PSCAN is actually quite easy once you experiment with it a little bit. In this document, we offer some suggestions to get you started, followed by a quick tutorial on the basic operation.
First, turn on "Startup Tips." When this option is enabled, tips will be displayed whenever you start PSCAN. The tips range from last-minute additions which did not make it into the User's Guide, to some (hopefully) amusing little items that are purely for your enjoyment.
To turn on Startup Tips, click on the Setup button, make sure there is a check in front of "Show Tips at Startup," then click on either OK or Save.
Next, turn on "Operational Hints." When this option is enabled, helpful information will be displayed in "bubbles" to help you learn PSCAN's operation. (After you become familiar with PSCAN's operation, you will probably want to disable this feature, as the bubble hints can be somewhat annoying to experienced users.)
To turn on Operational Hints, click on the Setup button, make sure there is a check in front of "Enable Operational Hints," then click on either OK or Save. With Operational Hints enabled, whenever you point at a button or data entry field in PSCAN and leave the mouse pointer stationary for a few seconds, helpful hints for the function of that button or field will be displayed in a pop-up hint. (With Operational Hints disabled, the hints will still appear, but after a much longer delay.)
As you work with PSCAN, remember that you can find basic operational instructions in the Help file. (You can get to the Help file by either clicking on the "MR-8100 Programmer Help" icon in the MR-8100 Programmer group on your Start menu, OR from within PSCAN itself by clicking on the "Help" button. In addition, many of PSCAN's screens offer a Help button that is specific to that screen's function) In the Help file, look under "Operation."
Before going any further, you should familiarize yourself with the main screen. It is organized as follows:
For those users who prefer using the keyboard over using a mouse, many of the functions within PSCAN can be selected by stepping through the various controls using the TAB key, or by holding down the ALT key and pressing the letter which is underlined in the desired function. For example, to activate the Print function without using a mouse, you can either TAB through the controls to get to the Print button, or simply hold down the ALT key and press the P key.
In general, bank and channel names must contain only letters ("A-Z" or "a-z"), numbers ("0-9"), spaces (" "), periods (".") and hyphens (dashes or "-"). Frequency fields must contain only numbers and a single decimal point ("."). Using any other characters may result in inability to transmit the data to the radio. PSCAN attempts to prevent the user from entering any forbidden character.
Now that you've got a general idea of how PSCAN works, let's go through a sample session of starting PSCAN, entering some sample data, and transferring that data to the radio. We will assume that PSCAN is already installed on your computer and that you know basic Windows procedures.
For this tutorial, we will enter only the following data:
BANK 1 - Name = "City Police" Channel 1 - Name = "Channel 1" Freq = 155.515 MHz Channel 2 - Name = "TAC 2" Freq = 154.755 MHz Channel 3 - Name = "City-wide" Freq = 155.850 MHz Channel 4 - Name = "UHF Ch 1" Freq = 453.750 MHz channels 5 through 10 - LOCKED-OUT BANK 2 - Name = "City Fire" Channel 1 - Name = "Dispatch" Freq = 154.430 MHz PRIORITY channels 2 through 10 - LOCKED-OUT BANK 3 - Name = "State Police" Channel 1 - Name = "Zone 1" Freq = 42.72 MHz SECURED Channel 2 - Name = "Zone 2" Freq = 42.50 MHz SECURED channels 3 through 10 - LOCKED-OUT BANK 4 - Name = "Misc" Channel 1 - Name = "Ham Repeater" Freq = 144.310 MHz channels 2 through 9 - LOCKED-OUT Channel 10- Name = "NOAA Weather" Freq = 162.475 MHz LOCKED-OUT BANKS 5 through 10 - Name = "" (blank) channels 1 though 10 - LOCKED-OUT
TUTORIAL - Starting PSCAN
Start PSCAN by selecting it from your Start Menu, just as you would start any other application.
TUTORIAL - Loading an existing file
Load an existing frequency file by clicking on "Load file", then selecting the appropriate file from the "Open File" dialog and clicking on OK. NOTE: If you do not have a frequency file to load, skip to the next step.
TUTORIAL - Editing existing data or entering new data
- The lower portion of the main screen should be displaying the current contents of Bank 1. (If you loaded an existing file, it will display the contents of that file; otherwise it will all be blank.)
- First, we will enter the name for Bank 1. Click on the data entry field to the right of the word "BANK" (to the left of the Help button); the cursor will appear there and the word "BANK" will change to blue text to let us know we are editing that field.
- Type "City Police" (without the quotes!).
- Next, we will enter the names and frequenies of the channels in Bank 1. We can either click on the "SERVICE NAME" field for Channel 1, or simply press the TAB key three times to move to that field.
- Type "Channel 1" (again, without the quotes!).
- Press the TAB key to move to the "FREQUENCY" field, then enter the value "155.515" (remember, no quotes!).
- Press the TAB key four times to move to the "SERVICE NAME" field for Channel 2, and type "TAC 2".
- Press the TAB key to move to the "FREQUENCY" field, then enter the value "154.755".
- Press the TAB key four times to move to the "SERVICE NAME" field for Channel 3, and type "City-wide".
- Press the TAB key to move to the "FREQUENCY" field, then enter the value "155.850".
- Press the TAB key four times to move to the "SERVICE NAME" field for Channel 4, and type "UHF Ch 1".
- Press the TAB key to move to the "FREQUENCY" field, then enter the value "453.750".
- We want to lock-out channels 5 through 10. We can do so either by TABbing to the Channel 5 "L/O" checkbox and pressing the SPACEBAR, or simply by using the mouse to click on it.
- Repeat the above step for channels 6 through 10.
- Now that we are done with Bank 1, we can proceed to Bank 2. To do so, we simply hold down the ALT key and press the number 2 key. Don't panic! It may appear that the data you just entered is gone, but it isn't! The lower portion of the screen is now showing the data for Bank 2. (If you want to verify that for yourself, hold down the ALT key and press the number 1 key. See? The Bank 1 data is still there! Now don't forget to use that ALT-2 keystroke combination to go back to Bank 2.)
- Now we will enter the name for Bank 2. Click on the data entry field to the right of the word "BANK". (You could also hold down the ALT key and press B to go to that field.)
- Type "City Fire" (remember, never use quotes!).
- Next, we will enter the names and frequenies of the channels in Bank 2. Press the TAB key three times to move to the "SERVICE NAME" field.
- Type "Dispatch".
- Press the TAB key to move to the "FREQUENCY" field, then enter the value "154.430".
- Since we want this frequency to be the "priority" channel, click on the "PRIORITY" field for this channel. Note that only one channel can be set as the priority channel. Clicking on "PRIORITY" will reset any other priority settings.
- We want to lock-out channels 2 through 10. We can do so either by TABbing to the Channel 2 "L/O" checkbox and pressing the SPACEBAR, or simply by using the mouse to click on it.
- Repeat the above step for channels 3 through 10.
- Now, it's time to go to Bank 3. Remember how to do that? Hold down the ALT key and press the number 3 key, or click on the Bank 3 button.
- Press ALT-B (that is, hold down the ALT key and press the B key) to go to the "BANK" field.
- Type "State Police".
- Press ALT-N (or use the mouse) to go to the Channel 1"SERVICE NAME" field, and type "Zone 1".
- Press the TAB key to move to the "FREQUENCY" field, then enter the value "42.72".
- Now we're going to try something new. We don't want this channel to be reprogrammable from the radio's front-panel keyboard, so we are going to "secure" it. Press the TAB key twice to move to the "SECURE" checkbox, and press the SPACEBAR (or use the mouse to click on it).
- Use the TAB key to move to the Channel 2 "SERVICE NAME" field, and enter "Zone 2".
- Use the TAB key to move to the Channel 2 "FREQUENCY" field, and enter "42.50".
- Use the TAB key to move to the Channel 2 "SECURE" field and press the SPACEBAR to mark it.
- By now, you should be able to repeat the above steps for the remaining banks and channels. When you enter the Bank 4, Channel 10 data ("NOAA Weather" at 162.475 MHz), note that you will want to click on the "LOCK-OUT" checkbox, because the NOAA Weather frequency is a continuous broadcast, and will cause the scanner to stop scanning and lock on that frequency. (You can disable the lock-out using the radio's front panel "L/O" button when desired.)
TUTORIAL - Saving the data for later use
You are now ready to save the data to a file on your disk for later use. (We recommend saving your data before transmitting it to the radio, so that if something goes wrong you won't have to retype it all again!)
To save the data currently loaded into PSCAN, click on "Save file" then enter the filename, just as you would when saving a file under any other Windows application.
TUTORIAL - Clearing all the data
To start over with completely blank data (to create another new file, for example), simply click on Clear, then confirm it by clicking on Yes. This will clear all the data -- bank and channel names, channel frequencies, and lock-out, secure and priority settings.
TUTORIAL - Swapping two banks
PSCAN makes it easy for you to move all the data from one bank to another. Simply click on Swap, then select the two banks to swap. All the channel names, frequencies, lockout status, security status and priority setting (if applicable) will be exchanged between the two banks.
TUTORIAL - Sending (uploading) the data to the radio
Now that we have all the data entered, we are ready to transmit it to the radio. Here is the procedure:
- Connect the MR-8100 interface cable to the radio and to the COM1 serial port on the PC.
- Make sure that the radio is turned on.
- Click on the Send button. PSCAN will prepare the data for transmission to the radio (utilizing Uniden's SCAN.EXE software). NOTE: this might take a few seconds; DO NOT press any keys or move the mouse during this time, as it may interfere with the process!
- When PSCAN is ready to transmit the data, you will see a prompt asking you to confirm that the radio is ready and the interface cable is connected. If so, click on Yes.
- PSCAN will transmit the data to the radio. This will take quite some time. Be patient! Again, DO NOT press any keys or move the mouse during this time, as it may interfere with the process!
- After the data transmission has completed, you will see a message indicating this and PSCAN will return to the main screen.
- In order to enable the new frequences in the radio, you must reset the radio. Just turn the radio's power off, wait a second or two, then turn it back on. It will begin scanning the new frequencies.
Congratulations! You have now entered new frequency data into PSCAN, saved the data to a file on your computer for later use, and transmitted the data to the radio.
Answers to our most frequently-asked questions can be found on our website at http://www.gfcsoftware.com/FAQs/pscan.htm.
For most of our customers, PSCAN works "right out of the box." In the unlikely event you have problems with it, we can help you troubleshoot the problem. But, believe it or not, you are in a much better position to be able to diagnose and remedy problems than we are! We have prepared a separate Troubleshooting Guide to help you. Basically, this guide is the steps we would go through if you were to contact us, so you can save yourself a lot of time by working through the steps in the guide. You can find the guide online at http://www.gfcsoftware.com/trouble/pscan.htm.
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