• 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.

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Scannerbase Advanced Virtual Control

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b52hbuff

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http://www.scannerbase.com/scannerbase-avc396-uniden-bcd396t-scanner-software/

I am using this software for the 396 and the 246 version as well.

I am having a problem with the audio logging where there are a lot of short .wav files, but no audio.

Anyone have any tips or tweaks?

I see this mentioned on the page above:
If you have a faster machine (and/or a decent COM/USB Adapter) you can tweak the program to run faster by editing the “com_settings.txt” file that is created after the first time you run the program. The file will be located in the folder you installed the program to. With the program closed, open this file in the text editor of your choice, all you need to do is change the very last line (which will show the number 100 by default) to a number smaller then 100 and save the file. The next time your run the program it will run faster. Note: The smaller the number, the faster the program will run and the more unstable the program becomes. Numbers smaller then 20 are not advised. I personally can set this number as small as 20 without problems.


...is there anyway to tune this to eliminate the empty .wav files?
 

hiegtx

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Did you run an audio patch cable from the scanner's earphone jack to the mic input of your pc's soundcard? If not, that will give you the 'empty' *.wav files.
 

b52hbuff

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hiegtx said:
Did you run an audio patch cable from the scanner's earphone jack to the mic input of your pc's soundcard? If not, that will give you the 'empty' *.wav files.

My apologies for not being clearer. ;)

What I meant is that with the radio properly connected to the radio, I still get many .wav files that a 'short' or truncated and there is no audio inside. I have left the program running for hours and when I come back, there are a bunch of 11k & 22k files that are essentially 'kerchunking' the recording.

I know it works, because there are other files that are longer and contain audio.

I'm wondering what I could do to minimize/eliminate these small files...
 

Dubbin

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b52hbuff said:
I'm wondering what I could do to minimize/eliminate these small files...
Delete them :D

Are you sure that the squelch is not opening up for a very short time on one of the freqs?
 

hiegtx

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Ahh. If you're getting 'good' files, along with some empty losers, maybe some interference? I have that problem with the cable modem & my wireless router.

Try turning on the text logger as well, see if you can pick up a pattern as to which frequencies (or even talk groups) this happens to the most. If it's a conventional, either try the attenuator (which is what I try first) or bump the squelch up. Try to use PL/CTCSS tones or DPL codes on as many conventionals as possible. That helps.

Also, if you've got enough cable, separate the scanner as much as possible from any sources of RFI. That includes, besides the router & cable modem, certain monitors, & in my case, my photosmart printer (even when it's hibernating). Could even be the pc itself. If you think it could be the monitor, try turning the monitor off after you get the AVC set up & running ( especially if you're going to be away from the pc for a while anyway). I've got a 6' serial cable on that pc, in effect giving me an extension. Also lets me use the one serial port for various programming cables for other scanners. The 250D, & 245 take differrent cables than the 246/330/396. The 780 is tied to a different pc.
 

rbm

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I tried AVC396 and there are a number of problems with logging.

I delete all files that were 11k or less.

Once in a while, the kerchunk is so short that it starts recording a wav file and doesn't stop until the next squelch break, causing some huge wav files..

On P25 hits the file name (freq etc.) sometimes is corrupted. It took me a while to figure it out. I had to add the frequency to the alpha label. So, the wav file should contain the same frequency twice. However, I was getting wav files with the correct freq from the alpha field but a different one in the normal frequency field.
(Something like this: actual hit was on 160.395 P25, log file showed 160.395__154.665)

Some wav file names are corrupted and tuncated.

The file creation date and the date entered as part of the wav file are often different.

I must add though that this software has great potential and I really liked it. I just couldn't depend on the logging being accurate.
 

rbm

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b52hbuff said:
http://www.scannerbase.com/scannerbase-avc396-uniden-bcd396t-scanner-software/
I see this mentioned on the page above:
If you have a faster machine (and/or a decent COM/USB Adapter) you can tweak the program to run faster by editing the “com_settings.txt” file
I fired up AVC396 last night and set the com_settings.txt file to 40.

Here's the results for several P25 hits. The first line is the way they should all show up. The others have random frequency entries. (The frequencies are from other memory locations in the same OR other systems.)

The time for each hit is correct, but the date is off by one day. It should be 06-19-2006.
My PC date IS correct.

99-NYSEG_LineBGM-160.3950_-160.3950_P25__1-48-55-AM_1-49-58-AM_06-18-2006.wav

99-NYSEG_LineBGM-160.3950_-123.0250_P25__3-10-28-AM_3-10-40-AM_06-18-2006.wav
99-NYSEG_LineBGM-160.3950_-160.2150_P25__2-07-57-AM_2-08-06-AM_06-18-2006.wav
99-NYSEG_LineBGM-160.3950_-160.3350_P25__2-01-43-AM_2-02-21-AM_06-18-2006.wav
99-NYSEG_LineBGM-160.3950_-418.9500_P25__3-10-05-AM_3-10-13-AM_06-18-2006.wav
99-NYSEG_LineBGM-160.3950_1300.0000_P25__3-11-35-AM_3-11-42-AM_06-18-2006.wav

By the way, my CPU is an Athlon XP 2100+ with 1021 mb of memory. So, it's not a lack of horsepower on the PC.
 

RISC777

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For what it's worth using software other than what you're using, b52hbuff, it does the same thing. There will be files of larger size when there is a 'good conversation' or a decent amount of traffic, but also the short 7k, 18k, etc. sized files with no audio except background noise. Myself, anything smaller than 100k or so is an automatic deletion.
 

jastx

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I also get small files and files with incomplete names. I sometimes also get a duplicate copy of the same audio in a new file.

Part of the problem is that Uniden's communication protocol does not document a reliable way to determine when the squelch changes state and report information about what is being monitored. At this time a program must poll the scanner and try to determine that the squelch has changed state.

Uniden had this type of notification in the BC895XLT but it had some quirks. Perhaps requesting Uniden to address this in future version of the firmware for the BC246T and up would help.
 

pro92b

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rbm said:
I fired up AVC396 last night and set the com_settings.txt file to 40.

Here's the results for several P25 hits. The first line is the way they should all show up. The others have random frequency entries. (The frequencies are from other memory locations in the same OR other systems.)

The time for each hit is correct, but the date is off by one day. It should be 06-19-2006.
My PC date IS correct.

99-NYSEG_LineBGM-160.3950_-160.3950_P25__1-48-55-AM_1-49-58-AM_06-18-2006.wav

99-NYSEG_LineBGM-160.3950_-123.0250_P25__3-10-28-AM_3-10-40-AM_06-18-2006.wav
99-NYSEG_LineBGM-160.3950_-160.2150_P25__2-07-57-AM_2-08-06-AM_06-18-2006.wav
99-NYSEG_LineBGM-160.3950_-160.3350_P25__2-01-43-AM_2-02-21-AM_06-18-2006.wav
99-NYSEG_LineBGM-160.3950_-418.9500_P25__3-10-05-AM_3-10-13-AM_06-18-2006.wav
99-NYSEG_LineBGM-160.3950_1300.0000_P25__3-11-35-AM_3-11-42-AM_06-18-2006.wav

By the way, my CPU is an Athlon XP 2100+ with 1021 mb of memory. So, it's not a lack of horsepower on the PC.
Regarding the date, if you start the program in the evening, it does not pick up the change of date at midnight. Recordings made after midnight continue to carry the date from the previous day.
 

rbm

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pro92b said:
Regarding the date, if you start the program in the evening, it does not pick up the change of date at midnight. Recordings made after midnight continue to carry the date from the previous day.
Thanks. I didn't look at it long enough to notice that. I have 8 other scanners that log 24/7 and depend on date & time being correct. Six are PRO-2006's running PRO-TURBO and 2 others using ScanRec. PRO-TURBO creates a file for every hour and has a player to break out individual frequencies. ScanRec creates one big wav file from the time you start it until you stop it. With Scanrec I start a new file every 4 or 5 days.

I guess if you don't restart AVC396 every day, when you tried to sort for a specific frequency and date/time you'd hear audio from a mixture of days then.
 

brianfoy

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Hey all,

Bugs:

That date issue is a known bug which is fixed in the (yet to be released) new version of AVC396 (I am putting the finishing touches on it and it should be out sometime soon). The P25 wrong file name thing is odd. I will look into it and see what I can do to fix it, it may not make it into this next release but I will do my best to find that bug and squash it.

Accuracy and tweaking your com settings file:

Problems (or lack thereof) with accuracy are often relative to speed, that is how fast your computer can send to and process data coming from the scanner. The faster you can do that, the more accurate the program gets for you. The faster we go, the less likely it is that the program misses data critical to keeping those wav files and logs accurate like say... the fact that the SQL closed! The more you give a computer to do at once (running multiple programs, especially memory/processor intensive programs), the slower all of those programs will run respectively. While we may be talking only fractions of a second here and your anti virus program might not care if it has some extra hang time, in the world of sending and retrieving data from the scanner, every millisecond counts. So, the more you are doing with your computer at the time you are using AVC the less accurate AVC will be for you. Tweaking the last line in the com settings (com_settings.txt) can help. Just as an example, on my 3 year old P4, I can tweak that last number as low as 18 (about a 5x increase in speed and accuracy from the default 100)...and still run Firefox and a few other programs before I start to notice slowdowns which cause logging problems... The trick to the com settings tweak is to bring your computer to a load level that you will generally be at (run AVC and some extra programs at the same time, etc) then keep lowering the number until you get unacceptable "weirdness" (That would include things like the display acting funny or logs completely going out of wack). If you get that, then you know you have dropped the number too low. Right up until that point however, you are too high and not optimized. Every user will have slightly different results (the old YMMV), so tweak out that setting all the way down to your optimal and see what type of performance increase you can get for yourself.

Small Files:

Small wav files are often the result of very short (but still logable) hits OR the scanner dropping the SQL open state for a period to short to hear when casually listening but none the less the scanner sends the data that the SQL closed and then re-opened right away. I could have the program ditch all short files, like ones created in under a second lets say. Problem with that solution is that every now and then we get a hit, (lets say in the mil air band) that either lasts all of .5 seconds or we catch a hit at the very end of a transmission. If the program ditched those small files for you, you would miss the short .5 second recording where they may have said something important or simply said *something* and confirmed that a human is using that frequency. So, I would personally rather have a bunch of small files to remove myself then potentially miss something important. Likewise, I'd rather give you the option to have those files and delete them if you don't want them, then to assume nothing of importance to you was in them and delete them :)

Enjoy the software,

Brian
 
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RISC777

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Along the lines of the smaller files, yes it might be painstaking at times to weed through and delete, but at least at 100k in size (give or take) they don't take up a lot of HD space. That's the upside to it that I look at.
 

wjf

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Brian,

If you're so inclined, a mute button would be cool with Scannerbase, along with being able to minimize to the taskbar and a "floating" mode.

I usually run it in the background while doing other tasks with the computer. I reduce the window to it's second smallest size, but not "always on top", as that interferes with whatever else I'm doing. It would be cool if the window could be out of the way, but re-appear when the scanner hits on an active frequency.

Regardless of whatever the next release brings, it's still a great program and I, and I'm sure others, appreciate your creating it.
 

Jay911

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Bump for resurrection.. is there any attempt at updating being done to this software or no? It's good, but there are a significant number of issues that need addressing. Among them are: Date rollover bug (logs and such do not correctly increment the day by one when going from 23:59->00:00), incorrect frequency/ID labeling (i.e. recording one "channel"/frequency, but writing the log/.wavfile with the frequency from the channel previous), the short empty audio file problem outlined above, super-long silent audio files caused by the keyboard beep or similar false broken squelch, and occasional glitchy characters in the reproduction of the 396's display.

Despite these gripes, don't get me wrong, this is a GREAT program - I have used it to great benefit for me. It has the potential to be an OUTSTANDING program if these issues above were addressed, but it has been well over a year without an update. I would be inclined to provide a donation as requested on the author's website, IF I saw evidence of work being done on the program. I am sure this is not his first priority in any case, but even a maintenance release would be significant at this point.

I sent this in email quite some time ago via the "contact the author" link on the web page, but have yet to receive a response. No disrespect meant, Brian - as I say, I love the program and use it often, but it needs some important work.
 

rbm

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Jay said:
It has the potential to be an OUTSTANDING program if these issues above were addressed, but it has been well over a year without an update. I would be inclined to provide a donation as requested on the author's website, IF I saw evidence of work being done on the program.
I too have been hoping for an updated version and I'd be more than happy to be a paying customer.

Rich
 

Napalm

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BCT-15 version wouldn't be too hard to implement. The software already drives the 15, but it doesn't get anything back from the display (understandably, since the 396 and the 15 use different displays).

I sometimes loose the very end of recordings, which can be a pain if a user gives their callsign at the end of an over.
 
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