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SyncScan Program & Protocol

SyncScan

Introduction

This program is designed to facilitate synchronized operation of multiple computer-controlled radio scanners.  Each scanner is connected to a separate instance of the program.  Each copy of the program continuously queries its scanner to determine if it is stopped on a frequency.  When it is stopped, it will notify the other instances of the program what frequency it is stopped on, and those other copies of the program will prevent their scanner from stopping on that same frequency.  The program will currently work with the following Uniden DMA scanners:

BCD396T     BCD396XT     BCD996T     BCT15    BC346XT     BR330T 

Support for additional scanners may be added as time and resources permit.

Download & Installation

Download the latest version of the program here.  There is no installer, simply unzip the files into a folder that you have admin access to.  Use copy/paste to create separate folders for each scanner that you intend to use together.

Instructions

To use the program, run SyncScan.exe from the first folder you created.  Specify the COM port and baud rate for the scanner that you are connecting to, and then click "START".  If all settings are correct, you should see the scanner's display information in the program.  Now repeat this process for each instance of the program that you want to run in parallel.  When a scanner stops on a frequency, all other scanners that are running the program should skip that frequency as long it is active. 

The SCAN and HOLD buttons can be used to pause the scanner connected to that instance of the program or make it resume scanning, as desired. 

The Priority HOLD button will pause the scanner, increase its volume, and reduce the volume of scanners connected to other instances of the program until the button is clicked again to release the Priority function.  

The Add to Skip List button will add the current frequency to the "skip list" for all instances of the program, which will prevent any scanner from stopping on that frequency.  The skip list is temporary and is not maintained if the program is closed and restarted.  To remove a frequency from the skip list of all running instances of the program, highlight that frequency in the skip list box and click the Remove Selected button.

Technical Information

The multiple copies of the program running at the same time communicate with each other via UDP broadcast messages.  This allows multiple copies of the program to be running on different computers and still work together via a local area network (LAN).  When the program first starts, it will query the PC to get its IP address, and will then substitute ".255" for the last digits of the address to use as the broadcast address.  By default, the program will use port 6767 for communication.  These defaults can be changed if needed using the input boxes at the bottom of the screen. 

SyncScan UDP Protocol

The SyncScan UDP Protocol is described in this document.  This protocol is intended to be an open protocol that could be used to facilitate communication among various scanner control and streaming audio programs.  Not all of the messages in the protocol are currently supported by the SyncScan program.  This protocol is currently in draft format and is open to changes and improvements.  Please contact me if you would like to contribute to the protocol document.

One potential use is of this protocol is to enable the ability to “synchronize” scanning among multiple scanners and/or programs, as SyncScan itself does.  Another potential use is to allow a scanner control program to send alphanumeric tag data to an audio streaming program, thus allowing both local control and remote tag info at the same time.

Each scanner control application that desires to utilize the SyncScan protocol should listen on the specified UDP port for messages (6767 by default, but configurable by the user).  It should send addressed or broadcast messages via the same UDP port as needed.  All other applications listening on the port will receive those messages and act on them, if needed.

 
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