Perfect Scanner Setup?

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gadgetguy15

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I have seen several different posts on here and a couple other of the popular forums about how people have their scanners setup. Is there an ideal setup that would allow you to listen to everything possible while still having all the talkgroup ID alphatags stored so it's just not a bunch of ID numbers in open mode?

Long story short, I have a 396t and am having a hell of a time with it. I have all the new freqs programmed and feel I hear a good deal of chatter from my house (Burnsville/Eagan, Hwy 77/Hwy13) but still think I am missing a lot. The way I have it programmed I have it set to closed mode/scan vs search because I hate hearing stuff and just seeing an ID number and not an alphatag. The radio itself seems really confusing to even operate.

Also, right now for my banks I have several different tower freqs programmed in for the same bank (ie: my EMS bank has DakCo, HennCo, and MN Metro tower freqs). Is this a good idea in order to maximize the number of ID's I can have stored and cut down on the problem of just seeing the talkgroup ID and not being able to know the alphatag?

Does someone have a file or can tell me the "perfect" way to program the radio to take advantage of the ARMER system and listen to everything? It's also frustrating because I hear dispatchers say "units involved switch to ptac X" or whatever and I KNOW they are in my radio, but how the heck can I quickly flip to it and HOLD it there? Or quickly turn off all my other groups (Mpls, RamCo, ect) and just listen to Dakota County and its agencies when I hear something going on close by?

Thanks in advance for your help!!
 
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wogggieee

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well closing your banks will limit what you can hear, so that could be part of the problem if you think you're missing stuff. What i usually do is leave it open and when there is a new one that pops up i save it and periodically go in with the computer and program in the alpha tags for the new tg's and put them in the appropriate group that i want them in. This is where having the software to program is is really nice.
 

gadgetguy15

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*bump* Anyone else able to give input on how best to setup the banks? If anyone has an updated file they would be willing to send me, i'd appreciate it. Seems the one I have been working off of is out of date.
 

JASII

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Honestly, I don't think that there is such a thing as a perfect scanner setup. Anyway, it really is one of those things that varies depending on the person. Some people want to hear as many fire calls as they possibly can. But then, once they realize it is a trash can fire, they are on to searching for "the big one." Others focus on police, fire, EMS, etc in as wide of an area as possible to try to catch stuff, but then end us missing some things because while they were hearing the theft report in Blaine, they missed the armed robbery in Eagan. I know that this may be conisdered cost prohibitive, but you may want to consider two scanners eventually. The reason that I say that is you might consider a setup as follows:

-Scanner 1: The routine day to day talkgroups

-Scanner 2: The mutual aid talkgroups, so all of your L-TACs, P-TACs, S-TACs, A-TACs, etc.

That way you hear the crash on Burnsville, but when St. Paul has a pursuit, you probably will hear it in a mutual aid talkgroup.

One other variation is to have one of the scanners scanning the routine talk groups, but then a second scanner in the TRUNK SEARCH mode. That way as new stuff pops up you get it.

Also, if you have old conventional scanners, don't forget to keep check some of the non-trunked channels. You just never know who, what, or when something might pop up on MINSEF, Point to Point, etc.
 

Raven95150

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I have mine set up county by county for the most part, and each county divided into groups for Police Dispatch, Police Ops, (car to car, etc) Fire Dispatch, and Fire Ops. (truck to truck, etc) I also have EMS, Sate Patrol, and PTAC, LTAC, etc in all of my systems.

I also have a 2nd radio scanning just VHF stuff like Fire dispatch channels from around the Metro and MINSEF, Statewide Fire, Air Care, etc.
 

stmills

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I mostly scan Hennepin County so I have mine set up as follows:
Bank 1- EMS
Bank 2- Interop- P, L, F, E, S, A TACS, Metco, MRCC
Bank 3 - Hennepin Sheriffs radio- Dispatch, Tac Channels, Sheriffs Dept, East Cities, North Cities, South Cities, Fire Pools, H Pools
Bank 4- Hennepin Indpend PSAPS-
Bank 5- Minneapolis- MPD, MFD, UMN PD, MCTO PD
Bank 6 - State of MN - State patrol, MN DOT Mains, MN DOt Truck stations
Bank 7 Anoka County
Bank 8 Carver County
Bank 9 Dakota County
Bank 10 Ramsey County
Bank 11 Scott County
Bank 12 Hennepin County Properties- Jail, Work House, Courts, Govt Center
Bank 13 Eden Prairie City system
Bank 14 Unid Hennepin Co talkgroups
Bank 15 Metro Fire Dispatch
Bank 16- Investigations Talkgroups
Bank 17- Events- All Tac Channels, Pool Channels for Metro Area- this was my main group to monitor during RNC

My active banks are 2,3,4,14. I turn off the others as I feel like monitoring different things.
I support this with conventional uhf and vhf scanning and also have a scanner hooked up to a pc running unitrunker monitoring Hennepin East system to find new talkgroups.

Steve
 

KC0NYF

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I mostly scan Hennepin County so I have mine set up as follows:
Bank 1- EMS
Bank 2- Interop- P, L, F, E, S, A TACS, Metco, MRCC
Bank 3 - Hennepin Sheriffs radio- Dispatch, Tac Channels, Sheriffs Dept, East Cities, North Cities, South Cities, Fire Pools, H Pools
Bank 4- Hennepin Indpend PSAPS-
Bank 5- Minneapolis- MPD, MFD, UMN PD, MCTO PD
Bank 6 - State of MN - State patrol, MN DOT Mains, MN DOt Truck stations
Bank 7 Anoka County
Bank 8 Carver County
Bank 9 Dakota County
Bank 10 Ramsey County
Bank 11 Scott County
Bank 12 Hennepin County Properties- Jail, Work House, Courts, Govt Center
Bank 13 Eden Prairie City system
Bank 14 Unid Hennepin Co talkgroups
Bank 15 Metro Fire Dispatch
Bank 16- Investigations Talkgroups
Bank 17- Events- All Tac Channels, Pool Channels for Metro Area- this was my main group to monitor during RNC

My active banks are 2,3,4,14. I turn off the others as I feel like monitoring different things.
I support this with conventional uhf and vhf scanning and also have a scanner hooked up to a pc running unitrunker monitoring Hennepin East system to find new talkgroups.

Steve
THIS is what I would like to have my set up like..if i can ever figure it out..LOL
 

gadgetguy15

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Thanks for the replies. KC0NYF, how do you have the towers programed for your different banks? I think part of my issue is that I have multiple towers for the same bank, esp if its in areas where the coverage would overlap. My goal is to hear everything possible but on the same note to have everything alpha tagged so I know what i'm listening to. I wish with the 396 you could just have a talkgroup ID alphatag programmed in the scanner once and it would register on whatever bank the talkgroup ID comes up on. I scan in "scan" mode simply because I hate not knowing what i'm listening to, but on the same note I know i'm missing stuff that I wouldn't miss if it was in "search" mode.

I would be interested to hear how those of you with nice bank setups have your towers/sites programmed.

Thanks again!
 

wogggieee

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One tower per system(bank) for me. I leave it on search mode. If something unknown comes up i save in the radio and later look it up and give it an alpha tag.
 

baboehrs

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Dec 1, 2007
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Scanner setup from North Metro

I have a PSR500 and I pretty much have it set up by county. I keep Anoka county in scan list 1, Hennepin in scan list 2, Ramsey in 3, etc. I have most of city stuff in the non-Anoka lists locked out except the cities I drive through on my way to and from work in Bloomington. I have all mutual aid in 10, rail and air in 13, EMS in 15, MNDOT in 18, etc. I don't listen to anything else because it would get too overwhelming. I am not as familiar with the "lay of the land" in the other parts of the metro anyway, so hearing about a fire in Eagan or a robbery in Burnsville wouldn't help me. -Bruce KD0EQK
 

stmills

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I have mine set up with multiple sites in each system.
Interop, EMS, Hennepin . I used Freescan to program as follows- 201, 101, 201, 109, 201, 202, 201, 203, 201,102. This allows me to get on a stronger tower as I travel but keeps 201 as my primary.
Anoka 102,201,101,109
Dakota 103,201,101
Ramsey, 203,101,201,109
Minneapolis, 109,101,201

Steve
 
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