I am lost lost lost

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N4GKS

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I'm used to the Pro96 and with rebanding coming I ordered the BCT15. Lord almighty, how do I learn to run this thing? The 96 Win software was cake compaired to this guy. I'm used to 10 banks and placing frequencies in them with talkgroups. Nothing to it. I've downloaded 5 different software packages and I can't tell what are banks and i don't even see anywhere to place the trunking frequencies. Anyone have a suggestion?
 

mancow

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The 15 is dynamic in structure, meaning that you can throw the idea of banks out the window. It's all about systems, groups and the quick key numbers they are assigned to (but don't have to be).

Build a system with the trunking freqs and other control type info, groups are like sub files under a sysem that contain the actual talk groups. Systems can have quick keys assigned (up to 99) as well as groups.

Confused yet?

Actually, it will all make sense once you get used to it and then you will realize that it's a much more efficient way of doing things.
 

n2mdk

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Well if you think of Systems as being banks and Groups as being sub banks that might.
I'm going by the info I get when I look up your callsign. If you have BCTool load this file into it and see how it sort of gets put together. One system is Huntsville trunked the other is Madison Co. conventional
 
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N4GKS

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n2mdk said:
Well if you think of Systems as being banks and Groups as being sub banks that might.
I'm going by the info I get when I look up your callsign. If you have BCTool load this file into it and see how it sort of gets put together. One system is Huntsville trunked the other is Madison Co. conventional
Thanks! I'll play with this a while and see if I can't catch on.
 
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n2mdk

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You unzipped it and then clicked on it to launch BCTool it should have loaded the 2 systems into the program. Does on my copy. In the left hand while pane with the programming tab selected you should see Huntsville Publi and Madison Co.
 

JHVH-1

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When you add systems to the scanner, you have to define the system number in the software before uploading it, then you can turn the systems on/off kinda like you would with a banked scanner.

Took me a little bit to get used to it after being used to my Pro-95
 

Airdorn

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The top of the hierarchy is the System. That's the largest classification there is. A System will probably cover an entire public service. In my 996T, Memphis/Shelby County Public Service is considered a distinct Service.

Within that Service is two Sites, because Memphis/Shelby County uses a couple of different physical sites, each with their own set of frequencies, for more complete coverage.

Also within that System is a bunch of groups. Memphis Police is a group, Shelby County Sheriff is another group, the local prison is another group, and so on.

Within each group is a set of channels. For instance, within the 'Memphis Police' group is a bunch of channels like 'Dispatch Airways', 'Dispatch Mt. Moriah', 'Ridgeway Car-Car', etc.

So to review, channels are subsets within groups. Groups are subsets within Systems. A System encompasses an entire entity you want to scan.

All of this is so that you can keep things neatly organized, and so your alpha descriptors on the scanner display are meaningful and informative.

About Sites... A System can have a single site, or a whole bunch of sites, depending on the physical layout of the System. If the system covers a small area, there's probably only 1 site. You know, 1 tower with an antenna on it. But if the system is large, like some of those statewide systems (Arkansas Wireless Information Network, for example), then there can be lots and lots of sites, each with their own set of frequencies and other characteristics.

Conventional systems are organized in the same, elegant way. I have the City of Germantown, TN as another System. It is nothing more than a single site, 2 groups (fire and police), and maybe 5 channels in each group... each channel is an individual frequency for fire and police. When scanning, my 996T handles it just like a trunked system.

There's none of that antiquated BANK nonsense where you're always running up against hard restrictions... just a bunch of memory that slowly dwindles as you add new systems, and continually add-to your existing systems.

When you get it all in there and you see how beautiful and eloquent it all is with the single-key activating/deactivating of systems during scan, (and same with groups too!), then you'll wonder why it took them so long to come up with this system of organization. :)

Good luck.
 
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N4GKS

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n2mdk said:
Well if you think of Systems as being banks and Groups as being sub banks that might.
I'm going by the info I get when I look up your callsign. If you have BCTool load this file into it and see how it sort of gets put together. One system is Huntsville trunked the other is Madison Co. conventional
Once you get the download in the software, how do you save it to the program? When I shut down it asks if I want to save and I say yes. But, when I open the program back up it does not have the frequencies.
 

n2mdk

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The program doesn't open with the last saved system open. It's easier to open the program by clicking on the saved .bct file. If you open the program go into the program menu and choose Open Programming. That's something that should be added to the program so it will open the last saved system again once closed.
 

N4GKS

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I downloaded ARC-15 BASIC and may try it too. Seems you can download everthing from this webpage with a subscription. Pretty cool.
 

n2mdk

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W4CRT said:
I downloaded ARC-15 BASIC and may try it too. Seems you can download everthing from this webpage with a subscription. Pretty cool.
Yes you can, ARC15, BCTool and FreeSCan all do it from this sites database. Makes programming much easier.
 

Boomeranger

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W4CRT said:
I'm used to the Pro96 and with rebanding coming I ordered the BCT15. Lord almighty, how do I learn to run this thing? The 96 Win software was cake compaired to this guy. I'm used to 10 banks and placing frequencies in them with talkgroups. Nothing to it. I've downloaded 5 different software packages and I can't tell what are banks and i don't even see anywhere to place the trunking frequencies. Anyone have a suggestion?

Systems ARE "banks!" Only there are no fixed limits in size anymore.

The system quickkeys are similar to pressing a bank button on the Pro-96, only difference is since you can have more than ten "banks" and there aren't enough physical buttons to press, when you have more than 10 banks, you need a mechanism to turn them on and off. That's what the system quickkey numbers do.

A scanner with 500 banks (entirely possible) would be pretty unwieldly with 500 bank buttons. This technique solves that problem. It's no different really, only it may take an extra keystroke or two to turn a bank on or off.

Inside a bank you can further organize an agency one step further, into Groups. So for example, if your County PD bank has different 5 sectors you can put them into 5 separate groups with their corresponding channels. So it becomes very easy to turn on the bank and then further turn on or off groups of interest in that bank using Group quickkeys.

You can have a have a system with or without groups. It depends.

I have a bank for my local school buses with only two frequencies. (A great road conditions resource) I don't need Groups in this bank.

Trunking is done with banks only the trunk frequencies are entered into a special bank area and the talkgroups go into the bank slots instead of frequencies.

You can also group talkgroups in a more logical manner using Groups here again. So if you want to listen to just the police talkgroups in a vast trunk, you can turn off the school district group of talkgroups, the housing group of talkgroups, etc. A Group of talkgroups doesn't come in fixed limit size here either anymore, but it's really very similiar, you'll see.

It's much easier to perceive this in software than programming the scanner manually.

When you name your banks, prefix the alpha tag with the system quickkey number. You'll thank me later.

There is a learning curve but before long that blind flash of comprehension will click and you'll see the beauty of the implementation..

It IS different, but BETTER different.

Best,

Andy
Scannist
 

N4GKS

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n2mdk said:
Yes you can, ARC15, BCTool and FreeSCan all do it from this sites database. Makes programming much easier.
The BCTool on the site has a bug. I sent a screen capture to tech support and he was kind enough to send me the fixed version which seems to work great. I placed the frequencies in the places I wanted and now I'm just waiting on the scanner which was shipped today.
 
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