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G4 looses signal on local system

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cpetraglia

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#1
My G4 suddenly lost reception of my local system. I have 5 other county systems that are still all OK. I have 4 scanners, a Relm P800 that are all still receiving fine. It is a Phase 1 system that has always worked perfectly. I have run Pro96com from another scanner and nothing has changed that I can tell.
CCs are all the same, NAC is the same. I have tried the FF entry for RFSS and Site with no change. I have reprogrammed, reverted back to a previous FW and everything I have done makes no difference. It just goes to (Out of Range) and sits there. I change to a neighboring county and all is well. I know this is a weird one, but hoped someone had an idea. It would not be so bad if it was another county I rarely listen to. !!
 

Thunderknight

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#2
I'd double check your control channels as that would be the first thing that comes to mind for a sudden change. Are they all listed in the G4 programming for that site? Systems sometimes rotate between a primary and an alternate control channel, make sure all of them are listed in the G4.
 

cpetraglia

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#3
They are all listed and as I mentioned, I used Pro96Com to analyze the system and nothing has changed. This system doesn't ever rotate CCs unless the radio techs are working on it. That's what's so weird. All the neighboring P25 systems still work fine. Usually I am pretty good at troubleshooting these types of problems. This one has me stumped badly. The pager obviously works. I even went as far as creating a new Zone and placed my system on different Knob positions. No help.
 
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#4
Have you tried to manually enter in the control channel in the analog mode to see if it is even there? Many things can happen to cause a trunked system signal to drop down in strength..

Sometimes the system can have an antenna failure that the system manager is not aware of and the users have not complained about coverage issues yet. Failure of an antenna could be from a lightning strike, mechanical breakage inside the antenna from high winds, hunters shooting at the tower lights and putting bullets into the coax cable near the red lights on the tower and the list goes on.

Over the years I have been involved changing out the big coax runs due to hunter red light fever. A couple of them have gone to court and ended up paying for the coax cable replacement. The large 1 5/8 inch coax cable is not cheap. The coax connectors run in the order of $250 to over $300 each. Your also looking at just getting the tower crew there to do the work to be in the range of at least $2000.

Trying to listen to the control channels in a zone not set up for trunking can provide good information on the signal strength. Most radio techs will do this to get a first look to see if there might be a coverage problem. When you listen to the control channel in the analog mode, you will hear the steady flow of data. The beat of it will change as different data is sent. But your really interested to see if it is there and how strong it is.
 

cpetraglia

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#6
I have 4 different scanners and a Relm portable that are all receiving this system perfectly. I have analyzed the CC using Pro96com an there have not been any visible changes. I've tried different antenna's. It's only this G4 that wont work with my local system. It still receives systems 20 miles away just fine. I think something has changed with the system that the G4 can't figure out. But neither can I.
 

cpetraglia

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#8
I did a quick conventional channel programmed to my CC and it is receiving full strength as I suspected it would. Just wont work in trunking mode.
Very strange. !!
 

cpetraglia

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#9
So I decided to run a fresh Pro96com and let it populate for a few hours. I did find a change. In the Freq. identifier table, there have always been (for 3 years) 4 entries. The first two had a bandwidth of 6.25 and the 2nd two had a bandwidth of 12.5. The 2nd two no longer exist. I did start and stop Pro96com a few times to be sure it fully populated. So I only have two entries with a 6.25 bandwidth. This is a 20 freq. Phase 1 system that is always busy. Nothing else has changed. Since there is no way to make an adjustment in the PPS, how will I ever know what is wrong with this pager while everything else I own is working as it always has.
 

mkinkade

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#10
Double check that your RFSS and a Site ID are correct. When I programmed one of my local systems in the G5, it kept saying out of range, until I figured out that the site ID in the database was listed incorrectly.
 

Thunderknight

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#11

cpetraglia

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#12
That's the one. (Fairfax County, VA) All my other systems around DC have 4 entries in the Freq. Ident. tables. In fact, they are all the same except for DC which has a 5th entry in the 900Mhz range. I sit in the middle of 7 transmitters and I am close to two of them. As I mentioned, all my scanners and my Relm portable are still 100%. This happened overnight two nights ago with no intervention from me. Working when I went to sleep and "out of range" when I got up. !!
 

cpetraglia

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#13
{Double check that your RFSS and a Site ID are correct. When I programmed one of my local systems in the G5, it kept saying out of range, until I figured out that the site ID in the database was listed incorrectly.}


I had tried the FF entry which according to the instructions in the PPS should find the correct RFSS and Site ID. Did not make any difference.
 

Thunderknight

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#14
Maybe you can post on the Virginia forum and see if anyone else in the Metro area has a G4/G5 to see if they can still track the system. Or see if Unication has a dealer in the area who has a demo unit.

But it does seem possible that the change in frequency identifier tables is the culprit. The pager might be hearing the CC, seeing there are no 12.5 kHz tables available, and therefore not following the CC.

This is really a Unication_David question: Will the pager still lock on and track a system if there are only 6.25 kHz identifiers in the frequency table? While it seems odd that a phase 1 system wouldn't be transmitting any 12.5 identifiers, it also seems like it might be a bug that the G4 wouldn't track it anyway and receive valid P1 talkgroups. I can't recall ever seeing a system that did NOT have 12.5 kHz identifiers in it. But I'm also not positive that the 6.25 identifiers are synonymous to Phase 2 capability.

Since it happened in the middle of the night, I don't think a file corruption would make a difference, but I can't think of anything else you can try besides the above or a reprogram. You said you reprogrammed and you created a new zone/position.Did you try creating the system from scratch in the pager (meaning delete the current one, create a new, enter the freqs, etc). Don't modify the current one.
(or alternatively and maybe even better, create a new profile from scratch and try that. You can always then go back to your old profile with the rest of the systems). I give this a very low chance of succeeding though.

Just out of curiosity, Pro96Com isn't showing the system in Site Trunking (ST), is it?

I had tried the FF entry which according to the instructions in the PPS should find the correct RFSS and Site ID. Did not make any difference.
I assume you did try the specific values that are showing up in Pro96Com. The DB shows a 1 and 2, which would be the same for hex and decimal, but if the the RRDB is wrong and actual values are higher, make sure you have the correct format (hex or decimal) in use.
 

cpetraglia

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#15
That is strange...if you are only showing 6.25 entries but the system is still phase 1.
Maybe Unication_David can jump in here and ask for a Pro96Com log dump to analyze if something doesn't jive with the G4.

Can you post an RRDB link to which system is causing the problem? Is it this one? Fairfax County (Project 25) Trunking System, Fairfax, Virginia - Scanner Frequencies
I have a 15 second dump file ready to go and cant figure out how to upload it. I've been here 14 years and never used that feature. I'll keep trying.
 

cpetraglia

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#16
Maybe you can post on the Virginia forum and see if anyone else in the Metro area has a G4/G5 to see if they can still track the system. Or see if Unication has a dealer in the area who has a demo unit.

But it does seem possible that the change in frequency identifier tables is the culprit. The pager might be hearing the CC, seeing there are no 12.5 kHz tables available, and therefore not following the CC.

This is really a Unication_David question: Will the pager still lock on and track a system if there are only 6.25 kHz identifiers in the frequency table? While it seems odd that a phase 1 system wouldn't be transmitting any 12.5 identifiers, it also seems like it might be a bug that the G4 wouldn't track it anyway and receive valid P1 talkgroups. I can't recall ever seeing a system that did NOT have 12.5 kHz identifiers in it. But I'm also not positive that the 6.25 identifiers are synonymous to Phase 2 capability.

Since it happened in the middle of the night, I don't think a file corruption would make a difference, but I can't think of anything else you can try besides the above or a reprogram. You said you reprogrammed and you created a new zone/position.Did you try creating the system from scratch in the pager (meaning delete the current one, create a new, enter the freqs, etc). Don't modify the current one.
(or alternatively and maybe even better, create a new profile from scratch and try that. You can always then go back to your old profile with the rest of the systems). I give this a very low chance of succeeding though.

Just out of curiosity, Pro96Com isn't showing the system in Site Trunking (ST), is it?



I assume you did try the specific values that are showing up in Pro96Com. The DB shows a 1 and 2, which would be the same for hex and decimal, but if the the RRDB is wrong and actual values are higher, make sure you have the correct format (hex or decimal) in use.
I have tried everything you mentioned and then some. Site Trunking is checked in all my systems anyway and they all work except Fairfax, and yes I unchecked it and it made no difference. I would say if I had corrupt data it would affect everything. I actually loaded an earlier FW which erases the pager and then upgraded to R11P, tried R11N2, nothing makes any difference. I am convinced it is a change in the system.
 

Thunderknight

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#17
I just brought up Pro96Com on a local system that works fine with my G5.
I forgot until I looked, there are actually two items in the table, spacing and bandwidth. All of the bandwidths are 12.5, but the spacing is a mix of 6.25 and 12.5 on this Phase 1 system.

If the bandwidth is 6.25 on the Fairfax system, that is really something different. I'm betting G4 bug that doesn't know what to do with a 6.25 bandwidth, but I also don't know what relevance a 6.25 bandwidth on a Phase 1 system is in reality (meaning to the real radios). It would seem that a phase 1 transmission would be 12.5 bandwidth transmission and not 6.25. (even Phase 2 TDMA is actually a 12.5 kHz RF channel).
 

cpetraglia

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#19
G4 looses signal Pro96 attachment

I have attached a dump of my local system CC. Maybe someone can look at this and see what I cant.
 
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