New to Digital Scanners - FreeScan Help

KC_zero_DSU

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Aug 2, 2012
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23
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Kansas
I'm not new to scanners by any means and have owned quite a few in my lifetime. But they have all been analog. I was fine with that in this small town as everything has been analog until recently but now my old scanner is getting quieter and quieter as things are going digital. So I recently bought a used BCD996P2 for $250 (was that a good price for a used one or did I get ripped?) Anyways I am somewhat familiar with P25 and digital stuff but still feel light years behind. I consider my self to be pretty tech savvy and capable so when faced with the prospect of having to program my new scanner manually without location auto programming or sending it off to have it programmed for me I felt confident in my ability to do so. But after doing a lot of reading and research I'm starting to feel a bit overwhelmed. It all seems like programming it properly is going to be an extraordinarily complex task. Anyways I have not received the scanner yet but have downloaded FreeScan and have been looking thru the various settings and options, the programming and control stuff. Hoping by the time the radio get's here I'd know enough to get it programmed. Now I'm not so sure. It shouldn't be to difficult though because I live in a small town and in a small sparsely populated county. There are still quite a few agencies still on analog but most are mixed with digital now too. The Highway Patrol and EMS here in Kansas where I am at are all digital now from what I can tell. Here they have the Kansas Statewide Interoperable Communications System KSICS which is a Phase 1 system, In RadioReference database it says it's a Common Air Interface Exclusive but I see no mention of trunking/non-trunking, Motorola or something else, I don't know what to select in FreeScan. I don't know I feel old and stupid. I just want to program systems for my county an adjacent county, Highway Patrol, Police, Sheriff, EMS, Fire, Fire tone out if any and a few other talk groups. Is there a good tutorial on programming this scanner with FreeScan? Any advice? Any scanner specific stuff I should know? FreeScan specific stuff I should know? Specifically help/advice programming a P25 phase 1 system like the one here in Kansas. Any help at all would be much appreciated.
 

buddrousa

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You can learn how TRUNKING SYSTEMS work and learn to program it by hand or you can pay the PREMIUM SUBSCRIBER fee and download the stuff you want which makes it easy and supports this site.
 

ka3jjz

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While that's a good place to start, we have a wiki article that will guide you step by step in teaching you what you need to know. In particular, we have 2 articles on trunking that you should read as KSICS is a huge trunked system. In addition the FreeScan user guide is linked here....(links are always in blue, both here and in the wiki)


Take your time - DMA programming can be a bit challenging at first but once you think about it, you'll get it....Mike
 

KC_zero_DSU

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Aug 2, 2012
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Kansas
So besides Freescan are there better options that are free and if not free then reasonably priced programming software? How much better is ProScan? What options are available for the BCD996P2? I had read somewhere that FreeScan is virtually dead as far as development, is this true? I download version 2.18 but also downloaded v 2.19 which is apparently a fork not by the original author. Should I stick with FreeScan or go for something different? And could someone take a look at this system Kansas KSICS
and tell me what I should select in FreeScan under 'Select System Type. I think it is either Mot 800mhz Type 1' or possibly Conventional if I want to mix the digital system from the link above with the analog Freqs. from here Linn County, Kansas (KS) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference. But I believe I had read that you can't mix digital with analog in a scanner bank. I also think I seen mention of MotoTRBO in that first link. So not sure what to choose.
 

tvengr

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In FreeSCAN, KSICS system type is P25 Standard (Digital XT). You can set that up on system quick key 1 and the conventional frequencies on system quick key 2. The only thing I see for Linn Co on the KSICS system is EMS dispatch. Highway patrol is also on that system. Use the Linn Co site. Looks like everything else is on conventional frequencies. I believe that FreeSCAN does have people working on expanding its capabilities. That will work fine for you for P25 systems and conventional frequencies. If you change software at a later time, you can always download the scanner into the new software and save it. You don't to need to worry about having to do your programming again.
 
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KC_zero_DSU

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Aug 2, 2012
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Location
Kansas
In FreeSCAN, KSICS system type is P25 Standard (Digital XT). You can set that up on system quick key 1 and the conventional frequencies on system quick key 2. The only thing I see for Linn Co on the KSICS system is EMS dispatch. Highway patrol is also on that system. Use the Linn Co site. Looks like everything else is on conventional frequencies. I believe that FreeSCAN does have people working on expanding its capabilities. That will work fine for you for P25 systems and conventional frequencies. If you change software at a later time, you can always download the scanner into the new software and save it. You don't to need to worry about having to do your programming again.
I thought Digital XT was for XT model scanners only. As I look around FreeScan I frequently see in parenthesis XT Scanner Only. How did you determine it to be a P25 Standard Digital XT system from looking at that link?
 

KC_zero_DSU

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Aug 2, 2012
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Location
Kansas
If this helps here is the stuff I would like to add from the KSICS link, let me know if this would work or if it's too much. I'm not sure about how the talkgroups work as there is no frequencies listed for talkgroups. Even though I just want to enter the frequencies for Linn and Miami county if I enter in these Talkgoups am I going to be able to hear them since their on the "System ID 1b2 WACN BEE00" system?
I'm feeling kinda lost here.


RFSS Site Name County Freqs
1 (1) 007 (7) Parker Linn 851.7125c 852.150 852.4875a 852.775 853.425 853.575 853.725
1 (1) 006 (6) Paola Miami 851.300 851.575c 851.9375a 852.2875 853.175 853.6125

Linn County Talkgroups

DEC HEX Mode Alpha Tag Description Tag
688 2b0 D Linn Co EMS EMS Dispatch EMS Dispatch

Miami County Talkgroups
Miami County EMS is dispatched by Johnson County ECC Dispatch

DEC HEX Mode Alpha Tag Description Tag

679 2a7 D MiamiCo Hospital Hospital ER --Patient Reports Hospital


DEC HEX Mode Alpha Tag Description Tag
2000 7d0 D SE1-PSAP Southeast 1 - Public Safety Answering Point Interop
2001 7d1 D SE1-MED Southeast 1 - Medical Interop
2002 7d2 D SE1-EOC Southeast 1 - Emergency Operations Center Interop
2031 7ef D SE1-LE Southeast 1 - Law Enforcement Interop
2032 7f0 D SE1-EMGT Southeast 1 - Emergency Management Interop
2033 7f1 D SE1-FIRE Southeast 1 - Fire Interop
2034 7f2 D SE1-EMS Southeast 1 - EMS Interop
2035 7f3 D SE1-PWKS Southeast 1 - Public Works Interop
2003 7d3 D SE2-PSAP Southeast 2 - Public Safety Answering Point Interop
2004 7d4 D SE2-MED Southeast 2 - Medical Interop
2005 7d5 D SE2-EOC Southeast 2 - Emergency Operations Center Interop
2036 7f4 D SE2-LE Southeast 2 - Law Enforcement Interop
2037 7f5 D SE2-EMGT Southeast 2 - Emergency Management Interop
2038 7f6 D SE2-FIRE Southeast 2 - Fire Interop
2039 7f7 D SE2-EMS Southeast 2 - EMS Interop
2040 7f8 D SE2-PWKS Southeast 2 - Public Works Interop

Joint Terrorism Task Force Talkgroups

DEC HEX Mode Alpha Tag Description Tag
499 1f3 D JTTF-1 JTTF 1 Law Dispatch
500 1f4 D JTTF-2 JTTF 2 Law Dispatch

Division of Emergency Management Talkgroups
The Kansas Division of Emergency Management is operated under the Adjutant General's Department

DEC HEX Mode Alpha Tag Description Tag
2018 7e2 D Kansas EM Call Emergency Management Call Emergency Ops
1542 606 D Kansas EM 1 Emergency Management 1 Emergency Ops
1543 607 D Kansas EM 2 Emergency Management 2 Emergency Ops


Kansas Bureau of Investigation Talkgroups

DEC HEX Mode Alpha Tag Description Tag
384 180 D KBI Emergency Emergency Law Dispatch
1270 4f6 DE KBI Tactical Tactical Law Tac
385 181 D KBI Southeast 1 Southeast 1 Law Dispatch
386 182 D KBI Southeast 2 Southeast 2 Law Tac


And a few from this group here as soon as I find out which choppers are used in this region...

Medical Helicopters Talkgroups

DEC HEX Mode Alpha Tag Description Tag
670 29e D MidwestAeroCare Midwest AeroCare Dispatch EMS Dispatch
674 2a2 D MidwestAeroCare2 Midwest AeroCare Dispatch 2 EMS Dispatch
671 29f D MW AeroCare Ops1 Midwest AeroCare Operations 1 EMS-Tac
672 2a0 D MW AeroCare Ops2 Midwest AeroCare Operations 2 EMS-Tac
1662 67e D Lifeflight Eagle LifeFlight Eagle Dispatch EMS Dispatch
1661 67d D Life Star Dispch Life Star Dispatch EMS Dispatch
1664 680 D Life Star 2 Life Star 2 EMS-Tac
1665 681 D LifeStar EastOps Life Star East Ops EMS-Tac
1666 682 D LifeStar WestOps Life Star West Ops EMS-Tac
655 28f D MW LifeTeam Mid West LifeTeam Dispatch EMS Dispatch
656 290 D MW LifeTeam Med Mid West LifeTeam Medical EMS-Tac
657 291 D MW LifeTeam Fixd Mid West LifeTeam Fixed Wing Aircraft EMS-Tac
658 292 D MW LifeTeam Grnd Mid West LifeTeam Ground Operations EMS-Tac
692 2b4 D Midwest Med Air Midwest MedAir Medical Transport EMS Dispatch


And Some from this group as soon as I find out what the zones are...

Highway Patrol - Troop A Olathe Talkgroups
KHP Troop A, located in Olathe, covers the greater Kansas City, KS metropolitan area: Leavenworth, Wyandotte, Miami and Johnson Counties.

DEC HEX Mode Alpha Tag Description Tag
1198 4ae D KHP Troop A All All Call Law Dispatch
1199 4af D KHP Troop A-1 Dispatch Law Dispatch
1200 4b0 D KHP Troop A-2 Dispatch 2 Law Dispatch
1210 4ba D KHP Troop A Ops Operations Law Tac
1201 4b1 D KHP Troop A Admn Administration Law Talk
1214 4be D KHP TroopA Emerg Emergency Law Tac
1202 4b2 D KHP-A Zone B Ops Zone B Operations Law Tac
1203 4b3 D KHP-A Zone B Car Zone B Car to Car Law Talk
1204 4b4 D KHP-A Zone C Ops Zone C Operations Law Tac
1205 4b5 D KHP-A Zone C Car Zone C Car to Car Law Talk
1206 4b6 D KHP-A Zone D Ops Zone D Operations Law Tac
1207 4b7 D KHP-A Zone D Car Zone D Car to Car Law Talk
1208 4b8 D KHP-A Zone E Ops Zone E Operations Law Tac
1209 4b9 D KHP-A Zone E Car Zone E Car to Car Law Talk
1211 4bb D KHP-A Events 1 Special Events 1 Law Tac
1212 4bc D KHP-A Events 2 Special Events 2 Law Tac
1213 4bd D KHP-A Events 3 Special Events 3 Law Tac
379 17b D KHP - Johnson Co KHP Patch to Johnson County TRS Law Tac
 

tvengr

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The BCD996P2 is the successor to the BCD996XT. It uses the P25 Standard (Digital XT) system type, the same one as the XT scanners for P25 systems. Linn county is covered by Highway Patrol troop H Chanute.
 

ka3jjz

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If this helps here is the stuff I would like to add from the KSICS link, let me know if this would work or if it's too much. I'm not sure about how the talkgroups work as there is no frequencies listed for talkgroups <snip>.
While you can have a talkgroup that is tied to a particular frequency (for fire dispatches, for example), 1 talkgroup won't sit on one frequency for very long during the course of the conversation.

Did you read the 2 links I pointed to in the article link I gave in message 4? Those articles should give you a basic understanding of how trunking works. Remember that both here and the wiki, links are always blue. You can find those links in the third bullet of the 'Nuts and Bolts' section

Mike
 

KC_zero_DSU

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Kansas
So in FreeScan are all of the options that are marked XT only or Digital XT only or XT scanners only applicable to the BCD996P2? I'm starting to get this figured out, Thanks for the links and all the help everybody. For the KSICS system the System ID is 1B2 and the WACN is BEE00, is there supposed to be a place in Freescan to put that in? I don't think so because I don't see one. What about entering a NAC? I think I can just search for that somehow if I don't know it right? Just not sure quite how yet. Might be easier if I had the scanner already. I'm trying to get stuff figured out before it gets here. Boy aren't newbies fun to deal with :p If I were completely wet behind the ears I'd be a real pain in the buttocks.
 

hiegtx

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So in FreeScan are all of the options that are marked XT only or Digital XT only or XT scanners only applicable to the BCD996P2? I'm starting to get this figured out, Thanks for the links and all the help everybody. For the KSICS system the System ID is 1B2 and the WACN is BEE00, is there supposed to be a place in Freescan to put that in? I don't think so because I don't see one. What about entering a NAC? I think I can just search for that somehow if I don't know it right? Just not sure quite how yet. Might be easier if I had the scanner already. I'm trying to get stuff figured out before it gets here. Boy aren't newbies fun to deal with :p If I were completely wet behind the ears I'd be a real pain in the buttocks.
Think of the "Digital XT' tag in FreeSCAN as meaning for Uniden's XT scanners as well as later models. The 996P2 and 325P2 are the successor models to the 996XT & 396XT respectively. For the original 396T, your system choices for a P25 system were to select "Mot Typ II/P25". If you tried to use the Digital XT type on the 396T or 996T, that was not a valid type. The Digital XT tag is appropriate & works on both the XT series scanners as well as the newer scanners that add Phase II capability.
 

KC_zero_DSU

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Kansas
I uploaded some screenshots of what I have set up in FreeScan. I left a lot of stuff default, some of it I wasn't sure on. Like I wasn't sure if I should I assign a quick key for each talkgroup or if since the quick key option in the first pic was set to by site and all the boxes were checked does that mean a quick key is automatically assigned to them? And wasn't sure if I should change the threshold, hold time, or p25 wait time or leave them default. Also not sure yet about changing anything in Setup Scanner Options. Let me know what you think of what I got here. Thanks
 

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tvengr

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On the Trunked System Setup screen, change from ID Search to ID Scan. If in ID Search, the scanner will receive every talkgroup in the system instead of only the talkgroup ID's you entered in the groups.
 

KC_zero_DSU

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Kansas
Well I got the scanner in the mail about 20 minutes ago and got it hooked up, USBSER driver installed, double checked things the best I could from what I know so far, then I uploaded the system I created. I am hearing stuff for sure but on the screen while scanning I have 5 lines, the first shows the county name I programmed, the second scrolls 'ID Scan', but the third, fourth and fifth lines never show anything when somebody starts talking. The second line changes to show Highway Ptrl, Law Enfrc, etc... but the lines tagged as S01 and GRP never show anything. Trying to figure that one out.
 

KC_zero_DSU

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Kansas
Thought I'd be hearing a lot more than what I am, I have heard a lot but 99% of it is Highway Patrol. I've heard a few from Miami County Hospital patient reports but nothing else. How do I set it to do a NAC search or receive all, I read thru the manual but can't seem to find the 'Set P25 Nac' option that is mentioned in the manual.

On the Trunked System Setup screen, change from ID Search to ID Scan. If in ID Search, the scanner will receive every talkgroup in the system instead of only the talkgroup ID's you entered in the groups.
 

KC_zero_DSU

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Kansas
You will hear more with NO NAC set.

View attachment 80374
Is that just for conventional systems as shown in the screenshot. I don't have a NAC or Tone column in my Groups view. I thought I read somewhere that for Motorola systems it was F7E for receive all. Also wondering if something got screwed up with the band plan for my system I'm scanning. I didn't create one in FreeScan and left that all default. But now I notice when I go to menu by hand under Program System > My system > Edit Site > My Site > Edit Band Plan I have 4 frequencies listed with non-standard NFM step for that band and are not the control channel nor frequencies listed for my county. 851.00625/6.25 , 762.00625/6.25 , 851.00625/6.25 , 762.00625/6.25 is what's listed under Edit Band Plan > Select Plan.
 
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