Saturday, April 21, 2012


How to add a Talk Group Name and a Talk Group ID.

The beauty of a TrunkTracking scanner is that it has the abiltiy to follow the conversation correctly and in most cases  display the 'Talkgroup ID' of the person/service talking.
The UBCD396XT is ideal for searching for new TalkGroup ID's.. but how do I store them?

If you have already programmed your scanner to follow a particular 'system' - for example the SA GRN or NSW GRN, you would have already noticed that when there is activity a 'number' will appear on the screen while they talk.
This number is the 'Talkgroup ID'.
(Scanner MUST BE in 'ID SEARCH' mode - see section below in BLUE)

To use an example - one of the most common ones found on the SA GRN is the number '42992' - This number represents the SA Ambulance 'Tasking' ID for the lower half of SA. 
Everytime a new job is dispatched this number will generally appear on the screen.

Now you could simply download the Freescan software and enter all the data via a computer - this is by far MUCH MUCH easier and less time consuming - but not everyone may have a computer with them when they are listening - especially when a new talk group may be found while out in 'the Field'.

Storing the talk group to the Scanners memory gives you the flex-ability to add a alpha tag (Name) to it - so you can actually see the name of the group that is active and also gives the user the ability to use the scanner to only monitor the actual talk groups saved...

For example - A local Tow Truck operator recently asked me to update his older UBCD396T scanner to receive the SA GRN... His only request was to listen to the SA Fire Dispatch - SA Ambulance Dispatch and the Local SES dispatch.. a total of THREE talk groups only!
After entering the three talk groups into his scanner he asked me how to stop the scanner from hearing all the other talk groups on the GRN...
I advised him to set the scanner to 'ID Scan' only - that way the scanner will only open the squelch when either of the three installed talk groups actually transmit.

Seemed kind of a waste to have only THREE active talk groups entered into this scanner - but that's all he wanted to hear. He wasn't interested in listening to anyone else - only what effectively 'made him money'.

By saving your favourite talk groups to the scanners memory you can do virtually the same as the Two Truck Operator did - set the scanner to only monitor the saved talk groups.
You may be a big fan of the CFS/CFA and MFS - so listening to other talk groups may be of no interest to you at all..
So if you enter only the CFA/MFS talk groups - set the Scanner to 'ID Scan' .
Once the scanner is set to 'ID SCAN' you will hear nothing else but the CFS/MFS talk groups that you entered..
Make sense?

When the Scanner is in 'ID Search' mode - it picks up EVERYTHING you have saved and anything else that it finds.
'ID Scan' will only listen to what you have saved - nothing else!

You can switch between 'ID Scan' and 'ID Search' by pushing the Function Button on the top left hand side of the scanner and then push the 'scan' button.
If your scanner is currently showing 'ID SCAN' scrolling across the screen, it should change to 'ID SEARCH'... or visa versa...
You can only change between the two modes when the scanner is  Trunk Tracking a system.. it will not work in conventional mode!

Creating  Talk Groups 

Before you attempt to save any  IDs to the scanners memory it would probably pay to create some 'talk groups'

Talk groups are where the relevant talk group IDs will be stored.

Talk Groups are simply adding an extra file to the system you have already created..
Talk Groups could be called 'FIRE' Ambulance' Police' 'SES'... etc etc..
When you create these Talk Groups you can then store each actual talk group ID found into its respective group in the scanners memory.

For example.
Your 'SYSTEM' is called 'SA GRN'.
A Talk group is a group of users within the 'SYSTEM'.
That Talk group could be the 'SA Ambulance'
Inside the SA Ambulance Talk group, there are other individual users who come under the same 'Job Description'.
These could be Ambulance dispatch, the Royal Flying Doctors is also under the same 'banner' as the SA Ambulance...
Each one of these users inside the actual Talk group has their own individual ID (and even there own radio ID- but that's another story)

Below is a very 'crude' breakdown' of how the SYSTEM is structured in the scanners memory.
First you create a 'System'
Under that 'System' is a 'Talk Group'
Inside the 'Talk Group' are the users of that 'Talk Groups' relevant ID numbers, with their own independent 'Apha Tags' (names).

Here is how to create your very own 'Talk Group'.

I will use the example of my already installed SA GRN system (SA Government radio Network - Motoroloa type II), but the principle is virtually the same for the NSW GRN and most other trunking systems.

highlight Program System
Push YES

Select System Menu will appear.
Highlight SA GRN - (or your particular Trunking system)
Push YES

SA GRN will apear on the top of the screen (or your particular trunking system)
Using the Volume Dial - turn it clockwise to highlight Edit Group
Push YES

Select Group will appear on top of the screen.
Using the Volume Dial - turn it clockwise to highlight New Group
Push YES

Processing Please wait will appear for a few seconds...

Group and a Number will apear on the top of the screen - First time will always say Group 1
Highlight Edit Name
Push YES

Edit Name will now appear on top of the screen.
Push the .NO button twice to erase the current display.
Enter AMBULANCE (or whatever name you wish to call the group) and push YES.

(Remember how to enter Text? - Use the Rotary Volume dial to select the text and the 6 button to move across the screen - make a mistake - push the .NO button once to remove the last input)

Once you have named the new Group, push YES

Now push Scan.

Now the scanner should be in 'ID SEARCH' mode - you can see this by the words 'ID SEARCH' scrolling across the screen.

Hint/Tip:If it says 'ID SCAN', push the Func button on the top left hand side of the scanner and push the Scan button - this will change from ID SEARCH to ID SCAN, repeat the process to return to ID SCAN.
(Remember ID SCAN will ONLY let you hear the talk groups you have stored!)

Now simply wait until you hear someone talk.
When the talk group ID appears on the screen. 

Push YES!

The screen will ask..
Quick TGID Save?
(If you push YES - the scanner will save the talk group ID into a generic group that the scanner defaults to save everything!
If you wish to simply store the talk groups for later review and your unsure of 'who' they actually are, I would suggest pushing YES and then you can review them at a later stage.)

Otherwise if you are confident that you know the talk group displayed on the screen you can allocate it directly to its respective group.
If this is the case...

Push the .NO button.

Screen will then change to read...

Select Group

Now if you have followed my example - you may have already created a series of three or four groups called ,
etc etc etc

Depending on who the talk group ID number relates to - you can now use the Volume dial to scroll to and highlight the already allocated group that the talk group ID belongs to.

TIP: If you know that the Talk group ID displayed on the screen is relevant to the Metro Fire Dept - you would not save that ID into the Ambulance Talk Group.

Highlight the respective Group the ID belongs to and push YES

This has now saved the talk group ID into your selected group.

A new screen will appear with the talk group ID displayed.
Edit Name will be highlighted.
At this stage you can no attach a name (alpha tag) to the talk group ID, so next time it appears on the screen it will have a name - making it easier to recognise.

Once completed - push Scan.

If the talk group you have now saved is active - it will now display not only the name of the talk group - but the name of the group as well..

If you have a list of all the talk groups you wish to monitor you can simply manually enter them one by one via the scanners keypad - but this is a slow process and does require a lot of patience.

This can be done at the earlier stage when you are actually creating the talk group ID groups.
When you create the initial 'Group'
you can then enter the actual individual talk group ID


To enter the talk group ID number manually,

Push Menu.
Program System will be highlighted.
Push YES
Using the Volume dial - scroll to highlight the system you wish to add the talk group ID.

Once highlighted, push YES

Using the volume dial to scroll down the screen to highlight Edit Group.
Push YES

Using the Volume dial - scroll to the group you wish to add the talk group ID to.

Once highlighted - push YES

Using the volume dial - scroll down the screen to highlight Edit Channel.

Push YES

Using the volume dial scroll down the screen to highlight New Channel

Push YES

Input TGID will be displayed at the top of the screen...

Input the talk group ID number using the keypad.

Once completed push YES

Screen will then display the talk group ID you have just entered, you can now use the sub menu below to add the alpha tag to the talk group ID.

Once name has been entered push YES.

to enter another talk group ID, push the Menu button after pushing YES and the screen will revert back to prior menu so you can repeat the process again.
Once you have entered your talk group IDs and are finished, push the Scan button.

Processing Please wait will appear briefly and the scanner will commence scanning again.

Congratulations - you have entered a talk group ID!

Version 3.
Updated 5th Feb 2013.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Single Frequency Entry - Creating a New System & Group

How to store an individual frequency into a SYSTEM.

To store a frequency you have to create a SYSTEM to store it in.

You can put the frequency into a pre-configured system but if the frequency you wish to store relates to the FIRE Dept and your only existing SYSTEM is a Police SYSTEM it would make no sense and add confusion by putting a FIRE Dept Frequency in a POLICE Dept SYSTEM.  This would be the equivalent in an older Scanner of putting a Fire Frequency in a Police ‘Bank’ with all the Police Frequencies.

By creating separate SYSTEMS you can then allocate them Quick Key to turn them on or off similar to turning a ‘Bank’ on or off on older Scanners.

First thing you have to do is obviously have the correct frequencies ready that you wish to store.

For this example we will use – 491.350 NFM

Push the MENU Button.

PROGRAM SYSTEM should be Highlighted.

Push YES.

Select System should be displayed at the top of the screen.

Using the Scroll Dial – rotate it left or right until New System is Highlighted.

Push YES.

Select Sys Type should be displayed at the top of the screen.

Using the dial rotate it left or right until Conventional is highlighted.

Push YES.

The Scanner will now ask to Confirm?

Push YES.

Now the number of the System you have created will be displayed at the top of the screen.

And Edit name will be highlighted.

At this point you can change the name of the SYSTEM to something more user friendly instead of a simple number.

Push YES.

Edit Name will be displayed at the top of the screen.

The current SYSTEM number will also be displayed.

To remove this current text from the screen and re-name the SYSTEM, push the decimal point or NO button twice.

You now have a blank entry point to create your own SYSTEM name.

For example let’s call it FIRE DEPT.

To enter FIRE DEPT – Use the scroll dial to rotate left or right until the letter you wish to use is highlighted.

The first one we want is F.

Once F is highlighted, push the 6 button.

This will move the cursor to the right so you can enter the next letter, I.

Using the scroll dial – repeat the process until FIRE has been entered.

Now to make a space between FIRE and DEPT simply push the 6 button twice after the E in FIRE, to create a space.

Once the text entry has been completed and FIRE DEPT is on the screen you can save it now by pushing the YES button once.

The SYSTEM now has a name. (FIRE DEPT)

FIRE DEPT will now be highlighted on the top of the screen.

Using the scroll dial – rotate it down until Edit System Option is highlighted.

Push YES.

Set Quick Key will be highlighted.

At this point you can now allocate a Quick Key to the SYSTEM so you can turn it on or off quickly via the scanners keypad.

Now if you don’t already have a SYSTEM that has a quick key you can put number 1 in if you want?

You can have as many SYSTEMS allocated to the same number as well.

For example – Some users will allocate ALL their EMERGENCY SERVICES SYSTEMS to quick key ONE.

And their PUBLIC SYSTEMS to quick key TWO.

Then they can alternate between what they want to listen to with the push of two buttons.

Push the YES button to set your Quick Key button.

Using the scroll dia,l rotate to highlight number 1.

Push YES to save your selection.

Now to enter the Frequency – you need to Push the Menu button to return to the previous Menu.

FIRE DEPT should be displayed at the top of the screen.

Edit System Option will be highlighted.

Using the scroll dial rotate it until Edit Group is highlighted.

Push YES.

Select Group will be displayed at the top of the screen.

New Group will be highlighted.

Push YES.

Group 1 will be displayed at the top of the screen and Edit Name will be highlighted.

Push YES.

Repeat the process as mentioned before to change the name of the Group.

Edit Name will be highlighted.

Push YES.

Push the NO button twice to clear the current text.

Inside each SYSTEM  you have groups. These groups can be useful to store relevant frequencies for each individual user inside the Fire Dept System.

For example Your System is called the FIRE DEPT, but inside that SYSTEM you may want to create a series of smaller individual groups that relate to other users that all come under the FIRE DEPT `Umbrella’.

There might be `Dispatch’ would be Group 1

Rescue might be Group 2

Recovery might be Group 3

Each Group may have four or five individual frequencies allocated to their ‘Section/Region/Area.’

We won’t get to involved in this just yet as this is a whole other section, so for today’s lesson stick with one group!

Let’s call this group `Local Region’.

Once you have typed in `Local Region’

Push YES to save your text.

Now the top of the screen should show LOCAL REGION.

Using the scroll dial rotate it until Edit Channel is highlighted.

Push YES.

Finally after all your hard work you can now enter the frequency!

Select Channel will be displayed at the top of the screen.

New Channel will be highlighted.

Push YES.

Now you can type in 419.350 (or whatever your frequency may be.)

Now push YES to  save.

Now the frequency will be displayed at the top of the screen.

Edit Name will be highlighted.

At this point you can now give the frequency a name if you desire!

Handy when they actually use the frequency as your scanner will then display the users name.

419.350 may be your Regional Fire Dispatch frequency – so typing in Reg Dispatch, means it will come up on the scanners screen when they talk.

If you want to name the frequency – repeat the text input method as explained earlier.

Once you have entered the name of the frequency,

Push YES to save your changes.

Now at this point you are pretty much ready to scan this frequency.

You have created a SYSTEM and you have created a group inside the SYSTEM to allocate the frequency to.

Now all you have to do is push the SCAN button and your in business!

If you want to check its going correctly you should see FIRE DEPT come up on the screen and a small number representing your SYSTEM showing on the SO line of the scanners screen.


Good luck.

Any issues – email me at

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