BCD396XT: BCD396XT Programming Questions..

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dutch4591

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Completely new user here with some 396XT questions if you have the patience..
My son is visually impaired and had a Bearcat 200 scanner which he literally wore out.
He purchased a BCD396XT on the assumption that it would work much the same - but was faced with a steep learning curve because of the differences (I was of no help as I know '0' about electronic stuff) - but he managed to ask enough questions far and wide to get it working for him.
Unfortunately our local area Regional Services have mostly now changed or soon will to a Digital Project 25 (P25??) talk group system and he is pretty much without anything to keep him entertained now as he hasn't found any way to capture that type of signal with this newer scanner.
Remembering that I am not electronics at all knowledgeable or friendly, does anyone has the patience and fortitude to try and help us get his scanner working to receive this type of signal setup? Will the scanner continue to access the older analog-type signals along with the P25 type if we are successful in this venture?
I understand from him (and I stand to be corrected) that we will first need to get a Radio Reference subscription to enable us access to the newest channels for downloading to the 396XT?
Next he tells me we will also need a BuTel subscription/software to allow us to input this RR info into the scanner (we have a 396XT to USB cable setup purchased with the scanner when new).
What I am not at all knowledgeable about is where to go from this point. I have a windows 7 based laptop with which we hope to make all of this happen - but I have no concept of where or what to do past this point.
Am I further ahead to try and view YouTube videos to try and gain some idea of how this should work or is(are) any of you out there in Unidenland brave enough to take a crack and advising and babysitting us sufficiently to make P25 signals a reality for us?
Any and all assistance and suggestions are much appreciated - with the warning that comments and radio-lingo should be kept fairly simple and basic for this 'Scanning for Dummies-type' ...
Much appreciated - Randy and Ryan in Northern Ontario Canada.
 

captclint

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Welcome to RR. I'll get this started. You can program your scanner without software, but it does help. There is free software which will make the job of entering data easier: FreeSCAN With this software, you do not need a subscription to RR because anyone can access the database to get the info of what to program. However, if you become a paid subscriber to this site you can get the automatic down loads. This can save you hours of programming and frustration, especially on trunking systems that are typical of P25 digital. Yes, you can leave all the analog stuff in the scanner and just add the digital P25 and the scanner will do both.

There is are links we can provide that will help you understand the connection to the PC, and the DMA structure(which your son has already mastered for Conventional frequencies).
In order to help beyond this, we need to know what county in Ont, and the name of the various P25 systems you want to hear. Here's a link to Ontario Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference If you click on your county, you should be able to see the P25 systems at the very bottom of the page. For example, this is one of them you probably want: Bell FleetNet - Ontario Provincial Government Zone 1 In this case, you would create a system type P25, and add the location/site red and blue frequencies of the location/site nearest you. With a subscription, you would log onto the RR, chose this system and site to download, along with talkgfroups (this is where a subscription can save a lot of typing).and it will automatically set up the P25 parameters, and download everything automatically into FREEscan. Then, you would send this info to your scanner.
 
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frazpo

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Completely new user here with some 396XT questions if you have the patience..
My son is visually impaired and had a Bearcat 200 scanner which he literally wore out.
He purchased a BCD396XT on the assumption that it would work much the same - but was faced with a steep learning curve because of the differences (I was of no help as I know '0' about electronic stuff) - but he managed to ask enough questions far and wide to get it working for him.
Unfortunately our local area Regional Services have mostly now changed or soon will to a Digital Project 25 (P25??) talk group system and he is pretty much without anything to keep him entertained now as he hasn't found any way to capture that type of signal with this newer scanner.
Remembering that I am not electronics at all knowledgeable or friendly, does anyone has the patience and fortitude to try and help us get his scanner working to receive this type of signal setup? Will the scanner continue to access the older analog-type signals along with the P25 type if we are successful in this venture?
I understand from him (and I stand to be corrected) that we will first need to get a Radio Reference subscription to enable us access to the newest channels for downloading to the 396XT?
Next he tells me we will also need a BuTel subscription/software to allow us to input this RR info into the scanner (we have a 396XT to USB cable setup purchased with the scanner when new).
What I am not at all knowledgeable about is where to go from this point. I have a windows 7 based laptop with which we hope to make all of this happen - but I have no concept of where or what to do past this point.
Am I further ahead to try and view YouTube videos to try and gain some idea of how this should work or is(are) any of you out there in Unidenland brave enough to take a crack and advising and babysitting us sufficiently to make P25 signals a reality for us?
Any and all assistance and suggestions are much appreciated - with the warning that comments and radio-lingo should be kept fairly simple and basic for this 'Scanning for Dummies-type' ...
Much appreciated - Randy and Ryan in Northern Ontario Canada.
I wanted to post and get this back towards the top for the morning viewers to see.
I will answer two of your questions. Yes, a subscription to the database is almost a must to program this scanner. The good news is there is free version of programming software to program it called FreeScan. This is what a lot of use for programming Unidens. Once you get the subscription and the software you are good to go. It will take some time to get comfortable with so have patience. Guys are really good on here at addressing noobs. So all the help you need is right here.

https://sites.google.com/site/sixspotsoftware//products/freescan
FreeScan User Guide - The RadioReference Wiki

***Capt and I were commenting back at the same time. Wasn't repeating.
 
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1Partsman

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Dutch4591.....
why not go to the Ontario forum and see if you can find someone from your area who is willing to lend a hand.....it may be possible that someone will be able to send you a complete file with the programing in it for you to load in your 396xt....that you really help you a lot......

John
 

dutch4591

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Location
Sudbury Ontario
Thank you all captclint, frazpo, and 1Partsman for your replies here..
We will get a RR subscription tonight (it isn't much for the service from what I can see) to get us started hopefully.
Our district here in Northern Ontario is Sudbury Greater Sudbury (Project 25) Trunking System, Sudbury, Ontario - Scanner Frequencies and I hope that as the link shows I have identified to correct P25 systems that are already or soon will be moving to digital that are somewhat presently still available for Ryan to access.
He tells me they are in the process of moving many of the frequencies that he has and currently does monitor and almost weekly there are ones that he suddenly can't pick up - probably because they are ones just have been moved - may that be what the 'System Talk Groups' listing is pertaining to, like a testing forum before they finally convert over to the P25 format?
As for finding an Ontario forum I didn't see where your discussion forums were divided into area specific groups and I will go back and try and access those John as you suggested in your post here.
Thanks for you assistance and patience so far.
I hope for Ryan's sake we can get this to work out for him as he spends a lot of time relaxing with his scanner perking away and with such poor vision he likes to still keep up with current happenings around our city and especially in the long Winter months when road closures are seemingly ongoing!
Thanks again..
 
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