Programming BCD396XT with Freescan questions

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EdwardnNC

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Hey again. I am still at it.

The cable came in recently, and I picked up the scanner from my FIL's last night.

I downloaded all the presets first. Now I can go look at them as a reference.
I created a new file and downloaded the NC Viper preset to it.
Using RR's DB, I downloaded everything but HAM for the surrounding counties.
Then, I uploaded the new file to the scanner.. erasing the presets. ( I don't need them.)

It seems to be working fine, but goes through everything slowly. I think the NC Viper system is huge.

The rest of the systems flash by quickly.
So my first question is, will it be better to put everything into one system?

Is it better to group groups by county or by type?? As in police, fire, ems...
 

signal500

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Hey again. I am still at it.

The cable came in recently, and I picked up the scanner from my FIL's last night.

I downloaded all the presets first. Now I can go look at them as a reference.
I created a new file and downloaded the NC Viper preset to it.
Using RR's DB, I downloaded everything but HAM for the surrounding counties.
Then, I uploaded the new file to the scanner.. erasing the presets. ( I don't need them.)

It seems to be working fine, but goes through everything slowly. I think the NC Viper system is huge.

The rest of the systems flash by quickly.
So my first question is, will it be better to put everything into one system?

Is it better to group groups by county or by type?? As in police, fire, ems...
I do both. First, I set up a system with a county and each group in that system will be Fire(1), Police(2), EMS(3), etc.
I also set up individual Systems for what I call "regional" systems. Regional Fire has all fire freqs grouped by state and counties. Regional Police has all police freqs grouped by state and counties. For example:

System Name: Regional Fire
Group Name: Alabama (1)
Group Name: Florida (2)
Group Name: Escambia County (3)
Group Name: Santa Rosa (4)
Group Name: Okaloosa County (5)
Group Name: Walton County (6)

I program all fire depts in nearby counties into the first two groups, and then I break down those groups into my local counties. I scan all the main dispatch channels in the first two groups, and leave the other groups off until I would like to hear the TAC channels that are associated with the fire departments.

Make sure the hold time is set to zero. I'm sure the NC Viper system is large, so you need to go into the groups and turn off or lock out the talk groups that you don't need.
 

ka3jjz

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Check your HOLD (which determines how long to wait until checking the next system) and DELAY (which determines how long each channel in the system waits until going to the next channel). Set them up for zeros on both - the default is HOLD of 2 seconds. That may be slowing you down

I would also check to see precisely what you really need to hear out of VIPER and remove what you don't need. There are extensive VIPER threads in the NC forum - I believe (I'm not sure of this) there is a system migration in progress. You might simply be scanning the wrong version of the system.

Mike
 

dokeefe

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programming...

ok I have a 390xt. I got the free scan programming down. the problem is, I want to separate the 1 county into a different band , if that makes sense. so if I have riverside city on band 1 ( the 1 button on the scanner) I want riverside county in band 2 (2 button on the scanner). or is it like the older scanner where you just punch in the freq and it switches bands when you pass the allotted #? I had it programmed with a couple frequencies from the seller which is set up the way I wanted. Please help. I just got this thing today.
 

EdwardnNC

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I have a file for freescan that I would like somebody who knows a lot more than me to look at.
Do any of you do that?

I have a feeling that I am not seeing something.

Also, for some reason, I do not get the option to set screen color in freescan. I know you can do that, but it is not giving me the option. I probably don't have the software setup right.

Thanks!!
EdwardnNC
 

EdwardnNC

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I still don't quite grasp the difference between ID SCAN and ID SEARCH.

I was under the impression that ID SCAN is the ideal setting for scanning your programmed systems.


Also, one of my systems only has groups in it. No sites. When I set the system quick key, every group received the quick key. I get that this is how it works.. but what I don't get is why it is not showing on the scanner. I can quick key 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6.. but 2 does not show. What did I do wrong there?

I get that groups are talk group IDs and sites are frequencies..
The info I am reading makes me think I need at least one site and one group in a system.. but I am not sure if that is true. I thought I read this somewhere, but I cannot find it.

Thank you in advance!!

EdwardnNC
 

hiegtx

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I still don't quite grasp the difference between ID SCAN and ID SEARCH.

I was under the impression that ID SCAN is the ideal setting for scanning your programmed systems.


Also, one of my systems only has groups in it. No sites. When I set the system quick key, every group received the quick key. I get that this is how it works.. but what I don't get is why it is not showing on the scanner. I can quick key 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6.. but 2 does not show. What did I do wrong there?

I get that groups are talk group IDs and sites are frequencies..
The info I am reading makes me think I need at least one site and one group in a system.. but I am not sure if that is true. I thought I read this somewhere, but I cannot find it.

Thank you in advance!!

EdwardnNC
If, when you set the 'system' quick key, it also sets the 'groups', that sounds like those are actually sites, not groups, in a trunked system.

If quick key 2 is not 'showing', it's possible you do not have it enabled. Check that under the System Quick Key Manager. That's under the Tools menu at the top of the FreeSCAN screen, or accessible via keyboard shortcut <CTRL>+<K>. Each key number that you want active and available should have a checkmark by it. If the box by 2 is not checked, it won't be active and available. You can selectively enable or disable individual QK numbers, or use the All On or All Off buttons to rest all at the same time.

If you'd like to post your file, where someone can look at it, you'll need to either zip it (compress it), or do a slight renaming in order to attach it to a message. The file extension used by FreeSCAN, *.996, is not an allowed extension for attachments to the forum here. So, you can zip (compress) the file, using a file utility such as WinZip, or the free 7-Zip. Or, simply give it a new, temporary, acceptable name. Lets say, for simplicity, that you save your file and call it "Edward". The actual file name would be Edward.996, which you can't upload here. But if you'll just rename the file to Edward.996.txt you can upload that. Text (files with a 8.txt extention) are allowed. Then whoever is looking at the file simply renames it back to just Edward.996 & it will open in FreeSCAN.

Using ID Scan mode, in a trunked system, the scanner only receives traffic on those talkgroups that you have programmed into your trunked system file and that are not locked out, nor are they in a group that is locked out.

In ID Search mode, the scanner will receive any active talkgroup on the system that is not locked, and is not in a group that is locked out. For those talkgroups that you have programmed, when received in ID Search mode, you would see any text tags entered for that TGID. For those ID's that are not programmed, but are active (but not locked out), you would see the talkgroup ID. No text tag, because you don't have one entered.

ID Scan is ideal if you want to limit your scanning of that system to specific talkgroups. such as public safety only (fire & police) on a large system, while not having to listen to public works, utility workers, and other users that may be on the same system.

ID Search may be useful if you have reason to believe that there are additional talkgroups of interest to you being used, that have not been identified as yet, This could be a relatively new system, where new users are still being added, or an older system, where usage is being expanded or refined. You can still limit the non-essential chatter (such as public works,for example) by having those talkgroups programmed in your system, but either locked out individually, or in a locked out group.
 

EdwardnNC

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If, when you set the 'system' quick key, it also sets the 'groups', that sounds like those are actually sites, not groups, in a trunked system.
I saw this happen. When I set a system quick key on systems with sites and groups, the sites would take on the quick key.. but not the groups.

When I set the quick key on the system that ONLY has groups, each group gets the quick key.

If quick key 2 is not 'showing', it's possible you do not have it enabled.
I think the problem is that I am still associating system quick keys with systems... I have been reading and piecing some stuff together. System quick keys are pushed down to the sites.. and my "system quick key" 2 is only associated with all of those groups.... making it a group quick key.
Again, still figuring it out.

If you'd like to post your file, where someone can look at it, you'll need to...
I think I will do that now. Thank you!


Using ID Scan mode, in a trunked system, the scanner only receives traffic on those talkgroups that you have programmed into your trunked system file and that are not locked out, nor are they in a group that is locked out.

In ID Search mode, the scanner will receive any active talkgroup on the system that is not locked, and is not in a group that is locked out. For those talkgroups that you have programmed, when received in ID Search mode, you would see any text tags entered for that TGID. For those ID's that are not programmed, but are active (but not locked out), you would see the talkgroup ID. No text tag, because you don't have one entered.

ID Scan is ideal if you want to limit your scanning of that system to specific talkgroups. such as public safety only (fire & police) on a large system, while not having to listen to public works, utility workers, and other users that may be on the same system.

ID Search may be useful if you have reason to believe that there are additional talkgroups of interest to you being used, that have not been identified as yet, This could be a relatively new system, where new users are still being added, or an older system, where usage is being expanded or refined. You can still limit the non-essential chatter (such as public works,for example) by having those talkgroups programmed in your system, but either locked out individually, or in a locked out group.
This last part of your post did it. It is clicking in nicely now..
You have no idea how much this helped!!!

Is there an ideal way to setup systems/sites/groups to make "scanning" faster?? The idea of course being that less comm. is missed by the scanner.

Does each system "need" a site? Can you have a group only system?

Why are the site names flying across the screen, but the group names not?
 

EdwardnNC

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DON'T LAUGH....

Here is my file.
The current load on the scanner is this file.. with all of the sites/groups stuck into one system.
I guess I am looking for advice here.

I have another question..

If you have a group in one system... but the site that the group is associated with (if this is how it works) is in another system.. will you hear the group?



***** I removed the file... please see the next post. *****
 
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EdwardnNC

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Here is an updated version of the file posted above.

This is a 996 file for FreeScan.
 
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hiegtx

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I saw this happen. When I set a system quick key on systems with sites and groups, the sites would take on the quick key.. but not the groups.

When I set the quick key on the system that ONLY has groups, each group gets the quick key.



I think the problem is that I am still associating system quick keys with systems... I have been reading and piecing some stuff together. System quick keys are pushed down to the sites.. and my "system quick key" 2 is only associated with all of those groups.... making it a group quick key.
Again, still figuring it out.
If it is a Conventional system, then the System quick key can be used to turn that system on or off while scanning. However, the individual groups have Group quick keys, which can be used to turn the specific group, or groups, within a system, on or off, while the system itself remains "on" (enabled).

Maybe this will help as well.
Systems, Sites and Groups - The RadioReference Wiki

Is there an ideal way to setup systems/sites/groups to make "scanning" faster?? The idea of course being that less comm. is missed by the scanner.
"Hold" controls the amount of time the scanner pauses, rescanning that system, before moving to the next one. Generally, make sure that the "Hold" time on each system is set to 0 (zero). On a Conventional system, that is set at the 'System' screen, the first one you see when you click on the system in FreeSCAN. For a Trunked system, Hold time is set at the Site level. You can set each site to zero, or to any other value you want.

Delay is the amount of time the scanner waits on a particular conventional channel, or trunked talkgroup id, after the transmission is completed, to see if there is a reply, before it resumes scanning for the next active transmission. The default value when a system is created in FreeSCAN is 2 seconds. For most of my systems, that works well. If you have one or more systems where the actual radio system repeater hangs open longer after a transmission, you might shorten your delay to one second, and see if that works out. If you find it is resuming scanning before you hear any replies, then go back to 2 seconds.

For the majority of my systems, I use zero hold and a 2 second delay. I do use a short hold on one system that I am most interested in, to make the scanner wait slightly longer within that one. And, for Texas DPS, the state troopers, I use a 2 second hold, with a one second delay. That's because DPS uses a duplex system. The base transmits on one frequency, and the mobiles answer on a different one. So delaying on the one, you miss the reply on the other channel. By using the Hold, the radio rescans the system, and will grab the reply on the alternate entry. That's my workaround for this specific system only.

Does each system "need" a site? Can you have a group only system?
A Conventional system (only contains frequencies, not talkgroups) only has groups, no sites. A Trunked system has groups, which contain the programmed talkgroups, and Sites, which have the system frequencies assigned for each site.

Why are the site names flying across the screen, but the group names not?
I'm presuming you're referring to the names you see scrolling across the display when the unit is scanning. What you see scrolling are the system names of your Conventional systems, and the Site names of your Trunked systems. That's normal.

When the scanner stops on a transmission, the top line of the display will alternate between the System name (for Conventional systems) or Site name (for Trunked systems) and the Group name of whatever is being received.
The second line will be the text tag for the conventional frequency or talkgroup being monitored. (If in ID Search mode, and this was one not entered, all you'd see here would be the talkgroup id).
 

hiegtx

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I have another question..

If you have a group in one system... but the site that the group is associated with (if this is how it works) is in another system.. will you hear the group?
You probably would not hear anything in that group, because those talkgroups were not associated with the site for the system that you have them in. If you did hear anything, it would not be what you expect. The specific talkgroup value itself (numerically) could be used in any number of systems. But it only maps to that specific usage (PD Dispatch for a certain department, for example) in only one system.
 

hiegtx

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OK, I went ahead & took a quick look, and see several places where you got sidetracked.

Confirm which city (or county) you're in, so I can make better sense of it. Remember I'm in Texas, not in NC. If you'd rather not post that, send me a PM. Click on my user name & choose the send Private message option.

Do that, and I'll have more suggestions tomorrow.
 

EdwardnNC

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I am getting ready to go to bed.
I didn't think about it being public... haha
It isn't my scanner anyway.. but this is probably similar to what I would put in my own.. and probably will build something like it for my 436.

I will pm the file to you.

Thank you!
 

EdwardnNC

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If it is a Conventional system....
I have one conventional system.. and it seems to work fine. Thank you!

I read this a couple of times. What I was confused about was how the sites/groups relate to each other.

Since the scanner is not mine.. it is not here enough for me to really use and learn from.

I could not figure out why I was not hearing my local PD dept. It turns out, I had the scanner on ID Scan, not ID Search. The local PD was in the scanner, but the group was in a different system from the site that the group uses.

I figured this out when I switched everything to ID Search instead of ID Scan. The local PD showed up on the site from a different system, but only the ID number was showing. After your post explaining ID Scan and ID Search, I was able to "get it".

So again... Thank You for that post!!!

A Trunked system has groups, which contain the programmed talkgroups, and Sites, which have the system frequencies assigned for each site.
It's the AND part I needed to grasp. I had a system programmed that had multiple groups.. and no sites. That was one mistake.

My "main" group I wanted to listen to did not have a site that they actually use in the system.

I ended up putting everything into one big system.. (it's not that big.. I don't live in a huge city by any means...) and assigning similar groups with the same quick key. I also gave multiple sites similar quick keys for ease of use by my FIL. My plan was for ease of use.. and ease of remembering.

I worked my way out from closest to furthest.
10 site quick keys used..
Each site is assigned to a quick key.. QK 1 being the closest... 9 being the furthest away.

Then I used 9 group quick keys. These weren't necessary, but it looks nice on the screen.. and I followed the same idea above.. 1 being the closest.. 9 being furthest away.

I wanted my FIL to be able to easily cut off the sites that are further away by starting at 9 and working backwards.. quick keys 1 and 2 being the immediate area. So far, it works great.

I'm presuming you're referring to the names you see scrolling across the display when the unit is scanning.
Yeah.. I was curious why I didn't see the group names when scanning.. but I just "got" the whole site/group thing down. That explains the dumb questions.

I really appreciate your help. I will still send the file to you if you want to see it. If you PM me your email address, I can just email it to you. I tried to PM it to you, but I did not see where you can attach files to PMs.
 
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EdwardnNC

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You probably would not hear anything in that group, because those talkgroups were not associated with the site for the system that you have them in. If you did hear anything, it would not be what you expect. The specific talkgroup value itself (numerically) could be used in any number of systems. But it only maps to that specific usage (PD Dispatch for a certain department, for example) in only one system.
You hit the nail on the head here.. I really screwed the site/group thing up.

So when you build systems for different groups (like a PD system, FD system, etc...) do you repeat the same sites in each system?

It makes sense, but it seems like it would take the scanner longer to go through everything if all quick keys are on.
 
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