Is it worth it to have someone like Bearcatwearhouse Program?

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W8WCA

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I was wondering if it is worth it to purchase a BCD436 from a place like BearcatWearHouse and have them Program a couple of counties?

Or is it easy to program? (With Sentinel)

I had a BCD396 and used Butel's software - OK as I recall.
 

hiegtx

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I was wondering if it is worth it to purchase a BCD436 from a place like BearcatWearHouse and have them Program a couple of counties?

Or is it easy to program? (With Sentinel)

I had a BCD396 and used Butel's software - OK as I recall.
It's easy to program with Sentinel once you get used to it. You can always download and install Sentinel, even before you order the scanner. There;s lots of help here in the forums, in the Wiki, and quite a few videos on YouTube. If you ask in your state forum (Ohio), someone may well share a file with you, either for your area, or so you can at least see the programming is set up.

One other point: If you pay someone else to program the scanner, all they are going to do is append systems in the database to a Favorites list, which you can easily do yourself. They likely do not know your area, so they might miss something you might want. Plus, if you pay them to program, at $50 or so for one county, and increasing if you want others, what are you going to do when something changes in your area? Pay somebody another fee, or do it yourself, with help from people here on the forums as needed.
 

eaf1956

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I was wondering if it is worth it to purchase a BCD436 from a place like BearcatWearHouse and have them Program a couple of counties?

Or is it easy to program? (With Sentinel)

I had a BCD396 and used Butel's software - OK as I recall.
Don't waste your money.
 

fxdscon

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I was wondering if it is worth it to purchase a BCD436 from a place like BearcatWearHouse and have them Program a couple of counties?

Or is it easy to program? (With Sentinel)

I had a BCD396 and used Butel's software - OK as I recall.
Absolutely not worth it. It might get you going right out of the box, but as soon as you decide you want to make additions, subtractions, or changes to what the dealer has pre-programmed, or the systems you are monitoring make changes of their own, you won't have the experience or knowledge to accomplish those changes. That will require shipping the scanner back to the dealer for those changes.

Plenty of help all around to accomplish programming on your own.

.
 

belvdr

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You’ll find that someday you’ll need to change the programming. Better to learn from the start.
 

bob550

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As the saying goes: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Learn Sentinel, and save your money. You're already ahead of the game by having programmed your own 396. Anyway, you won't find anyone on this board who'll advocate paying money to have someone else do it.
 
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dvendt

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Take all their advice. If you learn to do it you can then program the radio the way you want it. It is quite simple if you just use alittle gray matter.
 

W8WCA

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Yea I programmed the BCD 396 I had without any problem

I am down to only a few “little gray cells" left now days but that should be enough
 

ScubaJungle

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No - I do not think its worth $75 for an hour worth of mouse clicks. Its extremely simple to do, you just right click and add where you want.
Even if you did want programming - get it from the private people who do programming - they do it better, with more care to what you want, and charge much less.
 

W8WCA

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So I ordered a SDS100 And downloaded and started looking at Sentinel

I see it kind of uses Lists for areas of interest.

Is there some limit (even if only a practical one) about how many lists I can have?

I will have a fair number
Some Examples: MilAir, Civil Air, Police, Fire, InterAgency, OSU, Hospitals, Helo freqs (I have heard),
FEMA EMS, Amature Radio, and about 7 or 8 more

I try not to Mix Trunking and Conventional while at it also
 

ScubaJungle

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So I ordered a SDS100 And downloaded and started looking at Sentinel

I see it kind of uses Lists for areas of interest.

Is there some limit (even if only a practical one) about how many lists I can have?

I will have a fair number
Some Examples: MilAir, Civil Air, Police, Fire, InterAgency, OSU, Hospitals, Helo freqs (I have heard),
FEMA EMS, Amature Radio, and about 7 or 8 more

I try not to Mix Trunking and Conventional while at it also
Nope, as many as the memory card can fit. And you can turn them off and on, so make them thin and also utilize quick keys to have full control.
I mix conventional and trunked systems when I have different lists on, its not an issue, and I have about ~50 favorites lists that I use normally, plus more that are for trips

Edit: to give you an idea - I organize a lot of mine like this:
Industry - All
Industry - Active (systems/freqs I get normal hits on)
Hotels
Hospitals
Security
Trunked Business
Florida Fleet Talk & Highland Wireless
Military
MilAir
Home (active stuff heard from home)
Airport
Local PS system#1
Local PS sys#2
University
Federal-Home
Federal-All
Sports
Recreation (Zoo, aquarium, etc)
Need ID (systems Im trying to ID)
nearby county PS#1-5
Interop
Schools
Rail
Maritime
Parks & Rescue


Just to name some. This give me total control, if I want to listen to everything - I turn it all on - if I want to listen to only the active stuff - I only turn the active stuff on - if I only want to listen to public safety &hospitals, I only turn them on, etc.
On top of that - I can then turn on and off sites within those lists, for example the west site of my public safety would be set as quick key 1, and east as quick key 2, so I can listen to multiple lists and still only listen to west or east site.
 
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Kaleier1

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The nice thing about favorites lists is that you can make them any way you want. Some people do it by county, others by type of service, fire, police etc, and others just a mixture of things they like.

I have one favorites list that is a county trunked system with police and fire and then within that favorites list I have a another department that is convention ambulance company frequencies. It works fine.
 

W8WCA

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Thanks all:

It's not too bad only thing is removing unwanted counties that seem to get added when doing StateWide things like MMARCS takes a bit of time

I have a good group started with Sentinel all ready to drop it in my SDS200 (When it arrives - hopefully Monday 6-8-20)
 

hiegtx

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So I ordered a SDS100 And downloaded and started looking at Sentinel

I see it kind of uses Lists for areas of interest.

Is there some limit (even if only a practical one) about how many lists I can have?

I will have a fair number
Some Examples: MilAir, Civil Air, Police, Fire, InterAgency, OSU, Hospitals, Helo freqs (I have heard),
FEMA EMS, Amature Radio, and about 7 or 8 more

I try not to Mix Trunking and Conventional while at it also
The size limit, for any one Favorites list, is 1mb.

You have 100 Quick Keys that you can assign to Favorites lists (0 to 99). You cannot use the same Quick Key on more than one Favorites list, though you can duplicate QKs for systems, departments, and sites.

There is a limit of 256 Favorites lists, and as noted above, you cannot assign the same QK to more than one list. So, if you managed to create 256 lists, 156 of them would not be assigned a QK.

I've seen a few comments where someone is trying to load all of a statewide system, or hundreds of UIDs for a specific system, and they exceeded the 1Mb size limit (per Favorites list). But I have not seen anyone claim that they used anywhere near 256 Favorites.
 

hiegtx

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Thanks all:

It's not too bad only thing is removing unwanted counties that seem to get added when doing StateWide things like MMARCS takes a bit of time

I have a good group started with Sentinel all ready to drop it in my SDS200 (When it arrives - hopefully Monday 6-8-20)
You can selectively append only certain counties, or a selected number of systems used in that area. When you pick only a few systems to append, the first time you append it, Sentinel will also append all of the sites in regional or statewide systems. You can either leave the sites, and use location control to limit the ones actually being scanned, or you can remove the extras. As long as you do not change the name of the system you appended (in other words, keep the same name that the database shows), you can go back and append one or more additional departments,, without adding all of the sites again.
 
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