Uniden DMA FAQ

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Revision as of 10:51, 18 January 2008 by Trunker (talk | contribs)

Welcome to the Uniden DMA FAQ; here we'll start from scratch, and take you through some of the most basic of questions, and (in many cases) what things mean and how to find information. A word of explanation; if a word or phrase appears in blue, then it's a link; clicking it should take you to another article in our wiki, another part of our website or perhaps a different website.

What is Dynamic Memory Architecture?

Put simply, Dynamic Memory Architecture (or DMA for short) is Uniden's proprietary method of allocating channels in memory from a pool of memory locations. 'Banks' as you may have known them before no longer exist. The number of available locations depends on the model.

What Scanners utilize Dynamic Memory Architecture?

The following models utilize DMA. You should note that all of them are expected to be supported when Rebanding takes place, although no one is yet sure what form that support will take.

How Can I Get Started?

Your first step begins with an article written by UPMan called Scanner Programming;Man Machine Interface. This article will give you an introduction into how to set up a DMA radio; note that it was written before all the current models were in production, but the basic ideas are still the same.

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.

How do I Find Out What Frequencies Are Used in my Area?

RadioReference has an extensive and searchable database for many areas of the country. All you need to know to use it is your state, county and sometimes the city of interest.

What is Trunking?

Trunking involves the use of many agencies, sharing a specific set of frequencies. Each agency - or sometimes more than one - are allocated logical addresses referred to as a Talkgroup.

How Can I Determine Whether a Model Will Trunk My System?

Each scanner's article has a section entitled RR System Compatibility. This section is designed to mimic, as closely as possible, the listings of system types and voice as found on the database. In general, if your system type or voice is not listed in this section, chances are the scanner will not be able to decode it.

The following summarizes each of the DMA scanners, and types of trunking they will handle;

What Formats Cannot be Trunked?

Some of the most common formats include:

I Want to Program My Scanner via Software. What Packages are Available?

Each scanner's article (linked above) has a listing for supporting software. However, the most popular packages consistently seems to be Uniden's Advanced System Director (UASD) or the various packages by BuTel software. Many people keep a copy of both on hand, liking one for one set of tasks over another. There is one UASD and BuTel package per scanner. Some of the UASD is freeware; others are commercial and require purchase to unlock all their features. See the bottom of the Popular Software for RS/Uniden Scanners article for the most popular packages.

Programming files for these packages can often be had from several different sources;

  • Make a request for a file on your state's forum;
  • Check the Yahoo group(s) for your state;
  • Check the Yahoo group for your scanner. This is listed in every article (usually toward the bottom);
  • Check to see if someone has set up a web page with file(s) for your scanner;
  • Download data from the RadioReference database.

Some of these packages (notably BuTel's as well as the new Trunkstar Elite) support connecting directly to, and downloading data from, the RadioReference database. (Note however, that the Trunkstar package does not allow you to use it for controlling the BC246 from the PC, due to software limitations). This is often the easiest way to get started.

To use this service, you must be a paid subscriber. The list of applications that are known to be compatible with the Web service can be found here.

If you make a request for a file, be sure to specify which software package you are using. For example, ARC396 can read UASD files as an input source; the UASD cannot directly read ARC396 data.

The Manuals Are Too Confusing. Anyone have anything that's easier to read?

Uniden did a fine job designing these radios. Too bad one cannot say the same about their manuals. Fortunately, there is another resource - loosely referred to as the 'Easier to Read' series, they have been generally lauded as being much more readable and understandable. As of this writing, the following members are available;

Is There Any Additional Information Available?

Yes, see category link below for a list of various messages, tips, kinks and how to avoid them.