Frequency Help!

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jsnobelen

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Hello all, I have recently programmed the Barrie, Ontario, Canada conventional P25 freq's into my BC346XT, as I am going to be moving there from the K-W area soon. All seems pretty regular, aside from the fact that as I returned to scanning the Barrie PD Ops1 freq. started up. I entered the freq as: 142.065 (Simcoe County, Ontario (ON) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference).

I thought, there's no way that I am receiving Barrie radio traffic in Kitchener-Waterloo, especially in my basement on a handheld with a stock antenna. I decided to hold on the channel for a bit and heard what seemed to be EMS dispatches. The dispatcher was using 3 & 4 codes, unit numbers like 2174, and the calls seemed to be medically related. The audio quality wavered between tolerable and poor which did not allow me to get proper addresses that I could just type into Google Maps.

I am aware that the MOH is on the Motorola Type 2 Smartnet, but it seems that the unit numbers for the ambulances are strikingly similar to my area as I monitor the department regularly. Even if this is not my area, how would I be hearing EMS-related traffic on a VHF conventional frequency when MOH is trunked? The channel will also sound like a control/data channel every 10-15 minutes, but only for a brief period of approx. 5-10 seconds...I'm not sure if this is due to the P25 trans. mode? I was listening on the date this was posted, between 1830-1900hrs.

I do not know what is happening/I am listening to here, or if I am listening to a repeater with multiple users and I just don't have a CTCSS/DCS tone? Anyone's insight would be much appreciated. My understanding of the "radio-world" is pretty ignorant and vague, so please feel free to educate and correct me with whatever knowledge you may have on my points listed above. I have tried to provide as much detail as possible, if you have further questions please ask away. Looking forward to your reply, thanks!

- Jordan
 

mikewazowski

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First of all, as you guessed, you're not hearing Barrie.

Besides being too geographically far away, Barrie PS uses P25 digital which your 346 can't decode.

If you're moving to Barrie, you might want to sell off your 346 and pick up a digital scanner which will allow you to listen to Barrie PS as well as their fire service which is digital as well.

What you are hearing is the local Fleetnet tower in Kitchener.

142.0650Mhz is one of the channels of the trunked system. You can scan trunked channels in conventional mode as you've found. The analog users you're hearing are probably MOH and MTO.

The digital noise you're hearing are the p25 users of the system.

Unfortunately, you'll hear the same digital noise when you try to listen to Barrie Police and Fire.
 

rc1990

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Hello all, I have recently programmed the Barrie, Ontario, Canada conventional P25 freq's into my BC346XT, as I am going to be moving there from the K-W area soon. All seems pretty regular, aside from the fact that as I returned to scanning the Barrie PD Ops1 freq. started up. I entered the freq as: 142.065 (Simcoe County, Ontario (ON) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference).


I thought, there's no way that I am receiving Barrie radio traffic in Kitchener-Waterloo, especially in my basement on a handheld with a stock antenna. I decided to hold on the channel for a bit and heard what seemed to be EMS dispatches. The dispatcher was using 3 & 4 codes, unit numbers like 2174, and the calls seemed to be medically related. The audio quality wavered between tolerable and poor which did not allow me to get proper addresses that I could just type into Google Maps.

I am aware that the MOH is on the Motorola Type 2 Smartnet, but it seems that the unit numbers for the ambulances are strikingly similar to my area as I monitor the department regularly. Even if this is not my area, how would I be hearing EMS-related traffic on a VHF conventional frequency when MOH is trunked? The channel will also sound like a control/data channel every 10-15 minutes, but only for a brief period of approx. 5-10 seconds...I'm not sure if this is due to the P25 trans. mode? I was listening on the date this was posted, between 1830-1900hrs.


I do not know what is happening/I am listening to here, or if I am listening to a repeater with multiple users and I just don't have a CTCSS/DCS tone? Anyone's insight would be much appreciated. My understanding of the "radio-world" is pretty ignorant and vague, so please feel free to educate and correct me with whatever knowledge you may have on my points listed above. I have tried to provide as much detail as possible, if you have further questions please ask away. Looking forward to your reply, thanks!
- Jordan
I'm verry surprise that you can hear P25 traffic on the BC346XT since that is an analog-only trunktracker scanner. To be able to listen to BarriePS, if they're not encrypted, you need a digital scanner otherwise all you'll be hearing is «data noise».


EMS as well as otther many province agencies (like OPP, MNR and MTO, MOC...) uses a system called Bell FleetNet which is a trunked VHF system. The province is divided into 4 zones (for technical reason). The system has many many different towers provincewide. Associated with those towers are frequencies (that's the heart of the system) - they can be found at the top of the page of that system. People who don't have trunktracker scanner can still monitor the system by programing the tower freqs into their scanner as conventionnal frequencies.

It just so happens that there's a tower (Ceadarwood tower, #3 - see http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=861) for the Bell FleetNet system in Kitchener that has the same freq as BarriePS OPS 1. Since your scanner cannot monitor P25 traffic, all you will hear is data noise What you are hearing is indeed K-W Ambulance off their fleetnet system.

The data noise that you hear is the P25 traffic (OPP) that you scanner cannot decode because it is an analog one.

Since you live in a largely populated area (south Ontario), I recommend you to program the tones when you program conventionnal freq since more than one user may be using the same freq with a different tone.

Hope this helps. Any questions, don't hesitate.
 
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jsnobelen

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@ MikeOxlong
@ rc1990

Both of your replies were of much help, thanks for the quick reply.
(Hopefully you guys, or someone else may be able to help me with my next issue...)

I might have to make that purchase on the digital scanner, I just didn't want to put the money out for it. I had a 246, it got stolen out of my car (go figure, lesson learned). Since then I have been listening to the online audio feeds, until I got this 346 a couple days ago.

Anyways, while we're on the topic of the P25 system and fleetnet, I'll address another issue I'm having with Waterloo Region EMS. I have added the fleetnet system into my scanner, but only added the control channel. To my knowledge the control channel is all I need, because as long as I have all my talkgroup IDs in, the scanner figures out the rest of the frequencies itself (unlike EDACS where all are required). I have not been able to acquire a signal yet, but I figured this to be because of the Cedarwoods tower location, my antenna not being long enough (given the system is VHF and I am operating w/ a stock) along with my physical location in the house. Until now.... Because as RC1990, and OXLONG pointed out I am in fact catching the analog transmissions (which Waterloo Region EMS is) on the fleetnet system, on one of the "trunk frequencies". Also, when I say no signal, I mean depending on what angle I hold the radio at in a specific area in a room, at a certain height, the scanner will attach onto the control channel, but the signal meter shows one bar and it is intermittent, and I won't ever receive any traffic. I have tested this by running the online scanner feed which has a delay of about five minutes and listening for live traffic over my scanner. The online audio feed has traffic, I do not.

I am able to track the MOH (specifically Waterloo Region EMS & Barrie MOH stuff when I move there) because these talkgroups specifically are analog and not digital (or P25?) such as with the OPP? Both analog and P25 can operate on the same system? Please correct me if I'm wrong. So, with all this in mind, in theory maybe I should just punch in the rest of the freqs that go along with the Cedarwoods tower and I'll be in business? I just want to confirm my thoughts before I go ahead fixing something that may not be broken. Also, to get around the tone problem (since they're not available), I can just run the scanner in ID scan, rather than search, which I do anyways since I already know who I want to listen to, and have already programmed their TGIDs.

Sorry for the wordy post, hopefully someone can shed some light. Thanks again everyone.

- Jordan
 

EJB

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@ MikeOxlong
@ rc1990

Both of your replies were of much help, thanks for the quick reply.
(Hopefully you guys, or someone else may be able to help me with my next issue...)

I might have to make that purchase on the digital scanner, I just didn't want to put the money out for it. I had a 246, it got stolen out of my car (go figure, lesson learned). Since then I have been listening to the online audio feeds, until I got this 346 a couple days ago.

Anyways, while we're on the topic of the P25 system and fleetnet, I'll address another issue I'm having with Waterloo Region EMS. I have added the fleetnet system into my scanner, but only added the control channel. To my knowledge the control channel is all I need, because as long as I have all my talkgroup IDs in, the scanner figures out the rest of the frequencies itself (unlike EDACS where all are required). I have not been able to acquire a signal yet, but I figured this to be because of the Cedarwoods tower location, my antenna not being long enough (given the system is VHF and I am operating w/ a stock) along with my physical location in the house. Until now.... Because as RC1990, and OXLONG pointed out I am in fact catching the analog transmissions (which Waterloo Region EMS is) on the fleetnet system, on one of the "trunk frequencies". Also, when I say no signal, I mean depending on what angle I hold the radio at in a specific area in a room, at a certain height, the scanner will attach onto the control channel, but the signal meter shows one bar and it is intermittent, and I won't ever receive any traffic. I have tested this by running the online scanner feed which has a delay of about five minutes and listening for live traffic over my scanner. The online audio feed has traffic, I do not.

I am able to track the MOH (specifically Waterloo Region EMS & Barrie MOH stuff when I move there) because these talkgroups specifically are analog and not digital (or P25?) such as with the OPP? Both analog and P25 can operate on the same system? Please correct me if I'm wrong. So, with all this in mind, in theory maybe I should just punch in the rest of the freqs that go along with the Cedarwoods tower and I'll be in business? I just want to confirm my thoughts before I go ahead fixing something that may not be broken. Also, to get around the tone problem (since they're not available), I can just run the scanner in ID scan, rather than search, which I do anyways since I already know who I want to listen to, and have already programmed their TGIDs.

Sorry for the wordy post, hopefully someone can shed some light. Thanks again everyone.

- Jordan
Jordan: Fleetnet is a mixed analog and digital system. Some of the users are analog like the EMS and some use digital communications.

Have you set up the scanner to be able to recieve the fleetnet system with all the off sets and such?

I think all you need to do is to enter in the control channels you want and not all the EDACS frequencies like you mentioned for the Waterloo system. You can either set your scanner to ID scan, that is scan only the talkgroups that you have entered in or in ID search, scan all the talkgroups heard on that tower. Your 346 cannot do digital P25 comms so it is best probably for you to enter in the EMS talkgroups for the area you want.

As for reception, its best to get an antenna that is cut or made for what you want to listen to. The stock antennas that Uniden provide arent very good to monitor fleetnet but ok for an 800 meg system like Waterloo.
 

jsnobelen

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....Have you set up the scanner to be able to recieve the fleetnet system with all the off sets and such?....
@ EJB

I have set up the fleetnet system by simply entering in the proper system I wanted to set up (motorola type II smartnet), adding the "site" and a control freq. (142.65 for Cedarwoods tower), and then the groups with all the talkgroups I want to listen to. So to my knowledge I have done this correctly. Although you mention "off sets and such", please expand. Thanks EJB.

- Jordan
 

mikewazowski

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You need to setup the bandplan in order to follow the system correctly.

The system type is Motorola and the bandplan for the site is Custom.

In bandplan 1, use 141.015 as your lower frequency, 143.9950 as your upper frequency, 380 as the offset with + polarity and 15 as the spacing.

This should get you started for your local tower.
 

jsnobelen

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You need to setup the bandplan in order to follow the system correctly.

The system type is Motorola and the bandplan for the site is Custom.

In bandplan 1, use 141.015 as your lower frequency, 143.9950 as your upper frequency, 380 as the offset with + polarity and 15 as the spacing.

This should get you started for your local tower.
@Oxlong

Thanks again for your help. I will have to take it out around later for a drive and see if everything is good.
Just for my own knowledge where would I find the above information? Had you not told me I wouldn't have even known I needed it, or for that matter where to find it. I'll end up running into this issue again when I program Barrie and Toronto. Thanks again.

**EDIT:
Mike: I see where you found the information, I should have looked around and saw it at the top of the page. Either way, I still wouldn't have known I needed it. Please expand on how I'd differentiate for myself, what information I would need to use. For example, why would I not use 151.73 w/ spacing on 15 and off. of 579? Is there ever a time where I'll need the system ID, or the connect tone? Also is the "connect tone" another name for the CSTSS tone to differentiate between what radio is contacting the tower? If so why is there only one tone? Would it not make more sense for MTO, MOH, OPP to all have different tones?


Custom Frequency Tables
Base Spacing Offset
141.01500 15.0 380
151.73000 15.0 579
154.32000 15.0 632


System ID List

System ID Connect Tone
782D 105.88
 
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EJB

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@Oxlong

Thanks again for your help. I will have to take it out around later for a drive and see if everything is good.
Just for my own knowledge where would I find the above information? Had you not told me I wouldn't have even known I needed it, or for that matter where to find it. I'll end up running into this issue again when I program Barrie and Toronto. Thanks again.
I dont know if you are understand what OKLONG is trying to say. What he should have said to you that you have to set it up as he explained in his posts by putting in the offsets and steps, otherwise Fleetnet will not workI will try to explain it to you in a way without confusing you and I will explain to you what you have to do.
>
You might be able to listen to what the voice frequencies if you just enter in the frequencies but you must enter in the following info on this page:

Bell Fleetnet - Ontario Provincial Government Zone 1 Trunking System, Southwest Zone, Ontario - Scanner Frequencies

You will see a collum called Custom Frequency Tables. When you are asked to create a trunk system to scan you are going to have to pick the one that fleetnet is. I do not have a 346 so someone else will have to tell you what to enter in. After you figured that out it is going to ask you to enter in the base frequency, in this case it is 141.0150. Then you enter in the Spacing, 15.0 and finally the Offset, 380. Your scanner really doesnt need anymore but for the Toronto tower you need to enter in the base frequencies Spacing (always 15.0) and the offset.

You can with your 346XT, enter in a good many towers and your scanner will search from each control channel you enter in.

Then, enter in the talkgroups that are analogue you want to hear. If you want to hear the EMS units in K/W 35504 handles that, Wellington Guelph uses 35488. K/W hospital patches are on the talkgroups in Cambridge CACC Tac1 and also look thru all the area hospital talkgroups on the page I provided and enter in the ones close to you.

For Barrie, you will probabyl be able to listen to the Simcoe and York North EMS talkgroups listed in the database. Since OXLONG lives up there I am sure he will be happy to help you out and let you know what other towers you can get in Barrie.

And finally for the EMS talkgroups Region 1 34976, Region 2 35008 are active as well.

And if you want to listen to Barrie city or the OPP on Fleetnet you will need a digital capable scanner. The exact same scanner with digital is the 396XT, it is the same as yours but has digital capabilities.

And if you want to get rid of your 346XT i would be glad to take it off your hands for a small price :) Kidding

Good luck and PM me if you need assistance, I enjoy helping newcommers out.

You will notice the
 

torontokris

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you do not need the connect tone ,,,, just enter as stated...

there are 3 bandplans for fleetnet, Mike was saying you just need bandplan 1 to get it going for your local tower (toronto tower needs 1 and 2 I believe).

If you want to be overly safe enter all 3 bandplans... there is an UPPER bandplan that is not shown on radioreference that the XT scanners need entered, Mike gave you the 1st upper bandplan so enter that as well.

freescan Sixspot Software will calculate the upper bandplan (auto upper) once you enter in the remaining ones

also see Forts programming guide for fleetnet, it was for a 396XT but other then OPP should be very similar to what you need.
Forts also lists the 3 bandplans including the upper bandplans

http://forums.radioreference.com/ontario/207493-programming-your-uniden-396xt-etc-bell-fleetnet.html


Its not the same as the old CTCSS tones ... its a whole new ball game. You wont need to know about the connect tone for now.
They do have a way to differenciate what radio is talking but again thats more then youll need. Your 346XT if it has the latest firmware 1.05 (menu - settings - scanner info - firmware version) you can turn on a feature in the settings called UNIT ID, and it will show the unit ID # of the radio thats transmitting.




@Oxlong


**EDIT:
Mike: I see where you found the information, I should have looked around and saw it at the top of the page. Either way, I still wouldn't have known I needed it. Please expand on how I'd differentiate for myself, what information I would need to use. For example, why would I not use 151.73 w/ spacing on 15 and off. of 579? Is there ever a time where I'll need the system ID, or the connect tone? Also is the "connect tone" another name for the CSTSS tone to differentiate between what radio is contacting the tower? If so why is there only one tone? Would it not make more sense for MTO, MOH, OPP to all have different tones?
 
Last edited:

torontokris

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To make things easier...


Band Plan 1
Base Lower: 141.015
Base Upper: 143.985
Offset: 380
Spacing: 15.00

Band Plan 2
Base Lower: 151.730
Base Upper: 152.510
Offset: 579
Spacing: 15.00

Band Plan 3
Base Lower: 154.320
Base Upper: 156.225
Offset: 632
Spacing: 15.00
 

jsnobelen

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@ rc1990
@ MikeOxlong
@ tmbstn
@ torontokris
@EJB

Thanks a lot for your time and knowledge! Much appreciated.

I just noticed the new posts at the time of me writing this, but I have programmed the bandplan as Oxlong laid it out and have so far been getting everything I want to listen to. I will go ahead and add the other bandplans in anyways as TorontoKris laid out, just to be safe.

@rc1990, thanks for the PDF I've been wondering how everything works, so I'll definitely give it a read.


Thanks again everyone for addressing my questions. Just out of curiosity, if someone would like to explain the "technical" reasons behind the bandplan information. I posted above to Oxlong about what information means what (ie; offsets, spacing, polarity,etc), but didn't really get a direct answer. TorontoKris then continued on to say there's three bandplans in a fleetnet system. Why, and how does that come to be? Why not, two, why not one? I'm sure some of you are reading thinking, what's the point of explaining this, but give it a go and I'm sure I'll figure it out, not to mention it saves me sifting through information elsewhere to try and understand these things when you all have a good grasp on this.
 

mikewazowski

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The control channel tells the radio what channel to tune to for all calls.

The radio uses the bandplans to convert that channel to an actual frequency to tune to.

In the first bandplan, if the control channel said to tune to channel 381, the radio would subtract the offset of 380, multiply by .015mhz (15khz) and add the result to base frequency of 141.015mhz resulting in a frequency of 141.030mhz.

The radio would then tune to 141.030mhz to receive the call.
 

DaveH

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Ottawa, Ont.
@ rc1990


Thanks again everyone for addressing my questions. Just out of curiosity, if someone would like to explain the "technical" reasons behind the bandplan information. I posted above to Oxlong about what information means what (ie; offsets, spacing, polarity,etc), but didn't really get a direct answer. TorontoKris then continued on to say there's three bandplans in a fleetnet system. Why, and how does that come to be? Why not, two, why not one? I'm sure some of you are reading thinking, what's the point of explaining this, but give it a go and I'm sure I'll figure it out, not to mention it saves me sifting through information elsewhere to try and understand these things when you all have a good grasp on this.
In VHF/UHF Moto SmartZone systems there are six ranges: 3 input and 3 output. Due to the
nature of VHF and UHF bands, it is not always possible to cover the required range of frequencies using
one block, without running out of channel numbers. There are 380 input and 380 output channel
numbers assignable (inputs are 0-379, outputs are 380-759). Depending on step size, the VHF
and UHF bands have many more than this. You don't need to worry about input ranges because
your trunking scanner only listens to output channels (unless you manually program them
in, but you can't trunk-track the inputs).

For example, Fleetnet outputs in the 141-144MHz range consume 200 of 380 channel
numbers (range 1). The 2m amateur band 144-148 isn't usable by Fleetnet but would consume >180
more channel numbers, using them all up; which would not leave any possible above that in
the 148~156MHz part.

As Kris suggested, why not program in all three ranges; once you've done the first, the others
should be easy. Presently there are only two sites (Toronto (Zone 1) and Vankleek Hill (Zone 2))
that use a channel in range 2. You'd be prepared if any new ones get assigned in range 2
or 3.

Dave
 
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