Best way to sub divide scan lists on the psr-500?

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n5gqb

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I realize there is a limit of 20 scan lists per v-folder. Is there no way to sub divide each scan list down further? My pro-96 has 5 sub lists per scan list/system, I had one for police, one for fire and another for city services. I could easily turn off/on each sub list on a given system depending on what I wanted to listen to. Seems like there is no way to do this with the psr-500 without taking up another scan list. I can eat up 20 lists pretty quickly this way since talkgroups/conv freqs are all treated the same in this radio.
What you guys do? Especially you guys in the big metroplex areas with all the precincts and suburbs etc.
 
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This might seem kind of silly, but I have separate V-Folders for each county I'm interested in, as well as separate V-Folders for aircraft, railroad, gas and electric utilities and local ham radio repeaters.

It's an organizational thing. At first I found having 20 scan lists to be very liberating (especially after suffering with my Pro-96 for so long), but I now find it restrictive and this was my way to deal with it. After a while I got used to pressing FUNC-PGM and loading different V-Folders as I travel across the metro area.

This is a rather extreme example from my V-Folder list, Hennepin County: Scan lists 1-10 are individual cities I find myself travelling in (I usually group PD and FD together for the same city, like Minnetonka or Hopkins, but Minneapolis has so much activity that I spread PD and FD out over scan list 9 and 10.) Scan list 11 is Hennepin County sheriff, 12 is all other Hennepin county police and 13 is all other Hennepin fire. 15 is University of MN police, 16 is MN State Patrol, 17 is for mutual aid TGs and simplex freqs, 18 is general use frequencies (GMRS/FRS/Dot/Star/etc...), 19 is Metro EMS and MED freqs, and 20 is Xcel Energy TGs for the west metro. I also have relevant amateur radio repeaters assigned to skywarn.

Others are far simpler. It's easy to fit scan lists for each individual city into most of the other V-Folders setups I have. Others, like aircraft, I have one scan list for general aviation frequencies and others for individual local airports. For amateur radio I have scan lists organized by band (6m, 2m, 70cm, etc...)

I kinda wish I could have multiple scan lists that I could pick from a menu with the arrow keys, and bind the number keys as 'hot keys' to my favorite scan lists. Needless to say, I am also very interested to read how other people have organized their scanners.
 

LEH

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This is one of my major complaints on the PSR-500. I too have more than twenty system/subsystems that I want to listen to routinely. Loading and unloading V-folders is a real PIA when you are driving (not to mention DANGEROUS because you're not watching the road).
 
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I lump certain things together when possible. For instance, all of the small southwest valley police departments go into one scanlist. Larger departments get their own list. I only have one fire department system to monitor so that helps. I have separate v folders for other counties and states.

Even though there are actually 21 scanlists (have to count favorites), I too wish there were more. You have to get creative. You are going to end up lumping certain things together. Let's say you have x, y, and z together, but you really have a need to monitor z at a certain moment. Turn on that scanlist, and use TLO to shut out what you don't want. After a minute or so you are down to what you wanted for the most part.

With all this said, v folders are not so hard to load, I think it takes about 2 seconds. This isn't THAT big of a deal really, in exchange for all of the great features this scanner has.
 

rvawatch

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what you can do is this: put all your tsys objects first in line. they would occupy the object numbers 1, 2, 3, and so on. go into manual and type the object number of one of the tsys and press SEL, for example press 2 then SEL. Then use the L/O key to lock it out. you can now have multiple tsys on a scanlist, but still choose which tsys are locked out.
 
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That sounds like a clever workaround for this limitation, though I'm not sure - even with practice - if I would want to do that much while I'm driving. Though somehow I seem to manage FUNC-PGM, F1, arrow, arrow, arrow, SEL, etc... (I have my scanner mounted real close to my steering wheel, so my eyes don't have to stray very far. It's about as distracting as tuning the radio.)
 

DonS

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I've been using that functionality for quite a while. It's not so much a "workaround" as an intentional feature that was designed-in from the start (though I'm not sure why it's not described in more detail in the manual).
 
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Ok, I think I get the idea now Don. I wasn't seeing it so clearly in my head until you posted the link to that other thread. If I'm understanding it correctly instead of having a "Hennepin County" TSYS, I'd have many TSYS entries for "Minnetonka Fire, Minnetonka Police, Hopkins Fire, Hopkins Police, etc..." cities within Hennepin county, all assigned to low numbers so I could easily L/Out as I go. Am I following that right?
 
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powerhouse

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This is probably my only "pet peeve" with this radio.
It would be nice to have a city or county programmed into a scanlist and then, say, fire in sub group 1, police in sub group 2 etc. As it stands now I have to eat up scanlists to do what I want.
Years ago I bought a Pro92 handheld. I got it home and programmed it but realized I couldn't break down the "banks" like I wanted to so I took it back and got a Pro93. The 93 allowed you to sub divide the banks into 5 different sub banks. My Uniden 396 allows you do almost unlimited sub dividing but saddly you can't easily do this on the Psr500.
GRE, if you are listening, is it possible via firmware upgrade to subdivide the scanlists ?
This would make an awsome radio even better in my opinion.
Thanks

powerhouse
 

fmon

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This is probably my only "pet peeve" with this radio.
It would be nice to have a city or county programmed into a scanlist and then, say, fire in sub group 1, police in sub group 2 etc. As it stands now I have to eat up scanlists to do what I want.
Program the TSYS and place PD in SL 1, FD SL2 etc then toggle SL on/off. This is much faster then toggling Pro-96 Sub-Banks.

Software makes this much easier to setup.
 

powerhouse

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Hi fmon
Yea, that's how I got it set up now. The only problem is I listen to quite a few municipalities between home, work, and areas that my family and my wife's family lives in and by doing it this way it eats up almost all of the scanlists. I could use the V-folders but it just seems like it would be a better situation if one could have scanlist 1 for say; Baltimore City, Scanlist 1a for Baltimore city fire, Scanlist 1b for Baltimore city police, Scanlist 2 for Baltimore county, Scanlist 2a for Baltimore county fire, Scanlist 2b for Baltimore county police, Scanlist 3 for Carroll county, Scanlist 3a for Carroll county fire,Scanlist 3b for Carroll county police, Scanlist 3c for Carroll county roads, Scanlist 3d for Carroll county municipal police Scanlist 4 for AnneArundel county, Scanlist 4a for fire, Scanlist 4b for police etc.etc.etc.
When I'm home and hooked up to the outdoor Scantenna, I can pick up all of these areas as well as York and Adams counties in South Central PA. This is where the in-laws are so I like to listen to the whole area at one time.
This is how I had my Pro93 set up and how I have my 396 set up.
I don't know, it could be I'm just in that mind set but it seems more intuitive to do it that way.
I still wish the Psr500 could do this but it is still an awsome radio and in my opinion much easier to operate than the 396.

Thanks again
powerhouse
 

Patch42

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Yea, that's how I got it set up now. The only problem is I listen to quite a few municipalities between home, work, and areas that my family and my wife's family lives in and by doing it this way it eats up almost all of the scanlists.
I think one of us didn't exactly follow what fmon was saying.

My interpretation is this: Arrange things so the TSYS objects are the first things in the database. In your case, Baltimore City TSYS is object 1, Baltimore County TSYS is object 2, Carroll County TSYS is object 3, etc. Now put ALL police TGRPs, regardless of the system with which they're associated, in scan list 1. Put ALL fire TGRPs, regardless of the system with which they're associated, in scan list 2. Put ALL EMS TGRPs in scan list 3.

Use the scan lists to toggle types of services on/off. Use temporary lockouts on the TSYS objects to toggle specific systems on/off. By putting the TSYS objects as the first ones in the database they're easy to find and do TL/Os on. If you want to monitor just Baltimore City police and fire, put TL/Os on the Baltimore County and Carroll County TSYS objects and turn on scan lists 1 and 2. There are some limitations, like you wouldn't be able to use this to monitor Baltimore City police and Baltimore County fire only, but that's a rather unlikely combination.

By using a temporary lockout, all systems will be restored when the radio is turned on the next time. You could also use permanent lockouts if that fits your monitoring style better.
 

LEH

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This inability to allow further break downs of systems is my major complaint on the 500. My home TRS system is shared by six of so systems. I don't want to listen to ALL the fire or ALL the police at the same time always.

Using the temporary lockout is too tedious. Just with the small departments served, there are still over fifty talk groups to deal with. I'd hate to do that with a larger system, especially while driving.
 

Patch42

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Using the temporary lockout is too tedious. Just with the small departments served, there are still over fifty talk groups to deal with. I'd hate to do that with a larger system, especially while driving.
You don't lock out the TGRPs, you lock out the TSYS. That automatically locks out all the TGRPs associated with that system. Navigate to any TGRP on the system to be locked out. Press F2 (TSYS), then press L/OUT. That TSYS will no longer be scanned.

So the idea is to use the scan lists for different services (police, fire, EMS, etc.) and then lock out the TSYS objects for the systems you don't want to actively scan. This way you can scan everything on all the systems, just police on one of the systems, or pretty much anything in between. (If you wanted to do just police from system A and at the same time just fire from system B, you'd need to program the police and fire on separate TSYS objects.)

It does seem that TSYS lockouts are all permanent, which I would assume is a bug. No reason they shouldn't work like other lockouts. Still, that's probably the behavior most would want anyway.

BTW, I wouldn't consider doing ANY of this while driving to be safe. Talk about distracted driving!
 

LEH

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You don't lock out the TGRPs, you lock out the TSYS. That automatically locks out all the TGRPs associated with that system. Navigate to any TGRP on the system to be locked out. Press F2 (TSYS), then press L/OUT. That TSYS will no longer be scanned.

So the idea is to use the scan lists for different services (police, fire, EMS, etc.) and then lock out the TSYS objects for the systems you don't want to actively scan. This way you can scan everything on all the systems, just police on one of the systems, or pretty much anything in between. (If you wanted to do just police from system A and at the same time just fire from system B, you'd need to program the police and fire on separate TSYS objects.)

It does seem that TSYS lockouts are all permanent, which I would assume is a bug. No reason they shouldn't work like other lockouts. Still, that's probably the behavior most would want anyway.

BTW, I wouldn't consider doing ANY of this while driving to be safe. Talk about distracted driving!
Sounds like it would work for multiple TSYS's. Now how would one do this for one TSYS used by multiple agencies? My home system is a TRS jointly set up by York and James City Counties in VA and is used by James City County, City of Williamsburg, College of William and Mary, City of Poqouson, a sub division of Williamsburg (Kings Mill), and York County. There are rumors floating around that another county is planning on joining in the not to distant future. Okay, I don't listen to W&M or Kings Mill, but I do the others.

If anyone wants to have an idea of what being distracted while driving can do, take a look at this link. The truck driver reached down for a drink while doing more than 60.
 

DonS

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Sounds like it would work for multiple TSYS's. Now how would one do this for one TSYS used by multiple agencies?
The idea is to set up multiple (yes, duplicated) TSYS objects, each with its own set of TGRP objects.

For example, with a single-agency (but multi-purpose) system like my local "citywide" system, I could create three TSYS objects. In one, I'd put all the Police talkgroups, in another, all the Fire talkgroups, in the third "everything else" (parks, electric, water, streets, etc.). I could have multiple "systems", also split apart like this. I might put all of the Police-related TGRPs into one scan list, Fire into another, etc. Then, if I want to monitor only my city's PD, I'd enable the appropriate scan list and lock out the TSYS objects that have Police TGRPs from other "agencies".

A more "multi-agency" example... if you have a trunking system that is used by exactly three cities, and each city has both Fire and PD on the system (and nothing else), you could create 6 (six) TSYS objects. Each TSYS would then have either PD or Fire TGRPs for exactly one city. You could put all of the Fire TGRPs (for all three cities) into a single scan list, all of the PD TGRPs (for all three cities) into another scan list. By enabling/disabling scan lists and/or locking-out/unlocking TSYS objects, you can get any combination of city vs. PD/Fire.

EDIT: locking out a TSYS (which effectively locks out all of its TGRPs) is easy... while scanning, when a TGRP on an "undesired" TSYS goes active, press F2 (the "TSYS" softkey). Then press L/OUT. Then press SCAN. Three key presses could lock out an entire city's police department, and they'd be the same key presses for every such "broken-down" city/agency.
 
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Patch42

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For example, with a single-agency (but multi-purpose) system like my local "citywide" system, I could create three TSYS objects. In one, I'd put all the Police talkgroups, in another, all the Fire talkgroups, in the third "everything else" (parks, electric, water, streets, etc.). I could have
If you're going to put police on one scan list, fire on another, etc., does it really buy you anything to create separate TSYS objects for them? It seems unlikely to me that I'd want to monitor police from town A and fire from town B, but not police from town B and not fire from town A. That capability seems to be the only benefit.

A more "multi-agency" example... if you have a trunking system that is used by exactly three cities, and each city has both Fire and PD on the system (and nothing else), you could create 6 (six) TSYS objects. Each TSYS would then have either PD or Fire TGRPs for exactly one city. You could put all of the Fire TGRPs (for all three cities) into a single scan list, all of the PD TGRPs (for all three cities) into another scan list. By enabling/disabling scan lists and/or locking-out/unlocking TSYS objects, you can get any combination of city vs. PD/Fire.
Again, this seems overkill. Setting up each city as a separate TSYS makes sense, but if you're going to create service-type scan lists there seems little reason for splitting the TSYS objects beyond city.

EDIT: locking out a TSYS (which effectively locks out all of its TGRPs) is easy... while scanning, when a TGRP on an "undesired" TSYS goes active, press F2 (the "TSYS" softkey). Then press L/OUT. Then press SCAN. Three key presses could lock out an entire city's police department, and they'd be the same key presses for every such "broken-down" city/agency.
I need to try this in practice to see how it works, but I thought today that a simple way to deal with this is to create a Wildcard TGRP for each TSYS and put all the Wildcards in one dedicated scan list. Then you can quickly go through the members of that scan list and use the F2, L/OUT sequence you described. I think this would be even simpler than trying to remember TSYS object database slot numbers.

One thing missing (GRE, are you listening?) is a way to group conventional frequencies so non-trunking systems can be dealt with in the same way. There should be an optional CSYS object that CONV objects can be associated with. Then the same method we've described could be used to easily lock out groups of conventional frequencies. This would put older systems on equal footing with the trunked systems.
 
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