Rangecast FAQ
[FAQ-1119] Using Uniden 536 scanners at a Rangecast feed site



The Uniden 536 scanner behaves differently from other models of scanner commonly used at Rangecast feed sites. A significant difference is that 536 scanners cannot be programmed by Rangecast software, so the scanner must be programmed with the desired channels in some other way.


The Uniden 536 scanner is not compatible with the scanner programming software included in the Rangecast feed site software package, so (unlike other scanner models) a 536 will not be automatically programmed to match the list of channels defined in the scanner programming file (RCHAN) generated by the Rangecast programmer.

However, use of a programming file generated through the Rangecast programmer is still important, as this provides both the Rangecast player and the Rangecast feed site software with essential information -- so the feed site software can associate received transmissions with the correct channel ID, and so the player knows the channel exists and prepares buttons through which the channel can be monitored.

Channels or talkgroups not listed in the scanner programming file for the scanner's feed site number, even if received by a 536 scanner, will not be distributed to the Rangecast player because there is no channel ID associated with the transmission.

Channels or talkgroups listed in the scanner programming file for the scanner's feed site number, but not actually scanned by the scanner, will be listed in the player as available channels, but there will be no reception on those channels.

Therefore, the key requirement when using a 536 scanner at a Rangecast feed site is that the scanner must be programmed in some external way (outside Rangecast software) with the same set of channels that are specified in the feed site's Rangecast programming.

In essence, whereas other scanners are *automatically* programmed in accordance with the Rangecast programming file, while 536s must be *manually* programmed to achieve this result. (And this must be done every time the Rangecast programming is modified in a way that changes which channels are assigned to the feed site.)

Note: to meet this requirement, all that matters is that the frequency and PL code for each channel be identical to what is specified in the RCHAN to describe the channel. The text tags in the scanner are ignored, and do not need to match the RCHAN.

A minor secondary restriction is that, when using a 536 with Rangecast, it is forbidden to receive the same talkgroup number from two different trunked systems on the same radio. The Rangecast software will not differentiate the two talkgroups correctly, and it is possible that traffic on one channel will be incorrectly reported as being on the other channel. However, this circumstance is very rare.

For trunked systems: In the programmer, assign all talkgroups to be received at a 536 feed site from a single trunked system to a single tower in that system. It is not important which tower is selected in the programmer, and it does not need to be a tower that is actually received. Use only a single tower in the programmer, regardless of how many towers the scanner may actually be programmed to receive. In the actual scanner programming, you can list whatever towers are appropriate for reception. The guiding principles are (a) it doesn't matter whether the selected towers in the programmer and the scanner agree with each other, and (b) in the programmer it is easiest to assign all the talkgroups to one "tower" regardless of how they are received, and then to assign that tower to this 536 feed site.



Rangecast FAQ - ID 1119 - last updated 09 May 2018     Images shown - [block]