SDS200: Thinking of buying an SDS200

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bobruzzo

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Yes you can adjust the background and the text color for most things. Download the Sentinel software and you can play with it even without a radio connected. On top tabs, go to Edit-Display
OK just asking because I am close to buying an SDS200 maybe MID Summer. I have some questions that I couldn't find answers for on forums. I assume you CAN'T use "Freescan"? I am unfamiliar with Sentinel but I may download it to try and learn it. I am using the 30 day trial of "Proscan" which I like. My MAIN question is I simply want to set up 6 "systems. I live in Rhode Island where most of the fire, police, rescues, security/maint. etc are all on a simulcast P25 system. It is divided into 4 zones. I can only recieve 3 of the 4 zones where I live. So I just need to program the NORTH, SOUTH & PROVIDENCE zones. This covers pretty much all of the agencies on P25. I also have the Town Police (my town) which uses a P25 system but is not on the State System. It is on it's own P25 system. Then the next system is the Naval Base in Newport.....again not on RISCON but it's own P25 system, next is an LTR system, & the state prison. So I will need to program 6 "banks". Does Sentinel work similarly to Freescan? I just want to be able to program all my systems then customize later. Also I can't find where to download Sentinel for the SDS200......the only link is for the 356 scanner.
 

fxdscon

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Sorry I meant "BCDx36HP".......I didnt know that this software is compatible with the sds100 & 200. Anyway I have downloaded and opened but can't make sense out of it. How do you import anything from RR? There is no option.
You don't need to import anything from RR, the entire database is alread in Sentinel on the left side... just expand the drop down menus. It's in a format that the scanners can use.

From the Sentinel menu, click update ---> update master database and you will be up to date with the RR database.
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sallen07

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There is no option.
Sentinal does not directly access RR and download information. Instead, every weekend Uniden runs a job that extracts the entire RR DB and makes it available on their servers. (Once in a while the job fails; I think that happened last weekend but the extract from the week before is available.)

So the first thing you want to do is go to the "Update" tab in Sentinal and pick "Update Master DB (HPDB)". That will download the current extract.

The "USA" and "Canada" tabs under "Database" contain every system in RR. You can use those to create your own Favorite lists.

If you would prefer to download directly from RR you can use ARC536 or Proscan; they both support the database directly. Personally I prefer that since any changes made to the DB are available immediately (rather than having to wait up to a week for the next extract) and I don't really care for the way favorite lists are created in Sentinal. But YMMV.
 

bobruzzo

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Sentinal does not directly access RR and download information. Instead, every weekend Uniden runs a job that extracts the entire RR DB and makes it available on their servers. (Once in a while the job fails; I think that happened last weekend but the extract from the week before is available.)

So the first thing you want to do is go to the "Update" tab in Sentinal and pick "Update Master DB (HPDB)". That will download the current extract.

The "USA" and "Canada" tabs under "Database" contain every system in RR. You can use those to create your own Favorite lists.

If you would prefer to download directly from RR you can use ARC536 or Proscan; they both support the database directly. Personally I prefer that since any changes made to the DB are available immediately (rather than having to wait up to a week for the next extract) and I don't really care for the way favorite lists are created in Sentinal. But YMMV.
Yeah I see all this now.....It seems there is A LOT more work setting this up than in Freescan. Looks like lots of time to set AVOID on many things I wont listen to. Especially under "NATIONWIDE. I see how you can go in to Nationwide and AVOID everything in there manually by "shift downkey". So I set AVOID on all the things I dont listen to. Checked everything else. Saved this configuration as "Rhode Island".
Now I have to figure how to set each COUNTY to it;s own QUICK KEY. So would proscan be EASIER as far as how I want my radio set up? All I really need is 6 systems ("BANKS") One other question. I listen to the Newport Naval base P25 system. In Sentinel I AVOIDED ALL systems in there EXCEPT NEWPORT RI. I am wondering, since I have (in my BCD996P2) the Newport Navy stystem set up to SEARCH talk groups, and I have been hearing lots of interesting transmissions from places other than Newport RI. By AVOIDING all the other bases in the "Department of Defense" folder in Sentinel, will I ONLY HEAR NEWPORT base?
 

ProScan

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It seems there is A LOT more work setting this up than in Freescan.
It's not because of the software. It's more work because of the BCDxHP and SDSx00 requires more setting up.
So would proscan be EASIER as far as how I want my radio set up?
Probably not. Anytime using software with more features and utilities, it's perceived as less easier. I would use Sentinel at first. You need it anyways to update the scanner firmware, writing the profile to the scanner, & updating the HPDB. After you use Sentinel then try ProScan. Since you are a Premium Subscriber, You can use ProScan to import directly from the RRDB.
 

hiegtx

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While Sentinel can be used to create Favorites lists by appending from the main database, it can tend to add unwanted items as well as what you really wanted, If you are dealing with, say, a sizeable regional or statewide trunking system, you can select and append the specific departments you want. But Sentinel also appends all of the sites for that system, including those that are well out of range and not of interest. You can, of course, cut that down to size by removing the unwanted sites. That's not hard to do, but can be time consuming as you need to be sure that you don't shoot yourself in the foot by also removing some of the ones you do need.

However, premium subscribers can use software, such as ProScan, to import only the sites and departments of interest, without getting a lot of extraneous details that are of no use.
 

bobruzzo

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While Sentinel can be used to create Favorites lists by appending from the main database, it can tend to add unwanted items as well as what you really wanted, If you are dealing with, say, a sizeable regional or statewide trunking system, you can select and append the specific departments you want. But Sentinel also appends all of the sites for that system, including those that are well out of range and not of interest. You can, of course, cut that down to size by removing the unwanted sites. That's not hard to do, but can be time consuming as you need to be sure that you don't shoot yourself in the foot by also removing some of the ones you do need.

However, premium subscribers can use software, such as ProScan, to import only the sites and departments of interest, without getting a lot of extraneous details that are of no use.
I like Proscan but have only experimented with it like setting up a demo system or two but not exporting to radio. My only question is how do you assign quick keys???? I looked everywhere and cant find any way to assign quick keys to a system.
 

ProScan

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I like Proscan but have only experimented with it like setting up a demo system or two but not exporting to radio. My only question is how do you assign quick keys???? I looked everywhere and cant find any way to assign quick keys to a system.
System Quick Key assignments are in the System Options tab. Did that answer your question or do you need more details?
 

bobruzzo

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System Quick Key assignments are in the System Options tab. Did that answer your question or do you need more details?
OK after a lot of searching around the program I did find how to set quick keys. So I have figured how to create a "Favorites" list. Under that is the Rhode Island RISCON system broken down into 4 systems each on its own quick key. Thats as far as I can go for now since I dont have the new radio yet. Next I need to add a P25 system that is NOT on RISCON. The town of Cranston RI Police dept uses P25 but on it's own system. And the Newport Naval base is a P25 system on 380Mhz but also not on RISCON. And an LTR system. So I need to hunt around to find these .........
 
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rvacs

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I personally think its best to start fresh with Sentinel - pull in some systems via RR. I really like the Sentinel program and love my SDS-200 in fact just bought a 2nd one. Its awesome all the features. Big believer in the SDS have had one over a year and my SDS-100 about 6 months. Great scanners for me because of Simulcast area I am in.
 

bobruzzo

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I personally think its best to start fresh with Sentinel - pull in some systems via RR. I really like the Sentinel program and love my SDS-200 in fact just bought a 2nd one. Its awesome all the features. Big believer in the SDS have had one over a year and my SDS-100 about 6 months. Great scanners for me because of Simulcast area I am in.
OK I will play around with both programs, Sentinel and Proscan. I am so used to Freescan that it is hard to use other programs. I guess I am old and set in my ways! The thing I didnt like about Sentinel is how it loads ALL the nationwide entities and you have to delete all the ones (which are most of them) manually. I guess once I get the sds200 I can start to program it and not really save anything till I get it right. I plan to get the new radio maybe in June or July. Gotta take car of some car repairs and stuff right now!
 

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I am so used to Freescan that it is hard to use other programs.
On the same line like I mentioned before. Freescan supports the DMA but not the BCDx36HP nor the SDSx00 models. That's why it may seem easier, because the DMA models are easier to program then the BCDx36HP and SDSx00 models. It's not the software but the type of scanner that will make it harder to program.
The thing I didnt like about Sentinel is how it loads ALL the nationwide entities and you have to delete all the ones (which are most of them) manually.
Just append to the favorites list, the systems you want. You shouldn't have to delete anything.
 

JimD56

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I use Sentinel and love It for the x36HP's. In my case, I used to have the 436HP, 536HP, and the SDS100 (Sold Them) and now Sentinel for my new SDS200. However, I love ProScan for my 996P2's and BCT15x and I use Radio Feed as well, running a Baofeng UHF Handheld for a Broadcatisfy Feed.
 

maus92

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I use Sentinel and location based / GPS scanning on the mobile. I use a customized Favorites list to manage what I hear. I basically turn the radio on in the morning, and turn it off when I get home, rarely if ever touching it except to adjust volume or set a temp hold. The office SDS is set to the systems that are in range, and what I need to monitor. Again, rarely touch it except for holds or volume. I do own Proscan, and use it from time to time, mostly to distribute the voice over a LAN, but I find that I have to reboot the SDS frequently to maintain the network connection, so currently it's not reliable enough for me.
 
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