Location-based Scanning

Location-based scanning (LBS) allows you to control which systems/sites and channel groups are scanned based on your exact location. This frees you from having to manually enable and disable systems or channel groups as you change location.

To explain the operation simply, LBS uses the scanners lockout function to control what is scanned based on your location. It unlocks systems, sites, or channel groups when you are inside a the element's radius. When you exit the radius, the element is temporarily locked out. Since the element is temporarily locked out, all elements are scanned when you first power on the scanner, until the GPS gets a location fix and starts reporting coordinates.

To use Location-Based scanning, you need to have the following:

There are many different approaches you can use to determine where to place a center point for a system/site or channel group. The two most common are the geopolitical approach and the antenna-centric approach. For large trunked systems, you may find that a combination of these two approaches works best.

The Geopolitical Approach

Adjust the radius to fit the jurisdiction boundary.
With the geopolitical approach, you want the scanner to turn on the system/site or channel group at the limit of relevance rather than reception. This approach is useful for scanning targets that have a well-defined jurisdiction and their transmission are only relevant when you are within that jurisdiction.

To use the geopolitical approach, find the geographical center of the scanning target's territory (whether city, county, district, precinct, or other agency jurisdiction), and set these coordinates as your center point location. Then, adjust the range or radius to cover the boundaries of that target.

To use this method, use your chosen mapping application to zoom out so that the entire target is visible, then, draw a circle that just covers the targets boundaries. Adjust the size of the circle to the nearest 1/2 mile increment.

Depending on the shape of the territory, you may have to choose between a lot of overlap or not covering the entire area: jurisdiction, you might end up with a large amount of overlap. You'll have to decide which radius that best suits your application.

For example, if your territory is a city, you'll have a lot of "extra" area if you use one single location:


On the other hand, if you sub-divide the area, you may end up with areas that are not covered: Geopol3.png

The Antenna-Centric Approach

Using an antenna-centric approach, you set the physical antenna location as the system/sites center point and the antenna's actual reach as the range. Antenna.png

Finding an antenna location

You can find the physical location of antennas using the databases available at Radio Referenceor the FCC's Antenna Structure Registration site. Both sites list the latitude, longitude, and height of the antenna, and both sites can map the exact location for you. (Radio Reference is more user-friendly, so it's easier to find what you're looking for.)

Combining for Efficiency

Combining geo-political and antenna-centric approaches.
Because many trunked systems have both multiple antenna sites and multiple agencies with differing geographic boundaries, you may want to combine the approaches:
  1. Use the antenna centric approach at the site level: set the geographic coordinates of the antenna as the central location for each site.
  2. Use the geopolitical approach at the channel group level. Within the same system, set up a channel group for each agency, and set the central point of the agency territory as the group location.
With both approaches combined into a single system, the scanner will now seamlessly switch between antenna sites as needed to keep the scanner tuning only to those sites you can receive well, and will also turn channel groups on and off as you relocate to different jurisdictions.

See Also

Connecting a GPS receiver
Programming locations

This page applies to the following scanner(s): BCD996XT BCT15X BCD396XT BC346XT BC346XTC Users Guide

Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
PNGpng antenna.png manage 165.6 K 08 Dec 2008 - 22:14 UnknownUser  
PNGpng combined.png manage 180.8 K 08 Dec 2008 - 22:14 UnknownUser  
PNGpng geopol1.png manage 111.1 K 08 Dec 2008 - 22:10 UnknownUser  
PNGpng geopol2.png manage 140.0 K 08 Dec 2008 - 22:10 UnknownUser  
PNGpng geopol3.png manage 157.5 K 08 Dec 2008 - 22:10 UnknownUser