Scanner Help

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colonizemars

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Hi,

I just recently purchased a Uniden BC436HP scanner. I live in Seattle area and I bought the scanner specifically to listen to local fire, emergency and police broadcasts. I have been listening to the scanner a lot and familiarizing myself to its operation.

Unfortunately, despite living right in the middle of my town, I have picked up very little from the Seattle area. I am however picking up a lot from the surrounding area like Seatac, Bremerton and Tukwila.

I recently read that one of the main systems King County Public Safety, along with several other main Seattle systems, have undergone a re-banding process. Could this be responsible for why I am not picking up anything inside Seattle? If not, what do I need to do to listen to my local fire, police and emergency services?

Thanks, any help is much appreciated
 

rwier

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Hi there Post#1. You have came to the right place to get answers. The thing I see missing from your question is any use of the word "Sentinel", which is the "free" programming software associated with your scanner model. Also, maybe a Moderator will move this thread to a Uniden Forum or a Washington State Forum, where you might get more responses.
 

troymail

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To add to Rob's comments -- questions:

1. Have you updated the library/database on the radio via Sentinel and copied it to the radio?

2. How did you do your programming? I'll take a wild guess and say by zip code. Zip code programming in a dense urban area/city can cause the radio to try and scan a ton of extra stuff slowing down scanning what you probably really want to hear. Folks many times start with zip code programming but fairly quickly move to more tailored programming.

3. Service types -- out of the box, the radio only has limited service types (fire-dispatch, law-dispatch, etc.) enabled. This tends to be the biggest thing impacting what new users don't hear on these radios.

4. It takes to time figure new technology out so take the time to read, learn, and experiment. Patience will be your friend.

Easier to Read BCD436/536HP Digital Scanner Manual
 
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RBMTS

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The best thing for you would be to create a favorites list selecting only the "Seattle Simulcast" site and then select only the Seattle services you want to listen to (PD, FD, etc). Then scan only that favorites list.

Otherwise what you can do is "hold" onto only the Seattle services and you should do ok.

At the moment you are trying to scan too many systems and cities. Thus you are missing the Seattle comms you desire.
 

colonizemars

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Update

Thanks for the advice. However, unfortunately, I am still not getting anything in Seattle.

I tried updating the Firmware and the database via Sentinel, twice. I am still not getting anything in Seattle.

I tried finding the Seattle Simulcast on the database on the scanner and I could not find it. I found it on the Sentinel Software but not on the scanner. I created a favorites list with all of the Seattle Police Frequencies from the database and I have been hearing absolutely nothing.

I have tried enabling Dispatch, Tac and Talk for Police, Fire and EMS. I have also tried just doing TAC and Talk for all three and I am still not hearing anything in Seattle.

I have tried holding onto some Seattle frequencies and I haven't heard anything.
 

RBMTS

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Have you entered your Seattle zip code as your location? Do you have the proper service selections turned on? Make sure you don't have ATT (attenuator) turned on. My guess is that the scanner believes it is in a different location and therefore it is turning off Seattle thinking it is out of range.
 

colonizemars

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Have you entered your Seattle zip code as your location? Do you have the proper service selections turned on? Make sure you don't have ATT (attenuator) turned on. My guess is that the scanner believes it is in a different location and therefore it is turning off Seattle thinking it is out of range.
Yea, it is one the right zip code. I just set it to my zip three times. I have Fire Dispatch, Law Dispatch, EMS Dispatch, Multi-Dispatch, Law Talk and Law Tac turned on right now am I am not getting anything in Seattle.

I also made sure the attenuater was off in the Close Call Operation Menu.

Could there be something wrong with the scanner or could I be out of range? I have a stock antenna.
 

rwier

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OK Seattle noob, I threw together a quick FL for Seattle FD and PD. I don't know if it will work at all but you have nothing to lose by trying it. See the attached File. It is in the form of a zipped hpe file. Unzip it and import it into Sentinel, and then send it to your scanner, just for kicks, to see if you hear any more than you have been hearing. It will turn on and off using Quick Key 29. Your "true" breakthrough will undoubtedly come from a member in the Seattle area.
 

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rwier

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" ... I created a favorites list with all of the Seattle Police Frequencies from the database .............. "
I find this statement very troubling. You should be "creating a FL and then APPENDING the desired Systems/Departments/ TGs/Channels (NOT FREQUENCIES) into your "created" FL using Sentinel. Any explanation of what you are doing or have done without using the word APPEND is (to me) very suspect.
 

colonizemars

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I imported this to my scanner and I am still hearing nothing. Also, I am familiar with King County Public Safety but I never hear anything in Seattle there.
 

tglendye

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Sounds like the suggestions you have been giving are sound. The x36 scanners have a learning curve, but I think you'll grow to like it. I was glad to see troymail include the Easier To Read Manual. Also check out the Sentinel link on that site.

Do your research and ask questions. It'll be fine.
 

rwier

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I imported this to my scanner and I am still hearing nothing. Also, I am familiar with King County Public Safety but I never hear anything in Seattle there.
[FONT=Calibri, serif]" ... I imported this to my scanner .... "[/QUOTE][/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri, serif]You need to be more verbose. If you are referring to my "Test FL", a proper narration to the Forum that would enable other members to check [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]the correctness of [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]your "importation" would probably require two type written pages. Let us go through a truncated check list.[/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri, serif]1) After importing into [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]Sentinel [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif](Main Screen)[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif], does the new FL show up in your list of FLs? If so continue below.
[/FONT]

[FONT=Calibri, serif]2) In Sentinel, near the top left [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]Edit > Edit Profile.. > [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]takes you to the "[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]Scan Selection[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]" Screen. You should see the new Test FL in the left column, together with [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]any [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]other FLs you have created.[/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri, serif]A) Under [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]Monitor[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif], make sure all are [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]On[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]. [/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri, serif]B) Under [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]Download[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif], make sure all are [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]On[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]. [/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri, serif]C) Under [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]Quick Key[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif], The "Test FL" should be [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]29[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif] (greyed out). [/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri, serif]D) Under [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]Location ...[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif], all should show [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]No[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif] (greyed out).[/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri, serif]3) Change "[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]Scan Selection[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]" to "[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]Service Types[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]". Check [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]ALL[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif] boxes.[/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri, serif]4) Change "[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]Service Types[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]" to "[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]Quick Keys Status[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]". Check [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]ONLY [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]Box [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]29[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif].[/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri, serif]Close the [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]Profile Editor[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif] (You will be back at the Sentinel Main Screen).[/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri, serif]At the top, [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]Scanner > Write to Scanner ... > [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]You should see info in the "micro[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]SD” Pane/window indicating a usable microSD Card. To insure that you are not building up a scanner library of undesired junk Fls, [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]CHECK[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif] the “[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]Erase Fls on Scanner[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]”[/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]. [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]Select [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, serif]OK.[/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri, serif]When it appears that the transfer is complete, remove the cable from the scanner. When the scanner is turned on, it should be scanning the Test FL only. There should be some indication in the scanner’s screen that this activity is taking place. Pressing 2, then 9, and then E/., should result in the dreaded “nothing to scan” error message being displayed in the scanner screen. Pressing 2, then 9, and then E/. again, should result in the resumption of the Test FL being scanned. [/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri, serif]It is possible that I missed a step or two in the above. Any thing you see that doesn’t seem to match the above instructions/descriptions, try to describe the difference exactly. This may take us a few tries to get it correct.[/FONT]
 

colonizemars

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Seattle, WA
I find this statement very troubling. You should be "creating a FL and then APPENDING the desired Systems/Departments/ TGs/Channels (NOT FREQUENCIES) into your "created" FL using Sentinel. Any explanation of what you are doing or have done without using the word APPEND is (to me) very suspect.
I press "chan" to hold on a particular frequency then I press "E" to add it to a favorites list. I don't know why this doesn't allow me to listen to frequencies in Seattle. Could the database on the scanner be out of date?

Sounds like the suggestions you have been giving are sound. The x36 scanners have a learning curve, but I think you'll grow to like it. I was glad to see troymail include the Easier To Read Manual. Also check out the Sentinel link on that site.

Do your research and ask questions. It'll be fine.
Thanks for the advice!

Please disregard that last comment. Using the FL worked! I am now listening to Seattle Police and Fire broadcasts. I listened to police during the Mayday protests yesterday in Seattle. l am very happy with my new scanner. Thanks a lot!

I am still curious why I am unable to created my own working favorites list using the database on the scanner. Am I missing something?
 
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bradygreen

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I'd focus on learing Sentinel to create, modify, and upload FL's to the scanner. Using Sentinel for all the programming is key.
 

rwier

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" ... I am still curious why I am unable to created my own working favorites list using the database on the scanner ... "
I'm 77 yrs and am not in the best of health. I can create workable FLs for areas of which I have no personal knowledge or experience in a couple of minutes. I don't have enough YEARS left to program any scanner without using software.
 

infojunke

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Thank you!

Thank you for sharing this file. I haven't been getting any traffic for some reason on my scanner using the data provided by radio reference, however importing this file I finally have some action on my scanner again... no idea why I get nothing when I try to program with the data provided from this site... it's been a big pain for me for a while, I have a BCD996P2.
 

sparklehorse

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Thank you for sharing this file. I haven't been getting any traffic for some reason on my scanner using the data provided by radio reference, however importing this file I finally have some action on my scanner again... no idea why I get nothing when I try to program with the data provided from this site... it's been a big pain for me for a while, I have a BCD996P2.
I'm confused. Are you saying the file that rweir uploaded to post #8 of this thread worked on your BCD996P2? If so that doesn't make any sense. His file was built in the Sentinel software program for upload to a BCDx36HP model radio. Sentinel does not work with P2 series radios.

.
 

charlesstookey

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Need help

I am trying to program a Radioshack Pro-651 for a friend in Vancouver WA. I have a working cable and BuTel software but my frazzled brain can't even seem to download anything from the freq database. I do have a premium account. Can anyone meet me somewhere and straighten me out. 360-896-8582
 
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