Sunday, December 16, 2012

Basic Settings. Making the most of your scanner

Everyone wants to hear something straight away - while this may not always happen, here is a little tip to get you 'fishing' straight away.

Lets just say your curious to see what you can find in the 70Mhz range in your local area.. this may be quiet at night time so perhaps best try it during business hours..

Turn the scanner ON.

If it does not start scanning automatically - Push SCAN.

Now Push HOLD.

While the scanner has stopped and 'HOLD' is displayed in the top left hand side of the screen, type in 70.0000.
 'Direct Entry' will appear on the screen as shown below....once you have typed in 70.0000, push HOLD again.

It does not really matter what frequency you type in - the results will be the same

The scanner will automatically choose the correct modulation (AM/FM/NFM etc) and the frequency step size.. 

Quick Search will now appear on the screen as shown below.

To search push the HOLD button once again...

The scanner will now commence a quick search either up or down the frequency range.
To scan up - Turn the dial Clockwise (Right).. to scan down - turn the dial Anti-Clockwise (Left).

Once the scanner finds an active frequency it will pause until you rotate the dial Left or Right again.
If it is something of interest and you wish to listen/monitor it - push HOLD.

Once the transmission is finished - push HOLD again to resume searching.
Remember to rotate the dial Left or Right depending on which direction you wish your search to go...

If you find something of interest that you wish to save - Push the HOLD button when the transmission is active.
While in HOLD mode - Push YES.

The screen will now change and display 'Quick Freq Save' as shown below

If you wish to save the frequency - push YES and the frequency will be saved into the scanners 'Quick Save' memory.

Of course you can still save the frequency the old fashion way, by simply writing it down manually on a notepad and enter it later into the designated 'System' you wish to save it in....

Once you have finished playing with the 'Quick Search' feature - push the SCAN button to return to normal operation.

At any time you make a mistake - simply push the SCAN button and start again.

During a 'Quick Search', the Scanner will only search in the pre-set factory default modulation and step sizes.
In most cases this will be fine - if it is a particular odd frequency your searching - you may wish to create a custom search. This is covered in another section.

Applies to trunking Systems including the NSW -VIC (MMR) and SA Government Radio Network

Quick search is also a good way to quickly find active control channels in your local area.
Users in NSW, Metro Melbounre  and SA may find this a quick way to find the strongest control channel in their area.
Control Channels are what makes the scanner lock onto the radio networks data channel.

To find a control channel, follow the same procedure as shown above but start your search at 400.0000 and search up the range. (Rotate the dial Clockwise)
You will hear when the scanner finds a Control Channel as it will stop on a 'Noisy' computer generated sound that simply wont stop...
While it has paused on the control channel - make a note of the frequency and write it down  also have a look at the signal meter on the top right of the screen - the more bars the better the control channel reception.
To see if there are any more control channels within your range - simply rotate the dial clockwise again to continue up the search range to see if there are any more..
Generally there is only ONE of any real use - however if you are using an external antenna, you may come across two or three depending on your location - always make a note of the 'strongest signal'.

The most powerful signal you find is generally the best Control Channel to use.
The information you gather here may assist in setting up your Trunking System.


Setting the Squelch.

Setting the Squelch to the correct level can make all the difference between
receiving what you want to hear and what you don't.
If the Squelch is set to low, the scanner will stop on every little annoying 'noise' it hears... having the squelch set to high can make the scanner too 'fussy' and it may skip straight over some transmissions...
I usually set mine to around 6 or 7.

It's simple enough to do by following this procedure.

Turn the scanner - ON

Put the scanner into scan mode by pushing the Scan button (if its not already scanning)

On the left hand side of the scanner - push the FUNC button.

A small 'F' will appear on the top left hand side of the screen.

While this 'F' is displayed push the Rotary dial down - you will hear it make a small 'click' as its pressed down.


The Rotary dial is located at the top of the scanner - it has Sel/Vol/Sql written to the left of it.
This dial has two main functions - it can be turned left or right or pushed down to help make and confirm settings.
In some cases it can also double up as a 'YES' button to help confirm selections.---------------------------------------------------------------

SQUELCH LEVEL will be displayed along the bottom of the screen and a small horizontal bar graph.
Rotate the Dial left or right according to your required setting.
A number will also appear on the left hand side of the bottom of the screen to also indicate the setting level.
Once the correct level has been set - Push the  Dial once again to save your settings.

The squelch has now been set.


Changing the Screen Colour.

Don't like the current colour of your scanners screen?
The UBCD396XT lets you change your screen to suit your mood!

To change the colour follow these instructions.

On the left hand side of the scanner - push the FUNC pad.

The screen will now display the MENU
Using the Rotary dial (Volume control) turn it clockwise until
Settings is highlighted as shown below.

Once Settings has been highlighted - Push YES
The screen will then change to display Settings at the top. (as shown in the picture below)
If not already highlighted - use the Volume dial to highlight
Set Backlight, then push YES.

The screen will then open up the Backlight menu as shown below.

Using the Volume dial - trun it clockwise unitl Set Color is highlighted
(Yes Color is spelt the American way)

You will notice that there are a couple other settings in the Backlight Menu. These include setting the Mode and the Dimmer.
If you highlight Mode - and push Yes, a new menu will open up letting you select the time the backlight stays on and when it will be activated.
10 Sec - Backlight stays on for 10 seconds.
30 Sec - Backlight stays on for 30 seconds.
Squelch - Backlight comes on when squelch opens - someone talks.
Keypress - Everytime you press a key the backlight will come on for the designated time pre-set earlier.
Infintie - Stays on all the time.
Trick is to set the time first..  say you want the backlight to stay on for 10 seconds only...
Highlight 10 Sec and push Yes.
Screen will revert back to previous menu.
Highlight Set Mode again and push Yes.
Now we want the Backlight to come on only when the squelch is open - when someone talks.
Highlight Squelch and push Yes.
Screen wil revert back to previous menu again.
The Backlight has now been set to come on for 30 seconds when someone talks.

Setting the Dimmer is just as easy.
While in the Set Backlight Menu -Highlight Set Dimmer and push Yes.
A new Menu will open up with three choices High, Middle and Low.
Using the Volume dial highlight your desired backlight brightness and push Yes.
Screen will revert back to previous menu and we can continue to the next step to change the colour.

Changing the colour of the screens backlight is quite simple at this point.
Simply make sure that Set Color is highlighted and push Yes.
The menu will now let you scroll between the following colours...
White - Yellow - Cyan - Blue - Red  - Magenta - Green
Once you have selected your desired Backlight colour you can then push Yes.
The colour of the backlight has now been set.
Push your Scan button to resume 'scanning'.

Here are some examples below.
 whats the point? Glad you asked.
You can also set the backlight colours for different frequncies and talk groups.
For example, I have my backlight set to glow RED when the Fire Dept are talking and BLUE for the Ambulance.
I will often leave the volume down quite low and when I see the screen glow or flash RED or BLUE I know its a frequency that I may wish to monitor - I can then pick up the scanner and adjust the volume so I can hear the conversation.
Very handy when watching TV and don't want to be bothered by the scanner in the background, unless it's something important, simply set the backlight colour to your favourite frequency and monitor the colours!


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