GRE PSR 500 and ME new to Digital Scanning Augh!

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MENatureDude207

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A little history first.
As a kid, we had 4 scanners, and 1 CB/SSB radio in the house, all run off car battery's, (no elec). this was rural Maine in late 60's early 70's onward. My father a emergency responder had radios too. These ran all day and all night, but we were lucky if we had TV an hour a day.
I was in the Army (12yrs) and although not my MOS(job), I was involved a lot with radios. After I had CB's, and played with scanners etc. Then came cell phones and Computers, so those took over.
Recently I was restoring an old motorhome, and it had a CB, so I had to have a base station, when I sold the MH. Getting the base I thought about scanners (was using the online ones. I have a small tower with CB antenna (and now a scanner antenna). Then I saw the new scanners, started researching and found what I thought I wanted, checked it out on line, and talked with a few, and ended up getting the GRE PSR 500.
It got here about an hour ago, I thought I read up a lot, but I took it out and turned it on, and now afraid to touch it or push any buttons, because I'm afraid ill screw it up.

Understand, I use only apple/MAC computers, and thought that I could program it by hand, or borrow my friends lap top, so that adds more challenge to it. Of course there has to be challenge right....?
So I sit here, with "Press NEW to create objects" on the screen with NEW/EDIT/GLOB choices, and you think I can find it in the users Guide, or Manuel? Of course not. So if someone can dumb it down for me, or take a frying pan to my head, or something let me know.

I have studied and am still studying....
Easier to Read Pro-106/197/PSR500/600 Digital Scanner Manual
PSR-500 - The RadioReference Wiki
GRE PSR-500 Police Scanner Radio (links etc)

Of course Radio Reference subscription ( Premium Subscription Information Page ) $30.00 yr

Also trying to decide if I need to just get a program like:
Win500 (Win500: PSR-500, PSR-600, PRO-106, PRO-197, PSR-310, PSR-410 Scanner Software for Data Management, Monitoring, and Control) $35.00
ARC500 (GRE GRECOM RadioShack PRO-106 PRO106 PRO-197 PRO197 PSR-500 PSR-600 PRO-106 PRO106 PRO-197 PRO197 PSR500 PSR600 Software) $39.95 (This is what Scanmaster Recommends)
PSREdit500 (PSREdit500 - Configuration Editor for the PSR-500, PSR-600, PRO-106, and PRO-197 Scanners) $35.00
OR
Scancat (Best Software and Frequencies for RADIOSHACK - UNIDEN HOME PATROL HP1 HP-1 SCANNERS Download Software RadioReference Support - CODE3-32 - Trunk Tracking Software for MFJ - RADIOSHACK - MFJ-8310, MFJ-8322, PRO-404, PRO-405, BCT15X, BCD346XT, BCD996XT,)

I have read the threads and if there is one that really explains what the difference is can you point to out to me. I think I have fried brain syndrome already.


All have trails which is great, but I'm guessing that either I buy a PC Laptop, or on one of the 4 MACs I install boot camp or something to use it that way. I gringe to think of it though.

So I guess my questions start with....
How do I get past the screen with out messing it up?
What would you suggest as far as programs go and why?
Any other thing you can think of to confuse, no I mean help out would be great.

I hope to at some point be able to add the scanner to the list of ones that people can listen to online.

Thank you!!!!!
David
Westbrook, ME
 

hertzian

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First of all, welcome aboard, and thank you very much for your service!

While software programming is nice, and you will certainly want to do that to cut down on the labor, you might want to try hand-programming just to get familiar with the unit. I recommend it seeing the examples of self-reliance.

You've really done your homework, and have a lot of great material to help out.

If it were me, my best advice would NOT to be afraid. Do some simple conventional programming with a handful of freqs, and if you totally botch it, do a total reset and start again. Once you get more comfortable, then you can move on to trunking.

How to start programming conventionally:

PGM > NEW > CONV

This will take you to the menu structure where you can put in that handful of practice freqs, and get comfortable with scanlists.

What to program? In your area, take a look at the database on RR here and see if anything interests you:

Cumberland County, Maine (ME) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

These are mostly conventional frequencies. At the bottom of the page, you'll see links to the trunked systems which you can have a go at if you like when you feel comfortable.

I will also add some aircraft freqs you might be interested in:
KPWM Portland Tower - 120.900 AM, 257.800 AM

The idea here is to get the hang of programming in the conventional freqs, and separating them with custom scanlists that you can later toggle on and off.

So... put the Police into scanlist 1
Put the Fire into scanlist 2
Put the aircraft freqs into scanlist 3

Making a frequency a member of a scanlist is designated right at the beginning of the conventional menu by toggling the * with the SEL key. Use the <Left or >Right oval arrow keys to move among the scanlists to manipulate the * membership.

When you are done and have saved your work, hit SCAN and see what comes up. You can toggle your newly-created Police, Fire, and Aircraft scanlists on and off by merely hitting the number of the scanlist whilst scanning.

This is the quickie run-through - you have a lot of good info at your fingertips, but maybe this might get you over that initial bump. Whatever you do, don't be afraid - if it takes starting from scratch with a total reset of the radio, so be it.

And when you do get software up and running, you'll be able to read in what you have already programmed for more organization.

Remember to take a break for an hour or a day if it no longer becomes fun, and turns into a job.
 

ka3jjz

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David, first off welcome. You have indeed done a good bit of homework, but let me add an item to your list of things to read...

GRE/RS Object Oriented Scanners FAQ - The RadioReference Wiki

At the bottom, under the programming section, there's a link to a shortcut article that you can use to help with programming trunked systems. Also at the bottom there's a link to our software article.

I'm not a GRE user, but from all the threads I have read on the subject, Win500 is probably the most popular package. However if you go to that software article, you will see that both ARC500 and Win500 have user guides that will help get you over the hump and explain a few things. If I were starting off new, the user guides would definitely be a place to start.

best regards...Mike
 

MENatureDude207

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Thanks Guy's,
I kept trying to play with it, and sat it down.
Will attempt what Hertsian said, and check out that link Mike.
I think I was a little excited and wanted it to work right then, but realized it was going to take longer than anticipated.
I see in Mikes signature that Scancat is not a good thing.

Any other ideas keep em coming, and I will go check out more stuff on the forum too.
Thanks again,
David
 

MENatureDude207

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I did what hertzian said, and I can see they are in there. I some how got a "V folder" in there too, and spectrum sweeper, and want to turn those off if possible, or erase them or duplicates. Still trying to figure that out.
Also trying to figure out Portlands list Portland Public Safety Trunking System, Portland, Maine - Scanner Frequencies and what I need to program and what I do not.

Still playing with it.
Thanks!!!!
 

scannerboy01

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Congratulations on buying a PSR-500:D I programmed mine by hand and it's really easy. I downloaded a free trial of PSR Edit and I couldn't figure out PSR Edit as soon as I had got the PSR-500 out of the box so, I just programmed by hand so that I could start listening faster. I have programmed all my 68 Conventional Channels, 33 Talk Groups and 1 Trunked System all by hand and it was so easy.
 

MENatureDude207

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Wow nice!!!
I spent a lot of time all day playing with it, and have most everything except State Police and Portland stuff in, I'm trying to figure it out.

I'm trying to work at the same time, that's not helping, but tonight and this weekend I can do more.
Thanks for sharing though, it encourages me!


Congratulations on buying a PSR-500:D I programmed mine by hand and it's really easy. I downloaded a free trial of PSR Edit and I couldn't figure out PSR Edit as soon as I had got the PSR-500 out of the box so, I just programmed by hand so that I could start listening faster. I have programmed all my 68 Conventional Channels, 33 Talk Groups and 1 Trunked System all by hand and it was so easy.
 

DickH

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Wow nice!!!
I spent a lot of time all day playing with it, and have most everything except State Police and Portland stuff in, I'm trying to figure it out.

I'm trying to work at the same time, that's not helping, but tonight and this weekend I can do more.
Thanks for sharing though, it encourages me!
Although I'm in the "other" Portland (OR), your system is similar and straightforward. You need only the control channels. I've always read that Motorola systems use a max. of 4 control channels, but in the RR database Portland, ME has 5. Just put them in and the Talk groups you want.
852.28750, 852.78750, 853.28750, 853.53750, 853.78750.
 

MENatureDude207

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Hi Dick,

I love the "Other Portland", and your weather is better.
I'm glad I waited on Portland then, so I simply put in those 5, and then the "DEC" and "HEX" some how?

That's so much easier once I figure that out then all the others too.
Thank you!!!!

Although I'm in the "other" Portland (OR), your system is similar and straightforward. You need only the control channels. I've always read that Motorola systems use a max. of 4 control channels, but in the RR database Portland, ME has 5. Just put them in and the Talk groups you want.
852.28750, 852.78750, 853.28750, 853.53750, 853.78750.
David
Westbrook ME
GRE PSR 500
 

gewecke

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I did what hertzian said, and I can see they are in there. I some how got a "V folder" in there too, and spectrum sweeper, and want to turn those off if possible, or erase them or duplicates. Still trying to figure that out.
Also trying to figure out Portlands list Portland Public Safety Trunking System, Portland, Maine - Scanner Frequencies and what I need to program and what I do not.

Still playing with it.
Thanks!!!!
You CAN program it by hand, in spite of everyone telling you to use software. Just keep playing with it and take your time. You WILL get the hang of it but it is a learning curve! :wink:
Just remember that anything you enter is a object and not a channel as with conventional scanners.

73,
n9zas
 

MENatureDude207

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Thanks!

So far your right, it is easy once I learn it.
All the reading ahead of time helped I think, but nothing like doing it with it in my hands. Learning curve is right, just when I think I got it then I have to stop and look at the manual and the easy one on Marks scanners.

Thanks again!!!!



You CAN program it by hand, in spite of everyone telling you to use software. Just keep playing with it and take your time. You WILL get the hang of it but it is a learning curve! :wink:
Just remember that anything you enter is a object and not a channel as with conventional scanners.

73,
n9zas

David
Westbrook, ME
GRE PSR 500
 

MENatureDude207

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Hi Dick,

Thanks Man....!

So I put the DEC with out adding anything too it, but where in the Table? I'm assuming its TSYS, Portland, put in the Freq, then put the DEC where, in Freq?
Then how do I make sure its being scanned?

I have a antenna going up hopefully today or tomorrow out on the pole, because we live in a little hole where the street dips, so I might be scanning already and not getting it, but want to make sure its right.

Put in only the DEC (decimal) talk group numbers, like 4528, 16804, 28944, etc.
Thanks for the help!
David
Westbrook, ME
 

gewecke

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Dave, Read mark's scanner page again. You first must enter the system TSYS you wish to scan.
CC control channel first then the alternates ALT. You also need to decide if your system has multiple sites, then ROAMING can be selected when prog your system.
After the system is entered you will have your "wildcard"
From there you can enter the talkgroups TG of your choice! :)

As said before it will take awhile to learn all the in/outs of digi scanning but after time it will be second nature to you!

73,
n9zas
 

MENatureDude207

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Thanks n9zas,

I am going to have to go though his site again, its easier than the GRE one.

I have Portland in there, but no DEC, tried to do a search to find them easier, at least one so I could see how it was in there, but no luck. I am trying to get the pole back in the air, and see if that makes it easier to get Portland. With Marks site and that I hope it comes together, and I need to be patient.

Thanks though!

Dave, Read mark's scanner page again. You first must enter the system TSYS you wish to scan.
CC control channel first then the alternates ALT. You also need to decide if your system has multiple sites, then ROAMING can be selected when prog your system.
After the system is entered you will have your "wildcard"
From there you can enter the talkgroups TG of your choice! :)

As said before it will take awhile to learn all the in/outs of digi scanning but after time it will be second nature to you!

73,
n9zas

Have a great night
 

rwier

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Thanks n9zas,
.....................................................................
I have Portland in there, but no DEC...................................
Just a lurker here, but it looks like you don't have a good definition of "DEC". It's not something you enter, but something you choose, like a language.

Example:

Shop Tools...........mm, cm, etc, OR 1/4", 1/2", etc.
Soda Pop..............ounces, pints, quarts, etc, OR ML, L, etc.


You enter a size, distance, frequency, volume, TID, but you CHOOSE the language.

DEC is a language choice.

Rob
 

MENatureDude207

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Either its too early, I haven't had enough coffee or I have over loaded on all the info. Now I am thoroughly
confused.
I can understand its a language, but the process of programming it is still baffling me. I need to print out the info maybe and highlight anything I need to put in an order I can do something with I guess.
My recollection of a scanner (and I'm not that old) was you plugged the freq in and turned it on, I'm getting a lot of it all, and maybe I just need to get the antenna in the air (today or tomorrow), but I'm fogged up and confused with this.

I will figure it out, just not at this moment.
Thanks for the help though,
 

RomeRon

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I did what hertzian said, and I can see they are in there. I some how got a "V folder" in there too, and spectrum sweeper, and want to turn those off if possible, or erase them or duplicates. Still trying to figure that out.
Also trying to figure out Portlands list Portland Public Safety Trunking System, Portland, Maine - Scanner Frequencies and what I need to program and what I do not.

Still playing with it.
Thanks!!!!
""I some how got a "V folder" in there too, and spectrum sweeper,""
Are they in scan list 1, scan list 1 is the default storage where searches, signal stalker, function tune, gets stored, I always start with scan list 2 for programing .
 

DickH

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... I have Portland in there, but no DEC, tried to do a search to find them easier, at least one so I could see how it was in there, but no luck.
I'm not sure you really understand how a trunking system works. The DEC is the heading of that column listing the talk groups For Portland Fire Dispatch, the DECimal form of the Talk Group is 1648. The HEX form is 067. Enter the DEC number 1648 into your scanner..

This explanation may help, although your scanner does not use the old Banks scheme..

Motorola Trunking:
The object of trunking is to allow many users to share a relatively few frequencies.
A trunking system is controlled by a computer. Information (data) is exchanged between the system radios and the computer on a control channel, sometimes called a data channel. It sounds like a strong buzz.
A large system can have up to 28 freqs., 4 of which may be used as control channels. The control channel may be changed once a day or as often as the programmer decides. Some scanners need only the control channels to track an entire system. Just put in the 4 Control Channels.

Each group of users (Fire, Police, etc.) is assigned TALK GROUPS. In a Motorola Type II system, the most common type, TGs are usually in 32 number steps starting with 16 and going up to 65536; 16, 48, 80 --- 4656, 4688, 4720 --- 28944, 28976, etc. System radios can have more than 100 TGs programmed into them.

After all the freqs. have been entered and it is "trunking", the Banks become SCAN LISTS where you enter the Talk Groups you want to hear.
Use the Talk Group numbers in the DEC column, not in the HEX column.

When a user pushes the talk button on his radio, data is sent to the computer. The computer chooses an unused freq. and sends that data to all the radios using the TG of the originating unit. This all happens in a fraction of a second and it happens EVERY TIME a radio is used.

EXAMPLE:
Fire Dispatch calling Engine 4 (TG 4528 on 856.7125)
Engine 4 answering Dispatch (TG 4528 on 852.2625)
Respond to 73 Elm Street (TG 4528 on 855.9625)
Engine 4 responding (TG 4528 on 851.6375)

If you have entered TG 4528 into your scanner, it will decode the control channel data and change your scanner freqs. to follow the conversation on TG 4528.
 
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