BCD325P2: Optimal Programming for 325P2?

Enjoi19

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Hi everyone, new Uniden owner here. I had a TRX-1 but found it wasn’t fully to my liking and sold it in favour of a 325P2.

I purchased a 325P2 a few weeks ago and have been through a few configurations so far. Trying to figure out what the common practice is for programming. I am using Freescan. I’ve been slowly figuring out how I want my quick keys laid out, but I’m curious about best practices...

I commonly listen to 2 multi-site systems. One is a fairly large Motorola system (mixed analog and digital) and most of the others are P25 phase 2.

- Should I be creating a new system for different sites or will it function well leaving multiple sites in one system? I disable ones using quick keys when I know I’m nowhere near them.

- I assume this is preference for most, but what do people find optimal for sorting their quick keys to make it easy to remember?

- I have noticed that the scanner will sit on the control channel when searching sites but never seems to checks the alternative control channels, which are programmed in. Is this standard?

I appreciate all the help navigating the new world of scanning.
 

PriorMike

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I have a 325P2 and quite like it. With regards to programming, I'll have the sites within a system have their own quick key then have talkgroups broken down into various group quick keys under that system.

For example; for a large EMS system I have quick keys 12 to 18 as the sites I travel between, and then group quick keys 1 to 3 for the different departments.
 

cfsimmont

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I have used the 325 also and have found that with systems with multiple sites that setting up each site as a independent system works better for me that having all the the sites in one system. I assign talk groups that are most likely to affiliate with each site, some will affiliate with more than one site so you can duplicate if needed. Then assigned a quick key for each newly created system This way you can only utilize the sites that are in close proximity to your current location and aren't wasting any time scanning sites that you can't hear. I also found that with simulcast systems the Comet CH32 (miracle baby antenna) worked even better than the Remtronix.
 

Enjoi19

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Particularly with Toronto, I could easily sort these into different systems as some groups are area specific.
That's a perfect application for "Group Quick Keys"

The more Systems you are trying to scan, the longer it will take, especially if you are scanning the same system more than once.

I'd set up ONE system, then use group quick keys for various groups within the system, either by use or by geography.

Great scanner!
 

freqseeker

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I have noticed that the scanner will sit on the control channel when searching sites but never seems to checks the alternative control channels, which are programmed in. Is this standard?
That is normal. Some systems change control channels frequently while others rarely do. There is no need to check the alternate unless the primary goes away. This is assuming you are scanning one site.
 

PriorMike

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I should have linked these before - mostly monitor these systems:


Particularly with Toronto, I could easily sort these into different systems as some groups are area specific.

So, the example I gave was for Fleetnet. I have EMS set up as a system and have the sites on quick keys 12 to 18, then the 3 CACC's as the group quick keys 1 to 3. OPP I have as a separate system, quick keys 22 to 28 for the sites and the different countys under group quick keys 1 to 4 for that system.

My 396T, each site is its own system. You could program the 325P2 the same way if wanted too.
 

wscranston

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Since quick keys are assigned to sites within trunked systems, not the systems themselves, I don't understand the point of having each site in its own system. The latter would also require you to duplicate all the talkgroup info.
 

Enjoi19

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Thanks everyone for all the input. Sounds like I'm relatively on the right track, I'll do some more playing and testing.
 

cfsimmont

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Since quick keys are assigned to sites within trunked systems, not the systems themselves, I don't understand the point of having each site in its own system. The latter would also require you to duplicate all the talkgroup info.

Setting up each site as its own system allows the user to select the site that is most relevant to what they are trying to monitor. If assigning all sites to the same system the scanner has the ability to lock on to one site even while other sites may be active. Its really more about being able to control what the scanner is receiving at any given time. As for duplicating all of the talk groups that isn't always the case. Many talk groups will only be heard on the site that is closest to where the radio user is located. For example a deputy in the western part of the county will likely have their radio affiliate with a nearby site in the west county, where as sites in the northern or southern or other parts of the county may not even carry that talk group being as it isn't relevant to the area. Some talk groups will affiliate across multiple sites depending on the needs of the users on the system and then yes you would want to duplicate the talk groups for each site. My personal experience having all the sites programmed into one system and even having each site assigned to quick key doesn't net the same results as having each site setup as a system.
 

ofd8001

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Setting up each site as its own system allows the user to select the site that is most relevant to what they are trying to monitor. If assigning all sites to the same system the scanner has the ability to lock on to one site even while other sites may be active. Its really more about being able to control what the scanner is receiving at any given time. As for duplicating all of the talk groups that isn't always the case. Many talk groups will only be heard on the site that is closest to where the radio user is located. For example a deputy in the western part of the county will likely have their radio affiliate with a nearby site in the west county, where as sites in the northern or southern or other parts of the county may not even carry that talk group being as it isn't relevant to the area. Some talk groups will affiliate across multiple sites depending on the needs of the users on the system and then yes you would want to duplicate the talk groups for each site. My personal experience having all the sites programmed into one system and even having each site assigned to quick key doesn't net the same results as having each site setup as a system.
Well, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree. The 325P2 was designed to allow multiple sites on a given system. It can be programmed such that each site could have its own Quick Key so that sites can be picked/chosen as desired.

Setting up Site A as System 1 and then Site B as System 2 is very inefficient as noted above. My experience is just the opposite with transmissions being missed. Also maintaining the programming is difficult being sure all systems are updated when needed. The only justification would be for the new user getting accustomed to a scanner and not yet feeling comfortable with programming.

Also the example of the deputy in the western area affiliating with just the western tower site is a "depends" situation. If there are other deputies in the same talkgroup who might be in the northern site area as well as the eastern site area, then the sites might just link together so that the talkgroup is carried on all those sites. Yet another possibility is that certain talkgroups are what is called "forced" on all sites within a region. Again, it is all owing to how the system is set up.
 
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Setting up each site as its own system allows the user to select the site that is most relevant to what they are trying to monitor.
Doing this only adds to the amount of time it takes to scan all systems.

You're trying to "outsmart" what the scanner is designed to do.

"Optimal" programming entails scanning the most in the shortest amount of TIME.

Redundant programming takes more TIME.
 

cfsimmont

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Doing this only adds to the amount of time it takes to scan all systems.

You're trying to "outsmart" what the scanner is designed to do.

"Optimal" programming entails scanning the most in the shortest amount of TIME.

Redundant programming takes more TIME.
It would add the time to scan all systems if all of the sites were enabled, however scanning sites that are not within your reception area is a waste of time and will not be of any benefit. Being as the scanner is not "scanning" talk groups only scanning the control channels looking for talk group permissions, it doesn't matter if you have 1 talk group assigned to a site or 100. Granted the 325 was designed to handle digital trunked systems phase 1 & 2 and so on, it has issues when trying to scan multiple sites within a given system, by utilizing the one site per system setup you aren't trying to outsmart the scanner just help it overcome the problems that exist with a mutii site system. While this may seem like a rather crazy way to do it, I assure you I have tried both methods here in the Phoenix area and I found this just works better.
 

cfsimmont

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Well, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree. The 325P2 was designed to allow multiple sites on a given system. It can be programmed such that each site could have its own Quick Key so that sites can be picked/chosen as desired.

Setting up Site A as System 1 and then Site B as System 2 is very inefficient as noted above. My experience is just the opposite with transmissions being missed. Also maintaining the programming is difficult being sure all systems are updated when needed. The only justification would be for the new user getting accustomed to a scanner and not yet feeling comfortable with programming.

Also the example of the deputy in the western area affiliating with just the western tower site is a "depends" situation. If there are other deputies in the same talkgroup who might be in the northern site area as well as the eastern site area, then the sites might just link together so that the talkgroup is carried on all those sites. Yet another possibility is that certain talkgroups are what is called "forced" on all sites within a region. Again, it is all owing to how the system is set up.
I will fully admit each users experiences can be different, but from my personal experience the one site per system just works better. Yes the 325 was "designed" to allow multiple systems per site, but when it comes to a simulcast system it just doesn't play that well. I don't see how there would be missed transmissions if you are monitoring Dept A and Dept A only utilizes Site A, scanning Site B, Site C, etc will not increase the number of talk group hits. Some departments or systems will have talk groups that operate system wide, but most reduce the amount of load placed on the system by not carrying talk groups that are out of the particular sites area. I am not talking about theory, but actual experience. By having all sites loaded into one system I experienced much less activity and less control over what I was able to monitor.
 
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Whatever makes you "think" it's working better that way, go for it!

Based on how the scanner is designed to work, programming the same system twice will take longer.

The OP asked about "Best Practices".

Enjoy!
 

tvengr

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Let's say you set up Police on one system and Fire on another using the same site for both. While Police is scanning and something occurs on Fire, you will miss the beginning of the Fire transmission while waiting for the Police system to finish scanning. If set up as a single system, your scanner will immediately go to a Fire or Police transmission as soon as it occurs and you will not clip the beginning of it. You can set up the Fire and Police talkgroups in separate groups and be able to enable or disable either group by using group quick keys. If a system has multiple sites, you can easily enable or disable a site by having the sites controlled by system quick keys. There is also an advantage that when you enable or disable a group, it is across all sites in a system being scanned. If using multiple systems, you have to enable and disable groups for each system.
 

ofd8001

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I will fully admit each users experiences can be different, but from my personal experience the one site per system just works better. Yes the 325 was "designed" to allow multiple systems per site, but when it comes to a simulcast system it just doesn't play that well.
Okay, now I can take a pretty good guess why you are seeing something a little different:

If you are monitoring a simulcast system and are missing transmissions, my money is on simulcast distortion versus programming as the reason. The Uniden 325P2 (and other models but for the SDS models) are notorious for simulcast distortion which manifests itself either by garbled or missing transmissions. It is happenstance or coincidence that you seem to receive more by programming each site as a separate system.

Also most scanner users will not know which talkgroups are allowed to affiliate on different sites. Only the system administrators know how talkgroups/sites are configured (preferred, allowed, denied). These folks are generally pretty protective when it comes to revealing how their systems are programmed.
 

tvengr

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Yes the 325 was "designed" to allow multiple systems per site
That is not correct. The 325 was designed to allow multiple sites per system. The 396T was the last Uniden scanner to allow only a single site per system. The 996T and 396XT removed that limitation.
 
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