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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Custom Search - A Good Starting Point




One of the great things about scanning is finding new frequencies that are not listed on any websites or registered with the ACMA.
Searching for new frequencies is a bit like fishing! You cast the net and see what it finds.

With the UBCD396XT it makes finding new frequencies easy and with 10 different search options you won't miss a thing!

For some of you who have used the older style scanners you would be familiar with the 'Limit Search' option.
You could set the scanner to search between two designated frequencies.
For example - if you wanted to search for activity between 70.00 Mhz and 80.00 Mhz you simply entered the two frequencies and the scanner would search between the two - usually with the pre set 'Step' size and 'Modulation' that was factory configured with the scanner.. not giving you too many options!

Now until told differently the scanner would keep searching all day long between these two designated frequencies until someone talked.

The scanner would then stop on that frequency while there was a voice transmission, perhaps giving you just enough time for you to reach for a pen to write down the frequency being used. You could then make a list of all the ones you found and then enter them into the scanners memory at a later stage.
Step size means the allocated space between each frequency.
For example 70.0000Mhz with a 10kHz Step would mean that the next frequency would be as follows:
70.0100 then 70.0200 then 70.0300 then 70.0400 then 70.0500 - get the picture?
If you set the Step Size to a higher setting like 20 kHz, the space between the frequencies would be wider.
Setting a wider or bigger step size means the scanner will zip through the two pre-set frequency ranges quicker but may miss a transmission if its broadcast on the 10Khz step size..
Don't be too concerned about this at the moment as the UBCD396XT has the step size automatically covered. It's more for the 'PRO' user who wishes to 'tweak' the search for a specific reason.
Modulation means the type of band that the transmission can be heard on. Simply put - your good old radio that you may listen to the Saturday footy on has two Modulations - FM and AM.
The UBCD396XT has also got this covered as the pre set Modulation will correspond with the bands you wish to search - again, only the 'PRO' user would want to modify it.
The UBCD396XT will cover the following Modulations - AM,NFM,FM,WFM and FMB.
The UBCD396XT is a very clever scanner - not only will it let you search 10 different 'Limit Searches' it will also let you put them into a pre-configured System for 'scanning' at a later date.
You can also configure the scanner to include the selected 'Limit Searches' with its normal scanning!
Just for the record - 'Limit Search' actually is called 'Custom Search' on the UBCD396XT.
From this point on it will be referred to a 'Custom Search'.


Lets set up a 'Custom Search'!

The UBCD396XT has already got the UHF 80 Channel CB Radio frequencies pre-installed, but for this example I will set up a 'Custom Search' using the same frequency range. I will use these frequencies as an example as they are all used Australia wide and should produce results pretty quickly once the search has commenced.

The range we will search between will be 476.4250 and 477.4125.

Turn the scanner ON.

Push the MENU button on the left hand side of the scanner.

Using the dial on the top of right hand side of the scanner - turn it clockwise unitl Search for... is highlighted.

Push YES

Search For will be displayed at the top of the screen.

Using the dial rotate it clockwise until Edit Custom is highlighted.

Push YES

Select Custom is now displayed on top of the screen.

Custom 1 should be highlighted.

Push YES

Custom 1 will be displayed on the top of the screen.

Edit Name will be highlighted.
I won't go into detail about how to change the name as I have already covered this in another section.
Obviously giving the 'Custom Search' a name will make it easier to reference at a later date - if you are going to change the name I might suggest simply calling it UHF 80CH. If you give it a name this will also display on the screen if you link it to the scanners normal 'scanning' procedure... more on this later.

Using the dial, rotate it clockwise until Edit Search Limit is highlighted.

Push YES

Set Lower Limit will be displayed on the top of the screen.
At this point here you can now type in your new 'Lower' frequency.
Type in 476.4250 and push YES.

The screen wil now display Set Upper Limit.
repeat the process and type in 477.4125 and push YES.

The screen will revert back to the previous menu with Custom 1 written at the top of the screen (If you changed the text previously it might display UHF 80CH as I suggested?)

Push the MENU button Once.
The screen will revert back to the previous menu with Select Custom at the top of the screen.
Push Menu again.
The screen will revert back to the previous menu with Search For at the top of the screen.
Rotate the dial anti clockwise (moving the highlightup) and highlight Custom Search.
Push YES.
The scanner will now start searching between the two frequencies we just entered.
If you look along the bottom of the screen you will see the following numbers:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
These numbers represent the active 'Custom Searches' currently in operation.
To deactivate the ones not required simply push the corresponding number on the key pad.
As we are only interested in searching the one we just created we should deactivate the others as follows:
Push the following kepad numbers - 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0, this will now only leave 1 on the bottom of the screen.

The scanner is now doing a 'Custom Search' between  476.4250 and 477.4125.
If you changed the name in the previous menu settings to UHF 80CH as I suggested, this will be displayed at the top of the screen, instead of Custom 1.
Provided you have someone in your area using a UHF CB, you should hear something within a few minutes.

When you hear an active frequency push the HOLD button to stay on that frequency.
To initiate the search again - push HOLD again and the scanner will search the range again.
If you push the Scan button the scanner will go back into scan mode and you will have to go back to Custom Search via the menu again - repeating the steps as discussed previously.

Now that you have mastered the 'Custom Search' you can change all 10 pre-installed searches with your own search ranges!


Remember! To activate your 'Custom Searches', push Menu.
Scroll the dial clockwise to Search For, push YES.
Scroll the dial clockwise to Custom Search, push YES.
This will start the search.
To deactivate a particular search push the corresponding keypad number.
To re-instate the particular search - repeat the process and use the keypad again.
If you hear a voice - push HOLD! To start the search again - Push HOLD again.

To go back to scanning your pre-programmed systems - push SCAN.

I will talk about saving the found frequencies and 'linking' the custom searches to your normal 'scanning' in another chapter.