GRE Scanners in Utah

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gldavis

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I decided to start a new thread for this subject. It looks like a bunch of us are going towards the GRE scanners for upgrading to follow the Re-banding of UCAN, and I know I have questions, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Of those that allready have these new-fangled devices, I gotts a question. (several actually, but one at a time). Has anyone tried listening to Hill AFB's P25 system? If so, how is the audio? With the Digital Unidens I'm currently using, The audio seems to be hit or miss, heavy on the miss. Also has anyone noticed any Intermod or overload problems?
 

jjwhite29

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I do listen to the Wasatch Front Federal a lot more get most of the traffic in the morning and at night. The most hits i get is TG 8688 SPIDER 421st FS 388th FW. I do pick up others but that has the most hits. The audio is pretty good sometimes cut out during transmisson for a sec but picks right back up I think that pretty good though for my location.
 

gldavis

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Are you listening any to the Test Range this week? Yesterday there was very little traffic, but today there was a lot. Sounds like they did bomb drops this morning. I'm watching Site 4.
 

gldavis

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I've had my GRE-500 for several days now. It has (for me anyway) a very steep learning curve. The first day I had it it I was calling it my "expensive paperweight". When I used ARC500 software to load to the radio, the software would say complete, but the radio would say 86% complete and lock-up. I had to turn it off and reboot to factory.
Win500 would lock-up when I tried to dowload from RR. After several hours I gave it a rest. Next day, and different computer, all is well. I can download from RR and upload to radio no problems (both programs).
Memory goes quick. I have a bunch of conventional freqs and two trunk systems, Wasatch Front Federal and UCAN Davis Co, and that took 64%.
I really like the P25 audio on this unit.
I took it to Lagoon this weekend and compared the Signal Stalker functions. My PRO-97 picked up close signals that the GRE500 did not.
These are early impressions by me.
 

qlajlu

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I've had my GRE-500 for several days now. It has (for me anyway) a very steep learning curve. The first day I had it it I was calling it my "expensive paperweight". When I used ARC500 software to load to the radio, the software would say complete, but the radio would say 86% complete and lock-up. I had to turn it off and reboot to factory.
I can second the "very steep learning curve" (heavy on the very steep part). As you all know, I have purchased a GRE PSR 600.

I had that family crisis that took me out of town, the wind out of my sails, and with this tired, sick, old, fat body it took me a little over a day to recover enough to try to tackle my new toy and I'm lost. I have decided to stay with the WIN500 software and so far I have FINALLY gotten three conventional frequencies programmed in. Since there are not banks and so on, I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around where these numbers go that I program in. I first tried doing it following instructions straight out of the owner's manual doing it manually and got so terribly messed up that I opened the software. It has taken me over a day to finally get those frequencies in where when I turn off the scanner and then turn it back on it actually scans those three frequencies without having to enter them again. Before, the scanner just sat there staring back at me looking like "What do you want?"

I have noticed that this unit has terrific volume. It could drive you out of the room. I have also found out how to download the Trunked systems from the RR Db. I'm just not sure how to save them so they won't go away when I shut the scanner off. This is a fantabulous tool to quickly load the scanner with a system (Thanks Lindsay, RR staff, and the WIN500 developer(s)), but now I'm wondering, "Do I need to go through each system I download and manually remove each and every TG I don’t want to scan in that system?" That is going to be a huge job because we have some huge systems here.

Anyway, I feel dumber than a stump. I know, …I know, …I am. Any suggestions would be deeply appreciated.
 
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bneilson

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Hang in there guys!

I had an uphill battle as well. To the point of getting an RMA number from the shop I purchased the scanner from to return it. Man I am glad I didn't do that...

I am running Win500 for my setup and have attached a copy of my programing. I know that sometimes you just need to work with it to figure things out. But I figured I would offer it if anybody is interested.

I named the file 'BNEILSON-080804.p500.txt'

You will need to remove the '.txt' from the end to get it to work. That was just required so that it would upload to the site.
 

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qlajlu

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Question(s) - Display

As I said earlier, I have successfully programmed some conventional frequencies into my PSR-600. Now I have a question concerning the display. In the lower left-hand corner of the display on one of the frequencies it shows "DC:431." The frequency is the SLC FD UHF link 453.2000. Would that information in the lower left of the screen be a PL Tone, or in this case, a DCS? The number 431 does show in the chart I have linked. On another one it simply shows SQ:SQUELCH and another one shows CT:156.7.

If I am correct, then would I be okay to ass u me that the lower-left corner of the display on all conventional frequencies shows the PL Tone? What does "CT" stand for (Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System maybe)?

What is meant when "they" say, "The squelch is open?"

These may be silly questions to some of you, but this GRE is a whole new scanning platform for me. Also, a radio techie I am not, so I have a lot to learn. All help is appreciated.
 
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bneilson

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You got it...

"DC: 431" would be indicating the DCS code.

I see the same thing on mine...

At the very first you will probably see "Sq: SEARCH" which indicates that the scanner is searching for the tone. That is unless you specifically program the tone.
 
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qlajlu

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Thank you, Brett. I have never had a scanner that displayed the tone. My BC780XLT allowed for a PL Tone to be programmed in, but I never really understood what it all meant until just recently and I always wondered how everyone was able to report what the tone was on different frequencies so easily. My BC350A never cared what the tone was either. Funny how things are now making sense to me.

Tones also explain something I noticed several years ago before trunking. Park City Fire and Kaysville Fire both used the same VHF frequency (154.2200) and I could hear both of them from my home. I wondered how they did not interfere with one another so I just wrote it off to distance since I was basically half way between both and way on the west side of the SL valley where I almost had a line-of-sight to both towns, but they had mountains between themselves (no line-of-sight for them to each other).

bneilson said:
At the very first you will probably see "Sq: SEARCH" which indicates that the scanner is searching for the tone. That is unless you specifically program the tone.
When my GRE first scanned the frequencies I had entered it came right up with the tones. I never noticed it searching for them. How cool! :cool:

What is meant when "they" say, "The squelch is open?"
 
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gldavis

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What is meant when "they" say, "The squelch is open?"

One of two things normally. Either there is no squelch tone on the chanel, or someone has their squelch knob al the way down so you hear the static from the receiver.
 

qlajlu

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What is meant when "they" say, "The squelch is open?"

One of two things normally. Either there is no squelch tone on the chanel, or someone has their squelch knob al the way down so you hear the static from the receiver.
So that would be like an open electrical circuit where no electricity flows because the circuit is open; if the squelch is open then no communications flow. That is the kind of association I need to make sense of some things.

Thank you, Gary.
 

bneilson

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It can also mean that the radios squelch is opened thus allowing you to hear audio.

So if the radio is set with a Tone Coded Squech the user will not hear anything until the given tone is received by that radio. When it is the Squelch is opened thus allowing that user to hear the transmission from the other station.

In the example of Park City Fire and Kaysville Fire they would have both had different tones set on their squelch. thus allowing them to use the same frequency and only cause minimal interference when they get close to each other.
 

qlajlu

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It can also mean that the radios squelch is opened thus allowing you to hear audio.
Now I'm back to my normal state of confusion, but I feel at home because I'm well known here.

So, ...is it like a door being opened to allow it, or like an electrical circuit being opened to block it? Which?
In the example of Park City Fire and Kaysville Fire they would have both had different tones set on their squelch. thus allowing them to use the same frequency and only cause minimal interference when they get close to each other.
Yeah, that is what I figured out, finally. I guess I didn't get around to saying that in my previous post. Like I said, it didn't make sense to me before. Thanks, Brett.
 

bneilson

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So, ...is it like a door being opened to allow it, or like an electrical circuit being opened to block it? Which?
If a Tone Coded Squelch is a door, the correct tone is the key.

So if my radio is running a coded squelch my door is shut unless you have the proper key. Once the proper Key (tone) is heard by radio the door (squelch) opens and lets me hear what you are saying. If you use the wrong key (tone) the door (squelch) stays shut and I will not hear you.

Hope this helps.

You might also checkout the following for a bit more in depth writeup:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squelch
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CTCSS
 

qlajlu

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Okay, I'm a little disappointed. I was able to use WIN500 to download the UCAN system (ID 7202) from the RR Db and I'm getting good reception from Davis County and several cities in Davis County, and also West Valley, some from Tooele and some from Summit County, but nothing from any other SL County TG including UHP. Oh, and I'm getting some Weber County including Ogden.

Can anyone tell me what I have done wrong or have not done?

I'm also disappointed in the tags that the Db uses because they are longer than the display will display. On a lot of the TGs, the display does not display the TGID either, but gives me the voice channel frequency that the scanner is receiving the traffic from. If I watch the display when the traffic stops and the scanner moves on, I can see the TGID that just had the traffic for a split second. What's with that?

Need more time, I guess. Seems like I'm turning this thread into my own personal educational and complaint tool, too. Sorry.
 

gldavis

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"Need more time, I guess. Seems like I'm turning this thread into my own personal educational and complaint tool, too. Sorry."

Don't worry about it. It is a learning experience for most/all of us here as well. Any questions that you (or I) would have, someone else is wondering as well.
 

qlajlu

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Help

Last night I posted in the Software Forum and found out that I had not selected the right button when I downloaded the system from the RR Db and that is the reason I had a messed up alpha tag in the display. This morning I downloaded the system again and I got the right alpha tags, but now when I hit "Scan" it tells me "Nothing enabled." I have been all over the menus in WIN500 and do not see where there is an enabling button or command and I cannot see where anything is locked out. I can use the "Manual" key and scroll through all the TGs (which are showing the right alpha tags now), but when I select "Scan" nothing happens.

I have rebooted the scanner...same thing. I have looked at the Owner's Manual in the Troubleshooting section and this situation is not addressed that I can find.

Can someone direct me? :( I know it has to be something simple that I'm overlooking...I think. :confused:
 
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