Virtual control of the 536HP

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ke4ah

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When Proscan releases their software for the 536HP, I plan to purchase it. I used it with my 996XT and really enjoyed it. Here's what I have gathered thus far:

1. I will not be able to use my USB cable for virtual control.
2. Since I don't have a serial port on my computer, I'll have to purchase a separate USB to Serial port
adapter and serial cable that will plug into the GPS port on the back of my 536HP.
3. I will have to install the Serial drivers for my 536HP.

If I am incorrect, please let me know. However, if I am correct, could some of you who had to get a USB to
Serial adapter please tell me exactly what adapter you purchased, also include what serial cable you bought?

Thanks in advance
Alan - KE4AH
Haleyville, AL
 

ofd8001

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Here's the cabling I use for Virtual Control for my 536:

Starting at the USB port:

1. USB to Serial Port adapter - http://www.amazon.com/Plugable-Adapter-Prolific-PL2303HX-Chipset/dp/B00425S1H8

2. Female to Female gender adapter (Radio Shack)

3. Null Modem adapter (Radio Shack)

4. 6' Serial Cable (had it laying around for years, but I'm sure Radio Shack has them).

You'll have to install drivers for the USB to RS232 adapter, which can be downloaded from Prolific. Additionally you might have to install the Uniden Serial Drivers, which can be found through the following link: BCD536HP < UnidenMan4 < TWiki

By "might" I'm not sure this is necessary since the rear port is now recommended for VC. When I installed them, we all were using the front port for serial mode. At any rate I doubt installing the drivers would be harmful. (Better to have them installed and not need them, than to need them and not have installed them, theory).
 

ke4ah

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Thanks for the reply. I have the cables already but it looks like I'll have to get the USB to Serial Adapter you suggest. I just found my Tripp-lite Keyspan USB to Serial Adapter but I can not get it to work. The computer recognizes it but when I plug it into the GPS port on the back of the scanner, the scanner is not recognized nor am I prompted to install the Uniden serial drivers. I assume to turn on the serial port on the 536HP, all one does is go to the menu/setyourlocation/setupGPS/setserialport? I do that and don't see a com port selection. I just see the Baud rate selections.

Alan
 

durangoGreg

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Why can't you just use the USB port on the front?

I use my front USB port in serial mode to connect my scanner to the virtual display apps that have been posted online. I also use it with my app that I wrote on my mac.

Is there an issue with ProScan using the front USB port?
 

ProScan

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I assume to turn on the serial port on the 536HP, all one does is go to the menu/setyourlocation/setupGPS/setserialport?
Alan
Correct

I do that and don't see a com port selection. I just see the Baud rate selections.
Correct. Only Baud Rate. The scanner is hard wired to a port and the software needs to know what port the scanner is connected to so therefore the Com port selection is a function of software.
 

ProScan

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Why can't you just use the USB port on the front?

I use my front USB port in serial mode to connect my scanner to the virtual display apps that have been posted online. I also use it with my app that I wrote on my mac.

Is there an issue with ProScan using the front USB port?
Does your virtual display apps or Mac app poll the scanner? It may be the frequent polling interval of software that causes the problem to show more frequently. The difference between the front and rear ports as far as software goes is the port number.
 

ofd8001

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Why can't you just use the USB port on the front?

I use my front USB port in serial mode to connect my scanner to the virtual display apps that have been posted online. I also use it with my app that I wrote on my mac.

Is there an issue with ProScan using the front USB port?
A number of users, including me, we having problems with the front port. It would "magically" switch from Serial to Mass Storage mode. Upman suggested using the rear serial port (the GPS one) for virtual control purposes with a setting of 115200.

At the time only ARC 536 Pro was doing virtual control. Just a little while ago I downloaded ProScan, but haven't had the opportunity to use it. It's possible it may be a little more friendly to the front port.

In any event, you can't argue against something that is working. So if you are having success with the front port in serial mode, that's a good thing.
 

durangoGreg

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Well so far I haven't had any issues and my software polls the scanner every 0.3 seconds.

Several have downloaded my app and haven't had any issues either but I guess that doesn't mean that some aren't having trouble with the front port.

I have noticed that if you wiggle the port even slightly that you can trigger the USB mode prompt but that is rarely an issue with using the base in a stationary position.
 

ke4ah

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Honestly, I have not tried to use my USB cable to do virtual. I know that Butel advises to use ARC536Pro with the serial port on the rear for the reason Ofd8001 mentioned. I will wait unto Proscan for the 536 comes out and try it. They say that will be by the end of May. I did download ARC536 PRO today. Then I tried every configuration I could think of to get the Keyspan USB to Serial adapter to work but it never did. I guess there is a 4 hour or something time limit on trying ARC536Pro because I can not get the program to even run now. I own ARC536 basic but before I spend another $35 to upgrade to Pro, I will make sure it works.
Like I said, when Proscan's version that works with the 536 is released, I'll download it and see if I can get it to work......

Alan
 

ke4ah

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DurangoGreg, what virtual apps are you referring to? I am familiar with 3. Freescan, ARC and Proscan. I can not use Freescan due to having satellite internet. The ping delay is the problem. I mentioned above that I tried ARC536Pro but I spent the few hours I had it trying to hook up the scanner to my computer through the serial port. Makes no sense giving us only a few hours to try it. Especially when I already spent $35 on their ARC536 basic. But, back to the topic. I checked Proscan's site and it says their version for the 536HP will be out by the end of May. I believe 7.0 is not what you use since I tried it with my 996XT. I sold the 996XT before the Proscan 30 day trial was up and bought the 536HP. It was a great program. Those are the only 3 virtual programs I know of right now Greg.

Alan
 

ke4ah

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Well, by golly, Proscan released 7.1 sometime after I checked their site earlier today. I am going to try it and if it works, I'll spend my money on them. I'm sorry I did not realize it had been released earlier.

Alan
 

durangoGreg

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Sorry Alan, I didn't mean to confuse you.

I wrote a little virtual screen program called "Scanner Remote" for the mac.

Basically, all it does is display the Time stamp, Frequency or TGID, Department, System, and Chanel when a call comes in. It also keeps a hit count list, allows you to control the scanner volume, and mute the scanner.

I put a link up to download the app for free. There are a couple of others that other members have posted for free as well. One that works with windows, and one that works on both windows and mac machines using chrome.

If you search the Uniden Software forum you will find them.

My software thread is here <http://forums.radioreference.com/uniden-software-discussion/290511-just-another-os-x-scanner-monitor.html>. These don't have all the capabilities of ProScan but do work the same using a serial port connection.
 

ke4ah

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Thanks for the info and for clarifying Greg. I appreciate it. The virtual control of my 536HP is important to me due to my limited vision. Being able to see that "scanner" on my big monitor makes it so much more easier.

As long as I know that Proscan 7.1 works using my USB cable, I will purchase it. I appreciate everyone's
help here at RR. I have learned so much just by reading the forums.

Alan - KE4AH
Haleyville, AL
 

wk5h

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I have the trial version of Proscan running now. Mixed right now on it, mainly due to my laptop's sound card and Uniden's usb/serial port drivers.

Sound card on laptop has a lot of noise, especially when plugged into the power adapter and a usb device. I have worked around those issues by using one of my Signalink USB boxes to pull audio from the scanner into the laptop. This is probably due to Dell's always crappy laptop design, and their almost always numerous design flaws.

If I'm trying achieve virtual control via the usb cable, it works great... for about 5 minutes, then windows pukes out the uniden com port, and I have to remove it from device manager and reload the drivers for it ever to wok again... for 5 more minutes or so.. So, I just go from the laptop's serial port to the gps port on the back of the scanner. I attribute this to windows being it's normal buggy self.

One thing I have noticed though, is that even with the gps port set at 115,200, it still doesn't seem to poll the radio as fast as it does when using the usb/uniden com port.

For virtual control of the radio, Proscan doesn't quite do it for me yet. Mainly because of the audio delay. I got spoiled for near instantaneous audio from a program I used in conjunction with my ham radio when I was remotely using my rig. It used VoIP protocols, and had little noticeable latency. With the way Proscan does it's streaming, there's anywhere from a 10-20sec delay in audio. I understand as to why it occurs, just don't like it much. It's not a huge deal when I'm at work, but, if I'm sitting at my desk, the audio always lags way behind on the audio vs what it's telling it's listening to.

Also, since I run primarily Mac, Safari doesn't quite like the web interface. I have to pop open Chrome to get it to work.

I do like having remote control of the scanner, though. I have different listening favorites setup, and it's nice to be able to set which ones I want to listen to at any time.

I don't hate Proscan, though. It's great piece of software, and I fully expect bugs due to the newness of the radio, and the just recent support of my 536.

Just my opinions, anyway.
 

ProScan

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I have the trial version of Proscan running now. Mixed right now on it, mainly due to my laptop's sound card and Uniden's usb/serial port drivers.

Sound card on laptop has a lot of noise, especially when plugged into the power adapter and a usb device. I have worked around those issues by using one of my Signalink USB boxes to pull audio from the scanner into the laptop. This is probably due to Dell's always crappy laptop design, and their almost always numerous design flaws.

If I'm trying achieve virtual control via the usb cable, it works great... for about 5 minutes, then windows pukes out the uniden com port, and I have to remove it from device manager and reload the drivers for it ever to wok again... for 5 more minutes or so.. So, I just go from the laptop's serial port to the gps port on the back of the scanner. I attribute this to windows being it's normal buggy self.

One thing I have noticed though, is that even with the gps port set at 115,200, it still doesn't seem to poll the radio as fast as it does when using the usb/uniden com port.

For virtual control of the radio, Proscan doesn't quite do it for me yet. Mainly because of the audio delay. I got spoiled for near instantaneous audio from a program I used in conjunction with my ham radio when I was remotely using my rig. It used VoIP protocols, and had little noticeable latency. With the way Proscan does it's streaming, there's anywhere from a 10-20sec delay in audio. I understand as to why it occurs, just don't like it much. It's not a huge deal when I'm at work, but, if I'm sitting at my desk, the audio always lags way behind on the audio vs what it's telling it's listening to.

Also, since I run primarily Mac, Safari doesn't quite like the web interface. I have to pop open Chrome to get it to work.

I do like having remote control of the scanner, though. I have different listening favorites setup, and it's nice to be able to set which ones I want to listen to at any time.

I don't hate Proscan, though. It's great piece of software, and I fully expect bugs due to the newness of the radio, and the just recent support of my 536.

Just my opinions, anyway.
On the ProScan audio delay issue, ProScan does not delay (or buffer) the audio before sending out. The delay is because the Media Players has a buffer for storing x seconds of audio in case there are network drop outs.

On the Safari issue, I want the Web Server to work with all browsers. Safari wasn't tested so if you would post a screen shot or describe what it's doing or not doing, I can work on it.
 
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wk5h

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On the ProScan audio delay issue, ProScan does not delay (or buffer) the audio before sending out. The delay is because the Media Players has a buffer for storing x seconds of audio in case there is a network drop out.

On the Safari issue, I want the Web Server to work with all browsers. Safari wasn't tested so if you would post a screen shot or describe what it's doing or not doing, I can work on it.
Here's what I see when using Safari. Even when logged in, the controls are non-functional, although it will show the frequencies being scanned.
 

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southernCTscan

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Using "Remote Scanner Over IP" in ProScan on my desk at work there is only about a .5 second latency, hardly noticeable. Listening on my phone with Broadcastify the delay is about 10-15 seconds and the audio does not match the display, but as Bob stated that is because Broadcastify buffers the entire packet to cut down on drops. I have not tried the web server function yet but remember the ProScan license allows you to use the full functions on one additional PC.
One other note, I use ProScan on my Mac via Parallels. The Mac natively delays input audio by about 1.5 seconds. I found a small program called "linein" for the Mac which allows pass thru audio with no delay. If you would like to listen to my feed it can be found here, New Haven County Fire and Police Live Audio Feed the feed is from a BCD536HP.
 

ke4ah

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I purchased Proscan Friday and am using it with my USB cable that came with the 536HP. No problems as of yet. The delay mentioned is not really noticed. It looks like my 536HP is on my 26 inch monitor lol. More importantly, I can now see the display to know what agency I am hearing. I don't mind that I don't have the data base capability with this Proscan. I know how to use Sentinel now so that is no biggie. $50 is a little pricey just to get a virtual display but oh well lol.
 

wk5h

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Just a small update...

I swapped to a different laptop... I was really having doubts about the reliability and build of the old dell latitude. I was right.

Swapped to a different and better built laptop, and things are running a lot smoother. No more issues with the driver kicking out (I honestly think that there was something wrong with the usb ports and noise coming across from the power supply; unplugging the power supply cut out a LOT of noise).

Haven't had one issue yet using the usb cable for control, although I did swap it out for a usb cable with some ferrites on the cable. Not sure if that did much if anything, but, things are working out MUCH better - not once has it decided to drop out the drivers for the uniden usb serial port.

Safari on my macs still are having problems displaying the webpage, but, that's just an issue with Safari.

I did try out using Remote Scanner over IP, and that is a DEFINITELY more around what I was looking far, as far as lag time (or lack thereof) of the audio. I even got it working about %99 using wineskin on my macs (sorry, I work on windows machines all day, and I enjoy coming home to my macs that work; not the biggest fan of windows). A few color issues here and there, but, nothing that keeps it from performing to what I need it to. I did try running the server piece using wineskin, and everything worked except for it being able to find the com port. For some reason, I just can get it to see the com port; never had an issue with any other programs I used in wine seeing the com port; something to work on another day, I guess. This gives me hope that I'll be able to get the client to work on my linux box at work with wine, though.

In short, I am definitely enjoying the software MUCH more than I was the other day; great work!
 

dispatcher812

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Here's the cabling I use for Virtual Control for my 536:

Starting at the USB port:

1. USB to Serial Port adapter - Amazon.com: Plugable USB to RS-232 DB9 Serial Adapter (Prolific PL2303HX Rev D Chipset): Computers & Accessories

2. Female to Female gender adapter (Radio Shack)

3. Null Modem adapter (Radio Shack)

4. 6' Serial Cable (had it laying around for years, but I'm sure Radio Shack has them).

You'll have to install drivers for the USB to RS232 adapter, which can be downloaded from Prolific. Additionally you might have to install the Uniden Serial Drivers, which can be found through the following link: BCD536HP < UnidenMan4 < TWiki

By "might" I'm not sure this is necessary since the rear port is now recommended for VC. When I installed them, we all were using the front port for serial mode. At any rate I doubt installing the drivers would be harmful. (Better to have them installed and not need them, than to need them and not have installed them, theory).
So it looks like I need a female/female adaptor. My Question is can this set up you have here be reversed? Go from the serial port on the scanner to the USB on the computer?
 
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