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BCD996XT: A few simple questions

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DogT

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#1
OK, one at a time. I've been around radios for quite a while, but scanning is strange stuff to me, especially this 996 and the 'systems'. I've had this thing for a few years, but I get confused easily and have lots of other stuff to do. But let me start with a simple Q. I see that there's ID Scan and ID Search I think only in the 'system' modes? But I'm not fully understanding the difference, is ID Scan just scanning what has been 'programmed' into that system and ID Search is scanning for 'anything' in the system? What does this mean in the real world? If it actually finds a new ID how do I get it into the system, or does that require downloading the new system and re installing it? I hope I'm phrasing this right. Then I'll have some Q. about my county system which is MOT2 and then Quick Keys.

Thanks
Dave
 

gh6406

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#2
ID Scan only stops if correct tone is programmed in, ID Search stops on any transmission on that frequency.
 

wtp

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#3
scan vs search.

ID SCAN is to hear just the talkgroups you save
IS SEARCH to to search for any talkgroup that talks
on both of these if you lockout a talkgroup you will NOT be able to hear them

i don't know what the other guy meant by tone.
 

kmi8dy

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#4
id scan means that the system will only pick up the tgid's that are programmed into the system. id search will pick up ANY tgid's that are on that system, weather you want to hear them or not.
 

DogT

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#5
OK, those last 2 answers were pretty much what I thought. I don't think it has anything to do with tone, that's a separate item, I'm sure.

Next Q. I've got this MOT2 system in my locality. It appears to include 3 counties, Fauquier, Culpeper and Rapahannock. Notice there are 2 M82C (Fauquier and Culpeper) which I think are systems (not sure) and all the rest are groups under the system. You can see the Quick Keys I've assigned to the M82C (possible 99 QK) and also the group QK (only 10). Now the 2 M82C I've selected as 1 and 2 Fauquier and Culpeper. Rapahannock appears to be part of the Fauquier system. But what I've found is that even though I have Culpeper assigned to QK2 and Fauquier to QK1, I get Culpeper groups showing up in my Fauquier system when I only have QK 1 selected to scan. I'm really confused here. Can someone straighten me out here? Here's the setup in Freescan. Then I'd like to figure out the groups in the VSP Stars system.

 

ofd8001

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#6
In reference to your first question, the ID Scan/ID Search response was mostly correct. I'd add that those two things apply only to trunked radio systems.

On the other question: A system in the scanner is like a container. On trunked radio systems (and "system" is contextual - scanner versus the "actual" radio system), there are two separate elements.

One element would be the Sites (one or more), which are transmitter towers that broadcast the transmissions. Sites can be assigned a System Quick Key 0-99. (Yes it is a little confusing: a site being assigned a "system" quick key).

Another element is Groups. Groups are another container within that big system container. Groups consist of Talkgroup IDs/channels in a trunked radio system. Groups can be assigned Group Quick Keys (0-9) which are used to turn off groups/sets of channels.

Without knowing the specifics of your system, I cannot answer the last part with certainty, but I'll give it a shot. It's possible that the Culpepper groups are allowed to affiliate with the Fauquier site. A Culpepper user may have wandered in to Fauquier County and gets a stronger signal from the Fauquier site. This is called "roaming". When that happens, the transmission is carried on both sites.

(Its also possible you may have a second copy of the Fauquier/Culpepper system in your scanner from a previous programming session. That second system may not have any system quick keys assigned and it is scanning normally as no quick keys are off).

On your VA STARS system, I couldn't see enough of it to say the following for sure. However your model scanner is limited to 20 Groups (18 are showing). If you have more than 20 groups, you have to do some combining via copy and pasting so you conform to the 20 group limit. Another absolute memory limit that may come into play is 500 channels per trunked system. Statewide systems often have many more than 500 talkgroups.

When you attempt to download more than 20 groups or program more than 500 talkgroups, you probably will see some error messages in FreeScan or on your scanner.
 

DogT

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#7
ofd, thanks for that reply. I'm still trying to wrap my feeble mind around this scanner after 2 years. I'm noticing that when I scan QK1, Fauquier, the 996 displays what I think is the link channel(I'm not sure that's what it's called, but I'll call it that for now) 853.7125 and of course when a signal comes in, it switches to the ID and group number. When I scan QK2, Culpeper, it displays 853.300 for the 'link channel'. The top display shows either 'Fauquier County' or 'CulpeperCnty' for QK1 or QK2. What I'm thinking is the 'Groups' are under either system (it's probably a linked system, they have a 'shared' group as you can see), thus, even though I've tried to set separate 0-7 groups under Fauquier and 0-7 Groups under Culpeper, the scanner can't tell the difference. I'll need to do some further investigation as it scans and displays groups. It also appears to me that the Rapahannock groups are just another set of groups under the Fauquier system, I can't QK Rapahannock by itself, I have to QK Fauquier and turn off all the other groups except the 3 Rapahannock. Does this make any sense?

What my objective is, is to be able to scan just the Fauquier, just the Culpeper, and just the Rapahannock, but I'm not sure it's possible without some serious assignations of the QK's. Maybe if I get this one straightened out I can figure out the VSP STARS, but I see it's a P25 system. I'll keep the VSP until I sort the MOT2.

I did work with a trunking P25 system when I was working, but this scanning is not what it was made for. It's much simpler when you just assign groups to radios and groups can't hear each other unless they switch to the other group, if it's on the radio.

Can someone explain what the M82C means? That may help clear the fog.

I also live near the border of the Fauquier/Rapahannock counties, so there may be some overlapping of signals in the system because of my location? If I were closer to Warrenton, the Fauquier county seat, it would probably be different.
 

ofd8001

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#8
The LNK icon appears when data is received on a VOICE CHANNEL (as in an active transmission). The frequency you see could be either the frequency for the control channel or active voice channel.

Here is what happens when you are scanning a trunked radio system. The scanner will "listen" to the frequencies for a site. When it finds the control channel, the scanner monitors the control channel for channel grants which means someone wants to talk on his radio to others in his talkgroup.

When the scanner sees that voice channel grant it notes the talkgroup ID number. From there it looks at your programmed list of talkgroup IDS. If the scanner finds that TGID, the scanner will tune to the assigned voice frequency and you hear the conversation.

If there are no channel grants matching your list, the scanner progresses to the next site and does this all over again. Then on to the next site, etc.

That means your list of talkgroups is shared among all the sites - the Culpepper talkgroups are not limited to the Culpepper site. Its sort of like community cards in Texas Holdem poker. Any player at the table (a site in a scanner) can use them to make their best hand (a best hand is listening to the conversation).

M82C is the "type" of system. Different systems use different protocols for the handling of data on a trunked system. That M82C tells the scanner that you are listening to a Motorola Type II system. Knowing this is more academic than practical when it comes to scanner programming.

You are getting the "overlap" (Facquier talkgroups being heard on Culpepper site) because a Facquier user, such as a police officer, has roamed into the Culpepper site's coverage area. He is using the Culpepper site because he is out of range of his "home" site (Facquier). That's how a SmartZone truned radio system works and was designed to provide a wider coverage area.

If you want to restrict your listening to just Facquier talkgroups, you can do one of two things. Either lockout the other two groups (Culpepper and Rapahannock) or if you have assigned Group Quick Keys to each of these groups, simply disable the GQK.
 

DogT

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#9
OK, so my assignments of double talk groups to the different control channels is not effective because it's the same system. I'll have to come up with another plan since there aren't enough talk group QKs to sort it out. I'll see what I can do to sort it out, it may be that I just forget some of the talkgroups and stick to 0-9. I suppose I could double program the MOT2 system and use a different QK for the second system with different talk group assignments. I'll have to think, that still may not sort it out if guys get into the other area. It mostly seems to happen with the FD groups. This may take a while. The VA STARS is not so important, I really don't hear much out of the state police. Once in a while traffic stops.

Thanks.
 

ofd8001

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#10
Yeah that's the bummer with having 20 groups but only 10 Group Quick Keys.

You can assign the same Group Quick Key to more than one group. For example, the Facqueir fire group and Culpeper fire group could share Group Quick Key 1.

There is enough capacity in the scanner to deal with this system. You just have to be creative enough to figure out a work-around.

I can ways I would do this, but scanner programming is like clothes - one size doesn't fit all.

The only thing I'd dissuade you from doing is programming your scanner so that it scanning the same site twice, once in System A and again in System B. That is inefficient and leads to missed transmissions.
 

DogT

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#11
OK, I'll just have to come up with a QK soultion. I was looking at the P25 VSP today and there's 20 groups in that one and 5 control channels from DC to Culpeper I can hear. There must be 5-800 tgid's, but I can lock a lot of them out or just whack out the things I'm not interested in, like dept of mines, etc... Boy these things are a lot of work. But it's winter and not much going on outside. I'm about to set my hair (what's left of it, its mostly coming out my nose and ears) on fire.
 

Anderegg

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#12
You could always just duplicate the system as many times as there are sites, retain only a single site in each new system, and assign each a SYSTEM QK and name it the site name...that way, you can toggle an "area" so to speak on and off quickly and easily...that is how I do the local SMartZone system, since many times, talkgroups will only be active on their "local" site.

Paul
 

DogT

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#13
Actually, I've been watching the Fauquier County with all the groups enabled and it appears to be working fine. When I switch to Culpeper, it still seems to capture the correct groups. It seems that once in a while the Culpeper FD comes into the Fauquier range and maybe then their radios switch to that system. I'll have to keep an eye on it. There's nothing I can do about Rapahannock since it's part of the Fauquier system, unless I do like above and make a new system, but since that's the same site, I'm not sure it would be efficient and it's such a small county there's not much going on there.

As far as VSP I have each site as a quick key, but then there's not much going on with those systems.

In FreeScan, can someone tell me what that box under 'C-Ch Logging' there's a selection of off/on/extended, what's that about? Believe me I went through the manual and didn't find anything.
 
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