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General Scanning Discussion - For general questions not specific to a model of scanner or general discussion of use of a scanner. Manufacturer specific posts should be directed to the appropriate forums below and location specific posts should go in the appropriate regional forum..

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2018, 6:35 PM
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Originally Posted by KB7MIB View Post
Or do we trust people can actually be smart and safe about it, if that is what your argument is all about, which until now has not been mentioned by you, anywhere that I've seen?
It's only one facet.

I've tried all the mobile scanning options discussed in this thread: periodically entering zip codes, manually toggling scan items with the keypad, GPS scanning with custom favorite lists, and GPS scanning from the database.

I have favorite lists set up for the county I live in, and 2-3 counties surrounding in most directions. If I'm traveling in the area covered by my favorite lists, I will scan those, using GPS. If I'm traveling farther than that, I generally just scan from the database, using GPS. As the trip length increases, there is a diminishing cost-benefit ratio between the hassle of setting up an expanded favorite list (or series of them), versus the disadvantages of scanning the database. My personal limit is about 75-100 miles, depending in part how often I expect to make that trip. YMMV.

But toggling systems and channels manually on the go, especially on multi-state road trips, is something I will never do again.

If you have a separate toggle code or quick key for each county, once you get past 10 counties or so, you're going to have to have a written cheat sheet to map which quick key corresponds to which county, unless you're blessed with Sheldon Cooper's memory. Even if you can enter the quick key by touch, you're going to have to glance at the cheat sheet to remember which number to enter to enable/disable the desired county. The same applies if you enter zip codes while scanning favorite lists or the database. If you haven't memorized the zip code for every town you pass through (or at least one per county), again, you will need a cheat sheet.

If you've never tried GPS-based scanning on a long trip, it's hard to describe how much more convenient it is than any other alternative. IMO, Whistler would be doing their customers a huge favor by adding that capability, even if it meant paying Uniden a few bucks per unit for patent licensing.
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Old 05-30-2018, 7:51 PM
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John I understand your point but that has not worked with cellphones but I will also note that we do not have as many scanner users as we do cellphone users.
We've had AM/FM radios in our vehicles for years. It takes a second to change a station preset.
I drive two different vehicles. The windshield wiper controls are on the opposite side of the steering shaft. I have to take a second to get the proper wiper control to turn it on.

I've made a nice vent mount for my scanner for ease of use. Drivers today are taking 5 to 10 seconds(or more) to read texts or look at pictures. Comparing the use of a cellphone and a single tap of a quick key or two is like comparing apple to oranges.

Jim

Last edited by a29zuk; 05-30-2018 at 7:57 PM..
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Old 05-30-2018, 9:01 PM
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You have to stop for occasional gas and bathroom breaks. That's when you can refresh your memory as to what is programmed where if you need to, instead of referencing a cheat sheet while attempting to drive at the same time. It really shouldn't be that difficult, unless (generally speaking, not personally) your memory has really gotten that bad, in which case you probably shouldn't be traveling alone in the first place, and then a passenger can press the buttons. Or maybe they should be the ones driving, freeing you up to play with the radios to your hearts content.

You have your way. Great. Others have their way. Great. There shouldnt be all this discussion over it.

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Old 06-03-2018, 11:16 AM
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I have both a TRX1 and a 436.

The TRX1 never goes in the car.
Because the 436 has GPS capability.

As I even travel around the metro area, the 436 automatically turns off/on the various depts./entities.
I WOULDN'T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY.
I'd bet those that are posting negative about GPS capability - have never actually used it.

And yes, I took a lot of time building the database.
Using rectangles/bounding boxes to define the various areas, (which gives a much higher degree of accuracy than circles...).
Every county/city in two states...

A useful tool to do this type of programming:

https://www.maptechnica.com/

Example:
Bounding Box of Seattle, WA (NWSE):
47.734145, -122.459774, 47.48172, -122.224433

Last edited by nessnet; 06-03-2018 at 1:16 PM..
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Old 06-03-2018, 2:06 PM
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OK, so I have a question that is related to this topic so I'm going to ask it in this thread instead of starting a new one.

Uniden 536HP.
Favorites Lists setup by me, with location control 'on'

I have the GPS, I just haven't connected it yet since my 536 is in a radio console and I just haven't taken the time to pull it and hook it up...but...in a few weeks I'm headed on a trip to a state 3 or so states away so I want to have it up and going for that trip.

Here is my question:

If I want to use the GPS to turn on/off my custom favorites lists as I travel, do I have location control (gps) turned on and then have all of the FL's that I want to hear along my trip route turned on and the GPS/scanner will turn them on/off as I travel?

I believe the answer will be yes but I want to make sure I'm understanding how it functions correctly.

I know I could utilize the full db with the GPS (and, who knows, I may do that along the way) but I was importing the systems/depts I know I want to hear into a custom FL in hopes to not be hearing all the small little departments as we travel down the interstates past their towns. I'm focusing more on statewide/highway patrol/state police type stuff in my custom built FL.
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Old 06-03-2018, 2:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 03msc View Post
OK, so I have a question that is related to this topic so I'm going to ask it in this thread instead of starting a new one.

Uniden 536HP.
Favorites Lists setup by me, with location control 'on'

I have the GPS, I just haven't connected it yet since my 536 is in a radio console and I just haven't taken the time to pull it and hook it up...but...in a few weeks I'm headed on a trip to a state 3 or so states away so I want to have it up and going for that trip.

Here is my question:

If I want to use the GPS to turn on/off my custom favorites lists as I travel, do I have location control (gps) turned on and then have all of the FL's that I want to hear along my trip route turned on and the GPS/scanner will turn them on/off as I travel?

I believe the answer will be yes but I want to make sure I'm understanding how it functions correctly.

I know I could utilize the full db with the GPS (and, who knows, I may do that along the way) but I was importing the systems/depts I know I want to hear into a custom FL in hopes to not be hearing all the small little departments as we travel down the interstates past their towns. I'm focusing more on statewide/highway patrol/state police type stuff in my custom built FL.
With everything 'turned on', location enabled, and GPS connected, your programmed systems would be enabled and avoided as they come into, and/or pass out of range.

Using your customized list, make sure that, when you created it, you either appended it from the main database, or if manually created, that you added location and range data to your systems, sites, and departments. If you added a system (or department) manually, without also entering the location information, then the 'location' would be 0 degrees for both latitude & longitude, which is in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Africa.
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Old 06-03-2018, 2:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 03msc View Post
If I want to use the GPS to turn on/off my custom favorites lists as I travel, do I have location control (gps) turned on and then have all of the FL's that I want to hear along my trip route turned on and the GPS/scanner will turn them on/off as I travel?
Yes.

Keep in mind, though, that GPS isn't turning on/off your FLs but rather the systems/departments for which you have lat/long coordinates programmed.
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Old 06-03-2018, 2:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 03msc View Post
If I want to use the GPS to turn on/off my custom favorites lists as I travel, do I have location control (gps) turned on and then have all of the FL's that I want to hear along my trip route turned on and the GPS/scanner will turn them on/off as I travel?
Yes. For shorter or regular trips, that is an excellent strategy. You can customize range data for sites to better reflect how far your setup can hear them, disable or not program thing you know are not of interest, etc. All you have to do is connect the GPS and drive.

For longer trips, especially if you don't know the exact route, you'll probably want to turn off favorite lists, and just scan the database.

One thing to consider: even on the freeways, EMS and fire is typically handled by local agencies, so if you skip them you can miss info about road hazards or accidents causing backups. Local agencies often handle traffic control on the side roads if there is an incident that requires a detour.
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Old 06-03-2018, 3:29 PM
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Everyone has their own way of doing things. Chose what works for you.

I have to admit, I've yet to try GPS with my scanners. Although I plan to do so soon, and most likely using one of Jon's battery power GPS units.

jonwienke Battery Powered GPS
https://www.radioreference.com/apps/...ct=8927&cat=13

In the past I would use the Zip-Code-Radius method for quick programing of stay-over spots, or known speed trap areas. We travel from S.E. lower Michigan to the upper peninsula frequently. I get the local zip code by asking my smart phone, then punch it in. It's better than the old way of actually having to download each area and I think GPS would be a pleasant luxury to say the least!
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Old 06-03-2018, 3:34 PM
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GPS scanning is like an orgasm. If you haven't done it, you have no idea what you're missing!
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Old 06-03-2018, 3:39 PM
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GPS scanning is like an orgasm. If you haven't done it, you have no idea what you're missing!

Is that safe to do while driving???
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Old 06-03-2018, 3:43 PM
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It's safer than giving your scanner periodic massages while driving.
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Old 06-03-2018, 3:50 PM
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It's safer than giving your scanner log-periodic massages while driving.

Fixed it for ya!
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Old 06-03-2018, 4:00 PM
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LOL
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Old 06-03-2018, 5:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwienke View Post

One thing to consider: even on the freeways, EMS and fire is typically handled by local agencies, so if you skip them you can miss info about road hazards or accidents causing backups. Local agencies often handle traffic control on the side roads if there is an incident that requires a detour.
Good point, which I hadn't actually thought of. I guess my thought in creating some (or at least one) FL with mainly the state police/highway patrol was because I was afraid as I drove past Whateverville or Thattown I'd hear their piddly little "complaint of loud music at a house" or "parking lot accident" stuff. Those of you who have done this before know much better than I, though.

Using the full db would be a lot easier as it would eliminate a lot of work on the front end before the trip!

Do you find yourself having to hit "avoid" a lot when scanning the full db via GPS?
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Old 06-03-2018, 5:09 PM
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Yes, occasional Avoids are needed. The key to database scanning is to be stingy with Service Types you enable, and keep Range 5 miles or less. If Ihear something from an agency that might be useful, but the traffic is about a noise complaint or the like, I click the scroll knob to force the scanner to resume scanning rathat than hitting Avoid. But sometimes the odd calls are entertaining...
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Old 06-03-2018, 5:21 PM
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True. And, yes, I already have my range set to 5.0 (or maybe 3.0...I don't remember) for whenever I hook it up. Didn't want to forget that.
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Old 06-03-2018, 5:26 PM
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Yes, occasional Avoids are needed. The key to database scanning is to be stingy with Service Types you enable, and keep Range 5 miles or less. If Ihear something from an agency that might be useful, but the traffic is about a noise complaint or the like, I click the scroll knob to force the scanner to resume scanning rathat than hitting Avoid. But sometimes the odd calls are entertaining...
Also make sure your service types are activated for favorite list you've created. Don't be a noob to (location based scanning) like me and type up a long bug report only to find out my service type wasn't active before I hit send!

Houk

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Old 06-03-2018, 5:39 PM
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During my testing I found 0 mile to be the best for my locations while driving highway speeds. Driving though several counties with only interoperability, law dispatch/tac activated I heard, only exactly what I was expecting to hear.

I would however like to see the ability for the scanners to know what direction you are driving and turn off agencies behind quicker.

Houk
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True. And, yes, I already have my range set to 5.0 (or maybe 3.0...I don't remember) for whenever I hook it up. Didn't want to forget that.
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Old 06-03-2018, 5:49 PM
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I've done both methods when traveling x-country. The pre-programmed b/c GPS wasn't used on the scanners I had. Also did it on a ham radio. Took a few hours to set up, and a bit of a pain to use on the road, but workable.
Did the GPS option with BC436 and HP2. Required minimal setup. Worked great. Will never go back to the 1st option.
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