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PSR-500 MAN vs PSE

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JoeyC

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Can anyone explain the differences in the Manual vs the Pause key on this scanner?

In one of my scan lists I have the main lineup of police channels on a trunked system programed. I have the primary and the secondary TGs of 7 divisions programmed, with the secondarys locked out. My intention is when I hear someone on a primary TG ask for a conversation to switch to the secondary TG and I want to listen to it, that I would hit MAN and press the down arrow button to move the scanner manually to the next object (the secondary TG). Most of the time when hitting MAN while the scanner is stopped on an active primary TG it will hold on that TG as expected. But occasionally hitting MAN does not stop on the expected active TG but moves to another one and holds (usually one many objects away from the one I intended to hold on). This usually happens when I am most anxious to hear that conversation on the secondary and it is then cumbersome to navigate to the object. (I am unable to duplicate my problem now that I am trying to. - Figures.)

While hitting PSE has always held on the desired TG, it is not possible to manually navigate to the next object using this method.

Just wondering if anyone has experienced this or perhaps has the reasoning behind why the MAN key responds as it does. Why a PAUSE and a MANUAL key?
 

wnjl

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With manual, the scanner is taken out of its current scan cycle, and when you press scan again it restarts scanning from the beginning of your scan list. Pause on the other hand keeps the scanner in its current scan cycle, and when scan/pause is pressed again the scanner resumes scanning from the spot you paused it in. That's the main difference I see.
 

fmon

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Manual takes the scanner out of trunking while Pause holds on the active talkgroup talking when pause was pressed. If transmission is disrupted (key released for more then a second), the control will likely assign another voice freq when key is pressed again. Manual will miss this continued com while Pause will not.
 

CbusRog

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Page 45 of the manual (version 1.2) explains the differences between PSE and MAN. In my experience, while in MAN mode, TG objects are followed; VC will reflect a frequency change if that has occurred. However, often times whether in MAN or PSE, the beginning part of transmissions are missed, or short transmissions are passed over (assumed because subsequent transmissions between the same two parties are out of context). I also will occasionally experience prolonged dead-air on TG’s that should be fairly active (Columbus, Ohio PD).
 

captaincraig44

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On Moto systems with multiple CC's in range, MAN will also look at the other CC's and listen for the TG to show up. So, if the TG you're holding on isn't being multicast on one of those other CC's, then you will miss transmissions. This may not be the case if you have the system set to Roam. Pause on the other hand, holds the TG and CC.
 

Landman

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I have experienced the same thing that JoeyC has and yeah it can be a pain sometimes. It would make more sense for the scanner to stay on the currently active talkgroup when pressing manual because like Joey I want to be able to quickly navigate to a nearby channel by just pressing the down arrow a couple of times. I hope that GRE can fix this in a future firmware update. Sometimes the system is way too busy to simply wait for the conversation to switch to the talkgroup that they will be switching to and press pause.
 
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n4jri

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fmon said:
Manual takes the scanner out of trunking while Pause holds on the active talkgroup talking when pause was pressed. If transmission is disrupted (key released for more then a second), the control will likely assign another voice freq when key is pressed again. Manual will miss this continued com while Pause will not.
That shouldn't happen in most circumstances, Frank. Manual takes the radio out of scanning mode but not out of trunking if you're parked on a TGRP object. The biggest difference with PSE as I recall is that it locks in the control channel, which can make quite a difference on multisite systems--particularly if set for 'stat.' If the key-up is long enough, your scanner may have moved on to the CC of a different site or zone. I experience this some on the Richmond supersystem, particulary when listening to Colonial Heights.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
 
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CbusRog

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n4jri said:
That shouldn't happen in most circumstances, Frank. Manual takes the radio out of scanning mode but not out of trunking if you're parked on a TGRP object. The biggest difference with PSE as I recall is that it locks in the control channel, which can make quite a difference on multisite systems--particularly if set for 'stat.' If the key-up is long enough, your scanner may have moved on to the CC of a different site or zone. I experience this some on the Richmond supersystem, particulary when listening to Colonial Heights.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
Isn't it the other way around? PSE keeps scanning, and MAN locks the control channel? (See page 45 of the manual.)
 

n4jri

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CbusRog said:
Isn't it the other way around? PSE keeps scanning, and MAN locks the control channel? (See page 45 of the manual.)
I think you're misinterpreting that. Scan mode refers to scannable objects, and the TSYS does not fall into this category. Even though Manual locks the TG in place, the TSYS still does what it has to in order to make the selected TGRP heard.

[Note to all, the following became a running log of my attempt to reproduce Frank's results]

Actually, a side-by-side test over the last hour or so shows that neither manual nor pause locks the control channel completely. On a multizone system in set for multisite 'stat' mode, I ran a side-by-side test for about 30 minutes. When the Wildcard was selected in manual mode, it freely moved from CC to CC (three are available in the different zones of this system) as different TG's came up.

When parked on a particular simulcast TG, the CC varied from transmission to transmission.

The radio paused in scan mode tended to stick with a particular CC, but it did change control channels a few times--in each case remaining loyal to that CC for 10 minutes or more. CC shifts that I noted were linked in all but one case to my movements in the building. The exception was a case where my PC may have provided some QRM. My understanding was that PSE would freeze the CC, but I suspect that the radio will shift it if it experiences a hiccup in CC reception. (interesting note, each time the paused radio shifted CC's it actually rejected the the most local CC. When I walked to the basement, it shifted to the most distant CC. The manual radio didn't show this tendency)

To see this for yourself:
On your GLOB menu, go to the very last item "ShowCCinfo" and set it to "Yes" This will make the radio alternately display your CC and VC when your TG is active. Notice that a paused radio will display the CC continuously even when not receiving voice. The radio in manual mode will not display a CC unless a voice transmission is being received.

Note to Frank:
This was done on the Richmond supersystem, using RPD-2 (32864) as the test TG. I noted very little difference in performance between the two radios, but in a couple of instances the paused one caught a syllable or two that the manual radio didn't. I take this to indicate that the paused radio is hanging tight on the status-quo CC while the manual radio is getting caught with its pants down as it switches between the different CC's.

In one case, the manual radio responded faster than the paused radio--and when I picked up the paused radio to see what was wrong it switched CC's again--after nearly a half-hour on the same one. (my work PC puts out a lot of RF)

I'm curious about what systems you've noted the the disappearing voice channel on. STARS and Eastern VA Regional seem like likely candidates. But I'm wondering if there might be some other factor at work where you've experienced this.

Note to all:

After nearly an hour paused, my paused radio stopped receiving that the manual radio was receiving. Possibly caused by QRM, but who knows... I put it into manual, and it started receiving again.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
 
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kikito

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Landman said:
I have experienced the same thing that JoeyC has and yeah it can be a pain sometimes. It would make more sense for the scanner to stay on the currently active talkgroup when pressing manual because like Joey I want to be able to quickly navigate to a nearby channel by just pressing the down arrow a couple of times. I hope that GRE can fix this in a future firmware update. Sometimes the system is way too busy to simply wait for the conversation to switch to the talkgroup that they will be switching to and press pause.
The way the scanner (PSR-500) behaves when in MAN mode is actually a great feature many of us had been waiting to have in a scanner. And it does stay on the current TG when you press MAN. It might get momentarily interrupted when you press MAN because the scanner re-starts looking for the TG from the first programmed (and active) CC on your list and tunes to it once it finds it again on the original or any CC. Most of the time it's fairly quick in re-acquiring the TG it was on when you pressed MAN, but that's directly related to how many CCs are programmed AND active and on which CC down the list the TG might be currently on. In my case and with typically 12 CCs or so programmed where there's always at least 7 of them active, it takes about 1 to 1 1/2 seconds to lock back on to the TG it was on when I pressed MAN. An extreme case would be: you have all 32 CCs programmed (and active) and the TG is currently active on the last CC on the list. In my opinion, it's still a very minor trade-off (and only in some cases), for such a great feature.

What I do when I find a TG of interest is to use PSE initially, then when it sounds like there's a long enough pause in the talking, I hit MAN and that way I'll make sure the radio will keep tracking that TG if they happen to switch CC sites in the middle of the conversation.

So now I ask, you want for GRE to get rid of that feature or just to swap the behavior of the MAN and PSE buttons to the opposite of what they are now? I don't care either way if they swap the function of the PSE and MAN buttons just as long as they DO NOT get rid of the Multi-Site 'STAT' functionality we have now in MAN mode and that I detailed above.

To reiterate on the behavior of the PSE and MAN buttons:

-- When pressing PSE on an active TG, the scanner will stay monitoring the current TG AND current CC site.

-- When pressing MAN on an active TG, the scanner will stay monitoring the current TG (as detailed above) until the conversation and delay is done. THEN it'll start continually searching all the programmed and active CC sites for the TG in question until it comes across it again on any of the CCs.

That's the actual current functionality of the PSE and MAN buttons from my observations and experimentation with the radio since last October and as confirmed by other users. The behavior might be affected by factors like interference, different modes in use (STAT, ROAM) and other stuff so the usual YMMV disclaimer applies.
 

n4jri

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kikito said:
So now I ask, you want for GRE to get rid of that feature or just to swap the behavior of the MAN and PSE buttons to the opposite of what they are now?
You may be responding to the wrong thing. This thread took a turn from its original subject when we started discussing whether going to 'manual' did or didn't stop the radio from trunking. The quote below is what I believe Landman was actually responding to.

JoeyC said:
Most of the time when hitting MAN while the scanner is stopped on an active primary TG it will hold on that TG as expected. But occasionally hitting MAN does not stop on the expected active TG but moves to another one and holds (usually one many objects away from the one I intended to hold on). This usually happens when I am most anxious to hear that conversation on the secondary and it is then cumbersome to navigate to the object. (I am unable to duplicate my problem now that I am trying to. - Figures.)
[\QUOTE]

I experience this myself. Sometimes hitting 'manual' stops the scanner on an object other than the one that was onscreen at the time. I don't know what triggers this, but will make an inquiry elsewhere. But hopefully this quote helps to illustrate the original complaint that was raised as opposed to the MAN vs. PSE tech discussion that has developed.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
 

JoeyC

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Good information about the differences between MAN and PSE. I haven't found it necessary to program my TSYS as Roam or Stat yet as I haven't been on the road yet.

I originally was concerned about the scanner not holding on the expected TG when hitting MAN, but wouldn't you know it, I haven't been able to reproduce that ever since I brought it up in this thread. All my TSYS are set as Multisite OFF where in earlier tests I was using STAT. Not sure if this played a part.

Landman and n4jri: How do you have your TSYS set regarding multisite tracking?
 

fmon

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Allen,

Your post in #7 above caused me to do some testing with a 500 and 600 programmed identically set to ROAM and receiving Hampton and Chesapeake towers. Both scanners are using a Scantenna through an Electron box.

Pressing MAN during no coms will land and remain on the last talkgroup used by the system.
Pressing MAN during coms will land and remain on that talkgroup in use at the time. (this becomes the future default 'Land On')
In either case, while sitting on MAN, it won't necessarily use the same Control during future coms.

Pressing PSE/PAUSE during coms will hold on the talkgroup but not necessarily the Control. E,g, test paused on TG 51 with the 500 on Hampton control and 600 on Chesapeake's. The next and all following coms were on Hampton with both scanners. Hampton is the stronger signal for my location.

Strangely, both scanners correctly turned the LED of when pause/pse pressed, but the 500 turned it back on and shifted from Chesapeake tower to Hampton on next com on 51...the 600 remained on Hampton and LED is still off during coms on 51. Goodness, it finally came on after several coms.
 

n4jri

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fmon said:
Allen,

Your post in #7 above caused me to do some testing with a 500 and 600 programmed identically set to ROAM and receiving Hampton and Chesapeake towers. Both scanners are using a Scantenna through an Electron box.

Pressing MAN during no coms will land and remain on the last talkgroup used by the system.
Pressing MAN during coms will land and remain on that talkgroup in use at the time. (this becomes the future default 'Land On')
In either case, while sitting on MAN, it won't necessarily use the same Control during future coms.

Pressing PSE/PAUSE during coms will hold on the talkgroup but not necessarily the Control. E,g, test paused on TG 51 with the 500 on Hampton control and 600 on Chesapeake's. The next and all following coms were on Hampton with both scanners. Hampton is the stronger signal for my location.

Strangely, both scanners correctly turned the LED of when pause/pse pressed, but the 500 turned it back on and shifted from Chesapeake tower to Hampton on next com on 51...the 600 remained on Hampton and LED is still off during coms on 51. Goodness, it finally came on after several coms.
Did you get any anomolies when pressing MAN during comms? This seems to be the basis of JoeyC's complaint, and I have experienced it myself. What I can't do is determine what conditions make this happen.

In PSE, it feels to me like it changes CC's when the original one is no longer satisfactory.

Do you think that the disappearing conversations that you mentioned earlier could be due to multisite setups like STARS, and Eastern VA Regional? If one of the simulcast systems is having this problem, it'd be interesting to see what's causing it.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
 

n4jri

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JoeyC said:
Good information about the differences between MAN and PSE. I haven't found it necessary to program my TSYS as Roam or Stat yet as I haven't been on the road yet.

I originally was concerned about the scanner not holding on the expected TG when hitting MAN, but wouldn't you know it, I haven't been able to reproduce that ever since I brought it up in this thread. All my TSYS are set as Multisite OFF where in earlier tests I was using STAT. Not sure if this played a part.

Landman and n4jri: How do you have your TSYS set regarding multisite tracking?
I have two different situations. One that Frank and I both monitor is Virginia's STARS system, which has a number of independent sites. I monitor that in multisite ROAM mode, so that I'm always getting strongest site that I can.

The site that I did the experiement with was a 3-zone SmartZone system operated by Richmond, VA and its two surrounding counties. In this system, certain TG's are carried on CC's for all 3 zones and all others operate in the normal SmartZone way. These systems could be monitored separately, but I use multisite STAT so that I can combine them. This carries the risk of missing some transmissions, but because police, fire and EMS dispatch are simulcast on all CC's I don't miss too much.

The main reason for combining these systems is that I want to have a single Wildcard for all three, which will reject known TG's from all 3 systems, and keep my Wildcard concentrated on new or unknown TG's. (as opposed to having the Wildcard for one locality blasting me with simulcasted TG's from the other localities)

73/Allen (N4JRI)
 

fmon

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n4jri said:
Did you get any anomolies when pressing MAN during comms? This seems to be the basis of JoeyC's complaint, and I have experienced it myself. What I can't do is determine what conditions make this happen.
Can't duplicate his issue on either scanner. I navigate to another tg and wait for activity. The display alternates between TG Tag and system name on line 4 and holds the TG number on line 3. Pause and the LED was the issue I had on the first test with PSE on the 500, but I think that may have had something to do with a weaker Chesapeake Control. I was still getting all voice traffic - just no LED. The LED finally came on just prior to me clicking Submit...so added the last comment. But thinking back, that was when it changed controls to Hampton. The 600 remained on Hampton throughout the test and the light worked correctly...Off when PAUSE pressed then back on/off with subsequent coms.

In PSE, it feels to me like it changes CC's when the original one is no longer satisfactory.
Agreed.

Do you think that the disappearing conversations that you mentioned earlier could be due to multisite setups like STARS, and Eastern VA Regional? If one of the simulcast systems is having this problem, it'd be interesting to see what's causing it.
See above note.
 

kikito

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JoeyC said:
I originally was concerned about the scanner not holding on the expected TG when hitting MAN, but wouldn't you know it, I haven't been able to reproduce that ever since I brought it up in this thread.
I actually have seen what you (and others) originally mentioned but VERY FEW times. Here's my opinion and observations on what's happening:

First, the actual normal functionality of hitting MAN will automatically take you to the last active object the scanner stopped on during scanning. That object could be a TG or a conventional frequency. That behavior might change or act differently if you have Priority turned on and/or you might've pressed the MAN button at the perfect exact time the scanner was about to lock on to a new object. Hence, why it doesn't happen often and you haven't been able to reproduce it.

Just my opinion and observations.....
 

kikito

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n4jri said:
In PSE, it feels to me like it changes CC's when the original one is no longer satisfactory.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
I have seen that happen also a few times. My observations are what's sort of mentioned already and it's probably caused by two factors:

-- CC signal deteriorates or is lost and scanner acquires a different CC.

-- If using Multi-Site ROAM, the same mentioned above happened and the scanner picked another site as told by the mode/settings.
 

kikito

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n4jri said:
You may be responding to the wrong thing.
Yes, it's possible that I went off on a tangent (but still related somehow). It's not like it's happened before! ;) :)

Here's the two passages I mainly was replying to:

JoeyC said:
Why a PAUSE and a MANUAL key?
And:

Landman said:
It would make more sense for the scanner to stay on the currently active talkgroup when pressing manual because like Joey I want to be able to quickly navigate to a nearby channel by just pressing the down arrow a couple of times. I hope that GRE can fix this in a future firmware update.
n4jri said:
This thread took a turn from its original subject when we started discussing whether going to 'manual' did or didn't stop the radio from trunking.
As you may have confirmed or know by now, two things happen when you press MAN.

The radio goes to the last active object and it keeps trunking or receiving in the frequency you press MAN. Of course, from there there's many other variables also mentioned. Like when trunking with STAT on: it'll keep searching for the TG you press MAN on, across all the sites programmed and currently being received. And so on like mentioned before....
 

n4jri

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kikito said:
The radio goes to the last active object and it keeps trunking or receiving in the frequency you press MAN. Of course, from there there's many other variables also mentioned. Like when trunking with STAT on: it'll keep searching for the TG you press MAN on, across all the sites programmed and currently being received. And so on like mentioned before....
Right. The thorny issue that it's *supposed* to stop on whatever you're receiving--or, if not currently receiving an object, stop on the last object active. Every once in a while it gets caught in the cracks landing somewhere that makes no sense, and this is where the difficulty comes in. Nobody's been able nail down a pattern for when this happens.

At one time, mine would stop receiving entirely if I pressed MAN while in multisite STAT. This went away when I cut the TG's in Win500, rebuilt the TSYS and reattached the TG's. Even after going through all that, I still can't be sure why it happened.
...which may present JoeyC with another possible remedy...

73/Allen (N4JRI)
 
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