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Advice on scanning the Palmetto P25 (WS1040)

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samiam003

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#1
I was asking over in the "Whistler Scanners" section, but someone suggested I might get more help from locals scanning the same system.

I've got the WS1040 and have been trying to pick up the local Sumter PD, Sheriff, EMS, Fire, etc. I do get some audio, but it's very sparse and not always very clear. Scanning all of those talkgroups at once, I only manage to hear chatter maybe once every ten minutes or so during the busy time of evening. That seems strange. And sometimes I only get one side of a conversation.

Does anyone else successfully scan our P25 with this scanner, and if so, how can I improve quality and get better access? I'll attach my talkgroup list and settings here, too.

Also, it was mentioned to me that I should determine where the nearest tower is. Where could I find information on that?

Any advice appreciated!
 

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milf

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#2
Go to the actual Palmetto P25 db page. Each site has its site number name and the county its in.

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samiam003

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#3
"043 (2B)"?

That's in the site column for my county (Sumter) on the Palmetto P25 db page.

What does that tell me, or how can I use it? Sorry if that's a silly question, I'm just a huge noob, lol.
 

milf

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#4
That is the primary site you want to use in your scan pattern. Its also wise to add the nearest surrounding sites.

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samiam003

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#5
Oh, the frequencies, right? I see it gave me the last four frequencies on my county's list (I just bought a premium subscription and imported directly from the RR DB). All the red and blue freqs.

Maybe I should manually add the other five, too?
 

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milf

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#6
All you need are the cc for each site. Then just the talk groups you want to hear. Make sure to set the system as p25.

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brian

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#9
From what I can tell, you have the system set up properly. If you're hearing some traffic on the talkgroups you have programmed, you're probably fine in terms of your configuration.

A couple of thoughts:

- you're probably experiencing Simulcast digital distortion - The RadioReference Wiki which is a problem that plagues many scanner users listening to systems such as this. The best bet is to work on your antenna system to minimize reception from all but the closest tower.

- Add a wildcard talkgroup to your talkgroup list. This will let you listen to all active talkgroups on the system. It's definitely possible that all active talkgroups have not yet been identified. The wildcard will allow you to identify active talkgroups that have not yet listed in the database.

Good luck. We always need updated information from all areas of the state, including Sumter.
 

brian

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#10
Another thought - download and run Pro96Comm, which is a trunked radio system decoder. You'll need an audio connection from your scanner to your PC, and you'll have to configure your scanner to only monitor the active control channel frequency, and configure the CCData output for the Headphone jack. Once you get this set up and operating properly, this will show you the activity on the system in real time. While you won't be able to track and listen to the system on your scanner while you monitor the information from Pro96Com, this will give you a sense of what you may be missing. You can also let it run for a long time and let it identify any unknown talkgroups. Maybe what you're hearing is all that's monitorable on the system - the rest may be encrypted. Or maybe you're missing a lot do to LSM distortion. Or maybe you're missing some talkgroups. This method would tell you for sure.
 
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#11
Typically, from the time I scanned Sumter, I didn't hear much but didn't experience significant LSM distortion (even being mobile). Strange how the new P25 system is sometimes. It did just receive an update to some TGIDs this last week, as well. I couldn't tell you if anything was really wrong in the programming, as I am not familiar with the setup, but like Brian said, I don't see anything wrong with having the CC, alternates, and the TGIDs. I think that's how FreeScan set it up for me (I use if for rebanding configuration on the older P800).
 
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