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  #301 (permalink)  
Old 05-11-2013, 1:19 AM
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Default Re: City of Houston Project 25 TRS

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Originally Posted by RichinTx View Post
So essentially a BCD996XT is now worthless in Houston for monitoring HPD, HCSO, etc?
No you can hear them on site 3-005

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  #302 (permalink)  
Old 05-11-2013, 10:50 AM
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I just don't understand the confusion everyone has here.

Ensnared:
I don't ever remember saying the FDMA and the TDMA versions of the same channel would carry different traffic.
Why would you think that a TG would only carry 1/2 of the conversation? Wouldn't that make it tough on anyone using the channel?

I am going to repeat this in another way for folks without PSR800s:
  • The city of Houston had a plan to move everyone to P25 Phase 2 usage on a new system. That is when this thread actually started.
  • They, at some point, realized if the system was combined with the already existing regional system, they would gain interoperability more seamlessly.
  • At some point they realized that there was no scanner capable of monitoring Phase 2 traffic and there is a need in and around Houston for non-active radios to monitor dispatch channels; wreckers, news media, etc.
  • Despite the later availability of a Phase 2 capable scanner (ignoring the demise of GRE in this) it was felt that allowing the "public" to monitor the dispatch channels was in the interest of the local public safety folks.
  • In that light, they decided to place a "copy" of the Phase 2 dispatch channels on a set of separate talk groups in P25 Phase 1 (FDMA). Although this would require those folks who use non-active radios (scanners) to have a P25 capable one, since the county has already moved to that it was felt that solved the problem.
  • This "copy" of the dispatch channels is carried on only one site (3-05), it is a wide coverage simulcast site that covers the entire city and the surrounding suburbs. (I personally have not tested the "range" but it is reliably reported to cover the entire metro area.)
  • This "copy" of the dispatch channels can be received with any P25 system trunking scanner, including the older non-700 MHz ones since site 3-05 uses only 800 MHz frequencies. Note, the radio still has to deal with multi-path distortion from the simulcast towers.
  • To work, you must treat this site as a separate system, independent of the rest of TxWarn P25 system. And you should program and scan only the FDMA TGs you are interested in for HPD, HFD, and the Parking Enforcement folks (if you care).
    • You must understand that on that site the only FDMA channels being carried are the 12 HPD MA channels (30180-30191), the 5 HFD MA channels (40002, 40018, 40038, 40058, & 40078) and the one Houston Parking Enforcement channel (45191).
    • If you attempt to scan in ID Search or Open mode, your scanner will be tied up trying to go to TGs it cannot monitor as P25 control channels are the same no matter if the voice mode being used is Phase 1 or 2. Hence, your scanner will get a grant, go to a frequency where it does not find a voice signal, return to the CCh in a cycle until it finally lands on a FDMA channel it can decode.
  • All of the other FDMA channels on TxWARN P25 are being carried on layer 1 & 2 sites, just like they have been since this regional migration to P25 started. In other words, there is no difference today, than last month, for listening to Harris Co SO, Montgomery Co SO, etc.
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  #303 (permalink)  
Old 05-11-2013, 12:09 PM
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Default PSR-800 Sorta Kinda Works, Sometimes !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ensnared View Post
Well, since I don't live in Houston & rarely visit the city, I must say that the expense of a PSR 800 is unwarranted at this time. Yes, I see where you can monitor HPD dispatch in "T" mode, but does this mean there is mobile to base traffic as well? Some agencies encrypt the mobile side of a conversation while keeping the base in the clear. If you can hear both sides of the transmission using "T" mode talk groups, then it might be worth the purchase.

I appreciate the fine effort made by our moderator (LM) to simplify the complex. If you are reading this, you did a great job!

Right now, I am going to take a large gulp of coffee & chill out.

I don't think there are many Phase II systems in the country at present. We will see if the radio industry steps up to the plate to deliver what listeners want, a scanner with full Phase II capabilities.
All I know is that I programmed ALL control channels and voice channels for P25 for the
RFSS-3 system into my PSR-800. After about 3 to 4 HOURS of dead SILENCE I will suddenly hear about five or six quick sentences before the scanner goes quiet again. What I do hear is crisp and clear, it is just not constant. Why do the transmissions come and go like that? I am in Alvin, which apparently is not close enough to any of the P25 tower sites for them to be heard using only the rubber duck antenna of the PSR-800. Do I need to install an outdoor antenna to receive the existing P25 that is out there?

Seems to me that if a tower works great for 5 or 6 sentences it should work well all the time.

That is certainly NOT the case here !!!! For RFSS-3 I am using tower sites 1-5 and 11-16.

Any suggestions?
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  #304 (permalink)  
Old 05-11-2013, 12:19 PM
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I'm not familiar with the 800, but I know the 500 & 600 requires you to tell it to monitor ALL control channels in a list. Otherwise it will pick the first one that sounds the best and scan that, then it will skip to the next best site in the list if it falls below a certain threshold. Might be something to consider?
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  #305 (permalink)  
Old 05-11-2013, 12:21 PM
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Default Confusion Cleared

Quote:
Originally Posted by loumaag View Post
I just don't understand the confusion everyone has here.

Ensnared:
I don't ever remember saying the FDMA and the TDMA versions of the same channel would carry different traffic.
Why would you think that a TG would only carry 1/2 of the conversation? Wouldn't that make it tough on anyone using the channel?

I am going to repeat this in another way for folks without PSR800s:
  • The city of Houston had a plan to move everyone to P25 Phase 2 usage on a new system. That is when this thread actually started.
  • They, at some point, realized if the system was combined with the already existing regional system, they would gain interoperability more seamlessly.
  • At some point they realized that there was no scanner capable of monitoring Phase 2 traffic and there is a need in and around Houston for non-active radios to monitor dispatch channels; wreckers, news media, etc.
  • Despite the later availability of a Phase 2 capable scanner (ignoring the demise of GRE in this) it was felt that allowing the "public" to monitor the dispatch channels was in the interest of the local public safety folks.
  • In that light, they decided to place a "copy" of the Phase 2 dispatch channels on a set of separate talk groups in P25 Phase 1 (FDMA). Although this would require those folks who use non-active radios (scanners) to have a P25 capable one, since the county has already moved to that it was felt that solved the problem.
  • This "copy" of the dispatch channels is carried on only one site (3-05), it is a wide coverage simulcast site that covers the entire city and the surrounding suburbs. (I personally have not tested the "range" but it is reliably reported to cover the entire metro area.)
  • This "copy" of the dispatch channels can be received with any P25 system trunking scanner, including the older non-700 MHz ones since site 3-05 uses only 800 MHz frequencies. Note, the radio still has to deal with multi-path distortion from the simulcast towers.
  • To work, you must treat this site as a separate system, independent of the rest of TxWarn P25 system. And you should program and scan only the FDMA TGs you are interested in for HPD, HFD, and the Parking Enforcement folks (if you care).
    • You must understand that on that site the only FDMA channels being carried are the 12 HPD MA channels (30180-30191), the 5 HFD MA channels (40002, 40018, 40038, 40058, & 40078) and the one Houston Parking Enforcement channel (45191).
    • If you attempt to scan in ID Search or Open mode, your scanner will be tied up trying to go to TGs it cannot monitor as P25 control channels are the same no matter if the voice mode being used is Phase 1 or 2. Hence, your scanner will get a grant, go to a frequency where it does not find a voice signal, return to the CCh in a cycle until it finally lands on a FDMA channel it can decode.
  • All of the other FDMA channels on TxWARN P25 are being carried on layer 1 & 2 sites, just like they have been since this regional migration to P25 started. In other words, there is no difference today, than last month, for listening to Harris Co SO, Montgomery Co SO, etc.
Here is why I was confused about hearing dispatch and mobiles. The wording on post 254 within this thread said this:

"As a general rule, anything Phase 1/FDMA will be on the GGSL (General Government Services Layer) aka the "800 simulcast." The public safety simulcast sectors don't have the RF channels available to carry FDMA traffic.

The HFD dispatch and RO FDMA talkgroups carry both dispatch and mobile traffic. The HPD FDMA multicasts, when they go live, are only supposed to carry dispatcher traffic."

To me, the wording of the second paragraph above was a bit confusing in light of what you wrote.

I believe you have gone the extra mile in taking the time to explain this to me and others. Now, I can go program my radio. I greatly appreciate it.

I never realized that the design was to include capabilities of press, wreckers, etc.

In light of the contentious relationship that exists between Williamson county & the press having access to their encrypted channels by letting them borrow radios & then taking them back, I find this rather refreshing to know.

I suppose some cities realize the benefit of letting citizens hear radio traffic. I was wondering how wreckers were going to deal with all of this in Houston.

I will be visiting Richmond/Rosenberg this coming week. I will report my reception for HPD.
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Last edited by Ensnared; 05-11-2013 at 12:48 PM.. Reason: rephrasing
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  #306 (permalink)  
Old 05-11-2013, 1:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ensnared View Post
Here is why I was confused about hearing dispatch and mobiles. The wording on post 254 within this thread said this:

"As a general rule, anything Phase 1/FDMA will be on the GGSL (General Government Services Layer) aka the "800 simulcast." The public safety simulcast sectors don't have the RF channels available to carry FDMA traffic.

The HFD dispatch and RO FDMA talkgroups carry both dispatch and mobile traffic. The HPD FDMA multicasts, when they go live, are only supposed to carry dispatcher traffic."

To me, the wording of the second paragraph above was a bit confusing in light of what you wrote.

Except, I didn't write post #254. To be honest, I think he was referring to the HFD Regional Operator (originally called Rover) channels not being dispatch channels more than the way you took it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ensnared View Post
...
I will be visiting Richmond/Rosenberg this coming week. I will report my reception for HPD.
I will be interested in your results. I can attest to being able to hear all the way down Grand Parkway (from I-10) to Sugarland since I made that trip yesterday although I occasionally had some multi-path distortion while moving at speed.
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  #307 (permalink)  
Old 05-11-2013, 1:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teknishun View Post
All I know is that I programmed ALL control channels and voice channels for P25 for the
RFSS-3 system into my PSR-800. After about 3 to 4 HOURS of dead SILENCE I will suddenly hear about five or six quick sentences before the scanner goes quiet again. What I do hear is crisp and clear, it is just not constant. Why do the transmissions come and go like that? I am in Alvin, which apparently is not close enough to any of the P25 tower sites for them to be heard using only the rubber duck antenna of the PSR-800. Do I need to install an outdoor antenna to receive the existing P25 that is out there?

Seems to me that if a tower works great for 5 or 6 sentences it should work well all the time.

That is certainly NOT the case here !!!! For RFSS-3 I am using tower sites 1-5 and 11-16.

Any suggestions?
Sorry you are experiencing such. If you have a PSR 800, why would it be necessary to program the talk groups/layers for those designed for PSR 500 & Uniden radios?

I am paying close attention to any problems those with PSR 800 radios are experiencing with this system. Since the PSR 800 is a bit expensive now, I might not even buy one since I will now be able to hear HPD dispatch. You might want to review the moderator's most recent posts specific to these two radios.
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Old 05-11-2013, 1:53 PM
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Default Post 254

Quote:
Originally Posted by loumaag View Post

Except, I didn't write post #254. To be honest, I think he was referring to the HFD Regional Operator (originally called Rover) channels not being dispatch channels more than the way you took it.

I will be interested in your results. I can attest to being able to hear all the way down Grand Parkway (from I-10) to Sugarland since I made that trip yesterday although I occasionally had some multi-path distortion while moving at speed.
Oh, believe me, I know you did not post that one, but it still confused my one neuron. LOL.

Yeah, I pretty excited now that I know I can likely hear dispatch/mobile. I've been following this system since it was called Starnet & before. Houston has been pretty progressive with this system. My friend who used to work for Shadow Traffic (Ed) told me he knows the individual working on the RR DB for this system.

Again, thanks for all your hard work!
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  #309 (permalink)  
Old 05-11-2013, 1:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teknishun View Post
All I know is that I programmed ALL control channels and voice channels for P25 for the
RFSS-3 system into my PSR-800. After about 3 to 4 HOURS of dead SILENCE I will suddenly hear about five or six quick sentences before the scanner goes quiet again. What I do hear is crisp and clear, it is just not constant. Why do the transmissions come and go like that? I am in Alvin, which apparently is not close enough to any of the P25 tower sites for them to be heard using only the rubber duck antenna of the PSR-800. Do I need to install an outdoor antenna to receive the existing P25 that is out there?

Seems to me that if a tower works great for 5 or 6 sentences it should work well all the time.

That is certainly NOT the case here !!!! For RFSS-3 I am using tower sites 1-5 and 11-16.

Any suggestions?
Let's try this..

I see you live in Alvin. Since you put in all the sites you may be locked to site 11 or 14. If so, units rarely affiliate to those, which would explain not hearing much.

Try just using site 3 (of Zone/RFSS 3), but you may be to far out for that one. I'm pretty sure you could hear site 5, so that may be a better choice.
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Old 05-11-2013, 1:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ensnared View Post
My friend who used to work for Shadow Traffic (Ed) told me he knows the individual working on the RR DB for this system.
And you trust Mr. Lentz?
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Old 05-11-2013, 2:24 PM
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Quote:
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And you trust Mr. Lentz?
LOL. Oh, that was a good one. We go way back! Before I had a computer, he would print out pages and pages of computer paper for me. Then, I would put all in plastic binders. I used to go see him in Stinkydena & was mesmerized by all the radios he had running. I've counted on his expertise for quite some time.

By the way, is that a BC250 in your picture. I used to have one I used as a foot-warmer since it overheated so much. But, I loved that radio.
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Old 05-11-2013, 2:28 PM
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I recently moved from Longview, Texas to Houston. I have been reading the forums and trying to wrap my head around how to monitor HPD and HCSO.
I have made a little progress but still running into the same issue of having dead silence for long time.
I have Win500 and have a pro 106, can anyone from the area provide a .p500 file so I can learn from example. The area I live in is on Hwy 249 and FM1960.
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Old 05-11-2013, 2:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ensnared View Post
LOL. Oh, that was a good one. We go way back! Before I had a computer, he would print out pages and pages of computer paper for me. Then, I would put all in plastic binders. I used to go see him in Stinkydena & was mesmerized by all the radios he had running. I've counted on his expertise for quite some time.

By the way, is that a BC250 in your picture. I used to have one I used as a foot-warmer since it overheated so much. But, I loved that radio.
Not to stray OT, but I've known Ed for over 20 years.

It's a 210. I got real good at replacing that transistor that overheated in the 250's. After the 3rd or 4th I heatsinked to the case and it never failed again.
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Old 05-11-2013, 2:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abvilongview View Post
I recently moved from Longview, Texas to Houston. I have been reading the forums and trying to wrap my head around how to monitor HPD and HCSO.
I have made a little progress but still running into the same issue of having dead silence for long time.
I have Win500 and have a pro 106, can anyone from the area provide a .p500 file so I can learn from example. The area I live in is on Hwy 249 and FM1960.
This will be real easy...

Only use the Zone/RFSS 3 site 5 control channels for HPD/HFD and don't use a "wild card", just the known FDMA HPD/HFD TG's. That will positively get you HPD/HFD.
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Old 05-11-2013, 3:40 PM
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Hi Kevin, thanks for the reply.
I tried with what you have recommended, but still not any luck.
I have attached the .p500 file I created, if anyone can take a look at it and tell me what I am doing wrong.
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File Type: zip Test 1 .zip (714 Bytes, 13 views)
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Old 05-11-2013, 3:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abvilongview View Post
Hi Kevin, thanks for the reply.
I tried with what you have recommended, but still not any luck.
I have attached the .p500 file I created, if anyone can take a look at it and tell me what I am doing wrong.
Download PSREdit500 (free 30-day trial, I don't have Win500), read your radio and post that file. We can get you going.
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Old 05-11-2013, 3:55 PM
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Attached is the .bin file. if you can let me know what I have done incorrectly and if you don't mind sharing any other talk groups you have....thanks

Sorry, file has been uploaded.
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File Type: zip test 2.zip (2.1 KB, 8 views)

Last edited by abvilongview; 05-11-2013 at 4:01 PM..
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Old 05-11-2013, 3:59 PM
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Quote:
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Attached is the .bin file. if you can let me know what I have done incorrectly and if you don't mind sharing any other talk groups you have....thanks
No attachment.
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Old 05-11-2013, 4:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abvilongview View Post
Attached is the .bin file. if you can let me know what I have done incorrectly and if you don't mind sharing any other talk groups you have....thanks

Sorry, file has been uploaded.
Standby...
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Old 05-11-2013, 4:22 PM
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Let's do baby steps, try this one. Scanlist 10 should be HPD, 7 and 8 are what they used to be but I only put in the Tomball control channel. We can add other site CC's after we confirm this works.
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