An open Thank You note to GRE for the NEW TalkGroup Patch feature (PSR-500/600)

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scannerhead

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I want to thank everyone at GRE for the NEW TalkGroup Patch feature that is part of the PSR-500/600 CPU 1.8 Firmware update released on March 16, 2010. This part of the firmware update really is an upgrade, a NEW Feature. There have been many PSR-500 owners here, including myself, which have put this on our “wish-lists” to GRE ever since the PSR-500 came out. Many great, new features have been added since it’s release because GRE listened to their customers. And with this upgrade they continue to show that they are still listening and working to implement what is important to their customers, us.

In their release notes GRE wrote, “Added patch support for P25, Motorola and EDACS trunking.”
It’s possible that some scanner users did not even know about the TalkGroup Patch feature that many trunked-radio system operators use. In ultra-simple terms, it’s when the dispatcher connects two or more talkgroups together so users on each talkgroup are able to communicate with each other. This is often done when radio traffic is minimal and only one dispatcher is required to handle 2 talkgroups. The mobile units still have their radios set to their own designated talkgroups but now they are patched together as if they were on 1 talkgroup. Patches are sometimes done to handle emergency traffic. (Note: The Patch feature works for Analog talkgroups too. Some have thought it was P25 only.)

Without this new TalkGroup Patch feature it was possible that you could miss hearing radio traffic and not even realize it. Say you are scanning talkgroup “East” but not talkgroup “West.” It’s possible that “East” could get patched to “West” for any number of reasons. Before this upgrade, “East” would have gone silent on your scanner. You would have had to start scanning the West talkgroup to hear East & West patched together. Now with this upgrade the PSR-500/600 handles the patch like a service radio does, it’s seamless. You’ll hear all traffic on the East talkgroup and “ptch” will flash alternately where “TGRP” is usually displayed.

Some agencies may not use patches at all and some use them extensively. Some use patches in very odd ways. I’m sure someone can explain it all better than I, but I just wanted to tell GRE and anyone else involved (possibly Don Starr … based on past threads) how much I appreciate you getting this done! If you feel the same, please add your words of appreciation here. My PSR-500 just got even better!

Keith Thompson
 

bcradio

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Agreed! Often times when my local PD has a priority call, they patch to their dispatch channel to their INFO channel so all units can hear it. Since I often have the Info channel locked out, I would often miss things.

Now, can't wait for this feature to trickle down to my model, the Pro-106 :)
 

kb8rvp

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I just noticed this about a month ago on the Michigan P25 system. A fire department in Genesee County asked for mutual aid from a department in Livingston County. The Liv County department asked for a patch to be setup. Once the patch went active I along with some other noticed we could no longer listen to the Gen Co talk group but we could listen on the Liv Co talk group and we thought that was strange. I was using my Pro-96 at the time and didn't have my PSR-500 with me. This will be great to try out the next time a patch goes active and to compare how my different scanners handle the patch. Still don't know why this happens but I guess GRE figured it out... The fire departments with real radios didn't seem to have any issues... I wonder if the Uniden scanners suffer from this too? Great job GRE.

Mike
 

rdale

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No, the Unidens handled it right from the get-go. GRE just used a different method. DonS explained it in a prior post, I don't have it offhand though.
 

scannerhead

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I was begining to think I was one of the few people that saw the value of the Patch Feature until I found this thread on the RadioReference Colorado forum today: http://forums.radioreference.com/co...24-new-gre-firmware-follows-dtrs-patches.html

And for bcradio I'm sure you've now found the Pro106/197 update is now up at the RS website. Happy listening!

Looking back at my original post I shouldn't have written, "...If you feel the same, please add your words of appreciation here." I was just very happy what GRE had accomplished, especially after I got the feeling that the firmware memory was getting full and there was no way this was going to happen to the PSR500/600. I wrote GRE directly thanking them for getting this done and that is what I encourage everyone to do that want to, especially if you've directly or indirectly asked them to do something for you. A "thank you" goes a long way.

Keith
 

emscapt9816

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Yes, thanks are in order. Not to be greedy, but anyone know if this feature will be added to the PSR 300/400?
 

RoninJoliet

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Also a thanks to DonS for his answering of vital questions on this board...We could not get the new 1.8ver to work until i read the question on another board that we had the wrong "boot", 1.0 using boot F14, worked great after using F10_F11, thanks DonS....
 

cellphone

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I'm confused by the statement below....

No, the Unidens handled it right from the get-go. GRE just used a different method. DonS explained it in a prior post, I don't have it offhand though.
The Unidens don't do it right.

In the BC396XT, if talkgroup 2992 (selected as the primary by the dispatcher) is patched with 2976, then I will ONLY hear 2992 active. If I hold on 2976, the scanner is silent.

I tried search for the post by DonS, but I was unable to find it.
 

RoninJoliet

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On the Uniden products you have to turn "OFF" the "status bit" and you will here the Unique TG's...I did that on my 346-396XT in the menu and i now hear TG183=All Call, TG215 patch....
 

Bote

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This has nothing to do with the status bits. Yes, the status bit that indicates patch adds 3 to the hex value of the talkgroup id, but the Uniden scanner would only hear patch activity on one and only one talkgroup, no matter how many other talkgroups were part of the patch.

The new Uniden BCD996XT at least displays the primary talkgroup that started the patch while also allowing monitoring on the other patched talkgroups, which I think is really cool since it tells you who initiated the patch in multi-agency trunked systems. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out where the incident is with all the shouting going on, so knowing who started things is useful information for me.

My 996T did not do this, nor did the 780XLT. So, thank you Uniden for this neat addition in the XT series of scanners.
 

scannerhead

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Cellphone, Do you also have the GRE PSR500 or 600?

They follow the patches great on the Phoenix, AZ P25 system (RWC). For example, when PHX PD patches C5 & C7 together it now works like the PD radios work. You don't have to scan both talk-groups to see which one is the originating talk-group, like before this firmware. If emergency traffic goes to C5 you switch to C5... no more guessing if you have to go to C7 or another talkgroup to actually hear anything. Nice!

Keith
 
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DaveIN

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I'm confused by the statement below....



The Unidens don't do it right.

In the BC396XT, if talkgroup 2992 (selected as the primary by the dispatcher) is patched with 2976, then I will ONLY hear 2992 active. If I hold on 2976, the scanner is silent.

I tried search for the post by DonS, but I was unable to find it.
I was going to reply to this, but it appears Boat already did in your Uniden forum post: http://forums.radioreference.com/1298612-post11.html
 

Seadoo

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Patches around here are mostly done when the county needs to talk to the city or the different city agencies need to talk to each other. We also use it to patch to our nearby fellow county TRS as we share our Air 1 Search helicopter with them. As a matter of fact, our nearby fellow county Police units have our main talkgroups programmed into their radio's and we did the same so we can directly use thier system and they can use ours without a patch in extreme emergencies.
 
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DiGiTaLD

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+1. This is a useful feature especially for a talkgroup I monitor on a local system that is seemingly permanently patched with another. Its nice to see an addition like this, and the ability to add features all the time makes this radio so much more valuable to me and others who use it.
 
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