BCD396T problem with VHF P25 system?

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joelbedard

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Hi.

A new trunking system is been deployed here, in Quebec, Canada.

The system is brand new VHF P25 system (9600 bauds control channels are showing up fast in the area).

But my BCD396T, with the latest firmware, could not "lock" the control channel controller... Even with a steady 4-5 signal bar, the signal bar "flash" in and out, showing the control channel frequencies on and off... When the signal is "locked", I could receive some channels well, but went the scanner resume after the communication, most of the time, he lost the control channel sync...

But the unit got no problem (ie the signal bar were steady, not flashing) at all following 3600 bauds P25 systems in the area, nor any conventional trucking system (Motorola, LTR and EDACS works pretty fine!).

I also set the unit in "Motorola P25", "FM", to receive the full bandwith of the signal, and entering the control channel in the good place. After checking the "Bandplan", I see that the scanner received band plan info from the controller.

Have you encounter such issues in the States, with new P25 systems?

Do you know if it's a known issue and Uniden is working on a new firmware to correct this issue?

Is that an issue that could be corrected by changing internal settings with the 1.11.03 firmware?

Is my scanner the issue?

I'm waiting about your comments about it!

Thank you very much,

Joel Bedard.
 

joelbedard

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Hi.

It's called RENIR.

It's the new gouvernment of Quebec province-wide all numeric P25 system.

In time, it will get provincial police, paramedic, fire services, and differents gouvernment radio system into this big system.

Cheers,

Joel Bedard.
 

dtscho

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I'm having the same problem with the STARS system in Virginia with my BCD396T. It will hold on the control channel for a few seconds, and then lose it. When it's holding on the CC, and "DAT" is displayed, it monitors the system fine. But then it will lose the CC, and will not track the system at all. (I have tried multiple sites of the STARS system, all with the same result.)

I have an excellent signal (5 bars). The system is set up as P25. The scanner has received the bandplan. Have no problems with 3600 systems. Also have no problems with 380 MHz and 800 MHz 9600 systems. Finally, I have the latest firmware.

I brought this up in the big STARS thread in the Virginia forum, and only one other person commented on having problems. People with the Pro-96/2096 don't seem to be having this problem, so I'm assuming most people monitoring STARS have the Radio Shack scanners.

Thanks,
Dave
 

joelbedard

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Hi Dave.

I hope that Uniden will correct this issue soon! Because I don't want to change this scanner so soon... I put big bucks to get one, you know!

It's bizarre than an older technology (Like the Pro-96, made in 2003) is more stable than the 396 with "true" P25 systems... One person I know got a 296D and it seems more stable than the 396.

I have also read a thread here, on RR, that when the scanner was in "DAT" mode, it could not track the system until "DAT" is not displayed. This might be another issue to resolve to make the 396 the best scanner (it is really good now!) in the market!

Thank you for reporting this issue to the thread. I feels less alone with this issue!

Cheers,

Joel Bedard.
 

kikito

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Yes, Uniden has been made aware of this issue and as far as I know, they're working on it. I also have that problem in our local P25 VHF system for a while now.

I think it has to do with the latest system infrastructure software in the 7.x version range. It's a pretty sure bet that more and more systems will get upgraded to this versions and any new systems will most likely start with the newer versions too, like this one in Quebec.

I hope they also find a way to show the Sys Info again when you park the radio on the control channel of these new systems. Since many, like STARS and ALMR, are changing the way they broadcast that info and it's not showing up on the radio anymore.
 

DaveIN

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Is anyone able to run UniTrunker on the systems to see if the SysID is displayed or if it will show talkgroups and radio ID's correctly?
 

joelbedard

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Hi Dave.

I do not have the capability (ie do not own a scanner with a cable that tap the discriminator) to run some tests.

But changing the hold time from 2 seconds to 20 seconds did not eliminate the problem completely, but the scanner seems to handle the control channel for a longer period of time. (When the scanner is stable, at work)

But when I walk, the scanner still have a issue to lock the control channel.

Cheers,

Joel Bedard.
 

VORTAC

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I think kikito is right and it is a firmware problem.

I am from Montreal and like Joel, my 396 got the same problem on the same system. I don't know why, but, my 796 is more stable. This new system is on testing mode and when a communication take part, they use the same vocal frequency. So, if i put this frequency on another scan, i can tell for shure that we miss:

- 50% of the activity on the 396 (if i am near the antena site, this number is dropping to 20% !!)

- 20% of the activity on the 796

Another thing, with the trunking system ON, we can't not hear some phone patch call (We can hear those call when you are in hold position on the frequency).
 

DaveIN

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VORTAC said:
Another thing, with the trunking system ON, we can't not hear some phone patch call (We can hear those call when you are in hold position on the frequency).
Do you have the I-Call function turned on in the System settings? If the "phone-patch" is on the trunked system this is the only way to hear it. If it's a conventional phone-patch, you'll need to put those frequencies in an additional system in order to monitor.
 

VORTAC

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Yes, the I-call fonction is ON. Maybe it's a direct relation with the firmware problem specially if we don't see any kind of 70000 number (I-call or phone-patch) on the BCD396T.

The city of Montreal (trunking system, http://www.radioreference.com/modules.php?name=RR&sid=2952 ) is actualy in a major upgrade (3600 bds, 800 mhz system to P25 9600 bds) and they will be link with this new VHF gouvernement network. Luckily, we have no problems to listen this new P25 800 mhz system.

So, in Montreal, it will be the P25 800 mhz for fire (SIM), police (SPVM) and others. Elsewere in the Quebec province, it will be the P25 VHF. Those network are linked together.
 
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mikewazowski

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Strange. We've got a new UHF P25 system (GO Transit) and the 396/996 both follow it fine, I-calls and group calls.

Went on the air during this past summer so it's about as new as you can get.
 

kikito

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Mike_Oxlong said:
Strange. We've got a new UHF P25 system (GO Transit) and the 396/996 both follow it fine, I-calls and group calls.

Went on the air during this past summer so it's about as new as you can get.
On our (ALMR) system, it "looks" like it's working fine until you run it side by side with a Pro-96 and start noticing a lot of missing comms, especially when you try and Hold on a talkgroup. I know for a fact it was a change or upgrade on our system since many sites are not transmitting the SysId anymore either. Also, when you hold on the control channel, the 'DAT' symbol spents more time OFF than ON randomly and the CCh audio eventually comes through when in the past and in most 9600 systems, the "buzzing" from the CCh is muted.

Basically, the biggest factor in the change (and problem) seems to be the addition of Multi-Packets to the data stream which still throws off the GRE scanners and the Pro96Com sometimes. The Multi-Packets presence have been confirmed by using Pro96Com software, CCh data "dumps", etc.
 

joelbedard

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At least, Uniden is working on the issue! (Multi Packet)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BCD396T/message/16995

But no target date yet:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BCD396T/message/16996

Has Kikito says (about missing communications), some person here in Montreal having 296D and 796D seems to decode more P25 communications than the 396!

Like Vortac says, If you have two digital scanners, park one on a P25 frequency and wait, make the second one scan the system. You will receive communications on that voice channel on the first one and the second one will scan, scan, scan and find nothing...
 
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joelbedard

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Hi.

If you check the thread of the 996, do a "search in thread" with "Multi Packet" or "Multi-Packet", you will see that the 996 has also the issue.

Idem with the Pro-96, but they just send a firmware to correct this issue!
 

DaveIN

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joelbedard said:
Idem with the Pro-96, but they just send a firmware to correct this issue!
No, the firmware on the PRO-96 has to be changed via hardware. A trip to the Radio Shack service center for a replacement logic and display board is required to change the CPU/firmware. If your talking about the DSP, you can download an update for that only.

I trust that once Uniden has found a solution to these systems with multi-packet problems on the 396, a firmware update will be available for the 996 as well.
 

joelbedard

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DaveIN said:
No, the firmware on the PRO-96 has to be changed via hardware. A trip to the Radio Shack service center for a replacement logic and display board is required to change the CPU/firmware. If your talking about the DSP, you can download an update for that only.

I trust that once Uniden has found a solution to these systems with multi-packet problems on the 396, a firmware update will be available for the 996 as well.
Thank you for the precision. I did not owner a Pro96... Yes, a new DSP is available for them.

Maybe Radio Shack will return at everywhere in Canada one day...
 
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