How To Find Digital Systems with Pro 106/197

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Dec 31, 2005
Florence, Kentucky
I did some searching on these forums and I couldn't find this information anywhere. I'm sure a lot of you already know this, but I thought I would share what I found in case some people don't.

While it's easy enough to scan for the old conventional broadcasts using the service SRCH button, if you don't have a cable, a program and a premium subscription to this site, it's difficult to program in the correct settings to listen to digital broadcasts. One day I finally figured out how to search for digital signals and have the radio figure out the settings.

So, here's how to search for digital.

First, you need to set up the default scan list. This is the scan list that new objects go into when they are created. Press PGM, then F3. Hit the down arrow until you find Dflt ScanList. Press SEL and then enter an empty scan list (a number from 1 to 20.) Press F1 for Done, then F1 again to Save.

Press SRCH until you get to the Srch Limit function. Press F1 (or FUNC then F1 if a signal is being received) to edit the lower and upper frequencies. For FrLo, enter 764.0. For FrHi, enter 960. Hit F1 to save.

Now wait for the scanner to find something. Take a listen. If it sounds like static, continue on. If the arrow in the upper right is pointing up, press the up key. If it's pointing down, press the down key.

If you're scanning in SRCH mode and you happen to hear traffic (someone talking), disregard that. That's not what we're looking for here.

When you hit a digital signal, you'll know. It'll sound different then static. Now press FUNC then TUNE.

If the 106/197 can decode the digital signal, you will see a bunch of information start to appear on the screen. An example might look like "96% N311 W:BEE08". If it can't decode it, it will just have the frequency and nothing will change. I live near Cincinnati and there are a lot of digital signals around that this thing can't decode.

If it can't decode, press SRCH to get back to the scan and continue searching.

If you found one that is showing information, that is a primary control channel. Now, press F3. A new TSYS object will be created (with all the correct settings), along with a wildcard TGRP object, allowing you listen to any talkgroup on the given system.

Now, to finally hear the traffic, hit the SCAN button and select the scan list the new objects were assigned to (the default scan list we set up earlier.) Eventually, if the system is being used, you should start hearing some traffic.

The only downside to this method is you might end up hearing encrypted channels.

Like I said, this is probably no-duh stuff for most people, but I thought it might help people who are new to this. And you can use this if you happen to be in an area you don't already have programmed into your scanner using software.

Criticism and/or corrections are welcome.


OH/WV DB Admin
Database Admin
Dec 5, 2006
Carroll Co OH / EN90LN
Seems a lot easier to just use TUNE by itself.

Let's say I want to scan 800 mhz...

851 <ENTER>

Immediately it starts scanning 851 up. Of course there are no search limits set that way, but it's vvery easy to do and you're already in "TUNE" mode.

I rarely if ever use a search object. Granted, I have from time to time, but mostly I just program in a lower limit after I hit TUNE and then press either the up or down arrow depending upon which direction i want to search.



May 3, 2010
Ormond Beach, FL
Or you can just hit the search button and keep punching it until you find the service you want to search, for exaple public service. I have used this before and found digital signals which pop up as DG on my display and give me the NAC. If I want to listen to something I hit pause.
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