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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 03-22-2018, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ofd8001 View Post
Good arguments can be made both ways on whether to use a large, medium or small Range value. It's a preference thing. My preference is larger so I'll hear about something earlier so I can avoid it.
Another drawback in addition to troymails point about scanning unreceivable stuff, if the scanner takes more than 30 seconds to cycle through the list of stuff it's scanning, the probability of missing transmissions goes up significantly, even if everything being scanned is within reception range.

A scanner Range setting between 0 and 5 usually offers the best tradeoff between getting advance warning and missing traffic because the scanner is scanning too much stuff (whether in range or not).
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 03-22-2018, 10:51 PM
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My last sentence was "But everything is subject to change based on actual conditions."

If I seem to be running through "lots" of systems/departments/sites/channels, or get too much static associated with low signal bar strength, I'll move the range closer to 0. Otherwise my starting point is 10.0 miles.

The thing to note is that Groups are based on jurisdictional boundaries. Their actual radio reach could be much farther. I know for others with whom I've debated this issue, I'm sounding like a broken record, but the OP probably hasn't seen previous posts. There is a county I like monitoring some 40 miles away. If I accept database range, I'd never hear them except when I get to their county. I bumped up the range so they turn on in my scanner and receive them clearly.

Bottom line is each user should experiment and use the Range he/she likes.

Last edited by ofd8001; 03-22-2018 at 10:56 PM..
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Old 03-23-2018, 10:35 PM
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Well I have arrived.... I think somewhere in MD or Early PA I gave up, just does not seem to work for me at least along this route, I think there are many variables. I did set range to 0but it seems like range reverts back to 30 for some reason at some point in time. I did most of the driving today and it was just me and my son so not too much testing. Seems most departments picked up were just too far away even on 0 range. Do note that most of my trip was along the Blue Ridge and Shandoaha Mtns and many of these radio systems were probably near 5-6k ft AGL I was picking up some NC systems well into VA like probably 80 miles in on 800 MHz. Many towns I was driving thru were never heard and most of these were large towns like Roanoke and Christiansburg/Blacksburg. I heard very little VA HP at all and honestly it was strange, well over 600 miles and I only saw one police vehicle when I came into NJ otherwise NOTHING. Often the scanner would go quiet for a LONG time, I would then set Auto Locate and the correct town would show up and traffic would resume. Itís as if the GPS only updated the scanner when I told it to.... not sure. I turned it back on when I approached my old jurisdiction, I was as a deputy and EMT up here 30+ years ago and punched in my old town zip code. Even at 0 range all of NYC is being added to the scan list and I am over 30 miles away. BUT I am hearing my old department and my home town. Funeral tomorrow most of the day then back to SC on Sunday... jury still out if I will hook it back up in the truck. For now itís next to my bed in the hotel.
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Old 03-24-2018, 6:44 AM
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Been there... your report sounds strangely familiar. As I traveled, I'd constantly see things I disabled (avoided) get re-enabled. The radio definitely attempts to scan far too much when the full database is enabled. And I still believe that the Unidens have even more trouble locking onto some systems as it rotates through different types of systems. Add to that any simulcast issues you encountered along the way which Uniden is finally admitting are a problem for the x36 now that they believe they have a new model they want to sell to you.

Bottom line is that if there are things you want to hear along your route, you really have no choice but to do some pre-planning/programming of favorites lists in advance of the trip and potentially use location control against that specific programming (maybe).

If you dive into the details of the location settings for your route, you'll probably see lots of bad info. Other info might be correct but with some systems/departments having tiny "circles" (ranges) to huge "circles" for state, regional, and/or national coverage, what you hear is really hit and miss.

I still hold the position that using a GPS against the full database for a drive works well for those who are driving and just want to hear something - anything and not so much if you know what you want/expect to hear along the route - unless you do you own programming - and even that will take some trial and error to get something to work the way you want it to.
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Old 03-24-2018, 6:52 AM
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Never use Auto Locate. It does a band scan for P25 towers, and looks up the ones it finds to estimate your location with an error radius of 30 miles or more. It takes a long time, and isn't very accurate. If Range got set to 30, Auto Locate is most likely how.

Every time you enter a ZIP code, Range is reset to 20 miles.

Most of VA is on the STARS system, including the state police and all the larger cities. If you did a system avoid on STARS then you will hear pretty much nothing in VA, especially in larger cities.

If you suspect the GPS isn't working, make sure the GPS indicator on the scanner is showing and the light on the puck is blinking, then do the 90210 test shown in the video I linked. Just remember you will have to reset Range after entering a ZIP code.
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Old 03-24-2018, 8:40 AM
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Also power down the scanner at the switch so it will write the as card properly, temp avoids will come back when the database reloads


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Old 03-24-2018, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troymail View Post
If you dive into the details of the location settings for your route, you'll probably see lots of bad info. Other info might be correct but with some systems/departments having tiny "circles" (ranges) to huge "circles" for state, regional, and/or national coverage, what you hear is really hit and miss.
This is why, when my 436 got the internal GPS mod, I went through the effort of using Favorite Lists for the areas I travel in. I also did the work and set up rectangles instead of circles for the systems/departments I programmed to avoid having a large circle encompass a very oddly shaped jurisdiction. For example, the county I live in is nearly 75 miles east/west, but only about 15 miles north/south.

The drawback to my approach is that it takes quite a bit of effort setting up all the stuff (DB only supplies circles) and while it's not difficult work, it is tedious. A way to see state/county/city political boundaries and graphically draw circles/rectangles within Sentinel is one of my wishlist items, but I don't think Uniden is going to bite.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 03-24-2018, 1:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShyFlyer View Post
A way to see state/county/city political boundaries and graphically draw circles/rectangles within Sentinel is one of my wishlist items, but I don't think Uniden is going to bite.
ProScan has that capability. You can view the location circles and rectangles on Google maps, and drag borders to edit.
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Old 03-26-2018, 11:50 AM
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I did not bother hook8mg it all back up for my return trip. Weather conditi9ns were lookimg poor on the way back in PA and VA and I was planning on doing more driving than my son and little playing, ended up we got snow in PA by the rest of the trip was pretty good.

Yes I do shut down the scanner prior to turning the truck off so the sd card is written. The GPS did seem to be working but I did not have a laptop to view the NEMA data with me and the GPS icon was showing on the display. GPS worked at home on the PC and it was hard wired over a decade ago when I used it with my TNC for APRS... well before Kenwoods with a built in GPS. When I did auto locate it did seem to know where I was and I assumed it also looked a Lat and Lon. If I did not auto locate it would go silent after a bit of time with our 80mph average speed.

I did here VA at times, there was activity but very light, heard Richmond and also Martinsville and Culpepper.

IDK it was OK, he idea seems good but for interstate driving maybe not that good. One feature which would help and should be easy to do is when in th setup menu UNIDEN needs to display the Coordinates, time , Sats in view and Altitude/Speed all on the $GPRMC sentence most pucks output. Not only is it a good feature it assists in troubleshooting.
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Old 03-26-2018, 1:28 PM
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Did you ever do the 90210 test???
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Old 03-26-2018, 1:37 PM
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Yes I did... nothing came up
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Old 03-26-2018, 2:03 PM
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When you put in 90210, the scanner should show Nothing to Scan. Then, when the GPS updates your current location, the scanner will reload your local area and scan. That is the test. If the scanner did not update to your local location, then something was wrong with the GPS or the output strings it was sending.
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Old 03-26-2018, 2:04 PM
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I will double check later today and actually plug it into the laptop and monitor with PUTTY.
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Old 03-26-2018, 2:08 PM
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Quote:
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When you put in 90210, the scanner should show Nothing to Scan.
Not if the Main Database is enabled. If so, the scanner will load systems in the Beverly Hills CA area. If the GPS is working and connected properly, the scanner will quickly realize it is not in California and load systems in your actual location. If the scanner continues to scan Beverly Hills, then you know you have a GPS issue.
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Old 03-26-2018, 2:30 PM
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Ah, for some reason I was thinking he was just using a FL. Your description is spot on.
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Old 03-26-2018, 2:34 PM
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Default I feel k4's pain...

I quickly realized after using this gps tech, using both the HP1 and 536, that it's not quite as awesome as it should/could be. But it does serve a very neat purpose. You have to severely "limit" what it's going to pull in, especially if you're mostly whizzin' down the interstate. It's simply not able to keep up, depending on what you're trying to listen to.

It's not a "fix-all solution" or a miracle cure by any means. It's just a new/easier way to utilize the scanner in a mobile (mostly) environment. It's also not for the "hardcore/particular" scannists that most of us are. Nor is it for the impatient.

You have to take into consideration the terrain, the systems in each state, how fast/much time you're spending in each area and the actual antenna usage as well. You went through a lot of areas in a fairly quick amount of time. And if I'm not mistaken PA (probably the largest amount of area you were traveling in) is a notorious dead air place along 81. If you enjoy trying to figure this thing out I encourage you to try using it on a trip where you'll be sticking more around a single area. It will work but it takes a little patience and understanding of what it can and can't do.
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Old 03-26-2018, 2:43 PM
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And if I'm not mistaken PA (probably the largest amount of area you were traveling in) is a notorious dead air place along 81.
81 is not a dead zone in PA. I live there, drive it regularly, and there's plenty of stuff to scan. The biggest thing is to become familiar with operating the scanner before driving with it. Understand how to do avoids at the system, department, and channel level, and why. Be able to set them by touch. Same with holds. Learning how to use the scanner should not be done while driving.

Quote:
If you enjoy trying to figure this thing out I encourage you to try using it on a trip where you'll be sticking more around a single area. It will work but it takes a little patience and understanding of what it can and can't do.
Good advice, to which I would add use the unit while stationary just to get more familiar with it.
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Old 03-26-2018, 2:46 PM
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I thought PA was open sky or whatever and state police wasn't able to be monitored...
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Old 03-26-2018, 2:47 PM
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True, getting more familiar is both necessary and implied
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Old 03-26-2018, 4:41 PM
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I thought PA was open sky or whatever and state police wasn't able to be monitored...
State police, yes. County and city level police, fire, and EMS, no.
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