Mac user looking for advice

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kmbrly

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I'll give you the background, and then my questions.

I just received a Pro-106 for my birthday (I have wanted a scanner for a long time, and was thrilled to get this surprise!).

I have not yet attempted to program it manually. I'm confident that if I were to sit down with the manual and read it, I could do it; but, I am a mother to four kids and I don't often have time to myself, much less quiet time for concentration.

I would like to get some software to help me program my 106.

Upon searching this out, I have pretty much come to the conclusion that there is no software for linking the Pro-106 and a Mac at this time. If you know otherwise, please let me know.

I am on a 27" iMac with the quad core Intel processor and the latest version of the OS. I should be able to load Windows onto this machine. I have the VMFusion software (not loaded, yet, but would allow me to run Windows at the same time as Snow Leopard), but just need to get Windows. I will have to do this eventually for some other applications, but I have been putting it off for as long as I could.

So...

Is there a software program that will work on Windows (probably 7, since they won't support XP, anymore) running on a Mac? If so, (a) which program is it, and (b) would it run better through Boot Camp or with the VMFusion?

Will the Radio Shack USB cable for the Pro-106 work with my machine? If Apple doesn't recognize the drivers, would Windows 7?

I have a PC laptop running Windows XP that I could use if it just isn't possible to use my Mac.

If anyone can help (particularly any other Mac users using a Pro-106 that could give me some insight on what is working or not working for you), I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!

PS In the mean time, I figured out that by using the search button to find a signal that the scanner stops on, and then using scan, I have been able to find a lot of stuff to listen to.
 

Astrak

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The easiest step would be to just use the PC you already have(BTW XP will be supported for a few more years). I don't think the MAC will recognize the drivers but a virtual machine running Windows 7 or XP will recognize the drivers when you insert the driver disc that comes with the USB cable or you can download the drivers from the Radioshack website. Good luck with the new scanner and what a great birthday present.
 

kilowa22

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Oregon
There is currently no programs that will program the Radio Shack GRE scanners on the Mac OS X. Someone is developing a Java based software application that will run on any platform that will program and control the 106/197 radios.
The Radio Shack/GRE USB device to control and program the radio will work on the Mac OS X system. You need to obtain the FTDI USB/Serial device drivers and install the driver on the mac.
Starrsoft produces the Win500 program for MS Windows that will program the radio & control it in XP, Vista and Win7.

Mac OS X Drivers http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP/MacOSX/FTDIUSBSerialDriver_v2_2_14.dmg

Windows XP, Vista & Win7 drivers http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM20602.zip
 

ka3jjz

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Welcome kmbrly...the first thing you should do to help others help you is to go to the User CP (which is in the blue toolbar under the thread title) and enter your location data (county/state is fine) under Your Profile and Edit Your Details. Often the best help comes from folks local to you.

Here is an from our wiki that has a good deal of information about programming the object oriented scanners these are some common questions, problems and solutions...(note: both here and in our wiki, anything in blue is a link)

GRE/RS Object Oriented Scanners FAQ - The RadioReference Wiki

And if you get Win500, this article written by one of our late members (he passed some time ago) is an excellent reference to how to use the RR Web service to program your scanner...

WIN500 - UtahRadio

To find out about premium subscriptions, click/float your mouse over the About link in the blue toolbar under the Scanner Master ad on the right, and select Our Premium Services from the pulldown. Alternately, you can ask in your state's forum for a programming file. Be sure to specify what software you are using, as not all formats are interchangeable with one another.

73 and GL...Mike
 

kmbrly

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Ramah, Colorado
Thank you, Mike, for the great reference material. I think I will get set-up with Win500 and most likely go with a subscription to RR, as well.

Thanks, RoInCode3. I already have VMFusion (bought it when I bought my Mac, with the intention of running Windows at some point for some other programs that I have). I believe it's a virtual machine application like VirtualBox.

Wine is available for my machine, but it claims that it doesn't adequately handle the Windows programs that I need most.

I so wanted to put off loading Windows onto my machine, but now I have something I really want to do with it sooner than later.:lol: <--- I don't like using the twitchy-lip smiley, but he's supposed to be laughing.

I went into town, yesterday, and picked up a USB connector cable for the Pro-106. I was surprised that out of three stores I had called, only one store had one and when I got there to pick it up, the guys in the store had no clue about what it was or what it was for - and then stood on top of me while I wanted to browse, as if people only go into a RS to buy something specific and leave. I guess I'm glad I didn't ask them to program it for me. The RS where my DH bought the scanner is in a different town - had my errands been in that town, I would have gone there (they knew what they were doing).

So, after I left RS, I found an Office Depot and grabbed an over-priced copy of Windows 7 (no time to order on-line, I want to get this done in the next day or two and want to do it with a hard-copy, since I am dealing with a Mac). My experience in that store was funny, too. The cashier basically treated me like I was a moron. He asked if I had checked on-line to make sure that my computer would work with the new Windows (I was holding the full version, not the upgrade). He asked what year it was. I must have looked confused, or something, when I said that I was running a new Mac. "Oh, it won't work on that!" he puffed. "It most certainly will," was my determined reply. I think he thought I was trying to buy the upgrade and not the full version. After that, he was very nice. So, after all that, that Windows 7 had better work on the Mac.
 

grumpy_hermit

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He asked if I had checked on-line to make sure that my computer would work with the new Windows (I was holding the full version, not the upgrade). He asked what year it was. I must have looked confused, or something, when I said that I was running a new Mac. "Oh, it won't work on that!" he puffed. "It most certainly will," was my determined reply. I think he thought I was trying to buy the upgrade and not the full version. After that, he was very nice. So, after all that, that Windows 7 had better work on the Mac.
Windows 7 has stricter hardware requirements than previous versions of Windows. Microsoft offers Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor but it requires a previous version of Windows to run it. :roll:

It's possible to run Windows 7 under Fusion but you might need more RAM or some other upgrade to do it. Fortunately, it won't hurt your Mac if you attempt to install and run it. :)
 

kmbrly

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Just a quick update:

installed the virtual machine running Windows 7 on my Mac by using the VMFusion software
tested Windows 7 by playing several games of Spider Solitaire and Mahjong
installed the USB cable and driver
updated firmware (CPU and DSP)
looked at the Win500 site and saw that the latest driver was needed for the USB cable
updated USB cable driver

The next step is to download the scanner software. So far so good.
 

grumpy_hermit

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Sounds good! With Win500 and a RR subscription, your programming experience will be a lot less stressful and time consuming.
 

wuzafuzz

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I'm curious to hear how the scanner software worked on the Mac. In a few weeks I'm hoping to buy a digital capable scanner, but the software issue has me wondering as well. There is an old PC with Windows 2000 sitting in a corner, but my primary computer is an iMac.
 

grumpy_hermit

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I'm curious to hear how the scanner software worked on the Mac. In a few weeks I'm hoping to buy a digital capable scanner, but the software issue has me wondering as well. There is an old PC with Windows 2000 sitting in a corner, but my primary computer is an iMac.
On my MacBook Pro, I run Windows XP in VMware Fusion to program my GRE scanners with Win500 and it works just fine. Installing Fusion and Windows was pretty much automated and painless. Installing Win500 is simply decompression of the downloaded zip file and a move to your desired location.

Go for it! :p
 

N9JIG

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I use all kinds of scanner software on my Mac's including my 24" iMacs, a MacBook Pro and a MacBook Air. I use Windows XP on each, but will likely switch to Windows 7 eventually.

I have used BootCamp, Fusion and Parallels. A little hint if you already have installed Parallels or Fusion and Windows, install Bootcamp AFTER your Windows installation, BootCamp will find that install and use it.

So far I seem to prefer Fusion slightly, it seems to be the least problematic. There really hasn't been anything serious to push me one way or the other, but my non-techy wife prefers Fusion, so I assume it is easier for her to deal with.

I just this week installed the latest version of Parallels but haven't tried it in the real world yet.

BootCamp seems to work fine but you can't run it and MacOS at the same time.

As for radio software, I have tried most of the ARC products, Win 500, Pro96Com and even Motorola RSS with few issues. I did see my install of AirNav RadarBox stop seeing the receiver after a while, but that cleared up with an update.

Even though I am a Mac guy by heart, I do concur that if you have a Windows box available it is less troublesome to use it for these purposes. I do at home, but it is nice on the road not to have to carry two laptops!
 

N9JIG

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On my MacBook Pro, I run Windows XP in VMware Fusion to program my GRE scanners with Win500 and it works just fine. Installing Fusion and Windows was pretty much automated and painless. Installing Win500 is simply decompression of the downloaded zip file and a move to your desired location.

Go for it! :p
I also have to say that with either Fusion or Parallels the installation of these along with Windows is a breeze, much faster and less trouble than installation of Windows on a regular PC.
 

kmbrly

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Apr 18, 2010
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Location
Ramah, Colorado
I loaded Win500 and subscribed to RR.:)

So far, it works. Every now and then, I get a message that either my USB driver is out of date or the USB cable is disconnected. When I look at the device manager, it is not there. So, I simply unplug the cable and plug it in again and let Windows detect that its there. Otherwise, I think it ignores it as if it were being used by the Mac OS. When I unplug it and plug it back in, it is recognized just fine, it shows up on the device manager list, and the scanner and software communicate just fine.

I have downloaded some files from RR, but have not loaded them onto my scanner, just yet. I want to save the preprogrammed files that came with my radio, first. I need to figure out how to do that.

I'm a little slow with this, but it's more a matter of me being very busy with work and kids while learning a new software program than problems with the software or hardware.
 

N8IAA

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I want to save the preprogrammed files that came with my radio, first. I need to figure out how to do that.
Hey kmbrly! Very easy to download the preprogrammed files. Open Win500, turn the scanner on, plug the cable into the PC/IF port, click on the Scanner tab on the top of the software, then click on download from scanner. After the download, click on the File tab, click on Save As, name the file, and click on save on the pop-up window. Done, and done:) Then open the file that you created. Make sure on the General Settings page of the software that all boxes in the Scan Lists have check marks in those that you want to monitor. Click on the Scanner tab, click on Upload to scanner. The software will upload the file to the radio, replacing the preprogrammed frequencies with the ones in the new file. The radio will re-boot, and start scanning. I am including in this post the file I made up for you. Just save it to documents, unzip it, and open it in Win500. See how it compares to what your file looks like:)
Enjoy,
Larry
 

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