Help Creating a Control Channel on BCD396XT

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jclarkr6

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How do I create a control channel on my BCD396xt? I would like to know how to create a control channel in an existing system and also how to create a control channel in a new system. I understand how to create a new system and new groups and how to assign frequencies to those groups (I think). But I do not understand how to tell the scanner what frequency should function as a control channel.

I was also wondering if anybody could tell me how to program a site so that I hear all the traffic from site. Do all I need to do is create a system (w/ groups, channels, etc.) and just not enter in any TGID's?

Since I own a Macintosh I am currently doing all the programming by hand; it would be great if someone could help me out with directions about how to do everything by hand. The "manual" just doesn't seem to have the information that I am needing and if it does, then I cannot locate that information on the CD-ROM (I have not found the CD-ROM to be particularly helpful).

I would really appreciate any advice anyone had to offer. Thank you.
 

ampulman

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I own a 396T, but I'm sure it is the same or close. You should be able to figure it out.

Steps: Program system > new system > Sel system type > (if Mot, sel type) > Set Frequencies (you only need to enter ALL red and blue frequencies from database [control channel only].

Your scanner will do the rest.

Amp
 

DJ88

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The on line Uninden manual for the 396XT is here:
BCD396XT < UnidenMan4 < TWiki

With regards to your control channel question, you don't have to tell your scanner which frequency is the control channel frequency. If you program all of the frequencies in the system, your scanner will automatically detect the control channel. If you chose to program only the control channel frequencies (the red and blue frequencies for the system on the database here), you may have to program the Control Channel Only option from the menu. Again, it will detect which control channel is being used. That's how it works on the 396T and I would assume it's the same for the XT.

As for hearing ALL traffic in the system, you can either enter all of the TGIDs in the system and program the ID Scan function or don't enter any of them and program the ID Search function. In ID search, you'll hear all of the TGIDs as the become active. While in the ID Search mode, if you stumble upon a TGID that you no longer want to hear, while that particular ID is active, hit the L/O button twice and it will no longer scan it. Just a note, hitting the L/O button once temporarily locks out an ID. Once you turn the scanner off and back on again, it will scan that ID again. Hitting it twice permanently locks it out. In order to unlock it once it's permanently locked out, you have to bring that ID up on the screen, hit enter and then go to the Lock Out function on the menu and unlock it.
 

jclarkr6

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Thanks!

Thank you Ampulman and DJ88 for replying to my post. I appreciate the advice that both of you provided. I am amazed that this scanner is able to automatically determine what frequencies should serve as control channels. I feel like this scanner might actually be smarter than I am! :)

I have programmed the control channels into the scanner and it does seem to be recognizing them (yeah!). Ampulman, I will try your advice for listening to a site without entering any TGID's.

Thank you both for taking the time to give me some excellent advice on my new scanner.
 

DJ88

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If you have the system programmed properly, and when the scanner reaches the system, "ID Scan" or "ID Search" should scroll across the screen. You should also see a frequency right below that. That frequency is the control channel. If the unit skips over the system and you don't see that, your unit isn't picking up the control channel because you either don't have the system programmed properly, or you're too far away to receive it. If you tell us which trunk system you are attempting to monitor, we may be able to help you further.
 
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jclarkr6

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DJ88, I managed to get all the control channels programmed into the site that I wanted to monitor. I have been attempting to monitor the Illinois Starcom21 system, specifically District 10 of the Illinois State Police. Some (but not all) of the Starcom21 sites are preprogrammed into the scanner, but I wanted to create my own Starcom21 system. The control channels are definitely programmed right because they display underneath the ID Search indicator on the screen. Thanks for all of your help!
 

UPMan

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If you press HOLD while it is on that site, the scanner will hold on the control channel and (if volume is up) you'll hear the "motorboat" noise of the data. If you don't hear that, then you are not receiving a control channel. If you are hearing it, there might not be much traffic on the site you've selected (in this mode, every time a channel becomes active, its info is displayed).
 

jclarkr6

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To UPMan

UPMan, thanks for responding. I have tried pressing hold on what I know to be the primary control channel for the tower (according to RR) that I am trying to monitor (Mattoon, IL Starcom21 tower) but there is no "motorboating" when the scanner holds on that site (my volume is up). It does display five bars and it also displays "SID: 0140h-0234," but there is no motorboating and it does not seem to pick up any radio traffic at all. However, when I scan that system it seems to pick up some radio traffic on that control channel. The system is programmed as a P25 trunking system. The letters "NFM" also display underneath the frequency. I know another individual that monitors this system in my area and he has confirmed that 866.9125 is the correct control channel. The Starcom21 system is preprogrammed into the scanner and when I scan that system I pick up traffic from my District. But when I enter the frequencies in a new system, it doesn't seem to work as well. Am I doing something wrong? I would appreciate any advice you might have.
 

UPMan

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Sorry, P25 doesn't motorboat...it loses air. (Very high hissing noise that isn't reall apparent through the scanner speaker.) If it is showing the SID, then it is receiving and decoding the control channel.
 

jclarkr6

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Dec 12, 2007
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Coles County, Illinois
Thanks!

Thanks, UPMan! It's great to know I'm on the right track. This is an amazing scanner, thanks for all the hard work you and the rest of the Uniden team put into it. Thanks for all of your help too!
 
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