I need help :( BCD396XT

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Arapahoe county, Colorado
Well, I've been working on this thing about 9 hours straight. I've got a couple of talk groups where I get half of the conversation.

I'm really trying not to ask for too much help on every little thing, but honestly doing very little things with this scanner takes enormous effort and I don't know what else to do.

Here are the 3 immediate problems I'm faced with;

1. I cannot get a preset group to stop scanning. For example, selecting FM broadcast and Military air, I'm now scanning an EDACS system and the FM and military and I cannot make them STOP scanning.

2. Connecting to a PC does nothing. Connected to a serial cable and there is not response from either the PC or scanner.

3. Talk groups only get half of the conversation. I have no programmed every talk group in my area, only the one's I'm interested in, and I can tell I'm only getting one side of the conversation. No clue on this one.

I'm a bit disappointed that the scanner is this hard to program. I mean, I can understand with digital it being more difficult, but this thing is seriously lacking simple functions. The manual is cryptic and assumes that you already know all of the lingo and symbols. It's largely unhelpful. It doesn't even mention connecting it to a PC. Come on.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

ka3jjz

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The DMA scanners require a completely different mindset. They aren't plug and play, unless you have been working with them for awhile. We have lots of stuff in our wiki to help you along, however. Go to the Wiki link in the blue toolbar under the Scanner Master ad, then click on Wiki Homepage. Keep in mind all links are blue.

I'd start by recommending you read the Uniden DMA FAQ linked in the Popular Topics box about 2/3 of the way down on the right. At the bottom of this are the Easier to Read manuals. Download and study the one for the 396T (which is the older version of the 396XT). Once you get this, the XT version of the scanner will be much easier for you to understand. The procedure for setting up the serial port on the scanner is also described; I would bet that there isn't much difference between the 396T and the 396XT in this regard.

If you are using an older PC that has a real serial port, all you need to do is to make sure that the 396XT has been set up, and nothing is grabbing it. If however you have no serial ports, you will need a USB-serial converter, and some drivers. Where to go to get this, and what steps you need to take, are outlined in the Connecting scanners via USB article in the Links for Newcomers section.

Finally you didn't mention what software you are using, but you need not spend any money to get you off the ground. Go and get FreeScan (it's freeware), and the user manual (which is almost up to date with version .9h - I'll work on it some more next week) is here

Finally there's the Uniden TWiki on the 396XT. Go to this article in our wiki, then go to the Related Pages section. The link is right there

That oughta be enough for now. Go get some shuteye, relax, get a nice tall something to drink as you read. This will take some time.

73 Mike
 

sjlamb

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Sarasota County, FL
Well, I've been working on this thing about 9 hours straight. I've got a couple of talk groups where I get half of the conversation.

I'm really trying not to ask for too much help on every little thing, but honestly doing very little things with this scanner takes enormous effort and I don't know what else to do.

Here are the 3 immediate problems I'm faced with;

1. I cannot get a preset group to stop scanning. For example, selecting FM broadcast and Military air, I'm now scanning an EDACS system and the FM and military and I cannot make them STOP scanning.

2. Connecting to a PC does nothing. Connected to a serial cable and there is not response from either the PC or scanner.

3. Talk groups only get half of the conversation. I have no programmed every talk group in my area, only the one's I'm interested in, and I can tell I'm only getting one side of the conversation. No clue on this one.

I'm a bit disappointed that the scanner is this hard to program. I mean, I can understand with digital it being more difficult, but this thing is seriously lacking simple functions. The manual is cryptic and assumes that you already know all of the lingo and symbols. It's largely unhelpful. It doesn't even mention connecting it to a PC. Come on.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Connecting to a PC won't do anything if you're not using some sort of scanner programming software.You don't say whether you are or not so, it's anyone's guess.
 
Joined
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Location
Arapahoe county, Colorado
Hey thanks a bunch!

Yeah this thing is kicking my butt, and I've not read enough that would equal my enthusiasm for this. I'm thankful to have you folks putting me in the right direction.

I'm going to take the advice of getting some shut eye and sleeping on it for now. I've been a bit impatient and have numbers that I want to listen to this instant. It's not going to work that way. I'll learn to be a bit more patient.

sjlamb; good question. I've got none atm. I guess I was being stupid and thinking in plug and play mode. I'll get freescan tomorrow and go from there. And I'll really try not to ask to many questions that must be old hat to you folks by now.

Thanks again, I'll update later.
 

UPMan

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1. While the unwanted search range is searching, press F+L/O, L/O to permanently lock it out.

2. As mentioned, unless you are running software simply connecting the cable to the PC/Scanner will do nothing. RS232 does not provide any "hey something just got connected" signalling like USB.

3. Could be that it you have programmed in a site that you are not receiving very well, so the scanner is not getting solid copy on the control channel. (There are probably other ideas for this one, just none percolating to the top of the brain stem right now.)

UPDATE: Simultyping strikes again!
 

dracer777

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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

Not necesarily(can't spell today). I would try UPMan's recommendation of diagnosing a weak signal.

But my recommendation is to get used to using the scanner, and get familiar with overall functionality, before you start trying to diagnose issues with it.
 

ka3jjz

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Bowie, Md.
Another step you can take, when you get FreeScan installed, is to go to the Colorado forum (as I recommended in another thread), introduce yourself, tell them you have a 396XT and FreeScan and would like a file for Arapahoe county. Many times local help is the best. At least you will have a file you can study with data that you (should) be familiar with. I would also keep this database entry handy, for reference's sake. I also see that Arapahoe county uses the Colorado DTRS - it's likely there are a few tricks you will need to know. The local folks will make that easy. 73 Mike

[edit] By the way, when you get FreeScan installed, if you're online, go to Help/Online Help and you will be taken directly to the user manual in the wiki
 
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dracer777

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I'm from Colorado. Also fairly active in the Colorado forum. If you would like more hands on help, feel free to message me. I can also send you a file for Arapahoe county. I have a 396xt programmed for around 25 counties in CO. So you may just want to copy my FreeScan file. (sorry, wouldve mentioned this earlier, but the mobile version of this site doesn't show signatures or location data of users)
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Arapahoe county, Colorado
Just a quick update; I have freescan working and I've downloaded from the scanner. I've a mini-itx file server system that does have a serial port. I should be good for... awhile :) Thanks for the help guys and girls.

If I've another question (undoubtedly) I'll post here instead of a new thread. Thanks again!
 
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