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Quick Access To Memories or Frequencies

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#1
Hello all,

Not sure where to post this. While I think this will probably be best served in the Uniden and Yaesu Forums, the rules do not allow for cross forum posting. So I will start here.

I do quite a bit of Aviation monitoring for my spotting hobby. While monitoring aircraft and ATC, I try to track an aircraft from as far away as I can pick up (usually HF transatlantic, then VHF regional such as BOSTON sector, NY Sector etc.) and then the local approach control frequencies/intersections and lastly final, tower, ground and ramp control.

In the span of 15 to 30 minutes, I may change frequencies 10 times. Currently I use a pair of Uniden scanners to do this and have come up with a scheme where I program banks with small sets of frequencies and switch the banks to scan on and off. I would rather have direct access to select a frequency directly from a memory without having to either type it in or scrolling through a list of memories.

My ideal would be a PAD of sorts either on the radio itself or on an iPhone, Android, or tablet with approriate software. Even Windows or Mac full desktop software would be fine if that's all I have.

I have looked at a lot of different options and the closest I have come is ScanStar software which has a sort of memory / quick access pad that would tune the VFO as needed to the preferred channel/freq.

Given the new radios coming out with touch screen capabilities, the HomePatrol in scanners and the Yaesu and Icom HF and VHF radios that have them, I thought maybe this is doable but I can;t find ay definite answers.

This thread is to gather information on what is available and also to discuss and propose ideas the manufacturers or software developers can help provide. I had high hopes for the Uniden SirApp but it has left a lot to be desired for controlling the Uniden BCD536HP in as it just mimics the display and works more like a HomePatrol on my iPhone.

Here are a few mockups of an ideal set up for my needs. Thanks for your input and advice in advance!



 

sparklehorse

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#2
So it looks like you want to tap a button and be taken to that memory channel, is that correct? Can't help you there, but I have to ask if you're already programming and using the memories of your radios? Typing in a frequency in VFO mode would be a huge pain, for sure. But if you have your favorite frequencies programmed into memories you can switch channels with just a couple of keystrokes, like 021 to take you to memory 21 on a Yaesu, or 1.1.12 to take you to a memory on a Uniden. Actually I see you're on a Home Patrol, so not sure that works as I don't have that model, but it does work with all the Uniden DMA scanners, and the 436/536 as well.

.
 
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#3
Thank you for the reply. I have been very frustrated with the way memories work on Uniden scanners in general. While I am able to use the software to program and create lists and groups, without the control software I can't seem to get used to the way memories work.

Could you maybe show me a way to quickly access my memories? I have a HomePatrol and a BCD536HP. On the 536, how the heck do you quickly get to memory 11,22,55? LOL.

I guess I would also need to have a cheat sheet of the memory locations? While annoying, it may be better than nothing.

As for the Yaesus, I will have to think about that. Seems easy enough although it is not what I ultimately want. I feel it should be easy to implement via a software update?
 
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#4
To be clear, I can;t figure out how to quickly get to channel XX on my scanner and have it sit there.

So let's say I have a frequency on QK 10,10,10 ... why can't I just tune to that and have the scanner jump to it and stay there, monitoring it ? When I enter 10.10.10 enter, I turn it on and off.

I want to tune to it, ONLY... :)

So,

--I want to tune to Tower Freq.
--When I want to listen to Ground, I tune to THAT freq, memory location
--When I then want to tune to DELIVERY control, I just want to jump to THAT frequencuy / memory location

and so on and so forth. Turning systems and faves and channels on or off is not what I want to do.
 

sparklehorse

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#5
Thank you for the reply. I have been very frustrated with the way memories work on Uniden scanners in general. While I am able to use the software to program and create lists and groups, without the control software I can't seem to get used to the way memories work.

Could you maybe show me a way to quickly access my memories? I have a HomePatrol and a BCD536HP. On the 536, how the heck do you quickly get to memory 11,22,55? LOL.

I guess I would also need to have a cheat sheet of the memory locations? While annoying, it may be better than nothing.

As for the Yaesus, I will have to think about that. Seems easy enough although it is not what I ultimately want. I feel it should be easy to implement via a software update?
So on the 536 I assign Quick Keys to all my Favorite Lists, Systems and Departments. That way you can organize your frequencies however you want, and then turn things off and on as you like. Here's what I might do in your case:

One Favorite List for all my ATC frequencies - Assign Favorite List Quick Key 1 to this.
One System called ATC - Assign System QK 1 to this.
One Department called Approach Control - Assign Department QK 1 to this.
One Department called Departure Control - Assign Department QK 2 to this.

You also need to assign a Number Tag to each Favorites List, System and Department. For simplicity I always make this the same number as the QK I've assigned to it.

Now add your frequencies to these departments as appropriate.

Assign each channel a Number Tag.

Let's say you have 14 channels in Dept 1, numbered 1-14, and 8 channels in Dept. 2. You can number Dept 2 starting with 15, or you could make it simpler and start Dept 2 with 21. It's up to you how to structure the numbering, but the take away is you don't start over with channel 1 in Dept 2. The number tags need to be unique to each channel in a system as Dept Number Tags are ignored for navigation for some reason.

So now to go to channel 5 (which is in Dept 1) you first hold on a channel, then enter 1.1.5 and hit the Channel button again. Zap, you go straight to channel 5 in that system in that favorite list.

This works a bit differently on the older DMA scanners (396/996 etc), but that's how Ive gotten things to work for me on a 536/436.

Hope that helps.

.
 
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sparklehorse

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#6
Marks Easier to Read manual describes the use of Number Tags in more detail, including some shortcuts I was not aware of, like these:

Enter:
2.5.6 to go to Channel 6 in System 5 in Favorites List 2.
1.10.36 to go to Channel 36 in System 10 in Favorites List 1.
.10.36 to go to Channel 36 in System 10 in current Favorites List.
..36 to go to Channel 36 in current System.
2. to go to Favorites List 2 (1st channel in 1st department in 1st system).
2.5. to go to System 5 in Favorites List 2 (1st channel in 1st department).

More here:

Easier to Read BCD436/536HP Digital Scanner Manual

.
 
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#7
Thanks. That's how I have it all programmed. I think what I was missing was that I have to be STOPPED not scanning. If the scanner is actively scanning, you can only turn things on and off. To actually get to a channel, you have to be holding somewhere FIRST before typing in the location.



Let me go test your tips and my theory and see if it works.
 
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#8
Nope, that did not work :( I must be doing it wrong.

I have a channel on 10 10 10

When I try to go directly to it, it simply turns it on or off... not go to it and stay there :( This happens if I tried it while scanning. If I am holding on a channel, it simply tries to go to direct frequency entry.
 

sparklehorse

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#9
Thanks. That's how I have it all programmed. I think what I was missing was that I have to be STOPPED not scanning. If the scanner is actively scanning, you can only turn things on and off. To actually get to a channel, you have to be holding somewhere FIRST before typing in the location.
That is correct.

By the way, I just I made some slight edits to my earlier post, so you may want to re-read it. Basically I wanted to clarify that Quick Keys are for turning things on and off, like Favorites Lists, or Systems, while Number Tags are for navigating to specific channels once stopped. So for your purposes they're both important.

And you probably know this already, but in case not, you can also use the VFO knob to scroll through your channels. For that reason I never go crazy assigning Number Tags to all my channels. I usually just assign a number to the first channel in each department. That way I can navigate quickly to that channel, usually that would be a dispatch channel, then scroll to one of its neighbors in that department, like a related Tac channel for instance.

.
 

sparklehorse

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#10
Nope, that did not work :( I must be doing it wrong.

I have a channel on 10 10 10

When I try to go directly to it, it simply turns it on or off... not go to it and stay there :( This happens if I tried it while scanning. If I am holding on a channel, it simply tries to go to direct frequency entry.
So you have number tags assigned then? Hitting the Channel button (hold)-> then entering 10.10.10 -> then hitting Channel again would take you to FL10-Sys10-Channel 10, but ONLY if you've got all the Number Tags assigned, which i find easiest to do in Sentinel.

.
 
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#11
Now I am not sure LOL. And yes I know this and should know better.



I currently do the scroll thing on my HomePatrol while out at the airport and also at home on the 536HP. It simply doesn't work well for what I want.



I hope Paul sees this and takes an interest in developing the option directly on the touchscreen of the HomePatrol.



Now I am off to work so it will have to wait for me to test all this out again and verify my channels to make sure they have numbers.



Thanks for the helpful tips!
 
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#12
The HP-x series does not support Quick Keys or Number Tags.

But, it's the Number Tags you want to use in the 536 - as described in post 10.
 
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#14
OK now I am really confused.

I edited a couple of favorites lists for testing. They are called

HOME - QK 10, TAG 10
JFK SPOTTING - QK 5, TAG 5

Inside JFK SPOTTING, I have a couple of Systems

JFK Spotting - QK 5, TAG 5
Port Authority
NYPD

Inside JFK Spotting, I have the following departments

Approach Control - QK 0
Tower - QK 1
Ground Control - QK 2

Under Approach Control I have all the frequencies for Approach, tagged 0,1,2,3,etc.
Under Tower I have similar set of tower frequencies tagged 0,1,2,3,etc.
Same for Ground.

Now, how do I do this? Say I am monitoring all my favorite lists. How do I quickly go to a particular channel directly? All I get is errors when I try it now :p

Thank you for your patience. I can program a Cisco PIX Firewall and understand stateful inspection, but I can't do this simple task? ugh...
 
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#15
OK, the channel access is now working. But I can't seem to be able to target the FAV list I want to turn on and off... I can only do it from the menus. I was able to do it before but now it just hangs :(
 
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#16
Remember that the Quick Keys use the ENTER button to select while the Number Tags use the CHANNEL button. Is that what you may be missing?

BTW, I too make the NTs the same as the QKs for ease of reference.
 

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#17
Remember that the Quick Keys use the ENTER button to select while the Number Tags use the CHANNEL button. Is that what you may be missing?

BTW, I too make the NTs the same as the QKs for ease of reference.
Yeah, I wish they would simplify things by using ONLY QK's for Favorites, Systems & Depts, then Number Tags only for channels. Then the navigation would be QK-QK-QK-NT, or QK-QK-NT if still ignoring Departments. It's easy to assign QKs to everything, but then forget a Number Tag here or there.

.
 

sparklehorse

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#18
Under Approach Control I have all the frequencies for Approach, tagged 0,1,2,3,etc.
Under Tower I have similar set of tower frequencies tagged 0,1,2,3,etc.
Same for Ground.
This doesn't work well. Remember that Number Tags for channels need to be unique within a system. If you have Channel 1 in Dept. 1, and also a Channel 1 in Dept. 2, then the radio will alternate between them each time. Try Channel 01-07 in Dept. 0, then 11-18 in Dept 1, then 21-29 in Dept 2, etc, etc. I think if you need more channels per Dept you could go with bigger numbers too if that helps, like channel 101, 301. Not sure on the bigger numbers though and Im not near a radio to check at the moment.

.
 
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#19
OK, yeah, I just realized how this [does not] work :)

I now think I finally got it. All working now... it is FAR from being the way I would like it (instant access via ONE button press, but it will be a bit better than chancing it by turning groups of one frequency on and off.

I am actually surprised this isn;t a feature. I mean there has to be a need for this by some other user than just me LOL.
 

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#20
I agree the navigation scheme is not exactly ideal. Buttons would be nice, but I've got 1600 channels programmed in my scanner, so not sure how useful buttons would really be for me. I think most users probably have a boat load of channels stored. Buttons would need to be microbe size.

.
 
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