396XT specific group scanning across multi-systems?

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bpdinse

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Hello all. I just received a 396XT. I am entirely new to the Uniden interface and programming (as well as to this forum). I purchased the Bu-Tel software and that made easy work of downloading many systems into the scanner. I live in the Phoenix AZ area and the various police and fire departments are spread across several systems. Some of these systems have nearly 20 groups with widely varying uses. I’d like to be able to scan just the police groups only across all the relevant systems and assign some kind of key to enable search on that (and only that). I’d like to do the same for fire and the same for emergency services. I started playing with group and system quick keys and found that I am unable to accomplish what I’d like to do. I am sure it is me, being new to this. I’ve searched around for threads on the forum but didn’t find something that directly addresses how to accomplish this (I may be too new and ignorant to know what I am looking for as well). Can someone please explain or point me to a resource that teaches how to do this? Thank you. Kind Regards, Brian
 

jcpd9720

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From what I can tell, you want to have all of the police tgs, on several systems, scan with the hit of one button, and be able to scann all the fire tgs, on several systems, scan with the hit of another button?

If this is the case, it is fairly simple. The only problem may be the way the systems are set-up in the programming. I don't know how yours is set up, so I will present a couple basics.

Multiple Groups in the Butel ARC software can have the same quick key. On each system, you will want the police tgs in a group, and the fire tgs in a group. Assign (for example) quick key 1 to the police group, and quick key 2 to the fire group. Do not assign a quick key to the systems. Now, when you hit 1 while scanning, the police tgs will either all scan, or all not scan. If you hit 2 while scanning, the fire tgs will either all scan or all not scan.

If you want, send me a PM and I will give you directions for emailing the files to me, and I will help you set it up.

Happy Scanning!
 

Muskratt

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You'll probably need 3 copies of each system to do that - one for each type of service you want to scan. Then assign a quick key to each system depending on what type of service it is set up for - 1=police, 2=fire, 3=emergency.

Muskratt
 

bpdinse

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Thank you very much for your replies, Lee & Muskratt – much appreciated. I think from what you have each said, I may now understand.

If the Systems are of the same “System Type” (all Motorola, all P25 Standard, all LTR), then I can create a Group called “Area Police”, “Area Fire”, “Area Emergency” (for example) under a single System and assign a different Group Quick Key to each. I’d have to copy all the appropriate “Talkgroup”s into the corresponding Groups. That brings the question – what about the various frequencies? I assume that I would then copy the “Sites” from the various Systems under the new single System – or could I copy all the frequencies into a single “Site”?

In my case, I have these services distributed across Motorola, P25 Standard, and LTR Trunk Systems. I also have some Fire and Emergency on Conventional System Types as well as Trunk. In this case, I assume I’d have to go with Muskratt’s approach and copy multi-versions of each System. I could then assign System Quick Keys to each and either lock out the Groups that I didn’t want in the duplicate Systems or delete them.

Am I getting this correct? I will start playing in the software and see what it comes out like. This makes me really consider how I want to listen to the scanner/information. Do I want to listen to all Police across multiple cities in my area (more than 8 departments), or do I want to listen to everything that is going on in one city (Police, Fire, Emergency, etc..). My dad used to listen to a scanner when I was young and I am now becoming very interested again as a middle-aged guy. Because I’m new to this, I don’t have a feel for how I will want to listen. Any thoughts people want to share on how they group information to listen by?

Thanks – I appreciate the feedback. It is great to get insight from people that have been doing this for a while.

Kind Regards, Brian
 

jcpd9720

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You only need 1 copy of each system. Each system can have up to 20 groups. The groups can have a quick key. Quick keys can be duplicated. An example setup would be like so: the "Police" group of system "ABC" can have quick key #1 and the "SPD" group of system "XYZ" can have quick key #1. While scanning, pressing 1 will turn on/off ABC-Police and XYZ-SPD at the same time.
 

bpdinse

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Hi Lee. I don't seem to have the ability to PM yet - I guess I am still too new here.

I tried doing what you said above (I assigned the same group quick key to groups across several different systems) and it did not scan across systems. I read the manual and it said that the group quick keys only scan within a single system (I think that is what I read). If it is supposed to work, then I must be doing something wrong. Perhaps this being my 4th post, I will be able to PM you.

Thanks, Brian
 

jcpd9720

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Do you have all of the systems scanning? They would have to be scanning first. Make sure the systems themselves don't have quick keys assigned.
 

Muskratt

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If the Systems are of the same “System Type” (all Motorola, all P25 Standard, all LTR), then I can create a Group called “Area Police”, “Area Fire”, “Area Emergency” (for example) under a single System and assign a different Group Quick Key to each. I’d have to copy all the appropriate “Talkgroup”s into the corresponding Groups. That brings the question – what about the various frequencies? I assume that I would then copy the “Sites” from the various Systems under the new single System – or could I copy all the frequencies into a single “Site”?
Interesting idea. Honestly, I've never tried combining similar system types into a single system. It might work as long as there are no similar TG numbers between the multiple systems. You would still want to have multiple sites instead of putting all frequencies in a single site. I, however, like to keep each system separate. That way I can quickly lockout one system if I am on the fringe area of reception while mobiling about.

... copy multi-versions of each System. I could then assign System Quick Keys to each and either lock out the Groups that I didn’t want in the duplicate Systems or delete them.

Am I getting this correct?
Yup, you got it. That's exactly how I did it.

This makes me really consider how I want to listen to the scanner/information. Do I want to listen to all Police across multiple cities in my area (more than 8 departments), or do I want to listen to everything that is going on in one city (Police, Fire, Emergency, etc..). My dad used to listen to a scanner when I was young and I am now becoming very interested again as a middle-aged guy. Because I’m new to this, I don’t have a feel for how I will want to listen. Any thoughts people want to share on how they group information to listen by?
I've got my scanner usually scanning 2 or 3 TRS systems, and a very large group of conventional frequencies covering over 100 different counties. Now when something big goes down on one of the TRS systems, I'll do a system hold on the TRS system and temporarily lockout any talkgroups that aren't involved with the incident. When the event is over, I'll long press the 'l/o' button to unlock all the TG's I temporarily locked out. I then release the system hold and continue scanning normally. If a big event happens in one of the counties that uses conventional frequencies, I have separate systems set up for each area or county, each with a unique quick key (10-99) so I can start scanning any particular area with just a few key presses.

So basically, I'm saying that for me it works best to scan all the different cities, but program things in such a way that you can zero in on the action which something goes down in one area. The way I have my scanner programmed has changed about 2 dozen times over the last year. But that's ok, it's what makes the hobby fun - trying to find the ultimate scan setup. Sometimes I think I spend more time arranging and programming the scanner than actually listening to it.

Muskratt
 
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jcpd9720

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So basically, I'm saying that for me it works best to scan all the different cities, but program things in such a way that you can zero in on the action which something goes down in one area. The way I have my scanner programmed has changed about 2 dozen times over the last year. But that's ok, it's what makes the hobby fun - trying to find the ultimate scan setup. Sometimes I think I spend more time arranging and programming the scanner than actually listening to it.

Muskratt
LOL! Same here! I rarely listen, but am constantly playing with it. For me, I usually only listen to the scanner when my fire pager goes beep beep beep. Other than that, it's off, or hooked up getting programmed!
 
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