cedar rapids,Iowa bcd396xt help

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dgate

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I bought this scanner from radio shack and cant figure anything out. I need someone to school me on how or ill pay someone to do it for me. Im lost!!!!!!! Im new at this and tried to program it over 10 times only to get NOTHING. Im ready to blow it up or throw it as far as I can. Fustrated? yes !! I listend to my pro106 all the time and after reading all the reviews on the bcd396xt I bought one. (man was that a mistake for a newbi) I don't even know how to connect it to the pc. I tried to buy a NULL modem locally at radio shack and they told me they don't sell OUTDATED equip. PLEASE Someone HEEELLLPPP
 

tilt404

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I would suggest you get the Uniden USB1 cable for it or if your computer has a serial port use that cable then download Freescan.

https://sites.google.com/site/sixspotsoftware/products/freescan

Then if you're a member here, you can just log into RR through the software by putting in your user name and password and it will connect to RR and program it for you with what you select from RR. I wouldn't suggest programming it by hand since you will probably just get more frustrated.
 

ofd8001

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There are several excellent videos on Youtube about programming a 396XT scanner that might be informative.

programming a uniden 396XT - YouTube

These scanners can be a little initimidating at first. With some time, practice and patience, I'm sure you will get the hang of it.

Most importantly, remember that there is nothing you can do to wreck the scanner via programming. You can always do a reset and get back to square one. Just hang in there and keep the faith - most of us had similar challenges in the beginning.
 

ka3jjz

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Hi dgate- first thing is to breathe...wax on, wax off...wax on, wax off...wax on, wax off....now let's begin

Your first task is to decide precisely what it is you're trying to hear. Our database and wiki are the most extensive anywhere, so you should look to these first before anywhere else. The links for these (and they're always blue) are below....

Linn County, Iowa (IA) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

Iowa - the RR Wiki

Now...to begin to understand how DMA memory management works, and scanning terms in general, this article has lots of links. There is an 'Easier to Read' manual for that radio linked at the bottom. You will need a USB-serial cable, and some software - the cable can be quite inexpensive (but beware the Chinese knock offs!) and the software to get you started is free...again there are links for that as well...

Program your DMA Scanner - The RadioReference Wiki

Now as to Iowa specific questions, they should go to our Iowa forum - or on the Scan Iowa mailing list, the link for which is in our wiki....

Iowa Radio Discussion Forum - The RadioReference.com Forums

You might want to check the Scan Iowa files area when you join - someone may have posted a file you can use in that group's files area. Even if it isn't for your specific area, seeing the structure sometimes helps understanding what is going on. You can also ask for a file in the Iowa forum - just be sure to say you're using FreeScan, as not all formats are compatible between software packages.

Now sit down and read. Take your time - there are many new concepts here. Ask questions - you will get there, it just takes some time....Mike
 

dgate

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thank you all for the feedback. I downloaded freescan and loaded my scanner via serial port. I get everything except c com which includes the CRPD . I get Johnson co. (everything)I get ambulance-linn sherrif, cr airport. hwy patrol but nothing from the police dispatch, even if I put it on hold. I listen to the broadcast from RR web and hear the crpd. Can anyone tell me why? the file I downloaded was the apco 25 system because the Motorola II system gave me nothing. I read the easy to read manual and there is a lot I still don't understand like the "apco band plan" could that be my problem? PLEASE HELP.
 

dgate

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BTW I APOLIGIZE FOR entering the original post in 2 forums. I could not figure out how to delete 1 of them. I accept the punishment and ask how to delete 1 of the post. Thank You All
 

ka3jjz

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thank you all for the feedback. I downloaded freescan and loaded my scanner via serial port. I get everything except c com which includes the CRPD . I get Johnson co. (everything)I get ambulance-linn sherrif, cr airport. hwy patrol but nothing from the police dispatch, even if I put it on hold. I listen to the broadcast from RR web and hear the crpd. Can anyone tell me why? the file I downloaded was the apco 25 system because the Motorola II system gave me nothing. I read the easy to read manual and there is a lot I still don't understand like the "apco band plan" could that be my problem? PLEASE HELP.

Forget the APCO band plan. You don't need it.

I don't know anything about your area - which is why I suggested you go to our Iowa forum (and even gave you the link for it), but let's start with what system you are trying to hear? Supply the URL from the database, and let's go from there.

The likelihood is that your 'police dispatch' is in another group, which requires the use of a GQK (or group quick key) to be allocated for the scan, but let's start with the system first

Mike
 

ka3jjz

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I'm going to make a WAG and think you're trying to hear this system...

Linn and Johnson County Public Safety (Project 25) System Trunking System, Various, Iowa - Scanner Frequencies

I would let FreeScan pull the information for setting up the system and site types, since you are already a premium subscriber....

Anyhow, why you might not be hearing much out of this system may well be because of this...

Simulcast digital distortion - The RadioReference Wiki

To put it simply, since both sites are simulcast, this means that talkgroups can be echoed on every tower. If you are receiving the signal from multiple towers, chances are you're getting overloaded - no scanner currently on the market can handle all simulcast systems very well.(The 436 and 536, as I've been reading, are better on some, but not all, simulcast systems).

I would only import the site for the county you live in, and quite possibly, you may actually need to add attenuation on this system (as counter-intuitive as that is). There really isn't any one solution that works for everyone. It's purely trial and error, but once again, the Iowa forum and the Scan Iowa Yahoo mailing lists are better places than this to get information on how folks in your area are receiving that system.

Oh and by the way - anything that has an 'E' in the mode column means 'encrypted' - meaning you'll never be able to hear anything on it (unless someone forgets to turn the switch on, hehe) and the scanner will bypass them anyway

Mike
 

dgate

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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
mike im getting crpd now.. it is simulcast and so is Johnson co. I did the trial and error thing and found something interesting......I live in linn co. and if I load just that co. I don't hear the crpd. I loaded both Johnson and linn co. because for some reason Johnson co. also has crpd (cedar rapids police dept) but is broadcast from iowa city 20 miles away. I started to hear the crpd but was getting an echo so bad it was hard to understand. So I took out linn co. and now I get the crpd from Johnson co. simulcast p25 system. is this nuts or what? it fades in and out and I get it better if I go outside my house. I have a portable scanner with a telescopic ant. thank you for all your help and ive learned a lot this last couple of weeks. And yes ive read a lot. any further suggestions since you know what ive had to do. 1 more thing I live within a mile of cedar rapids south tower and 22 miles from Johnson co. north tower.
 
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