MARCS & MARCS:IP

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jasonhouk

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I've notice under the descriptions in both the MARCS & MARCS:IP database will just show "County Sheriff".

Anyway of getting this cleared up to show the actual County?

Thanks
J
 

mtindor

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I've notice under the descriptions in both the MARCS & MARCS:IP database will just show "County Sheriff".

Anyway of getting this cleared up to show the actual County?

Thanks
J
Most people don't important descriptions but rather alpha tags, no? And for those who use scanners like the HP-1, PSR-800, BCD436HP and BCD536HP, the county (in the description) ends up duplicating the county listed in the line above it (the category)

Ex:

Fayette County
Fayette County Sheriff

vs

Fayette County
Sheriff

I think this is the biggest reason why this was done. I don't like it personally, but I don't call the shoots. Additionally, there may be other reasons for this being done as well.

mike
 

jasonhouk

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Marion, Ohio
I think I understand their reasoning but on the other hand I program multiple brands of scanners and use Unitrunker on a daily basis. Alpha Tag "SO80 DSP" means nothing to me coming across a 106 and when it comes across Unitrunker it displays "County Sherif dispatch". I have an HP1 and see the department line as being Union County.

Would it be that hard or not database friendly to add "Union" to the description?

Thanks
J
 

mtindor

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I think I understand their reasoning but on the other hand I program multiple brands of scanners and use Unitrunker on a daily basis. Alpha Tag "SO80 DSP" means nothing to me coming across a 106 and when it comes across Unitrunker it displays "County Sherif dispatch". I have an HP1 and see the department line as being Union County.

Would it be that hard or not database friendly to add "Union" to the description?

Thanks
J
Something like SO80DSP is bad enough, even though Id at least know it's sheriff. Some of those alpha tags taken directly from the agency radios make absolutely sense to average joe -- EX: XEM04008 -- Ashtabula Ambulance Service. Say what? How does anybody but a person who works for Ashtabula Ambulance service extra "Ashtabula Ambulance Service" from XEM04008?

If I had my way we would have the longer descriptions back and we would be using friendly alpha tags much more instead of what we have now.

Mike
 

jasonhouk

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Who do we escalate this to as its seems to be an issues to the general scanning public?

Sent from my XT1034 using Tapatalk
 

Spitfire8520

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Something like SO80DSP is bad enough, even though Id at least know it's sheriff. Some of those alpha tags taken directly from the agency radios make absolutely sense to average joe -- EX: XEM04008 -- Ashtabula Ambulance Service. Say what? How does anybody but a person who works for Ashtabula Ambulance service extra "Ashtabula Ambulance Service" from XEM04008?

If I had my way we would have the longer descriptions back and we would be using friendly alpha tags much more instead of what we have now.

Mike
I'll bite even though I don't live in the area. I'm not a DB Admin so don't take me wrong, but doesn't the Database Administrator Handbook §6.4.1 explicitly state:

Alpha tags shall not necessarily be the alpha tag as shown on a radio transceiver programmed for a specific conventional or trunked system. Alpha tags shall be written to be useful to scanner users and furthermore they shall be clear to novice scanner users to the extent possible.

Alpha tags “stand alone” and are not a more specific classification under the category, subcategory and description hierarchy. The alpha tag itself shall only contain information that is also represented in the county/agency/system name, category, subcategory and/or description of the frequency or talkgroup.
Taking a look at the MARCS system, I hardly consider any of the alpha tags at the county level "clear to novice scanner users to the extent possible," nor do they appear to me as being able to "stand alone." If I were programming a scanner for a visit to Ohio, I would certainly be redoing every single one of those alpha tags manually in order to represent county name rather than memorizing county numbers.
 

wa8pyr

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Regarding the comments in this thread. . .

1. Placing the county name in the description fields is redundant (multiple times, if it's put into every single description) since it already appears in the talkgroup category heading along with the county number. It was removed from the description fields for this reason.

2. Talkgroup names are for the most part pretty easy to understand; I'm not sure why something like SO80DISP would be hard to understand (Sheriff's Office, County 80, Dispatch). Shorter names are easier to take in at a glance; something like "UnionCoSODisp" is just a jumble, and any shorter than that starts getting tough to meet that "stand alone" qualification.

3. I will concede that some of the actual talkgroup names are pretty goofy and some others could use a bit of cleanup so I'll look at getting those changed, but for the most part names such as SO80DISP, SO80TAC1, SO80TAC2, FD80DISP, etc are pretty concise and descriptive as they stand. They have to be.

You're free to change names or descriptions to suit your own purposes if you wish, but over the years what's in there has worked quite well with nary a complaint.

By the way, Unitrunker has an option to show the talkgroup name (which is my personal preference) rather than the description (which is the default). I'd tell you how to change it but I just can't remember off the top of my head (I'm now mostly using Pro96Com as the new systems come on line).
 

One13Truck

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You're free to change names or descriptions to suit your own purposes if you wish, but over the years what's in there has worked quite well with nary a complaint.
This is part of the reason why I still program everything by hand instead of just doing a data dump. I can name it how I want it. if the stuff I've used to describe things were in the database it would confuse most people but I know exactly what something is when I see it.
 

jasonhouk

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Not everyone has a new Uniden or PSR800 so the description should include the County Name with the agency. Hence the reason why the new radios allow more characters in this field than and alpha tag only displays?!

The Alpha Tags are not really an issue for me as I have a county list but looking at the list every time a user affiliates his radio/talk group with my local tower is REDUNDANT and not very user friendly.

For new users I either have to change the naming depending on the type of radio I'm programming or make up a cross reference to give them.
 

wa8pyr

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Not everyone has a new Uniden or PSR800 so the description should include the County Name with the agency. Hence the reason why the new radios allow more characters in this field than and alpha tag only displays?!
Alpha tags are limited to 12 characters and will stay that way so we can accommodate all types of scanners which our users operate. This has been RadioReference policy for many years and will not change.

The Alpha Tags are not really an issue for me as I have a county list but looking at the list every time a user affiliates his radio/talk group with my local tower is REDUNDANT and not very user friendly.

For new users I either have to change the naming depending on the type of radio I'm programming or make up a cross reference to give them.
How you use the software program of your choice is up to you. You're welcome to name things to suit your own preference, but database policy is to keep things as user-friendly as possible for all of our users, not just those using any one particular type of scanner or software program. This has been RadioReference policy for quite some time, and I see no reason to change a policy that has worked well.
 

jasonhouk

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I think I miss-typed or you miss-read. The county names should be in the description field because newer radios allow for more characters in their description field.

Alpha-tags are not the issue but others in this forum seem to disagree with the naming convention also. Maybe we should have a poll of the users?
 

Spitfire8520

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Maybe we should have a poll of the users?
Even though I share your thoughts of the alpha tagging situation and disagree that county numbers are "easier to take in at a glance" without breaking out a sheet to reference what the heck County 80 is, RadioReference.com LLC is still a corporation that has graciously let users aggregate their information in it's corporate database. How they choose to administer that database is entirely their decision as per their Database Administrator Handbook and the interpretation of the specific database administrators as to what "clear to novice scanner users to the extent possible" means.

As for the description field, a glance at the handbook tells me that there aren't much guidelines for what should exactly go into the description field. I would think that it would be nice to add the county name into description field as I don't think many (if any) scanners use the description field for programming and is more for the human users of the database. Then again, this is entirely up to the respective database administrator and their thoughts of how they think it should be implemented.
 

TedRHayes

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...
...I don't think many (if any) scanners use the description field for programming and is more for the human users of the database....
Actually, the Uniden HomePatrol-1, BCD436HP, and BCD536HP do display/use the Description field as the channel identifier.

There is a local trunked system (Montgomery County, OH) that had many channels ambiguously labeled as "County Fire Operations". It took some convincing to get the DB admin to add the "OPS XX" identifier to the description field (that info was in the AlphaTag but is not displayed on the HP scanners).

I actually think the RR DB handbook should recommend (at least) that the Description field should unambiguously describe a channel, especially if it would be subject to ambiguity within the same Talkgroup/Department.

As to whether the County id should be included in the Description, that's a different question, as typically the County name is included in the Talkgroup/Department name which is usually displayed on the HP scanners.

Just my two cents.

Ted
 

jasonhouk

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See attached screenshot, they purposely remove the county names to accommodate I'm assuming the scanner manufactures that buy/lease the database rights. I believe this has nothing to do with user friendliness.

J
 

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wa8pyr

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Actually, the Uniden HomePatrol-1, BCD436HP, and BCD536HP do display/use the Description field as the channel identifier.
Yes, and those radios also show the talkgroup category name, making the repeat of the county or city name in the Description field unnecessary.

See attached screenshot, they purposely remove the county names to accommodate I'm assuming the scanner manufactures that buy/lease the database rights. I believe this has nothing to do with user friendliness.
It has everything to do with user friendliness. Remember, RadioReference is not just about importing information with software, but also about the database itself and how it appears to the viewer in a web browser. Not only would the county name in every single description field be massively redundant, but also would add many characters to be displayed on a scanner, and make it harder to use.

I think I miss-typed or you miss-read. The county names should be in the description field because newer radios allow for more characters in their description field.
This was addressed earlier in this thread; the database is set up so it's compatible with all scanners our users may have, not just the newest, latest and greatest gee-whiz model with more characters.

Again, you're welcome to edit names or descriptions in your software to suit your personal preference.
 
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