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College Station PD radios supposedly trunking...but I can't hear in MOT trunking mode

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AggiePhil

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Howdy all. I've just moved to College Station, TX, and I'm having trouble figuring out the CSPD radio systems here. Basically, I found this web link to a frequency list, but it hasn't been updated since 2003. And what baffles me is that supposedly, CSPD is on Motorola Type II trunking. But when I programmed those frequencies into my RadioShack Pro-97 scanner as Motorola (MOT) trunking frequencies, I wind up hearing nothing on them. But when I program them in as regular FM frequencies (but still in the 800 MHz range, mind you), I hear the traffic. Can somebody explain to me why that is and what I'm doing wrong? One would think that if it's trunking, the scanner would pick it up on the frequencies that were programmed in in trunking mode.
 

MNRotrMedic

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College Station, TX Trunking

According to the database here on RR.com it is in fact a trunking system. To confirm that, manually tune your scanner to either 856.7625 or 857.4375 where you should find the control channel that is indicative of a Motorola trunked radio system.

All you should need in your PRO-97 is the control channel and the alternate (the two channels listed above). The next step is to confirm that the bank that you have this TRS in is set to motorola trunked mode. To do that, manually hold in the bank containing the system. Then press FUNC then TRUNK. A new screen should pop up. Press MODE until the display reads MOTOROLA. Then press scan. It should work.

If your bank is not set to MOTOROLA you will not be able to trunk track the system!

You may want to consider downloading the win97 program from starrsoft. It greatly simplifies programming the PRO-97. I've been using it for my '97 and it helps, especially as i program different regions. Good luck and feel free to post more questions as they crop up.

Matt
 

AggiePhil

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OK, I started over in a new bank with JUST the CSPD frequencies (there are 11 of them), and I think I have it working in true tunking mode now. Do I need to go in and program the talk groups, eventhough it seems to be finding them on its own whenever someone transmits on one?

Also, what can I do if during the day (when all the other public works agencies are active in the city), it catches on some useless power repair talk group or something? Does just hitting L/O once it hits on something that I no longer want to hear work like it does on non-trunking freqs? In other words, will it lock out JUST that particular talk group? Or is there some other way to do this?

Thanks so much for your help. Oh, and BTW, I don't use Windows so I'm just programming by hand (Mac user for life!).
 

MNRotrMedic

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Regarding the talk groups, in the screen that you get after you press FUNC then TRUNK you can enter the number of a talkgroup. For instance, 33616. Then if you press TEXT you can enter a text description of that talkgroup such as CSFD or whatever you want that makes sense to you.

You can organize your talkgroups into different sub-banks as well. If you press trunk (in the same screen as above) you'll notice on one of the top lines that it will say Bank X-1, X-2 where X is the bank number of the system. you can turn each of these sub-banks on or off. so you can put fire/ems in one, common/shared in another/ law enforcement in its own and services in the last one. That way depending on your listening mood on any given day you can switch out what you're hearing. I for one ALWAYS have EMS on but law enforcement and sometimes even fire come and go. i never listen to the services talk groups.

To turn the sub banks on or off you would press FUNC then the number one. This turns the sub-bank off and on. Each bank can hold a total of 150 talk groups in its sub-banks so you should have plenty of room to work with.

This link will bring up the radio shack owner's manual in all of its austerity.
 
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AggiePhil

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OK, so you can't just hit L/O when it stops on a talk group that you don't want to hear anymore?
 

MNRotrMedic

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You definately can! But if you know in advance which talkgroups you're probably not going to want to listen to you can enter them with their text tags (or not) into a sub bank and just turn it off. I am fairly obsessive about separating LE from EMS and from Services talk groups in all of my scanners
 

red8

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last but not least do not lock your control channels because the scanner will not acquire the data from the control channel it will
not scan the system
red8
 

AggiePhil

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red8 said:
last but not least do not lock your control channels because the scanner will not acquire the data from the control channel it will
not scan the system
red8
That's a good point...never thought about that. Although I haven't had the scanner hit on one of those annoying control channels since "starting over" in a new bank last night, what do you do if it does hit on one? Does it eventually stop, or is it always making that annoying noise?

Also, regarding what Matt was telling me, how do you go back and un-do a L/O if you accidentally lock out a good talk group?
 

seamusg

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AggiePhil said:
That's a good point...never thought about that. Although I haven't had the scanner hit on one of those annoying control channels since "starting over" in a new bank last night, what do you do if it does hit on one? Does it eventually stop, or is it always making that annoying noise?

Also, regarding what Matt was telling me, how do you go back and un-do a L/O if you accidentally lock out a good talk group?
You won't hear the control channel noise if you have the bank programed correctly.
 

loumaag

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AggiePhil,

Your use of Myles's information is okay, but you need to understand a few things.

First, not all of the frequencies listed in that list are part of the trunking system according to our knowledge found here in the Database.

Next, putting all of the frequencies in is not necessary, indeed if you program the radio correctly it will not ever use anything but the active Control Channel. In other words it ignores all the rest.

If you program the ones used in simplex mode (see the Brazos County entry) as MOT channels, you will never hear them if they are used in simplex mode.

It might be a good idea to take a look at the Trunking page of the Wiki, and especially at the Trunking Basics page.

Happy scanning.
 

rattlerbb01

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I am hearing the system just fine here in Navasota. As long as your bank is set to Motorola, and the channels 856.7625 (active tonight) and 857.4375 are set to MOT mode, you need not go any further. If you do have trouble with deciding which talkgroups are worth listening to and not, just remember, utilities only has about 5 or 6 talkgroups that carry regular traffic. Just lock them out. Pretty much any ID that pops up over 34000 is not worth listening to for a first responder enthusiast.
 

MNRotrMedic

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To unlock talkgroups on your '97 you'll need to press FUNC then TRUNK while in the bank of the system. You can scroll through the individual talk groups using the up and down arrows. Any talkgroups that you have locked out will have LO capitalized (versus lower case) just press the LO key to switch to lower case and you'll have unlocked that talk group.

What Loumagg says is true about the two simplex channels. You'll want to leave them in either FM or CT/DC mode depending on if the frequencies carry a PL tone or not. The nice thing is that you can do that in the same bank as the trunked system and not mess anything up at all.
 

AggiePhil

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loumaag said:
Next, putting all of the frequencies in is not necessary, indeed if you program the radio correctly it will not ever use anything but the active Control Channel. In other words it ignores all the rest.
Well, I think it'll be fine. I believe my 97 has 1000 channels and I'm only using a very small fraction of those, so having 11 800 Mhz freqs programmed in for CS stuff really isn't a big deal I don't think. Right?

loumaag said:
If you program the ones used in simplex mode (see the Brazos County entry) as MOT channels, you will never hear them if they are used in simplex mode.
I don't see anything on either of those two pages that you linked that says "Simplex". No clue what simplex mode is, I'm afraid.


P.S.-where the hell are the smilies for this board??
 

SCPD

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Howdy Phil;

AggiePhil said:
I don't see anything on either of those two pages that you linked that says "Simplex". No clue what simplex mode is, I'm afraid.
That's plain vanilla radio to radio w/ no repeater in between.

P.S.-where the hell are the smilies for this board??
:)

-rick
 

rattlerbb01

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From someone who monitors the CS and Bryan systems on a regular basis, I can tell you a couple things about them:
1. The mentioned simplex channels are 866.875 and 868.0125, which are not talkgroups, therefore you won't hear them over the trunk. I have never heard them used in these cities.
2. Bryan and College Station run automatic mutual aid on all life-hazard fires, which means just about any residential or commercial structure with flames reported.
3. You will hear the ground action on talkgroups everytime. Bryan has three channels used for fireground, and College Station has two. They try to keep the two Dispatch channels clear after staging instructions are given to arriving fire apparatus.
4. If two "life-hazard" fires are reported at a time, Brazos County Precincts 1-4, which are the county vollies, are called in to cover the city stations. So keep the vollies in your programming, and remember that they primarily operate on 155.940 non trunked. But they do have 800 radios in all apparatus now, so be on the lookout over the Bryan System if you have it programmed in also.
5. Sorry if this was too much, or if I got away from the thread topic of troubles programming the system in. And if you are already familiar with how the fire departments around here work AggiePhil, then maybe I actually gave others a little insight on how it works over there.
 
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