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Newbie in Nova Scotia Valley TMR Question (RCMP)

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#1
Hi! I just moved to the wonderful Province of Nova Scotia. Yahoo for me.

I have this cool scanner called a GRECOM PSR 400. The firmware version for this scanner is 1.05. I'm listening to ham radio stuff, Fire, EHS (EMS), hospital, Sheriff, etc. All with no problems. Good stuff.

Here is the catch! I have the RCMP talkgroup numbers but when there is activity in the talkgroup it kinda is like it breaks the squelch and you can hear the control channel for a second. I imported from radio reference so I don't know what I could have possibly done. When I look at the Control Channel it shows the signal as 99% the majority of the time. I'll also see Sys-6939 (Tower Site) flash occasionally. Also I will see a talkgroup number as well.

If program the system using the Control Channel and leave it open I get all sorts of goodies but never the RCMP (actually not true, the talkgroup comes up but I get the CC hash I call it). Example TG is 64176. I have all of the TG configured and it's the same for all RCMP.

It appears to me the only difference is that the RCMP appear to be digital and all the rest are analog. Is this the case?
 

hfxChris

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#2
Hi VE1IO, welcome to the forum (and the province!)

Unfortunately your last line is correct, the problem is that the RCMP use digital talkgroups for all of their communications, and the PSR-400 is an analogue-only scanner. You would need to upgrade to the PSR-600, which is GRE's digital desktop scanner. What you're hearing when it breaks the squelch sounds kind of like the control channel, but it's actually the sound of the P25 digital audio, which your scanner cannot decode.
Aside from that though, it does sound like your scanner is programmed correctly.
 
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Thanks

Wow thanks for the quick reply! I like it here in NS.
Guess it is time to upgrade. What is the one you like to listen on for cost vs performance?
JD
 

hfxChris

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I think most people up here will tell you the GRE models are the better deal, because unfortunately the Uniden digital scanners cost an arm and a leg (and your first born) from Canadian distributors.
 
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#5
http://forums.radioreference.com/atlantic-maritime/200184-newbie-nova-scotia-valley-t

Living in HRM ( Halifax Regional Municipality), I've been a scanner for years. About three years ago I got a PSR-600, and, once I figured out to program it ( with the help of another member on this site) everything was great ... until about two months ago. Lately, HRM Police and (presumably) the RCMP with whom HRM has integrated to some degree, have apparently felt it necessary to encrypt the majority of mobile transmissions.
The lights come on indicating a transmission is coming from a car but, in most cases, all I'm getting is carrier. There is the odd time I will get voice but it's severely garbled. Innocuous voice transmissions are still sent but everything else has become secretive. It's not a problem in the radio because Fire and EHS is still clean, as is everything else. This experience leads me to wonder how TV and radio news are getting their police calls ... because they are using the same radios as the rest of us, and the same frequencies. Does anyone know if they're running modified rigs?
I knew that the current radio system, which is integrated with and into New Brunswick was scheduled for an upgrade. The current system appeared to work without problems ... other than the fact that those of us with scanners could monitor the various agencies that used that net. It would appear one of the major reasons for the "upgrade" is to make the whole thing more secretive ... which doesn't make sense, because, as it stands now, all of the "good stuff" that would have been transmitted in the clear ( in the past ) has now been given over to cell phones issued each patrol car. It looks like THEY want to take all the fun out. Though the PSR-600 is a great radio,it does have its limitations as GRE will attest. No consumer radio is capable of decrypting encrypted transmissions.
 
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hfxChris

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Living in HRM ( Halifax Regional Municipality), I've been a scanner for years. About three years ago I got a PSR-600, and, once I figured out to program it ( with the help of another member on this site) everything was great ... until about two months ago. Lately, HRM Police and (presumably) the RCMP with whom HRM has integrated to some degree, have apparently felt it necessary to encrypt the majority of mobile transmissions.
I have not noticed any encrypted communications on any of HRP's east/west/central dispatching talkgroups. Perhaps it's a signal issue in your area? Are you using an external antenna, or the one on the back of it?

It would appear one of the major reasons for the "upgrade" is to make the whole thing more secretive ... [/QUOTE]
No, as far as I know one of the major reasons for the upgrade is that the contract with Aliant for the TMR is becoming too costly, and support for the older trunking technology is slowly being phased out.
 
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#7
My PSR 500 will, depending on the signal strength, sometimes make a machine gunning noise that I assume the 600 would also do under the same circumstances. When it does it says VC rather than DG on the display. I just tilt it a different way so it grabs a stronger tower's signal and it's fine. Might help your problem UFOMAN if you reorient yours. I'd take note of the tower when it happens, I'm in Clayton Park and if mine gets on Sackville or Preston it'll do it if the strength drops during a transmission. On Geizers it never does it.
 
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#8
Thanks to those who replied.
To clarify, I'm using the antennae that came with the rig. I'm in Dartmouth East and, until recently, as described, everything could not have worked better with this radio. I downloaded the most recent firmware about four months ago ( I'm guessing here ... in future, I will log) and the set didn't show any anomalies immediately after that. If it was a problem with the towers, shouldn't the EHS and Fire be a problem as well?
This is a head scratcher, for sure.
 
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#9
I've found that the digital TGRPs are the only ones that make the noise, it's like digital stuff needs a better signal/is more susceptible to breaking up if the signal is iffy. Just my experience, we may be talking about different things. If you're in Dartmouth the closest tower might be Preston or Sackville, depending where you're at. If you have the time you could enable only it and see if the radio still does it. Mine will never do it if it's on Geizers but will occasionally if it latches onto Sackville, Tantallon, Mar Centre or Preston. Those are the only sites I have in mine.
 
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