BCD536HP - Newbie question ... problem with favorites

Parrotbob

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Jul 6, 2015
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Good evening:

I hope I'm posting this in the right place. I am very new to the digital scanner world, but I've been able to make quite a bit of progress without breaking anything or losing what is left of my mind. Right now I'm really scratching my head on my favorites configuration. I'm in the Albany, NY area and I'm concentrating right now on two counties, each is in its own FL. Specifically, I'm having issues with the Albany County list. A few things are working, but many are not and I very strongly suspect that what I think makes sense in my programming doesn't make any sense to the scanner. I've attached the database view from ProScan in the hopes that it's an obvious problem that someone can point me in the right direction on. I'm specifically trying to receive the City of Albany Police and Fire along with the Town of Colonie Police and Fire .. I believe I have the frequencies and the talk groups, but it no go boom! The more I look at it, the more I second guess what I think I already know. If someone can give me some advice, I'll be forever grateful!
 

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bob550

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Did you build your Favorites List using Proscan or Sentinel? While I have both, I prefer using Sentinel to build and maintain my Favorites List for my 536. Make sure that you've updated the database before beginning. To create a favorite using Sentinel, open the USA database, click on New York, Albany, County Systems, then right-click on "Albany County" and select "append to favorites list". You'll be able to select either a new name for your list, or append to an existing. I'd opt for a new name to keep it separate from what you already have programmed. Once you've done that, click on "Edit" on the drop-down menu and then "Edit Profile". Make sure to select "On" for both "Monitor" and "Download" for the Favorite you created. This step is easily missed! That's literally all you have to do to create a Favorite List. As per @mule1075, ensure all service types are active.

There's plenty of activity on the PD and Fire talkgroups in Albany, but you won't hear something on every single talkgroup all the time. Also be aware that in recent months, Colonie PD has begun using an encrypted talkgroup and can no longer be monitored. Colonie Fire and EMS can still be received in the clear.
 

Parrotbob

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Jul 6, 2015
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I had previously done all the things you suggested above, but I created a test making a new favorite with just Albany County. The screenshot FL is attached. I let it run all night, logging the hits on Proscan. Interestingly, overnight there were a few hits from Albany City Law and Colonie Fire/EMS talk groups, but literally one or two hits for each talk group. I had also ran a test listening to a Broadcastify stream of Albany and Colonie and there's PLENTY of action going on ... I'm just not getting it. But I'm getting SOMETHING. I have the scanner connected to an external antenna and I'm right across the river in East Greenbush. I'm especially confused now because I think the favorites list is correct ... but I'm not picking up much.

I haven't used the antenna that came with the 536. Maybe the antenna is causing a reception problem?
 

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bob550

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Albany County, NY
I haven't used the antenna that came with the 536. Maybe the antenna is causing a reception problem?
Normally, you can't do much better than using an external antenna as you say you are. Perhaps you have a problem with the connections and/or cable to your antenna. What are the RSSI levels you're seeing as captured in the ProScan log file?
 

bob550

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Apr 5, 2005
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Albany County, NY
For the heck of it, create a Favorite List for just the Albany County Metro Cell, monitor that by itself and see if there's any change. I break up my Favorites in this manner and use FL Quick Keys to turn the sites on and off. When I get my 536 back from Uniden (it's having the real-time clock issue fixed), I can let it run overnight to see how many hits I get on ProScan for the Metro Cell (Albany/Colonie). Of course, activity can greatly vary from one night to the next. One more thing. Make sure your squelch level is set to 2.
 

Parrotbob

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Jul 6, 2015
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Interestingly enough, when I attached the stock antenna, things started to clear up. I still don't receive much at all from Albany PD -- That still has me scratching my head, but I am receiving Colonie FIre/EMS and suddenly the city of Troy is popping up more frequently.

So now I think the problem wasn't the configuration, but the antenna. I've had this discone antenna for many years, connected to an old analog scanner. I'm betting I have an issue with the cable. I have no idea what quality it was when I set it up ... back then I thought a wire was a wire. I do know that even with the old scanner the reception recently vs. 10 years ago is night and day. I think I'll look into replacing the cable and, if necessary, the antenna and see what that does for me.

Thank you very much for your help. I'm encouraged to know that my tenuous understanding of the programming wasn't wrong ... My wife was a Database Administrator and I've worked in IT most of my life ... I have NEVER been able to get database concepts straight, so I just automatically thought I had this all ass-backward. It's good to know that I don't have to re-understand the basic stuff I've learned so far :)
 
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