BCD396XT - Need Help.

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douglasphansen

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Hey all -

I have a bunch of EDACS systems that I'm trying to program with Freescan but I'm not understanding (enough) to get them to work.

When I upload them to the scanner I notice there are not any frequency in the system. All of my conventional systems work, but not the digital. What am I missing?

My goal is to do all of the setup inside of freescan.

Total newb.

Thank you,

Doug
 

jonwienke

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You probably didn't include any sites in your programming.

Trunked systems have talkgroup ID to identify and route traffic. The talkgroups are broadcast from system sites, which is where the system frequencies are entered. If you don't program any sites, the scanner cannot monitor the system.
 

douglasphansen

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You probably didn't include any sites in your programming.

Trunked systems have talkgroup ID to identify and route traffic. The talkgroups are broadcast from system sites, which is where the system frequencies are entered. If you don't program any sites, the scanner cannot monitor the system.
Got ya. Is that something I can program from within Freescan? (I have the Radioreference subscription to pull all the info).

Attached a screenshot of freescan. Might help you to help me understand!


The "Fishkill" system and the ones below do not work. Everything above it does.


Thanks!
 

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jonwienke

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I've never used Freescan. Look for a menu to add a site in the programming window.
 

BC_Scan

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That scanner wont do digital (provoice) in EDACS, so you can only hear Analog. now if its P25 Digital that is another story
the shift I believe is away from EDACS as Harris or whomever is now the owner of said system does not support that format any longer.
Meanwhile listen while you can, now if you upgraded to Uniden 436/536 series than you can buy a provoice upgrade.
 

ofd8001

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Got ya. Is that something I can program from within Freescan? (I have the Radioreference subscription to pull all the info).
Yes it can be programmed using Freescan and your subscription.

1. Start Freescan
2. Fire>Import>Radio Reference Trunked
3. Log-in when the window for doing so opens.
4. Select New York, Dutchess County and NYCOMCO EDACS Wide in the appropriate dropdown boxes.
5. Confirm that the SITES you can receive have the boxes checked in the left pane.
6. Check the Beacon Police and Fishkill (Town) Police GROUPS boxes are checked in the right pane.
7. Click the Import button
8. Cose the Import Window
9. Edit the data, such as removing undesired talkgroups as you wish.
10. Save the file
11. Download the programming to your scanner.

Your image file shows you have two systems, one for Beacon and another for Fishkill. Since these use the same tower(s) it is more efficient to create one system rather than two. (Otherwise the scanner would spend time on Site "A" looking for Beacon talkgroups but not Fishkill. If Fishkill was active, they would not be monitored.)
 

hiegtx

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Got ya. Is that something I can program from within Freescan? (I have the Radioreference subscription to pull all the info).

Attached a screenshot of freescan. Might help you to help me understand!


The "Fishkill" system and the ones below do not work. Everything above it does.


Thanks!
In addition to what ofd8001 has provided, the FreeSCAN User Guide is hosted in the Wiki here at RadioReference.
 

douglasphansen

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Yes it can be programmed using Freescan and your subscription.

1. Start Freescan
2. Fire>Import>Radio Reference Trunked
3. Log-in when the window for doing so opens.
4. Select New York, Dutchess County and NYCOMCO EDACS Wide in the appropriate dropdown boxes.
5. Confirm that the SITES you can receive have the boxes checked in the left pane.
6. Check the Beacon Police and Fishkill (Town) Police GROUPS boxes are checked in the right pane.
7. Click the Import button
8. Cose the Import Window
9. Edit the data, such as removing undesired talkgroups as you wish.
10. Save the file
11. Download the programming to your scanner.

Your image file shows you have two systems, one for Beacon and another for Fishkill. Since these use the same tower(s) it is more efficient to create one system rather than two. (Otherwise the scanner would spend time on Site "A" looking for Beacon talkgroups but not Fishkill. If Fishkill was active, they would not be monitored.)
THANK YOU. Helped a bunch!

Question: You said edit the data to remove undesired talkgroups. I imported the site (Mount Beacon) and am receiving transmissions from several surrounding counties as they utilize this site as well even though I only imported the two talkgroups. What is the easiest way to block all other traffic except for the two desired talkgroups.

Thanks again,

Doug
 

ofd8001

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I suspect you have ID Search On. You'll want ID Scan. Using FreeScan look in the System Screen in about the middle of the page for a section called "ID Mode".

Save and write to your scanner.

Another way is to press the Scan button on the scanner keypad when the scanner is scanning the system.

(My preference is to make changes in programming software. Yes, it isn't as fast/efficient. However that way my computer files and scanner are "together" in that I don't have something set one way in the scanner and another way in the file. Avoids unexpected behavior later on.)
 

douglasphansen

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Okay. Set up a new system the way @ofd8001 stated.

Not really receiving any traffic.

Questions:
1. Should control channel only be selected?
2. When selecting audio type, can I leave it on Any or should it be set to Analog or Digital? (I noticed when I downloaded all settings from my scanner into Freescan, it turned every channel to "Any" even though in the scanner they were set to "analog" or "digital."
2. Does a vehicle act as am amplifier for signals?

Yesterday I was driving around and using my previous systems (multi-site with all TG's entered and blocked all the TG's i didn't want to hear to focus it down to the ones I DID want to hear) and I was picking up lots of traffic.

Now, inside my house, and after programming the new system (trunked), the system that I was listening to yesterday (both trunked) are not receiving anything.

Whats the saying? 1 Step forward, 2 steps backward and I fell off a cliff and broke every bone? Kinda how I'm feeling.

Thanks again, all. Really appreciate all the help.
 

jonwienke

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If you are monitoring a digital trunked system, none of the settings should be set to analog.

Vehicles are NOT an "amplifier" for RF signals. If you are using an antenna inside a vehicle, most of the signal will be blocked by the metal body of the vehicle, and reception will be somewhere between garbage and nothingburger.
 

hiegtx

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THANK YOU. Helped a bunch!

Question: You said edit the data to remove undesired talkgroups. I imported the site (Mount Beacon) and am receiving transmissions from several surrounding counties as they utilize this site as well even though I only imported the two talkgroups. What is the easiest way to block all other traffic except for the two desired talkgroups.

Thanks again,

Doug
Remember that, if using ID Scan, you will hear only the talkgroups that you have programmed and they are not locked out nor are they in a Group that is locked out.

For ID Search, you will every active talkgroup on the system, unless it is locked out, or in a Group that is locked out.

For systems where they are still adding talkgroups, which is common on a new system where TGID's are being added for various purposes and departments of the users of the system, I add the known, unwanted, talkgroups into a Group that is left set as Locked Out. That way, the scanner is still looking for new TGID's, but I'm not listening to radio traffic I have no interest in, for instance a Utility department (water, sewer, etc) or Garbage trucks used by a city.
 

ofd8001

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Questions:
1. Should control channel only be selected? The scanner will funtion using only control channels. My personal preference and there are those who disagree, is to program all frequencies. One never knows if an "unlisted" frequency ends up being a control channel. (Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.)

2. When selecting audio type, can I leave it on Any or should it be set to Analog or Digital? (I noticed when I downloaded all settings from my scanner into Freescan, it turned every channel to "Any" even though in the scanner they were set to "analog" or "digital." The database shows the talkgroups you previously mentioned as being Analog (or "A") in the Mode column. So Analog should work. "Any" will cover both Digital and Analog, so that setting would also work.

2. Does a vehicle act as am amplifier for signals? Just the opposite - it's a metal cage that will dampen weak radio waves. If I want to do any "heavy" scanning with a portable scanner in a car, I pull in more signals when I use a mobile antenna.

As far as inside your house, there are lots of electrical/electronic devices that could generate radio frequency energy (fancy term for interference) and de-sensitize your scanner. An outside antenna might be helpful if moving your scanner to another place in your house doesn't resolve the problem.
 

douglasphansen

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Desperate times. Desperate measures.

https://youtu.be/OXQEJzvOVYk

Hey all -

Above is a link to a video of yours truly and my darling BCD396xt.

When you have a couple, if you wouldn't mind taking a peek and seeing if I'm doing something blatantly wrong.

I did have traffic flowing in from my desired TG's when the unit was on ID Search. Now I'm stuck with none from my Beacon-Fishkill group and a slower than molasses drip of traffic from my Poughkeepsie group (which should be nothing but constant traffic).

Thanks again,

Doug
 

douglasphansen

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For Clarification:

System 1:
Site: Mount Beacon (ID Scan, Control Channel Only)
Group: Beacon PD
Group: Fishkill PD

System 2:
Site: Mount Beacon (ID Scan, Control Channel Only)
Site: Walker Mountain (ID Scan)
Group: City of Poughkeepsie
Group: Town of Poughkeepsie

No channels set as priority on recommendation from previous post.
 

UPMan

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Nothing obvious. You don't need to use priority (your last question in the vid).

Since both of your systems in the scanner are actually just different instances of the same system (NYCOMCO (EDACS) Trunking System, Various, New York - Scanner Frequencies) you could have put them all in one system and just used the GQKs to turn on/off municipalities.

Looks like you are primarily trying to receive from the Mount Beacon tower. Is that tower receivable from your location? (press HOLD, 856.1875, HOLD and you should hear the control channel noise...if not, you are not receiving the tower and that would explain 100% the issue).
 

douglasphansen

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Nothing obvious. You don't need to use priority (your last question in the vid).

Since both of your systems in the scanner are actually just different instances of the same system (NYCOMCO (EDACS) Trunking System, Various, New York - Scanner Frequencies) you could have put them all in one system and just used the GQKs to turn on/off municipalities.

Looks like you are primarily trying to receive from the Mount Beacon tower. Is that tower receivable from your location? (press HOLD, 856.1875, HOLD and you should hear the control channel noise...if not, you are not receiving the tower and that would explain 100% the issue).
@Upman,

Nothing coming in of 856.1875. Kind of surprised. Only 8 miles away from location as the crow flies. Meanwhile I can pick up traffic from the Walker Mountain Site (Covers City/Town of Poughkeepsie) which is roughly 15 miles.

Questions:
1. Your thoughts on Control Channel only? Should it be selected or not?
2. Since NYCOMCO (Edacs) uses several sites in the county, should I include all sites in the system?
3. Since I'm not receiving Mount Beacon, could it be something I've done in my settings or am I just S.O.L from my geographic location?

Thanks!


- Doug
 

UPMan

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1. Irrelevant. Does not apply to EDACS systems. Whatever you set will be ignored by the scanner.
2. You should at least include a site that you can receive from your location. If you will often relocate, then I'd include them all (but I'd set system hold time to 0 so that the scanner doesn't dwell on unreceivable sites).
3. Double check attenuation (but I think it is off based on the display).
 

ofd8001

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It appears to me that the scanner isn't receiving transmissions from either site. I did not see any signal strength indication in the upper right hand corner.

What happens if you take your scanner on a road trip and do some scanning about 1/4 mile away from each of these two sites?

If you can hear transmissions there, that confirms your scanner is programmed correctly.

When you get back home and don't receive anything, that means there is a reception issue at your home. It could be one or more of the following:

1. Site attenuation On as Upman mentioned
2. You could have a defective antenna which only works when close to a transmitter
3. There could be some electrical/electronic devices in your home generating interference which desensitizes your scanner. (I have a Motorola XTS3000 radio monitoring an 800 trunked system that stops receiving if I place it too close to a computer display screen).
4. Materials used to construct your home could be soaking up the radio waves. (Stepping outside with your scanner would help diagnose the two above items.)
5. This is a "left field" situation meaning the possibilities of this are remote. That said, I have seen where "leaky" cable television cables can adversely affect radio reception. Many years ago we put a repeater in at our fire station. We were having a problem with transmissions reaching the repeater. After the techs spent hours scratching their heads, we figured there was an issue with the cable TV system. We got with the cable TV folks and they briefly turned off the channel we suspected as being the culprit. Everything worked fine until they turned the channel back on.
 

ofd8001

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Just for the heck of it, try unzipping the attached file and load it into your Freescan, then download to your scanner and see what happens.

Basically I consolidated this into one system (as Upman suggested because its more efficient). I changed the System Quick Keys to 5 and 6 so your scanner will scan what you have along with this and you can do some comparision.

Just don't erase anything in the scanner when you do the write/download.

I did notice you had Poughkeepsie site in there twice which could be an issue.
 
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