Understanding how to use the BCD436/536HP Favorites Lists

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Jan 21, 2002
Raleigh, NC
From RR.com member Jay911 here is an excellent write up (originally seen here) on how to use
Favorites Lists in the upcoming BCD436HP & BCD536HP scanners:

In a Uniden HP style radio, favorites lists contain systems. Systems can be trunk systems or conventional systems. Systems contain departments (with the addition of also having sites, if the system is a trunked system). Departments contain Channels, which are either individual frequencies, or talkgroups.

Here's a couple examples from the RRDB (excuse me if this is stuff you already know, but there are folks in this thread who don't, and could benefit):

Ohio MARCS-IP: Multi-Agency Radio Communications (P25) Trunking System, Various, Ohio - Scanner Frequencies

MARCS-IP is a System. You could put it in a favorites list.

Inside the MARCS-IP system, you will have all the sites, plus you will have several Departments. Examples of Departments include: Ohio EMA, Statewide Mutual Aid, Athens County (05), etc.

Inside those Departments are Channels. Inside Ohio EMA are Channels named XEMA-CONW, XNUC-PERRY, and so on.

On the HP radio display (including both the HP1 and the x36HP radios), line 1 would be MARCS-IP, line 2 would be Ohio EMA, and line 3 would be XEMA-CONW.

Similarly, in Cuyahoga County, for conventional frequencies...

Cuyahoga County, Ohio (OH) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

The System is Cuyahoga County (abbreviated to "Cuyahoga" in the DB)..
The Department could be "Cuyahoga County Engineer".
The Channels inside that department would be "County Engineer - East" and "County Engineer - West".

(Just for the sake of interest on that last one - the HP line of scanners doesn't take the RRDB's "Alpha Tag" field (block of text) into consideration, just the "Description". So the fact that those channels are listed as 1, 2, 3, and 4 in the Alpha field is not brought into the HP. DB admins may want to make sure the "Description" is as descriptive as the "Alpha Tag" is.)

Now, having said all this, all of your Systems are gathered into one Favorites list. You can have, as was said above, up to 256 different Favorites lists in the radio, and you can choose to monitor one, many, all, or none of them, as well as the "Full Database", meaning that which is already in the RadioReference DB. At least one of those must be turned on - so you can listen to the full DB and all, some, or none of your favorites, or you can listen to all, some, or one of your favorites, without the full DB.
And Unidens own UPMan has this to say about how Favorites Lists work:

A Favorites List (FL) is a set of systems/departments/channels you have put together to scan. Each FL can be up to 1 MB in size (as a reference, no single state uses this much for all the radio systems in the state). You can have 256 FL in Sentinel, and scan any combination of those and the main database. A profile contains instructions to Sentinel indicating which FL should be downloaded to the scanner and which of those downloaded should default to being scanned (the profile also has all the "global" settings, such as backlight settings, weather mode settings, FL QK status, etc).

It is important to note that you can have an infinite (well practically) number of profiles, but every profile shares the same 256 (max) favorites lists. Changing the contents (system/department/channel) in a favorites list changes that favorites list for all profiles.
UPMan also said this about how Quick Keys operate in the x36HP line of scanners:

The QK structure is FF.SS.DD, where:

FF=00-99 for FQK (Favorites List)
SS=00-99 for SQK (System)
DD=00-99 for DQK (Departments...sites are assigned a DQK)
Please direct questions about any of the above to the appropriate sticky thread:

--BCD436HP Handheld Scanner sticky thread
--BCD536HP Base/Mobile Scanner sticky thread
--BCDx36HP Sentinel Companion Computer Software and Siren Mobile App sticky thread

Happy Monitoring
Marshall KE4ZNR
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