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Pro-197 scanner, Harris and Fort Bend questions

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Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Messages
29
Location
Houston, TX
#1
I've been out of the country for 3 years, so everything that I had set up and working really wasn't working that well. From reading here, it seems that if I want to be able to listen to P25, it seems my only options are:

3 (3) 005 (5) Houston General Government Services Simulcast (for Houston)
1 (1) 053 (35) Fort Bend County Simulcast (for Fort Bend)

I used to use 1 (1) 034 (22) Clodine, but now I'm unable to decode anything. Is that because it has gone Phase II? I'm getting the multipath problem with the above two simulcast services, and would like to tune to just one tower, like Clodine, if I could. If I need to just buck up and get a Phase II scanner, then let me know. I think there are people looking for a PRO-197, so I should be able to move it without too much trouble.

Also, I used to listen to my local PD on these talkgroups:

295 127 D Fulshr FD 1 Fulshear Fire 1 Fire Dispatch
297 129 D Fulshr FD 2 Fulshear Fire 2 Fire-Tac
317 13d D Fulshr PD 1 Fulshear Police 1 Law Dispatch
2885 b45 D Fulshr PD 2 Fulshear Police 2 Law Tac

I had it monitoring all night last night, picked up the FD, but not a peep from the PD, which is pretty odd. Any suggestions?
 

Ensnared

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 24, 2004
Messages
3,022
Location
Waco, Texas
#2
PSR 500 Owner

I've been out of the country for 3 years, so everything that I had set up and working really wasn't working that well. From reading here, it seems that if I want to be able to listen to P25, it seems my only options are:

3 (3) 005 (5) Houston General Government Services Simulcast (for Houston)
1 (1) 053 (35) Fort Bend County Simulcast (for Fort Bend)

I used to use 1 (1) 034 (22) Clodine, but now I'm unable to decode anything. Is that because it has gone Phase II? I'm getting the multipath problem with the above two simulcast services, and would like to tune to just one tower, like Clodine, if I could. If I need to just buck up and get a Phase II scanner, then let me know. I think there are people looking for a PRO-197, so I should be able to move it without too much trouble.

Also, I used to listen to my local PD on these talkgroups:

295 127 D Fulshr FD 1 Fulshear Fire 1 Fire Dispatch
297 129 D Fulshr FD 2 Fulshear Fire 2 Fire-Tac
317 13d D Fulshr PD 1 Fulshear Police 1 Law Dispatch
2885 b45 D Fulshr PD 2 Fulshear Police 2 Law Tac

I had it monitoring all night last night, picked up the FD, but not a peep from the PD, which is pretty odd. Any suggestions?
For phase II, you are correct, there is a government layer that is specific to HPD. From what I"m seeing, Houston Fire/EMS are limited to Mutual Aid, government layer. As you likely know, the Phase II talk groups are listed with "T" in the mode column; however, there are active digital and analog talk groups on both systems within your reach, TxWarn P25 and TxWarn MOT. I recommend going to the intersection points of your desired monitoring area and add them by clicking on tower locations, as long as the cumulative frequency does not exceed 32 control channels. It is a tricky system to monitor. I believe there is a Wiki specific to Houston. Most of Harris County has gone digital, not not as much Phase II. I own a PSR 500 and Uniden 436HP. Both of these radios have limitations with that system. I hate what they've done to Houston.
 

hiegtx

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 8, 2004
Messages
5,956
Location
Dallas, TX
#3
I've been out of the country for 3 years, so everything that I had set up and working really wasn't working that well. From reading here, it seems that if I want to be able to listen to P25, it seems my only options are:

3 (3) 005 (5) Houston General Government Services Simulcast (for Houston)
1 (1) 053 (35) Fort Bend County Simulcast (for Fort Bend)

I used to use 1 (1) 034 (22) Clodine, but now I'm unable to decode anything. Is that because it has gone Phase II? I'm getting the multipath problem with the above two simulcast services, and would like to tune to just one tower, like Clodine, if I could. If I need to just buck up and get a Phase II scanner, then let me know. I think there are people looking for a PRO-197, so I should be able to move it without too much trouble.

Also, I used to listen to my local PD on these talkgroups:

295 127 D Fulshr FD 1 Fulshear Fire 1 Fire Dispatch
297 129 D Fulshr FD 2 Fulshear Fire 2 Fire-Tac
317 13d D Fulshr PD 1 Fulshear Police 1 Law Dispatch
2885 b45 D Fulshr PD 2 Fulshear Police 2 Law Tac

I had it monitoring all night last night, picked up the FD, but not a peep from the PD, which is pretty odd. Any suggestions?
Be sure and look at this Wiki page regarding options for monitoring Houston PD/FD: Houston Police and Fire P25 - The RadioReference Wiki
 
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Messages
29
Location
Houston, TX
#4
Thank you both for responding.

Reading the HPD HFD P25 wiki, it shows that with that Gov't services simulcast, i'll only get the listed TG, so that makes sense. I loaded up the scanner with the TxWARN Mot info, and I'm picking up exactly zero. I only have one site in there, so i'm going to take your advice and whack all I have in my local area (under the limit, of course!) I guess with P25 I can do the same, except for the simulcast ones, I should only have one of those in there per scan group.

I just find it odd that the scanner is completely silent unless i'm on the Houston Simulcast or the Fort Bend Simulcast. I do know the "T" mode TGs are incompatible with my 197. So, I would think that if I put a site in like Clodine, and pick TGs that are "D" (and aren't HPD or HFD) I should be able to hear them, right?
 

KevinC

Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Jan 7, 2001
Messages
4,392
Location
Somewhere other than home :(
#5
I've been out of the country for 3 years, so everything that I had set up and working really wasn't working that well. From reading here, it seems that if I want to be able to listen to P25, it seems my only options are:

3 (3) 005 (5) Houston General Government Services Simulcast (for Houston)
1 (1) 053 (35) Fort Bend County Simulcast (for Fort Bend)

I used to use 1 (1) 034 (22) Clodine, but now I'm unable to decode anything. Is that because it has gone Phase II? I'm getting the multipath problem with the above two simulcast services, and would like to tune to just one tower, like Clodine, if I could. If I need to just buck up and get a Phase II scanner, then let me know. I think there are people looking for a PRO-197, so I should be able to move it without too much trouble.

Also, I used to listen to my local PD on these talkgroups:

295 127 D Fulshr FD 1 Fulshear Fire 1 Fire Dispatch
297 129 D Fulshr FD 2 Fulshear Fire 2 Fire-Tac
317 13d D Fulshr PD 1 Fulshear Police 1 Law Dispatch
2885 b45 D Fulshr PD 2 Fulshear Police 2 Law Tac

I had it monitoring all night last night, picked up the FD, but not a peep from the PD, which is pretty odd. Any suggestions?
Most, if not all, of the dispatching for Fulshear PD is done through the S.O., so you probably need to monitor them.

For Ft Bend S.O. you need this system...

Texas Wide Area Radio Network (TxWARN) (P25) Trunking System, Various, Texas - Scanner Frequencies

Using site 1-53.
 
Joined
Dec 15, 2000
Messages
957
#6
You might also try the Austin County San Felipe site, 1-019, since it is a peer site and has less traffic than the FB Simulcast. I've had good luck monitoring the western/northern side of Fort Bend County, and southwestern/western Harris County using that site.

The FBSO channels you should be using are SO-1 and SO-2, depending on which side of the Brazos River you are on, though most of the traffic you are interested in will be on the SO-1 talkgroup. On SO-1 you will hear Fulshear PD and Constable 3, being dispatched, but remember C-3 has its own talkgroup for chit-chat and talking with their office (not often used - see next paragraph).

If you hear anything, be happy, since MDTs are often used for just about anything/everything. I spoke with the deputy in my neighborhood, who told me that 75 percent of his being dispatched is via the MDT and he uses the status buttons to advise that he is enroute, on scene, and in service, even out to eat lunch. Even if dispatched over the air, he will use the status buttons to tell dispatch where he is/what he is doing unless it is a very active event and better to use the radio so he won't be distracted while driving.

Hope this helps.
 
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Messages
29
Location
Houston, TX
#8
Had a response last night, apparently got distracted and forgot to hit the post button....



bpckty1, thanks for your response, particularly the heads up on the 1-019 site. I'll give that a shot.

Forgive my ignorance, but I don't know what you mean by SO-1 and SO-2. Might need some help there. I am east of the Brazos, but *just* east of it. I did run the logger all night last night and I did catch some traffic off the simulcast for Fulshear PD. So it's working, but I have a feeling they are in the MDT mode of operation which is limiting what is heard over the air.

So here's the other thing that puzzles me. I set up monitoring on the TxWARN MOT sites, using site 004(4), 010(A), 015(F), and probably threw 028(1C) in there for good luck. Also ran P25 sites 034(22). Set up to monitor Katy, FBSO, Fulshear. Got exactly zero hits last night. is anything even going out over the MOT sites anymore? I get 99% strength on the control channel, so I know that's not the problem. I'm just puzzled because I'm getting nothing. I would think I would get something on the MOT, and at least the non "E" and "T" groups on the P25. Starting to wonder if something is misconfigured on my scanner?

Another question is, if I get a Phase II scanner, will I be able to go directly to the sites I want to hear and I should be able to decode all non "E" traffic?
 
Joined
Dec 15, 2000
Messages
957
#9
They are Phase I. Just about the only Phase II traffic in west FB county is Community (Alief/Mission Bend) VFD. SO means Sheriff's Office. Since you are east of the Brazos, you are serviced by FBSO on SO-1. But, since you are near SO-2's territory, go ahead and put it as well as SO-3 (east county), since you are near the boundary for the SO-3 traffic (roughly SH-99). You should also put in the talkgroups for DPS Fort Bend on the Fort Bend TG (dispatched by their base at Pierce on US 59, south of Wharton). (TGs on the TxWARN DPS page.) since DPS does traffic stops and works traffic accidents in Fort Bend County.
 
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Messages
29
Location
Houston, TX
#10
Ok, I'll try again with using site 1-019 and 1-034. Might make one scan group each so I can tell which one I'm getting hits on. Setting up Win500 to log and record has been a BIG help, because I don't always have time to sit down and listen to a scanner for hours on end. Will let you know what I get.

Also kinda looking on eBay for a PRO-668 now. Although I wonder if that is a wise choice as GRE is out of business?
 
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Messages
29
Location
Houston, TX
#11
Made some progress finally. First off, I saw how to enter a wildcard in Win500. I figured that way I'd get all traffic and see if the basic setup was working. Well, I did that and got exactly nothing.

That's when the light bulb went off. Rebanding.

I hadn't set the rebanding in the trunking tables. Did that, and voilá, I started getting hits. Not only that, but it was really clear...no simulcast problems. Just ran site 1-19 last night, didn't have time to grab the log file and analyze it, but that'll be this evening. Got a 3 day weekend coming up so I'll have some time to experiment. Probably will log 1-034 to see what TG are active.

Also did a bit more reading up on the PRO-668, sounds like that's dead ended due to the failure of Radio Shack. TRX-1 sounds like the ticket, very active support from Whistler, but a pain in the pocket!
 
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Messages
29
Location
Houston, TX
#12
Well things continue to get more interesting. I've been running the San Felipe site, 1-19, and getting good traffic from there. I downloaded Unitrunker and ran that on the Clodine site, 1-34 just to see what's happening, because I never get anything on that site. Watching that for a while, all I saw was "denied" when anyone tried to use the site. It's up and running, but denying everything that tries to go through it.

 
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
651
Location
Stinkadena, TX
#13
As a general rule for anyone monitoring RFSS 1/2 of TxWARN, I'd advise steering clear of the 800 MHz-only "roamer" sites in Harris, Fort Bend, and Galveston counties. Stick to the simulcasts and 700 MHz sites.

If you're running Untrunker on the simulcasts don't be surprised to see a lot of talkgroups operating in Phase II that aren't listed as such. :)
 
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Messages
29
Location
Houston, TX
#14
Yeah, but the Houston General Government Services Simulcast Site always sounds like such a mess. Very hard to get a clean decode on it. The Fort Bend County Simulcast is better, but still has its problems from time to time. The San Felipe site sounds fantastic, so that's why I've been using that one. I also did find a bit of traffic still on the Clodine Motorola site, Missouri City, HCTRA, FB EMS. Sure was nice to hear good ol' FM without any digital garble.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
651
Location
Stinkadena, TX
#15
GGSL is Zone 3 (RFSS 3) of TxWARN.

Zones 1/2 and Zone 3 are essentially separate systems sharing a master site. Any talkgroup over 30000 will only appear on Zone 3 sites. Conversely any talkgroup below 30000 (with very few exceptions) will only appear on Zone 1/2 sites. Zones 1 & 2 are interconnected to the analog (Motorola) system through a SmartX switch, multiply any P25 talkgroup by 16 to get the analog equivalent.
 
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