BCD536HP: Do the full database and favorites overlap during scanning?

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wk5h

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I may have overlooked this in the manual, or just not searched for the right thing in the forums... and, it's been a long day in the dust... so, please forgive me if my question has already been answered in an extremely obvious fashion...

When setting up my new BCD536HP, I went the route of just entering in my zip code.

I then setup Sentinel, and figured out how to narrow down a favorites list to what I want to listen to most of the time.

For the most part, I listen to my favorites list. On occasion, I'll want to listen to more of outlying frequencies set with my zip, so, I'll turn on both lists...

If both lists contain some of the same frequencies, will the radio scan the same frequency twice during one scan cycle? Or, will it see it as a dupe, and go on over itt?
 

AZScanner

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I went a little nuts with my 436 last night and set up 82 favorites lists - one for each county (in rural areas) and one for each metro agency I might need to monitor across the entire state. I can then turn on multiple counties and/or agencies at will, simply by browsing the favorites lists and turning them off or on as desired. Much more intuitive and easy to do than memorizing a bunch of cryptic quick key codes, which I've given up on trying to use - my brain just doesn't work that way. An additional benefit is that I also don't need to look up zip codes. If I enter Apache County in rural AZ, I just turn on that FL as I cross the county line. Very simple and quick.

The reason I told you that story was so I could tell you this one (my apologies to Ron White :)):

I turned on a few of these lists and started scanning to see what the scanner would do. Several of my FL's share the same trunking system and the scanner very efficiently checked each list against the DTRS they all share before moving on to a list that did not use the same system. Pretty cool! I did not expect the scanner's logic to be that sophisticated.

My point is, even though the scanner does scan across some ID's that overlap twice or more, it does it much faster by organizing the active lists (including the full DB, which it treats just like a favorites list) into their respective systems so it can get through all the lists much faster than blindly loading a DTRS up, checking it against one list, then loading that same DTRS up again and checking against the next list, and so on.

-AZ
 

UPMan

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Having the channel in multiple iterations of the system in different favorites lists doesn't affect scan time at all not because of some internal sorting efficiency (which the scanner doesn't have).

Scanning a trunked system does not involve the scanner scanning through the programmed channels. The scanner merely monitors the control channel watching for channel grants (or channel updates). When it sees a channel grant, it checks the channels programmed in the current system (or current iteration of the system if you have the system programmed multiple times) to see if the grant corresponds to one you have programmed (and not avoided or in a disabled department).

The dwell time on a single site (assuming no channels of interest are active) is 1-2 seconds (the time it takes the control channel to cycle through the list of all active channels at least one time). This duration is regardless of how many channels are programmed for the system: 1 or 10,000, it will take only 1-2 seconds to see all active channels on the site, then move on.
 

ofd8001

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Don't know how much help this will be other than just one guy's modus operandi:

I created Favorites Lists for things in my local area and destinations I travled to based on either geography or service.

When I'm in my home area, I'm scanning Favorites Lists with the national database off.

When I'm travelling, my Favorites Lists are off and the national database is on.

When I arrive at my destination I turn on the Favorites List(s) for the destination and turn off the national database.

I also have a GPS device attached to my vehicle scanner. Actually I have several SD cards. One is set up for travel, the other set for local. So instead of turning things on and off, I just swap out the SD cards that have be configured the way I want them via profiles.
 

AZScanner

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Having the channel in multiple iterations of the system in different favorites lists doesn't affect scan time at all not because of some internal sorting efficiency (which the scanner doesn't have).
Interesting. Upon closer inspection, I think I just realized why this is happening and why I thought it had sorted the systems by itself. When I created the lists, I created them from the HPDB in order by system since that's primarly how the HPDB is arranged in the scanner. I then went into the cfg file manually and sorted the lists in that file in alpha order so I could find them easier on the list selection screen.

The scanner is scanning them in the order I created them, not the order displayed. That's an important tip for anyone else who wants a zillion scanlists like me, because creating them in system order is a more efficient way for the scanner to scan the lists, even though it's more intuitive for humans to resort the lists in alphabetical order for selection. Good stuff to know.


Scanning a trunked system does not involve the scanner scanning through the programmed channels. The scanner merely monitors the control channel watching for channel grants (or channel updates). When it sees a channel grant, it checks the channels programmed in the current system (or current iteration of the system if you have the system programmed multiple times) to see if the grant corresponds to one you have programmed (and not avoided or in a disabled department).

The dwell time on a single site (assuming no channels of interest are active) is 1-2 seconds (the time it takes the control channel to cycle through the list of all active channels at least one time). This duration is regardless of how many channels are programmed for the system: 1 or 10,000, it will take only 1-2 seconds to see all active channels on the site, then move on.
Cool. :)

The idea of creating multiple scan lists was to give me a more intuitive way to find and scan a particular agency or county. I know, I know, quick keys.... but I'm old enough to stubbornly refuse that reality and substitute my own. :) I like to browse to the list I want to hear and select it, not try to remember what system number, dept number and channel number to enter, especially while sitting at a red light enroute to an incident I'm trying to cover for the news. That might be something to consider for future updates if you're looking for new things to add to the scanners.

-AZ
 

ofd8001

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The scanner is scanning them in the order I created them, not the order displayed. That's an important tip for anyone else who wants a zillion scanlists like me, because creating them in system order is a more efficient way for the scanner to scan the lists, even though it's more intuitive for humans to resort the lists in alphabetical order for selection. Good stuff to know.

The idea of creating multiple scan lists was to give me a more intuitive way to find and scan a particular agency or county. I know, I know, quick keys.... but I'm old enough to stubbornly refuse that reality and substitute my own. :) I like to browse to the list I want to hear and select it, not try to remember what system number, dept number and channel number to enter, especially while sitting at a red light enroute to an incident I'm trying to cover for the news. That might be something to consider for future updates if you're looking for new things to add to the scanners.

-AZ
There might be a way for you to sort your Favorites Lists, though it would be on the cumbersome side.

First export each Favorites List to an HPE file (one HPE file for each FL).

Then delete all your Favorites Lists in Sentinel.

Then import into Sentinel all those HPE files you created, in the order that you want them to show up in your scanner.

Then write to your scanner, erasing Favorites List. The Favorites Lists will then show up in your scanner in the order you desire.
Or if you are really brave you could do this (Sentinel cannot be running for this to work):

Look for a file on your computer called F_LIST.CFG. (Make a copy of this file in case things go south and you need to recover).

Then open that F_LIST.CFG file using Notepad. Each line is a reference to a Favorites List and that's how they go in the scanner. You can cut and paste each line so that they are ordered to suit your preference.

Then save the F_LIST.CFG file.

Then start your Sentinel and write to your scanner, erasing Favorites List. The Favorites Lists will then show up in your scanner in the order you desire.

I "field tested" doing this and it seems to work just fine.

This should alter the order how things are scanned along with finding them via the "Manage Favorites Lists" in your scanner. That's because it is kind of "fooling" the scanner on how you created them.
 

AZScanner

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There might be a way for you to sort your Favorites Lists, though it would be on the cumbersome side.

First export each Favorites List to an HPE file (one HPE file for each FL).

Then delete all your Favorites Lists in Sentinel.

Then import into Sentinel all those HPE files you created, in the order that you want them to show up in your scanner.

Then write to your scanner, erasing Favorites List. The Favorites Lists will then show up in your scanner in the order you desire.
Or if you are really brave you could do this (Sentinel cannot be running for this to work):

Look for a file on your computer called F_LIST.CFG. (Make a copy of this file in case things go south and you need to recover).

Then open that F_LIST.CFG file using Notepad. Each line is a reference to a Favorites List and that's how they go in the scanner. You can cut and paste each line so that they are ordered to suit your preference.

Then save the F_LIST.CFG file.

Then start your Sentinel and write to your scanner, erasing Favorites List. The Favorites Lists will then show up in your scanner in the order you desire.

I "field tested" doing this and it seems to work just fine.

This should alter the order how things are scanned along with finding them via the "Manage Favorites Lists" in your scanner. That's because it is kind of "fooling" the scanner on how you created them.
Yep, that's exactly what I did (edited the CFG file). I didn't think of the other method though - that's probably a bit easier and safer for most folks as it would only take an errant keystroke to corrupt that CFG file. Thanks for sharing the tip!

-AZ
 

phask

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in Sentinel

Edit - sort Favorite List

Up, down anyway but sideways to get in any order you want.
 

AZScanner

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Edit - sort Favorite List

Up, down anyway but sideways to get in any order you want.
OMG I cannot believe I did not see that until you pointed it out. Wow.

That does it, I'm officially old now.The dementia has firmly set in, it's time for me to wear my pants up around my chest, and I must now eat dinner at 4. Thanks alot. ;)

-AZ
 

phask

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OMG I cannot believe I did not see that until you pointed it out. Wow.

That does it, I'm officially old now.The dementia has firmly set in, it's time for me to wear my pants up around my chest, and I must now eat dinner at 4. Thanks alot. ;)

-AZ

- bet I'm older than you :) But I have been using Sentinel since before the HP1 went on sale.
 

AZScanner

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- bet I'm older than you :) But I have been using Sentinel since before the HP1 went on sale.
You very well could be... I'm not really all that old, just (apparently) getting senile before my time. :)

In my defense, I searched the RR forums for a way to sort the FL's and came across a few threads that seemed to indicate that the sort feature for FL's was not included in Sentinel. So I'm not the only one who missed it. Yeah, that's the ticket.... ;)

-AZ
 

bearcatrp

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You guys make me sweat just reading all the work you do programming. Interesting though. I like the KISS method. Zip and range + select services works just fine. As for the quick keys mentioned, to old to remember which keys programmed for what. Keep on scanning guys. I'll keep reading and listening.
Remember: Scan it before they ban it!
 

ofd8001

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Well, that makes two of us feeling old. . .

Me I have no excuse. Phask jogged my memory as I now remember using this a couple of months ago. Story of my life - doing things the hard way when there is a much simpler way that you either don't know or remember.
 

wk5h

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Thanks all for the replies. It's got me setting up my favorites in a different manner now.

I've been scanning on a very wide region for my area, using Scanner Remote and Scanner Monitor to log what counties I'm able to receive. Once I'm finally able to nail down which counties I can and can't receive, I'm going to make each county a favorite, and have them available to turn on and off, depending on my listening mood.

Again, thanks for the suggestions!
 
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