Hawai'i County Radio System Upgrade

scan18

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The Haleakala site is still pretty silent. I hope once the upgrade is complete they turn that link back on. Doesn't matter to me if it's digital or analog.
 

DeDawg

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For anyone still wondering about radios that work on our P25 system on the BI, the Whistler TRX-2 works great. IIRC. one of the guys here tried a TRX-1 that did not work at the time.

Traded my BCD536hp for the TRX-2 a week or so ago. I found the 536 too painful to listen to P25 P2 on. Indecipherable as well.

The 536 took me over a month to get working, several firmware changes. Would have sent it back had I know it was that much trouble. The TRX works fine with the firmware it came with.

Anyways, a few months ago we were having fits getting the new system to work on all radio types. Maybe firmware has gotten everyone up and running, not read any posts lately about problems.
 

scan18

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So, for folks following this thread, you'll know that I've been doing most of my listening of this system on a Uniden BCD996P2 which does work very well. As DeDawg pointed out, the audio quality of the system on the Unidens is a little rough sometimes but I've gotten used to it. I've also experimented with Linux programs OP25 and Trunk Recorder with a couple of cheap SDR dongles, and those have worked fairly well also, although they do take some time and patience to get running. I've had a Radio Shack Pro668 for a while which did not work at all on the new system in it's stock form. Whistler put a fix in firmware version 4.7 for the WS1080/1088 and the TRX series that allowed the system to be decoded. I ended up sending in my Pro668 to Whistler for the official upgrade to a WS1080.

I hadn't been using the WS1080 all that much over the past several months, mainly because I don't do a lot of portable monitoring and also I found that the WS1080 was missing quite a bit of traffic. But recently I've been trying to use it a bit more, and I found the solution to the missing traffic was quite simple. I found that the squelch really needs to be all the way down in order for it to not miss voice activity. This surprised me since I am very close to the site I'm monitoring and I would usually keep the squelch at around 20% or so, But even with the squelch at this low setting, I was still missing the beginning of several calls. Obviously keeping the squelch all the way down is not possible if you are trying to monitor conventional channels in addition to the P25 system, though.

Also, as DeDawg indicated, I am finding the audio quality of the Whistler to be a bit easier to listed to also, not quite as mushy as the 996P2. Even though the WS1080 has a smaller speaker with "tinnier" audio, I think that helps a little on this system.

Anyway, just wanted to pass along my findings for anyone who may still be wondering which is the best scanner on the HC P25 system. While I still find the Unidens work well, the Whistler line seems to be doing pretty well also once I realized I needed to keep the squelch all the way down in order to not miss the beginning of calls.
 

DeDawg

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I am still hoping for a Hawaii County P25 adjustment to their radios system. I did such a thing decades ago with the Fort Irwin mountaintop system. The "techs" that had been "maintaining" the system for years had every damn radio cranked up to insane over-modulation levels.

Much amazement how clear the voice was after setting things per Loral TerraCom manuals.

Have been tempted to ask a local Kona PD officer for a quick listen just ot see how it sounds. But my motto is never contact the police for anything, so, Nevah happen GI..

My wife reminds me daily how bad my hearing is, but still, this P25 digital is all but indecipherable sometimes.
 

WD433

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I know it's been a while since folks have posted on this thread. I agree with Scan18 about the audio quality on the Uniden scanners, it can be a little rough to listen too once in a while, but it does take time to adjust to the audio quality they have.

Also Scan18, I am having the same issue with the Whistler 1088 I just bought, it missed like a lot of traffic in West Hawaii. I don't what it is, I think it the Whistler locks onto the strongest signal and like doesn't move to the other sites unless the control channel signal is weak and then moves onto the next. For me, 1088 just was stuck on the Kailua site for like one whole day and didn't catch anything from surrounding sites (Moanuiahea, Captain Cook, and Papa Bay Estates) until I had stopped scanning and restarted the scan again, then it would pick up other traffic from the surrounding towers, but would keep doing it locking onto the Kailua site after about a couple hours. Hopefully, I can figure out why does that because I just bought Whistler 1098 and I am thinking it's going to do the same thing. Going to try and do some research if anyone else encountered the same issue.

Any thoughts?
 

scan18

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Yes, I think that is how the Whistler's are designed to work if you have all the sites programmed under one system. That is the default way the software imports the sites. It won't "cycle" through all the sites, it locks onto the first one it finds.

The only way I know of to scan multiple sites is to setup a separate trunked system entry for each site you want to monitor. Then assign each system to a scanlist, and you can then activate those lists to scan. I know it seems a bit cumbersome, but I actually like having more control over what site I'm locked on to.

I actually haven't used my WS1088 that much recently. I just got a Phase2 G5 and the audio quality is very good. I haven't traveled around the island much with it yet, but so far it's performing pretty well.
 

WD433

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Scan 18,

So went ahead and setup each site in a separate trunked system and assigning a scan list for each of them actually is working really well on WS1088. Was a little tedious to do, but in the end, made my investment into Whistler worth it. Finally picking up traffic from Moanuiahea, Captain Cook, and Papa Bay Estates sites and gotta say I was missing a lot of traffic with it being just stuck on the Kailua site.

Just received the WS1098 earlier this morning and programmed it the same way and is running so far flawlessly. Audio quality I gotta say is actually pretty good for a base scanner. Only thing I gotta say is weird about the WS1098 so far is the location of the SD card behind the front faceplate, It's a little odd but no complaints.

I was thinking about the G5 as well, but I think I am good for now with the 1088 and 1098.
 

DeDawg

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Medicom is still analog on the Big Island. Hilo and Puna districts are quite active so it will be easy to determine when the switch to digital occurs.
Did not see an update mentioned for BI EMS.

As of this morning after loading EMS 453.4 Base into my old BCT15X (had overlooked it before) and getting digital hash, loaded it into my BCD325P2 and there is the voice. Looks like sometime recently they did the digital switch over.
 

ccs247

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Did not see an update mentioned for BI EMS.

As of this morning after loading EMS 453.4 Base into my old BCT15X (had overlooked it before) and getting digital hash, loaded it into my BCD325P2 and there is the voice. Looks like sometime recently they did the digital switch over.
Database was updated on 3/16/18 to reflect the use of P25 conventional..
 

DeDawg

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Database was updated on 3/16/18 to reflect the use of P25 conventional..
Had it as an anaolog channel forever, did not think to check the database until I happened to hear hash on an older analog radio.

Now, if i can finally figure out how to get DMR working................
 

DeDawg

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Scan 18,

So went ahead and setup each site in a separate trunked system and assigning a scan list for each of them actually is working really well on WS1088.
Sent you a PM about how you did this. I have found the latest firmware update somewhat hosed the ability to lock on to stuff. My little BCD325P2 does better. As you found, the TRX-2 I have pretty much sits on Kailua. If there is traffic on other sites within range likr Capt Cook, Papa, Waimea, I have never heard them. Good external antenna.

I would like to try and separate sites as you did, but am a bit lost as how to go about it, like assigning TGIDs and all. Have the time to post a few pointers would likely get me going. Have to bounce back and forth between the Uniden and Whistler programming way, so it takes time to shift gears on database setup.
 

DeDawg

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Sent you a PM about how you did this.
Never mind, think I did it, or something, with a load of copy/paste. Made a bunch of sites of the ones I think are in range (no HIlo, etc) and stuck them in a scanlist.

One thing I was not sure of, and just shotgunned it, was the TGID for each individual site.

Ended up just loading the complete TGID list associated with each new scanlist. Seems like overkill, but easier than manually trimming the lists on my assumption of what is needed.

So far this afternoon, all traffic is Kailua. If Capt Cook, Papa Bay, and anyone else are active, yet to hear them. Watching the display, it takes a second to scan each site.
 
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