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Austin / BCD396T Question

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gprev

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First, the usual noob apologies and thanks to anyone willing to spend their time responding.

I am in western Travis County and have a BCD396. I have imported the RR data for this area (via arc396) to augment the pre-programmed data.

I run a scan on all frequencies, and it works great. BUT, lately I've noticed that I am missing out on a lot stuff.

Examples:
There is a big SWAT event in north Austin right now and I am not picking up a peep
I am able to get DPS dispatch, but no calls from the officers
The only APD group I pick up is SO Adam

I have all necessary frequencies programmed into the scanner, so I thought it might be a range issue. But I am able to get Williamson County traffic, which is farther away (I'm using a discone antenna).

What am I doing wrong?

-George
 

SCPD

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Travis Co uses two overlapping simulcast networks. Some voice calls appear on both. Other calls appear on one but not the other. You'll have to program the radio to scan both - site 01-01 and site 01-02.
-rick
 

mikepro96fan

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The SWAT operation is on CRIT 1 01000 ID on simulcast one 866.28750...
Make sure the scanner is on ID scan mode not ID search mode...And also you might need to enter more talkgroup ID's as listed in the database...
I tried a Uniden 396t I bought from Fry's..I returned it since the Pro96 is much easier to operate..
 

rbarker

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Austin Trunked Radio System

I'm not sure exactly how the BCD396T works but to hear the Austin Travis County System, you have to be monitoring at least the Simulcast 1 site and prob the Simulcast 2 site.
I'm not sure if you can put both of those sites into the same bank but I would suggest that you not do that while you are still learning the system. I would suggest that Simulcast 1 be in bank 1 and simulcast 2 be in bank 2. If the radio is in "search" mode, then the radio should pick up all the talkgroups on that tower unless you lock them out. The Simulcast 1 seems to have most of the public safety talkgroups and Simulcast 2 seems to have most of the city and county talkgroups such as convention center, road crews, electric department, etc.
 

gprev

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Thanks for the suggestions

I want to make sure I understand - Using ARC396, I selected the P25 system for APD. Then I selected the Trunking Frequencies tab and entered all the freqs. listed under simulcast 1 and 2.

Is this what I need to do to scan both towers?

Thanks again,
George
 

UPMan

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Set up like that, it will only stop on the first control channel it can detect. To scan both parts of the system, you need to set up two P25 systems...one for the Simulcast 1 frequencies and one for the Simulcast 2 frequencies.
 

Russell

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Program Simulcast 1 and 2 as separate systems. If you program both as a single system you will only get one as the radio will lock on to the first control channel it sees.

Russell
 

rbarker

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To scan both simulcast sites

To scan both simulcast sites you need to put them in different banks.
I suggest Simulcast 1 in bank 1 and Simulcast 2 in bank 2. You can also select "control channel scanning" if that is an option on the BC396 (I don't know since I do not have one).
 

gprev

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Got it.

Thanks again for the help. If I may impose upon everyone with one more question:

There is an "intellirepeater" tower near me on Hamilton Pool Rd. Should I include this tower in my trunking frequencies? Should I devote a third bank to this freq?

-George
 

josephdavis13

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I have a Uniden BCD 396T and I have both simulcast 1 and simulcast 2 in the some system not separated. The radio works great listening to APD/TCSO/AFD and all the other. My radio dose not lockup and dose not miss anything

Joseph
 

rbarker

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Intellirepeaters

There is an "intellirepeater" tower near me on Hamilton Pool Rd. Should I include this tower in my trunking frequencies? Should I devote a third bank to this freq?
-George[/QUOTE]

Put the Intellirepeater in a 3rd bank. You could put all the intellirepeaters in the same bank but understand that the scanner will go to the first control channel that it finds in a bank and scan that tower and then start over.. if there is a 2nd active control channel in the same bank, the radio will never find it.
 

225Texas

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DPS operates on a duplex system. You must put 154.680 (Units) and 155.460 (Base) together in order to hear both the unit/dispatch. If you put them in far away, you’ll miss out on both sides of the conversation. Also, you’ll only pick up a DPS unit if you’re near them (I can hear up to 35 miles ahead with a good antenna). Currently, DPS Houston Region II is running traffic on what I belief is a repeater. Good luck!
 

gprev

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OK, now I'm getting mad at being so dense.
I have added the new banks/systems as described with the correct simulcast control channel for each. I've added all the talkgroups from the RR database. I am using ID Scan.

But, I am still really not hearing anything from Austin/Travis Public Safety.

I can see from the display that I am scanning these systems. I even see that I get hits on the data channel. But I don't hear much traffic. What I do get is from the Shingle Hill intellirepeater that is near my house. But even then, it's only a few hits an hour.

I pick up tons of stuff from Williamson County's motorola system, but almost nothing from Austin, which is closer. And I have to think that there is more going on in Austin than in Cedar Park or Georgetown.

I am getting more DPS on the conventional systems thanks to 225Texas. But this APD issue is driving me nuts.

Can anyone give me any more guidance? (I did RTFM - several times).

Thanks,
George
 

VintageJon

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Having read this all, I see something missing.

With a Uniden you MUST enter freqs in the order they appear.
(Pro96 doesn't care what order they are in...)

Hope This Helps,
Jon
 

rbarker

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If you are talking about the Austin TRS, all you have to do is put in the control channel for each tower (1 tower per bank).
For the Radio shack Pro96 and Pro-2096, make sure the radio is set to the open mode. if you manually go to that contorl channel you should hear the buzzing and the display will tell if you are getting the signal. For Simulcast 1 the control channel is 866.2875 and has been for about a year now. You should see it toggeling between SY13E BEE09 T0101 (101 corresponds to the site number) and giving you signal strenth. You want the signal strength to be pretty high. say 95%. Locate your radio where you get the best strength.
Simulcast 2 control channel is 866.1375 and has been for about a year now. It should toggle SY13E BEE09 T0102 (102 corresponds with the site number)

On My BC296D - both 866.2875 and 866.1375 control channels in the manual mode will show a full bar (signal strength) and toggle MOT ID: XXX where the XXX are the active talkgroups that are talking. The 980's are APD and you should see them within about 10 seconds
If you are not getting that, try adusting your squelch.. try locating the radio to a higher point or move it around.
 

gprev

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Jon,
Do you mean in order of Primary Control Channel first? Or, in numerical order as they are displayed in the systems frequency chart (http://www.radioreference.com/modules.php?name=TRSDB&sid=2)?

Right now I have the Primary listed first, followed by the alternates.

rbaker,
When I hold on the control freq Simulcast 1, here is what I see on my BCD display:

HOLD || (two bars signal strength)
SID: 013EH-0101
866.2875
NFM DAT
S0:1 - - - - - -
GRP:- - - - - -
_____________________________
() BUSY

I am unable to hear anything, even with squelch turned all the way down.

Thanks,
George
 

UPMan

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Jon's advice is only relavent for EDACS and LTR systems on Uniden's older scanners. It doesn't mean a thing for the 396. The scanner will stop on the first control channel it can receive and will not check for a control channel on any other frequency (unless reception of the first one goes away). When the scanner is on the system and you are hearing no traffic, if you press HOLD, the scanner should stay on the current control channel and open squelch. You should hear the "motoroboat" noise of the control channel. If you don't then you are not receiving any control channel at all. You need to improve your antenna or position.
 

josephdavis13

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Austin Texas
My updated BCD 396T programmed with the new LCRA information on the Creedmoor site is working great. I can receive Hays County, New Braunfels, Gillespie County and the Cities of Klye and San Marcos from my office in down town Austin, Tx.
 

gprev

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After opening my squelch quite a bit and performing the Optimize P25 Performance process described in the manual, I am now picking up more traffic from the Simulcast 1 & 2 towers for the Austin/Travis public safety system systems.

However, the transmissions I am receiving tend to be clipped and rather garbled. Is this a reception issue? I can't believe that it is because I am able to get Williamson County trunked traffic clear as a bell, and it's farther away.

I am using a mid-sized discone antenna, and I can clearly hear traffic from every adjacent county. It's only the relatively close Austin P25 system that is giving me problems.
 

josephdavis13

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Location
Austin Texas
I live just outside Austin and I can receive Williamson County very well. I can also monitor the Travis County system, which Austin APD and others are on. To Monitor the APCO P25 system may require you to perform an firm ware upgrade on your radio to version 1.11.03 link provided below.

http://www.uniden.com/index/downloads.cfm?product=BCD396T

I recommend that you drive around the area with you radio to see if your location might be the problem with receiving good reception. I did the tupgrade my radio with the new firm ware and it improved the radio's performance.


Joseph
 
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