Frequently Asked Questions
MR-8100 Programmer (PSCAN)
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Question: I like the program and want to enable the
additional features and full functionality. How do I register?
Answer: We offer both online and "snail mail" ordering options. To order online, just use the PayPal payment service (see the banner below) and our online order form. To order using "snail mail," just print out the offline order form and send it in with your payment. The order form may also be found in the Help file that comes with PSCAN, but please note that prices listed on that form may be out of date; the current price listed online applies. Our address is: GFC Software, PO Box 2681, Rockford IL 61132-2681.
Question: I purchased a "pre-paid" registered version. How do
I complete the registration process?
Answer: Your pre-paid package should have included a registration card. Fill out that card and mail it to the address shown. You will receive your registration information by email (assuming you provided an email address), and/or by "snail mail." Please be sure to print legibly and make sure that you provide correct information. Note: If you purchased a pre-paid registered version and it did not include the registration card, contact the vendor from whom you purchased the package. We are happy to work with our approved vendors to resolve this issue.
Question: Can I still order online through CompuServe?
Answer: Unfortunately, no. CompuServe discontinued their SWREG service as of 31 December 1998. We are pleased to be able to offer online ordering using credit card or "electronic check" payment via the PayPal service:
Question: I'm in a real hurry. Is there any way I can get
my registration faster?
Answer: You can receive your registration information much more quickly if you pay by credit card or "electronic check" using the PayPal service (see banner above), or by certified check or money order, and include your email address (printed legibly!) on your registration form. If you follow this procedure, we can email your registration information to you usually the same day we receive your order! (Orders paid by personal check may be delayed pending bank clearance.)
NOTE: Due to excessive fraudulent overseas orders, orders from countries other than the United States may be delayed pending verification of payment. We apologize for any inconvenience, but rampant internet fraud has forced us to adopt this policy.
Question: Where do I enter my registration information into
Answer: Click on the "Setup" button; you will be presented with the Setup window. At the bottom of that window is a button labeled "Click here to Register". Click on that, then follow the instructions. Be sure to enter the registration information exactly as shown on your registration notice.
Another Answer: If you received your registration information via email, simply save the email message -- in TEXT-only form -- as a file named REGISTER.TXT in the same directory in which you installed PSCAN. The next time you start PSCAN, it will automatically detect the registration information!
Question: I clicked on the "Setup" button, but no
"Click here to Register" button ever appears. Now
Answer: This is a known problem with some installations of Windows XP and Vista, and is caused by the fancier window frames, titles, etc., used by XP and Vista. The easiest way to overcome this is simply to use the "auto-registration" feature explained above.
Another Answer: You can edit the PSCAN.INI file (in your Windows directory), changing the "Height" setting (under "Form Position Settings: MR-8100 Programmer"). Increase the value by about 20 and re-save the file. This should overcome Windows XP's or Vista's improper handling of the application window size. After entering your registration ID, you can re-edit the file, restoring the original value for the "Height" setting.
Question: I saved my registration email but it won't
auto-register. What's wrong?
Answer: The three most likely reasons are: (1) You did not save it under the proper name, (2) you did not save it in the proper location, (3) you did not save it in text-only form. Verify that you saved it as REGISTER.TXT, in the same directory in which you installed PSCAN, and that it contains NO special formatting codes, etc. (To verify that it is in text-only format, load it into the Windows Notepad program and look for any special codes or characters.) After verifying these things, if it still doesn't work, it is best to just enter the registration information manually.
Question: I entered my registration name and number but
still can't access the enhanced features. What's wrong?
Answer: Does your name appear at the bottom of the main screen in PSCAN? If not, then your registration information was not entered correctly. First, note that the name is case-sensitive. That is, "John Doe" is not the same as "JOHN DOE" or "john doe". You must enter your name exactly as shown on your registration notice. Also, do not include any extra characters or punctuation. Double-check your entries and if you are still having trouble, contact our Technical Support department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question: What do you do with the information I provide on
my order form? Is this information going to be sold to mailing
lists or telemarketers, or am I going to be bombarded by
Question: I've moved (married, changed email address, etc.).
How do I update your records?
Answer: Just send an email to email@example.com, providing both the old and the new information. We'll update our records accordingly.
Question: How do I get on -- or off -- of your mailing
Answer: As mentioned above, we use mailing lists only for notifying you in the unlikely even that any serious flaws are found in our software, or to notify you of the availability of upgrades.
If you wish to be ADDED to our mailing list, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be added to the list. You must send the email from the address you wish to have added to our list. We will not add other email addresses to our mailing list.
If you wish to be REMOVED from our mailing list, just send an email to email@example.com with the word "REMOVE" in the subject line. Again, you must send the email from the address you wish to have removed.
If you wish to UPDATE your email address in our mailing list, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your old email address. You must send the email from the new email address.
Question: I run a business selling
MR-8100 radios. Can I register PSCAN under my company name and make
even more money selling copies to my customers using my
Answer: Nope. We license our software only to individuals. Every user of our software is required to purchase their own copy. Each registration entitles the registered individual to use the software on one machine (at a time).
Think of it this way: Would you consider it right (legally and morally) to buy a single copy of a book and make photocopies for all your friends? How about a video or CD? How would you like it if we took your advertising or other materials and "whited out" your business name, replacing it with ours? Would you consider that fair? Of course not!
Our license agreement allows you to make as many unregistered, evaluation copies of our software as you want, and share those copies with others for evaluation purposes only. You must not share, sell, or in any other way divulge your registration name/number, etc. Doing so exposes you and your business to potential legal liability and penalties far exceeding the cost of properly registered copies of our software.
If you deal in very large volumes of these radios and wish to discuss special group licensing rates or reseller options, please contact us with the particulars to discuss these possibilities.
Question: Can I register the software under my business
Answer: Nope. We license our software only to individuals. This is primarily to prevent disreputable persons from licensing a single copy under their business name and reselling that one copy multiple times to their customers. This is illegal, and robs us of our legitimate income. Ultimately, this "software piracy" results in higher costs, decreased incentive to improve the product or create new products, and in many cases reduced service to legitimate, paying customers.
Question: Can I register the software under my
Answer: In general, we do not allow our products to be registered using nicknames, unless the nickname is something very recognizable as belonging to you. (For example, we have no objection to using "Bob Smith" rather than "Robert Smith", but something like "stoner dude" would be unacceptable.) We also will not register profanities, etc. We reserve the right to deny any requested registration name.
Question: I received a copy of your software that says
"Registered To" and has somebody else's name (or a business name).
How come? And how do I get it to display my name?
Answer: Send an email to email@example.com and let us know (1) the name displayed, and (2) where you got it. We'll take it from there and help you get a properly registered version in your own name.
Question: What are the hardware and software requirements
for using PSCAN?
Answer: Obviously, you will need a Uniden MR-8100 radio and an appropriate interconnect cable. You will also need:
Question: Will PSCAN work on a Linux system?
Answer: Maybe. PSCAN requires IBM-compatible hardware running the Windows operating system. If you run a "virtual machine" (VM) on your Linux system which emulates the required hardware and software, it might work. (We have received reports from users indicating success with such a system.) NOTE: We do not support such a configuration, however.
Question: Will PSCAN work on a Macintosh?
Answer: No. PSCAN requires IBM-compatible hardware which emulators on Macintosh systems cannot provide. If there is enough demand for it, we will consider creating a Mac version. If you're interested, contact our Sales Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. NOTE: We are not aware of anyone successfully using a VM setup on a Mac due to the Mac's lack of a COM1 serial port.
Question: Will PSCAN allow me to program the radio for any
frequency, including "out-of-band" frequencies?
Answer: PSCAN will allow you to program the radio for any frequency
the radio is capable of receiving and designed to receive.
"Out-of-band" operation is not possible unless the radio
has been modified accordingly and a similarly-modified version of
Uniden's SCAN.EXE is available. PSCAN does not,
in itself, provide out-of-band operation.
NOTE: If you have a version of the MR-8100 radio hardware designed for use outside of the United States (or on non-standard frequencies within the USA), and have the appropriate regional version of Uniden's SCAN.EXE software, you can disable frequency range checking (click on "Setup", then remove the checkmark from "Check frequency ranges") to use PSCAN for programming the radio for these non-USA or non-standard frequencies.
Question: What COM port settings do I need to use?
Answer: You must use COM1. Other than that, you do not need to worry about settings as they are handled automatically by the software.
Question: I am attempting to use COM2 (or COM3 or COM4,
etc.) to transmit programming information to the radio, but it
doesn't work. What's wrong?
Answer: At present, PSCAN works only on COM1. This is a limitation of that portion of Uniden's software that we use to interface with the radio. We plan to eliminate this limitation in version 1.0.
Question: Do I need to do anything on the radio to get it
to accept frequency data from the computer?
Answer: No. You do not need to press any buttons or do anything special on the radio. Just turn on the power and the radio is automatically ready to receive programming from the computer via the interconnect cable.
Question: I am getting errors when trying to transmit data
to the radio. What's wrong?
Answer: There are several possible causes for transmission problems. From most common to less common, they are:
Question: I have transmitted the programming data to the
radio, but now the radio won't scan; it seems to be "locked
up." Did I break my radio?
Answer: No, your radio isn't broken. After transmitting data to the radio, you must reset the radio by turning the power off and on again.
Question: Can I include spaces, punctuation, etc., in
the names of frequency files that I save?
Answer: No. Due to limitations in Uniden's software, frequency files must be saved in a DOS-compatible "8.3" filename convention. This means that the filename must be eight or fewer alphanumeric characters and must not include any spaces, punctuation, special symbols or characters, etc. Furthermore, the extension (the ".3" part) must be ".FRQ" or you may not be able to load the file properly.
Question: Does that mean I can't use punctuation, spaces,
etc., as data in frequency files that I save?
Answer: No, that's not what it means. You can use punctuation, spaces, etc., in the bank and frequency name fields. The most notable exception to this is that you cannot use commas, due to the formatting of the frequency files. (This is a limitation of Uniden's interface.) Nearly any other common punctuation is acceptable.
Question: I didn't read the above item before saving
my file. I named it "My.first.frequency.file" and now I
can't reload it. When I try to load the file, that file is not
displayed! Did I lose all those hours of entering frequencies,
names, and so on?
Answer: Probably not. Most likely the file has been converted to conform to the DOS-compatible "8.3" filename convention and has been saved under the name "MY.FIR". To display this file in the "Open" dialog window, select "All Files" from the drop-down "File Types" list; you should now see the file displayed. Select that file to open it. We strongly suggest you save the file with the proper extension (".FRQ"). Just enter a filename of up to eight alphanumeric characters, with no spaces, punctuation or special characters, and let PSCAN add the proper extension for you!
Question: Can you tell me what frequencies are used in
Answer: Unless you are in our area, no. (Sorry!) Check in your area. Check the local Radio Shack store (they might have a Betty Bearcat frequency directory). Check the local library. Check with the services (police, fire, etc.) you wish to monitor; they may be willing to give you the information! Ask other scanner enthusiasts, amateur ("ham") radio operators, etc. Check magazines related to scanning or ham radio. Check online for individuals or groups providing such information, either free or for a fee. Check with the FCC, or one of the agencies that offer FCC database listings (available online or in magazines).
Question: All my frequency files have a goofy
character ( ~ ) in them. What gives?
Answer: That goofy character is called a tilde. When you run PSCAN on a 32-bit Windows system (Windows 95 or higher) and you give a file a name longer than 8 characters (before the period), some Windows software will not recognize the long filename and will shorten the filename to 8 characters -- the first 6 non-blank characters in the long filename, a tilde, and a number. If you don't want these "goofy" characters, keep your filenames to 8 characters or less.
Question: PSCAN was having trouble finding SCAN.EXE. I used
"Fine-tune PSCAN settings" and the instructions in your
Guide to try to correct the problem. I
entered the correct file location ("C:\Program
Files\PSCAN") in the "SCANloc" setting, but it
still doesn't work! What do I do now?
Answer: In order to maintain compatibility with older versions of Windows, and because of limitations in Uniden's SCAN.EXE software, PSCAN requires that you specify this pathname in DOS-compatible, "8.3" notation. The correct pathname for this setting would thus be "C:\PROGRA~1\PSCAN". If you installed PSCAN in the default directory ("C:\MR8100"), should not have this problem. For more information on file- and pathname conventions and limitations, refer to your Windows documentation.
Question: Do you have a sample frequency file that I
can use for testing?
Answer: Yes. We have a sample frequency file that is used with our Basic Operation Guide. Be sure to save the file in text-only format!
Question: Can you tell me what all those codes mean that
I hear on the radio?
Answer: We can provide you with certain more-or-less "standard" codes (such as the APCO "ten-codes") used in our area. But be aware that there is no "universal standard" used by all agencies. Even those that use the common APCO codes often modify or extend the codes to better suit their needs. You might try contacting the agency(-ies) in question and asking them, or contact a local scanner enthusiast group or retail store selling scanners.
Question: I'm just not having
any luck at all! I can't get PSCAN to transmit anything to the
radio. What are the steps I can use for troubleshooting? Should I
contact GFC Tech Support right away?
Answer: No. Believe it or not, you are in a much better position to be able to diagnose and remedy the problem than we are! We have prepared a separate Troubleshooting Guide to help you. Basically, this guide is the steps we would go through if you were to contact us, so you can save yourself a lot of time by working through the steps in the guide. If, after going through those steps, you are still having problems, then by all means contact our Tech Support department.
Question: After reading all the above, I'm more confused
than ever. I don't even know where to start programming the
radio! Do you have any sort of beginner's tutorial?
Answer: Yes. Check out our Basic Operation Guide.
Question: I am getting an error message when trying to load
a frequency file that I recently saved. The message reads (for
example) "'154.43,8192' is not a valid integer value." (in this
example, 154.43 is the frequency I entered, but I did not enter
the 8192 part). What gives?
Answer: You probably entered a comma in the channel name field. Due to limitations in Uniden's software, commas are not allowed in bank or channel name fields. To correct the problem so that you can load the frequency file, use an editor such as Notepad to edit the frequency file, changing any commas in the channel name fields to another character, such as a period. Be sure to save the edited file in pure text mode and with the proper .FRQ extension (rather than Notepad's default .TXT extension).
Question: I am getting an error code not listed in the
documentation. What does error code ____ mean?
Answer: Some additional error-handling has been added to the software since the documentation was last updated. These new error messages, and recommended steps to overcome the problem, are contained in the "Adjusting PSCAN's Settings" section in our Troubleshooting Guide.
Question: Where can I get software upgrades and how much do
Answer: Upgrades through version 1.0 are FREE to registered users. Software upgrades are available for free download from the Internet at http://www.gfcsoftware/software.php. Upgrades on disk are available for a small fee. They may be ordered online or offline (by "snail mail").
Question: Where can I get help installing or using PSCAN?
Answer: The best way to receive technical support is via email. You can contact our Technical Support Department at email@example.com.
Question: My disk and/or manual are
lost or damaged. Can I get a replacement?
Answer: Yes. Replacement disks and manuals are available for a small material and handling fee. They may be ordered online or offline (by "snail mail").
Question: I have lost my registration
codes. Can you send them to me again?
Answer: Usually, yes. We need to know the name, address, email address, etc., under which you ordered and registered the software. You can request this online or offline (by "snail mail"). We will email the information to you, so be sure to provide your current email address. There is a small fee for this service.
Question: Why do you charge for a lost registration?
I already paid for the software. Why do I have to pay again?
Answer: If I lose my car key, Ford Motor Company is not going to send me a replacement for free. Now, yes, we realize that an email is "free" whereas a physical car key sent through the mail is not. But the time and effort expended by our staff in looking up lost registration codes is not free. Also, you'd be surprised at how many times we are asked to look up registration codes for people who have never registered! There are apparently some people who think they can get our software for free by claiming to have paid and registered when in fact they have not. They hope we will assume we have "lost" their registration information and just issue new codes. So the time we spend looking up these non-existent codes costs us, and we are forced to pass along these costs to our paying customers. This isn't fair. Instead, we charge for looking up registration codes. That helps weed out the scammers, and puts the cost where it belongs. The bottom line is: It is your responsibility to keep a record of your registration number.
Question: I have been trying to contact GFC Software
via email, but am having trouble (e.g., my email is being
returned as "undeliverable" or is apparently being
Answer: Please be assured that we are NOT ignoring you, and that we ARE still in business! One possible reason for this is that we receive so much spam that sometimes things "get lost" in all the garbage [see the following question and our spam policy].
In general, you should receive at least an acknowledgement of an email within, at most, two business days (Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM, excluding holidays and extended holiday periods). If you do not receive at least an acknowledgement within that time, please try again from a different address. If all else fails, you can contact us via "snail mail" at GFC Software, PO Box 2681, Rockford IL 61132-2681.
Question: I sent an email to you, but it got returned
to me saying that you are "not accepting email" from
me. What's the deal???
Answer: Unfortunately, we receive literally hundreds of "spam" emails every day, offering everything from get-rich-quick schemes to XXX-rated stuff. (We're not interested in any of those things, by the way.) In an effort to reduce the amount of spam we get, we have locked out some of the worst offenders so that we do not accept email from their domains (that is, the part of the email address after the @ symbol).
We have tried to limit this to only the worst offenders, but there is always the possibility that your email address is in one of these domains. If this is the case, you can set up a temporary email account on one of the many free email providers (such as Yahoo, Mail.com, Hotmail, etc.) to contact us, or contact us via "snail mail" at GFC Software, PO Box 2681, Rockford IL 61132-2681. If you are having this sort of trouble, let us know your email address (online or via "snail mail") and we can add that address as one from which we will accept email, overriding the IP-based and/or domain-based lockout.
We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this. Please do your part to help eliminate "spam".
Question: I am receiving "spam" (UCE , or unsolicited
commercial email) from GFC Software. Take me off your @#$% list!!
If you are receiving any other email which appears to be coming from GFC Software, it could mean that someone has somehow violated our system security and is using our email system for spamming (which we will not allow!) or is faking their email to appear to be coming from GFC Software when, in fact, it is not.
If you are receiving such email, please forward the complete email to us at GFCsoft@aol.com. We need the complete email, including all the "headers" (which indicate the true source of the email and its routing). We will take steps to track down the source, close any security holes, and prevent recurrences.
And thank you for helping us fight spam!
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