Rangecast FAQ
[FAQ-1133] What is a Collection?



A Collection is a subset of the channels received by scanners (or other audio inputs) operated by a Hub, which are bundled together into and treated as a group. The channels belonging to a Collection are defined in the HTML5 programming system, where a hub administrator selects channels for reception. A channel may belong to multiple Collections.



Some of the main reasons to use Collections:

1) when some users within a customer's organization should not have permission to access all of the hub's channels, and this provides a way to give permission to only selected groups of channels;

2) when some (but not all) of a hub's channels should be exported for the use of another customer, and this provides a way to export only selected groups of channels;

3) when the customer's organization is segmented in some way (e.g. different offices or bureaus with local monitoring responsibility)

4) for best use of the automatic World generation feature, grouping a set of channels that should be put together into a single player design, without custom work on the player configuration

5) for ease of management of channels in Channel Reception Editor for setting up scanner programming, by creating a filtered view of selected content

Collections are part of a single Hub, and expressed as 'hubname:collection' with a colon separator.


Some collections exist automatically in the system, specifically:

1) by county - all of a Hub's received channels within a single county are mapped to an automatically generated Collection
2) by agency type - all of a Hub's received channels of a single agency type are mapped to an automatically generated Collection
3) single channel - each individual channel within a Hub may be treated as belonging to a single channel Collection

Automatic collection names start with an underscore, e.g. "_W" for all public works channels, "_D1045" for channels within a county, or "_C103552" for a specific channel. In addition, for the agency types that are broken into dispatch/tactical/talk subcategories (e.g. fire and police), collections like _F and _P are made available that incorporate all of the related subcategories. Channel and county codes can be looked up here:

[FAQ-1111] Use of the RCDB (Rangecast Channel Database) query utility

The RCDB query utility is a website available for looking up channel information from the master channel database used in the HTML5 Rangecast system.

Agency function type codes can be found here:

[FAQ-1029] Reference list of Agency Codes used by RadioReference, HPDB, RCHAN

This is a list of the Agency Codes used by RadioReference, and in the Home Patrol Database (HPDB), and in Rangecast RCHAN files.

Note: Automatic collections are numerous, and omitted in the Channel Reception Editor's list of collection filters. There are other UI options to limit what is seen there in similar ways, so it provides a cleaner interface to omit these filters.


In the HTML5 programming utility, manually created collections can be defined, and channels selected for each collection. Manually created collection names must not start with an underscore.


Most grants of authority to content are made at the hub level (e.g. all content in 'somehub'). However, there are occasions where it's desirable to grant users access to a subset of a hub's content, or for a Rangecast administrator to give a Hub Administrator authority to grant content to part of another hub's content but not all content. To support these situations, the Collection property may be used. In each hub, subsets of original content can be marked as belonging to a particular Collection. For example, hub 'somehub' may have a collection 'abcde', which would then be referenced by the collection name 'somehub:abcde'.

[FAQ-1110] What is a License?

A License grants Rangecast user account(s) permission to access a specific set of channels, from someone authorized to allow access (a hub administrator). The channels may be identified individually, or access may be granted to entire baskets of channels (Collections, or all content from one or more originating hubs). For a hub administrator to grant access via a License, either (a) Rangecast administration must have given permission to this hub's administrators to grant access to the channels, or (b) the channels must originate at the same hub (in which case the administrator's right to grant access is implicit in the role of hub administrator.) Note that a hub may exist for the sole purpose of License authority; it is not required that a hub originate any content (e.g. operate feed sites or scanners.)

Collection names may be used in most places where hub names are accepted, including hub administration (somehub:abcde may have its own administrators), Rangecast administrator grants to Hub Administrators of license permissions (a Rangecast administrator may give otherhub the authority to grant users access to somehub:abcde without giving similar authority for all content from somehub), and License scope of coverage (a License might grant access to somehub:abcde in particular).

[FAQ-1127] How a License written by one hub can grant authority to hear content received by another hub

By default, a hub administrator cannot grant access to any other content, since the other content is owned by other hubs. However, Rangecast can create exceptions to this general rule, so that content originating from one hub may be included in the Licence access grants written by another hub.

In the HTML5 system, content from different originating hubs is merged at the player (which must request content from each source) instead of the server (in the Java system, a player could only access one source, and any mixing of content would be done upstream from the player). This makes the use of collections vital when one customer receives some content from another customer's system, but not all content is brought over in this way.




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