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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 04-10-2014, 6:59 PM
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BEE00 indicates it's a Motorola system. Did you by chance see any TDMA or X2 (or Mfr Code 90) data in your PRO96COM logs?

If you want any assistance in sleuthing out the system, I have a spreadsheet I am using for Alberta's system, which is probably adaptable, but may not be necessary with a system of this size.

It's interesting the site numbers are 44 thru 46, with only 34 sites showing in the licenses.

Why did you forsake your Jays avatar? They're going to do well this year.
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Old 04-10-2014, 8:43 PM
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There have been once again talks of PEI jumping on board with the TMR2. Our current trunk system is 28 years old. Will be interesting to see if they back out again.
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Old 04-10-2014, 8:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay911 View Post
BEE00 indicates it's a Motorola system. Did you by chance see any TDMA or X2 (or Mfr Code 90) data in your PRO96COM logs?

If you want any assistance in sleuthing out the system, I have a spreadsheet I am using for Alberta's system, which is probably adaptable, but may not be necessary with a system of this size.

It's interesting the site numbers are 44 thru 46, with only 34 sites showing in the licenses.

Why did you forsake your Jays avatar? They're going to do well this year.
Still trying to get used to Pro96com's interface, I'm so used to Trunk88... would the logs be in the interface, or a separate log file? I've only been monitoring it for the evening and it's dead, but I guess whoever is testing is gone home. I'm going to let it run all day tomorrow so it should pick a few things up.

For whatever reason, only some of the sites have been licensed so far. Based on a site list somebody got, it's supposed to consist of 86 sites in total, up from 66 sites in the current system. With a couple of exceptions, all of the current sites are going to be reused, with 20 new sites added.

Haha, figured it was time to go with a different avatar for a while, although now that I think about it getting rid of the Jays right at the beginning of the season was just poor timing!
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Old 04-10-2014, 9:04 PM
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You did answer one of my questions Jay, I had noticed a lot of the WACNs for different systems are all BEE00, and I had been wondering why. Any ideas why all of the Motorola built systems have the same WACN?
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Old 04-11-2014, 7:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hfxChris View Post
Still trying to get used to Pro96com's interface, I'm so used to Trunk88... would the logs be in the interface, or a separate log file? I've only been monitoring it for the evening and it's dead, but I guess whoever is testing is gone home. I'm going to let it run all day tomorrow so it should pick a few things up.
By default I think a lot of the analysis tools and log files are turned off. I'll look through it today and see if I can figure out where it'd be.

In the folder where the files are stored (typically My Documents\Pro96Com\System###) there might be some logs that start with the word "Dump", they'd be useful.

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Haha, figured it was time to go with a different avatar for a while, although now that I think about it getting rid of the Jays right at the beginning of the season was just poor timing!
All I can say is, you changed yesterday, and Dickey got shelled pretty bad last night....

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You did answer one of my questions Jay, I had noticed a lot of the WACNs for different systems are all BEE00, and I had been wondering why. Any ideas why all of the Motorola built systems have the same WACN?
The WACN in a lot of systems is not arbitrarily chosen. In many of them, it has a direct correlation to the callsign or license. There's actually a document that shows how to calculate this. At the same time, there's another optional method of encoding which lets manufacturers identify their systems with their own WACNs. Motorola uses BEE##, and the BEE part decodes into Motorola's manufacturer code. I have to head out right now but I'll try to look up the discussion on that later on today as well.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:13 PM
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By default I think a lot of the analysis tools and log files are turned off. I'll look through it today and see if I can figure out where it'd be.
In PRO96COM, go Edit>Screen Settings, and you will see three rows of tabs on the top of the subsequent window. The bottom row of tabs ("Global", "Activity", ...) has a number of optional screens (starting with "Affiliations") which you can enable with a checkbox on each tab. Many of them have logging options as well. Of particular interest in checking if a Motorola system has any oddball stuff going on, is "Unknown". "Dump" and "RAW Dump" tabs might be useful too; "Dump" is the translated-for-humans data, and "RAW Dump" is the straight hex code from your GRE or Uniden scanner. It'll scroll by far too quickly for you to make any use of it, but turning on logging for those is probably wise.

On the main window after you've clicked "Read Data from Radio", you'll be able to tell if the system is TDMA or not by the "Ch" and "Frequency" columns. I believe PRO96COM uses a /1 and /2 after the frequency to indicate two slots (hence TDMA), but if you see the same channel number and/or frequency repeated more than once in the list, that's a good indicator of TDMA too.

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Originally Posted by Jay911 View Post
The WACN in a lot of systems is not arbitrarily chosen. In many of them, it has a direct correlation to the callsign or license. There's actually a document that shows how to calculate this. At the same time, there's another optional method of encoding which lets manufacturers identify their systems with their own WACNs. Motorola uses BEE##, and the BEE part decodes into Motorola's manufacturer code. I have to head out right now but I'll try to look up the discussion on that later on today as well.
Here's a thread where I and some others discussed this. No idea why (seemingly) only Motorola builds their WACNs with their manufacturer ID within. Tool to Calculate WACN & System ID or Call Sign
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:37 PM
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Thanks Jay, I'll read that thread over later, and the Pro96com settings I'll have a look at when I'm home tonight. The system's supposed to be phase 1, supposedly a large amount of radios were purchased from the Vancouver Olympics, and they were all phase 1.

Also since the system is now technically live, I've updated it in the database so it now shows.

http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=7924

And just a reminder that even though we already have a list of sites, and some of them are licensed, until they go live and we can get a site number, they can't be added to the database. RR policy.
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Last edited by hfxChris; 04-11-2014 at 12:41 PM..
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Old 04-14-2014, 3:23 PM
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Well I logged one affiliation today! TGID 16, Radio ID 30, affiliated at 14:07
I also logged a few channel grants at the same time, on TGID 16, RID 6 (must have already been affiliated since before the weekend when I started logging)
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Old 04-14-2014, 3:28 PM
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He also could have affiliated to a different tower than you were listening to. You'd only see the affiliations to the tower you're monitoring.
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Old 04-14-2014, 5:30 PM
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I'm just learning how the site monitoring tools work. I had Pro96Com running much of Sunday but all I got on the site activity tab was the CC & AC. I noticed tonight that the other two repeater frequencies came up on the site activity tab. Why would they have shown up today (Monday) & not Sunday? (Maybe they were not live on Sunday)?

I did not get that affiliation at 14:07 that you got Chris...I notice my buffer fluctuating between 23% & 100%. Is that suggesting I need to have stronger signal than I have at the scanner's current location. (Buffer ran at 100% Sunday in another room). Might that have caused me to miss the affiliation? Sorry if those are stupid questions.
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Old 04-14-2014, 5:50 PM
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The P25 control channel announces itself (the CC) and any alternate control channels. If you haven't saved data regarding any voice channels, you won't see them until a "channel grant" or similar packet broadcasts their existence. Make sure on PRO96COM that all the save options in Edit>Data Options is checked, if you want to retain data from run to run.

Like I said earlier, if you and Chris are not listening to the same tower, odds are great that you will not see the same affiliations. An affiliation is the radio saying to the system controller "Hi, I'm here on tower xyz and listening to talkgroup abc." A channel grant will be from the controller to the radio and say "You just made a push to talk request for talkgroup def. Switch to channel 00-1387 for that transmission." (00-1387 would translate to a frequency through what's known as an 'iden' table - what scanner users know as base/step/offset tables, essentially.)

Poor decode rate can certainly cause you to miss things like affiliations and channel grants. If you are getting 100% decode somewhere, that's obviously the best place to put your radio. You can use USB extension cables or an external antenna to bring the signal to your computer if need be (I have a 10' USB extension I can use to put my scanner in a window quite a distance from my PC).

This probably doesn't apply to you guys since you already say you are getting 100% decode, but there are certain systems where the best you will see is about 67 to 70 percent. The way I understand it is some of these systems have "idle" blocks in their transmissions. One system I'm monitoring occasionally has a line that comes up with all 55s or all 56s in its hex decode (if you look at the dump logs from PRO96COM you will see that a single message is typically made up of 12 hex "pairs"). That system shows up with 70% decode rate at best.

Would either/any of you guys care to zip up your System687 folder (under My Documents\PRO96COM\) and send it to jay911@gmail.com? I can help identify some of the other parameters this system might have like TDMA etc.
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Old 04-14-2014, 6:29 PM
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Zipped and sent. Thanks Jay! I'm still just trying to get used to Pro96Com... hah.

We should both be monitoring the same site (Whites Lake) as that's the only one we've found so far active.
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old 04-14-2014, 7:28 PM
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Gotcha and thanks for sending the logs.

If the WACN wasn't an indication of the system being Motorola, the band plans certainly are. It almost seems to be "Motorola standard" to do them the way they have set it up on TMR2: iden 0 is 800 MHz FDMA, iden 1 is 700 MHz FDMA, iden 2 is 800 MHz TDMA, iden 3 is 700 MHz TDMA, iden 4 is 900 MHz FDMA, and iden 5 is 900 MHz TDMA. (In case you folks aren't aware, FDMA = Phase 1, TDMA = Phase 2.)

Whites Lake may be the only one "on", but the system (as you've said before) is configured for at least two more sites, with control channels of 769.18125 and 773.18125, sites 45 and 46 respectively.

The last voice channel also shows up as an 'ident' channel - the "vi" tag in the usage column identifies this. I'm suspecting you'd hear the Morse code identifier periodically on that frequency if you were to listen directly. (I'm not 100% sure, as none of the systems I monitor use this feature.)

In terms of figuring out where other sites are, that last "Neighbors" section in the Towerxxxxxxx.txt file can be very useful. When I was helping map out the Newfoundland system, I would keep track of which (known) sites had the same neighbors. So if say site 51 was neighbor to sites 36, 37, and 39, I would take the known lat/long coordinates of 36, 37, and 39, average them out, and see where that ended up on the map, and more often than not, that was a pretty good guess as to where the site was
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Old 04-14-2014, 8:01 PM
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I just figured out how to save a dump file.. I'll send that as well if you wanted to take a look through it.
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:23 PM
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Thanks, those (to me) are the most fun to explore.

That's showing an interesting thing, but I'm not sure if it's common to all TDMA systems, all Motorola systems, or something else entirely. There is a "TDMA Sync Broadcast" being sent out - TDMA operation relies on particularly precise timekeeping - and it's stated to be invalid. It could be that they haven't configured a network time protocol, or just that it is considered invalid by default unless specifically set up.

For the sake of reference, your PC's clock appears to be 2 minutes fast compared to them:

Code:
  30 00 00 04 6A 1C 8F 06 A0 96 80 BE  04/14 21:55:14 TDMA Sync Broadcast - *Invalid* 2014/04/15 00:53 (150) -10
I don't recall what precisely the number in parentheses means. It appears to slice each minute into ~8000 pieces. It's in the standard (which is interesting reading if you are into this kind of thing, but costs $$$ to even have a chance to look at it).

There are indications of Motorola-specific opcodes (instructions sent over the control channel), but it is not an "X2" system. I don't know if that means you are restricted to seeing only Mot radios on the system - presumably a non-Mot radio coming across an opcode with manufacturer code 90 (Motorola) would just ignore it, but I haven't seen a system set up that way yet.

The Motorola opcodes are as-yet undeciphered, but if I recall correctly, some of them have been suspected to be related to what talkgroups are patched together.



One last thing, since this system is theoretically going to replace a Smartzone system: Motorola makes a bridge device called SmartX which is used to link SZ systems with P25 systems (maybe with other systems too, I don't know). When a SmartX bridge is used, and talkgroups on the SZ system are carried over it to the P25 system, those talkgroups are almost always showing up as their "5 digit" values divided by 16. That is to say, the number you are putting into your scanner for the Smartzone talkgroup, divide it by 16, and put that into the P25 system, and that should be the same talkgroup. So for example, your HRP Central Primary channel, 58112, should be 3632 on the P25 system, if they link them with a SmartX bridge.
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:13 PM
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Thanks Jay. Will be interesting to see if they do any sort of bridging between the two systems. May make for an easier transition for some of the more spread out agencies, such as EHS or the volunteer fire departments that use TMR.
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Old 04-15-2014, 2:12 PM
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Piece from last month on the Fire Service Association of Nova Scotia's website regarding timeframes for VFD migration to the new system. Also a note on bridging between the two systems as needed.

http://www.fsans.ns.ca/pdf/FSANS%20T...nformation.pdf
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Old 04-16-2014, 3:43 PM
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Looks like all the towers are now listed on TAFL, if not all of them then close to it
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Old 04-16-2014, 6:35 PM
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Just a mention for those not in the know re the number of sites in this system, I have the list on my site.... havent yet added the CC's
NS Replacement Trunked Mobile Radio System

Also the frequency matrix on this page: TMR2 Matrix analysis
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Old 04-16-2014, 6:52 PM
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Your "matrix analysis" doesn't take into account the 32 frequencies reserved nationwide for simplex/repeater use for interoperability nor the 12 frequencies reserved nationwide for simplex use. It's extremely unlikely TMR2 is going to use them as trunked repeater frequencies. Interop Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

Furthermore, the search range you specify at the bottom of that page should be 769.00000 to 774.99875. That's the range of valid 700 MHz frequencies.
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