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Uniden BCD396XT Memory Setup

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Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
48
Location
West Jordan, UT
#1
Hello All - I'm a long time lurker and seldom post but greatly appreciate the wealth of knowledge that exists here. I am located in "western" West Jordan.

I recently acquired the 396XT. I am amazed how things have changed since the days of my BC245!

I am not sold on the idea of combining multiple sites under one system. I would prefer to have more than 10 groups in a system. On the other hand, I do see an advantage to having all of the UCAN sites programmed under one system when you go mobile.

My current setup has all sites in one system. I started to assign Quick Codes to each site but quickly realized that I would never be able to remember what they all were.

Here's my thought, tell me if I am crazy.

I will keep one UCAN system with all sites. How I setup the groups within this system is still undecided. I would likely lockout this system and only use it while traveling to other areas in the state with UCAN coverage.

I would then create individual systems for the sites that are most useful at my home, mainly: Nelson, SL Simo (maybe), UT Co. Simo, Davis Simo, maybe a few others (I'd take recommendations). This way I can keep my group numbering consistent (i.e.1=PD 2=EMS 3=PW etc.) and assign TGID's based on the respective system.

I don't necessarily want to have PD TGID's from 3 counties in one group and with only 10 groups I feel limited.

Let me know if I am out in left field here. I am betting that someone has already found a great way to organize all of this.

BTW I am using freescan to organize what I currently have.

Thanks!!
 
Joined
May 11, 2009
Messages
53
Location
UCAN County,UT
#3
bc396 xt

i know what you are meaning if i knew how too send a file i could send you my set up on the 346 xt. i have about all the ucan in my . let me know
 

CoolCat

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#5
The easiest way to send him a freescan file is to simply email it (the file size is small, around 10kb). You could also try to attach the file to a post in this thread by renaming the extension ".txt" or ".jpg" (not sure if that will work, but you can try it).

Regarding DMA/QK setup; Remember, you can assign more than 1 system to a single quick key (same goes for groups). Also, you can create up to 20 groups per system, not just 10. If you forget what system is programmed to each QK, you can press function and rotate the selector knob to scroll through the systems (each corresponding QK will show at the bottom of the screen as you scroll).

DMA setup and QK assignment takes some planning (and some trial and error) to set everything up the way you want it. There is no "right way" or "wrong way" to do it (it's all personal preference). What I find easiest for me to remember my system QK assignments is to use the first number of the double digit QK as a reference. For example, I have the State police smartzones programmed as "01", "02", etc; Other state agencies as "11", "12", etc; Federal agencies as "21", "22", etc; Local counties/municipalities as "31", "32", etc.. Hopefully that makes sense. Basically, if you set your systems up this way then you only have to remember the first digit to know which category they are in.
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
48
Location
West Jordan, UT
#7
Bcd396xt

Thanks for the files and ideas. I am starting to grasp the concept of dynamic memory.

I have attached my first attempt and organizing thru Freescan. I am able to hear the VECC Fire dispatch TG 21216 but not the rest of the response channels. Anyone have an idea why? I have tried manually re-entering them and changing the audio type to analog only. I'm at a loss for why it won't pick them up.

Thanks for any help you can offer!
 

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Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
48
Location
West Jordan, UT
#8
So it looks like I do a lot of talking to myself! I think I may have found a work-around to my fire TG problem. I found that I am able to receive all of the VECC response TG's if I use the SL Simo site. Could it be that only the call-out TG (21216) is affiliated with the Nelson site? Seems odd, but it works.

My plan now is to add the SL Simo site and the Nelson site under one system. Hopefully this will cover TG's that Nelson is missing.

Has anyone else experienced this? Maybe I should have gone with the GRE! I was able to get the Uniden new for 1/2 price though. Couldn't resist!
 
Joined
May 11, 2009
Messages
53
Location
UCAN County,UT
#9
cool down my firend

some time these can be real mindblowing. but think what you need to to is find the easy to read manual on 396xt it is on here somewhere. and i think you need to put all of the towers in the SLC area as there own site with the same quick key number. like site 44,01,02, 03, 04,18, 11, 15, & set them all to the same quick my is 7 =i call it {SL CNTY ARE} i hope it works. when i look at your set you got it working from what i can tell try it and see & make sure you have the reband for each site too just enter the control channel there in blue & red that all you really need
 
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Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
48
Location
West Jordan, UT
#11
Thanks for the support

Ghostdog,

Thanks for the file. I will look at it tonight.

After scanning for a while with my new setup, it looks like I am receiving all of the talk groups I was looking for. With Nelson being such a popular site it surprises me that it is not carrying the VECC Fire CH 2-4. SL Simo works great though.

Has anyone else experienced this?

Thanks!

B
 

kc2rgw

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Joined
Dec 22, 2008
Messages
287
#12
The way I approach it is in concentric circles.

I start with the 'home' circle, the bare minimum I want to hear as the first system, then within that I have groups by townships. This is basically my town and the immediate border towns.

I expand outwards, with the next system being countywide reach grouped by townships.

I have extended groups for more odd ducks like trunked systems for the state police or state agencies/railroads, ham radio, things that I personally don't listen to on the scanner very often.

I certainly don't memorize where they all are, but for the most part I know as I step through the QK's and systems that I'm adding range to the coverage as I go which makes it easier to guestimate where I put something specific.

I hope that made sense.
 
Joined
May 12, 2008
Messages
217
Location
Salem, Utah
#15
Uniden 346XT Memory Setup

Bcoray,

I have reviewed your Freescan file from last week. It looks like you did a very nice job, especially for a first attempt! Most likely your setup has changed a lot since then, but I do have a few observations.

1. The first system listed is 'SL Simo', but the only freqs are from Nelson Peak. You probably already fixed this. There are no talkgroups entered. That's OK, since you have it set to Search instead of Scan. The nice thing about including some TG's even in Search Mode is that if a given TG is in your list, you will see it's name instead of just the number. I do like how you entered only the Control Channels, and checked the box for 'Control Channel Only'.

2. The system named 'UCAN Nelson' has a site named 'Nelson Peak'. It is set for CCO, but has every freq listed. No harm done, but it gets way more messy than it needs to be. If your scanner supports CCO, as yours does, I say use it and keep things simple. All your sites are set for CCO (yeah) but most have all the freqs listed. All the Simulcast Sites will have 1 CC and 3 alternates. All the rest will have 1 CC and 1 alternate. All you really need is the current CC, but in case of that extremely rare event that an alternate is used, they probably should be entered as well.

3. I read somewhere that using ‘Motorola End Code’ is recommended. It is only checked on one of your systems.

4. I love Nelson Peak! In my opinion it is the very heart of the whole UCAN system. It's like a grab bag of TG's from most areas of UCAN, and there are very few members of this Forum who can not hear it (excepting Cache & St George). It's fun to listen to when my local area is quiet, but being more unpredictable I personally lock it out much of the time to focus more on my local area.

5. You are correct in that you don't really need more than one site per system, but I'll toss out a scenario where you might want to. I see you have a system named 'UCAN Nelson Summit' which has the Nelson freqs and the Summit TG's. I'm impressed that you noticed so quickly the 'anomaly' of Nelson having much of the Summit TG's active. It also has much of the Tooele traffic, and of course SL, Davis, and Utah Counties. For this system, why not include the Wasatch/Summit Simulcast site, and perhaps South Mtn and Wendover for Tooele? By the time you travel within range of these other sites, Nelson will almost for sure be gone, but now you can automatically re-use the same list of TG's when you travel outside the range of Nelson. Of course inside this system you would include TG lists for Wasatch/Summit, Tooele, and then whatever others to fill up the system.

6. I use the above strategy extensively to reduce the number of systems in my scanner, and to reduce entering redundant TG lists as much as possible. And in fact for my BR330 scanner which does not use a GPS nor does it support multiple sites per system, I took it to the extreme. I divided the CC's from all the independent (IR) UCAN sites into 4 separate groups, such that every CC in any group is geographically separated from the others enough that only 1 from each group can be heard at any point in the state at a time. (Yes, that was a BIG project!) This resulted in only 4 systems that cover the entire state (not including any Simulcast areas, which are each given their own system). Whenever I drive out of range of 1 CC, the scanner automatically starts looking for another to replace it. The same TG list is included (redundantly) for each of the 4 IR systems. The list is simply the most likely TG's to be heard while traveling in rural Utah. For my BC330 or a BC246 that is the Top 200. For you that would be the Top 500. I have already compiled both of these lists, of which you are welcome to use. All use Search mode so I hear everything, but if it’s in the list I see the name instead of the number. These systems are always locked out when at home, and always unlocked while I travel.

7. I can see that you do have a system containing all the UCAN sites. I have one of these as well in all of my scanners. The main difference is that I have removed all of the simulcast sites and all the very busy sites from that system for the sake of simplicity. They are all covered very adequately in their own systems. Examples of ‘Busy’ for me are Nelson Pk and West Mtn. For you that might be Nelson, Francis, & maybe others. I think the real reason this system exists for us is for when we travel outside our home area. In my mind, having all those ‘busy home sites’ included is missing the point.

8. I have assigned SITE quick keys to each site according to their site #. Most of the site #’s are burned into my brain already, so this works for me. I include in each of the simulcast systems the main simulcast site, which is always unlocked, then all the surrounding IR sites, which are normally locked out. Using Utah County as an example, the Simulcast and WestMtn are programmed in and normally unlocked. Also included but normally locked out are AF Canyon, Hobble Creek, Teat Peak, Levan, Black Crook, and Nelson. All of my Simulcast Systems are setup in a similar fashion.

9. We all pay a price for every active CC (every site) that we monitor at one time. That price is 1 second (the default) every scan cycle. As it turns out, 1 second can be a big deal if you are trying to follow some event, so you should not monitor all the IR sites all the time. On the other hand, if I am really interested in 5 or 6 sites all the time, then so be it. One point to note is that if a given CC is out of range of the scanner, you only pay a fraction of a second instead of 1 second. (That’s why the strategy with the 4 IR systems above works out.) In my opinion, we don’t pay a price for more TG’s in the system. The bottleneck, I believe, is in listening to enough of the CC data stream to see who is active -- finding each TG in a list from internal scanner memory should be much, much quicker.

10. As far as organizing the TG’s, I do what kc2rgw does with the concentric circles, but he was able to explain it better that I ever have. My philosophy is that I want to hear everything near me, but the farther away things are happening, I only want ‘the good stuff’ and sometimes nothing at all. Of course if I were affiliated with any agency in particular, that would be included in my locals or ‘favorites’, and I would listen for it on the site with the strongest signal and most likely site to always carry that TG. For example, if there is a Search & Rescue in the mountains somewhere, the searchers will affiliate with their nearest IR site, but I don’t need to monitor all those sites because for sure there will be a copy of all their traffic on their local Simulcast System. On the other hand, if I were in the same area as the search, it would be nice to have that IR site programmed in that same system, normally locked out, but available quickly just in case.

11. Did you download these systems from the RR database? If so, I didn’t realize how incorrect some of the Utah County TG’s still are in the database. I shall submit some updates shortly.

Pretty much anyone on this forum is welcome to any files I have, including my Freescan files, but some files I would prefer not to post publicly. Just send me a PM. I would also be interested to see a more current setup from you.

B.Christensen
.
 
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Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
48
Location
West Jordan, UT
#16
Bchris,

Thank you very much for your review. I have learned a tremendous amount since I posted that file. I have made many of the corrections that you mention. One feature I like on the BCD396XT is the multiple site per system. I have created a system for each county. Within the system I have included all of the simo and IR sites for the area. Normally all but the simo sites are locked out, but are there if I need them.

I have created groups with varying combinations of talk groups. Generally a county tg and city tg groups for the counties outside Salt Lake. I got a bit more detailed on the Salt Lake system groups. All of my TG groups need further editing. A lot of it was just cut and paste from the DB. I will eventually narrow them down based on priority. (i.e. no need for sandy PW in with sandy PD)

I will PM you with my more current file. I would love to have a look at your setup as well.

Again, thanks for all of the great input!
 
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