Santa brought me a BCD996XT but I need help

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dieselburner

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I was able to get the latest firmware update via the USB-1 cable. And I was able to get the preprogrammed software from Uniden up on my scanner. Unfortunately, there isn't anything there that covers where I live. I am in the Livermore, CA hills and have a line of site view into Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin and Santa Clara Counties. I purchased the ARC-XT software and was able to see my scanner with the PC. I am curious if anyone knows of a shortcut that I can use to get this thing up and running. Right now I am lost. Thanks

Steve
 

captclint

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I am in the Livermore, CA hills and have a line of site view into Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin and Santa Clara Counties. I purchased the ARC-XT software Right now I am lost.
The fastest way to get up and running is to use your ARC software to log onto this site. Click on the Internet menu, and then Radio Reference. Log-in and then select your state and then one county of interest. Select "Conventional" at first (you can go back later and get the various trunking systems). The entire database for that county will come up, and you can check some or all of the agencies to download. Hit Import, and it will be in your software. Do this for each county you think you can receive, and then download your new found data to the scanner.
 
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dieselburner

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Thanks for the replys. Earlier, I went through and programmed my unit using the arc software. It is working but I think I may need to go back and redo it. Right now I have Alameda Cty on one system, Contra costa on another, SanFrancisco on another and Businesses, Retail, Amusement Parks, and others I can't remember right now on each of the other systems. I see that there are groups below each system that I have not yet set up. How are these units set up in hiarchally? Is there any guidance? Thanks guys

Steve
 

captclint

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Right now I have Alameda Cty on one system, Contra costa on another, SanFrancisco on another and Businesses, Retail, Amusement Parks, and others I see that there are groups below each system that I have not yet set up. How are these units set up in hiarchally? Is there any guidance? Thanks guys

Steve
They are set up by the sub headings you see in the web page for each county found here: California Scanner Frequencies . For example, Alameda County
Yes, this is not always how you would organize it. Sooo, what you can do is study each county and decide ahead of time what you want to down load. I suspect you will not want any business freq's for example. Once you have done that, you can either start over with a new ARC file, downloading only what you want, or you can take the existing arc file and delete what you don't want. Then download the new or modified file to the scanner, but this time you check the the box to clear or erase all systems first. Normally, you check "send select systems" (that you modified) and "overwrite systems" with the same name.

Now if you find you really don't like the systems organized by county, or any of the other groups, you can simply cut and paste things into new systems or groups in you existing ARC file. Everyone has a different idea of how to organize. The real key to organizing is so you can assign quick keys to turn on and off systems and groups that you only want to hear occasionally, or to concentrate on one agency(police) in a particular area, etc. Cut and paste is you friend. Most of us continue reorganizing on a regular basis.
 
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torontokris

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Note most groups when you import will not have a group quick key (under numbers under the S (system quick key) on the display.

so in ARC its best to give each group a quick key then you can turn on or off each one.
 

rvictor

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How are these units set up in hiarchally? Is there any guidance?
Steve,

Here's something that I've posted before that may be helpful:

With respect to conventional frequencies, there are SYSTEMS which contain one or more GROUPS. A GROUP contains one or more channels. For each channel you enter the frequency, alpha tag, and various other parameters that relate to that channel. There are no sites for conventional channels.

SYSTEM 1
.....GROUP 1
..........CHANNEL A
..........CHANNEL B
.....GROUP 2
..........CHANNEL C
..........CHANNEL D
SYSTEM 2
.....GROUP 1
..........CHANNEL E
..........CHANNEL F
SYSTEM 3
.....GROUP 1
..........CHANNEL G

With respect to trunked systems, there are SYSTEMS which contain one or more SITES and one or more GROUPS. In each SITE, you enter the frequencies for that SITE. For each GROUP you enter one or more TALKGROUP IDS. For each TALKGROUP ID you enter an alpha tag and various other parameters that relate to that talkgroup.

SYSTEM 4
.....SITE 1
..........FREQUENCY 1
..........FREQUENCY 2
..........FREQUENCY 3
.....SITE 2
..........FREQUENCY 4
..........FREQUENCY 5
..........FREQUENCY 6
.....GROUP 1
..........TALKGROUP ID 1
..........TALKGROUP ID 2
..........TALKGROUP ID 3
.....GROUP 2
..........TALKGROUP ID 4
..........TALKGROUP ID 5
SYSTEM 5, etc.

System/Site Quick Keys (SQKs) allow you activate and deactivate systems or trunked sites for scanning. For conventional systems, the SQKs are set at the system level. For trunked systems, the SQKs are set at the site level. There can be more than one system or site assigned to a SQK.

The single digit SQKs are toggled between active and inactive by pressing the corresponding key on the keyboard. The two digit SQKs are toggled between active and inactive by pressing the ./NO key followed by the two digits on the keyboard.

The display

S0:1234--7**0 indicates that SQKs 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 0 are active; SQKs 8 and 9 are inactive; and SQKs 5 and 6 are unassigned.

S1:12---678** indicates that SQKs 11, 12, 16, 17, and 18 are active; SQKs 19 and 10 are inactive; and SQKs13, 14, and 15 are unassigned.

Etc. to S9:12345678790

Each system can have up to 10 Group Quick Keys (GQKs). The indicator for the GQKs is the line below the SQK line and works the same way except that it only has ten possible values and therefore is only single digits. There can also be more than one group assigned to a GQK.

GQKs can be toggled active and inactive by pressing FUNC and the keyboard number while the scanner is scanning the particular system which contains the groups that you are controlling.

If you use software to program your scanner, you can assign the SQKs and GQKs as you set up your programming and can also set the initial state of the SQKs and GQKs.

Dick
 

dieselburner

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Thanks everyone for the help. Tonight I erased a few things that I didn't need and added a whole lot more to it. I have the systems locked out that I don't normally listen to. I am sure I'll be refining it as I go but it's close right now. Thanks again.

Steve
 

Scorch

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So...sites and groups are on the same "level", IE any talkgroup ID from a particular group can be "pulled up" by any site in the system?

Would there be any reason to enter sites I can not receive?
 

sjlamb

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So...sites and groups are on the same "level", IE any talkgroup ID from a particular group can be "pulled up" by any site in the system?

Would there be any reason to enter sites I can not receive?
Partially correct.... so long as you do not have a Site locked out.... and, so long as a particular TG is setup to "talk" to a particular tower (Site). In some cases, a TG may only be setup to transmit thru certain tower sites (sometimes only a single tower) depending on the needs of that agency for wider area coverage. Many times; small local agencies may only transmit thru one or two Sites in its' general geographic area as they have no realistic need to communicate 100 miles "down the line" so to speak.

The only reason to program sites that are beyond your listening range would be in the event that you were to travel to within range of those sites. For example; If you're only using the scanner at home and are only within listening range of 1 or 2 towers on a 20 site system... then you can get away with only programming those sites into the scanner. Not much sense in making the scanner waste time scanning thru sites that are beyond receiving range.
 
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sjlamb

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Dick's post should become a sticky for new users. He has posted this well crafted explanation before and it has been VERY helpful to MANY new users of DMA scanners. Talk about a page for an "Easier to Read Manual"... this is it.
 
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Tryton

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@ Rvictor Excellent Post, It really shows folks a visual breakdown of how the trunking works as well as how to program it into the scanners! I Second the sticky!!
 

K9JDN

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I agree. Dick's (WD9GRI) post should be a sticky and is very helpful for us newcomers to DMA scanners. In addition, Steve's (N3VRX) post on TGs and tower sites is a nice explanation for those of us trying to understand how these new communication systems (i.e., IL Starcom21) work.
 

Scorch

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Thanks, sjlamb (Steve). I had started to surmise that was the case as I read and study everything I can find (RE: affilliations). The problem is that I don't HAVE a lot of time to read so this forum is great! It really reinforces and clarifies what I read online.

I had kind of lost interest for a while as my RS 2006s with Trunker can get and follow San Diego PD very well, but I'm out in the sticks and the County Sheriffs are on a digital system rendering the 2006s useless for really local scanning. What a foreign concept the 996XT is! Several lights have gone off in my head so far and I now have my local City & County systems programmed and listenable (Who Hoo!). I have a long way to go though and will be organizing and reloading as more light bulbs go off!

Yes, Dicks post should be stickyed!
 
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sjlamb

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Thanks, sjlamb (Steve). I had started to surmise that was the case as I read and study everything I can find (RE: affilliations). The problem is that I don't HAVE a lot of time to read so this forum is great! It really reinforces and clarifies what I read online.

I had kind of lost interest for a while as my RS 2006s with Trunker can get and follow San Diego PD very well, but I'm out in the sticks and the County Sheriffs are on a digital system rendering the 2006s useless for really local scanning. What a foreign concept the 996XT is! Several lights have gone off in my head so far and I now have my local City & County systems programmed and listenable (Who Hoo!). I have a long way to go though and will be organizing and reloading as more light bulbs go off!

Yes, Dicks post should be stickyed!
Given the size of the San Diego radio system... and the size and programming flexability of the XT... you will find that you will invest alot of time organizing, re-organizing and tweaking your programming as you learn more and more. As your knowledge base and experience grows; so too will the sophistication of YOUR XT's program file.

Uploading and downloading to and from the scanner will become second nature as you gain the ability to update tons of data in just a matter of minutes. Sounds like you're well on your way and it pleases me that this forum has become such a valued resource for you. Have fun and enjoy, young grasshopper.
 

rvictor

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Glad that my post was helpful. I'm told that it has been added to the wiki, but haven't had a chance to go there as yet.

If that, or other things that I post are helpful, don't hesitate to cut and paste as appropriate into other threads.

73,
Dick
 
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