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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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Old 05-30-2018, 7:00 AM
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Smile GPS-based vs. pre-programmed route scanning techniques

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Originally Posted by RRR View Post
Please find a way to make the mobile unit "GPS capable" so it will lock out/lock in" different systems/areas when travelling. Otherwise, it is a deal-breaker for me. There has to be a way around this, there is no way to safely and even conveniently do this while traveling.
If you know where your traveling beforehand, set up a couple of scan sets or even special scan lists and a simple press of a couple of keys will change it . :-)

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Old 05-30-2018, 7:04 AM
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And how well does that work when traveling from NY to CA?
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Old 05-30-2018, 7:36 AM
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And how well does that work when traveling from NY to CA?
Depends on means of travel. Plane, train or automobile?!

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Old 05-30-2018, 8:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jonwienke View Post
And how well does that work when traveling from NY to CA?

It works perfect. You just need to know how to use scan sets and V-folders.
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Old 05-30-2018, 8:54 AM
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So you have to spend a few hours looking up all the systems and frequencies in use along your planned route, importing them into God knows how many scanlists, and making a lengthy printed guide to show which systems are in each scanlist. And then you still have to constantly manually toggle stuff on and off while driving. And if you're forced to detour due to road construction or an unexpected change in plans, then what? Switch to the database and enter a new zip code every 10-20 miles?

That's crazy, when the alternative is to just connect a GPS and drive.
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Old 05-30-2018, 9:33 AM
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Not nearly as complex as you try to make it sound. Also, the RR Database Alpha Tags are so convoluted that using GPS tied to the database gives you non decipherable information on what you are hearing (same as using zipcode download method with EZScan). Granted GPS would be more convenient if only the Alpha Tags were more meaningful.
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Old 05-30-2018, 9:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Swipesy View Post
Not nearly as complex as you try to make it sound. Also, the RR Database Alpha Tags are so convoluted that using GPS tied to the database gives you non decipherable information on what you are hearing
The scanners that use GPS don't use alpha tags, they use actual English labels like "Adams County Public Safety" and "West Police Dispatch" and "South Central Regional Jail". Link to example:
https://1drv.ms/u/s!ApJIS-l4xqPtgvAd7QNviBuHlzpeAQ

And how exactly do you take a non-GPS scanner on a 10-state road trip without entering ZIP codes every few miles, or spending a LOT of time creating a bunch of scanlists?
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Last edited by jonwienke; 05-30-2018 at 10:02 AM..
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by RRR View Post
Please find a way to make the mobile unit "GPS capable" so it will lock out/lock in" different systems/areas when travelling. Otherwise, it is a deal-breaker for me. There has to be a way around this, there is no way to safely and even conveniently do this while traveling.
If you know your route and plan your trip, pre-programming WHAT you want to hear is going to provide overall better results - GPS or not. If you're relying entirely on a GPS and the entire RRDB, you probably just don't care what you hear as long as the radio receives something.

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Not nearly as complex as you try to make it sound.
Don't waste your time responding to the know it all(s).... it is truly a waste of your effort. Best to just ignore them.
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Old 05-30-2018, 11:25 AM
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And how exactly do you take a non-GPS scanner on a 10-state road trip without entering ZIP codes
I have done 7 states every year for the past 10 years but I am not willing to share with someone like you who is overly opinionated and no room in your mind that someone else on these forums may have more knowledge than you. As Troymail has said, you are gone from my list of forum members.
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Old 05-30-2018, 1:04 PM
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And how exactly do you take a non-GPS scanner on a 10-state road trip without...spending a LOT of time creating a bunch of scanlists?
That's exactly what you do.

Some people would prefer to custom program just exactly what they want to hear, instead of letting a GPS pull everything from the DB, even if limited by service type.

If you know you're taking this trip well enough ahead of time, you take some time, spread out over several days if need be (an hour or two a day, on your days off maybe), and go through each states DB page, selecting what you want to hear based on your planned route.
You then program those into your scanner in a day-by-day format.

For example, if I were to drive from Phoenix to Jacksonville via I-10, on my PSR-500, I would program in AZ DPS, ADOT, NMSP, NMDOT, TX DPS, TXDOT, as well as the rural Sheriff's offices and the FD/EMS dispatch channels for the Phoenix-to-El Paso leg into V-Scanner 1, dividing the counties up into the various scan lists, which I would select and deselect at the county lines, if not sooner if I knew just what mile markers the county lines were close to. Smaller counties with little to listen to can be grouped together in 1 scanlist.

The El Paso-to-Beaumont, TX leg would be in V-Scanner 2.
Before I left the hotel in the morning, I would load up V-Scanner 2, and I'm good to go for that next leg.
Etcetera.

Yes, it takes some time to custom program, vs letting a GPS pull from the entire database. Yes, you may have to ask for some help or clarification in the appropriate state forum here on what towers can be heard along your planned route, or what the best talkgroups or conventional channels might be.

A detour might take you into another county, and maybe that means another highway patrol district, for a short while, but that's not a big deal. It would be a rare incidence where a detour would take you so far off your planned route that you'd have nothing to listen to. And in that case, I'd switch to doing a search of the Public Safety bands that are pre-loaded into the scanner until I got back on my planned route.

Granted, I haven't done this for a long multi-state trip, but I have done it for multi-county in-state, as well as short jaunts into NM and CA, day drives. (Phoenix to Las Cruces via US 60 & 70 instead of I-10, was one.) I use less than 1 V-Scanner for these trips.

If you prefer to just let your GPS pull from the entire DB, then that's your preferred method, and that's fine.
Others may prefer to take the time to custom program, and if it's a trip that's taken regularly, then once you do it the first time, a quick check of the DB each subsequent time to check for updates is all that is needed if you save your programming. And that's fine too.
We each have our preferred way to do things, and I don't think we should tell each other their way is wrong, or stupid or anything else. It's just a different way, and if you don't want to do it that way, that's fine.

John
Peoria, AZ

Last edited by KB7MIB; 05-30-2018 at 1:11 PM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 05-30-2018, 1:07 PM
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Originally Posted by KB7MIB View Post
That's exactly what you do.

Some people would prefer to custom program just exactly what they want to hear, instead of letting a GPS pull everything from the DB, even if limited by service type.

If you know you're taking this trip well enough ahead of time, you take some time, spread out over several days if need be (an hour or two a day, on your days off maybe), and go through each states DB page, selecting what you want to hear based on your planned route.
You then program those into your scanner in a day-by-day format.
True. Two ways to do it.

Of course, you can combine the two and program up what you want and then let the GPS turn the favorites lists off and on as you travel the route - it doesn't have to just pull from the full db.
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Old 05-30-2018, 1:33 PM
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Originally Posted by 03msc View Post
True. Two ways to do it.

Of course, you can combine the two and program up what you want and then let the GPS turn the favorites lists off and on as you travel the route - it doesn't have to just pull from the full db.
That's true, too. Thanks.

John
Peoria, AZ
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Old 05-30-2018, 2:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KB7MIB View Post
If you know you're taking this trip well enough ahead of time, you take some time, spread out over several days if need be (an hour or two a day, on your days off maybe), and go through each states DB page, selecting what you want to hear based on your planned route.
You then program those into your scanner in a day-by-day format.
That seems pretty similar to this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonwienke View Post
So you have to spend a few hours looking up all the systems and frequencies in use along your planned route
And without using GPS, you still have to manually toggle stuff on and off periodically as you drive, whether you're using the database and entering zip codes, or enabling/disabling manually created scanlists. Otherwise you're scanning a lot of stuff out of range.
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Old 05-30-2018, 2:45 PM
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True. Two ways to do it.

Of course, you can combine the two and program up what you want and then let the GPS turn the favorites lists off and on as you travel the route - it doesn't have to just pull from the full db.
Exactly how I do it. I program a favorite list with systems in my travel route and use the GPS to turn them on and off as I drive. Only need to touch the scanner to raise or lower volume.
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Old 05-30-2018, 3:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwienke View Post
And without using GPS, you still have to manually toggle stuff on and off periodically as you drive, whether you're using the database and entering zip codes, or enabling/disabling manually created scanlists. Otherwise you're scanning a lot of stuff out of range.
What's wrong with taking the time, if someone has it and wants to do it, to custom program their scanner? Their personal choice doesn't affect you in the slightest.

What's wrong with occassionally pressing 1 or 2 buttons, or having your passenger do it for you? I can do it by feel, without taking my eyes off the road.

If I'm late in selecting a scanlist because I missed the county line sign, or if I select a scanlist a little early and I'm not yet in range, so what?

There's nothing inherently wrong with doing it your way, or with doing it my way. It's just two different ways to do it. And as was mentioned, you can custom program just exactly what you want to listen to, and then have GPS turn them on and off automatically as you drive. The best of both worlds.

John
Peoria, AZ

Last edited by KB7MIB; 05-30-2018 at 3:11 PM.. Reason: Added first paragraph/question
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Old 05-30-2018, 3:20 PM
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What's wrong with taking the time, if someone has it and wants to do it, to custom program their scanner? Their personal choice doesn't affect you in the slightest.
Nothing. That's what I do when traveling semi-locally within a few counties of my home.

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What's wrong with occassionally pressing 1 or 2 buttons, or having your passenger do it for you? I can do it by feel, without taking my eyes off the road.
If the passenger can do it, nothing. But if the driver is pushing the buttons, that is a distraction to some degree, especially if the driver has to look at the unit to push the buttons.
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Old 05-30-2018, 4:31 PM
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Doing virtually anything in your vehicle can be distracting to a degree.
Changing AM/FM/SXM radio stations is distracting. Skipping or searching for a song on your CD player or MP3 device is distracting.
Taking a drink of water can be distracting.
Simply having a passenger in the vehicle with you can be distracting.
Do we ban all of these, as well as scanners and all two-way radios?
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?

I'd rather have custom programming and GPS to automatically select and deselect it, but until I can afford it, I'll make do with what I do have.

John
Peoria, AZ
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Old 05-30-2018, 4:37 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.
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Old 05-30-2018, 5:17 PM
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1 or 2 button presses is not the same as checking and responding to a text message on your phone.

And changing a radio station or searching for a specific song on your CD player or MP3 player is more likely to be more distracting than a button press or 2 on a scanner.

Up until now, I thought the argument was for or against taking the time to custom program your scanner, with or without then using GPS to select the appropriate programming, versus just using the entire database and letting a GPS do it's thing.

No mention, that I've seen, had been made of the potential for a driver to be distracted by manually selecting their custom programming.

Maybe that point should have been made much more clearly in the first place, even if it had to be repeated more than once, and much of this argument might have been avoided altogether.

Jesus Christ...

John
Peoria, AZ
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Old 05-30-2018, 5:50 PM
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John I am not pro or con I was just bring that point up as I run both ways. Here is my Mobile Setup. My area of travel is 180 Miles North to South and 100 Miles West to East.
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