Zip Code, Range, and Location Question

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BOBRR

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Hello,

Using a BCD 436

Two questions, please:

a. Playing with Sentinel, and Location Settings.

It has my Lat/Long showing, and I have the Range set to 50.0
This 50.0 mile range is what I want (I think).

It will allow me to (also) enter my zip, but when I look at it again,
the zip I entered does not show.

Why ?

If I have a Range set (50 miles), and a Lat/Long. showing, do I
also need/want a Zip ?

b. Have a bunch of FAV, but do Not have Location Services Enabled
for any of them. .

So,

With Location Services OFF for each of the FAV Lists, it is only
the U.S. Database that will use my zip and range, as this is the default
for it (On).
True ?

But again, it does not seem to keep my Zip once entered ?
Would it use the Range that I entered?

Or, would the FAV Lists will simply be scanned for any and all comms that it might pick up irrespective of Range from my location ? (Wouldn't it need my zip for this ?)
True ?

Thanks,
Bob
 

troymail

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To my knowledge, location settings such as zip code, Lat/Lon or GPS and range only apply if you have location control enabled in your favorite(s) lists and/or you are using the full database.

There are several ways to apply location but only one applies at any given time.
 

marksmith

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Anne Arundel County, MD
You don't understand what range is if you are setting it for 50 miles. I set mine to 5 miles and receive 35-40 miles, or basically the max capability of the radio.

Zip codes are not stored. They are only used to determine a lat/long which is stored until changed by other location entry of zip or lat/long or GPS instructions.

Location is always on using the full database. If it is off using a favorites list, everything is scanned.

Mark
536/436/HP1/HP2/996XT/996P2/396XT/325P2/PSR800
 

ofd8001

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When a zip code is entered, the scanner looks at an internal table which correlates the center of the zip code to a specific lat/long. The scanner then stores that lat/long as the scanner's location. (It's more convenient to enter a zip code, than full location information).

Favorites List Location Control Off means the Favorites List will always be scanned, unless Quick Keys are off or "things" avoided.

50.0 for a Range is casting a pretty wide net. However given the right set of circumstances, it could be reasonable. Those would be a very tall outside antenna, really good coax feed and pretty flat topography. There is a radio system 40 miles away from me that would ordinarily be off due to location control. However the right circumstances are there for me to receive this system.
 

marksmith

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Agree that setting to 50 miles could be reasonable under the right circumstances. If I were using a tall outside tower antenna from static location, I would probably not be using location control, but your example is reasonable. I believe, however, that based on the OP's question, I don't think these conditions exist, and the OP thinks that if you want to hear things 50 miles away you need to set the radio to 50 mile range. A common but very very incorrect assumption with these radios. This is the point I was trying to get across.
 

ofd8001

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Yes. And for the benefit of the OP, setting the Range to 50.0 miles means the scanner will turn on Systems/Sites/Departments whose coverage area overlaps that 50.0 mile radius circle. Whether or not you actually receive them is another thing.

I believe the reason most folks advocate a lesser Range value, is for typical scanner set-up. Reaching that far out may result in an attempt to receive a lot of "unreceivable" things. That slows down the acquisition of things that have enough signal to make it to the scanner.

Best thing to do is experiment with the Range value to find the one you like.
 

dallascowboys

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Dothan Alabama
Zip Code and Range

I live in Dothan Alabama what would be the best range to set for this area, I have 50 miles but I see from these posts that this might be a little to far, can someone help on this, I have looked at the youtube about location location and have some trouble understanding some of it, thanks.
 

ofd8001

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The easiest answer is to set a low Range value at first, such as 5.0 miles. Then do some scanning. After you get a feel for what you are hearing, then bump up the Range value in increments of 10.0 miles, doing some scanning at each interval.

You'll probably get to a point where your scanner is attempting to receive traffic, but you aren't hearing anything because the given system isn't pushing out enough radio horsepower to get to you.

From there you can back it down and settle in on a sweet spot.

Location control concepts are challenging for new folks. Making it difficult is the term "Range" which is used in two contexts. One is the scanner's range. The other is a radio system's Site/Department range.

This is probably oversimplified, and is for introduction purposes. Imagine your scanner is in the center of a ring. The radius of that ring is what you set with the Range button, which is from 0.0 to 50.0 miles. For the sake of this example, imagine the scanner's circle as being red.

Next imagine a radio system's transmitter tower (site) as being another circle. The radio transmitter tower (site) radius is set in the database. (This is also applicable to Departments). For this example, imagine this circle as being blue.

When the scanner is doing it's "thing" a lot of information is being processed. One of those things is to determine if the blue circle touches or intrudes in that red circle. If so, then the scanner will turn on that blue site (and/or Department).

For a real life example: Let's say you set your scanner's Range to 50.0 miles and you are in Dothan. Next, let's say Panama City Florida's site has a range of 30.0 miles. With Dothan being 75 miles away from Panama City, you have about 5 miles of overlap. So the result is your scanner will attempt to receive Panama City. because there is 5 miles of overlap. It's doubtful that Panama City is pushing out enough radio horsepower for you to hear them.

So basically your scanner will attempt to receive "stuff" that is scanner Range + site/department database range away.
 

ofd8001

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Kinda dropping a hint for Upman, here: A suggestion would be to put a link to that article on their twiki page where folks download Sentinel and mark it as "Suggested Reading".
 
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