Page Type: REFERENCE
Each physical scanner used for Rangecast has a unique ID. For most scanners (except the model 536), the Rangecast ID of the scanner is briefly shown on the scanner front panel display when the scanner is first turned on. Alternatively, for most scanners (except the model 15), the color of the scanner front panel display is set by Rangecast software to help with identification.
Each scanner connected to Rangecast must have a unique ID. This ID is composed of three parts:
(a) a 'hub' name (max 8 characters), designating where in the Rangecast system the software submits transmission reports;
(b) a 'cluster' ID (max 2 digits), designating the scanner's programming (all scanners with the same cluster ID should receive the same channels),
(c) a single letter uniquely identifying the specific scanner (within the hub-cluster)
For example, scanner ID 'example-10-C' refers to a specific scanner 'C' operating within cluster 10 of hub 'example'.
For all scanners except model 536, the most definitive way of reading a physical scanner's Rangecast ID is to (1) turn the scanner off, and then turn it back on; (2) read the second line of the scanner's front panel display, which will show the Rangecast ID for a couple of seconds. If the display changes too quickly, repeat the process.
An alternative approach is based on observing the color of the scanner's front panel display while the scanner is under the control of Rangecast software.
When the Rangecast software is running in normal operations (using the scanners to monitor for signals and receive transmissions), and also when the Rangecast software is in the 'configuration' mode, the software will command each scanner to a specific display color.
In normal operations, the designated color is shown in a small square in the lower-left corner of the sender window, and the corresponding Rangecast ID is shown at the top of the window. Alternatively, in 'configuration' mode, there is a line for each scanner, with both a Rangecast ID and a color square.
In most cases, the selected color will be different for each scanner connected to the PC. However, there are exceptions where the same color may be used for multiple scanners; in this case, the color cannot be used to positively determine the scanner ID.
To use this method,
(1) observe the color of the scanner's front panel display,
(2) see if the color is unique -- that is, if no other scanner has the same color
(3) IF the color is not unique, stop -- this method cannot be used to positively identify the scanner ID
(4) IF the color is unique -- look at the PC display, find the sender or line indicating that color, and read the associated Rangecast ID (e.g. example-10-C)
Since these instructions are directed towards identifying the Rangecast ID of a particular physical scanner, this process can only be done if someone is physically present at the scanner to observe the scanner's front panel display.
When using Method 2 (display color), possible reasons for multiple scanners to use the same display color include
(1) certain radio models have only one or two available display colors, limiting the ability of the software to enforce a variety of colors among the connected scanners;
(2) if a scanner doesn't have a working data connection to the PC, the PC will not be able to control the color of that scanner's display (resulting in possible duplication of the color of another scanner under active control);
(3) a configuration option allows for setting all scanners under a specific cluster ID to the same color, for ease in distinguishing groups of scanners receiving the same content;
(4) a configuration option allows for commanding the color of any specific scanner to any color
The display colors commanded by Rangecast are different in 'configuration' and normal operations. Therefore, it is not correct that Rangecast always directs a particular scanner to a particular color.
In 'configuration' mode, up to 8 colors may be used by Rangecast, to help identify radios. In normal operations, there are usually up to 4 colors used, a subset considered most visually attractive.