How do you prefer to organize your scanlists?

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SKaiserling

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I'm not really sure if I'm happy with my setup, but I'm not sure there's any way to improve. I live in an area where most police services are municipal, all fire departments are municipal, and the ambulance service is the same here (Simcoe County) and in York County (Georgian EMS). My setup is below. Please feel free to critique or share how you set some stuff up. Thanks!

1 - Barrie Fire/Police + neighbouring Ontario Provincial Police
2 - "Highway" (Ministry of Transportation, CH19)
3 - County Fire Departments
4 - All OPP Talkgroups
5 - Conventional OPP Channels and obscure talkgroups
6 - Conservation Officers, Ontario Parks
7 - Ministry of Health (EMS)
8 - Ham Repeaters
9 - Canadian Forces Base Borden talkgroups
10 - Random aircraft search objects I have saved
11 - Public Works (seldom used)
12 - Businesses

Would it be a good idea to spread out my scanlists so I can monitor more specific groups of objects without having to lock out 20 channels?
 

Hit_Factor

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Saint Joseph, MI
By county or other logical geographical area. I have Uniden scanners, with location control enabled for every item in my scan list.

The only manual turning on and off service types as needed. I use the custom service types for things like Marine (part of Federal I think).

I rarely use Full DB. I have avoided a lot of things (in the full db) that just waste scanning time like Federal Law Enforcement - those are all encrypted - just nothing there to hear.
 

hiegtx

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Dallas, TX
There is no right or wrong way to organize your systems. Whatever you prefer is what is 'right' for you. If you want law enforcement first, then highways (maybe for road information in wintry, snow, weather), that's fine, if that is what you prefer.

I tend to program some of the cities and agencies I'm most interested in using quick keys 0 thru 19, then by neighboring counties, clockwise, starting with Tarrant County which is directly west of me, using one set of quick keys for each county (20-29 for Tarrant county entities, 30-39 for Denton, then continuing around the area). But that is what works for me, If you like a different order or scheme, go for it.
 

Mountain343

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It depends on how you use your radios and how many radios you have I think.

At home, where I have multiple radios... I tend not to really scan much. I know what I want to listen to and just keep the radios on those freqs or group of freqs. For example one radio might just listen to 3 channels because those 3 are very similar and only one might ever get traffic on it at a time, whereas another radio might only listen to one frequency and one frequency only because I never want to miss anything on that frequency.

When I'm away from home in a new area, I set up my handheld in 3 ways: Walking, Driving, Desktop.

With my 396xt, the first 10 banks are for driving and walking... where I can't really look down at the keypad, or fiddle with it much.

So for Phoenix arizona I have:
1 - Phx Fire A Deck (fire stuff)
2 - Phx Fire K Deck (medical/accidents stuff)
3 - Local PDs (the ones I'm most likely to encounter when driving)
4 - AZ DPS (highway patrol)
5- AZ DOT (dept of transportation)

these are my driving groups. On the road, I'll leave 123 on.. if I'm heading for freeways, i can flip it to 4 and 5, and not be bothered with taking my eyes off the road or anything.

6 is the entire Regional trunked system which has a ton of police, fire, public works, interop, and what not.... when I'm walking around and just need to listen/find something, it's gonna be in there. I don't have to memorize any numbers or anything. TG bank 1 is phx pd, 2 is other pd, 3 are their tactical chs, 4 is interop, 5 is the rail system, 6 is public works, 7 is fire. Easy peasy for when i'm out and about.

7 is all the other fire stuff nearby like USFS and BLM, Rural Metro, and other departments
8 is EMS like AMR and Medevac Helos
9 is MILAIR when I'm near Luke AFB
and 10 is USAF Luke trunk system

That way when I'm just out and about, I can easily find what I need in 6 through 10 with just some duplication in the fire and the rwc things.

For the rest, it's for when I'm using IDTracker to control my scanner. I use a touchscreen tablet as a 2nd monitor and put the systems over there. So all the things I want to listen to, get their own bank/key so I can easily activate them and turn them on and off and go to them quickly. If there is an incident, I can just select what channels I want, turn off what I don't want and it's all with a tap of the screen and no fumbling with function this and that and remembering what is where and what number it is.

I attached a screenshot so it might make more sense.

Yeah. there's a lot of duplication but at the same time, this allows me to use one radio 3 different ways and in a way that suits my need.

One thing I'd really recommend is ID'ing what you really want to listen to and keeping that in a "home" or special bank. Maybe separate the dispatch from the tactical to keep the chatter from overriding the callouts and vice versa, and figure out what you want to hear vs what doesn't matter to you.

I'll give you an example from Los Angeles.

CHP has a frequency, CHP Blue where they issue sigalerts, or traffic advisories, and they also put most of the pursuits there. It's a great channel to ALWAYS monitor.

LAPD has a traffic division frequency for a bureau, so when I'm driving, I listen to that, not each division because the Valley traffic division will put out all of the calls in the area that are important plus the accidents and stuff that matter for the whole area.

We have VFIRE21 which multiple cities will monitor and if there is a brush fire, they'll notify each other on there..... that's a bigtime MUST listen to.

See why keeping those freqs in a special group would be better than just leaving them in their traditional banks? Pick and choose what you really want to hear... and listen to that.. and leave the rest for when things are slow/boring or you feel like exploring.
 

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ausscan

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Mar 6, 2009
Messages
208
I have a few different ways that work for me:
On my 436's:
Our Volunteer Fire in here covers state wide which is broken up into Districts, numbered 2 - 27. They are in their own Favorite list, all Quick Key'd by their District Number as they have 1 main dispatch channel and roughly another 10 fire ground and command channels which can be a mix of trunk or conventional.
So each District will look like:
-District 08
-- D08 Conventional
--- Command and Control
--- Dispatch
--- Fireground
--D08 Trunk
--- Dispatch
--- Fireground

I also have the full channel list in a Favourites list, on the chance I need to tune to a channel that is not district specific.

I then have the Metro Fire in another Favorite list, however they are not as sectioned as the rest of the state so they are in the one list, with systems for conventional and trunk. Trunk then has departments for Dispatch, Fireground, Backup.

I have a List that has the Government Trunking sites that I can pickup that are local and another that is out of district, all with the same TGIDs, this allows me to lock out the out of district sites as needed. This covers Ambulance, Fire, Volunteer Fire, Interagency, State Emergency Service and is on ID SEARCH.

I then have a "Local" Favorites list, which has some local businesses, local key points of interest, Marine & Air Rescue, CTAF for the local airport as well as some legacy Police (Police is encrypted however you can get some local chatter and airband). This also includes the local Fire dispatch. The idea with this one is that I can lock everything else out and only hear the backyard.

I also do the same for any town that I frequent on a regular basis; we camp a lot so there are some key townships that have favorite lists created for them.

There are also favorite lists for some agencies, such as our State Emergency Service which I am building into a Super Favorite list with departments for the different Zones (I don't listen to these very often so one mega list isn't a big issue)

I have a list for all DMR and a list of all NXDN trunking networks, on ID SEARCH, this makes it easy to lock out if I am not interested in listening to them. I track along some toll roads on the way to work, so I have their systems in as a separate list (They operate on DMR trunking as above these are on ID SCAN)

My Air Favorite list has all the statewide airports and CTAF, in separate departments so i can lock them in/out as required.

I create separate Favorite lists for events, such as motor racing, and maintain them on the fly. I also don't load a lot of these on startup to reduce startup time,

My 396 is almost the same, however I have grouped some of the sites together on the one quick key to lock in or out sites as required. For instance on District 8, Trunk and Conventional are different systems both with the same quick key (8). I can turn on an entire Volunteer Fire District with one quick key, as well as lock it out the same way. This way it acts similar to the 436. I don't change what I listen to in the car very often so this system works well, except when trying to turn off 10 groups of trunking sites, I do tend to use temporary lockouts as needed.

This has taken me a long time to get it where it is now, I find this the easiest, if I need to access something quickly I can, as well as having full department lists in there available if needed. Startup time is reduced as you're not loading a bunch of locked out lists.
 

kcgaz

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Joined
Jul 11, 2020
Messages
9
Location
Scottsdale, AZ
It depends on how you use your radios and how many radios you have I think.

At home, where I have multiple radios... I tend not to really scan much. I know what I want to listen to and just keep the radios on those freqs or group of freqs. For example one radio might just listen to 3 channels because those 3 are very similar and only one might ever get traffic on it at a time, whereas another radio might only listen to one frequency and one frequency only because I never want to miss anything on that frequency.

When I'm away from home in a new area, I set up my handheld in 3 ways: Walking, Driving, Desktop.

With my 396xt, the first 10 banks are for driving and walking... where I can't really look down at the keypad, or fiddle with it much.

So for Phoenix arizona I have:
1 - Phx Fire A Deck (fire stuff)
2 - Phx Fire K Deck (medical/accidents stuff)
3 - Local PDs (the ones I'm most likely to encounter when driving)
4 - AZ DPS (highway patrol)
5- AZ DOT (dept of transportation)

these are my driving groups. On the road, I'll leave 123 on.. if I'm heading for freeways, i can flip it to 4 and 5, and not be bothered with taking my eyes off the road or anything.

6 is the entire Regional trunked system which has a ton of police, fire, public works, interop, and what not.... when I'm walking around and just need to listen/find something, it's gonna be in there. I don't have to memorize any numbers or anything. TG bank 1 is phx pd, 2 is other pd, 3 are their tactical chs, 4 is interop, 5 is the rail system, 6 is public works, 7 is fire. Easy peasy for when i'm out and about.

7 is all the other fire stuff nearby like USFS and BLM, Rural Metro, and other departments
8 is EMS like AMR and Medevac Helos
9 is MILAIR when I'm near Luke AFB
and 10 is USAF Luke trunk system

That way when I'm just out and about, I can easily find what I need in 6 through 10 with just some duplication in the fire and the rwc things.

For the rest, it's for when I'm using IDTracker to control my scanner. I use a touchscreen tablet as a 2nd monitor and put the systems over there. So all the things I want to listen to, get their own bank/key so I can easily activate them and turn them on and off and go to them quickly. If there is an incident, I can just select what channels I want, turn off what I don't want and it's all with a tap of the screen and no fumbling with function this and that and remembering what is where and what number it is.

I attached a screenshot so it might make more sense.

Yeah. there's a lot of duplication but at the same time, this allows me to use one radio 3 different ways and in a way that suits my need.

One thing I'd really recommend is ID'ing what you really want to listen to and keeping that in a "home" or special bank. Maybe separate the dispatch from the tactical to keep the chatter from overriding the callouts and vice versa, and figure out what you want to hear vs what doesn't matter to you.

I'll give you an example from Los Angeles.

CHP has a frequency, CHP Blue where they issue sigalerts, or traffic advisories, and they also put most of the pursuits there. It's a great channel to ALWAYS monitor.

LAPD has a traffic division frequency for a bureau, so when I'm driving, I listen to that, not each division because the Valley traffic division will put out all of the calls in the area that are important plus the accidents and stuff that matter for the whole area.

We have VFIRE21 which multiple cities will monitor and if there is a brush fire, they'll notify each other on there..... that's a bigtime MUST listen to.

See why keeping those freqs in a special group would be better than just leaving them in their traditional banks? Pick and choose what you really want to hear... and listen to that.. and leave the rest for when things are slow/boring or you feel like exploring.
Great information, I am new to the scanner world and will be setting up my scanner later this week, so I may borrow this information.
 

ladn

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637
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Southern California and sometimes Owens Valley
What works for ;you is the right way.

Here in SoCal, I like to have a "mixed" bank that's my primary bank. I don't listen to LAPD or LASD dispatch, but I have some special and tac frequencies. I also have LACity/County FD dispatch and fireground, highway patrol, forest service, a few aircraft.

Another bank has specialized channel assignments for local fire incidents. Other banks have full law enforcement or fire channels based on the RR database.

I've made a separate "backcountry" bank when I go 4Wheeling that has the forest service, blm, sar and a few aircraft frequencies.
 

jmsanders83

KC8JSU
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Joined
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Messages
235
Location
Brookfield, WI
Like others have mentioned, I like to organize by geography, system, and service type..

Example from my Unidens, main profile:

Group 1: Milwaukee County, WI P25 System
--- Countywide interop subgroup
--- Sheriff subgroup
--- A subgroup for each city/town
Group 2: Waukesha County, WI P25 System
Group 3: Washington County, WI P25 System
Group 4: Ozaukee County, WI 800MHz System
Group 5: State of Wisconsin P25 System
--- Statewide interops
--- State Patrol
--- Other state agencies
Group 6: Conventional
--- Interop conventional channels
--- Racine County
--- Kenosha County
--- so on..
--- Key area Businesses/Hospitals/Utilities
--- Ham/MURS/FRS/GMRS/CB/etc
Group 7: Federal/Military/Airband
--- Fed Gov
--- Military airband
--- Civilian airband

I also have a separate Profile for when I only want to hear local agencies, like the Local PD, Sheriff, State Patrol, and main interop frequencies. A lot of times I'll have one radio scanning the main profile and the other scanning the local profile.

Josh - Milwaukee, WI
 

Alain

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San Diego, California
I hope that this is not off topic for this thread.

In reorganizing my favorites lists, I've noticed on the RRDB that some of my favorites [i.e. California Highway Patrol] have modulation listed as FM and others are listed as FMN. Would it be best if I changed ALL FAVORITES to AUTO and be done with it?
 

gmclam

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Location
Fair Oaks, CA
There are many different ways to organize, and it depends on several factors.
- Will your radio be in one location, or will you be travelling with it?
- What types of things do you listen to; police & fire, or all kinds of stuff?
- What scanner are you programming; some are limited to the number of lists (or banks) while others are almost endless?
- Will you be programming only conventional frequencies, or are there trunked systems too?
- What kind of control do you need? Some people want to turn everything off but fire, while others want to just listen "local". Perhaps there's something of interest to you that deserves its own list.

- I like all my radios to be programmed similar.
- I travel a lot, so the first level of organization is state/county.
- I concentrate on public safety for as far as I can receive the signals.
- I do have lists for media, marine, aviation, amateur; for example, which are not normally scanned, but available if the situation merits.
- If the scanner supports it, I like each site of a trunked system to be "selectable".
- I don't use zip code nor GPS selection as it doesn't match the footprint of what I want selected.
 

hexagon_keyhole

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Sacramento, California
I hope that this is not off topic for this thread.

In reorganizing my favorites lists, I've noticed on the RRDB that some of my favorites [i.e. California Highway Patrol] have modulation listed as FM and others are listed as FMN. Would it be best if I changed ALL FAVORITES to AUTO and be done with it?
I thought CHP went fully narrow band?

Wow! I don’t think there’s a wrong way set up your favorites list. This is pretty neat to see the level of organization. I have one consolidated favorites list that contain both law enforcement and fire/EMS, and I just flip on and off the departments with temp avoids. Seeing other posts might has me rethinking the organization a little.
 

trentbob

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Location
Bristol, Pa.
I have found consistency it's important. For as long as I can remember for example, bank, scanlist or FL 3 is BURCO or Burlington County, 4 is Mercer County, 5 is State Police, 6 is Philadelphia, 7 is Montco or Montgomery County, 8 is Marine, 9 is rail and so on.

The consistency of the same assignment to banks, scanlists or FLs on every scanner I've had is very helpful.
 

captaincab

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Sep 11, 2010
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monitoring delco pa with gre psr300 pro2053 and b
Bank 1 is county fire all response channels except the simplex channels. I also scan both ems channels and dispatch and county wide command channel.

Bank 2 all police channels both main and secondary

Bank 3 what I call local bank it has the primary and secondary Pd channel for the sector I live in plus the sector that borders it also primary fire channel for my area and county wide dispatch

Bank 4 is rest of county system parks sheriff and court house county jail etc plus snow plows and local school buses for traffic conditions in bad weather

Bank 5 area cab companies

Bank 6 Local Mass transit trunked system
 

Mike_G_D

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Location
Vista, CA
CHP is old standard +/- 5Hz deviation FM. That USED to be called "narrowband" before the "more narrow" +/- 2.5kHz standard got set and enforced. Low band VHF, as I understand it, was NOT required to "narrowband" like Hi-VHF and UHF.

-Mike
 

Alain

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"Would it be best if I changed ALL FAVORITES to AUTO and be done with it?"

So, the correct response to the OP's above question would be...?
 

N1FKO

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Messages
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Location
Waltham, MA
Please feel free to critique or share how you set some stuff up. Thanks!
I reserve the first few banks/groups for all services by range, e.g.: the first section is for city-local, the next is for adjacent towns, the next for county-wide, and the next for adjacent counties. On a quiet day you might have them all enabled, and if something pops it's just a couple of clicks and you're listening to the appropriate area traffic.
 
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