ARC/UASD file for Maricopa Cty? new scanner owner

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fleef

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Danger! New Digital Scanner person here (sighs)

Is this the right place to ask for these type files? Going to TRY to do Freescan for a BCD996XT. I read that Freescan can pull data from a certain type of file- but to ask the State specific forums for it according to another RR thread. Called ARC? or UASD? If these files are hidden on another forum in here, plz dont get angry, I have a VERY slow internet connection and going from page to page is excruciatingly slow. What I want to do: Download Freescan, import my area data to the SW to install to program scanner. I hear its called an "ARC" file or similar. Any that will work with FreeScan. I am in Maricopa Cty. I am interested in your basic Police/Fire/Public Service bands. I do NOT wish to become a Premium Subscriber at this time- I hear yes yes it is worth it etc I wish to at least attempt this myself, please.

Brand new radio BCD996XT and I do have USB to Serial Cable and prolific drivers.

Maybe I am getting "old" I have installed software and builds for USB RTL SDR dongle and I had zero experience but I was able to do the SDR stuff my self, so WHY oh why is this scanner stuff so complicated and non user friendly? Has anyone made a web page for a simple How To? I had to look at 4 different pages just to figure out how to do firmware update - one pg for how to connect. Another for software. Another on what button to push on scanner after connex the cables, and etc. Why? I have ZERO knowledge or experience and yes I HAVE been reading, reading and reading RR forums and the "Easier to Read" manual. Problem is I don't know what I am reading- the words and terms are Greek.







PS- my unit has the old firmware vers 1.04- now do I install the 1.06 BEFORE installing the newest 1.07.3? (pardon th #s going by memory here)

maddening- every thing I try to figure out for this scanner seems I have to go to 99 different web pages and sites just to accomplish one thing.

Anyone want to give a hand to an old lady, where I can find those files or how I find them? not prem subscriber thanks
 

fleef

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Ok thanks

I wasn't sure- ok so I can go ahead and install update without installing the older one first.

Is there a certain type of file that Freescan can take for my area (Arizona- Maricopa county) I am not exactly sure what I *am* looking for- all I know is, someone wrote I can ask here.

If I MUST break down and join premium subscription I suppose but what do you all do yourselves? is "by hand" the way most people do it?

PS I know where a BCD996t (is that the hand held version of the digital uniden- I have the mobile 996xt) on sale, brand new in box for 189. I got mine for $232 brand new, I thought they marked the price down wrong! so I told the sales guy "um these run about 5-600 bux, you SURE on the sale price? yep.

So- if the hand held is STILL there- no one's bought it in a whole week (!!!)

Fry's Electronics in Phoenix AZ.
 

KB7MIB

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Wirelessly posted (Opera/9.80 (BREW; Opera Mini/6.0.3/27.2354; U; en) Presto/2.8.119 320X240 LG VN530)

The 996T and XT are the base/mobile versions. The 396T and XT are the handheld versions. The XT's are sort of an upgrade from the T models.
I have a GRE PSR-500 that I program by hand. I don't own a computer.
I believe that in order to download info from the RR database, you have to be a premium subscriber. If another member here has a compatible file they can share with you, the two of you can decide exactly what you want/need, and I believe they can send it to you via email.
And just to clarify, by "Maricopa Cty", do you mean 1) the Town of Maricopa (City) or 2) do you mean Maricopa County, as in just the Maricopa County trunked radio system (Sheriff's Office and other county agencies), or 3) do you mean Maricopa County, as in all agencies and radio systems, conventional and trunked, within the county?
 
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ka3jjz

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Let's step back here a bit and clear up a couple of concepts first...

Firmware is the brains of the scanner. Without it, the scanner is simply a collection of expensive electronic components. Firmware updates on Unidens are cumulative - this means that the latest version usually also contains the fixes of any of the prior versions.

However I would not try to update the firmware just yet, unless you absolutely have to (and in your case, I believe you don't). Get your feet wet and learn how to use the scanner first. It's something of a learning curve, and how we get to that curve I'll get to in a minute.

Software (such as FreeScan) is generally the way folks program, and sometimes use, the scanner using a PC. The 'ARC' or 'UASD' you mention are generics - ARC refers to software produced by BuTel, while the UASD is a very old applicantion that was produced by Uniden at the time the DMA scanners came out. FreeScan has the ability to import both formats, and can also import other FreeScan files (which might be a better way to go without purchasing a subscription)

But no matter what program you use, you really need to get familiar with the concepts and functions before you go further. This article from our wiki has links (always in blue) for everything you need to get started. The Easier to Read manuals are linked at the bottom - don't even think of using the mess Uniden provided...

Program your DMA Scanner - The RadioReference Wiki

As for having a slow connection - try going to your local library. Many have hi speed connections these days. See if they will let you use a jump drive to download what you need (they may not -- they're worried about viruses after all). Alternately use a friend's PC to get what you need.

Mike
 

fleef

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Wirelessly posted (Opera/9.80 (BREW; Opera Mini/6.0.3/27.2354; U; en) Presto/2.8.119 320X240 LG VN530)

The 996T and XT are the base/mobile versions. The 396T and XT are the handheld versions. The XT's are sort of an upgrade from the T models.
I have a GRE PSR-500 that I program by hand. I don't own a computer.
I believe that in order to download info from the RR database, you have to be a premium subscriber. If another member here has a compatible file they can share with you, the two of you can decide exactly what you want/need, and I believe they can send it to you via email.
And just to clarify, by "Maricopa Cty", do you mean 1) the Town of Maricopa (City) or 2) do you mean Maricopa County, as in just the Maricopa County trunked radio system (Sheriff's Office and other county agencies), or 3) do you mean Maricopa County, as in all agencies and radio systems, conventional and trunked, within the county?
Sorry- Maricopa COUNTY is what I'd like to have. I *guess* I want conventional and trunked? What I want to do: have Public Service bands (?) in the scanner- whatever someone in Phoenix would have on theirs to hear Fire, Police, etc- I like to hear police calls - basically what a scanner is for I suppose.
 

fleef

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Yes I am familiar with the workings of Freescan and that it imports a database - that is what I want to do. I don't know all the terminology but I DO know the basic logistics. I am aware of how firmware works- wondered if I should install the previous version between 1..04 and 1.07 or if I can jump ahead.

I can figure it out on my own as I have lots of time- I think I need the database file if anyone has one- with that I can have Freescan pull the files. Yes I am one of those people that bought a digital scanner with no experience (scuse me but we all start SOME where!)

I am one of those types who can figure out a thing if I have instructions and the tools.

Can I "break" the scanner if I program it incorrectly? I mean- is the programming as such that the radio can be reset to default and I start over? Pardon my ignorance

PS internet issue solved- pages loading ok it was a network issue.

I may just do the RR subscription if it makes things easier after all. I just wanted to work it out myself by DL-ing Freescan and importing Maricopa County frequencies database into it and uploading to the scanner. I have lots of time. Yes I read and read RR forums but its tedious to sort through all of the many comments and threads to get info- just a rant. I wish there was one web site or page for newbs to go step by step from scratch maybe there is I don't know. It seems like programming a scanner is some big secret that people don't like to share! lol.

anyway pardon my side comments.
 

ka3jjz

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What 'database file'? If someone sends you a FreeScan file, all you need to do is import it. The same concept applies to someone who sends you an ARC or UASD file. This is all documented in the FreeScan user guide.

I would strongly advise leaving the updating of the firmware until you've gotten the hang of working with the scanner. The process is a royal PITA - it works, but you have to be very sure to perform every step - without exception.

There really isn't any one web site that would show you everything you would need to know to get started - but the wiki article I mentioned in an earlier message is a very good starting point. Getting a FreeScan (ARC or UASD) file would answer what works, but if you don't understand all the concepts, you won't understand why something works. Once you understand WHY, then you are well on your way to understanding how DMA scanners work.

Take one step at a time. Get the scanner working - you don't need a firmware update right away - then tackle that later. It's a scanner that has something of a learning curve, and biting off too much is just as likely to frustrate you as anything else.

Mike
 
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ka3jjz

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Sorry- Maricopa COUNTY is what I'd like to have. I *guess* I want conventional and trunked? What I want to do: have Public Service bands (?) in the scanner- whatever someone in Phoenix would have on theirs to hear Fire, Police, etc- I like to hear police calls - basically what a scanner is for I suppose.
Well a scanner can hear a lot more than police calls. Fire, miliary, business, hams - lots of stuff. The choice is yours, and is somewhat dictated by your intrests, and how good the antenna you have is - and that's a whole 'nother topic.

To help you focus on just what is in your area, this is our database entry for Maricopa county

Maricopa County, Arizona (AZ) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

Be sure to look at the county quick jumps, and any of the wiki entries (see the button on the upper right?) for any potential entries

If you go to the very bottom of the county page, you will see all of the links for trunk systems in your area. There are a few that no scanner can handle without some external applications - Central Arizona Water Conservation District, Fisher Wireless, Ian Communications and Intel Chandler Campus.

Yes, that's a lot to digest. But it gives you a good picture of what is possible to hear...Mike
 

fleef

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What 'database file'? If someone sends you a FreeScan file, all you need to do is import it. The same concept applies to someone who sends you an ARC or UASD file. This is all documented in the FreeScan user guide.

I would strongly advise leaving the updating of the firmware until you've gotten the hang of working with the scanner. The process is a royal PITA - it works, but you have to be very sure to perform every step - without exception.

There really isn't any one web site that would show you everything you would need to know to get started - but the wiki article I mentioned in an earlier message is a very good starting point. Getting a FreeScan (ARC or UASD) file would answer what works, but if you don't understand all the concepts, you won't understand why something works. Once you understand WHY, then you are well on your way to understanding how DMA scanners work.

Take one step at a time. Get the scanner working - you don't need a firmware update right away - then tackle that later. It's a scanner that has something of a learning curve, and biting off too much is just as likely to frustrate you as anything else.

Mike
Ah thanks a LOT Mike! I thought that I download Freescan- THEN import an ARC or UASD file that has my area frequencies etc on it. I misunderstood- I thought I would need an already completed database with all of the data for my area on it TO import to Freescan. Hope you know what Im trying to say.

I do listen to the scanner and am learning in fact I have been on RR for over 4 yrs this user name is my second. I do read all the wikis but it is so much information that flies over my head as it has no reference point in my head since I am first time scanner owner- not counting my analog which I programmed in about 3 minutes. Digital is much more complex. I am an HF hobbyist (shortwave and so on) and scanning is new to me. I must have a receiver for every type of transmissions in this place from LF to satellite the only thing lacking was digital scanner so I got one. I do have the RTL SDR aat first to try it out see if scanner is worth it but RTL SDR it is cumbersome and if I managed to do the software and nonsense with it from scratch I can do a real scanner too with time and patience.

Yes I won't skip steps on anything- you don't need to school me on that.

OK husband just said he'll get prem access for me- will that be necessary to program it an easier way?

That is what I keep hearing- "just get an RR subscription".


OK well as you can see from my ramblings I have lots of "free time" too much I suppose. Thanks for your help I will get along now and try to figure out how to do all of this and see if an RR subscription is worth the investment as I am not sure how that would save me time and/or frustration as I am not exactly sure what I need to program: an RR subscription has it all? or no?

Freescan has it all in one and I do the input? or do I use an existing database for my area that F.S. converts into program the scanner can use?

whatever- thanks guys no matter I will go from here but I do appreciate your inputs.

OKOK UPDATE I think problem solved. I subscribed to RR premium and am on youtube watching user "signal500" aka K4DPS video which I highly recommend as it is very helpful http://youtu.be/SkQXUPsi_gI using RR premium service and Freescan. With this I believe I can manage it on my own from here hopefully. Pardon my interruption as usual per new scanner owners I got nervous.
 
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ka3jjz

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Actually you touched on the 2 methods to get you started - and I'll add a third, with something of a caveat...from best to not the best...

a. Get a file (ARC, BuTel, FreeScan) from someone in your area. The advantage here is that you start with a known working setup. Then you can clone it (very important), then make whatever changes you wish to make. If you keep a copy of your last working setup, you can always revert to it in case something gets hosed up. By far, to me, this is the best approach for a newcomer.

b. Use the web import (premium subscription) to pull what you want. However you should know that this isn't quite complete - there are DMA related keys called Quick Keys (QKs) that you will likely want to assign differently than FreeScan will set them (if you tell it to). It's actually one of the cornerstones to DMA processing. We have stuff on that in our DMA FAQ, in the FreeScan user guide, and in the Easier to Read guide - it's that important.

c. And now the third method - FreeScan has a little program built into it called EZ Grab that allows you to copy data from spreadsheets, web pages and other forms that have a tabular format (like some of our wiki pages, and our database). However the caveat here is that you need to understand what kind(s) of systems to which to assign this data, how to build systems, sites and groups, and you must assign your own Quick Keys. This is strictly my opinion, but while this is a flexible tool to use, it shouldn't be used until you understand the various DMA based structures and how they relate to one another.

All of this is built into FreeScan. Getting a file from someone, and playing around with it, will teach you what works, and what doesn't. You won't 'break' anything (well, not really...) but making mistakes will teach you what you need to know. We've all done it - I know I made several versions of files before I got something I liked (and I frequently travel between 3 states, so my problem was 3x worse).

Don't be afraid to jump into one of the forums - we have one for Scanner Programming software, and others for more technical Uniden-type things - and ask questions. It takes time to learn this stuff- don't rush it. These DMA scanners are far from plug -n- play, they have a lot of capability, and it will take time.

Mike
 

fleef

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AWESOME ka3jzz! Wow good info and tips thank you so much. I did post an edit update to my previous comment- subscribed to RR premium (copped out lol) and am watching fantastic vids by K4DPS aka signal500 as known here. Im grateful for your Quick Keys tips- a thing I may have missed on my own without your advice.

Got a lot of reading to do and I shall figure it out eventually as my reading comprehension of scanner terminology starts to "click".

Thank you so much as your words are not only kind but encouraging-

so long guys I will be figuring it out from here - I hope
 
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