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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

REMOTE HEAD UNITS - FIRMWARE UPGRADE

How to upgrade your Remote Head Firmware.


Uniden Australia have released a firmware upgrade for the UBC-RH96 (Remote Head Unit) to suit the new UBCD396XT.

This firmware upgrade is for the remote head unit - NOT the SCANNER!

All NEW remote heads sold from Uniden Australia after Feb 2012, should have had the update completed.. but recently I have discovered (Aug 2012) that this is not the case - some remote heads being sold are still early Version 1.00.00 firmware and wont work correctly unless the upgrade is done.

18th July 2013 - Uniden Australia still advertise the remote head unit on their web  page.
This item has now been discontinued and is no longer available directly from Uniden Australia.





To check the remote heads firmware follow these steps.


1. Turn on the remote head unit and power it up.

In the first few seconds it takes to power up, the firmare version will be displayed quickly on the screen...

If the firmware upgrade has not been done it will show - Version 1.00.00

If the Firmware upgrade has been done - it should show Version 2.00.01

Early model remote heads that where sold with the UBCD396T and UBCD996T scanners will require this upgrade if attempting to use them with a UBCD396XT.


To complete this upgrade you will have to download two files from Uniden Australia and you will also require the Serial Port cable supplied with your scanner.

If you do not have a serial port on your computer, you will have to purchase a USB to serial port cable.

WARNING! - Updating your remote head to version 2.00.01 firmware will render it useless on the UBCD396T and UBCD996T scanners as they are not compatible with the new firmware upgrade.





----------------------------------------------------------------------------

You will need to visit Uniden Australia's UBCD396XT page.
http://www.uniden.com.au/australia/p_ubcd396xt_index.asp

On the right hand side of the page you will need to click on the SOFTWARE DOWNLOAD, as shown below....




When you click on the Software Download a second window will appear as shown below.
This is the 'Firmware Upgrader' 
(This program is required to upload the firmware upgrade.)





Click on Save and save the download to your computer - somewhere easy to locate when required!
Once saved - Unzip /Open the file so it is ready for use.

When saving these files, DO NOT change the name of them at any time, as they will NOT work!

Resist the temptation to change the name of them to something more familiar - if your one of these people that has a 'Goldfish' memory - write down the name of the file and its location!




Once you have saved the 'Upgrader', you will now have to click on the 'Firmware Upgrade' as shown below.

Once again - another window will appear requesting you to save the file.


Save the file again - to somewhere easy to find!

IMPORTANT - Once you have saved the actual firmware upgrade - you MUST 'unzip' the file in its stored location. Unzippng the file will give the actual upgrader applicaton access to the 'opened' file.
If you do not 'unzip' the file - it will not open in the software upgrader application and cause you headaches!

Now once both files have been saved to a location on your computer, you need to open the first file you saved (downloaded)

This file is called - UBC_VUP Firmware Update Loader

(I saved my file to the desktop - so it was easy to find)

Open/Unzip the file first...

Now if done correctly the file should open up as shown below.

A smaller box will also appear as shown below.
(This generally appears INSIDE the previous display)


Click on the 'OK' Tab.
(You will now have to find the folder or location where you saved the Firmware Upgrade)
Once you have located the Firmware Upgrade from the Folder or Location where you saved it.

REMEMBER! YOU MUST 'UNZIP' (OPEN) THE PREVIOUSLY STORED FIRMWARE UPGRADE SOFTWARE!)

Click on the saved file and it should open up another window as shown below.


IMPORTANT 
Follow the instructions on the screen!
The remote head MUST be powered up at all times.
The upgrade should take around 5 minutes.
The most common problems are the software NOT recognizing the 'communications port' on the computer, and secondly the firmware software itself not being 'unzipped/opened' when orignally saved.



Once you click on OK another small box will appear asking you to select the com port being used.


Make sure you know the COM Port being used!
(The picture above is an example only - yours may not be COM PORT 3)

Select the correct COM Port and click OK
Another window will appear...



Click on OK
Another screen will appear as shown below....


The Software should start uploading to your remote head unit.

If this screen appears - NOT GOOD!

Check ALL your settings and follow the instructions again!

'If at first you don't succeed, try and try again'

Once Update is completed, power down the remote head and remove the data cable.
Connect the Remote Head to the Scanner.
Power up the Scanner, then turn on the Remote Head.
Firmware Version should show as Version 2.00.01

If done correctly - the remote head will 'find' the Scanner and the Remote Head unit can now be used to control the Scanner.



Updated 18 July 2013

Comments - Corrections or Suggestions welcome.
E-mail me at ubcd396xt@bigpond.com

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

UBCD396XT - Technical Data - SA GRN settings.

For those who are confident enough to create their own 'NEW ' System to follow the SA GRN, you will need these settings.

These settings are also available from the scanners pre-installed factory Database via its menu....

Band Plan Settings.
---------------------------------------
Select band Plan - CUSTOM
---------------------------------------
Band Plan 1
Base Freq Lower- 412.4750
Base Freq Upper - 413.4625
Input Offset - 380
polarity +
Set Spacing - 12.5KHz
----------------------------------------

Band Plan 2
Base Freq Lower - 415.1250
Base Freq Upper - 418.8625
Input Offset - 460
Polarity +
Set Spacing - 12.5 kHz
-------------------------------------------------------------

Set Modulation - NFM
Set ID Scan/Search - Search
Set Delay Time - 2 sec
Set Status Bit - Ignore
Set End Code - Factory Setting is IGNORE, but personally I select Analog.

You can find the control channels relevant for your area from here.
http://www.sascan.net.au/?page=infPages/GRN_Sites


These settings also apply to any of the Imported US Scanners including the BCD396XT and the Desktop BCD996XT.

Many thanks to Matt and his SA Scanning site.
http://www.sascan.net.au/?page=welcome
Without his dedication and hardwork most of us would still be in the dark!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

UBCD396XT - Setting up the SA GRN


The Uniden UBCD396XT comes pre-installed with the current SA GRN control channels used throughout the state of South Australia.


Problem is, that having  ALL the control channels for the whole State of SA may suit a small portion of customers who may travel the entire State on a regular basis (Vacum Cleaner Salesman?)  it may not suit the other 99.9 percent who don't.


The following instructions are designed to get you up and running in your location using the data that was pre-installed from the factory. (Yes it's up to date)
In this example I will use the pre-set frequencies and System Information that Uinden supplied as new.
I will endeavour to add another example of how to create a New SA GRN System as soon as possbile.
There will be NO need to change anything else in the Scanners data base or set up during this example other than these instructions.
These instructions are designed for the novice - some further 'tweaks' can be done but for this example I will keep it as simple as possible.

The Uniden installed data base does not however include the relevant talk groups for the SA GRN.
In fact the scanner does not include any talk group information for any of the pre-loaded systems.




Quick Fix Method.


As the UBCD396XT comes pre-installed with the SA GRN we will use it for a starting point.
First of all we need to remove all the unwanted 'Systems' pre-installed by Uniden and leave only the SA GRN!
Now I have already covered this procedure in the following section -

UBCD396XT - First Time - Removing Unwanted Systems...




Once you have removed all the other unwanted systems from the scanner you should only have left 'SA_GRN MOT'.

Now you have two options at this point...
You can either leave the remaining system ' SA-GRN MOT' and simply get the scanner to start searching... or update the 'SA-GRN MOT' system to reflect the area where you live....
By leaving the original Uniden system (SA-GRN MOT) in the scanner you simply need to get the scanner in 'ID SEARCH' mode and it should start hearing activity within minutes...

If the scanner is in 'ID Scan' you wont hear anything!
Uniden Australia did not load the scanner with any talk groups, so the scanner won't find anything in it's database.
That is why the scanner must be set to 'ID SEARCH'.

'ID SEARCH' will find every active talk group in your area, the second they talk.

To switch between ID Scan and ID Search.
Push the FUNC pad on the side of left hand side of the scanner, then push the Scan button.
Each time you repeat this process - the scanner will alternate between ID SEARCH and ID SCAN.

Remember - ID SEARCH - to find NEW talk groups!
ID SCAN - will only let the scanner hear what is stored - NO NEW talk groups will be found while in ID SCAN mode.




Once you have removed all the unwanted Systems you can now modify the current pre-installed data to suit your area.
A good starting point is to perhaps have a quick look at the SA Scanning web page.
Follow this link. http://www.sascan.net.au/?page=infPages/GRN_Sites

This page is an excellent starting point to locate the 'Sites' closest to your Home location.

The state of South Australia is divided into 5 regions.
Narrow your selection down to the region that concerns YOU.
For this example we are concentrating on Region 1 which contains the Site 'Adelaide CBD'.
Click on the 'Adelaide CBD' - this will open up a new page with a list of all the data required to set up your scanner for the 'Adelaide CBD'.
The only frequency that we need is the 'Data Channel' - 413.3125 and the 'Back up Data Channel' - 417.8125.
Write down these two on a note pad as well will need them again in a minute.

I have recently added additional notes on this particular section further down the page. 
(11 June 2012)
-------------------------------------------------------
Hint/Tip
If you are living in the Adeliade Metro Area you may wish to write down all the relevant 'Data Channels' for your area within say 10Kms of your home base.
Compile all these channels on a note pad and write down there relevant 'Site' name.
Don't be concerned about entering all the 'Data Channels' for the entire region 1 area - unless you actually are a 'Vacum Cleaner Salesman' - it's a waste of time and unless you are travelling all over the State, your only making the scanner work harder to find your relevant 'Data Channel'.
I only have ONE 'Data Channel' loaded in my scanner and it works perfect - when I travel interstate I then load up the required 'Data Channel' for the other areas I will travel through. This is where you create a 'site' relevant to your area...
I have recently added additional notes on this particular section further down the page. 
(11 June 2012)
------------------------------------------------------

I will assume that you have removed all previous 'Systems' and only left the one called ' SA-GRN MOT'

Turn your scanner on.
Push MENU (On left hand side)
Screen will show the inital MENU screen with PROGRAM SYSTEM highlighted.
As shown below.


Push YES.

Screen will then display Systems currently available in the scanner's data base.
---------------------------------------------------
Hint/Tip
If you have NOT removed the other systems as I suggested earlier, don't worry too much, you can do it later if your wish.
---------------------------------------------------

If you have NOT removed the other systems you screen will open up as follows:

(This picture below is the display expected from a Brand new Unit with original Database still loaded. If you HAVE removed all the unwanted Databases as I suggested earlier there will be only ONE system showing - SA-GRN MOT)



If SA-GRN MOT is not shown on the screen, use the Volume dial and turn it clockwise until SA-GRN MOT is highlighted as shown below.


Once SA-GRN MOT is highlighted - push YES.

Screen will then change to the following, asking you if you wish to Edit the Name of the System.
Uniden Australia Have called it SA-MOT GRN for a reason - as this is pretty much what it is - you can change the name if you like by following the menu or skip this step and concentrate on setting up the frequencies.


Our main concern is the 'Site' set up. Use your Volume dial and turn it clockwise unitl Edit Site is highlighted, as shown below.



Once Edit Site has been highlighted - push YES.

The sreen will now open up again in another new Menu asking if you to Select Site.
Factory defult setting for the 'Site' will read the same as the System Name - SA-GRN MOT (Just to be confusing!) as shown below....




Make sure that SA-GRN MOT is highlighted and push YES.

Screen will change to the one shown below giving you the chance to change the name of the Site.



I would strongly recommend that you change the name of the site to reflect the area or location you wish to monitor. For this example we will enter ADELAIDE.
While EDIT NAME is highlighted push YES.

Screen will now display the following.


To remove the SA-GRN MOT text from the screen to replace with your new text, push the 'NO' button twice.!
This will in turn remove the SA-GRN MOT text ready for you to enter your new site name.
---------------------------------------------------
HINT/TIP
The site is where you will enter all the details of the relevant 'control channels' and their respective 'towers'.
Unlike  a mobile phone that will jump to the next available tower automatically - your scanner wont - unless you enter the data.
This is why you must create a site.
Each System must contain at least ONE site to make it work.
You can enter multiple Sites in a System and each Site can then be switched 'on' or 'off' depending on where you travel.
----------------------------------------------------

Your screen should be ready to enter the text as shown below.



Using the Volume dial - turn it clockwise or anti-clockwise and you will see Letters and Numbers appear under the cursor.
As we are going to enter Adelaide for this example - rotate the dial until a capital 'A' appears.
To enter the next letter 'D' - push the 6 button once and the cursor will move to the right.
Rotate the dial again until 'D' appears - repeat this process until 'ADELAIDE' is entered.
---------------------------------------------------
Hint/Tip
If you make a mistake or wish to correct a spelling mistake - use the 4 button to go back over your text. To enter a space - simply push the 6 button again and it will leave a blank/space.
To start all over again - push the 'NO' button twice!
---------------------------------------------------

Your screen should look like this.


Once 'ADELAIDE' (or whatever name you have given your site) has been entered correctly - Push YES.

Screen will revert back to previous MENU before we entered our Text.
As shown below.



Using the Volume Dial, rotate it clockwise until Set Frequencies is Highlighted.
As shown below.


Once Set Frequencies has been highlighted - Push Yes

The screen will then open to a list of pre-installed frequencies as loaded by Uniden Australia as shown below.





This list contains all the relevant control channels used in SA.

(The following section was partly covered at the beginning of the instructions)

Now in some instances if you leave the entire statewide control channels in  the scanners data base it will sometimes 'lock onto' the WRONG one and give you bad reception or simply a slightly weaker signal.

This can be quite annoying if you scanner goes quiet and you end up missing the conversation


I have found for best results - only enter the control channels relevant to your location or 'Region'.

Your job is to remove the control channels you don't need!

The instructions below describe how to modify the factory set SA_GRN MOT system to make it easier for the user to 'tweak' it for their relevant area.
If you do not want to change the factory data base form the Statewide system as supplied by Uniden - Stop NOW!
-----------------------------------------------


Lets just say that the Scanners owner lives in the CBD of Adelaide (Capital of South Australia)
The owner has no need to travel outside the CBD with their scanner and is quite happy to leave it on the shelf and monitor the transmissions in the comfort of their residence.
This persons best option is to only enter the TWO relevant control channels for the Adelaide CBD.

As there only two control channels that concern us for the site of 'ADELAIDE' we have to remove the ones that are not relevant to us.
For this example we will leave the two frequencies relevant to the 'ADELAIDE CBD' as we found before - 413.3125 and the 'Back up Data Channel' - 417.8125.

In the second example- let's say the Scanners owner travels all around the City of Adelaide and it surrounding suburbs, but does not travel much more than 100kms from home on a day to day basis.
This person would find that the scanner would perform better if it actually had more control channels in its system data base.



At this point you have to decide to either leave in the entire Statewide control channels - the region control channels or your fixed location control channels...

CONTROL CHANNELS CAN BE SET AS FOLLOWS:

STATEWIDE = ALL CHANNELS
REGION = CHANNELS RELEVANT TO YOUR REGION
LOCAL = CHANNELS ONLY SPECIFIC TO WITHIN 10KMS TO YOUR LOCATION

Full details on the relevant control channels and regions/locations can be found at the SA Scanning website by following this link.

If you have your note book handy with the frequencies that are relevant to your site- scroll through the list of frequencies in the scanners database and delete the ones you dont need as follows.

Removing Unwanted Frequencies

Using the Volume Dial - rotate it clockwise - every frequency you dont need, highlight it and Push YES!

Evey time you push YES the screen will change to show the frequency at the top of the screen.
Rotate the Volume dial clockwise until Delete Frequency is highlighted and push YES.
Confirm Delete? will appear on the screen - Push YES.
'Processing Please Wait' will appear for a few seconds and the srcreen will revert to the previous menu with Set Frequencies highlighted again.

Push YES.
Repeat the process again , using the Volume dial to find the frequency you wish to Delete.
Highlight it and push YES.


Rotate the Volume dial clockwise until Delete Frequency is highlighted and push YES.

Confirm Delete? will appear on the screen - Push YES.
Processing Please Wait wil appear for a few seconds and the srcreen will revert to the previous menu with Set Frequencies highlighted again.

Once you have removed ALL the frequencies that have NO relevance to your area/region/location - simply push the 'Scan' button and the Scanner will now lock onto the 'Control Channel' frequencies you have left in the Database that are relevant to your area - it should only take a matter of seconds and you will see a small number appear on the bottom of the screen - this is the control channel that the scanner has selected as the strongest reception.

Remember - make sure that scanner is set to ID SEARCH!


Last update - 11 June 2012