scanner and the software of all the police, fire and so on "groups" <---I think that is the correct term.

I then went in and deleted things I did not want or were not in my area. I then reloaded it back to the scanner. Scanner is scanning what I think is the majority of what I put in it but again, I am not sure I have done it correctly or exactly the way I wanted to. I know this thing should handle everything I want to throw at it but, the warnings about downloading over 200 channels AND then the demo warning about only being able to download 30 (of something..cant remember what it was)

Am I close or am I still way off? I still dont understand this "group" deal nor why it said I was trying to download too much to it to begin with.

I tell yah, I been working on this for almost 10 hours now and I honestly feel like I am going in circles. I knew it would be tough but, I think I underestimated just how tough it will be. If I read any more today, my eyes are going to bleed!

*ALSO* I just noticed that the 28 frequencies are now showing only 2? Not sure where the others went but, I know I put them in there!
 

scannerpro

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
14
Location
Raleigh, NC
I would like to say I have no idea. I'am new to the Trunking System and Ditgital Systems. I wish I could learn more about it and help you. I still have alot to learn cause I"am still 17 and learning about scanning and radios everyday. So you take care and I wish someone can help you. Take care
 

tarheelbuc

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2006
Messages
10
n1ck said:
I would like to say I have no idea. I'am new to the Trunking System and Ditgital Systems. I wish I could learn more about it and help you. I still have alot to learn cause I"am still 17 and learning about scanning and radios everyday. So you take care and I wish someone can help you. Take care

Thanks Bud! I will get it figured out one way or the other. I cant stop now. Ate supper and went right back to reading and trying different things. That wonderful wife is not too happy right about now from all my fussing and the scanner going ballistic because I have no clue as to what I am doing....but, I will!
 

jeffmulter

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2001
Messages
1,456
Location
Fort Mill, S.C. (just south of Charlotte, N.C.)
Each trunked "system" you program in the 396 is limited to a maximum of 200 talkgroups - unlocked and locked out. That's a limitation of the scanner firmware, based on the speed at which control data is broadcast on the control frequency.

There are a couple of options you can use for a large system. You can break it down into subsystems, or monitor it in search mode ... and lock out the talkgroups (up to 200) you never want to monitor.

I've opted for subsystems for monitoring the Charlotte / Mecklenberg County trunked system, and basically have city fire, county fire, county MEDICS, CMPD, and other law enforcement in their own separate systems.

In a separate configuration that I use with the 246 scanner, I took a more-generalized approach. Fire and Medics together, CMPD in a second system, and all other local law enforcement in a third system.

The fire - Medics system is set up as follows:

- group 1 - dispatch and key talkgroups
- group 2 - city fire ops
- group 3 - city fire administrative talkgroups
- group 4 - county fire ops
- group 5 - other county fire talkgroups
- group 6 - Medic ops
- group 7 - Medic administrative talkgroups
- group 8 - Carolinas Medical Center talkgroups
- group 9 - the talkgroups used for each individual hospital in the region

In the above configuration, the system is always "on" (via system quick key) when I'm in the Charlotte area, and group 1 is always "on."

I turn the other groups in the system "on" or "off," as activity heard on group 1 warrants.

I never lock out a group or system ... I let the quick keys do the work.

I'm not sure whether you're control frequencies disappeared to, but it you have a Motorola system set for "control-channel-only" scanning, the 396 firmware might not accept the 28 possible system frequencies.


Jeff Multer
 

tarheelbuc

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2006
Messages
10
Thanks for the reply Jeff!

I am in over my head, that much I HAVE figured out. I think I am having trouble comprehending "systems" and "groups" and several other things.

The way you describe it SEEMS to be the same way I want to set this up. I want one sytems...or group(?) for my local area which is out in the county. I want that to pickup Oak Ridge, Summerfield & Stokesdale (I live near Rockingham county and would like to add them to the mix as well but, they are on low band from what I gather..and Im not touching that yet until I understand what I have now)

then I want another system or group..whatever....for when I travel into GSO..and another for davidson county where my father lives..and so on.

I would like to be able to scan as much as possible of course but, I want this radio to default back to my local area should something be called. I am also in the flight pattern for GSO..so, naturally, listening to the pilots would be great as well.

Then just "scanning" for "whatever" is also on my list. There is no doubt that this scanner can do that as long as it has someone that knows how to set it up.

Basic trunking comprehension and basic scanner operation I think is what is killing me. I am trying to read and program at the same time now and getting nowhere fast.

I guess more reading is in store for me.

Let me ask this...if Guilford County is showing 28 frequencies and I take all of those and paste them into trunk frequencies and load it to the scanner...without changing anything..what is going to happen?

Heck, that statement confused me so I can imagine what it will do to anyone reading it. It is time for me to find or even WRITE scanners for idiots. I am pretty good with electronics..computers...satellites and such and I have recalled a lot of things from scanning in my youth but, this digital/trunk tracking is either really easy and I am making it hard or it is the hardest thing I have ever jumped into.

Trying not to get crapped out but, after 3 days..Im still at square one and I cant seem to stop messing with it trying to learn!

End of rant!!!
 

jeffmulter

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2001
Messages
1,456
Location
Fort Mill, S.C. (just south of Charlotte, N.C.)
>> I want one sytems...or group(?) for my local area which is out in the county. I want that to pickup Oak Ridge, Summerfield & Stokesdale

"System" would be the correct term. I'm presuming you are using ARC396, which I don't use ... but the basic construction would be similar:

- open up and name a new Motorola Type II trunked system, and name it

- enter the settings for the system, such as control channel only scanner, and enter only the control frequencies (as noted in red or blue on Radio Reference)

- figure how you want to organize your talkgroups into groups. Maybe one group for county law enforcement, one for municipal law enforcement, one for talkgroups used by local fire and ems, etc

- make sure you assign a quick key to the system, and save it in the software. I include the key number as part of the system number ... it makes it easier to turn them on and off.

- now repeat the same process for the other systems you have in mind

>> (I live near Rockingham county and would like to add them to the mix as well but, they are on low band from what I gather..and Im not touching that yet until I understand what I have now)

You cannot mix conventional and trunked channels within the same system.

By the same token, you'll likely have to create a conventional system for Guilford County to cover any conventional channels not being simulcast on the trunked system. Include key simulcast frequencies, such as the low band frequency for county fire (is it still being simulcast ?), can help if you get out of range of the trunked sites.

Once you have a few systems built, it's time to use another aspect of the software to setup a "configuration" file. The configuration file is where you set the scannerwide options (closecall, weather, search, etc), as well as telling the software which systems (of all the systems you create) to load to the scanner.

The scanner will only hold one configuration file at a time, but you can set up numerous files on the computer, and load any one of them as you require it. For instance, you can use a file "for work" most of the time, but load the file "to Dad's" when you go to visit him.

>> I would like to be able to scan as much as possible of course but, I want this radio to default back to my local area should something be called. I am also in the flight pattern for GSO..so, naturally, listening to the pilots would be great as well.

The more you scan, the longer it will take the scanner to get back to your primary system and scan it again. Everyone will reach a point where it becomes more-practical to use two scanners to monitor multiple channels, than 1 scanner.

The quick keys will allow you to focus in on a particular system or group, when you want to.

>> Let me ask this...if Guilford County is showing 28 frequencies and I take all of those and paste them into trunk frequencies and load it to the scanner...without changing anything..what is going to happen?

The software should accept all 28 frequencies (the maximum for a type II system), unless something is set in the software to prevent it ... or a cut-and-paste contains characters or information the software doesn't understand.


Jeff Multer
 

KE4ZNR

KE4ZNR@radioreference.com
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Messages
7,069
Location
Raleigh, NC
I know Jim appreciates all the help Jeff....he is going to give me a call later this evening and I am going to help him understand all of the in's and out's of scanning...I know sometimes it is easier for me to understand if I am actually talking to someone as opposed to reading words on a page...so one of 2 things will happen later tonight:
1) I will succed in helping Jim understand trunking and scanners
or
2) I will fail and Jim will go on a mad rampage throughout Guilford County and destroy every scanner in sight :D
Let's hope your Moderator is able to achieve #1 :D
73's
Marshall KE4ZNR
 

tarheelbuc

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2006
Messages
10
Well, if I make this post, then Marshall knows I lied to him...."Im turning this thing off, watching the race and taking a break"...so, Im not making this post...my scanner is.

Dear Jeff,

Thank you for trying to help "my owner". He is dumber than his basset hound and that dog is just stupid. Anyway, thank you for that post. I will make sure "my owner" reads it when he is allowed back on the computer. Whether he understands it or not, well, thats another matter.

Thank you and Marshall for the help..."he" needs it

Sincerely,

Uniden BCD396T....
...aka..well, I cant type in all the names "my owner" has called me the past 3 days but, they were not so nice!
 

jeffmulter

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2001
Messages
1,456
Location
Fort Mill, S.C. (just south of Charlotte, N.C.)
The concept of "trunking" has been an adjustment for alot of hobbyists, as well as alot of professionals using trunked equipment in their line of work.

Add to that the relatively new concept of dynamic memory, which leeps beyond the organization of banks and channels, and programming a scanner can be a daunting task. Reading the e-mail on the 396 forums tells us you are not alone !

The only other advice I can offer is that, if you go on a scanner-smashing rampage in Guilford County, remember to clone any 396 scanners you run across to your scanner ... prior to destroying them.


Jeff Multer
 

KE4ZNR

KE4ZNR@radioreference.com
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Messages
7,069
Location
Raleigh, NC
So tarheelbuc and I spent about 3-4 hours on the phone tonight...hopefully now he knows more than when we started talking :D I hope I haven't confused him anymore than he was to begin with...
Good to speak with you Jim and enjoy the radio!
Let us know how things go!
Happy Monitoring!
Marshall Sherard KE4ZNR
 
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