BCD436HP: Postal Codes and Range

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Heidi750

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I have been on the road a lot lately and thought I would toss out this Sentinel software question:

Since I don't have the Uniden GPS hockey puck for the 436 HP (I have the one for the 996XT with a 9 pin end not USB) ... Is there a GPS adaptor?
I'm not using the GPS function and have to do all my changes manually on the fly.

When I go to "Set Your Location" ... I select "Enter Zip Code", Canada ... and it comes up BLANK.
I can turn the knob (and wear it out) ... So I am wondering if when I get to this step, can the software NOT display the previous Postal Code. After all I might be in the same Postal Code area but just wanted to check that without having to enter everything again. [In Canada all Postal Codes for the Province I'm in all start with the same Letter] ex. T2X 1G6 T=Alberta (Can I not use the keypad for data entry???)

Possible Suggestion: Func + 8 for "T" ... 2 ... Func 9, Func 9 for "X" like on a phone touch pad
We only need to enter the first 3 characters ... I would prefer to have to enter only 2 characters, instead of turning the knob so many more times. It's just a matter of time before I will have to send it in for repairs.

My 2nd part to this question is Range.
Why is it that in the Sentinel Software I can enter the range as 400 Miles ...
However when I use the manual method it tells me it's "Out of Range Set Max? (Y/N)" with a maximum range of 50 Miles?
(When I'm dealing with a Provincial Agency it would be nice to enter a range number only once to cover a larger area.)
 

marksmith

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All good comments about simplifying use of the 436 when modifying location manually.

I guess they do a good job of making the USB GPS puck more valuable.

Other than going the route of one of these warranty voiding onboard GPS modifications, the obvious solution is to get a puck.
The GPS works very well with the HP and x36 radios because of the database. Makes GPS cost worthwhile when traveling.

536/436/ws1095/996p2/996xt/325p2/396xt/psr800/396t/HP-1/HP-2 & others
 

ofd8001

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On your Ranges question, it is kind of an "Apples and Pears" situation. Similar concepts but distinctly different.

In Sentinel, a Site's range is the estimated distance that one can receive the transmitted signal under typical conditions. A Department's range is associated with the jurisdiction's area. By that I mean a city that is 1 mile tall and 1 mile wide would have a Range of .5 miles from the center of the city.

With some statewide systems having channels covering an entire state, it is quite common to see the Range of these several hundred miles.

The Scanner's Range is different. It determines how far away the scanner will read out and begin to receive something. Back to that city with the .5 mile Range: When your scanner has its Range set to 0, that means you have to be .5 miles from the center of the city before the scanner will attempt to receive the city. However if you set your Scanner Range to 10.0 miles, when you are 10.5 miles away from the center of the city, your scanner will attempt reception.

While not exactly precise, think of the Scanner Range value as an "extender" to compliment a Site/Department Range.
 

UPMan

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Jay911

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Range of a system vs range you set in the scanner are two different things.

Range of a system is where it covers and can be much larger than 400 miles. I have a whole bunch in my favorites lists which are 440 miles (centered on Alberta, they cover the entire province) and a couple which are 1000 miles (intending to be used countrywide).

Range as set in the scanner (in the "your location" part) is how far around "your location" you want to be able to hear. This one is a little more complicated. There's a great document by Uniden that I'm sure someone will link to, or you can find in many threads, called "Location, Location, Location" which helps explain it. I'll give my best attempt at it here:

1. When you set the location of your radio using GPS, or entering a lat/long manually, you are usually specifying the exact location of your radio.
2. When you set the location of your radio using a zip/postal code, city name, or using the "auto locate" feature, your radio will be given an approximate location which is not necessarily where you are. For example if you say you are in "Calgary", it will use a specific lat/long which is probably the center of the city, but you might be in the far south end, many miles away. The same goes for zip/postal codes, because even in a city, those codes cover several blocks or several square miles/kilometers of area, and the odds of you being in the exact center of where that location equates to is slim.
3. (For what it's worth, the "auto locate" tunes to signals your radio can pick up, and if they can be linked to something in the database (I think it only looks at trunked systems), it will guess what city you're in. So if system 1A23 is audible on your scanner and the full database says that 1A23 is in Edmonton, it'll suggest that you are in Edmonton.)

Normally, if you know exactly where your scanner is, as you would with point #1 above, you would want your own "range" set to zero, so that you were only picking up things that the database said were receivable at your location. You wouldn't want to make your own "range" bigger, because you would just be scanning things that you probably couldn't pick up, which slows down your scanning (because the scanner is tied up trying to tune to channels you can't pick up).

However, if you are in situation #2 or #3, where your location is not precise, you may want to set your "range" to be some distance equal to the amount your location might be off by. So let's use Calgary as an example again. If you're on the south edge of Calgary and you have used the city of Calgary to set your location as, you could be as far as 13 miles away from where your scanner "thinks" it is (Calgary is about 26 miles across). So you would set your range to 13 or 15 miles or so, to pick up signals that are closer to you than the center of Calgary. For example, if a system in the database is configured to cover only Okotoks and a bit north, but you're on the south edge of Calgary, if you have set your scanner to be in the center of Calgary, it won't pick that system up. But if you expand your range to about 15 miles, you likely will, because then your scanner's "range" will include that system's footprint inside it.

Like I said, that Uniden article probably explains it a lot better.

As for the postal codes, the fact that they use only the first three of the PC means there is still a large area for the scanner/database to use as a center point. Using your example, look at where T2X is on this map below. If they allowed you to use only T2, look at how much larger of an area would be involved, and think of where your scanner would be "placed" (in the center of all the T2 prefixes).



Even worse is those of us in rural locations. My postal code starts with T0L. That area is from Saskatchewan River Crossing to Lethbridge. That's an area about 250 miles across by 75 miles wide.

Even when I'm not using a GPS with my scanner, I try to get a precise lat/long and enter it into the scanner, so its actual exact location is set up. Then I can set my own range to zero and receive only what is reachable at my location.
 

Heidi750

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1: The cable to adapt from 9-pin to the BCD496HP GPS port is http://www.uniden.com/accessories/id-BWZG1844001/bwzg1844001-gps-cable-for-homepatrol-1-and-uniden-dma-scanners.

I can't tell from your photo as to what end is on that cable??? USB ??

My GPS hockey puck for the 996XT has the 3 ends ...
The hockey puck
The Power Adaptor
The 9 Pin for the rear of the 996XT

So does the one in your photo connect 9 pin to 9 pin with the other end going into the DCD496HP?
(Right Side - Top Port)
 

jonwienke

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The current version of the Uniden GPS kit has an adapter cable that has a male DB-9 serial connector on one end, and the plug to fit the 436 on the other. The link Upman provided is for that cable by itself.
 
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