BCD396XT FreeSCAN Programming Help with Digital

falconair07

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Feed Provider
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Jun 28, 2015
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7
Location
Glenwood, IA
I'm the only Feed Provider for my county. USA>Iowa>Mills>"Mills County Sheriff, Fire and EMS."

They just switched to a digital system and I am having trouble programming my scanner so that I can continue to be a Feed Provider.

I'm Using FreeSCAN to program. I have my conventional frequencies loaded still, and trying to add the digital in FreeSCAN, I try the following:
File>Import>RadioReference Trunked; USA>IA>Mills>Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System. Then I select Underwood/Mills Co Simulcast, and various groups such as "Mills County," and Region # Interoperability groups, and Department of Public Safety Area # groups.

When I import, no issues (I suspect once imported I need to do some edits). When I upload to my scanner, there is 1 system, 14 groups, and 164 channels. I get the following errors: Unable to set WX, and No APCO band plan available for Underwood/MillsCo.

Other thread searches have comments such as "This is a known documented bug. Ignore it and move on" or "Not really a bug - APCO (P25) systems get the tables from the control channel, so not having tables on upload is normal." YouTube videos for setting this up haven't helped me.

Either way, it seems like my scanner is not receiving the traffic. Can anyone help me troubleshoot this so I can get me feed back online? Thanks in advance.
 

sallen07

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Dec 22, 2013
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Rochester, NY
I'm the only Feed Provider for my county. USA>Iowa>Mills>"Mills County Sheriff, Fire and EMS."
They just switched to a digital system and I am having trouble programming my scanner so that I can continue to be a Feed Provider.
If you have a BCD396XT then unfortunately you are not going to be able to monitor the new system with that scanner.


If you look at the talk groups for this system, the mode is either "T" or "TE", which means they are P25 Phase II. The 396XT is only a P25 Phase I scanner. (Anything with an "E" is encrypted and cannot be picked up with any scanner.)

There are several scanners on the market that are Phase II capable, but it also looks like the site in your county is simulcast, and there are only two scanners available that handle simulcast: the Uniden SDS100 and SDS200. (The Unication G4 and G5 pagers handle simulcast even better, but would probably not be suitable as source for a feed.)
 

falconair07

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Feed Provider
Joined
Jun 28, 2015
Messages
7
Location
Glenwood, IA
If you have a BCD396XT then unfortunately you are not going to be able to monitor the new system with that scanner.


If you look at the talk groups for this system, the mode is either "T" or "TE", which means they are P25 Phase II. The 396XT is only a P25 Phase I scanner. (Anything with an "E" is encrypted and cannot be picked up with any scanner.)

There are several scanners on the market that are Phase II capable, but it also looks like the site in your county is simulcast, and there are only two scanners available that handle simulcast: the Uniden SDS100 and SDS200. (The Unication G4 and G5 pagers handle simulcast even better, but would probably not be suitable as source for a feed.)
Thanks so much for the clear explanation! Any recommendations for a new scanner, maybe in the $300-$400 range, that I can use to supply my Feed?
 

falconair07

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
Jun 28, 2015
Messages
7
Location
Glenwood, IA
If you have a BCD396XT then unfortunately you are not going to be able to monitor the new system with that scanner.


If you look at the talk groups for this system, the mode is either "T" or "TE", which means they are P25 Phase II. The 396XT is only a P25 Phase I scanner. (Anything with an "E" is encrypted and cannot be picked up with any scanner.)

There are several scanners on the market that are Phase II capable, but it also looks like the site in your county is simulcast, and there are only two scanners available that handle simulcast: the Uniden SDS100 and SDS200. (The Unication G4 and G5 pagers handle simulcast even better, but would probably not be suitable as source for a feed.)
Could you briefly explain what it is about simulcast that limits me to those models?
 

tvengr

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Feb 10, 2019
Messages
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Baltimore County, MD
A simulcast site has a number of towers transmitting the same control channel on the same frequency at the same time. The signals arrive at your scanner at different times which prevents the scanner from properly decoding the control channel. The only scanners designed to receive simulcast transmissions at the present time are the Uniden SDS100 handheld and SDS200 base/mobile. The SDS200 has an ethernet output for streaming.
 

falconair07

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Feed Provider
Joined
Jun 28, 2015
Messages
7
Location
Glenwood, IA
A simulcast site has a number of towers transmitting the same control channel on the same frequency at the same time. These arrive at your scanner at different times which prevents the scanner from properly decoding the control channel. The only scanners designed to receive simulcast transmissions at the present time are the Uniden SDS100 handheld and SDS200 base/mobile. The SDS200 has an ethernet output designed for streaming.
My friend who was a former dispatcher just got a BCD996P2, and seems to be working okay....does that mean she's missing out on some scanner traffic? Thanks for your help!
 

hiegtx

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Dallas, TX
My friend who was a former dispatcher just got a BCD996P2, and seems to be working okay....does that mean she's missing out on some scanner traffic? Thanks for your help!
The 996P2 is a P25 Phase II capable scanner. Your friend can monitor the talkgroups that are tagged with a T in the mode column, though, of course, she cannot listen to anything encrypted. An E added in the mode column, i.e. TE, means that talkgroup is set for full time encryption, which no scanner can monitor, If, instead of an upper case E, is was lower case, e (mode column would be Te), then encryption is used part time, not full time. For transmissions where encryption was not active, she could monitor them, but if encryption was on for a specific call, then no reception on a scanner.

For your county, Mills, most of the talkgroups listed are mode T, which is unencrypted P25 Phase II. Two are tagged TE, so full time encryption, and no reception on a scanner.

See this Wiki page for more details on Simulcast.
Simulcast digital distortion - The RadioReference Wiki
 

tvengr

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Baltimore County, MD
My friend who was a former dispatcher just got a BCD996P2, and seems to be working okay
With simulcast sites, it is like real estate: location, location, location! You may be able to use a BCD996P2 at your location, or you may not. Have your friend bring her scanner to your location if she is monitoring the same system and site. That is the only way you will know if it will work. If it works, I can help you with a FreeSCAN file.
 

falconair07

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Feed Provider
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Jun 28, 2015
Messages
7
Location
Glenwood, IA
With simulcast sites, it is like real estate: location, location, location! You may be able to use a BCD996P2 at your location, or you may not. Have your friend bring her scanner to your location if she is monitoring the same system and site. That is the only way you will know if it will work. If it works, I can help you with a FreeSCAN file.
Thanks! I just ordered the SDS200, seems like the best choice after I did some reading.
 

tvengr

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Location
Baltimore County, MD
Here is the link for downloading Sentinel, the Uniden software used to program your new scanner: BCDx36HPSentinel < UnidenMan4 < TWiki
Attached is a hpe favorites list file for Mills Co IA. That should give you everything you want to receive. Save the attached zipped file to your computer and extract. Once Sentinel is installed, go to the File tab and click on Import from hpe file (favorites list). Click on New Favorites List and name it "Mills Co IA". Click on OK. Highlight the extracted file (Mills Co IA.hpe) and click on Open. The favorites list will appear in Sentinel. Read up on how to create a profile. Let me know if you have any questions.
 

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falconair07

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Feed Provider
Joined
Jun 28, 2015
Messages
7
Location
Glenwood, IA
Here is the link for downloading Sentinel, the Uniden software used to program your new scanner: BCDx36HPSentinel < UnidenMan4 < TWiki
Attached is a hpe favorites list file for Mills Co IA. That should give you everything you want to receive. Save the attached zipped file to your computer and extract. Once Sentinel is installed, go to the File tab and click on Import from hpe file (favorites list). Click on New Favorites List and name it "Mills Co IA". Click on OK. Highlight the extracted file (Mills Co IA.hpe) and click on Open. The favorites list will appear in Sentinel. Read up on how to create a profile. Let me know if you have any questions.
Awesome, thanks for putting that together for me!
 
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