Priority Channel --536HP

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ofd8001

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Don't feel bad - Priority Scanning on 536's and similar models of scanners is not an easy thing to understand.

There are two settings that have to be made to do priority scanning for conventional systems in Sentinel. Step one is to edit the profile go to the Miscellaneous tab and select which Priority Scan Mode you desire. Also select how often you want to interrupt ongoing transmissions to check priority channels for activity. The next one is to determine the maximum number of priority channels you might have.

Step two is to edit your Favorites Lists and for every channel you want to be a priority channel, set P-Ch to On. You can select however many to be Priority as you wish, as long as it does not exceed the maximum number of priority channels set in step one.

Then write to your scanner.

There is a "hitch": Your scanner must be scanning at least one priority channel or you will see something like Priority Scan No Channel. Essentially you scanner is saying "Hey, you want me to do priority scanning, but I don't see any frequencies that are priority". You can still continue scanning by rotating the scroll knob. (Priority channels could be in a Department that is off due to Location Control, or a Quick Key turned off - several reasons for this to happen.)

Priority scanning in trunked systems is different, however I'm presuming you are looking for conventional.
 

hiegtx

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Sure
(ofd8001 gave you written details, below are a few screenshots)

Edit the Favorites list which has one or more of the systems where you want to add a Priority channel.

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The box that you need to change, to set a channel as Priority, is the last one on the row of details for each system:
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That's for priority on a conventional (not trunked) system.

If you wanted Priority to be turned on when the scanner boots up, you can make that setting in your Profile in Sentinel.
Start the Profile Editor in Sentinel, then look at the Miscellaneous tab.
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You can set Priority either as On, Off, or DND. If using the DND setting, the scanner will only check for activity on channels labeled as Priority when it is not receiving anything. In other words, it would not interrupt the conversation you are hearing to go check activity on Priority channels. You can also set a maximum number of channels to use Priority on, as well as how often the scanner will check for activity.

For a trunked system, you need to mark the talkgroup ID as priority, just like the conventional channels. But once you do that, you will also need to set the trunked system to enable Priority ID Scan. That's on the Options tab for the system when viewed in the Favorites list editor.

86920
 

twotoejoe

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Thanks for the info. Seems I may have the trunked system I want set up for priority scan, but for some reason I can't get any conventional systems set up. There is not an option under 'options' to turn it on and in the chart the priority scan box is grayed out. And I can find no box showing P-ch.
 

ofd8001

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Setting up Priority Scanning in trunked systems (called Priority ID scanning) is different from setting up priority scanning in conventional systems. You have to go to different places to tell the scanner you want to do priority scanner.

Sounds like you might be trying to use the "trunked" process to set up a conventional system, which is why you see things grayed out.
 

hiegtx

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Thanks for the info. Seems I may have the trunked system I want set up for priority scan, but for some reason I can't get any conventional systems set up. There is not an option under 'options' to turn it on and in the chart the priority scan box is grayed out. And I can find no box showing P-ch.
For conventional systems, you set Priority to "On" for the ones you want. As I noted above, that box to make that setting is the last one on the line of individual conventional frequencies. Depending on your monitor, and/or display settings, that might be out of view at first glance, unless you use the scroll bar at the bottom ot the screen to shift the frequency data far enough left to find the Priority field. That's why I used two scrren shots for conventional above. The top one shows what you see when you first open the Favorites list editor then select a system & department. The second shot shows what is on the far right of the line, if you use the scroll bar. There is nothing that needs to be set in the "Options" tab for a conventional system.

For trunked systems, you select whichever talkgroups you want to prioritize, then on theOptions tab for the trunked system itself, you enable Priority ID Scan.
 

twotoejoe

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I just finally found it for the conventional freq. I'm still not sure I've got the trunked system right. Is there anything on the display that will tell me it's working?
 

ofd8001

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In the upper right hand corner of the display you may see a PRI which tells you conventional priority is turned on. You can always verify that by editing one of the conventional frequencies you have designated as a priority frequency and changing the frequency to the active weather frequency for your area. Then hold on some other frequency. If you start hearing weather, it is working. After confirming it works, you can put the correct frequency back.

Trunked priority is a completely different creature. Unlike conventional, the scanner will not interrupt an on-going transmission to check for traffic on a priority tralkgroup. It waits until the scanner is receiving the control channel, then if there is traffic on a priority talkgroup, it will go to that talkgroup. A way you could confirm trunked priority ID scanning works is this. Designate one of the most active talkgroups to be a priority channel. Then do a channel hold on a non-priority talkgroup, preferably one with little traffic. If at some point you start hearing traffic on the priority talkgroup, you know the priority function works.

For better or worse, this is the way trunked priority works. Yes it leaves a lot to be desired because it doesn't even seem like a priority scanning thing. Uniden has never said why, but I suspect there are patent/copyright kind of things involved why they don't do that. This situation goes back to at least their 396T scanners.

Another strange thing: I can be holding on a trunked system channel. If there is a transmission on a conventional system frequency that is designated as a priority, the scanner will pre-empt the trunked channel to listen to the priority conventional channel. However, the reverse is not true - I can't hold on a non-priority conventional frequency and the scanner will check a trunked system's priority talkgroup for activity.
 

Ubbe

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Another strange thing: ..... I can't hold on a non-priority conventional frequency and the scanner will check a trunked system's priority talkgroup for activity.
Not so strange. It takes almost 2 sec to sync and evaluate the trunk data to be able to determine if a TG that has been set to prio are in use. It would make a 2 sec interuption where everything is silent.

Checking if a crrier are present from a conventional system only takes 50mS and are a tolerable interuption.

/Ubbe
 

twotoejoe

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The trunked system is the one I really wanted as priority and it seems when I programmed a conventional freq. as another priority channel it is now annoying. Problem is now I can't figure out how to get the 'P-ch' turned off. When I try to click it, it just highlighted the entire row. Suggestions?
 

ofd8001

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Edit your Profile as noted above. Select OFF for your Priority Scan Mode and write to the scanner. That tells the scanner you do not want to do any kind of Priority Channel monitoring FOR CONVENTIONAL SYSTEMS.

Goes to show how big the learning curve is for priority scanning.
 
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