Throw me a lifeline!
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BCD436HP
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TOPIC: Throw me a lifeline!

Throw me a lifeline! 10 Feb 2016 01:13 #16447

  • Santacarl
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Hello all,

New guy here...and I might be jumping the gun a bit but maybe not.

I should have a new BCD436HP in a few days! I went ahead and started to look at setup and Sentinel etc.

I think I can manage the installation of Sentinel and the download of the FW and DB.... But then I'm at a loss as to how to go about setting up (pardon me if I get the terminology wrong....but that should show how lost I am) systems, department, sites, unit ID's, Favorites et al.

I see lots of videos and things but most everything I've run across seems to be for advanced or those with previous scanner experience.

I am totally new to this so when they use terminology I've never even heard of to explain how to go about something I'm totally lost as I don't even understand the basics enough to follow along.

Does anyone know of an intro to 436 and scanner concepts and maybe a list of things to do in order? So far I've run across concepts but I don't know enough to connect the dots between the different concepts to even begin a logical setup.......

I'm looking for something that walks me through from the very beginning of setting up once I have the software on the computer and the FW and DB loaded into the scanner.....

Any help would be greatly appreciated....I know I'm asking a bit early since I don't have the scanner yet but I"m trying to get a head start and read up on what to do so that I won't be overwhelmed when it gets here.....I'd like some time to absorb what I'm trying to do....

Thanks for any pointers you can fling my way!

Re: Throw me a lifeline! 10 Feb 2016 15:43 #16450

  • UPMan
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I think is pretty basic as to how to get started making your own Favorites List. If you want to understand a bit about how trunked systems work (so that you'll understand the structure of systems in Favorites Lists), try reading info.uniden.com/twiki/pub/UnidenMan4/ScannerManuals/But_I_just_want_to_listen_to_the_Police.pdf.

Of course, if you are still absorbing information when you get the scanner, you can still get started scanning pretty easily:

1) Update the database in Sentinel.
2) Write to Scanner from Sentinel (to put the latest database in the scanner).
3) Update Firmware (function in Sentinel) to make sure the scanner has the latest updates.

Put your zip code into the scanner and scan. By default, it will limit to Fire/EMS/Police Dispatch channels, and you can expand/limit those selections by turning on/off other service types.

At least you'll have something to listen to while you read/absorb. :)

Re: Throw me a lifeline! 10 Feb 2016 16:53 #16451

  • Santacarl
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Thanks UPMan.... As you say it's probably pretty basic but when you're new basic can seem advanced! If that makes sense....Smiling.....

I appreciate the lifeline....and links. I look forward to absorbing and learning....Can't wait to get started.... The last scanner I had access to was an old RS model....25 years ago....Needless to say things have changed considerably since then.....So it feels a bit like drinking out of a fire hose. Ha....

Thanks again for the help...you are very kind to respond with some pointers and direction....

UPDATE: Well after reading the PDF listed it gives a lot of concepts but is short on the HOW to.... Typical of design engineers who live in the world of conceptual theory they simply cannot resist trying to communicate to the average Joe Six Pack in those terms.... This PDF starts off with a good overview of trunked systems which did clear up some of the terminology but then comes the blitz of concepts, failing to connect the dots with HOW.... As an example you read...."in addition to the control channel frequencies, you’ll need to know the system’s band plan (base/step/offset). EDACS and LTR systems will require both the frequencies and their associated LCN" .

I have no clue what that means and it doesn't get around to WHY and HOW.... I read something like that and my eyes roll back in my head. Which goes back to my original post....It is over the head and seems pretty overwhelming to someone starting at the very beginning of this endeavor. I would love to see a step by step how to on the 436HP....Then I could see how some of the terminology is used and when to enter some of the data and why. I am a reverse engineer type.....once I see HOW something goes together then the theory makes sense. In other words I think functionally and not conceptually.

Please don't take this is a criticism of your effort to help I do appreciate your response....I just find this level of technical and concept very hard to follow unless I can see HOW it applies which tends to give the concepts something to 'stick' to.....it is very frustrating....

SC
Last Edit: 10 Feb 2016 19:02 by Santacarl.

Re: Throw me a lifeline! 16 Feb 2016 14:56 #16465

  • UPMan
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The why of the band plan and LCN is that the scanner uses those numbers to determine the voice channel to go to when there is traffic. The how is ... you look in the database to see what the values are and that is what you use. Technically, you can calculate these values yourself, but to do so you must run analysis software and have a knowledge base that is generally not needed for the average scanner user (so why clutter up a video or other explanation with concepts that are hard to master and useless for most people). I understand the reasons entirely, yet never, ever, use that knowledge to program a scanner.

Re: Throw me a lifeline! 16 Feb 2016 16:52 #16466

  • Santacarl
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Thanks UP.... My new 436 is on a UPS truck as I type... Once I get it I'm guessing that once I can get my hands on it and actually see it things will clear up.... It's a bit frustrating when you are trying to put all the pieces in place and you're missing one.....

Your videos are appreciated BTW..... Keep up the good work!

SC

Re: Throw me a lifeline! 16 Feb 2016 16:56 #16467

  • UPMan
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As long as you are in the US, most of the questions regarding what to put in to program the scanner become moot, as most systems are already in the scanner's database (if it is in RadioReference.com's database, then it is in the scanner's database, as long as there is at least one channel in the system).
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