Help with CIRN and FreeSCAN, please

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TrevDog

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So my shiny new BCD996XT arrived today, and I can't wait to get going. I've downloaded FreeSCAN and created analog system of my choice for Placer County (SAR, PCSO East & West, Auburn PD). I can't enter it into the scanner right now, however, as I'm waiting on a serial port/USB adapter.

What I'm having trouble with, though, is how to create a system for CIRN. I just can't transfer the info from the tables in the DB to FreeSCAN- there's some kinda disconnect... If anyone could give me a quick tutorial on how to input trunking info into the program, I'd be ecstatic.
 

TrevDog

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I'm sorry, let me clarify. I've looked over the DB, Wiki, and Easier to Read manual. What I mean by 'disconnect' is that I just don't understand how to do it. I see things that don't match- The 'Site Hold Time' in FreeSCAN or the dec/hex numbers in the database. And what the heck do I do with the 'Site Location Info/Range'?

I appreciate you taking time to try and help me out so far.
 

TrevDog

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I cannot afford a premium subscription- the scanner was a very generous Birthmas gift. (Trust me, if I could I would)

That's what I thought, thanks for confirming.

I've been using the Easier-to-Read-Manual, but It's not really helping me with the FreeSCAN aspect. I'll continue searching.
 

TrevDog

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Okay. I've attached the FreeSCAN file for what I have on CIRN right now. Maybe somebody could take a look and tell me what I've messed up on or need to change?

Also,
On scanning that I got some very broken, undiscernable traffic on GOLD 3.
 

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ka3jjz

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This article from our wiki goes into great detail about how to use Location Based Scanning (LBS).....

http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Location_Based_Scanning

If the Easier to Read manual is your best friend, that's his brother...and as for FreeScan, it has it's own user manual which is also housed in our wiki. To get to it, in FreeScan, go to Help/Online Help or here's the direct link

FreeScan User Guide - The RadioReference Wiki

This is your new cousin (hi)

I would suggest trying to digest the basic programming first - trying to do all of this, including LBS, at one shot is a lot to take in for anyone. Walk before you run...HTH...Mike
 

Sac916

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Okay. I've attached the FreeSCAN file for what I have on CIRN right now. Maybe somebody could take a look and tell me what I've messed up on or need to change?

Also,
On scanning that I got some very broken, undiscernable traffic on GOLD 3.

Try this .... I can BARELY get the control channel from my location, but enough to identify the system and see GOLD 3 activity. Attached is the file I am using
 

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davedaver1

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Okay. I've attached the FreeSCAN file for what I have on CIRN right now. Maybe somebody could take a look and tell me what I've messed up on or need to change?

Also,
On scanning that I got some very broken, undiscernable traffic on GOLD 3.
You have the system defined as a "P25 Standard (Digital XT)", but I have it defined as a "Mot P25/P25 Standard" system.

When you get your USB adapter, you can use EZ Grab with Freescan - makes things pretty easy if you can't get the RR subscription.
 
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TrevDog

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Try this .... I can BARELY get the control channel from my location, but enough to identify the system and see GOLD 3 activity. Attached is the file I am using
Thank you! It appears as if it works. I'm getting traffic on PCSO West, but it is very garbled. I really appreciate everyone's help!
 

davedaver1

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I'm getting traffic on PCSO West, but it is very garbled. I really appreciate everyone's help!
How's the signal strength?

I'm receiving it fine here (I'm closer to Auburn than you are) - just a little digital voice sounding but clearly understandable. If the signal strength is good, you might check the firmware version (current is 1.06.00) You can find it by going to Menu>Settings>See Scanner Info>Firmware version. 1.06 added improved P25 decoding.
 

TrevDog

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Hmm. Maybe I don't have it set up quite right, then. I'm on 1.06 per the settings menu.

EDIT:
The signal strength is showing as a full five bars at all times, where as the conventional system is getting five bars when the system is receiving.
 
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davedaver1

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I don't remember making any P25 adjustments on my radio, so maybe you are getting multipath distortion - just a guess. Here's a video that shows multipath distortion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o6mJ_OgvTg

To see the error rate, press FUNC then VOL

The lat/long for the site in the DB puts the transmitter site at Finning Mill and Anderson Rd, which is odd - maybe that's just one of the sites in the system.

If you can go mobile with the radio, it might be interesting to see if things change.
 
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TrevDog

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The error rate changes rapidly, I'm getting from 7-11. What was happening in the video was strikingly similar to my situation, although I'm not even getting that much. As far as the signal bar, though, it's the same.

I'm fairly certain that the transmitter is not at Finning Mill and Anderson Rd, but I could be wrong. I would go up with the radio to check it out this weekend, but the snow's gonna be a killer on Finning Mill and I'm not sure about Anderson. I'll see if I can cruise up to town and get a different result.
 

TrevDog

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Sorry to double post.
Anyway,

I've got my problem now narrowed down to multipath distortion. I've tried the paperclip trick and it picks up the conventional system just great, but no luck with CIRN. I also tried setting the attenuator. No dice. Does anyone think a Yagi could fix it, or is my problem something else?
 

davedaver1

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Hard to tell if a directional antenna will improve things, especially at VHF frequencies. There are many variables to the multipathing issue - not sure if they have multiple sites running or if you are getting it because of reflections and bouncing around in the hills etc.

In case you haven't seen it yet, there's a good article in the Wiki about this: Simulcast digital distortion - The RadioReference Wiki Even though we don't know if it's a multisite simulcast issue, there are some useful suggestions.

BTW, from where I sit here along I-80, I get a solid zero error rate, I watched it for quite awhile. It's a solid 5 bars of signal as well. I don't have as clear a shot at Auburn and can actually "see" the Finning Mill area from here - maybe there is something up there! I'll have to put the scanner on my 2m yagi and rotate around.

Good luck!
 
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