Coventional Freq. tracking?

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wv_mountaineer

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I want to track conventional frequencies with some type of software. Could anyone enlighten me on the software that is available to me for doing this? I can use either the Uniden 369xt or the GRS 300 scanner for this project. At this time I don't wish to record anything that is transmitted, I just want to know if I get any hits on the frequencies that I have programmed into the scanner. I want to take all of the frequencies that are listed in the FCC database for my area and let"em scan for a few weeks and see just what is being used that is not known to the RR database. Just don't have a lot of time to sit around waiting and listening for someone to throw out some kind of traffic on a freq. that may not even be in use anymore. Any thoughts on some software would be greatly appreciated.
 
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ka3jjz

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The PSR300 only supports up/downloading; it cannot log anything, although you could use something like RecAll to record audio - but the problem is that you can't figure out what channel had what audio at the time.

FreeScan will log hits, but doesn't record audio (yet); however ProScan can do both. It will work on your 396XT 73 Mike
 

loumaag

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Also IDTracker will do the logging and (optionally) recording. You select what you want logged (and/or recorded) and that is what is logged/recorded which means you can also listen to other things while not logging/recording them. IDTracker was designed to do just that, it will not program your scanner although it will allow you to control it from the computer interface. A 396XT I think needs to use the IDTrackerIII software.
 

brscanning

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Also IDTracker will do the logging and (optionally) recording. You select what you want logged (and/or recorded) and that is what is logged/recorded which means you can also listen to other things while not logging/recording them. IDTracker was designed to do just that, it will not program your scanner although it will allow you to control it from the computer interface. A 396XT I think needs to use the IDTrackerIII software.
Lou,

Thanks for the plug. I was going to post but you beat me to it. I just ordered a new BDT996XT to replace my BC780XLT that got hit in the lightning strike. I going to have to see if I can take advantage of new features in ID Tracker III. I think check to see if there is anything new in the protocol other than radio IDs.
 

gmclam

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Logging

When it comes to logging trunked talkgroups, I use UniTrunker and let it run for several days on each active control channel.

When it comes to logging conventional stuff, that's a whole different scenario. I keep a fairly large WORD document for each major area that I monitor. My Sacramento area document is about 35 pages. I have similar documents for Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Nevada and the Pacific Northwest.

What I do is first figure out what to program. I organize everything in the WORD document first, listing things like frequency, CT/DC tone, channel number in the scanner, exact alpha tag in the scanner and a verbose description of the channel.

I first program all conventional channels with the MODE set to FM. When I pick up a transmission, I switch the mode to CT or DC and note the received code. If I am dedicating 100% of my attention to logging, I'll lock out each channel as I pick something up. I've found some busy channels tie up the scanner too much and keep it from stopping on the less busy channels.

If I am just going about my day/night, then I'll leave things unlocked and merely glance at the scanner display when something comes in. If the 4th line is blank on the PSR-300 or PRO-97, I know it is "new". I keep handwritten notes when doing the actual listening, and then update the computer at the end of each day or as warranted.

I find that unless the scanner itself has tools built into the firmware to log what it receives, it is a PITA to use computer software to do this. It works far better with a pen and paper as often there is not much time to log and move on.
 

brscanning

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I find that unless the scanner itself has tools built into the firmware to log what it receives, it is a PITA to use computer software to do this. It works far better with a pen and paper as often there is not much time to log and move on.
I guess it's all up to what you are used to. I use Excel to keep my master copy of my radio data. As I hear things (live or recorded), I update the workbook and then use a macro to update my data in ID Tracker. Using a computer's ability to sort and search for data makes paper obsolete. But this is just my own opinion. :) My dad would never touch a computer even though I believe if he were born during the computer age, he would have loved them.
 

loumaag

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I find that unless the scanner itself has tools built into the firmware to log what it receives, it is a PITA to use computer software to do this. It works far better with a pen and paper as often there is not much time to log and move on.
With all those PRO and PSR radios listed, I can understand your desire to use paper & pen. :wink:

I guess what you are missing about David's software is it's ability to do exactly what you are doing with pen & paper but on the computer. As for getting new TGs on TRSs you can certainly use UniTrunker (or any trunking decoding program) but that ties up the radio doing just that duty and it can't be used for monitoring. The advantage of David's software is that it doesn't dedicate the radio to "decoding" duty, but is used while the radio is scanning. It can identify new TGs and log them, including capturing the audio for them and ignore either logging or audio capture on already known items. Indeed, for conventional, you can set the scanner up in scan spectrum mode (you know like all PS in search mode) and the program can capture both frequency (optionally tone data) and the audio for any hits and can do this while you are not in attendance. Naturally once the frequencies are recognized you can tell the software to ignore them and it will order the radio to move on. However, to do all this, you have to have a supported Uniden radio.
 

gmclam

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Logging

With all those PRO and PSR radios listed, I can understand your desire to use paper & pen. :wink:

I guess what you are missing about David's software is it's ability to do exactly what you are doing with pen & paper but on the computer.
Except that about 50% of my logging is done while I am mobile. Using a computer is out of the question. If a scanner does it more or less automatically, that's one thing. But I don't think they will do it exactly how I want.

brscanning said:
I use Excel to keep my master copy of my radio data. .... Using a computer's ability to sort and search for data makes paper obsolete.
Excel, Word, Ascii text, etc; they can all be used in the same way and enable things like sorting and searching. But I can't drag that stuff around with me to log, nor can I drag a scanner connected to a PC. Taking notes the old fashioned way and then later entering them in to a file works best for me.

I know there are some great programs out there, but they do require the function that it seems only Unidens have. GRE should be paying attention here, but I doubt they'll make that kind of change to a lower cost scanner.
 
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