Need advice programming 396XT

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Bushwack

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Newbie-ish here - Items in play are the 396XT & FreeScan using a USB cable.

Having read various information on RR, Wikis and the "easier to read manual for the 396XT", I'm more informed then I was of days gone by but also just more confused. :)

I don't completely understand the differences between 'systems' and 'groups. I would like to d/l via FreeScan frequencies for Beverly Hills Police & Fire, LAPD (dispatch, tactical, Aero & detectives) and LAFD (Dispatch, tactical frequencies, mutual aid & air operations).

Can I program each set of frequencies within the LAPD or LAFD as a 'system" or is it best to program LAPD and LAFD as groups within a system called "Los Angeles"?

One of my objectives once the scanner is programmed to be able to isolate frequencies within each department to hear. For example, if BHPD requires mutual aid from LAPD, I'd be able to monitor only the three or four channels to be used at that given time. Not sure whether that can be done as 'systems' or 'groups' within an system.

Thanks for your help.
 

captclint

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Mountaintop, PA
Organization of frequencies to serve your particular needs is possible, but will take some thought. An important thing to consider is that systems can be turned on/off with quick keys quickly and easily. Groups can also be turned on/off with quick keys, but requires a few extra steps..;. not hard, but maybe require that you have a written table of them so you remember what they are. So I would make anything that you want to turn off/on quickly into systems. These systems can actually contain duplicates of what is in other systems, but each one contains the set you want to isolate. The scanner does not care whether you make many systems with a few things in 1 group, or a few systems with many groups.

My advice is to download everything you want into Freescan from RR. This will create many systems, with some groups, but not likely to be the way you want. However, moving them around into new systems becomes a cut and paste or system copies.

I'd leave the organization that Freescan downloads alone until you have spent some time listening and "plotting" your ideal set up. It will not make any quick keys, so you need to assign each systems to a quick key. Then you can start moving, copying, deleting, etc. You will find your 1st pass will need to be changed over and over again until you get it the best way for your purposes. Each time you edit/create a new group, be sure to sort the frequencies in ascending order, as this make the scanner more efficient.
 
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Bushwack

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Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Messages
12
Location
Los Angeles
Organization of frequencies to serve your particular needs is possible, but will take some thought. An important thing to consider is that systems can be turned on/off with quick keys quickly and easily. Groups can also be turned on/off with quick keys, but requires a few extra steps..;. not hard, but maybe require that you have a written table of them so you remember what they are. So I would make anything that you want to turn off/on quickly into systems. These systems can actually contain duplicates of what is in other systems, but each one contains the set you want to isolate. The scanner does not care whether you make many systems with a few things, or a few systems with many groups.

My advice is to download everything you want into Freescan from RR. This will create many systems, with some groups, but not likely to be the way you want. However, moving them around into new systems becomes a cut and paste or system copies.

I'd leave the organization that Freescan downloads alone until you have spent some time listening and "plotting" your ideal set up. Then you can start moving, copying, deleting, etc. It will not make any quick keys, so you need to assign each systems to a quick key. You will find your 1st pass will need to be changed over and over again until you get it the best way for your purposes. Each time you edit/create a new group, be sure to sort the frequencies in ascending order, as this make the scanner more efficient.

Many thanks for the advice. I think what you're saying is either set-up will work. Just depends on how simple or complicated I make it.

Which brings on another question: Using FreeScan, how do I go about creating a customized system (or group) of frequencies from different jurisdictions/municipalities? (i.e. 3 of the 20 available frequencies from City Police Dept A, 4 of the 15 frequencies available from County Fire Dept B, 2 of 9 available frequencies available from city utility dept.,...and so on).

I though I would be able to pick and choose (using FreeScan) which frequencies I wanted to download/. For now, I'm downloading all the frequencies within a given (police, fire or whatever) department and then locking the frequencies I have no interest in monitoring (very tedious work).
.
 

scanningisfun

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Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
679
Newbie-ish here - Items in play are the 396XT & FreeScan using a USB cable.

Having read various information on RR, Wikis and the "easier to read manual for the 396XT", I'm more informed then I was of days gone by but also just more confused. :)

I don't completely understand the differences between 'systems' and 'groups. I would like to d/l via FreeScan frequencies for Beverly Hills Police & Fire, LAPD (dispatch, tactical, Aero & detectives) and LAFD (Dispatch, tactical frequencies, mutual aid & air operations).

Can I program each set of frequencies within the LAPD or LAFD as a 'system" or is it best to program LAPD and LAFD as groups within a system called "Los Angeles"?

One of my objectives once the scanner is programmed to be able to isolate frequencies within each department to hear. For example, if BHPD requires mutual aid from LAPD, I'd be able to monitor only the three or four channels to be used at that given time. Not sure whether that can be done as 'systems' or 'groups' within an system.

Thanks for your help.
It depends on how many channels are in each individual department. For example, if a fire department had 10 channels, you could put that in a system with each department as a group. If that same fire department had 75 channels, you would probably want to give it its own system and split the frequencies into groups like dispatch channels, tactical/fireground channels, car2car channels, etc... For LAFD and LAPD, I would either put them in a system with certain channels with priority or put each department in its own system. I would chose option two as it would be more organized.
 

torontokris

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Feb 22, 2008
Messages
1,625
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Toronto Canada
System is like the main folder... groups are like the folders inside that parent folder.

I would put them separate then that way you can turn on or off police or fire depends on what you want to listen to that day

But if you want to get more advanced you can put BOTH police and fire together in one SYSTEM then just turn on and off the GROUPS... so say groups 1to5 is police, then 6-9 is fire etc
 

bchris

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May 12, 2008
Messages
217
Location
Salem, Utah
Just a reminder for what I struggle with-

Every site (Tx Tower) within each system requires at least 1 second each 'scan loop'. One single site can certainly be entered multiple times - whether inside the same system or not - but every time it is entered it uses 1 precious second per loop, no matter how many groups are in that system. If LAPD and LAFD are in separate systems, you will scan 1 for a second, then the other for a second, missing calls on 1 while scanning the other.

The only solution I know of is to put them into separate groups in a single system. (This is assuming that you are Rx'ing both agencies from the same site.) If they come from separate sites, or if you have multiple active sites per system, just remember the scanner sits on each site for at least 1 second.

I personally add the system and site ID to the front of the site's name and use the site ID as the quick-key. Then I add the group's quick-key # to the front of the group name.


Example for Salt Lake System, which includes sites and groups:
(Parleys Canyon sits between the Salt Lake Valley and Park City, and it's site ID# is 12. Both areas could be heard on this one site.)

Site name: SL12 Parleys Canyon == This is site #12 inside my Salt Lake system, and I can enable or disable this site anytime by pressing 'dot-one-two'.

Group name: g1 SL Police Dept == This is one of the groups inside my Salt Lake System. I have assigned it group quick-key #1. I can enable or disable the group easily by pressing 'func-1', but it must be while scanning the Salt Lake System.

Group name: g2 SL Fire Dept == This is one of the groups inside my Salt Lake System. I have assigned it group quick-key #2. I can enable or disable the group by pressing 'func-2', but it must be while scanning the Salt Lake System.


Example for Park City System, which also includes sites and groups:

Site name: PK12 Parleys Canyon == This is still site #12, actually the same physical site as before, but inside my Park City system, and I can enable or disable this site anytime by pressing 'dot-one-two'. In fact, if I press 'dot-one-two' , this site will be affected in both systems, because they are assigned the same quick-key.

Group name: g1 Park City PD == This is one of the groups inside my Park City System. I have assigned it group quick-key #1. I can enable or disable the group by pressing 'func-1', but it must be while scanning the Park City System.

Group name: g2 Park City FD == This is one of the groups inside my Park City System. I have assigned it group quick-key #2. I can enable or disable the group by pressing 'func-2', but it must be while scanning the Park City System.

In these examples, I use 1 second monitoring site #12 watching for the SL groups, then I use another second monitoring the same site, but now only watching for the Park City groups. I could have put all 4 groups in the same system and used only 1 second total by watching for all groups at the same time, or I could have entered 4 systems, with site #12 duplicated in each system, and used 4 seconds total, using 1 second devoted to only one group at a time.

It is indeed easier to press '.12' or '.13' etc anytime, but those precious seconds really start adding up. I struggle constantly on where to make this compromise.

--B.Christensen
.
 
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