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Database Discussion Forum - This forum is for questions about the database such as how to use it, layout or usability issues or suggestions for improvement. It is not for pointing out wrong information or getting help with programming.

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Old 09-20-2017, 12:45 PM
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Default Alpha tags too long

Hello :

I notice the description fields on a lot of the talk groups
are very long . Some being as long as 45 characters .

This results in the description line being cut short
or not displaying properly.

For example please look at NJICS system and the
New York city NYPD ect .

I know the database is not geared toward any particular scanner model.

That being said I don't believe there is a scanner on the market that
supports alpha tags that long.

I use a BCD536HP , Uniden HP2 and Whistler 1098 and
experience the problem on all radios.

Is there something that can be done to correct this.
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Old 09-20-2017, 1:01 PM
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If the tags are too long or look unreadable, I will alter them on my scanner PC programs before uploading to the scanner.
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Old 09-21-2017, 7:16 PM
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Thank you for your suggestion,
however I don't feel that is a
viable solution.

There should be a maximum amount of
characters entered in the description field
that will not cause the overflow effect.

This should be done when items are being
inputted to database.

I bring this up so that the database will be
more enjoyable for all ,when using there scanners.
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Old 09-21-2017, 7:18 PM
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I just wish they were in all Capital letters both for regular people and vision impaired people in the database,some are oddly.
Mine are all caps!.
Look how nice that is.
Aside from my crappy focus on the camera,who cant read that?Clear as day.
TRX1 Whistler

PLEASE UPLOAD EM IN ALL CAPS FOR US BLIND PEOPLE .REMEMBER WE ALL GET OLD ONE DAY!
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Old 09-21-2017, 8:07 PM
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I have always used uppercase tags on my scanners for ease of reading. And yes the RRDB tags are way, way too long. I use FLs for local scanning but use the DB when traveling. On my HP-2 the tag runs off the screen and I can't tell which channel it is because of the description. It should only include the short tag and not the long description. However, these admins are going to do things their own way and they take offense to any suggestions as they feel we are acting like admins or telling them how to do their jobs and they will give you an infraction in a heartbeat.
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Old 09-21-2017, 8:24 PM
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Please do not confuse the Alpha Tag field with the Description field. They are completely separate from each other.

The Alpha Tag field has a maximum length of 16 characters. Nearly all modern scanners with the exception of the Uniden HP and x36HP series use that field when importing with software (including preloaded database on the GRE/RS/Whistler scanners).

The Description field has a maximum length of 128 characters. The HP-1, HP-2, BCD436HP, and BCD536HP use this field instead of the Alpha Tag field.

In any event, while there are a certain percentage of entries in the database that could probably use some trimming down of the Description field, it's not as if we have an epidemic on our hands. Most descriptions are relatively short and sweet.

Keep in mind also that this is the whole reason why the Description field should not contain duplicate text from the Category and Subcategory that the listing is in, as that would surely result in excessively long descriptions.

As far as your gripe with the database admins, W8RMH, maybe your gripe should be with Uniden for using the Description field instead of the Alpha Tag field for the HP based scanners. Oh and database admins cannot give infractions, only moderators can, so quit whining.
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Old 09-21-2017, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR8000 View Post
Please do not confuse the Alpha Tag field with the Description field. They are completely separate from each other.

The Alpha Tag field has a maximum length of 16 characters. Nearly all modern scanners with the exception of the Uniden HP and x36HP series use that field when importing with software (including preloaded database on the GRE/RS/Whistler scanners).

The Description field has a maximum length of 128 characters. The HP-1, HP-2, BCD436HP, and BCD536HP use this field instead of the Alpha Tag field.

In any event, while there are a certain percentage of entries in the database that could probably use some trimming down of the Description field, it's not as if we have an epidemic on our hands. Most descriptions are relatively short and sweet.

Keep in mind also that this is the whole reason why the Description field should not contain duplicate text from the Category and Subcategory that the listing is in, as that would surely result in excessively long descriptions.

As far as your gripe with the database admins, W8RMH, maybe your gripe should be with Uniden for using the Description field instead of the Alpha Tag field for the HP based scanners. Oh and database admins cannot give infractions, only moderators can, so quit whining.
The maximum amount of characters that will display on One Line of text without
being cut off or wrapping around is 30.

That should be kept in mind when entering in database.

What I am offering here are ideas to make things better not criticism.
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Old 09-22-2017, 12:43 AM
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Actually, it's exactly 35 characters that fit on a 536HP before the ... appears.

I'm not sure if that also applies to the 436HP, or the HomePatrol models. I believe you can change the font size on the HomePatrol, so you might fit more or less depending on the setting.


Regardless, the current and official policy is as follows:

Quote:
6.1.4.2 FREQUENCY AND TALKGROUP DESCRIPTIONS

Talkgroup and frequency descriptions shall be kept short and informative (50 characters or less) while avoiding exact duplication with other fields where possible. Channel numbers should be included when known. For example:
  • Where an alpha tag states "PD DISPATCH 1" use “Police Dispatch 1” in the Description.
  • Common operating channels shall be shown as "Countywide Common 1" or "Law Interop 1" rather than just "Countywide Common" or "Law Interop" in the Description field.
  • Category or Subcategory headings or names will not be shown or duplicated in the Description field.
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Old 09-22-2017, 3:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR8000 View Post
Please do not confuse the Alpha Tag field with the Description field. They are completely separate from each other.

The Alpha Tag field has a maximum length of 16 characters. Nearly all modern scanners with the exception of the Uniden HP and x36HP series use that field when importing with software (including preloaded database on the GRE/RS/Whistler scanners).

The Description field has a maximum length of 128 characters. The HP-1, HP-2, BCD436HP, and BCD536HP use this field instead of the Alpha Tag field.

In any event, while there are a certain percentage of entries in the database that could probably use some trimming down of the Description field, it's not as if we have an epidemic on our hands. Most descriptions are relatively short and sweet.

Keep in mind also that this is the whole reason why the Description field should not contain duplicate text from the Category and Subcategory that the listing is in, as that would surely result in excessively long descriptions.

As far as your gripe with the database admins, W8RMH, maybe your gripe should be with Uniden for using the Description field instead of the Alpha Tag field for the HP based scanners. Oh and database admins cannot give infractions, only moderators can, so quit whining.
I wasn't whining just making a point, which you just proved.
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W8RMH View Post
However, these admins are going to do things their own way and they take offense to any suggestions as they feel we are acting like admins or telling them how to do their jobs and they will give you an infraction in a heartbeat.
Its not the admins, it's the software authors. The rr staff are not the ones who decide how and what is downloaded to the scanners.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR8000 View Post
Please do not confuse the Alpha Tag field with the Description field. They are completely separate from each other.


On the x36 series it seems it's specific to the software. Freescan and Proscan use the "Alpha Tag" while Sentinel uses the "Description Tag" So it's uniden making that choice to download description rather than alpha tags that take less display..

The screenshot shows what each looks like with all 3 using NYS DEC "Statewide" as the example.
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:39 AM
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Proscan actually gives you the choice of using Description or Alpha Tag--the checkbox labeled "Channels-Use Description Name instead of the Display Name".
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Old 09-22-2017, 12:13 PM
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Thank you for the reply:

I would compare that to the following hypothetical situation

Sign on pier says pier length 35 feet
do not proceed beyond 50 feet.

Of course if you do you will fall off the pier.

Looks like the same thing is occurring here.
only 35 characters will display on one line
however 50 may be written thus falling off or
not displaying.

Would you concur that is a fair assessment ?



Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR8000 View Post
Actually, it's exactly 35 characters that fit on a 536HP before the ... appears.

I'm not sure if that also applies to the 436HP, or the HomePatrol models. I believe you can change the font size on the HomePatrol, so you might fit more or less depending on the setting.


Regardless, the current and official policy is as follows:
6.1.4.2 FREQUENCY AND TALKGROUP DESCRIPTIONS

Talkgroup and frequency descriptions shall be kept short and informative (50 characters or less) while avoiding exact duplication with other fields where possible. Channel numbers should be included when known. For example:
Where an alpha tag states "PD DISPATCH 1" use “Police Dispatch 1” in the Description.
Common operating channels shall be shown as "Countywide Common 1" or "Law Interop 1" rather than just "Countywide Common" or "Law Interop" in the Description field.
Category or Subcategory headings or names will not be shown or duplicated in the Description field.
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Old 09-22-2017, 1:43 PM
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The world is in pretty good shape when this is a concern.
Learn the software and fix it however you want.
That's what its for.

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Old 09-22-2017, 4:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n2pqq View Post
I would compare that to the following hypothetical situation

Sign on pier says pier length 35 feet
do not proceed beyond 50 feet.

Of course if you do you will fall off the pier.

Looks like the same thing is occurring here.
only 35 characters will display on one line
however 50 may be written thus falling off or
not displaying.

Would you concur that is a fair assessment ?
A more correct hypothetical situation:
  1. 50 feet long pier was built first.
  2. A few years later, someone else (not the builders) comes by and puts down a sign saying you can only use the first 35 feet of the pier.

The pier has always been 50 feet, but someone else won't let you use anything past 35 feet. The description field in the database was around before scanners/software tried to use it.
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Old 09-22-2017, 6:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire8520 View Post
The description field in the database was around before scanners/software tried to use it.
Exactly.

The RRDB was first and foremost designed as a means to catalog this information on a website interface, not for means of programming. That came along later as software writers and manufacturers took advantage of the ability to download the data for use with scanners.

As a reminder, the RRDB does not cater to any particular scanner brand or model, nor should it.
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Old 09-22-2017, 6:54 PM
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Let's keep in mind any complaints toward moderation activity should follow the guidelines in the below post and not be hashed out in public forums...

https://forums.radioreference.com/fo...-activity.html

Have a GREAT weekend!
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n2pqq View Post
That should be kept in mind when entering in database.
But ONLY for users who have 436/536/HP1&2 scanners.
Why should others suffer the flexibility of the description field to make things nicer for YOU?

And yes, I happen to have several models of those scanners, and it puzzles me why Uniden would use that as the "tag", when every other scanner uses the "Tag" field as the "Tag" (which is a completely different annoyance in the inconsistent way they are listed).
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:00 PM
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I started a huge thread on this a couple years ago.

If it were up to me an additional descriptor field would be added, something that the Uniden software doesn't pick up. It would be a lot of work but the admins would then constrain the current field to something usable and reasonable.

As it is now a good portion of the Kansas KSICS system displays only Kanas State Interoperable Comm......... or something similar.

It's useless.

Oh well...
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR8000 View Post
Exactly.

The RRDB was first and foremost designed as a means to catalog this information on a website interface, not for means of programming. That came along later as software writers and manufacturers took advantage of the ability to download the data for use with scanners.

As a reminder, the RRDB does not cater to any particular scanner brand or model, nor should it.
Why shouldn't it? There are really only two brands in existence. It's not like there are hundreds of manufacturers we have to cater to.


If Uniden won't compromise with the descriptor tag use then just standardize it to a point that there is a reasonable compromise.

Last edited by mancow; 09-22-2017 at 11:06 PM..
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Old 09-23-2017, 6:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mancow View Post
As it is now a good portion of the Kansas KSICS system displays only Kanas State Interoperable Comm......... or something similar.
I just looked at the KSICS system. None of the Description fields say "Kansas State Interoperable Comm....". You sure the problem isn't with your scanner or how you are programming it?
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