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Discriminator Tap

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#1
Howdy: I understand the PSR-500 has a built in discriminator tap. What can this be used for? Can it be hooked up to programs such as Ham Radio Deluxe or other remote control/spectrum analysis software?

Thanks!
 

DaveNF2G

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#2
The PSR-500 does not have a built in tap. There might be an easy tap point on its main board somewhere, but you would still need to modify your scanner so that the signal could be used outside the scanner.

GRE and Radio Shack's marketing started that confusion with the PRO-96 and its "PC/IF" port. First, the "IF" stands for InterFace, not Intermediate Frequency. Second, the data that appears there is processed 9600 bps control channel data, which is only transmitted by P25 digital trunked systems. Third, feeding that data to any trunktracking software except PRO96COM or IDTracker, which are designed to read the processed data, will do you no good.
 
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#3
DaveNF2G said:
The PSR-500 does not have a built in tap. There might be an easy tap point on its main board somewhere, but you would still need to modify your scanner so that the signal could be used outside the scanner.

GRE and Radio Shack's marketing started that confusion with the PRO-96 and its "PC/IF" port. First, the "IF" stands for InterFace, not Intermediate Frequency. Second, the data that appears there is processed 9600 bps control channel data, which is only transmitted by P25 digital trunked systems. Third, feeding that data to any trunktracking software except PRO96COM or IDTracker, which are designed to read the processed data, will do you no good.
If we're still talking about the PSR-500, the data dumped out of the PC/IF port works with far more than just P25 systems. It also spews out:
* Mot 3600 CC data
* Mot analog VC low-speed data
* EDACS CC data
* LTR low-speed data
* Wx alert data

UniTrunker, at least, will handle most of the above.
 

N9JIG

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#4
rfrr2145 said:
Howdy: I understand the PSR-500 has a built in discriminator tap. What can this be used for? Can it be hooked up to programs such as Ham Radio Deluxe or other remote control/spectrum analysis software?

Thanks!
The discriminator point on the PSR500 and 600 is clearly marked on the board with "DISC" but in order to use it you need to connect it to some sort of jack. On the PSR600 this is pretty simple, just mount an RCA hack or whatever your preferred jack type is on the rear panel, connect the DISC solder tab to the jack and use a tantalum cap for protection. The PSR500 is a bit trickier due to the small form factor but it can be done with a bit of ingenuity.

As for what you can do with it, there a few things that come to mind. I use discriminator taps mostly for PL decoding, I run the discriminator audio to an outside tone decoder that displays the decoded PL or DPL. You can also use it for a variety of data decoders, most often is some variant of Trunker (Unitrunker etc.). Other data decoders are out there as well.

The Pro96Com program uses the PC-Interface jack and cable to decode and display 9600 baud control channel data from APCO-25 trunked systems. No discriminator tap is required.

Since the PSR radios already decode PL and DPL themselves, the need to tap the discriminator is diminished. While I have experimented with the discriminator audio (I found that the PSR's discriminator audio works very well with my applications) I have not mounted a permanent tap on my PSR500 or my PSR600.
 

mtindor

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#6
DaveNF2G said:
The PSR-500 does not have a built in tap. There might be an easy tap point on its main board somewhere, but you would still need to modify your scanner so that the signal could be used outside the scanner.

GRE and Radio Shack's marketing started that confusion with the PRO-96 and its "PC/IF" port. First, the "IF" stands for InterFace, not Intermediate Frequency. Second, the data that appears there is processed 9600 bps control channel data, which is only transmitted by P25 digital trunked systems. Third, feeding that data to any trunktracking software except PRO96COM or IDTracker, which are designed to read the processed data, will do you no good.
Right on with the explanation, not quite right as far as the available data from the port (on a PSR-500/600 at least) and programs that can do something with it. On a PSR-500/600 for instance, there is 3600 Mot CC data, 9600 baud P25 CC data, 4800 / 9600 EDACS CC data, and low speed LTR data as well. And Unitrunker is one program that can handle all of that data.

Mike

PS: I read FIFO - so I didn't see Don's response, which mine is simply an echo of. I will say people need to stop discounting Unitrunker - It's a great and useful program.
 

DaveNF2G

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#7
DonS said:
If we're still talking about the PSR-500, the data dumped out of the PC/IF port works with far more than just P25 systems. It also spews out:
* Mot 3600 CC data
* Mot analog VC low-speed data
* EDACS CC data
* LTR low-speed data
* Wx alert data

UniTrunker, at least, will handle most of the above.
Thanks, Don. I stand corrected on this part of my statement.

And now I'll have to give UniTrunker a better workout.... :p
 

DaveNF2G

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#8
mtindor said:
I will say people need to stop discounting Unitrunker - It's a great and useful program.
Potentially. According to www.unitrunker.com/psr500.html, "Single radio operation (voice and CC data at the same time) is currently not working. LTR and EDACS are also not working at this time."

All of those functions are available in existing programs. Granted, UniTrunker is the only candidate for a single app to do it all (under Windows besides), but for now it is only a partially functioning beta.

BTW, I started a thread over on Yahoogroups' Trunker forum about my efforts to use the PSR-500 port with UniTrunker.
 

mtindor

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#9
DaveNF2G said:
Potentially. According to www.unitrunker.com/psr500.html, "Single radio operation (voice and CC data at the same time) is currently not working. LTR and EDACS are also not working at this time."

All of those functions are available in existing programs. Granted, UniTrunker is the only candidate for a single app to do it all (under Windows besides), but for now it is only a partially functioning beta.

BTW, I started a thread over on Yahoogroups' Trunker forum about my efforts to use the PSR-500 port with UniTrunker.
Me thinketh Rick hasn't updated his info on Unitrunker. The EDACS is working fine, as well as LTR. There was a brief period where they were not working (awaiting GRE to update their firmware to fix a bug). The bug was fixed, and then Rick released the updated UT that had EDACS/LTR working again. So the latest version does indeed support EDACS/LTR on the PSR-500/600. Rick needs to correct his page :)

Mike
 

mtindor

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#10
DaveNF2G said:
BTW, I started a thread over on Yahoogroups' Trunker forum about my efforts to use the PSR-500 port with UniTrunker.
Did you start a thread here? If so, I don't think I got to chime in. I have had zero problems using UT with the PSR and would be willing to dialog and assist in helping you do the same - unless you were the one who posted about using UT in VMWare on a MAC - in which case I won't try to assist heh.

Mike
 
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