BCD396xt is on it's way

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scruggsy

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after doing a lot of research, asking a lot of questions, and watching quite a few you-tube videos, I finally decided on the BCD396XT, (from SCANNER MASTER) it should arrive sometime on 12/7.

to all those who have posted info about the various scanners that are on the market, thank you

having said that, I will now be doing a lot of learning about how to program this new scanner! I have absolutely no experience at programming, but look forward to learning!

From Kings Mountain NC, Cleveland County,
Scott
 

scruggsy

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For easy programming download FreeScan and buy the USB connector. it will make your life a lot easier...
I downloaded free scan and the cable is on it's way,
I looked at free scan a little bit and it was very greek to me, gonna need a lot of help to get an understanding of this!
 

davedaver1

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Too late in this case, but why buy the USB cable? No need unless you don't have a serial port for the included serial cable.

Freescan for sure though!
 
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ka3jjz

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Hi Scott - here are a few references and places you can go to help you along...note that anything blue is a link...

Technical jargon exists in every hobby, and none more so than scanning. We have an online glossary that should help you get over many of the humps...

Category:RR Glossary - The RadioReference Wiki

Something else that tends to throw folks for a loop is the concept of trunking (not 'trucking' as so many folks typo it...). Check out the links in the 'overview' section of this article, and note that UPMan's article is a PDF, so you will need Adobe Acrobat or one of the popular utilities to read it...

Trunked Radio Systems - The RadioReference Wiki

Now let's get down to the brass tacks - learning about DMA is vital to being able to program in it successfully. Our DMA FAQ is a good place to start - and at the bottom are the links to the well known Easier to Read manuals. There's a printed one for the XT scanners available from Scanner Master, and there's a downloadable one for the 396XT.

No matter what software you use - we'll get to that in a moment - you need to understand how to work in the DMA world...

Uniden DMA FAQ - The RadioReference Wiki

Now there is freeware for the XT scanners - and probably the most popular would be FreeScan. You can get it from the link below, and the 2nd link is to the wiki-based user guide we host here...

Downloads - Sixspot Software

FreeScan User Guide - The RadioReference Wiki

Now don't think you're married to FreeScan once you start - there are a couple of other programs that work with this radio, as shown here - but you lose nothing starting with freeware. You can always move to another package later, and you haven't lost anything...

Uniden DMA Software Support - The RadioReference Wiki

Finally, an ugly truth is that new PCs these days don't have serial ports - they have USB. To connect the scanner and PC, you will need a USB-serial converter. This article discusses this in detail...

Connecting scanners via USB - The RadioReference Wiki

That should be enough for now. There will be a test next week (don't worry it's open book), hi Don't be afraid to ask questions...oh yes, one more thing - the NC forum, where you can find local users to help you with local issues...

North Carolina Radio Discussion Forum - The RadioReference.com Forums

and since I'm in a generous mood...(hi)...

North Carolina Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

North Carolina - the RR Wiki

best regards...Mike
 

scruggsy

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ka3jjz, thank you for the info, this may prove to be very helpful! and i'm glad you're in a generous mood!.... lol
 

KB4REA

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Too late in this case, but why buy the USB cable? No need unless you don't have a serial port for the included serial cable.
Even still, all you need is a serial-to-usb adapter that can be purchased locally for a couple of bucks. I bought mine at compusa some years back and it's now tucked away for the next time I pick up a uniden scanner. Point being...for future reference obviously...is to save yourself the $30! Use it towards your RR subscription, a new antenna, or batt. charger, whatever... :wink:
 

Ed_Seedhouse

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Even still, all you need is a serial-to-usb adapter that can be purchased locally for a couple of bucks.
Well, around my part of the world it was more like thirty bucks, and since I have 64 bit windows the first one wouldn't work and the second one only worked after downloading a new driver. So if you have a relatively new computer you might have a bit more trouble than with one that's still running XP.
 

scruggsy

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Well the scanner is here and the cable is the least of my concerns!
my first impression, this device is small but a little intimidating for me, as I have no experience programming a scanner.
I am looking over all the links that you guys sent, but I must first learn that patience is my friend,
I operate 1/4 million dollar CNC machines daily and never have I had this look on my face...LOL
 

W2PMX

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Well, around my part of the world it was more like thirty bucks, and since I have 64 bit windows the first one wouldn't work and the second one only worked after downloading a new driver. So if you have a relatively new computer you might have a bit more trouble than with one that's still running XP.
I'm using an old adapter with a 64 bit Prolific driver on Windows 7 64 bit with no problems at all. The adapter is getting a bit long in the tooth, but I've seen them for well under $10. Both Prolific and FTDI have 64 bit drivers.
 

ScannerWayne

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Scruggsy,

I got my BCD396T about 7 years ago. I knew nothing about DMA scanners in particular though I did know some things about trunking and the more popular trunking systems out there. I decided not to use the computer to program the scanner. Took almost three weeks of trial and error to get the scanner set up the way I wanted it with the systems I had at the time.

Now I have the XT version and with all the systems I have the software to contol the scanner is invaluable. But having done it the hardway, I can make changes and adaptations instantly while away from the house. Drove my wife crazy having to listen to the clicks of the dial as I labled talkgroups, but hell, that was half the fun in learning the thing. Lol.

Take your time, make use of the resources available to you here and elsewhere, and you'll do fine.

Wayne...
 

scruggsy

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Scruggsy,

I got my BCD396T about 7 years ago. I knew nothing about DMA scanners in particular though I did know some things about trunking and the more popular trunking systems out there. I decided not to use the computer to program the scanner. Took almost three weeks of trial and error to get the scanner set up the way I wanted it with the systems I had at the time.

Now I have the XT version and with all the systems I have the software to contol the scanner is invaluable. But having done it the hardway, I can make changes and adaptations instantly while away from the house. Drove my wife crazy having to listen to the clicks of the dial as I labled talkgroups, but hell, that was half the fun in learning the thing. Lol.

Take your time, make use of the resources available to you here and elsewhere, and you'll do fine.

Wayne...
thanks for the inspiration and the info, the resources here are invaluable, but my patience is the issue here, starting to think I should have gotten one of the self programmers.......LOL
 

KE4ZNR

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Feel free to use my NC VIPER Freescan starter files to help you get a better idea of
how dynamic memory works in the 396XT/996XT. You will probably have to tweak the
files just a bit with the VIPER site closest to you but other than that it should get
ya started. And of course you know we have a good group of folks in the NC forum to help out as well.
Happy Monitoring
Marshall KE4ZNR
 

ScannerWayne

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Just had a thought....

One of the problems that I had early on was trying to remember the System Quick Key for a particular system I had built. So what I started to do and what I continue to do, is to incorporate the System Quick Key number into the system name. As an example...

Original system name: Mobile City Police
Changed to: Mob City PD 01

Yeah I know you lose two spaces for a system name, but in the long run, with 30, 40 or more Systems in the scanner it makes finding the system you want so much easier.

Wayne...
 

scanningisfun

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Just had a thought....

One of the problems that I had early on was trying to remember the System Quick Key for a particular system I had built. So what I started to do and what I continue to do, is to incorporate the System Quick Key number into the system name. As an example...

Original system name: Mobile City Police
Changed to: Mob City PD 01

Yeah I know you lose two spaces for a system name, but in the long run, with 30, 40 or more Systems in the scanner it makes finding the system you want so much easier.

Wayne...
I don't do that but i do assign my number tags a specific way. Say SQK 1 was City 1, I would assign that system a number tag of 1. I do this for all the public safety systems I have programmed. I have arranged all of my public safety systems to have GQK 1 for PD, GQK 2 for Fire, and GQK 3 for EMS. I then assign a number key for the dispatch channels corresponding to their GQK numbers. So say I wanted to go to City 1's FD dispatch channel really fast--all I would have to do is hold on a channel and enter 1.2 and then I would be there. Just a recommendation for when you get your scanner.
 

W8RMH

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Just had a thought....

One of the problems that I had early on was trying to remember the System Quick Key for a particular system I had built. So what I started to do and what I continue to do, is to incorporate the System Quick Key number into the system name. As an example...

Original system name: Mobile City Police
Changed to: Mob City PD 01

Yeah I know you lose two spaces for a system name, but in the long run, with 30, 40 or more Systems in the scanner it makes finding the system you want so much easier.

Wayne...
That is a great idea. I just go to "Program System", to system, "Edit System Options", "Set Quick Key", and it displays the quick key.
 
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