BCDx36HP: Speeding up scan speed on BCD436

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KI5IRE

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I have been doing some research, I personally don't like the scan speed on my 436, I think it's slow and I believe I am missing some transmissions. I found that FL tags are the thing to do. I have also turned priority ID scan on for the systems I'm looking to scan, hoping this might increase what I pickup and won't miss as much. Currently, I'm missing some transmissions and then hearing only the reply from dispatch from whatever unit just finished talking and with Fort Worth Fire I'm missing the first half of the automated dispatch from Locution or just an address or a Mapsco grid.

The way I currently have my favorites lists setup is:

Hurst Fire
Hurst Police
Bedford Fire
Bedford Police
Fort Worth Fire
and so on...

I do this so that when I'm scanning I can quickly hold onto a system or TG to make sure I hear everything and nothing is missed, also depending on the situation, I can't just hold on one TG.

I'm not sure how to set-up tags and would like a better understanding before I go messing with my radio for the best results.

So, the favorites lists I scan are cities, TGs grouped by the department. Some cities use the same sites, some use different sites and some are a totally different system.

Here's a few examples of what I mean that some are different:

Hurst Fire
System: Hurst P25
Site: Hurst

Hurst Police
System: Hurst P25
Site: Hurst

Bedford Fire
System: Fort Worth Regional Radio System
Site: Northeast Tarrant

Bedford Police
System: Fort Worth Regional Radio System
Site: Northeast Tarrant

Euless Fire
System: Fort Worth Regional Radio System
Site: Northeast Tarrant

Euless Police
System: Fort Worth Regional Radio System
Site: Northeast Tarrant

NRHW Fire
System: Fort Worth Regional Radio System
Site: Fort Worth Layer 2

NRHW Police
System: Fort Worth Regional Radio System
Site: Fort Worth Layer 2

Fort Worth Fire
System: Fort Worth Regional Radio System
Site: Fort Worth Layer 2

In doing my reading, I saw that if I set the sites to the same FL tag the sites all scan only once, cause I know for every list such as both Fire and Police it's not scanning that site for each department from reading up. So, Hurst would only scan the Hurst site once for both police and fire rather than once for fire and once for police in the scan cycle and Bedford and the other cities I scan would scan the NE Tarrant site once for all of the police and fire then move onto my cities on FW Layer 2. Am I properly understanding this? Also do my conventional channels have any effect? I scan a few locally as well.

Thank you guys for your help,
Chase
 
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ofd8001

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The thing to avoid is scanning the same site more than once. Thus if you are scanning the Hurst site in Favorites List "A" looking for Hurst Fire talkgroups, it will ignore Hurst Police. Then going to Favorites List "B" looking for Hurst Police, it will ignore Hurst Fire.

While there are several ways of skinning the cat, here is a way I'd try with just one Favorites List:

System 0: Hurst P25
Site 0: Hurst
Department 0: Hurst Fire
Department 1: Hurst Police

System 1: Fort Worth Regional Radio System
Site 0: Northeast Tarrant
Department 0: Bedford Fire
Department 1: Bedford Police
Department 2: Euless Fire
Department 3: Euless Police

System 2: Fort Worth Regional Radio System
Site 0: Fort Worth Layer 2
Department 0:NRHW Fire
Department 1:NRHW Police
Department 2:Fort Worth Fire
 
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KI5IRE

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The thing to avoid is scanning the same site more than once. Thus if you are scanning the Hurst site in Favorites List "A" looking for Hurst Fire talkgroups, it will ignore Hurst Police. Then going to Favorites List "B" looking for Hurst Police, it will ignore Hurst Fire.

While there are several ways of skinning the cat, here is a way I'd try with just one Favorites List:

System 0: Hurst P25
Site 0: Hurst
Department 0: Hurst Fire
Department 1: Hurst Police

Hurst Police
System: Hurst P25
Site: Hurst

Bedford Fire
System: Fort Worth Regional Radio System
Site: Northeast Tarrant

Bedford Police
System: Fort Worth Regional Radio System
Site: Northeast Tarrant

Euless Fire
System: Fort Worth Regional Radio System
Site: Northeast Tarrant

Euless Police
System: Fort Worth Regional Radio System
Site: Northeast Tarrant

NRHW Fire
System: Fort Worth Regional Radio System
Site: Fort Worth Layer 2

NRHW Police
System: Fort Worth Regional Radio System
Site: Fort Worth Layer 2

Fort Worth Fire
System: Fort Worth Regional Radio System
Site: Fort Worth Layer 2


I'm not sure I quite understand what you're saying to do. Are you suggesting I only do one favorites list rather than one? If so, it makes it very hard to just listen to a whole department when I need to. Is there a way to only program the radio to scan the same site only once across all my favorites list simultaneously?


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jonwienke

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Only program each system ONCE, with all sites within range.

The scanner does NOT scan talkgroups or departments. It scans sites.

The only purpose of talkgroups and departments is to identify and categorize traffic transmitted from a site. If you program a system multiple times with different departments in each instance, the you are guaranteed to miss traffic.

Priority scan is pointless on trunked system--the control channel is monitored the same regardless of what talkgroup keys up on the system. You do not control the system behavior by setting a talkgroup as priority.
 

ofd8001

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Also Priority ID Scanning is different in most trunked systems. Priority ID Scanning, with a few types of systems excepted (and in those cases with certain parameters) with not pre-empt an on-going transmission to check for activity on a priority talkgroup.

Priority ID Scanning only functions when the control channel is being monitored on the active system. (In other words when on the Hurst System, it will not check for priority activity on the Fort Worth System.)
 

jonwienke

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Are you suggesting I only do one favorites list rather than one? If so, it makes it very hard to just listen to a whole department when I need to.
Yes. RTFM regarding the use of the Department Hold key.
 

ofd8001

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I'm not sure I quite understand what you're saying to do. Are you suggesting I only do one favorites list rather than one? If so, it makes it very hard to just listen to a whole department when I need to. Is there a way to only program the radio to scan the same site only once across all my favorites list simultaneously?


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I goofed up and pressed the submit button too quick. Hopefully I fixed it.
 

KI5IRE

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So it looks like the collective advice would be to just setup a favorites list for the cities I regularly monitor an run that and I won't miss as much, rather than run multiple favorites lists? Then if I want to only listen to one department click off the all cities list and go to a single city list? Perhaps an everyday scan list for fire and another for PD so I can turn either or or both on?


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ofd8001

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Use Quick Keys.

Set your Favorites List up to have Favorites List Quick Key 0

Then:

System 0: Hurst P25 (System Quick Key 0)
Site 0: Hurst
Department 0: Hurst Fire (Department Quick Key 0)
Department 1: Hurst Police (Department Quick Key 1)

System 1: Fort Worth Regional Radio System (System Quick Key 1)
Site 0: Northeast Tarrant
Department 0: Bedford Fire (Department Quick Key 0)
Department 1: Bedford Police (Department Quick Key 1)
Department 2: Euless Fire (Department Quick Key 2)
Department 3: Euless Police (Department Quick Key 3)

System 2: Fort Worth Regional Radio System (System Quick Key 2)
Site 0: Fort Worth Layer 2
Department 0:NRHW Fire (Department Quick Key 0)
Department 1:NRHW Police (Department Quick Key 1)
Department 2:Fort Worth Fire (Department Quick Key 2)

When you want to toggle Hurst Fire Off, you press 0.0.0 Eyes (don't forget periods). Pressing 0.0.0 Eyes toggles Hurst Fire back On. You could use different System and Department Quick Key numbers if you can come up with a way of helping to remember them.

I'm a little hindered by not knowing the specifics of your system. If the Fort Worth Layer 2 site is part of the same system as the Northeast Tarrant site, you could further consolidate.
 

KI5IRE

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Use Quick Keys.

Set your Favorites List up to have Favorites List Quick Key 0

Then:

System 0: Hurst P25 (System Quick Key 0)
Site 0: Hurst
Department 0: Hurst Fire (Department Quick Key 0)
Department 1: Hurst Police (Department Quick Key 1)

System 1: Fort Worth Regional Radio System (System Quick Key 1)
Site 0: Northeast Tarrant
Department 0: Bedford Fire (Department Quick Key 0)
Department 1: Bedford Police (Department Quick Key 1)
Department 2: Euless Fire (Department Quick Key 2)
Department 3: Euless Police (Department Quick Key 3)

System 2: Fort Worth Regional Radio System (System Quick Key 2)
Site 0: Fort Worth Layer 2
Department 0:NRHW Fire (Department Quick Key 0)
Department 1:NRHW Police (Department Quick Key 1)
Department 2:Fort Worth Fire (Department Quick Key 2)

When you want to toggle Hurst Fire Off, you press 0.0.0 Eyes (don't forget periods). Pressing 0.0.0 Eyes toggles Hurst Fire back On. You could use different System and Department Quick Key numbers if you can come up with a way of helping to remember them.

I'm a little hindered by not knowing the specifics of your system. If the Fort Worth Layer 2 site is part of the same system as the Northeast Tarrant site, you could further consolidate.
That makes a lot of since. Haven't played with quick keys yet, so this gives me a good chance to. Also, will it hurt if I throw a conventional channel on one of those FLs? One of my cities uses an analog freq. for fire tone but dispatches over their P25 system.
 
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ofd8001

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Yes but you would have to set up a separate system for the conventional frequency. Easy enough to add another system to the Favorites List.

Sometimes cities using tone and voice paging for alerting have a patch between the tone and voice frequency and a dispatch talkgroup. For example we do tone and voice paging on 152.0075 and hard-patch that to talkgroup 210 on our trunked system.
 

KI5IRE

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Yes but you would have to set up a separate system for the conventional frequency. Easy enough to add another system to the Favorites List.

Sometimes cities using tone and voice paging for alerting have a patch between the tone and voice frequency and a dispatch talkgroup. For example we do tone and voice paging on 152.0075 and hard-patch that to talkgroup 210 on our trunked system.
Unfortunately, this one was not setup like that for whatever reason. Not exactly sure why.

Update: I started setting this up but ran into a problem, some of my cities are all setup as one department with the cities having their own talk groups on the department, and unfortunately you cant use quick keys to enable TGs.. any ideas for a work around?
 

ofd8001

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Once you get it imported, use Sentinel to edit the Favorites List. Then you can drill down to the System where it added all a given city's talkgroups as one department. You should see a list of Departments in the right pane. Click the Green plus sign to add a new Department. You can then edit the name for the new Department and assign a Department Quick Key.

Then from there just cut and paste talkgroups from the "big" department into the newly created department.
 

KI5IRE

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Once you get it imported, use Sentinel to edit the Favorites List. Then you can drill down to the System where it added all a given city's talkgroups as one department. You should see a list of Departments in the right pane. Click the Green plus sign to add a new Department. You can then edit the name for the new Department and assign a Department Quick Key.

Then from there just cut and paste talkgroups from the "big" department into the newly created department.
I'm confused on what your recommending I do... I've attached a screenshot of my issue below.
 

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ofd8001

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I just sent you a PM. It would be easier for me to figure this out better if you can export the Favorites List to an HPE file, zip it and attach to a message.

It shouldn't be an issue to work through this.
 

hiegtx

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I've attached the lists, thank you for your help!
Take a look at this hpe file. I added my version of the NETCO cities to your's. I went thru them some time ago, and broke them up to individual cities & usage (such as Bedford Fire and Bedford Police).

You should be able to accomplish what you want with Quick Keys. Direct access to a specific Favorites List, System, or Department can be handled with Number Tags.

See this for more details: Uniden BCDx36HP Quick Keys and Number Tags - The RadioReference Wiki
 

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hiegtx

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I also noted that on both your Favorites lists, you appended the entire FWRRS (at least the sites), then avoided (locked out) the ones that you did not want scanned. I went through the FWRRS some time ago, and broke all the various cities out separately. For my x36HP scanners, I have the main cities handled as a separate system, even though they are part of FWRRS. So, I have individual systems for NETCO, Irving, Johnson County, Mansfield, Arlington, and Grand Prairie. Even though the layer is not yet active, I also have one created for the Midlothian /Red Oak layer, which is under construction.
 

ofd8001

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From a layout standpoint, hiegtx has set up the Favorites List pretty well. All you need to do is set your Quick Keys as desired.

And it's really good that someone from the area has jumped in. Most every system has its down nuances that need someone with local knowledge to fine tune.

Just a suggestion for you to consider. Some folks include the Quick Key in the name of the System/Site/Department to serve as a memory aid. For example if the department for Bedford Police has a Department Quick Key 1, then they name could be "D01 Bedford Police". (The "D" is for Department so it isn't confused with "S" or system Quick Key).

Also another option and different folks may view this differently. Rather than Avoiding a Department you may not wish to always scan, just assign it a Department Quick Key. Then go into the Dept/Sote Quick Keys Status tab and uncheck the box.

That would turn off the Department Quick Key by default and thus not scan the given department. If you want to scan it, then go through the motions of toggling the Department Quick Key to turn it on. When it is Avoided, you have to go through a lot of keypresses to change the Avoid status.

Some folks like that, others do not. The downside of using the "Off by default" Department Quick Key method is that is another Quick Key to remember.

The only other suggestion I have on numbering Department Quick Keys is some system to help you remember. For example your system could be that "1" is used as the second digit for Police and "2" as the second digit for Fire. For example "11' is Bedford Police, "12" is Bedford Fire, "21" Colleville Police and "22' Colleville Fire.
 

drdispatch

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System 0: Hurst P25
Site 0: Hurst
Department 0: Hurst Fire
Department 1: Hurst Police

System 1: Fort Worth Regional Radio System
Site 0: Northeast Tarrant
Department 0: Bedford Fire
Department 1: Bedford Police
Department 2: Euless Fire
Department 3: Euless Police

System 2: Fort Worth Regional Radio System
Site 0: Fort Worth Layer 2
Department 0:NRHW Fire
Department 1:NRHW Police
Department 2:Fort Worth Fire
ofd8001 is on the right track, but I should point out one thing. In this example, let's say you wanted to toggle off Hurst Fire in System 0. By entering ".00.00 E" you will not only toggle off Hurst Fire, but you will also toggle off SITE 0, which is the only site you are monitoring in that system. This will effectively shut off that entire system, as the scanner will not see any sites to be scanned. This will result in you not being able to listen to Hurst Police either. If you only have 1 site per system, then there is no need to assign quick keys to those sites.
If you assign quick keys to sites, make sure they are a different number than any of the departments in that system. (I use quick keys 80-99 for sites.)
 
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