Scanning Question for my BCD536HP

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Larkin71

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Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer questions from a newbie. I received my scanner last Wednesday. It was my first new scanner since about 2000, when I bought a BC248CLT. I still have that scanner, but it functions mostly as an FM radio/WX Band radio since it no longer picks up anything after the switch to Digital. My question is this: I took the radio out of the box, plugged it in, and put in my zip code. It quickly loaded everything in and it began scanning, as advertised. This has been quite an experience, because for the last several years, my scanning was restricted to just using an App on my smartphone/tablet. To actually "see" who is talking and be able to instant replay is a thrill. Now, my one concern is that it seems to be scanning virtually every nearby area I can think of. I have shut off services I don't want (airplane/railroad/private systems etc) but I have a concern:
If it is cycling through so many frequencies, can I/will I/Do I miss certain transmissions? I swear I thought I heard the start of a conversation between the local police but never got back to how it turned out..or am I putting too much thought into it? I have updated the firmware, I have figured out how to "avoid" but have not figured out (after watching a video/reading the manual) how to establish a favorites list or "priority scanning". Again, thanks for your time...this scanner is wonderful. We're enjoying it, and its helping me with my job covering the news.
 

AC2OY

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Larkin you have to use the Sentinel software to program exactly whT you want. It's not that hard because you can create a favorite list or lists and use sentinel and "append them"to your list from the database!!! How I got at a little was from watching UPman's YouTube videos on how to create a favorite list!!! Good Luck have fun!!!!
 

JamesO

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The problem is, the more you scan, the more you miss!!

Need to set up a local Favorites list with a small group of things you normally want to monitor, then you can switch between the local Favorite list and other Favorite lists as well as scan the same system multiple times while listening.

Then if something hot happens, you can shut off the larger Favorite list and focus on the local activity.

You can also look into configuring Priority for some channels/TGID's as well.
 

Larkin71

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I did look into creating a favorite list just now and even named it...but I got lost with putting anything in it. Do I need to know what the agencies are called or can I use the data base to bring up my local area and drag them in?
 

ofd8001

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Yes. Expand the master DB list to the desired level. Then right mouse click on the desired "stuff" and click "Append Favorites List".

From there you'll be asked to create a new Favorites List or you can select an existing Favorites List to add that new "stuff" to.

Upman has a real good video on Youtube on how to create Favorites Lists:

BCDx36HP Sentinel Creating Custom Favorites List - YouTube

After you've started your Favorites List, in addition to considering priority scanning, you might also think about increasing the delay for the channels you are interested in. The default value is 2 seconds. For those channels that I'm particularly interested in, I bump the delay up to 4 seconds.
 

Larkin71

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Yes, thank you! The Upman video was helpful! I created a list for my area (zip code 45885) and my scanner recognizes it, and I believe I used the menu to turn it on, right now I am getting "Scan Mode, Nothing to Scan"...but I think I can work my way through this. I'm not afraid anyways..worst comes to worse, I can always clear everything and start over. I'm at least getting my feet wet!
 

JamesO

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Yes, thank you! The Upman video was helpful! I created a list for my area (zip code 45885) and my scanner recognizes it, and I believe I used the menu to turn it on, right now I am getting "Scan Mode, Nothing to Scan"...but I think I can work my way through this. I'm not afraid anyways..worst comes to worse, I can always clear everything and start over. I'm at least getting my feet wet!
The "Nothing To Scan" message is quite common. It is due to the way these scanners work, they have software filters that limit what and how the scanner functions.

The "Nothing To Scan" is almost always a pilot error when configuring the scanner.

Most common reason is due to the "Service Type" mask being the cause. If you made your Favories from scratch, then the problem is the "Service Type" defaults to "Custom 1". The Sentinel software really is misleading in the "Service Type" area. Make sure you click on the "Service Type" drop box, it defaults to the end of the list so it appears there are only 8 choices and all "Custom" when in fact there are about 25 more options.

One option it to "Enable" all "Service Types" until you get really comfortable with the scanner, this eliminates one pitfall of painting yourself in the corner. Then once you get comfortable with all the settings, you can start to turn off the "Service Types" you are not interested in.

Some of the other filters/masks are "Range" setting/adjustment, this can be turned Off and On, also you may need to "enable" the "Favorites" list to be scanned as well.

I may have also missed some choices as well.

Do not feel bad, this is a common issue for new users of the HP series of scanners.
 

signal500

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Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer questions from a newbie. I received my scanner last Wednesday. It was my first new scanner since about 2000, when I bought a BC248CLT. I still have that scanner, but it functions mostly as an FM radio/WX Band radio since it no longer picks up anything after the switch to Digital. My question is this: I took the radio out of the box, plugged it in, and put in my zip code. It quickly loaded everything in and it began scanning, as advertised. This has been quite an experience, because for the last several years, my scanning was restricted to just using an App on my smartphone/tablet. To actually "see" who is talking and be able to instant replay is a thrill. Now, my one concern is that it seems to be scanning virtually every nearby area I can think of. I have shut off services I don't want (airplane/railroad/private systems etc) but I have a concern:
If it is cycling through so many frequencies, can I/will I/Do I miss certain transmissions? I swear I thought I heard the start of a conversation between the local police but never got back to how it turned out..or am I putting too much thought into it? I have updated the firmware, I have figured out how to "avoid" but have not figured out (after watching a video/reading the manual) how to establish a favorites list or "priority scanning". Again, thanks for your time...this scanner is wonderful. We're enjoying it, and its helping me with my job covering the news.
Create a favorite list and then add priority channels to that favorite list. You won't miss much. In order to scan just your favorite list, Menu>Set Scan Selection>Select Lists to Monitor>Full Database:Off and be sure the name of your favorite list is On.

Favorite List:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgz7heeOUKY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Qecvdaz2wU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9LkKpqIsn8

Priority feature:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ph4FnB4_jtw
 

Larkin71

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Thanks! Still working on it, I got it to start scanning my favorites list last night, but it never stopped on anything. Kind of discouraging. I ended up putting my zip code back in it (because it wouldn't scan ANYthing) and it is scanning, but once again, its scanning a lot and I think I'm missing stuff. Also, I did put the range at 10 miles but I am getting stuff I know is more than 10 miles away, that's probably because of the statewide Marcs radio. I have also noticed that I am hearing some local stuff, but the id doesn't quite match. Looks like last night was 1 step forward, but 2 or 3 steps back.
 

Larkin71

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Also, I'll be glad when the Siren App is complete, carting this radio to and from work each day, is a bit of a chore.
 

JamesO

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Thanks! Still working on it, I got it to start scanning my favorites list last night, but it never stopped on anything. Kind of discouraging. I ended up putting my zip code back in it (because it wouldn't scan ANYthing) and it is scanning, but once again, its scanning a lot and I think I'm missing stuff. Also, I did put the range at 10 miles but I am getting stuff I know is more than 10 miles away, that's probably because of the statewide Marcs radio. I have also noticed that I am hearing some local stuff, but the id doesn't quite match. Looks like last night was 1 step forward, but 2 or 3 steps back.
Welcome to the learning curve of the HP series of scanners!

Stay positive, it will come together a few pieces at a time.
 

Larkin71

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Thanks everyone! Had a real good night last night with it. The videos were a huge help. I had watched them before, but for some reason, it finally clicked for me. I was able to set a list of favorites, but now I could turn on priority, also, the advice about defaulting was spot on! That made the difference. So I scanned last night, and while scanning, I ran the scanner radio app on my tablet (which picks up EVERYthing because that's how the gentleman who streams it has it set) and I heard the right stuff on my scanner and didn't hear the things going out that I don't want to hear. Heck, I even corrected the spelling when you turn on the scanner so it doesn't say "Barecat" anymore. I can't wait to make a few more favorites lists so that I can scan the full Marcs or neighboring counties when certain events break out.

My last question is about priority scanning. Does it come into play while scanning in favorites, or just when you scan the full list? I might scan the full data base in my area more often if I can be assured that I won't miss stuff.
 
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