Dynamic Memory Architecture

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Dynamic Memory Architecture or DMA, is Uniden's File layer structure, for storing and organizing favorites list (if applicable1) systems, sites, groups (and/or departments2), channels, and talkgroups in a scanner. It's predecessor was "Banks" with a specified number of channels per bank, with the coming of the digital age, it was foreseen that Banks were no longer going to be able to handle the smallest or largest grouping of digital channels (a.k.a. Talkgroups ID's), without having wasted banks (memory), for the small groups, or the largest groups having to be split between numerous different Banks. It had to allow "the user" some control of where, when, and how the different banks were going to store/hold and enable/disable: digital frequencies (System w Sites) and digital channels (TGIDs). So Uniden went the route of a "hierarchical file layer structure" as seen in modern computers, hence why the title of the article is laid out as such.

Any scanner that implements DMA, has a pool of memory "blocks" to store any programmed data. The pool allows memory to be allocated to any and all info being saved, as opposed to older bank-based scanners, where there the memory for each bank and channel were hard coded to only a specified memory address (static)(on a non-volatile memory chip). This allows the scanner user the ability to use their scanners memory when and where it maybe needed. The number of memory blocks varies by scanner. Also, the allowable number of Systems, Groups, and Channels/TGID's also vary by scanner model.

Each System, Site, Group, Channel, or Talkgroup will occupy one or more blocks.

A System is the top-most element that can be created in DMA 1 . Within each System, a number of Groups2 can be created. Within each Group, a number of Channels (for a conventional System) or Talkgroups (for a Trunked Radio Systems(TRS)) can be created. Some models allow Uniden Multi-Site Trunking to be programmed for a trunked System essential when multiple Sites share common TGID's, amongst all the Sites.

Each System can be assigned a System Quick Key or SQK to easily enable or disable the System to be scanned. If the scanner implements Sites to be programmed for a System, usually each site may be programmed with a Site Quick Key also SQK3.

Each Groups can be assigned a Group Quick Key or GQK2, Groups can be a mix of a single digital system's TGIDs and an analog frequency/channel or just one or the other them.

Additional Notes:For Scanners w "HP" in the name:

  1. Favorite List is the highest level; Favorite Lists Quick Keys FLQK.
  2. Group Name changed to Departments
  3. Site's are now in the Department level using Department Quick Keys DQKs to enable/disable.

Note that the terms "favorites" & "departments" only applies to scanners with "HP" in the naming.

The following Uniden models use the Dynamic Memory Architecture as a base structure.
Model Analog (AM/FM) Digital Phase I Digital Phase II Trunking
BCD396T Yes Yes Yes
BCD396XT Yes Yes Yes
BR330T Yes Yes
BC346XT Yes Yes
BC246T Yes Yes
SC230 Yes
BCD996T Yes Yes Yes
BCD996XT Yes Yes Yes
BCT15 Yes Yes
BCT15X Yes Yes
BCD325P2 Yes Yes Yes Yes
BCD996P2 Yes Yes Yes Yes
BCD436HP Yes Yes Yes Yes
BCD536HP Yes Yes Yes Yes
HomePatrol-1 Yes Yes Yes
HomePatrol-2 Yes Yes Yes Yes

How Can I Get Started?

Your first step begins with an article written by UPMan called Scanner Programming;Man Machine Interface1. This article will give you an introduction into how to set up a DMA radio. While the article was written before all the current models were in production, the basic ideas & concepts are still relevant in today's Unidens. A basic description of the architecture can be found here.

How do I Lay Out My Groups and Systems?

As suggested in the above article, the use of a spreadsheet or other columnar layouts will help in getting things organized. Uniden Scanners Systems, Sites and Groups

Newer Home Patrol Series & BCDx36HP series contain less scanner internal non-volatile memory and a user is allowed to use larger non-volatile memory (flash memory based on mini-SD cards).

  1. Getting The Most From The New Uniden Scanners by Paul Opitz permission is needed for Reprint, it was in Popular Communications (PopComm) for November 2005 & January 2006.

Program your DMA Scanner

Return to the Uniden DMA FAQ