Can anyone determine if I have trunking properly programmed?

saioke

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Apr 18, 2010
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34
Currently running the Whistler WS1065. Admittedly this is my first experience with using a modern scanner. Now, I've gotten conventional frequencies programmed and they seem to come in occasionally but I'd like to perhaps try to get some trunking stations working, despite the fact that my county seems to only have older frequency types. I think I could still potentially pick up some on trunking systems, and more specifically "Ohio MARCS". Perhaps, the state highway patrol. The screenshot below is the county and frequencies I have entered into my scanner, taken from https://www.radioreference.com/db/sid/6643?siteSort=county#sites

2024-04-27 14_35_23-Ohio MARCS-IP_ Multi-Agency Radio Communications Trunking System, Statewid...png

It's my understanding that, I make a new TGRP, set it to p25 auto, and add two of those red frequencies, and keep the id set to wildcard if I want to pick up everything going across those channels, right? Just for an example, I have both of the the "Camel Church" red frequencies programmed into one TGRP, put them on Channel 2, and I made a new TGRP to add the two frequencies from Pyro, and also kept them on the same channel bank. Am I doing this correctly? I don't need to add the black frequencies at all?


I have yet to hear anything coming from those. Actually, while the T symbol/icon appears occasionally while in scan mode, it doesn't appear all the time, and it should, right? Did I do something wrong? Any help would be appreciated.
 

hiegtx

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Currently running the Whistler WS1065. Admittedly this is my first experience with using a modern scanner. Now, I've gotten conventional frequencies programmed and they seem to come in occasionally but I'd like to perhaps try to get some trunking stations working, despite the fact that my county seems to only have older frequency types. I think I could still potentially pick up some on trunking systems, and more specifically "Ohio MARCS". Perhaps, the state highway patrol. The screenshot below is the county and frequencies I have entered into my scanner, taken from https://www.radioreference.com/db/sid/6643?siteSort=county#sites

View attachment 161151

It's my understanding that, I make a new TGRP, set it to p25 auto, and add two of those red frequencies, and keep the id set to wildcard if I want to pick up everything going across those channels, right? Just for an example, I have both of the the "Camel Church" red frequencies programmed into one TGRP, put them on Channel 2, and I made a new TGRP to add the two frequencies from Pyro, and also kept them on the same channel bank. Am I doing this correctly? I don't need to add the black frequencies at all?


I have yet to hear anything coming from those. Actually, while the T symbol/icon appears occasionally while in scan mode, it doesn't appear all the time, and it should, right? Did I do something wrong? Any help would be appreciated.
Are you using software for programming? If so, post your programming file so that someone can take a look.

You'll have to find your file, on your PC, via Windows Explorer. Once you find it, <right><click> on the file. If you see the option to 'compress to zip file', select that. The resulting zip (compressed) file can be attached to a post. If you do not see 'compress to zip, you should see an option labeled as "Send to". If you select that, one of your options will be to send the file to a compressed (zip) folder. Again, the zip file can be attached to a post.
 

tvengr

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Baltimore County, MD
Are you using programming software? If you are. please attach your file so that we can take a look at it. You will need to zip the file to be able to attach it. Click on Attach files and open the zipped file. I have ARC500, Win500, and PSREdit500. P25 Auto is correct for the MARCS trunked system. You can enter the 2 red control channel capable frequencies for each site (total of 6) into the frequency list for the system. All of the frequency information is carried on the control channel. You do not need the black frequencies. If Multi-Site is set to Roam, you will scan only the site with the best signal. If Multi-Site is set to Stationary, you will scan all sites within range whose control channels are in the frequency list. Which agencies would you like to monitor? It would help to know your city or town to determine the best site or sites. The MARCS system is P25 Phase 1 which your scanner can receive. The WS1065 cannot decode P25 Phase 2. You will also not be able to receive the conventional frequencies and trunked systems with a Mode of DMR or NXDN. The 2 VHF and 2 UHF conventional frequencies for Jackson County in the database with a Mode of FM should actually be FMN. The narrowbanding is mandated by law but the database has not caught up with it.
 

saioke

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Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
34
Are you using programming software? If you are. please attach your file so that we can take a look at it. You will need to zip the file to be able to attach it. Click on Attach files and open the zipped file. I have ARC500, Win500, and PSREdit500. P25 Auto is correct for the MARCS trunked system. You can enter the 2 red control channel capable frequencies for each site (total of 6) into the frequency list for the system. All of the frequency information is carried on the control channel. You do not need the black frequencies. If Multi-Site is set to Roam, you will scan only the site with the best signal. If Multi-Site is set to Stationary, you will scan all sites within range whose control channels are in the frequency list. Which agencies would you like to monitor? It would help to know your city or town to determine the best site or sites. The MARCS system is P25 Phase 1 which your scanner can receive. The WS1065 cannot decode P25 Phase 2. You will also not be able to receive the conventional frequencies and trunked systems with a Mode of DMR or NXDN. The 2 VHF and 2 UHF conventional frequencies for Jackson County in the database with a Mode of FM should actually be FMN. The narrowbanding is mandated by law but the database has not caught up with it.

Nope, I don't have the PC/IF cable to do so and I'd rather save the $30, money is tight these days. Afaik I'm like, 90% sure I have everything configured properly though, especially after reading your post. I could take some screenshots of some of what I have entered into the system if it would help. I do have all the red control channels added to each tgrp that I have set up. However, I do have Multi-site turned off. Is that a mistake? I was under the impression that you should use Multi-site only if you have one tgrp set up with many different control channels. Say, combining all frequencies from all 3 of those sites into one tgrp.
I currently live in a town called Hamden, it's between Mccarthur and Wellston, so I actually have Jackson and Vinton counties from that marcs page both configured on the scanner. According to maps I've seen, I should be in range of all of them, but I do wonder if maybe my signal isn't great due to being an inside antenna which in turn isn't strong enough to pick up the control channels reliably?


As for what I'd like to pick up, honestly I just want to pick up whatever I can, which is why I left wildcard written in the ID. I would love to get the sheriff, and state highway patrol perhaps, and maybe the local hospital which would be Holzer. Anything else would be a bonus.
 

saioke

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Apr 18, 2010
Messages
34
Posting again because I don't see an edit button.
Just an update, I managed to move around a bit with the scanner in-hand, and managed to get a reliable trunking signal showing in one particular spot in my home, in the middle of my living room lol. Doing this, I managed to pick up some chatter, from id 4800, sheriff disp in my area, nice!

I guess I need to either find a decent antenna, maybe one I can stick outdoors, or figure out just which trunking site I'm closest to and move it until I can find an optimal place to put it. If anyone has any antenna solutions or recommendations, I'd love to hear them.
 

tvengr

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If Multi-Site is set to Off, you will not be scanning sites. It may find a site on the fringe of your area and stay there and you will miss all of the radio traffic in your area. In general, you will hear activity only on the site where a radio affiliates. You need to scan the sites in your local area. Multi-Site should be set to Off only if you have the control channels for a single site in your frequency list. There should be only 1 system for MARCS. If you have several systems scanning the same sites, you will miss transmissions. The talkgroups for the system are then sorted into scan lists such as Fire/EMS, Police, Public Works, etc. Make sure the attenuator is Off for the system. If you see GA on the scanner display, the global attenuator is on. The attenuator greatly reduces signal strength and could explain why you are having problems receiving sites. The squelch being turned up too far will have the same effect. The squelch control should be turned fully counterclockwise and slowly turned up until it just quiets the noise on conventional frequencies without a PL tone. From your location in Vinton County, you should be using the Jackson site in Jackson County. I would avoid using the Union Furnace site in Vinton County. When scanning, it is best to minimize the number of systems and sites you scan. If you try to scan a wide area, you will miss activity in your local area. There is an old saying that the more you scan, the less you hear.
 

saioke

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Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
34
If Multi-Site is set to Off, you will not be scanning sites. It may find a site on the fringe of your area and stay there and you will miss all of the radio traffic in your area. In general, you will hear activity only on the site where a radio affiliates. You need to scan the sites in your local area. Multi-Site should be set to Off only if you have the control channels for a single site in your frequency list. There should be only 1 system for MARCS. If you have several systems scanning the same sites, you will miss transmissions. The talkgroups for the system are then sorted into scan lists such as Fire/EMS, Police, Public Works, etc. Make sure the attenuator is Off for the system. If you see GA on the scanner display, the global attenuator is on. The attenuator greatly reduces signal strength and could explain why you are having problems receiving sites. The squelch being turned up too far will have the same effect. The squelch control should be turned fully counterclockwise and slowly turned up until it just quiets the noise on conventional frequencies without a PL tone. From your location in Vinton County, you should be using the Jackson site in Jackson County. I would avoid using the Union Furnace site in Vinton County. When scanning, it is best to minimize the number of systems and sites you scan. If you try to scan a wide area, you will miss activity in your local area. There is an old saying that the more you scan, the less you hear.

I see, correct me if I'm wrong but, if I just see a G, that just stands for global right? attenuation isn't activated?
As far as sites, I've removed the Union Furnace site from my list. I do have the Jackson site entered, but I think the one I pick up on the best is the one near "indian camp" in the Vinton section. But even then, it's spotty. I think I'm going to have to get an outdoor antenna. I do have a metal roof so perhaps that's not helping my signal by being indoors.


I do have an old TV antenna I think I could convert into an outdoor antenna if I buy some coax/bnc adapter. I know that isn't ideal, but it might be better than a typical standard telescopic antenna right?
 

tvengr

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The antenna should have elements for the UHF TV channels. The antenna should be mounted so that the elements are vertical. Use RG6 coax. RG58 has too much loss. The problem with using a TV antenna is that it is directional. You probably won't be able to receive all of the sites you want. You would be better off using a tri-band mobile antenna with a base adapter. They are very light and don't require much support. The attenuator is not on unless you see GA on the display. The system also has an attenuator setting which should be off.
 

saioke

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Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
34
You know, I thought about a tri-band mobile antenna, magnetic, so I can stick it on the roof and perhaps it would ground it improving the signal. Going that route seems like it would be cheap as well. I may just do that. I do have coax but I'm unsure the type, I'll have to look at it when I get the chance. Mounting the TV antenna that I have vertically might be a challenge but I could probably figure it out if I do decide to do that.

I was also an idiot and mistaken before lol. I thought I was picking up the trunk site at the indian camp location initially, but it turns out that I'm picking up Allensville in my county instead. After I found that out, I removed all the other tgrps I had set up for different sites, so only the site in Allensville remains. It seems to be doing better when it comes to scanning now, assuming I get a good signal to the site.

Anyway, I appreciate the help, thanks again.
 

tvengr

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The number of talkgroups doesn't affect the scanning speed in a trunked system. If you have other talkgroups programmed, it just won't receive the ones not affiliating with the sites you have programmed.
 
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