Bucks County

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tfrimet

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I am a newbie and wasn't sure if I should post here, or in the RS forum for 2096 help.

I need help with scanning in Bucks County. I have had plenty of fun with a PRO-51, but now I am using a Pro-2096 and am out of my league.

When I scan, none of the trunked frequencies are getting hits. I am pretty sure it isn't an antenna problem, because fire dispatch and conventional frequenices do get hits, and read well. I downloaded and installed an original p96 file, (that had frequencies or PA, and MD, etc), I was getting traffic from as far away as Baltimore, MD.

I've got the firmware updated to v1.4. I have initialized the scanner to clear all memory, and used Win96 to download frequencies from radioreference for Bucks, conventional and trunked.

Still, no trunked frequencies from Bucks getting thru.

I do get an occasional hit on an Project 25 (PECO - a Philadelphia frequency), the voice channel comes over as being pixellated. It is in the 856 Mhz range. Should I be using a custom table for rebanding, here?

What am I doing wrong, and what can I do to make this right so I can monitor trunked frequencies?
 
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tfrimet

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The PECO TRS is fully encrypted system wide. That explains the "pixellation" from PECO, Project 25.

So if you are reading this, please help me on the Bucks County Trunking issue.

Thanks!
 

tfrimet

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tfrimet said:
I've got the firmware updated to v1.4. I have initialized the scanner to clear all memory, and used Win96 to download frequencies from radioreference for Bucks, conventional and trunked.

Still, no trunked frequencies from Bucks getting thru.
I probed a little bit further, and entered ALL of the frequencies listed in the radioreference database for Bucks. It occurred to me (doh) that maybe Bucks was using alternate control frequencies. (Boy - am I out of practice ). Well all is fine and dandy, for now.

If you are reading this, and have suggestions on how I can streamline my entries, or if there is another way to load the frequencies for Bucks thru radioreference.com, please let me know.
 

tfrimet

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tried and failed...

nope. it is all not fine and dandy. I suspect that the frequencies listed for Bucks are outdated. Can I get an update for PA - Bucks County ? Thanks !

I kind of just figured this out when I loaded the data file for a nearby trunked county in New Jersey and got excellent results. Maybe I am still comparing apples to oranges, since this NJ county is still analog, and I think Bucks went APCO-25 digital some time ago.

Still, I suppose it can't hurt to ask if a PA administrator for radioreference could update the PA - Bucks County frequencies ? I don't think they've been updated for a few years, now.
 

policefreak

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First of all, where are you monitoring from? I do know that the current control channel for Bucks Co. South is 501.2125 and has been for quite some time. I only listen when I'm in that area and I have Control channel scanning only on my scanner but looking at the DB most of those frequencies should be correct for the south system. At least you should be getting something especially since the Pro-2096 does receive digital. Now, if you're talking about the North system, then maybe someone else can jump in {:>D.

Additionally I know that recently (within the last month or 2) our PA administrator did do some updating and housecleaning with the Bucks TRS. Oh! And make sure when you program this thing that you have it down as a Motorola TYPE II UHF system. And make sure you enter the Band Plan information. Otherwise you will not receive the system correctly. And if all else fails, see what happens if you enter the freqs. in a conventional bank and scan them conventionally. Good luck!!
 
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CommJunkie

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501.2125 is listed as the control channel for the South System. There are 2 other control channels for the other 2 active systems. System 3 is OOS it appears.

As policefreak stated, the frequencies have to be in a specific order for you to hear anything.

I have a 2096 but live too far to hear Bucks, so I never programmed them...
 
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tfrimet

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policefreak and CommJunkie - thanks for the feedback!

policefreak - I am monitoring from Lower Bucks.
Thank you for pointing out Band Plan information detail - I've got more to learn than I thought and bit off more than I could chew in a day or few. And will go back and review what is available on Win96 and the scanner.

CommJunkie - I am just learning about how important it is to keep things in order

I'm eating humble pie right now - I didn't realize how sensitive the 2096 is to squelch position. I put a frequency on manual and started nudging the squelch - too much and the radio picks up nothing at all. Two little and I get nothing but static. I found the 'just right' position and the frequency scans work beautifully.

Obviously - there is nothing wrong with Radioreference PA frequencies and if I have any more trouble you will find me posting in the Radio Shack Scanners forum.

I hope to be able to contribute more than this, in the future ,and be helpful, like you two.

Thanks, again.
 

caffman263

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Bucks Co. has a "Table" set up for the CC mode.. PGM, TRUNK, FUNC, 3.. should say Table instead of Normal. Also check PGM, TRUNK, FUNC, 2.. should say:
Base Freq:
501.03750
Offset: 380
Step: 25.0KHz

I was getting traffic from as far away as Baltimore, MD.
Actually, I think that's just a nearby system with the same CC.. I used to get Montgomery Co very clearly with the Delaware setup in bank 0, but have since changed everything to the proper montgo setup. Anyway, the Table setting should fix it. I had the same problem when I programmed the SEPTA system, nothing worked until i fixed that, now all is well.

Edit: I loaded the default in to see what Bank 3 (Baltimore County) picks up. It's system id B11E, which is NJ state Troop C
 
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tfrimet

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Thanks, Steve, for the PGM, TRUNK, FUNC, 3.. ,and "2" hints. The table settings look good, as do the frequency and the offsets/steps.

After I get Bucks under my belt, I'll try Montgomery CO. I had loaded the original vs5.p96 files and also got Delaware the other day.
 

caffman263

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tfrimet said:
Thanks, Steve, for the PGM, TRUNK, FUNC, 3.. ,and "2" hints. The table settings look good, as do the frequency and the offsets/steps.

After I get Bucks under my belt, I'll try Montgomery CO. I had loaded the original vs5.p96 files and also got Delaware the other day.
You're very welcome. It's taken me about 4 years of working on it off and on, and asking a fellow RS employee a lot of questions.. :lol: .. but I've gotten pretty comfortable with the 96/2096, so I'm very happy to help where I can. :)

Edit: So is bucks working for you?

The "Delaware" actually is montgomery co.. they use the same CCs as the DE state system. If you press MAN, it should display the following:

M36: A812 xx%


What that all means is, A812 is the system ID, which can be found in the RR database. The xx% is the signal strength.

Another trick for you, PGM, FUNC, 5. That Closes or Opens the bank. In Open mode, the scanner will pick up all talkgroups, whether you have them programmed or not. (You can then press TRUNK, and it will save it.) In Closed mode, it will only pick up the talkgroups that are programmed in. While scanning, a + under the bank means open, a - means closed.

Feel free to reply here, or PM me if you have any questions, and welcome to the hobby and the RR forums :)
 

tfrimet

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Bucks is working well. And I am incorporating more frequencies, outside of PA as well.

Thanks, everyone for the help. I am moving in the right direction, now!!!
 

caffman263

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I didn't think that was the case with a Motorola system; I know that's the case with EDACS.
That's my understanding as well. The Philly TRS was out of order in my pro-96 until I started using Win 96, and I never had any problems with it. But it can't hurt :)
 

policefreak

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Just to clear this up I do not believe I said anything about the frequencies needing to be in order. I did mention that you could test the frequencies by entering them in conventional banks and scanning them that way.
 

sta18ff

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The frequencies do not need to be in a specific order. If I remember correctly though if you are using an original file that the band plan needed to be changed (as already covered) and that the factory programming was missing one of the control channels. Cant remember which one. Best bet is to go into the database on this site and compare all the frequencies you have entered and make sure you have all the control channels that are listed in the database.
 

tfrimet

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Croydon, PA
Through trial and error, reading the manual (always!), these posts and radioreference freqs, win96 (now expired but saving my gas dollars to buy a win96 license) and manually programming the 2096, I am making progress (wheh - that was a long one!).

Here's my issue with programming the 2096:

I should be able to pick up Bucks South just by using the control channel of 501.21250 - but it doesn't seem to work that way.

Here is how I've got it configured (banks 0 and 1 are open and not closed)

channel-storage bank 0
M000 +MO
Freq: 501.21250

Then I press Prog - Trunk and get
Bank 0-0 ON
ID No. 00
Motorola

Function 2
Base Freq: 501.03750
Offset: 380
Step: 25.0Khz

Function 4
9600 CC Mode
Normal

Function 3
3600 CC Mode
Table

In all fairness to the radio, I probably have the right set-up and the problem is reception.
When I set the scanner to manual, onto the control channel frequency (M000 - 501.21250) I hear static (probably not static - mostly likely high speed scrambled data transmission).

The bottom of my display (for M000) reads M36: ---- and varies from 00% to 10%
That is probably the signal strength and is probably not enough to do digital trunking.

So if I am correct here, I am not able to get trunking to work for this control channel, because I can't pull in the signal with the stock telescoping antenna. My kids have purchased a slightly better indoor antennae for my birthday, and I should get it in a few days.

Here is what does work:

channel-storage bank 1
M100 D +MO 501.21250 Bank1 Ch 00
M101 D +FM 501.41250 Bank 1 Ch 01
M102 D +FM 501.66250 Bank 1 Ch 02
M103 D +FM 501.76250 Bank 1 Ch 03
M104 D +FM 501.18750 Bank 1 Ch 04
M105 D +FM 501.23750 Bank 1 Ch 05
M106 D +FM 501.26250 Bank 1 Ch 06
M107 D +FM 501.58750 Bank 1 Ch 07
M108 D +FM 501.18750 Bank 1 Ch 08
M109 D +FM 501.23750 Bank 1 Ch 09
M110 D +FM 501.41250 Bank 1 Ch 10

And for each one of the frequencies in storage bank #1 I've made sure to press
Prog - Trunk and enter Motorola for each and also for each:

Function 2
Base Freq: 501.03750
Offset: 380
Step: 25.0Khz

Function 4
9600 CC Mode
Normal

Function 3
3600 CC Mode
Table

Both storage banks are not closed.
When I scan, I do hear FM freqs on storage bank 1, but not 0.
The +FM changes to +DG when the frequency becomes active.

I don't think this is true trunking. I seem to be able to receive a few frequencies in my area:
501.26250 (sometimes - and broken up)
501.58750 (pixellated and missing the first part of the transmission)
501.41250 (clearly)
501.66250 (clearly)

What am I missing?

maybe this is a 9600 system and should be set to to table - tried it and got the same result?
is it a reception problem - since I'm pulling in less than 10% signal, sporadically, on the control channel ?

Or has the control channel changed? (probably not as Police Freak tunes in from time to time using that control channel)

Ok. I've taken a deeep breath now, and need your help.

Thanks,
Ted
 

caffman263

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Bensalem, PA
Here is how I've got it configured (banks 0 and 1 are open and not closed)

channel-storage bank 0
M000 +MO
Freq: 501.21250

Then I press Prog - Trunk and get
Bank 0-0 ON
ID No. 00
Motorola

Function 2
Base Freq: 501.03750
Offset: 380
Step: 25.0Khz

Function 4
9600 CC Mode
Normal

Function 3
3600 CC Mode
Table
Yeah, that's right :)

When I set the scanner to manual, onto the control channel frequency (M000 - 501.21250) I hear static (probably not static - mostly likely high speed scrambled data transmission).

The bottom of my display (for M000) reads M36: ---- and varies from 00% to 10%
That is probably the signal strength and is probably not enough to do digital trunking.
That's the decode rate on the CC, and I believe it needs to be at least 80% in order to work properly.

Here is what does work:

channel-storage bank 1
M100 D +MO 501.21250 Bank1 Ch 00
M101 D +FM 501.41250 Bank 1 Ch 01
M102 D +FM 501.66250 Bank 1 Ch 02
M103 D +FM 501.76250 Bank 1 Ch 03
M104 D +FM 501.18750 Bank 1 Ch 04
M105 D +FM 501.23750 Bank 1 Ch 05
M106 D +FM 501.26250 Bank 1 Ch 06
M107 D +FM 501.58750 Bank 1 Ch 07
M108 D +FM 501.18750 Bank 1 Ch 08
M109 D +FM 501.23750 Bank 1 Ch 09
M110 D +FM 501.41250 Bank 1 Ch 10

And for each one of the frequencies in storage bank #1 I've made sure to press
Prog - Trunk and enter Motorola for each and also for each:

Function 2
Base Freq: 501.03750
Offset: 380
Step: 25.0Khz

Function 4
9600 CC Mode
Normal

Function 3
3600 CC Mode
Table

Both storage banks are not closed.
When I scan, I do hear FM freqs on storage bank 1, but not 0.
The +FM changes to +DG when the frequency becomes active.

I don't think this is true trunking. I seem to be able to receive a few frequencies in my area:
501.26250 (sometimes - and broken up)
501.58750 (pixellated and missing the first part of the transmission)
501.41250 (clearly)
501.66250 (clearly)

What am I missing?
Those freqs should all be set to MO mode, you're right, it's not really trunking. All it's doing is picking up those voice channels when the trunking system assigns those freqs.

maybe this is a 9600 system and should be set to to table - tried it and got the same result?
Nope, 3600. You had it set right before :)

Or has the control channel changed?
Nope, sitting here listening with that CC right now. Sounds like a reception problem, the 10% decode won't cut it. Where about are you located? I'm in Bensalem Twp and get between 90-99% with a Pro-96 and the 800 mhz RS antenna.

Hopefully your new antenna helps, 'cause I think that's the heart of your problem
 

tfrimet

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Location
Croydon, PA
antenna

Caffman263 - Thank you!

I'm located in Bristol Township, next door to ya in Croydon vic Davids Country Furniture.

If the snoop antenna doesn't pull in 501.nnnnn, I'm building a homemade discone tuned to 501.nnnnn, getting some excellent coax and puttin it above the treeline.
 

tfrimet

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Messages
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Location
Croydon, PA
snoop antenna

It's been a couple of months of smooth sailing.

The snoop antenna did the trick!

Oddly, though - it doesn't do as well on other frequency ranges.
But it beats the pants off the stock antenna when I monitor Bucks CC.

I suppose everyone has some sort of reception problem. After all there are sooo many frequencies to cover and one antenna doesn't really cover the full spectrum. Does it?

No need to answer - I'll be 'snooping' in the antenna forum and gather as much info as I can...
 
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