Alpha-Tag Length

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JustN

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Good Afternoon-

In looking through the RR Database, I have found several instances in which it appears that a longer alpha-tag length would better suite a particular entry... I know in my area alone, for the submissions that I have made, an extra charachter or two would help out tremendously.

That said, the question here is... Why are we still holding on to the 12-charachter limit?

I understand the motive behind the regulation ("to ensure compatibility with older scanners that support only a 12-character alpha tag"), but does the population of users accessing the database show a predominace of "older scanners"?

I did some quick research and the most popular units on the market today (BCD996, BCD396, PSR-500, PSR-600, RS 106, RS 107, for example) all support sixteen charachter Alpha-Tags -- how many folks are still (actively) using devices outside of this scope?

To look at it a different way -- with all of the Rebanding and Digital migrations, how many "older scanners" are becoming obsolete? As they are no longer supported by the vendors or by the systems they would like to listen to, shouldn't we start to aim towards the newer devices on the market?

If not globally, could this become an option for some areas? A per-system option, maybe?

Really, this isn't a major issue for me... More along the lines of wishful thinking. We're all pretty technical (for the most part), I would like to see RR keep up!

JustN
 

mciupa

Canadian DB Admin
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I agree, after all we are in the second decade of the 21st Century.
 

JustN

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Lindsay? Eric? Can you comment? Is something we can move forward with?
 

loumaag

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Good Afternoon-

In looking through the RR Database, I have found several instances in which it appears that a longer alpha-tag length would better suite a particular entry... I know in my area alone, for the submissions that I have made, an extra charachter or two would help out tremendously.
Obviously longer would be better.

JustN said:
That said, the question here is... Why are we still holding on to the 12-charachter limit?

I understand the motive behind the regulation ("to ensure compatibility with older scanners that support only a 12-character alpha tag"), but does the population of users accessing the database show a predominace of "older scanners"?

I did some quick research and the most popular units on the market today (BCD996, BCD396, PSR-500, PSR-600, RS 106, RS 107, for example) all support sixteen charachter Alpha-Tags -- how many folks are still (actively) using devices outside of this scope?
Whereas you understand the reason and I would not argue with your research, your last question here is an unknown.

JustN said:
To look at it a different way -- with all of the Rebanding and Digital migrations, how many "older scanners" are becoming obsolete? As they are no longer supported by the vendors or by the systems they would like to listen to, shouldn't we start to aim towards the newer devices on the market?
So you are in favor of ignoring all the folks out there with scanners that have no problem dealing with the new frequencies and digital (excepting the migration to 700MHz) so that you can have easier AlphaTags handed to you on a plate? 12 characters, properly used, (and proper use is another argument) can describe almost anything dealing with public safety, especially when combined with group and or bank titles.

JustN said:
If not globally, could this become an option for some areas? A per-system option, maybe?

Really, this isn't a major issue for me... More along the lines of wishful thinking. We're all pretty technical (for the most part), I would like to see RR keep up!

JustN
No, I am pretty sure the way the DB is set up, it is one size fits all.

Might I suggest that you do what I do (for those scanners that do take more than 12), edit the tag to suit yourself. Heck, I don't like some of the ones that DB Admins have used and change them anyway. Consider the alpha tag in the DB as a starting place, after you download once, what would do it again for?
 

JustN

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Hi Lou-

Obviously longer would be better.
Obviously so...

I see we're up to 140 views and no complaints, maybe there is some agreement amongst forum members? Though I guess that statement could go the other way as well, with only 2 folks speaking up in the thread, maybe only two people really care...

So you are in favor of ignoring all the folks out there with scanners that have no problem dealing with the new frequencies and digital (excepting the migration to 700MHz) so that you can have easier AlphaTags handed to you on a plate? 12 characters, properly used, (and proper use is another argument) can describe almost anything dealing with public safety, especially when combined with group and or bank titles.
No, I'm not saying let's ignore them, rather, let's make an organized effort to find out how many people would be affected and/or if the membership as a whole would be better served by moving to a longer tag length.

You make a valid point, but couldn't the same be said about the newer scanner users? Let's take a novice scanner user -- they purchase a new BCD996XT and download local data from RR -- the best they get is 12 charachters? Are we going to ignore those folks?

I look at this from a quality perspective... If you have the ability to more effectivley describe the data and meet the needs of the majority of users, the better a service you can offer.

Might I suggest that you do what I do (for those scanners that do take more than 12), edit the tag to suit yourself. Heck, I don't like some of the ones that DB Admins have used and change them anyway. Consider the alpha tag in the DB as a starting place, after you download once, what would do it again for?
I appreciate the suggestion, though I'm already on that road -- I have renamed my TG's since day one.

What's my main motive here? The ability to export my data directly into RR, rather then having to shorten each of my submissions to suit "Older Scanners" who may or may not even be able to use the data.

JustN
 

cpuerror

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I'm going to throw my 2 cents in the fire and vote for 16 chars. If someone doesn't like it, they can just upgrade their scanner to one that does 16 chars. Or they can edit the tags. But I don't think the entire database should be crippled for the sake of legacy equipment.
 

Highpockets

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Every day more users are buying the newer scanners, 16 characters makes more sense, to bad you didn't have a section for both, and the software gave you a choice which one you wanted.
 
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