BCD996 vs GRE 600 and listening to Virginia STARS

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Hawkeye59

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Updated firmware on the Uniden 996 yesterday with April 10 firmware release in hopes of curing the STARS issue but it seems they still haven't fixed it. The 996 still fails to catch transmissions, catches them late or drops them. Using rebroadcast on old analog system to verify this.

Does the GRE 600 deal with STARS better?
 

tuttleje

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Which STARS tower are you monitoring? Remember, everything that is broadcasted on the legacy VHF is not always on STARS. There are VSP vehicles that do not have STARS radios and are still using the legacy frequencies.

Listening to the Williamsburg and Hampton towers, I have almost 100% reception on my 396T and 996T radios.
 

Hawkeye59

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The Hampton system is what im listening to. I'm sure of what im hearing when I hear the 996 pick up on a converstion that was already on going on the analog and the drop outs
 

tuttleje

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Try resetting the P25 waiting time to a lower number (like 200 ms). This is a new feature with the updated firmware. To get to the "hidden menu", press "Hold" as you power "ON". When the display flashes colors, press menu, go to settings, then P25 waiting time.

Also, I don't know if it's the weather we are experiencing, but I'm not receiving the Petersburg or Hampton towers. Normally (after the firmware update), I get 4 bars on my 996T on Hampton and 3 bars on Petersburg. Williamsburg tower is solid.
 
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MOTORHEAD3902

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tuttleje said:
Which STARS tower are you monitoring? Remember, everything that is broadcasted on the legacy VHF is not always on STARS. There are VSP vehicles that do not have STARS radios and are still using the legacy frequencies.

Listening to the Williamsburg and Hampton towers, I have almost 100% reception on my 396T and 996T radios.
Also, keep in mind that the radio techs shut down the patch between the legacy and STARS systems inadvertently. Alot.
 

W4UVV

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STARS Missing Comm Fix...Not

K4OHO said:
Updated firmware on the Uniden 996 yesterday with April 10 firmware release in hopes of curing the STARS issue but it seems they still haven't fixed it. The 996 still fails to catch transmissions, catches them late or drops them. Using rebroadcast on old analog system to verify this.

Does the GRE 600 deal with STARS better?
I read several posts today on the 996 yahoo forum that the latest firmware update did not fix the partial or missing STARS comms problem although UP Man touted that as one of the significant elements of the latest firmware upgrade fixes. The Richmond STARS site currently relays all STARS traffic including dispatches from Div 5. I have not done the upgrade yet but when I do monitoring the Richmond STARS site and two analog scanners one each on 159.000 and 158.9850 mhz. will soon tell one way or the other. I believe the previous posters. My first rhetorical question is if the upgrade did not correct the missing comms problems who was/were the Uniden 396/996 beta tester(s) living in Va. or who motored to Va. maybe for a day or two who confirmed to Uniden that the fix worked? Somebody had to confirm to Uniden that the beta firmware upgrade fixed the problem. I know of one Uniden beta tester in Delaware but nobody in Va. Maybe that's a good thing. I know of him because two years ago when I first documented the missing STARS comm problems on the Uniden 996T forum he contacted me and asked me to stop posting complaints about the "alleged" problem as the Uniden engineers in Japan were working on the "alleged" problem...ummm my posts and another fellows in Alaska about this problem were making bad press for Uniden ? He didn't believe me that there was a problem so I made a videotape of the missing comms and sent it to him. I assume he forwarded it to Uniden Japan. At that time he mentioned he was driving down to Williamsburg to monitor STARS personally. I told him he was going to the wrong place. He needed to go Richmond and monitor the Richmond STARS site not Williamsburg. The Feb 07 upgrade supposedly fixed the problem. It did not. Maybe some of the Uniden engineers in Japan should come to Va. and experience the missing comms problem first hand as if that would do any good. My second rhetorical question is this. How is it that GRE first out of the box gets it right with the 500 and 600 models and Uniden still after two years of the 396 and 996 being sold still can't fix the problem? Maybe Uniden needs to hire some GRE engineers. Other than that frustration and a lower sensitivity compared to the 796D I like the 996T.
 

tuttleje

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I don't know what they are listening to in order to make the statement that STARS is not better. I have a relative that is a Virginia State Trooper. He was sitting in my living room with his STARS portable and I had my 996T(updated) monitoring STARS TG 49. I was hearing everything he was hearing on his portable. This was through the Williamsburg tower. I am using a discone antenna in the attic hooked to a MCA204M multcoupler. In connecting a VHF radio to the multicoupler and monitoring 159.165 MHz, I am hearing all transmission that occur on 159.165 MHz though TG 49. I don't know what else to tell you. FYI, I have different sites set up for each tower and I lock out all other frequencies except for the active Control Channel. Works fine for me.
 

Hawkeye59

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I'm hearing the stuff on 49 as well but since they aren't re broadcasting the stuff on 49 on the analog 159.165 I can't verify that one. So I am left to assume its fine. However I am speaking of the broadcasts on 51 which is 159.135 on the analog system.

And i did the recommended resetting the P25 waiting time to a lower number like 200 ms.
 
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tuttleje

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In questioning my own sanity, I did a one hour comparison this morning between the 996T set to TG 49 on the Williamsburg tower and my 396T set on 159.165 MHz (Pl 146.2). There was a 100% correlation between STARS and the legacy frequency. Everything heard on 159.165 was heard on TG 49. Prior to the firmware update, the 996T was no where near as effective. In my opinion, the firmware update has made a dramatic difference in the reception of STARS.

I also compared the reception of the update 996T and the updated 396T on STARS. The reception was identical on both radios.

Again, all comparisons were done using a MCA204M Mulitcoupler. Therefore, the signal strengths are exactly the same.

If anyone has a burning desire, I can make a stereo recording (right channel STARS TG 49 and left channel 159.165 MHz) and email it to you. However, there is a delay where you hear STARS slightly behind the VHF frequency and it creates an echo effect.
 
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W4UVV

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Firmware Version 2 upgrade quick missing comms test

K4OHO said:
Updated firmware on the Uniden 996 yesterday with April 10 firmware release in hopes of curing the STARS issue but it seems they still haven't fixed it. The 996 still fails to catch transmissions, catches them late or drops them. Using rebroadcast on old analog system to verify this.

Does the GRE 600 deal with STARS better?
1. This afternoon I successfully upgraded my 996T to firmware Version 2. One of the listed software enhancements was to all types of P25 systems but "especially like the Virginia STARS system" per the Uniden "Updates are here" announcement.

2. Again, ALL Division 1 channel 1 and 2 STARS transmissions currently are being broadcast via the Richmond site. This is not necessarily the case with other Division 1 STARS sites such as Williamsburg. That's why the Richmond site should be monitored for testing.

3. For the past 1/2 hour I kept a record of the simulcast analog STARS comms. Changing the end detect off/on and channel hold times from 1 to 2 seconds made no significant difference in performance. Changing the channel hold time to none worsened the problem causing the scanner to default to a search mode after each transmission. There is a solid 996T 3 bar lock on the Richmond primary control channel 152.0375 mhz. with good "LNK" and "DAT" cycling. 2 R7000s were used for analog reception. Below are the results of what I logged during that time period:

159.1000 mhz. (Channel 1)
No Missed Comms= 25
Parital Missed Comms= 7
Totally Missed Comms= 10

158.9850 mhz. (Channel 2)
No Missed Comms= 6
Partial Missed Comms= 2
Total Missed Comms= 9

Some enhancement.
 

RagnarD

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396T Still Not as Good as PSR-500

Hi Folks,

My experience has been monitoring the Chesapeake site 396T side by side with the PSR-500 is that the 396T is improved but still not in the same league as the PSR.

These are my finding and as always ymmv

73
de
chris
kq4z
 

fmon

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I just ran this two hour test on PSR's 500 and 600 with one on Chesapeake tower and the other on Hampton. Settings for each were with the tower duty control frequency only and Multi Site off.

Do not know why the disparity exist between towers with TG's 3212 and 2212 though sometimes the other scanner was on another talkgroup. The 4 radio test ID's were done just prior to collecting this data. Apparently I was not near the scanners during the two Wildcard broadcast, thus no STOR.

I did this same test yesterday morning but considered it invalid as the Chesapeake tower decode rate was unusually low. It is normally slightly lower then is the Hampton tower because its distance is about twice as far from my Scantenna which is hooked to both scanners through an Electroline Cable box.

Code:
Chesa 		Hamp
Hits	ID's	Hits
13	61	14
2	*	2
89	51	93
0	6142	9
43	3212	20
44	49	49
39	2212	8
4	6157	0
 

N4FTN

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FMON..... TG 2212 (DOC_OPS_E) is handled from the St. Brides Correctional Center Control Center (EAST CONTROL) so that TG is affiliated with the Chesapeake Tower 100% of the time. I suspect the Hampton Tower is only "hot" with TG 2212 when one of the DOC Transport vehicles is affiliated with Hampton on 2212 as they travel along.....
 

fmon

Silent Key Jan. 14, 2012
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N4FTN said:
FMON..... TG 2212 (DOC_OPS_E) is handled from the St. Brides Correctional Center Control Center (EAST CONTROL) so that TG is affiliated with the Chesapeake Tower 100% of the time. I suspect the Hampton Tower is only "hot" with TG 2212 when one of the DOC Transport vehicles is affiliated with Hampton on 2212 as they travel along.....
Thanks John, kind of thought that may be happening. I was mostly looking at the scanners when both were indicating the same sound and same LED color to determine if they were matching coms on convenional channel 9 or 10. Only deaviation that I noticed was when one scanner was already busy on another TG (usually 2212). Looks like in my list it happened 4 times on 51 and 5 on 49.

BTW, Chesapeake is currently decoding much lower then earlier. 50 vs 99 for Hampton.
 
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