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Trying to listen to Bellevue traffic, I think I'm missing something

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WithinRafael

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Sep 6, 2013
Messages
4
#1
Hi folks!

Forewarning: I'm new to all this but getting the hang of things.

I have a BCD396XT and with the Northwest Frequency Directory and Radio Reference Database, I was able to program the device to receive from the KCERS system. I'm particularly interested in local Bellevue police, medical, and fire traffic so programmed in the EPSCA Simulcast, King County/Valley Comm Simulcast, and for kicks the Seattle Simulcast sites. Running through an ID Search seems to indicate my control channels and band programming are good as I get flooded with tons of conversations. (I also used FreeScan to pull from the Radio Reference db and validate my work.) I went through the rebanding procedure, too.

So, I decided to narrow things down and created a single group of what I thought were the relevant TGIDs for my area. Specifically, I selected:

Code:
Display		TGID	AudioType
Fire Admin	21680	Analog/Digital
Police Disp 1	21424	Analog/Digital
Police Disp 2	21392	Analog/Digital
Police Traffic	21104	Analog/Digital
Police C2C	21232	Analog/Digital
Police Spec. E. 21200	Analog/Digital
Police Detect.	21168	Analog/Digital
Police Tact 1	21328	Analog/Digital
Police Tact 2	21296	Analog/Digital
Police Records	21360	Analog/Digital
Police CW1	20912	Analog/Digital
Police CW2	20880	Analog/Digital
But when I flip the switch and ID SCAN, things go silent. Either it's super quiet out there or I'm missing something. (I do hear activity outside.) Perhaps there's overlap I'm not accounting for.

So that brings me here.

I think my options are:
  • Ask the forum, see what's up (here now!)
  • ID SEARCH and try to filter out the noise by ear (fun but feels like i'll be at it for months)
  • Enable Close Call, wait for nearby activity, and identify the TGID. (I've never really had CC work properly, even with a 3rd party whip. But am open to trying that again.)
  • Request information directly from the departments

Thoughts?

Appreciate any pointers, tips, or banter.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
359
Location
Bryn-Mawr/Skyway Area
#2
Hi folks!

Forewarning: I'm new to all this but getting the hang of things.

I have a BCD396XT and with the Northwest Frequency Directory and Radio Reference Database, I was able to program the device to receive from the KCERS system. I'm particularly interested in local Bellevue police, medical, and fire traffic so programmed in the EPSCA Simulcast, King County/Valley Comm Simulcast, and for kicks the Seattle Simulcast sites. Running through an ID Search seems to indicate my control channels and band programming are good as I get flooded with tons of conversations. (I also used FreeScan to pull from the Radio Reference db and validate my work.) I went through the rebanding procedure, too.

So, I decided to narrow things down and created a single group of what I thought were the relevant TGIDs for my area. Specifically, I selected:

Code:
Display		TGID	AudioType
Fire Admin	21680	Analog/Digital
Police Disp 1	21424	Analog/Digital
Police Disp 2	21392	Analog/Digital
Police Traffic	21104	Analog/Digital
Police C2C	21232	Analog/Digital
Police Spec. E. 21200	Analog/Digital
Police Detect.	21168	Analog/Digital
Police Tact 1	21328	Analog/Digital
Police Tact 2	21296	Analog/Digital
Police Records	21360	Analog/Digital
Police CW1	20912	Analog/Digital
Police CW2	20880	Analog/Digital
But when I flip the switch and ID SCAN, things go silent. Either it's super quiet out there or I'm missing something. (I do hear activity outside.) Perhaps there's overlap I'm not accounting for.

So that brings me here.

I think my options are:
  • Ask the forum, see what's up (here now!)
  • ID SEARCH and try to filter out the noise by ear (fun but feels like i'll be at it for months)
  • Enable Close Call, wait for nearby activity, and identify the TGID. (I've never really had CC work properly, even with a 3rd party whip. But am open to trying that again.)
  • Request information directly from the departments

Thoughts?

Appreciate any pointers, tips, or banter.
You probably locked them out. I know I accidentally did that with a few TGs because that scroll control is too sensitive. Also make sure you are entering the entire number.

Can you tell me what you chose for a band plan? The system's been rebanded as of late.
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
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Messages
21,672
Location
Bowie, Md.
#3
You might want to take your .996 file, zip it up using one of the popular utilities (WinZip or 7-Zip are popular), and let folks see your programming. That's really the only way to diagnose a potential programming issue, which this might be.

Mike
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
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Messages
21,672
Location
Bowie, Md.
#4
Another thing- most consumer grade scanners have a real tough time with simulcast systems. Simply put (and this is highly oversimplified), you might very well have a nice strong signal, but from more than 1 site being heard at a time. In that case, it's hard for the scanner to differentiate between the signals from the various site(s). They just can't do that very well.

You might want to limit yourself to a single site that's physically closest to you, and work with the programming until you get comfortable. Then add more sites later.

Mike
 

WithinRafael

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 6, 2013
Messages
4
#5
Hey scannerizer,

I use FreeScan to do all the heavy lifting (programming, virtual control) but it didn't dawn on me to actually check the radio itself. My group was indeed locked out... that's embarrassing. That's what I get for relying solely on the tool. (As a dev, I should've known better too.)

I'm hearing local radio chatter now, thanks! It feels light but that could just a result of having a short talkgroup list and a clear sunny day.

For informational purposes, I'm using the plan below for all three sites:
Code:
Lower Freq	Upper Freq	Step	Offset
851.02500	854.0000	25.0	440
851.01250	868.98750	25.0	0
The upper frequency might overshoot a bit on some sites (haven't validated this with FCC/etc. yet), but I haven't any trouble with that yet.
 

WithinRafael

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 6, 2013
Messages
4
#6
You might want to take your .996 file, zip it up using one of the popular utilities (WinZip or 7-Zip are popular), and let folks see your programming. That's really the only way to diagnose a potential programming issue, which this might be.

Mike
Another thing- most consumer grade scanners have a real tough time with simulcast systems. Simply put (and this is highly oversimplified), you might very well have a nice strong signal, but from more than 1 site being heard at a time. In that case, it's hard for the scanner to differentiate between the signals from the various site(s). They just can't do that very well.

You might want to limit yourself to a single site that's physically closest to you, and work with the programming until you get comfortable. Then add more sites later.

Mike
Hey Mike,

Thanks, that makes sense; I'll definitely look into that.

I also discovered that FUNC being held pauses scanning. I did not expect that.

Here's the 996 if folks want to take a look.
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AnjdAnZZcu-GouENAWDjf4sesfHiog

(My EPSCA site is currently junked up with some non control channel frequencies for debugging earlier. Will clean that up and retest.)
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
21,672
Location
Bowie, Md.
#7
Hey scannerizer,

I use FreeScan to do all the heavy lifting (programming, virtual control) but it didn't dawn on me to actually check the radio itself. My group was indeed locked out... that's embarrassing. That's what I get for relying solely on the tool. (As a dev, I should've known better too.)

I'm hearing local radio chatter now, thanks! It feels light but that could just a result of having a short talkgroup list and a clear sunny day.

For informational purposes, I'm using the plan below for all three sites:
Code:
Lower Freq	Upper Freq	Step	Offset
851.02500	854.0000	25.0	440
851.01250	868.98750	25.0	0
The upper frequency might overshoot a bit on some sites (haven't validated this with FCC/etc. yet), but I haven't any trouble with that yet.
I think your table got hosed with the code tag, but that looks right. For those that don't recognize it, the 25.0 should be the step for both entries, 440 as the offset on line 1, zero on line 2. The upper frequency is, indeed, 854.00000

Mike
 
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