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Pro-18: No P25 Reception on Pro-18 DSP V1.3

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Chindokae

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Apr 26, 2014
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#1
I have had a Pro-18 for about two years and it had been working fine, or so I thought, anyway.

Recently my local law enforcement agency switched from EDACS to P25 and disappeared from the air. I checked the pages here and found out about the conversion, downloaded the latest database, and made a new playlist. I imported the new systems, added talkgroup wildcards to every system just in case, and got nothing. Dead air. I can hear conventional signals and WX, but nothing more.

There is a military base close by running a separate P25 system. They had long been in my original scanlist but I had never heard them. I figured I was out of range. I recently picked up a Pro-197 and finally got around to programming the thing. It's a different program (ARC 500), but the same database (445). I performed the same basic programming steps on the Pro-197, and I am receiving almost constant traffic from the base's P25 system. The Pro-18 still hears nothing.

I'm not getting much from the LE P25 net from the Pro-197, just an occasional weak transmission, but I am on the very edge of their range now. They used to use an antenna about 2 miles away and I could hear everything. The new antenna is just over 20 miles away. I'll need a Yagi to pull that in. I do see the TGID's and Alpha tags, so I am sure the 197 is decoding properly.

Just to make sure he base wasn't out of the Pro-18's range, I drove down to the base with it running and still heard nothing. They never stop talking for more than a minute or two at most, so there must be something wrong with the Pro-18. Or with my programming.

The scanner had been programmed by the manager at the (now defunct) local Radio Shack. Given that it has never managed to receive any P25 from the base, he may have programmed it incorrectly too.

I checked for CPU upgrades and I was current. My DSP version is 1.3 but the update site is still holding 1.1.

Has anyone gotten the 1.3 DSP software to decode P25? Is the 1.1 DSP software published because 1.3 is broken?

Have I missed a step or a hidden setting somewhere? I've been using the manual at Mark's Scanners and I think I have done everything I am supposed to have done.

I am hoping that both I and the manager missed something that more experienced users may know how to correct.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

buddrousa

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#2
I had that happen and I defaulted the scanner and forced a new updates with the software and that fixed mine you may want to try that for yours. It was a total default data base all updates.
 

Chindokae

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Apr 26, 2014
Messages
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#3
Bingo!

That did the trick.

I thank you profusely.

First transmission received was a refueling request for an airplane at the base. Next was the VIPER statewide net. It has ears!

The Pro-18 is now working better than the 197. Go figure.
 

Chindokae

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#4
Follow-up with steps to fix problem

If anyone encounters this in the future, this is how I got mine working again:

1. Reset the radio to defaults from the keypad then turn it off
2. Remove and format the SD card in a reader (use iScan)
3. Select "New Configuration" in iScan.
4. Select "Reset Factory Defaults" in iScan
4. Keep the current database if already updated, if not, update it.
5. Import the desired radio systems - build playlists
6. Write the configuration to the SD card
7. Put SD card back in radio and turn it on
8. Play new scanlist

It is very important to format the card. If you don't, it will stay broken.

I'm not sure what happened to the configuration because the factory defaults were no different than the original settings. I kept a copy on another SD card and checked them against each other. To the eye, there were no material differences. (scanlist names were different) Writing the new config back to the card without formatting it gave the same results as before - no P25. Formatting the card and writing that same fresh config to it resulted in a fix.
 
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