BCD436HP: quick keys

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lou9155

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hi all i just recieved my bcd436 and am trying to wrap my head around the sys dept and chan quick keys (im used to the gre objct based ) as example a local twp has about 8 fire ems channels i listen to it is simulcasted county wide about 10 sites 30 control channels..takes a longggg time to scan . can i delete sites and control channels and just use local sites?..it has plenty of space FLQK wise 0-99 that i could just use these to turn channels lists on and off (FLQK) so that i dont have to use sys dept chan quick keys..does that make sense?...btw i saw upmans video on youtube about setting up favs he just scratched the surface we need more detailed instructional videos.....thanks for reading
 

jonwienke

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Don't delete sites, just turn on Location Control in your favorite list, and tell the scanner where you are via zip code or GPS.
 

ofd8001

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I agree with Location Control On for your Favorites List and set your Range to 0. If you seem to be missing transmissions, you can bump up the Range in 2 mile increments until you settle on a "sweet spot".

If all you monitor is one system and don't anticipate turning off "things" then you could get by without setting any kind of Quick Key (Favorites List, System or Department).

One way of looking at the programming architecture is a file cabinet.

The file cabinet would be the Favorites List itself. There is a lock on the file cabinet which is comparable to the Favorites List Quick Key. The Favorites List Quick Key being On is like the lock being unlocked and you can open the drawers.

The drawers would be the Systems. Just like multiple drawers in the file cabinet, there can be multiple systems. In your case, if you only have the one trunked system, you just have "stuff" in one drawer and the rest are "empty". The System Quick Key is like releasing the latch to the file drawer. Unlatched (or "On") means you can get to the "stuff" in the drawer (the system).

In each file drawer, there are file folders. These file folders are the "Departments". Each file folder would contain pieces of paper. These pieces of paper (or channels) would be frequencies or talkgroup IDs.

In a trunked system, each site is a file folder (Department) and the pieces of paper are control and voice channel frequencies.

The act of grasphing a file folder to access its contents is turning on the Department Quick Key.

The process of toggling (reversing the status of the Quick Key - Off to On or On to Off) takes some getting used to a first.

Just like with the file cabinet, to get to a file folder you have to unlock the cabinet, open the drawer and grasp the file folder. So your "instructions" to the scanner have three components: The Favorites List Quick Key, the System Quick Key and the Department Quick Key.

As an example, let's say you have a Favorites List with a Favorites List Quick Key of 11. In the FL you have a System with a System Quick Key of 22. In that System, you have a Department with a Department Quick Key of 33.

The "scheme" for Quick Keys is "FLQK.SQK.DQK eYes". (The periods are important). So for the example to toggle Department Quick Key 33, you'd press "11.22.33 eYes".

Sites will have Quick Keys at the Department Level (as they are containers holding frequencies/channels).

You mentioned "Channel Quick Keys". There isn't a "Channel Quick Key" as such.

As I said, this is a little tough to learn in the beginning. Just mess around with this a first and it will come to you.

My biggest problem is remembering what I've used for a Quick Key, rather than how to "work" them. What I do to help me is incorporate the Quick Key number in the name of the Favorites List, System and Department. For example a Favorites List called "Jefferson County" with a FLQK of 1 becomes "F01 Jefferson County". Seeing these as they cycle through assists my memory.
 

drdispatch

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The way ofd8001 explained it is the best explanation I have seen to date. It's what helped me wrap my brain around the whole Favorite/System/Department-Site Quick Key concept.

I would also add (just to give you something else to think of down the road) that you need not limit yourself to the database's delineation of "Departments". If you are monitoring a large city which has several PD dispatch channels, several PD "tac" channels, several fireground channels, several interop channels, etc; you can divide those up into separate Departments in your scanner. That way you can toggle off the fireground channels unless there is an incident close by which you want to monitor.
For example, when I visit Chicago I spend most of my time in the "Loop" area. So the PD zone dispatch channels for the downtown districts are one "Department" in my scanner. This way I can toggle it on & off as I travel in/travel out of downtown, which is way easier than Avoid/Un-Avoid. (I don't have a GPS at this point.) The PD "Citywide" channels are yet another Department. Fireground channels are their own Department.
 

lou9155

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thanks guys for replying im slowly getting it just gotta keep at it . this scanner has so many features ive never had on other scanners ..its alota fun to experiment
 

jonwienke

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Departments are simply groups of channels within a system (either analog frequencies or trunked system talkgroups) that share some common characteristic(s). That could be a common service area, service type, or any other common factor such that it makes sense to group them together.
 

ofd8001

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When I'm building a Favorites List, more often than not, I'll completely reconfigure Departments in a way that makes the best sense for my purpose.

As an example, Minneapolis Minnesota is part of a statewide trunked radio system. When Minneapolis data is brought in, the "Minneapolis" Department includes Police, Fire, Public Works, etc. I prefer to have a separate Department for Minneapolis Police and a separate Department for Minneapolis Fire. That way with turning on/off Department Quick Keys, I can toggle undesired "things".

Fortunately the Sentinel program is very robust so that each user can customize the final product to how it best suits his wishes.
 

duke94

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Thanks ofd8001! I've been struggling with the whole quick key thing and this helps understand it better. Haven't been able to make it work in the 2 months I've had the scanner.
Can I just use the a FL quick key and none of the others (departments etc)?
 

UPMan

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Yes. In that case, you'd just press FF <E> (where FF is the FL Quick Key)
 

duke94

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Yes. In that case, you'd just press FF <E> (where FF is the FL Quick Key)
Still can't get the Quick Key (QK) to work. Set my FL QK to 11, down loaded the list to the scanner. When I go to "Manage Favorites" on the scanner, my FL is there and the QK is 11 like it's suppose to be. When I go back to the scanner main screen (its scanning the whole data base) and I type in "11" and push yes, it just beeps. What am I missing?
 

jonwienke

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Did you turn the FL on in the scanner menu? If the FL is OFF in the menu, you can't activate it via Quick Key.
 

jonwienke

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Set Scan Selection
Select Lists To Monitor

The main database and each Favorite List will show as either On or Off. If a list is Off, it cannot be activated via Quick Key. It must be enabled in the menu before you can toggle the Quick Key(s) for that list.
 

ofd8001

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It'll be one (maybe a couple) of very little things. It's just that finding the issues is frustrating. We will get you going though.

So here is a list of things to check:

In the Profile (Edit Profile) confirm under the Scan Selection tab that Monitor is On for the Favorites List. (Monitor Off is like Avoiding the Favorites List).

You can also use Menu>Set Scan Selection>Select Lists to Monitor then scroll to where the Favorites List is displayed. It should say :On at the far right. If it says :Off, press the function knob to change it. Then back out of the menu to where you are scanning.

Review the Favorites List to be sure nothing is Avoided. (I don't suspect this because you'd probably see "Nothing to Scan" when turning the FLQK On.)

I'd also leave Location Control Off at this point. It can be turned on later, if desired, once to issue is resolved.

One last thing - when you pressed the FLQK, it was "11 eYes" without a period? You only need the periods (which are separators) if additional Quick Keys are involved (System/Department).

You can export the Favorites List to an HPE file, zip it and attach it to a message here. I'll be happy to program it in my scanner and see what's up.
 
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