Another Newbie needs help

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Nautical

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I am not sure where I should post this so am posting it in a couple of places.


I have had a Pro 97 for several years that I never used. I have decided I would like to use it but found the programming very tedious, and had little sucsess doing it manually.

I have since learned that there is a program available called Win 97 that would allow me to program from my laptop. I purchased a cable from RS and paid for my subscription here on RR. I have loaded the software, and did get some frequencies loaded into the scanner.

I am struggling with all the terms and abbreviations here. I am sure I will learn as time goes on. This is what I am struggling with the most right now.

I live in Conway AR, Faulkner County. When I import from Win 97, and use Faulkner County as my search criteria, I am not sure which frequencies I should download. At the moment I am camping at Toad Suck Lock & Dam, which is in Perry County. All I see for Perry County is the "Awin" system. I am not sure what this is, but I think it is digital and I don't think my scanner can use those signals.

With what I have loaded thus far, I see on the display transmissions from UCA Police, Stuttgart Reginal?? (long ways away, maybe a helicopter) and I have seen Faulkner County a few times, as well as Greenbriar Police Dept.

So any suggestions on "Which" frequencies I should use would be helpful.

Also, is all of AR going to this AWIN system?

Should I be looking at a Pro 96? or a radio that will recieve digital? And will the Win 97 Software work with the Pro 96?

I have not paid for the Win 97 yet as I am waiting to find out if it is going to work with the scanner I have now, or if I am going to get a different radio then I may have to buy a different program.

Sorry to be so wordy, this is all very new to me.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Skip
ps. I see a field for "Tags" at the bottom of this page, what are tags? and how should they be used. Thx
 

Airdorn

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I don't think Radio Shack makes a scanner that can monitor a P25 system like the Arkansas Wireless Information Network (AWIN). For that you'd need something from Uniden or GRE.

I think its mainly statewide agencies along with county sheriffs, etc. There's no telling who all will eventually get on board. I heard somewhere that it's pretty expensive to get on those statewide systems.

Pulaski county is right next door to you and that, of course, contains Little Rock, which is very active and fun to monitor. Little Rock public safety is a good old Motorola trunked system and its all analog voice. Your Pro-97 should be able to handle that. Motorola trunked systems are like cheap hookers. All the trunking scanners, even the older ones, know all about them and can monitor them easily.

Look at this link:

http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=167

There's several trunked systems there for you to listen to.

Right there in your own Faulkner county is a nice Motorola system just begging to be monitored... here it is:

http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=827

There's a lot of stuff for you to listen to there in central Arkansas. Getting the freqs into you scanner should just be a matter of clicking those links, looking at the frequencies, and punching them into the scanner. Or use your Win 97 to type it all in. The downloading .cvs stuff has never been appealing to me, personally. I like accreting my information slowly, on my own. That's just my personal preference, though.

Good luck.
 

ka3jjz

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You're not serious, are you, Airdorn? What about the PRO-96 and 2096? They will handle P25

Win97 will not work with the PRO-96/2096 - you need Win96 for that. Fortunately the cables you used for the connection from the 97 to your PC should work just fine for the 96.

The 'tags' column in the database is to be used in a future implementaton - sometime down the road you will be able to say 'give me all the talkgroups for x system that have 'law-tac' in the tag field' (for example) and that's all you would get. (Of course, that's a very simple SQL query, but we're not talking SQL here, hi)

If you are confused about an abbreviation float your cursor up to the top of the column. You should get a balloon with the abbreviations and meanings.

73 Mike
 
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N8IAA

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You're not serious, are you, Airdorn? What about the PRO-96 and 2096? They will handle P25 Win97 will not work with the PRO-96/2096 - you need Win96 for that.
73 Mike
Mike, Airdorn is serious. The only scanners he believes in are Uniden.

Nautical, Don Starr has software that you can import from Win95,97,96 to the other WinXX's. You will need to get a digital scanner to listen to AWIN and whatever else goes digital in your area. Oh, and yes, you will need to get Win96 to program the 96/2096.
Larry
 

hiegtx

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Nautical, Don Starr has software that you can import from Win95,97,96 to the other WinXX's. You will need to get a digital scanner to listen to AWIN and whatever else goes digital in your area. Oh, and yes, you will need to get Win96 to program the 96/2096.
Larry
Note that there is one AWIN site (171, Lake City [Troop C]) that includes 700mhz frequencies. If your AWIN monitoring includes that area, you'll need to concentrate on either the GRE PSR500/PSR600, or the Unidens, BCD396T/BCD996T. The Pro-96 & Pro2096 will not trunk track 700mhz frequencies.

If you don't venture into or through that area often, then the 96 or 2096 would work. However, those scanners only come as the basic scanner. For the Pro-96, you'd also need to purchase rechargeable batteries, an ac adapter, and a programming cable, pushing the price up close to either the PSR500 or BCD396T, both of which include adapters & the cable. (The 396 comes with batteries as well; the 500 does not.) Both the Uniden & GRE models have much more flexible memory arrangements that the Pro-96.

For the Pro-2096, it comes with an ac adapter, being a base/mobile model, but no programming cable. Both the PSR600 & the BCD996T come with ac adapters and programming cables.

For the Uniden scanners, Uniden's UASD software is a free download, & is what I primarily use. However, there are two freeware software programs, BCTool & FreeScan, both of which handle imports from the RadioReference database (since you are a premium subscriber). See the Wiki Page for the 396 and the 996 for a more complete software list.

For the GRE PSR500/-600, there are three software packages available: Win500 (from Don Starr, who also wrote Win97, Win96, etc), PSREdit-500, & ARC500, from Butel. All three have a thirty day free trial period, so you can see which one you like best. I registered both Win500 & PSREdit-500. More info & links on the Wiki pages for the 500 & 600.
 

Nautical

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THANKS TO EVERYONE!! A GREAT AMOUNT OF HELP!

I will read through all of this more thourouly. Just to be sure I understand, when you are referring to "trunking", is that what gives you the capablilty to follow a conversation? rather than listen to just one side of a conversation?

I don't travel through the "Troop C" area, mostly Faulkner and Perry County, also Pulaski. I do travel somewhat frequently from central Arkansas to the far NE corner of Illinois. If I understand the capability of Don Starr's software, I should be able to load different states State Police info into seperate banks of the Pro 97? And I am assuming that if I purchase a digital scanner that they will have the same features?

One other question. Does Don Starr allow you to run his program from two different computers, i.e. laptop and desktop at home? Or do I need to purchase 2 seperate licenses.

I don't know enough about the other scanners, so I will study the wiki's suggested before I post any other questions.

Thanks again for all the great help.

Skip
 

ka3jjz

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I will read through all of this more thourouly. Just to be sure I understand, when you are referring to "trunking", is that what gives you the capablilty to follow a conversation? rather than listen to just one side of a conversation?
<snip to conserve bw>
Skip that's the desired end result; trunking these days is so pervasive that it behooves you to learn about it. Notice that I said 'learn'- that doesn't mean become an expert. You can easily get by learning the basics, and then applying that to the scanner you choose - each manufacturer does things a bit differently.

To start, I would read the Trunking wiki article - just stick to the overview and basics for now, just to get the concepts (which, at first, is all you should strive for).

As you get more comfortable with your local systems, you may find you want to learn a bit more about the terminology and just what some of this stuff means. That article, plus the Glossary that's also available in the wiki, should be able to guide you to that 'basic understanding' that I mentioned earlier.

You should be aware that each system sets up their network(s) (which many trunk systems really are) for their own needs. If you read this carefully you will see many parallels to client-server technology and terms - if you are comfortable with multiple client systems talking to servers (sometimes multiple servers, at the same time), you will, I think, find the <AHA> experience rather easily

73 Mike
 

hiegtx

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THANKS TO EVERYONE!! A GREAT AMOUNT OF HELP!

I will read through all of this more thourouly. Just to be sure I understand, when you are referring to "trunking", is that what gives you the capablilty to follow a conversation? rather than listen to just one side of a conversation?

I don't travel through the "Troop C" area, mostly Faulkner and Perry County, also Pulaski. I do travel somewhat frequently from central Arkansas to the far NE corner of Illinois. If I understand the capability of Don Starr's software, I should be able to load different states State Police info into separate banks of the Pro 97? And I am assuming that if I purchase a digital scanner that they will have the same features?

One other question. Does Don Starr allow you to run his program from two different computers, i.e. laptop and desktop at home? Or do I need to purchase 2 seperate licenses.

I don't know enough about the other scanners, so I will study the wiki's suggested before I post any other questions.

Thanks again for all the great help.

Skip
Skip, from what I understand, Don does not have a problem with installing Win97/96/whatever on two pc's, such as a desktop & a laptop, as long as both are your's (not one belong to you, the other to another party, which should be two licenses). You could always email him directly & ask for clarification.

If you go into NE Illinois, then you are getting into StarCom21 territory. That system has quite a few 700mhz sites. Probably, you should look toward either the GRE models, PSR500 (handheld) or PSR600 (base/mobile), or the Uniden's, BCD369T (HH) or BCD996T (base/mobile), because of the 700mhz. Neither the Pro-96 or the Pro-2096 would handle the 700mhz StarCom21 sites. Both the GRE's & Unidens have greater channel capacity & a better memory management system. From what I've read in posts from other users, at this time, the GRE does a better job on the StarCom system & perhaps AWIN in digital decoding than the Unidens. Haven't been through either area myself as yet with the two scanners. For my local systems, with little digital (two mixed mode systems), there's not much difference to my ears.

For trunking, yes, I'm referring to the ability to actually follow the conversation on the system, as opposed to simply programming in the frequencies & listening to whoever pops up on that voice channel. You might read Trunking Basics in the Wiki for more explanation. Also see this article written by UPMan.


The 396/996 and the 500/600 scanners do not use banks. The Unidens use Dynamic Memory, with individual systems created & loaded in the scanner; the 396 can have up to 400 systems, each 'system' being a trunked radio system or collection of conventional frequencies. Total channel capacity is up to 6000 (a talkgroup or conventional frequency each count as a 'channel'). The 996's limit is 500 systems, 6000 channels.

The GRE's (PSR500/-600) use what's called 'object oriented scanning'. You can have 1800 objects in the working memory at any one time, You have up to 21 "v-scanner" folders holding additional programming for additional areas. So you could program one for your home area. When going to Illinois, at some point along the way, load a folder, say for Missouri (or whatever route you use). Then later on, load one for the next portion of your trip, depending on how many frequencies you needed for coverage. When you arrive, load one for your destination area. All from within the scanner, without having to hook it up to the laptop.

If you are leaning toward a handheld, I'd say go with the PSR500. It may do a better job on digital than the BCD396, especially on StarCom21. But more important, you can load it as "multi-site" on P25 & Motorola TRS systems, using control channel only, if you don't have to cover too many towers. If you exceed the number of frequencies for a talksys object, you might have to create a second one. But, with the 396, to make sure you don't miss calls, you'd have to create multiple sites & duplicate talkgroups. That's because the Uniden scanners latch onto the first control channel they find, & don't check the others. For a base/mobile, the 996 does do multi-site, and also allow the use of a GPS unit to turn systems on and off as you pass into or out of range. The PSR600 will allow multi-site like the PSR500. The 996 will do multi-site on EDACS systems, the PSR's will not. Neither will do multi-site on LTR systems.
 

Airdorn

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ok, sorry. I was sadly mistaken. I thought Radio Shack didn't have a scanner for P25 systems yet. Where I got confused is the part about the Radio Shack scanners not handling the 700Mhz systems.

And yes, I believe only in Uniden scanners after owning numerous Radio Shack ones over the years. That GRE thing looks very nice, though. I'm considering getting the mobile one possibly instead of a 396.
 
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btritch

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Yes, Believe it or not, Toad Suck Is A Community In Arkansas and have a Toad Suck Day Festival every Single Year...

As for AWIN, From what I'm hearing, the entire state will be on board AWIN in the next five years or so....

Faulkner County and Conway ARE on AWIN ONLY, MOST of Pulaski County is AWIN, State Police, ADEM, ADEQ, Highway Police, Etc. are ALL AWIN, I'm using a 97 myself for my area cause they're not yet on AWIN either but my guess would be my 97 being COMPLETELY OBSOLETE in the next 5 years, At least in Arkansas..

In The database where it says AWIN STATEWIDE P25, Check that out It has everything including the counties that are using or about to use awin listed..
 

Nautical

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Again, Thanks for all the help. I have a LOT of reading to do! If I buy a PSR 500, does anyone here in AR have a good source for a vendor? I am only about 25 miles from Little Rock.

As for Toad Suck........It is a place, I am camped there right now, and the "Toad Suck Daze Festival" is held here in Conway every year. It is the second largest even in AR, second only to Riverfest I believe.

I love telling my "Yankee" frineds back home that I live in Conway AR, which is right between Toad Suck and Pickles Gap......which is the truth.

Thanks again to all, I will start reading up on trunking and the other articles listed here.

Skip
 

Nautical

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I am using an AT&T phone card. Not the fastest, but I am getting 3g service there most of the time.

I am going to look into the PSR 500. Thanks for the link.

Skip
 

rchalupajr

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Nautical, Many Radio Shack scanner's are made by GRE. Pro 93, 95, 96, 97 and 2096 as well as several other's. Thier are also R.S. Models made by Uniden, Pro 528, 433, ect.
If you are in need of a digital scanner, get one with 700mhz capability. Take some time and read through the GRE and Uniden forum's to get an Idea of how each Manufacturer"s models operate, and which will best suit your need's. Good Luck.
 
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Nautical

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Faulkner County, AR
I appreciate all the help here. I have a much better understanding having read the wiki's recommended here. I will order the PSR 500 monday from Scanner Master.

Any opinions on the ARC 500 software vs WIN 500? Also, should I get a specific antenna for the radio other than the stock one it comes with?

What other accesories should I be looking at? Do I need extra re-chargeable batteries?

Skip
 

hiegtx

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I appreciate all the help here. I have a much better understanding having read the wiki's recommended here. I will order the PSR 500 monday from Scanner Master.

Any opinions on the ARC 500 software vs WIN 500? Also, should I get a specific antenna for the radio other than the stock one it comes with?

What other accesories should I be looking at? Do I need extra re-chargeable batteries?

Skip
Skip, don't forget PSREdit-500.
All three software packages will program your 500. If you were comfortable with Win97, Win500 may seem the most familiar to you, but since the memory setup is different (object oriented scanning versus the banks and channels of your Pro-97), the methods are much different for any of the programs. All three allow importing from RadioReference. And all three allow a 30-day, full function free trial/evaluation period, so that you can try the program before you buy it. Both Win500 & PSREdit-500 have a $35.00 registration fee for purchase. The ARC500 cost, I believe, is $39.95. So, try all three, before you buy. Links are on the PSR500's Wiki page. Each of these software packages has an active thread in the Software forum. I ended up purchasing both Win500 & PSREdit (the ARC product had not been released as yet). There were enough feature/operation differences at the time that I got both.

You probably would want to get a gain-type 800mhz antenna for AWIN, something like the Radio Shack 20-283 antenna. Check out the Antenna forum for other suggestions.

The PSR500 will not come with batteries, so you will need to pick up a set, & I'd suggest an extra set at least. I've had excellent results with these batteries from Thomas Distributing. In the 500, I've gotten up to 16+ hours of use on a fully charged set, with medium use of the backlight & LED, and moderate to high audio volume. Less use of the backlight or LED, and/or lower volume would give longer run times. A good external charger (not a fast charger, that overheats the cells) is also a good investment.

A couple of other suggestions for you:
Go to GRE's website, & download the manual for the 500, so you can look it over. It's in *.pdf format.
Also, I know there are several PSR500 users in Arkansas. Post a request for a file to program your new PSR500 when it arrives. That will give you a live example of how it should be set up, even if it's from a different part of the state. You can download PSR Edit, Win500, whichever, & create one yourself with a web import & compare.

Enjoy your new scanner when it arrives!
 

btritch

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If you're listening to 800 mhz AWIN you need to get an RS 800 MHZ rubber duckie..I got one and it works much better, As far as an outdoor antenna goes, Get either a scantenna or a yagi, Also, As far as programming go, I use win 500 with no problems... Just my opinion though, Someone else might disagree..
 

fmon

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I was in Toad Suck in July 1980 with an Apache popup camper. You will enjoy the PSR scanner.
 

btritch

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I appreciate all the help here. I have a much better understanding having read the wiki's recommended here. I will order the PSR 500 monday from Scanner Master.

Any opinions on the ARC 500 software vs WIN 500? Also, should I get a specific antenna for the radio other than the stock one it comes with?

What other accesories should I be looking at? Do I need extra re-chargeable batteries?

Skip

If you need the info once you get your scanner let me know...I have each district in the entire state already in files, All I'll have to do is send them to you, Just PM me and I'll be glad to help!
 
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