Question on grouping channels on 396T

Status
Not open for further replies.

geoff5093

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
307
Location
Dover, NH
I'm very new to the 396T, I just bought a refurbished one on eBay and I've already downloaded the ARC396 demo in hopes of having the programming all setup so I can simply upload it to the scanner once I get it.

I'm a bit confused though, on my Pro-2096 with Win96 it's setup very simple, there are 10 banks, and each bank can hold channels or trunking information. However on ARC396, there are 'systems', which have 'groups', which then have channels in each group.

I've signed up with a premier subscription here so I can download the frequencies right into the program, although unlike Win96, ARC396 creates a separate system for each category (such as by county, or by category), and then puts each sub-category into a group.

So heres my question, when I input that data into the scanner, since each group only has 1-3 frequencies on average, is this really being efficient or is there going to be a lot of "empty channels" in between? And second, on the 396, what info is displayed on the screen, is it the frequency name and group, or group and system name?
 

bahlk

Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2007
Messages
15
Location
South MS
The 396, 996, and BCT 15 use the DMA memory which means you don't have the "wasted space". It only uses the amount of memory it takes for that particular system. The display will show the frequency and the Talk Group ID along with the Site Name I believe.
 

Airdorn

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
428
The older scanners use the concept of "banks" that are really just areas of memory with absolute limits. With absolute limits you run into goofy rules like "only 1 trunk system per bank" and crap like that.

The Uniden BCD396T, 996T, and 1 or 2 others have a memory system where "banks", as it were, really don't exist at all. If you MUST think of the organization in terms of "banks", then I guess you would consider said banks to have variable limits.

The memory is more logically designed, imho. You first program a SYSTEM. The System corresponds to maybe an entire public safety system you want to monitor. Within that system are Groups, which correspond to agencies in that system.. maybe the police department, would be group 1, the fire department would be group 2, etc.

Then within Groups you have channels. The police department Group might have a few channels.. one for dispatch, another for car-to-car, another for tactical, etc. etc.

Once you setup the System with the frequencies and other global bits of info, then you can add/subtract groups and channels to your heart's content.

Once you get that System programmed, maybe you'd want to program another System. This one might be for a small town's conventional public safety system.

All of the Systems, Groups and Channels can be given plain english descriptors that make monitoring a lot easier.

So you can just keep adding Systems until you just run out of memory, which would take a LOT of stuff, by the way. I live in the Memphis area and have the whole Memphis/Shelby county trunked public safety system programmed, as well as Desoto County Mississippi, Bartlett, TN, a couple of other small towns, 3-4 counties, some private business LTR systems, railroad, the Memphis International Airport, etc. etc. Pretty much everything this database has to throw at me, and I'm only using 6% of the memory.

The whole thing really a great setup and Uniden should be proud of it.
 

geoff5093

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
307
Location
Dover, NH
Thanks for the info so far, I did read the link that was posted above which gave me a pretty good understanding of how it's setup. And from a memory perspective, I guess this type of memory is much better as it only occupies the number of channels you have in all systems and groups.

But there is still one thing that I'm having some trouble with. By default using ARC396 with the RR database, it seems to want to categorize each section into it's own system, such as "Department of Safety", which would include state police, state fire service, and a few other associations. What I would like is to have either one system per county, or one system per category, such as 'police', 'fire', 'utilities', etc.

I can't seem to find a way to move groups from one system to another, unless I want to manually enter the information over again. I checked the manual but I had some trouble understanding what they wanted me to do exactly.

And also just to verify, the radio will display the channel tag and group, or is it the group and system name?
 

Viper43

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2005
Messages
3,307
Use FREESCAN, you can use EZGRAB to set up conventional channels with up to 200 per system and put all of a counties frequencies in one group. As for trunked system they must go in their own system. The display will show both by flashing back and forth between system and group.
 

loumaag

Silent Key - Aug 2014
Joined
Oct 20, 2002
Messages
12,911
Location
Katy, TX
The problem you are running into is a problem with the Butel software, and the way it downloads from the RR Site. It is because Butel took a shortcut which was not part of the specification for the Web service. I recommend you use the software to download (saving typing on your part) but then cut & paste systems to the way you want them. Just remember TRS systems cannot have conventional frequencies and the opposite is also true.
 

geoff5093

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
307
Location
Dover, NH
loumaag said:
The problem you are running into is a problem with the Butel software, and the way it downloads from the RR Site. It is because Butel took a shortcut which was not part of the specification for the Web service. I recommend you use the software to download (saving typing on your part) but then cut & paste systems to the way you want them. Just remember TRS systems cannot have conventional frequencies and the opposite is also true.
Gotcha, thanks! Maybe ARC will release a newer version of their software, but who knows when that will happen or if it will even address that issue.

For some reason I completely forgot about copying and pasting the lines into other groups. But just to verify again since I never got a straight answer, do the two lines of text on the 396T display the channel name and group name, or is it the group name and system name?
 

Airdorn

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
428
You can organize it one way in one System, and then just make another System using the same freqs. and all other info and organize it another way if you want to.

For example, I'll use the Memphis/Shelby County PS I talked about above. I have it organized the same way the RR database has it.. ie, the System consists of Memphis Police, Memphis Fire, Shelby County Sheriff, Shelby County Fire, Memphis Hospitals, Public Works, etc.. all of those are Groups in the system that can easily be selected/deselected with Quick-Keys (another awesome feature you will instantly love on your BCD396T).

As you can imagine, that's a very busy system. There's ALWAYS something going on. So I created another System with the same global settings (like system type, frequencies, etc.) as the Mem/Shelby Co. one, that is only Memphis Police, and I have the various precincts divided up into Groups. Since there's so much memory available, I can easily afford to do that to my heart's content.

If I wanted to, I could easily create yet another System that might just be the Car-to-car and fireground talkgroups of the various agencies. Or any other way of organizing.

I guess my point is that because of how the scanner is designed, you have so much freedom with how your information is organized. In my opinion, the RR database is the most logical way of doing it, but there are times that it's easier to just focus down to a few talkgroups and selecting/deselecting groups quickly may not be possible. That's when programming another more focused System can come in handy.

Oh, and on another note... try the FREE Uniden software for the 396T -- you get it from the Uniden site. It is reliable and works very well.
 

Airdorn

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
428
geoff5093 said:
Gotcha, thanks! Maybe ARC will release a newer version of their software, but who knows when that will happen or if it will even address that issue.

For some reason I completely forgot about copying and pasting the lines into other groups. But just to verify again since I never got a straight answer, do the two lines of text on the 396T display the channel name and group name, or is it the group name and system name?
I have a 996T, but I think the 396T works the same way.

The top line cycles between the System name and the group name about once a second.

The Second line displays the channel name.

On my scanner, it might read:

Memphis/SC PS
Disp. Tillman

and then

Memphis Police
Disp. Tillman
 

geoff5093

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
307
Location
Dover, NH
Airdorn said:
I have a 996T, but I think the 396T works the same way.

The top line cycles between the System name and the group name about once a second.

The Second line displays the channel name.

On my scanner, it might read:

Memphis/SC PS
Disp. Tillman

and then

Memphis Police
Disp. Tillman
Thanks! I think I may organize it similar to how you have it setup. I live in a less populated area, so sometimes theres no chatter for several minutes, but I do like the idea of having a system for all the frequencies, then creating other systems for say the most popular frequencies close by (PD and FD dispatch for instance), since it does seem like theres a lot of memory available. I'll also look into the QK's, as they look to be very beneficial as well.

I wanted to be sure of how the text was displayed, because some of the channels are still only labeled "Primary", etc, but as long as it also says the group/system name then I'll be set.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top