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Radio Shack Pro-163 Scanner

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Location
South Carolina
#1
This is one of my first ever owned scanners I have it programmed with Police, EMS, Fire Freq. I can't understand the Trunking System (talk groups or something) I'm sure SC uses Motorola Type II radio systems. I can make it show the talk group ID number sometimes for Motorola, but could anyone tell me what talk groups do when you program them into Trunking Systems?
 
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Location
West River South Dakota
#2
…….. could anyone tell me what talk groups do when you program them into Trunking Systems?
Basically, for scanner radios, programming in talk groups of trunking systems enables you to see the name of the group when the scanner stops on a conversation. It also allows you to choose which groups of a trunking system you want to listen to. On Motorola Type I systems you have to program in the groups in order to hear any of them. On Motorola Type II systems you only have to program them in if you want to see the group names instead of the ID numbers and/or want to select which groups you want to listen to..

There is a pretty good basic explanation of this beginning on page 35 of your manual.

BTW, why indicate a thumbs down on the Pro-163 just because you don’t understand it?
 
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qlajlu

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Location
Kearns, Utah
#3
...could anyone tell me what talk groups do when you program them into Trunking Systems?
"In the old days..." every agency had its own conventional frequency assigned for its exclusive use. Now there are sooooooo many agencies needing radio communications that they just flat ran out of frequencies to assign. So along came "trunking" which is the efficient use of just a few frequencies.

A controller monitors the frequencies and as an agency has need for communications and keys up one of its radios, the controller "leases" one of the frequencies not being used for that agency until the communication is over, then puts that frequency back in the pool to be used by the next requester.

Talk Groups (TGs) are now used in place of having an "private" conventional frequency. This is an extremely simple explanation and no doubt creates additional questions in your mind, but trunking works.

For a more in depth explanation, read Trunking Basics in the RR Wiki. You will be able to understand it. There is also a video here that is several years old, but will still explain trunking (watch it only until they change speakers).
 
Joined
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Location
Northwest Indiana
#4
My last active scanning year was around 1999. A few months back I revived my old PRO-2035 and PRO-55. There is so much activity near Chicago that I couldn't keep up with the frequencies.After a little research I was torn between a BCT15 and the PRO-163 but decided to keep everything in the RS family. I bought it Saturday night.

I did some research on trunking as I never worked it before. It seemed pretty straightforward; pop in a few control channels and see the magic happen. Once I loaded the regular stuff on the PRO-163 I started trying out trunking. With the help of the database here it was a breeze. I had a few trunked systems coming in full strength. If you are confused about talkgroups you will understand it once you see traffic on the trunked system. Use the manual to custom text tag the groups and you should have no problem.

Finally, the PRO-163 is definitely a great scanner. My RS did not have the programming cable so I had to enter everything manually. Very simple process if you ask me.

Sorry for the long post. I just wanted to give a perspective from someone not new to scannong but new to trunking.
 

DaynaNewman

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#5
I bought the Pro 163 almost a month ago along with the cable to program it from my computer and I still dont understand it. I'm picking up some things like the turnpike, ambulance calls but for the life of me I can't get it to pick up any of my local or state police....
 
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#6
I bought the Pro 163 almost a month ago along with the cable to program it from my computer and I still dont understand it. I'm picking up some things like the turnpike, ambulance calls but for the life of me I can't get it to pick up any of my local or state police....
Here we go again for about the 10th time this week.
We need to know where you are and which system you are trying to monitor. Tell us State/county/city etc.
Also, the thread you tacked this onto is 3-1/2 years old.
 

DaynaNewman

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#7
Sorry for tacking onto an old post, I'm new to this program/site and didn't even realize it was that old of a post.

We live in Smithfield PA. (Fayette County) Our local major city mainly is Uniontown PA (Fayette County). I dont understand what you mean by which system im trying to monitor....we bought the scanner mainly to replace a very old one that we used just to listen to regular base to mobile & mobile to mobile police/fire/ambulance/ calls in our local and surrounding area.
 

W6KRU

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#8
Sorry for tacking onto an old post, I'm new to this program/site and didn't even realize it was that old of a post.

We live in Smithfield PA. (Fayette County) Our local major city mainly is Uniontown PA (Fayette County). I dont understand what you mean by which system im trying to monitor....we bought the scanner mainly to replace a very old one that we used just to listen to regular base to mobile & mobile to mobile police/fire/ambulance/ calls in our local and surrounding area.
Fayette county has some Law and some Fire on conventional frequencies:
Fayette County, Pennsylvania (PA) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

Uniontown is on this system: Fayette County PA Public Safety Trunking System, Fayette County, Pennsylvania - Scanner Frequencies
 

DaynaNewman

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#9
As far as I can tell I have put all of those frequencies into the scanner, but still not picking up any police calls....it's a complete puzzle to me. I am getting the ambulance calls, medivac calls, turnpike calls, some of the fire calls but there has been "nothing" for the police calls.....city or state....
 

W6KRU

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#10
As far as I can tell I have put all of those frequencies into the scanner, but still not picking up any police calls....it's a complete puzzle to me. I am getting the ambulance calls, medivac calls, turnpike calls, some of the fire calls but there has been "nothing" for the police calls.....city or state....
You say you have put in frequencies but you don't mention talk groups. Did you set up the trunk for the second system I linked you to? The information on setting up a trunk can be found here:Easier to Read Pro-164/163 PSR300/C/400/C Scanner Manual
 

DaynaNewman

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#11
I don't think I understand how to do the talk groups. I did however do the system upload completely from Radio Reference for the trunking system from my computer to the scanner. If it automatically puts it in there then its there, but I really don't know. The second system that you mentioned - do you mean the BCD396XT & ect that you have listed there. I am just so confused with this scanner. I really dont understand this trunking stuff.
 

W6KRU

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#12
I don't think I understand how to do the talk groups. I did however do the system upload completely from Radio Reference for the trunking system from my computer to the scanner. If it automatically puts it in there then its there, but I really don't know. The second system that you mentioned - do you mean the BCD396XT & ect that you have listed there. I am just so confused with this scanner. I really dont understand this trunking stuff.
I was talking about this system: Fayette County PA Public Safety Trunking System, Fayette County, Pennsylvania - Scanner Frequencies

If you go to that link you will see the frequencies listed at the top followed by the talkgroups. It sounds like you might already have everything loaded. If that's true the next thing left to do is verify the scanlists that the talkgroups are in are enabled and scanning.

The new scanners are monitoring complicated radio systems and the scanners are therefore fairly complicated. The easier to read manual should help you understand the operation: Easier to Read Pro-164/163 PSR300/C/400/C Scanner Manual
 
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DaynaNewman

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#13
Ok ...thank you so much....I'll take a look at the easier manual that you suggested later tonight because the manual that came with the scanner may as well be in another language for me because I surely cant make heads or tails out of it. Thanks again for your help.
 

W6KRU

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#14
Ok ...thank you so much....I'll take a look at the easier manual that you suggested later tonight because the manual that came with the scanner may as well be in another language for me because I surely cant make heads or tails out of it. Thanks again for your help.
I'm glad to provide the little bit of help that I provided here. You could also go to the forum for your state: Pennsylvania Radio Discussion Forum - The RadioReference.com Forums and get local help if needed. Don't be afraid to start new threads when looking for help.

Welcome to RR and good luck with your new hobby.
 
Joined
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#15
... the manual that came with the scanner may as well be in another language ...
You may find this easier than the "easier to read manual".

TRUNKING PROGRAMMING - PRO-163 & 164

To program a Bank for TRUNKING:
1. Press PROG, then press TRUNK.
2. Press FUNC, then use an UP or DOWN ARROW to select a bank.
3. Repeatedly press MODE to select a trunking mode (Motorola).
4. Press PROG.
5. Enter the first control channel freq. and press ENTER.
6. Repeatedly press MODE to select a trunking mode (Motorola).
7. Press PROG or the UP ARROW to advance to the next channel.
8. Enter the next control channel freq. and press ENTER.
9. Repeatedly press MODE to select a trunking mode (Motorola).
10. After the last control channel freq., press ENTER, then press SCAN.
Now you should start to see all active Talk Group IDs (TGs).

There are two trunking modes, OPEN and CLOSED:
OPEN lets you hear ALL active TGs
CLOSED lets you hear ONLY the TGs you have put into the SUB-BANKS.
“–” appears for CLOSED mode and “+” appears for OPEN mode under the channel number.
To set OPEN or CLOSED mode for the bank that is ON, Press FUNC then ./DELAY.
To set OPEN or CLOSED mode for another bank:
1. Press MAN.
2. Use the UP or DOWN ARROW to select a bank.
3. Press FUNC then •/DELAY.

PROGRAMMING the Sub-Banks (Saving Talk Group IDs)
Each of the 10 banks contains 5 sub-banks that each hold 30 Talk Group IDs.
To define a Talk Group ID:
1. Press PROG, then press TRUNK to enter the ID program mode.
2. Press FUNC, then use UP or DOWN ARROW to select a bank.
3. Repeatedly press MODE to select a trunking mode (Motorola,
EDACS, or LTR).
4. Repeatedly press TRUNK to select the sub-bank.
5. Press UP or DOWN ARROW to select the location where to store the Talk
Group ID.
6. Use the number keys to enter the Talk Group ID:
7. Press ENT.

Turning Sub-Banks ON or OFF
To turn off a sub-bank:
1. Press TRUNK repeatedly to select the desired sub-bank.
2. Press FUNC then 1 to turn the sub-bank on or off.
To turn off a sub-bank while scanning:
1. When the scanner stops on a transmission, press FUNC.
2. Press TRUNK. The display indicates which sub-bank is turned
on or off. The active sub-bank number appears.
3. Press FUNC and the number of the sub-bank you desire to
turn on or off. For example to turn sub-bank 4 on or off, press
FUNC. Then press 4.
Note: This function activates when the receiving channel
bank is in CLOSED mode.
 
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#16
You may find this easier than the "easier to read manual".
...
And here is a simple explanation of how Trunking works.

Motorola Trunking:
The object of trunking is to allow many users to share a relatively few frequencies.
A trunking system is controlled by a computer. Information (data) is exchanged between the system radios and the computer on a control channel, sometimes called a data channel. It sounds like a strong buzz.
A large system can have up to 28 freqs., 4 of which may be used as control channels. The control channel may be changed once a day or as often as the programmer decides. Some scanners need only the control channels to track an entire system. Just put in the 4 Control Channels.

Each group of users (Fire, Police, etc.) is assigned TALK GROUPS. In a Motorola Type II system, the most common type, TGs are usually in 32 number steps starting with 16 and going up to 65536; 16, 48, 80 --- 4656, 4688, 4720 --- 28944, 28976, etc. System radios can have more than 100 TGs programmed into them.

After all the freqs. have been entered and it is "trunking", the Banks become SCAN LISTS where you enter the Talk Groups you want to hear.
Use the Talk Group numbers in the DEC column, not in the HEX column.

When a user pushes the talk button on his radio, data is sent to the computer. The computer chooses an unused freq. and sends that data to all the radios using the TG of the originating unit. This all happens in a fraction of a second and it happens EVERY TIME a radio is used.

EXAMPLE:
Fire Dispatch calling Engine 4 (TG 4528 on 856.7125)
Engine 4 answering Dispatch (TG 4528 on 852.2625)
Respond to 73 Elm Street (TG 4528 on 855.9625)
Engine 4 responding (TG 4528 on 851.6375)

If you have entered TG 4528 into your scanner, it will decode the control channel data and change your scanner freqs. to follow the conversation on TG 4528.
 
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