HCDx36HP Quick Keys and Scanner Behavior

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psw

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I think I've caught up on my reading about quick keys (a couple of threads and the wiki page). Though I'm beginning to understand how quick keys work, I still have a lot of questions but I'll start out with just one.

For the sake of example, let's say that I have just three things I want to listen to:

- Police department, consisting of a handful of talkgroups on a trunked P25 system with a single site;
- Fire department, also a set of talkgroups on the same trunked P25 system; and,
- Power company, a different conventional non-trunked system.

If I put this in favorites list 1, I think I'd wind up with 1.1.1 (police), 1.1.2 (fire), and 1.2.1 (power) (I know the numbering is flexible; this example presumes I assign the keys in sequence). This works but seems a bit clumsy.

Let's say I want to segregate police, fire, and power into three groups I can easily turn on and off. I could create more than one favorites list and include the trunked system in two of the lists (in this case organized as 1.1.1 [police], 2.1.1 [fire], and 3.1.1 [power]).

Is there a performance or reliability impact to having disjoint groups in the same system appear in separate favorites lists active at the same time (in this case 1.1.1 and 2.1.1)? I'm concerned this could cause the scanner to operate more slowly (polling the power company system for activity less often) or that it might even miss calls (police calls received while it's scanning 2.1.1 and fire calls that come in while 1.1.1 is being scanned). Do my concerns have a basis in fact?
 

UPMan

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If you put a trunked system into two different favorites lists, you'll see an apparent performance hit, as the scanner will have to check the same control channel two separate times, once for each setup (assuming you have both FL's enabled). And, while it is checking the system in the FL w/PD programmed, it won't register a "hit" for any FD activity and vice versa.

The way you first describe it...putting the system in one time, then using the DQK to toggle whichever agency you want to monitor, will be more efficient. It will dwell on the control channel for 1.5 - 2 seconds and any hit for any enabled agency will come through.
 

psw

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Thanks so much for the helpful answers! This forum makes the ownership experience immeasurably better.

The simplified example above helps me understand in a bit more detail. If I may push my luck a bit, a more complicated question...my apologies if I'm being dense here!

In my area, like many others, "police" consists of several agencies. Some share a single P25 trunked system; others are on their own separate systems. Likewise, "fire" services live on a variety of systems. Complicating this is the fact that some "police" and "fire" services live on different talkgroups within the same trunked public safety system.

From my perspective as a listener, I'd like to be able to listen to police calls, having it enable/disable all of the relevant agencies at once. Ditto fire calls; there are multiple agencies concerned, but I'd like to lump them together for the purpose of monitoring.

I understand now that it's a bad idea to put them into separate favorites lists, since it could cause the performance and reliability problems I worried about earlier.

Is there a "wildcard" entry for favorites and systems? I could accomplish what I'm looking for by assigning all of the "police" services a given department code (say, "1") and all of the "fire" services another ("2"). If I could issue a command that means "enable *.*.1" (i.e. "all active favorites, all active sites, department code 1"), I could do what I want. But I don't think this is currently possible. Am I missing something, or is there a better way to accomplish logical groupings across system boundaries?
 

dubs0980

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thanks for asking this. I was wondering the same thing as that is my architecture as well. Kind of a pain to drill down just to change departments though.
 

UPMan

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The "SERVICE TAGS" are ideal for the type of control you are describing. Just hit SRVC and toggle the types of channels you want to scan.
 

kikito

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So far I've been having good speed and performance when scanning with my 436HP. Here's my 2 cents on how I setup mine.

Favorites Lists from the beginning I've treated them for the major segregation of things I listen to. I only have ONE Favorite List for my hometown, day to day usage and everything is subdivided under that FL. I have other FLs for when I travel out of town, one for my modified built-in database, etc. The flexibility we now have by being able to Hold or Select specific Services, Systems, Sites, Departments and Channels on the fly is amazingly practical and because of that, I personally don't understand why some people want to setup so many different Favorite Lists for their daily use unless they're used in a similar manner as I mentioned above. I guess maybe one advantage of having your stuff divided mostly by FLs is maybe quicker selecting and unselecting what you're monitoring.

But that's all my personal opinion. I'm still learning the ropes with this new scanner.

EDIT: Now that I think about it, I'm using Favorites Lists more in a geographical segregation way. Kind of like how I used the Virtual Scanner folders on the older GREs like the PSR-500.
 
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psw

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The "SERVICE TAGS" are ideal for the type of control you are describing. Just hit SRVC and toggle the types of channels you want to scan.
Thanks! This is a helpful pointer and it will help me at least partially accomplish my goal.

Though I tried to keep my examples really simple, my actual implementation would probably have some additional gradations - county police might be in a different category than transportation police, for example. I think I could go through the eight custom service tags in a fairly big hurry.

May I request you consider a way to "enable *.*.x" or "disable *.*.y" as a possible future enhancement? The wildcards here would mean "all active favorites lists" and "all active sites" respectively. This would obviously only be useful if the user elects to be consistent in department numbering, but I think what I'm proposing wouldn't break any existing behavior and could be ignored by those users who don't elect to have globally meaningful department numbers.

I appreciate how complicated it is to design (let alone document) a general-purpose selection system that's fast, flexible, and comprehensible. The BCDx36HP units are very impressive even with the limitations I'm learning about!
 

smithken

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If the new scanners work the same as the T/XT scanners then you can assign the same quick key to multiple systems or departments. In your example you could put county police in one department and transportation police in another department and then assign the same quick key to both. Assuming they are in the same favorites list and the same system both departments will toggle on and off with the same quick key.
 
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