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4621Re: BCProgTool.TCL for cross platform XT Operation and MinimalProgramming Support

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  • warpedspeed
    Oct 18, 2010
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      Some good interesting feedback occuring here.

      I should have initially indicated that I apreciate Keith's efforts to provide a multi platform GPL application for the XT units.
      I know that there are other propriatary Windows alternatives, even free ones, but I try to use open applications when I can.
      My main PC at home runs Linux as the primary OS, but it also has Windows support as needed. By using BCPROGTOOL, I do not need to litter that PC with another Windows app.

      BCPROGTOOL is still a little rough around the edges. That is why I share my experience with others, so that there is knowledge of some of the current quirks, and methods to work around them.
      I will be sharing some additional information with Keith regarding the issues that I encountered. Hopefully that will lead to additional improvements in the program.


      --- In BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com, Lance Star <milcom_chaser@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > FreeSCAN works nicely with the 396XT...
      >
      > 2 cents worth...
      >
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "warpedspeed" <warpedspeed1@...>
      > To: BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2010 02:58:39 -0000
      > Subject: [BCD396XT] Re: BCProgTool.TCL for cross platform XT Operation and MinimalProgramming Support
      >
      > >
      > > Throwing my $0.02 in for the record.
      > >
      > > I just received my BC396XT this weekend.
      > > I had not purchased a scanner since I bought a TrunkTracker II ten years ago. However I do have a good handle on trunking technologies and methodologies, re-banding, P25 IMBE, etc... I have had my hands on some of the newer scanners over the last decade to play with.
      > > I knew that wrapping my hands around DMA would probably be my biggest challenge. I was wrong. BCPROGTOOL was my biggest challenge.
      > >
      > > I does work, but with limitations.
      > > Once I understood those limitations, I was off and running.
      > > The first and hardest lessens are that it will NOT reliably create Trunk Systems and Sites. Your best bet is to do that on the scanner. You can let the scanner use the default number/name combinations when you create those items, and then use BCPROGTOOL to edit them.
      > >
      > > If you try to perform these tasks with the software, you will receive a variety of error messages along the lines of unable to create, but in less understandable syntax than that.
      > >
      > > One thing to watch out for at all times with this software, is that the program will "stall" for lack of a better word. I always kept the main panel of the program off to the side, so that I could see if the message appeared in the status line at the bottom of the panel indicated that it needed to "restart". There is a Restart button on the BCPROGTOOL keypad so that you can easily re-initialize the connection. This is different that using "Connect" to initially connect to the scanner. If the program stalls while in one of the other editing screens, you will not be able to write your changes to the scanner, and the program may freeze. So make sure that you check the status of the main panel before performing any actions against the scanner.
      > >
      > > Once the Systems and Sites are initialized in the scanner, then most everything works as expected. Of course, the best way to load Talk Groups is with a data file. In fact, there is a bug there with the Talk Groups too. You are supposed to be able to past information from a table into the program. That part initially appears to work, and then you can choose which columns of data are valid and assign the appropriate data types to the appropriate columns. It really looks promising when you get this far... However when you tell it to import, the program just gives a "blank stare". Nothing is imported.
      > >
      > > What you can do, is manually created a Group or two, and then manually populate the Group(s) with just a few Talk Groups. Make sure that you set all of the options that you might want for each Talk Group, including screen colors. Next, "Download from Radio" in the "Program Radio" menu. This will create backups of all of the Systems in the scanner. At least one of the files that will be backed up will be a new .CSV file, with the name of the Group(s) that you created as part of the file name. This is your template. Now you can cut and paste from what ever frequency sources that you have, creating your own group configurations in that file, using the editor of your choice.
      > >
      > > Next, go back to edit the System of interest in BCPROGTOOL. In the Talk Group screen, there is a button that allows you to load / import a file. Choose the file that you manually edited and then you will see it populate your Talk Group information in the Group tables.
      > >
      > > This will get you going. Most other things work as advertised.
      > > It is safe to say that I got what I paid for, and spent some time figuring this stuff out. But I also now have a scanner that just arrived about 24 hours ago, fully setup with multiple trunked systems, analog and P25, and a conventional system. I have some more Systems to setup, but from here it will be relatively easy.
      > > I found time to do this while dealing with the normal weekend tasks of yard work, vehicle repair, family time, a few hours sleep, etc...
      > >
      > > 73,
      > >
      > > Dean
      > >
      > > --- In BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Polcari" <Joe@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Once you get used to it, it works great!
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > > From: "Keith" <kilowattradio@>
      > > > Sent: Mon, August 2, 2010 10:01
      > > > Subject:[BCD396XT] BCProgTool.TCL for cross platform XT Operation and
      > > > MinimalProgramming Support
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > For TCL/TK software cross platform support. Works and designed for Mac OS X,
      > > > Unix, Linux, Windows 98+ and any other platform that supports TCL/TK
      > > > software serial port communications.
      > > >
      > > > Comments from users:
      > > > Works great!
      > > > Worst piece of S**T out there!
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > http://home.comcast.net/~kilowattradio/bcprogtool/
      > > >
      > > > --
      > > > Best Regards, Keith
      > > > http://home.comcast.net/~kilowattradio/
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > ------------------------------------
      > > >
      > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > ----- End of original message -----
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
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