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100 in 1 bank, or 20 across 5 banks.

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mike_webb59

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Maybe more like "200 in 2 banks, or 20 across 10 banks"

Is there any good data whether one should load up and scan few banks or spread the load across several banks for conventional channels on plain vanilla trunktracking scanners. Would factors like location/distance, CTCSS decode, differences between radio systems and towers affect scanning rates.

Thanks, Mike
 

SCANdal

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mike_webb59 said:
Would factors like location/distance, CTCSS decode, differences between radio systems and towers affect scanning rates.
Mike,

Aside from isolating trunked systems in their own banks (not putting two trunked systems together - but you can mix a trunked system and conventional channels in most scanners), none of those issues amounts to any significant difference at all when you are scanning. It all boils down to your personal preference. My choice would be to use as many of the available banks that a scanner has as possible; sticking with your example, I'd go with using all 10 banks...here's why...

I prefer to set up my scanner's channel plans to match the channel plans of the agencies I am attempting to monitor - this way when a unit says, for example, "go to 9" all I need to do is press manual, 9, manual and presto - I could follow the rest of the conversation. Here's a sample of how I'd set up a Radio Shack PRO-96 portable scanner - for demo purposes:

Bank 0 - Local Police (F 001 thru F 016)
Bank 1 - local troop of State Police (F 101 thru F 105)
Bank 2 - Local BLS service (F 201 thru F 214)
Bank 3 - Local ALS service (F 301 thru F 330)
Bank 4 - Local fire / rescue (F 401 thru F 421)
Bank 5 - Countywide fire / rescue (F 501 thru F 515)
Bank 6 - Other agencies (School District, etc.)
Bank 7 - Local utilties (electric, gas, CaTV, etc.)
Bank 8 - Miscellaneous [FRS (F 801 thru F 814), MURS, GMRS, Ham etc.)
Bank 9 - spare

Note that when using this system you might find some frequencies may get repeated from one bank to another - as some agencies have built-in to their channel plans a monitor of another agency (i.e. BLS F14 is a monitor of Local Fire F1) - and that's okay - in fact, I think it's a good thing.

I prefer this arrangement of my scanners since it allows me to select and unselect banks (and therefore agencies) depending on what I want to hear. Say the local police is running a selective enforcement operation (Buckle Up, DWI checkpoint, speed traps, etc.) and I'm getting tired of hearing endless plate after license after warrant check being run...press 0 while scanning, they're gone for the next two hours or so. Seeing as how I'm not interested in who's getting their electricity turned off today because they haven't paid their bills again - or which house had to get skipped because the meter reader couldn't get in, I usually have Bank 7 unselected - until there's a fire where a service cut is requested - or a car vs. utility pole MVA, or other such utility emergency announced elsewhere in the other banks; press 7 while scanning - bam - they're all back in the scan sequence.

Bottom line...stuffing everything into one or two banks, IMO, doesn't afford you any flexability. If you want to isolate a certain agency's activity (say EMS while they are working a code), you're either stuck listening to everything else or forced to lock out individual channels in a bank of 100 of them - then trying to find them again later to unlock them when everything settles down.

SCANdal
 
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n4yek

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I like splitting my banks up into Counties. That way when I don't want to listen to adjacent counties I simply turn off the bank I have it loaded into.
Like SCANdal, he has a particular way he likes to set his scanner banks, I have mine.
It boils down to how you want to set it up. Having more than one trunk system in a bank isn't preferable, you would want to definitely split those up
into different banks. Some will argue that you can put more than one trunk system into a bank, well I don't argue the case. It is just easier to load them
into their own.
 
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BaLa

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n4yek said:
I like splitting my banks up into Counties. That way when I don't want to listen to adjacent counties I simply turn off the bank I have it loaded into.
Like SCANdal, he has a particular way he likes to set his scanner banks, I have mine.
It boils down to how you want to set it up. Having more than one trunk system in a bank isn't preferable, you would want to definitely split those up
into different banks. Some will argue that you can put more than one trunk system into a bank, well I don't argue the case. It is just easier to load them
into their own.
Thats what I usually do.
 

hoser147

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There are alot of possibilities, you may want to enter your favorite freqs or systems in the banks more than once so you are less likely to miss their traffic. Try different things and see what suits ya .................Hoser
 
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gmclam

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Organizing banks

It all depends on what you are programming. I believe in putting a TRS into its own bank with nothing else. Each TRS needs its own bank. Beyond that some people separate conventional channels by "function" (all fire together, all PD together, etc) and some separate them by geography (City A, County A, City B, Federal, etc).
 

cg

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putting PLs on a channel will, in a way, slow down scanning but the other option is worse.
When the scanner hits an active channel, it has to check the programmed PL to see if the one being received is the same. If it is, the traffic passes. If not, the traffic is not allowed to the speaker and scanning continues.
So, while it does slow the scanning rate, the only other option is to stop scanning and pass ALL audio.

Watch an older scanner (pre 996d) and see if you can see the scanning numbers briefly pause. If you manually go to that channel and drop the PL, you will hear something. Some scanners will slow down drastically if you have the squelch backed off. There is something heard past the squelch circuit so they have to be checked for PL.

chris
 

kc8qch

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gmclam said:
It all depends on what you are programming. I believe in putting a TRS into its own bank with nothing else. Each TRS needs its own bank. Beyond that some people separate conventional channels by "function" (all fire together, all PD together, etc) and some separate them by geography (City A, County A, City B, Federal, etc).
That's pretty much how I do it and I find it works much better....forexample, here is what i have in my pro-96 (I know you are asking about non-digital, but I think this will still illistrate it)

Note these are for my area, but it gives a kind of idea that might work else where:

Bank 0 - Hamilton County, OH Digital System (FD/SO)
Bank 1 - City of Cincinnati Digital System (PD/FD)
Bank 2 - Hamilton County Conventional Misc
Bank 3 - Hamilton County Amateur Radio Repeaters
Bank 4 - Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky INternational Airport (CVG) Operations EDACS system/Local Air Traffic conventional Freqs
Bank 5 - SW Ohio MARCS (Statewide system for Highway Patrol, EMA Etc)
Bank 6 - Duke Energy Trunked System (Used to be CG&E)
Bank 7 - Warren County, OH Trunked System/Convetional Freqs
Bank 8 - Northern Kentucky COnventional (includes all the NKY counties with their respective County/County Seat PD/FD)
Bank 9 - South East Indiana SAFE-T Digital System/Conventional (SAFE-T is the Indiana Statewide digital System, Kind of like Ohio's MARCS System above)


This is generally the plan I use across all my Scanners, depending on the Scanner's abilities (Digital Vs. Non Digital). For my non-digital Scanners, I replace the first 2 banks with Area Railroad Freqs and Bank 9 with just SE Indiana Conventional Freqs. Just depends on what you are into.
 

LEH

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I'm with those who support spreading things out as much as possible. My 96 bank plan is something like this

0 - Home area trunked system York County, VA with some conventional channels like the state police.
1 - Newport News trunked
2 - Langely AFB trunked system (with some conventional DOD channels tossed in)
3 - Hampton City trunked system
4 - Norfolk city trunked system
5 - Virginia Beach trunked system
6 - Portsmouth trunked system
7 - VA STARS (was city of suffolk trunked)
8 - City of Cheasapeake trunked
9 - some general conventional channels.

With the large number of trunked systems I really couldn't put them into a single bank, but this gives me the ability to listen to systems in range (I can't hear VB until I get about five or so miles closer to them) not trying to find activity does speed up scanning.

In my 396, I have adopted a similar plan, though banks 4, 5,6 and 8 are now 14, 15, 16, and 18 with 17 now Suffolk.

Also in the 396 with its sub banks, I can do something like split PD and fire into a sub bank. That way I can narrow things down even more. For example we had a working house fire using three talk groups here the other day, I set the 396 to just monitor the fire talk groups while the 96 scanned the rest of the system.

But your quandry and question are something we've all gone through. It's like I've got a thousand channel scanner (sounds great, all those channels), but I can really only effectively use 200 of those channels due to the trunking issues. AHHHH.
 

mjthomas59

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The only way i know of to increase scanning rates is to sort your frequencies in ascending or descending order. Other than that it is entirely personal preference.

I set up mine by counties, but i love the dynamic memory of my Uniden 246t because i can divide into counties, then into pd/fd/misc and shut off each group as i like. Dynamic memory is probably the best feature i've ever seen on a scanner. That being said the scan speed isn't as fast, but when you can eliminate scanning the frequencies you don't want to hear its all kind of a wash.
 
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