BCD436HP: Favorites scan speed

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HM1529

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I don't know if I am doing something wrong or what.

I have been creating favorites lists because I do not like the entire database scan option on the 436.

The scan speed seems much slower using the favorites list. Is it just me or is this an actual issue?

I was watching the screen and it took several seconds (about 4.5) to get through a favorite list that included 12 talkgroups on my county system (scanning both system sites) and five conventional channels. Some of the other favorites lists took only a second or two to pass and they are each scanning just a couple of talkgroups and 3-5 conventionals each. So far, all talkgroups I am scanning are on the same trunked system. Some of the favorites lists are set to scan both sites, some are set to scan just one because that's the only one the talkgroups utilize typically.
 

HM1529

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Forgot to add...does it make things slower if there are repeat conventional channels or talkgroups on sveral favorites lists? Does the scanner recognize this and scan the item once or will it rescan the item every time it sees it in another favorite lists? I am thinking specifically about a countywide channel that added to most of my current favorite lists.
 

shonc182

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The real key is to limit the scanning of a site to once on every pass through the FL's. duplicating conventional frequencies has a minimal impact on the speed (I'm sure you could duplicate enough to slow it down) - the real killer is scanning multiple sites, multiple times. Really you want one site per system to be scanned only one time on each pass through your lists. There are a few pretty good threads about this. Somebody described the approach to take as creating different scenarios.

For example - I have two major systems that incorporate multiple cities and departments. If I'm trying to hear all police/fire for my entire metro area I scan one site, one time for each of the two systems (FL-Police/Fire Main)...just scanning one FL. Everything else is broken down into departments. If I only want to hear Washington Co. police and fire, I turn off "Police/Fire Main" and turn on FL -"Wash Co. Police/Fire"...I only need one system to hear all of this so I scan one site for this system - everything else (TGID's) is broken down into departments.

This is a little oversimplified, but hopefully it shows the mindset you have to take to get this to work well. Just copying stuff from the DB to FL's without deleting or turning off all the extra stuff that comes with it will insure slow performance.
 

davekpa

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As the above poster replied, you should make sure that a trunked site is only sampled once on every pass through a Favorites List. Each time it has to sample a site it spends a second or so looking for active ID's. Scanning conventional frequencies is more straightforward and should not affect your scan speed. More to you your specific situation, since we are both Montco residents, I'll give you an idea of how I arrange my FL.

First, I created one FL that I named "Southeast PA" which contained the Public Safety frequencies from Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Berks County. Each of these was given a separate System Quick Key (SQK) and the Departments within each system were given their own separate Department Quick Key (DQK). Here's a graphic example

Southeast PA (FQK0)
Montgomery County (SQK0)
Fire East (DQK0)
Fire West (DQK1)
Police East (DQK2)
Police West (DQK3)
Delaware County (SQK1)
Fire/EMS (DQK0)
Police (DQK1)
Bucks County (SQK2)
Fire (DQK0)
EMS (DQK1)
Police (DQK2)


and so on for the remaining counties. You can avoid any system or department by pushing its corresponding number as described in the manual.
 

whsbuss

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As the above poster replied, you should make sure that a trunked site is only sampled once on every pass through a Favorites List. Each time it has to sample a site it spends a second or so looking for active ID's. Scanning conventional frequencies is more straightforward and should not affect your scan speed. More to you your specific situation, since we are both Montco residents, I'll give you an idea of how I arrange my FL.

First, I created one FL that I named "Southeast PA" which contained the Public Safety frequencies from Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Berks County. Each of these was given a separate System Quick Key (SQK) and the Departments within each system were given their own separate Department Quick Key (DQK). Here's a graphic example

Southeast PA (FQK0)
Montgomery County (SQK0)
Fire East (DQK0)
Fire West (DQK1)
Police East (DQK2)
Police West (DQK3)
Delaware County (SQK1)
Fire/EMS (DQK0)
Police (DQK1)
Bucks County (SQK2)
Fire (DQK0)
EMS (DQK1)
Police (DQK2)


and so on for the remaining counties. You can avoid any system or department by pushing its corresponding number as described in the manual.
Also a Montco resident. I returned my 536 a few weeks ago because of the issues. But when things get under control I will probably get a 436. What I had programmed was one FL for each area. FL0 was Montco (incl. conventional for local twsp), FL1 for Philly, FL2 for Bucks, and FL3 for Delco.

I see you have one FL with different systems. Does that help with missed traffic? That's my major complaint when I had the 536. I tried everything I could to make it better.

Montco has two different simulcast systems..... East and West. I don't believe TGIDs are broadcast on both systems at the same time. So if you have police or fire east and west activated at the same time, does the x36 slow down the scan speed?
 
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davekpa

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I am using the 436 and like it a great deal so far. I have compared it to the Pro 106, PSR 800, 396T and the HP-1. Each have their pros and cons but the 436 is the one that is getting the most use. I found that using only 1or 2 FL's is best for me and I haven't noticed issues with missed traffic. You are correct that the TGIDs are not broadcast on both sites at once. Each site (East and West) gets sampled separately and I have the choice of avoiding one or the other if I need to. The way I have assigned the departments (Fire East, Fire West) is just for my convenience and does not affect the scan speed at all.
 
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whsbuss

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I am using the 436 and like it a great deal so far. I have compared it to the Pro 106, PSR 800, 396T and the HP-1. Each have their pros and cons but the 436 is the one that is getting the most use. I found that using only 1or 2 FL's is best for me and I haven't noticed issues with missed traffic. You are correct that the TGIDs are not broadcast on both sites at once. Each site (East and West) gets sampled separately and I have the choice of avoiding one or the other if I need to. The way I have assigned the departments (Fire East, Fire West) is just for my convenience and does not affect the scan speed at all.
Thanks. Do you have any conventional freq.'s loaded?
 

davekpa

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Yes, quite a few. I assigned the conventional frequencies in Montco (FIre and EMS Dispatch, Cross band repeaters) to their own System Quick Key in the FL I referenced above. Delaware, Berks, and Chester are all conventional freqs.
 

whsbuss

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Yes, quite a few. I assigned the conventional frequencies in Montco (FIre and EMS Dispatch, Cross band repeaters) to their own System Quick Key in the FL I referenced above. Delaware, Berks, and Chester are all conventional freqs.
Great thanks. Hopefully I'll take a ride to HRO in Delaware and pick up the 436.
 

HM1529

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Thanks to both of my Montco counterparts for the suggestions. I honestly have not had much time to really dig in to the 436 this week. Hopefully, by the weekend, I will have had more time to fiddle around with it. I saw Uniden started posting some videos on Youtube showing the favorites lists and quick keys. So, I'll do some watching and reading and go from there. I still enjoy my PRO-106 the most just because it is so easy to grab and quickly program a conventional frequency or a control channel and is easy to use with Unitrunker. The PSR-800 is okay...I like the audio recording, it handled Phase 2 well when I was in Maryland last year, and having the whole database available on the fly is great. I went to a conference at Seven Springs in SW PA last year and was able to load everything on the ride out there. I guess once I get used to it, the 436 will be sort of a blend of both. If so, that'll be nice because I will be able to leave the 800 at home recording certain things, have the 106 running with Unitrunker and still have the 436 on the road with me when I am traveling for work all day.
 

HM1529

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As the above poster replied, you should make sure that a trunked site is only sampled once on every pass through a Favorites List. Each time it has to sample a site it spends a second or so looking for active ID's. Scanning conventional frequencies is more straightforward and should not affect your scan speed. More to you your specific situation, since we are both Montco residents, I'll give you an idea of how I arrange my FL.

First, I created one FL that I named "Southeast PA" which contained the Public Safety frequencies from Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Berks County. Each of these was given a separate System Quick Key (SQK) and the Departments within each system were given their own separate Department Quick Key (DQK). Here's a graphic example

Southeast PA (FQK0)
Montgomery County (SQK0)
Fire East (DQK0)
Fire West (DQK1)
Police East (DQK2)
Police West (DQK3)
Delaware County (SQK1)
Fire/EMS (DQK0)
Police (DQK1)
Bucks County (SQK2)
Fire (DQK0)
EMS (DQK1)
Police (DQK2)


and so on for the remaining counties. You can avoid any system or department by pushing its corresponding number as described in the manual.
Based on what I have read here, my idea (see below) will be ineffective because of the repeated checking of the same TRS across different favorites lists. This is pretty much how I have my PSR-800 set up now so that I can easily toggle on and off the various local PD dispatches as I travel through their areas. I'm on the road for work just about every day from April thru September. I'm only really interested in PD ops where I am at any time unless I am in a county where the PD activity is not super busy like it is in Montgomery and Delaware Counties. I am more interested in fire on the broader scale.

It seems like what you're saying is that I need to set up a Montco Favorites list and then just load the TRS from the database to there. This seems to be less flexible than what I had hoped because I will only be able to turn things on and off based on the database talkgroup groupings.

Originally, the idea I had in mind for organization was to create Favorites like this:

Montco PD 1
--dispatch and region tg
--police conventional locals and muni PW
--west trs site only

Montco PD 2
--dispatch and region tg
--police conventional locals and muni PW
--west trs site only

Montco PD 3
--dispatch and region tg
--police conventional locals and muni PW
--west trs site only

Montco PD 4
--dispatch and region tg
--police conventional locals and muni PW
--east trs site only

Montco PD 5
--dispatch and region tg
--police conventional locals and muni PW
--east trs site only

Montco PD 6
--dispatch and region tg
--police conventional locals and muni PW
--east trs site only

rinse and repeat to Montco PD 12

Montco PD Tacticals/Countywide
--PTAC1-5, PSCOORD, etc tgs
--police local 800 channels

Montco Fire East
--rire regions and event 4-6 tgs
--conventional local channels for eastern FDs
--east trs site only

Montco Fire West
--fire regions and event 1-3 tgs
-- conventional local channels for western FDs
--west trs site only

Montco EMS
--all EMS tgs
--conventional channels for local EMS agencies

Montco DPS/EMA
--DPS tgs
--DPS local channels

Delco Fire
-- conventional fire channels

Delco Sector 1
--conventional PD channels for this area

Delco Sector 2
--conventional PD channels for this area

rinse and repeat to Sector 7

Chesco EFJ Multinet
--frequencies entered conventionally for county TRS

Chesco Fire/EMS
--conventional fire/ems talkarounds

Chesco Police
--conventional police talkarounds

etc etc for all counties from the Harrisburg area east to NJ and from the DE line north to Monroe Co, as well as about 10 counties in NJ.
 
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shonc182

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You may just want to 'indent' your favorite lists (i.e. instead of PD1 as a favorite list, make it a department that you can turn on and off). I have many departments and understand that this can seem to give you less visibility in the scanner display, but I include the department info in the channel tag.

Instead of:

System: Washington Co
---Department: Hillsboro PD
-------"Tac-1"

I do something similar to:

System: Washington Co.
---Department: "Suburban Police"
-------"Tac-1 Hillsboro PD"
 

HM1529

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You may just want to 'indent' your favorite lists (i.e. instead of PD1 as a favorite list, make it a department that you can turn on and off). I have many departments and understand that this can seem to give you less visibility in the scanner display, but I include the department info in the channel tag.

Instead of:

System: Washington Co
---Department: Hillsboro PD
-------"Tac-1"

I do something similar to:

System: Washington Co.
---Department: "Suburban Police"
-------"Tac-1 Hillsboro PD"
Unless I have not yet figured something out with the Sentinel software, I don't think I could do this to obtain the setup I had in my head. Many of the 50+ local PD's in my home county have secondary radios (VHF or UHF) that they use as alternates to the county trunked system on which they are dispatched. My intention was to group their regional dispatch talkgroup with the conventional channel for each of the PD's in a given dispatch zone. Maybe I just need a better tutorial on the software...I'm still not a fan of the terminology used with it.
 

davekpa

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PA
Ben, I see what you are trying to do, my idea of setting up the radio is somewhat like yours, but there are some limitations to the scanning structure that won't allow exactly what you want. You can't have conventional and trunked in the same system.

What you could do is set up one system as Montco Trunked with as many departments as you want and assign quick keys to all of them, then set up another system with Montco Conventional and do the same.
 
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