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Uniden Bearcat 996T Decoding

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#1
All-

I am hopeful to resolve an issue monitoring the Delaware State 800mhz system where my 996T will simply not stop on what I know to be an active talk group. This points to improper decoding. When monitoring New Castle County Fire listening to simulcast UHF from several fire companies such as Talleyville, and Elsmere on another radio it became clear the 996T was randomly missing calls. At the times it occurs the display will toggle between ID Scan and a given talk group (3184 N-DISP, 3856 N-EMSOP1). Status bit is set, in addition to digital end code. The radio is configured for control channel only, NFM, APCO mode is manual set at 12. The signal strength is at 5 bars, and I am in the Talleyville area. Attempting to use the attenuator did not help. If I enter the menu and exit exit the condition stops for a period of time. This appears to possibly be a software problem. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance! Jim
 

ka3jjz

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#2
Not stopping on a known TG as you describe is sometimes a firmware, not a software, issue...

There are a few details missing here. Did you program this system as rebanded, as shown here...

State of Delaware Public Safety Trunking System, Statewide, Delaware - Scanner Frequencies

If you programmed this manually (yes, some people do it), you need to have the custom table installed, along with the correct firmware (the original 996T was not rebanding capable - that was added sometime after its release in vers 3.00 of the firmware)

The required table values can be found in section 6.1 of;

Rebanding - The RadioReference Wiki

and the firmware fixes for the 996T can be found here;

BCD996TFirmwareUpdate < UnidenMan4 < TWiki

We have a fairly extensive article on updating the firmware here

Updating the Firmware in Uniden DMA Scanners - The RadioReference Wiki

If you have the firmware fixed up, and use software to load it (FreeScan is freeware and works with that scanner) the tables will be loaded automatically once you are a premium subscriber.

Also, this system uses simulcast, and that unfortunately drives most all consumer scanners nuts. We have a whole article devoted to this problem, and it's been extensively discussed in the Uniden forums

Simulcast digital distortion - The RadioReference Wiki

Mike
 
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#3
Hello Mike,

Thank you for responding. The scanner has firmware 3.02 installed. When I updated the radio I changed the control channel frequencies believing it was working correctly. I used the same location as the link you provided for the control channel frequencies. However I did not edit the band plan plan table thinking the firmware update would effect the changes. Either way I will check the table for accuracy. Either Proscan or Freescan are the tools of choice for programming. The simulcase issue is why I tried the attenuator which did not bring success. Thank you for providing so much information. I remain hopeful to solve this issue. Thanks, Jim
 

ka3jjz

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#4
To be fair, ARC996 will also work with this radio. But the other 2 packages have the advantage of being able to handle many different scanners.

I suspect that putting in the correct system type and table will partially correct your problem; however the simulcast issue will be more difficult. You might want to do some research and see where your nearest towers are, and focus on them - perhaps with a 800 Mhz yagi (at these frequencies, a yagi is very small).

The Easier to Read manual should have the steps needed to manually put the rebanding table in;

Easier to Read BCD996T/UBCD996T Digital Scanner Manual

Mike
 
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Messages
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#5
Hi Mike,

Thank you for your help with this. You nailed the issue correctly with the band plan. In my configuration I was using Motorola type 2 standard when I should have used Motorola type 2 custom. Using custom allowed the band plan to be set where standard type 2 did not. I appreciate you help an guidence in solving this issue. On other question, I was considering getting the BCD 996 P2 scanner primarily for the priority option. I wanted to use talk group 3184 Ncc Dispatch as the priority however I am in question if it will work as a preemptive priority on this system? Or will it be when the radio checks the control channel? Are there any other advantages the 996 P2 will offer in scanning the current system? Thank you again! Jim
 
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