[FAQ-1128] How to read/view the existing programming of a radio scanner
Page Type: REFERENCE
The normal pattern in Rangecast is that scanners are reprogrammed automatically by the feed site software to match a reference file (called an RCHAN file) that is maintained on the Rangecast server. Therefore the normal flow of programming is "downstream" from our servers to the scanner. However, it is sometimes useful to read/view the existing programming on a scanner - usually if a scanner programmed by a customer outside Rangecast, to determine what it is actually programmed into its scan list. Also, the model Uniden 536 scanner cannot be programmed with Rangecast software, so it is sometimes useful to review the programming of a 536 to validate that it is correct.
1) This process uses the Rangecast Windows application RC-CONTROL. If this program is not on the Windows desktop of the PC connected to the scanner you want to read, first obtain this software
[FAQ-1009] Software: RC-CONTROL
RC-CONTROL is test software written by Rangecast for technical operations on Rangecast feed site PCs. If the RC-CONTROL software is not already present on the PC (check the desktop and the Rangecast folder), it may be downloaded. Software features include: Detects available COM ports and reports on radios connected to them. Allows direct control of radios to facilitate site maintenance and troubleshooting.
2) In Rangecast's sender software, note the COM port number shown for the scanner you want to read/view. This can be obtained in either of two ways:
a) if the Rangecast sender is already running, you can read the COM port number in small print just below the date/time
b) alternatively, by starting Rangecast and pressing Configuration, waiting for the search for hardware to complete (text "Port tests complete" in the upper-left corner), finding the row with the scanner in question, and then reading the COM number in the left column.
3) Stop all Rangecast software, so that RC-CONTROL will have the ability to access the radio scanner. (When one application, such as the Rangecast sender, is in communication with the external hardware, other applications will not be able to use the communications port.)
[FAQ-1088] How to stop Rangecast software on a feed site PC (temporary stop, not decommission)
Rangecast software on a feed site PC includes a "watchdog" process that monitors for software faults, and may automatically relaunch the software if it is not closed correctly. The correct way to stop Rangecast is to click the Rangecast icon, and then press the Stop button.
4) Launch the RC-CONTROL software. Further steps below are taken inside that application.
5) Select the COM port previously determined for this radio scanner.
6) Ensure the scanner is in HOLD state, with the screen set to 5-LINE mode. There are commands in RC-CONTROL to make these changes, and you can check them by using "Z" to see the scanner status.
7) Use menu option "T" to read the scanner's programming. This will create (on the PC desktop) a file in RCHAN format describing the scanner's existing programmming.
Note: The generated file will list all the broadcast channels (by frequency or talkgroup), but does NOT include the site frequencies used to receive trunked systems (what you may know as RSITE lines in a RCHAN file).
Note: The generated file does not include a "feed site number", a field that would be needed in a live RCHAN file on the server, as would be used to program scanners or associate certain metadata with scanned channels. If all or part of this file is used on the Rangecast server, this field must be added manually. (This is not needed for manual review of the scanner's programming.)
Rangecast FAQ - ID 1128 - last updated 02 August 2017 Images shown - [block]