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Trying to understand systems, sites, groups (scanner)

Baby Billy

NES Member
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Oct 12, 2019
New England
Coming from an old conventional scanner, I'm trying to wrap my head around the hierarchy of "channels" on a a uniden 325p2. I'm using freescan to program it.

The basic functionality I'm looking for is to be able to group "channels" that I am able scan, turn on and off by pushing the number keys. I'm struggling to figure out what level in the hierarchy makes sense to do that at. For example, if I only want to scan state level, press 1 to enable or disable, if I just want county, press 2 to enable or disable. I have no problem getting the list of freqs into the scanner. I just don't understand the hierarchy.

Any help would be appreciated. I realize this is not directly HAM related, but I figured this might be my best shot. Thanks in advance.


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Oct 19, 2005
I'd set each area you want to listen to as a System. Sites only come into play with trunked systems and to use them to determine what you listed to you pretty much have to use GPS based location control. That's if the 325P2 has that.

Within systems, you can further break down frequencies or Talk Groups into "Departments."

For example, if you set up the MA State Police as a trunked system, you can break each Troop down into a department.

I have my departments set up as follows,

Troop A
Troop B
Troop C
Troop D
Troop F (Note that F is mostly on the Massport Trunk System but some TGs are repeated on the MSP trunk)
Troop H
Non SP users

I also have a department for the Cape PDs and FDs as they use the MSP zones/sites down on the Cape.

If you put in all of the MSP Zones, or at least the major ones, you'll pick up different Troops if you drive around the state. The trunk system has a lot of overlap between zones, so you'll hear some surprising stuff. If you happen to be in Central MA, which is Zone 8, you'll not only hear Troop C, but you'll hear a good amount of Troop A and Troop H traffic as they border Troop C on the east. You'll also hear Troop B as it borders Troop C on the west.

For conventional, I have Boston, Metro North, Metro South, Metro West as "Favorite Lists." Within each of those I have Systems and Departments broken down by type and geography. For instance, in "Metro West" I have cities and towns west of Boston, but also some Worcester County cities and towns. I also have the Worcester P25 trunk system.

There is a ton of flexibility with these new scanners and it takes a while to fine tune the programming to get it how you want it to work. With a new scanner, I figure I'll do five major configuration changes and countless minor changes before I'm done. In fact, I've had a SDS200 for over two years and I'm still changing the programming around as I figure out what i want to do.
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