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Freescan Virtual Scanner


Click on the image to expand

This function can be accessed via the scanner pulldown (figure 1), the rightmost scanner symbol on the toolbar, or Shift-F1 from the keyboard.
You can now start virtual control from the command line.

The syntax is /{com port},{baud rate},{loggingon} or {loggingoff},{interface type}

For example: FreeSCAN.exe /com2,57600,loggingon,int0

Starts FreeSCAN on COM 2, speed 57600, logging turned on, and the Windows-style virtual interface.

In addition, settings, such as to log or not, are now saved and recalled in your next session

To use Freescan's various scanner interfaces;

  1. Select 'Control Scanner' from the scanner pulldown or hit shift-F1 (Figure 1)
  2. The Virtual Control setup panel appears (figure 2). Check to see if the COM settings are correct; if not, click on 'Com Port Setup' and make the necessary adjustments. Please see the Making the connection article for more information. You can hide the main program while in virtual mode by clicking the option
  3. If you find your system resources being strained, try clicking on the 'Conserve CPU' option
  4. Select which interface you would like to use, and decide on whether you wish to log all your hits. Figures 3, 4 and 5 show examples of the various interfaces


On the IPod(c) interface, the double right arrow and bar causes the scanner to scan upwards through the systems. The double left arrow and bar causes the scanner to scan downwards. 'Menu' acts the same way as if you hit the menu key on the physical scanner. The pause arrow is your hold button, the play arrow is the scan button. When you hit scan while you are already scanning, it will switch in between ID Search and ID Scan.

On the LCARS interface, if logging is not enabled, the Signal Analysis graphics will not appear.

Contents

The Tools Pulldown


  • Enable Logging Turns on the logging function but keeps it hidden. If you have a laptop with a small monitor this may be useful. Otherwise to view the log as it's being built, hit the Open Log Window selection
  • Font Changes the font and colors, dependent on what is available on the PC (figure 1)
  • Jump to Frequency Immediately tune to a given frequency. A semi-VFO like mode
  • Negative Delay (figure 2) This function pauses on a transmission then resumes scanning, regardless of whether other traffic was on that frequency.
  • Show/Hide Main Window Allows the user to show or hide the main program window usually appearing in the background.

The Jump Pulldown

This ability became available in version 2 firmware and later. It allows you to quickly move to different functions without having to use a klunky key combination. Some functions require the user to enter data (codes or frequencies) to initialize the function - see the referenced article for more information. This function is only available for the 396, 396XT, 346, BCT15 and BCD996.

  • Scan Mode Resume Scanning after ending a jumped session
  • Service Scan (figure 1) Searches a number of different services, selected as shown. Note that not all services are available for all scanners; see the Service Search article for more on this topic
  • Custom Search Enables customized searches. See the Custom Search article for more on this topic
  • Close Call Only See the Close Call article for more on this topic
  • Weather (figure 2) See the Wx Alert article for more on this topic
    • Normal Search Searches the 162 Mhz weather frequencies
    • Alert Only Activates when it detects a 1050Hz weather alert tone
    • SAME 1 through SAME 5 Activates when it receives a weather alert signal that includes any FIPS code you have programmed into the specified SAME group.
    • FIPS Search Activates when it receives a weather alert tone on any weather channel, regardless of whether a FIPS code has been programmed
  • Fire Tone Out See the Fire Tone Out article for more on this topic


Audio Recording

  • Files are recorded in MP3 format
  • During installation, the Lame library that gets used to encode the MP3s along with NAudio is installed via the MSI file
  • See the FreeScan Audio Recording page for setup, hints and kinks

Logging Functions

  • Linear Displays each hit, one at a time (Figure 1)
    • The UID if available is now also logged in the linear log
  • Review Displays a hit and how many times it was encountered. Also shows the total duration time for each entry. (Figure 2)
    • In the review tab, RSSI is now a calculated average value of all the hits
  • Figure 3 shows the form FreeScan uses for capturing RID/UIDs (396XT/996XT with the proper firmware only). It also provides a remarks field so you can jot down quick notes on new finds.
  • Log data is now retained even after you close the log window and reopen it
  • Column sizes can be changed in the Review area NEW 2.11
  • Right click on the log viewer to see the file in Windows Explorer NEW 2.11
  • If you are using recording, the recorded file name is displayed on the log. You can double click on any line and FreeScan will play back the respective file.
  • If there are several files you want to listen to, highlight several rows, right-click and select play. FreeScan will make a mini playlist and play the files sequentially.
  • To stop playback, double-click on the status bar at the bottom of the logging window.
  • This status bar displays the time index of the currently selected file, its filename, and how many are in the playlist.
  • You can also select the "Copy To Isolation" function from the right-click menu. This will move the files to a special Isolation directory created under the main directory for saving recorded files. This is handy if you want to flag certain transmissions for later analysis and don't want to wade through hundreds of other files.
  • You can also delete the files you are not interested in from the same context menu. A warning dialog will be displayed beforehand.
  • Figure 4 shows the Log Search feature. You can use this to quickly query only log entries involving a specific item, such as a specific channel or a specific frequency. You can also use the search feature by double-clicking on the specific channel in the "Review" tab and all instances of that channel becoming active will automatically by searched and displayed.
  • You can save and load log files from the Log Viewer. This makes it easy to look up certain days esp when used in conjunction with the search feature. You can reload saved log files either from the Log Viewer after starting virtual control, or you can load them up directly from the System Editor by selecting File/Open.
  • The following applies to the log pulldown menu shown in Figure 5
    • The log file is generated with a .fslog extension. In reality this is a comma seperated values (csv) file. You can either use Save As to save it in its native (.fslog) format, or use Export to CSV to prepare it for use in Excel and other programs that can read these files. Copy to Clipboard will dump the contents of the log to Windows Clipboard.
    • The default behavior of the log display is that when a new hit is logged, the table will automatically scroll down to the bottom. However this can be troublesome if you are looking at older entries and the table is constantly changing. You can disable this behavior by removing the checkmark from the Autoscroll option.
    • If you have FreeSCAN logging/recording 24/7, Log Autosave will automatically save the log file at midnight local time and start a brand new file. Files are saved either to the My Documents folder or the last folder used to save log files. The file name is autogenerated for you. This is the Auto Save & Clear at Midnight option
  • These logging features are designed to work in conjunction with the built-in audio recording function. Together, you can load up a log file and instantly look up any channel activity, that happened at any time recording & logging was active with very little effort.


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