How to get PSR800 memory updates to actually work?

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WK4U

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Hey everyone.

I've had an 800 for a while now, and the updates always seem to go smoothly, or so I thought...

I have 26 scanlists programmed for stuff in my area. One of the local police departments added an alternate frequency to their lineup. This department is all traditional narrowband VHF. So far, my scanlist for that department is only two channels - their main dispatch and the private channel. The new frequency was put into the R/R database over two months ago. Still after doing updates, I notice my scanlist for that department is not updated. It only has two channels listed. This makes me wonder if other updates are also not working???

Here's what I do to udpate the scanner (hooked up to Win XP box, running the software as local administrator):

1. Lib files must copy to SD card to be used by computer? yes/no. YES
2. Location data files on SD card same version as on computer. Copy files to SD card? yes/no. YES
(this step really makes no sense to me by the way)
3. File copy complete!
4. Library update successful. Perform update on stored data with updated info from new library data? yes/no. YES
5. Click update channels button.
6. Done.

I've fooled around in the software, but can't find anything that would cause my updates to fail. Everything SEEMS to be updating correctly based on what I see. So you seasoned 800 ops, I need your help. Please tell me what I'm doing wrong, and what I need to change to get these updates to really work.

Thank you, thank you.

Tim
North Atlanta, GA
 

bkantor

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I do one final step:
From the top menu:Scanner/SD Card
- Copy Configuration to Scanner Memory/SD Card.

Although your scan lists have been updated from the database on your computer, you now have to copy that configuration back down to the scanner or SD card (I put the SD Card directly into my computer, not via the cable)
 

AuntEnvy

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Look carefully

I do one final step:
From the top menu:Scanner/SD Card
- Copy Configuration to Scanner Memory/SD Card.

Although your scan lists have been updated from the database on your computer, you now have to copy that configuration back down to the scanner or SD card (I put the SD Card directly into my computer, not via the cable)
Are you sure the new channel isn't there?

When doing the "Perform update on stored data with updated info from new library data?", there are 2 boxes to check, or un-check. The first is the "replace alpha tags". If this has a name you might not be familiar with it could be there and you not know it.

Just a thought...
 

jaspence

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PSR 800 update

This is one more thing to try/do. In the main menu, scroll down and look for "Update from Lib". Press "SEL" and press "SEL" again. You must be connected to external power, but not necessarily the computer. This will take a few minutes. When done, you will see a report of the changes.
 

troymail

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For trunked systems, I'm pretty sure the "update scanlists" option will only update system/site frequencies and (possibly) the alpha tags for talkgroups that you have programmed (i.e. it won't ADD new talkgroups to your existing scanlists).

I think this also means the scanlist update won't add new conventional frequencies because it's not really an update to something existing.

This is all because the software has no idea if your scanlists are simple copies of RR input data or very customized programming/scanlist configurations. Example: how does the software know if you have an entire trunked system programmed in a single scanlist vs. split by type (e.g. fire, police, pubWorks, etc.) across multiple scanlists? Where should it insert any new stuff to match your programing?

I could be wrong......
 

IowaGuy1603

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For trunked systems, I'm pretty sure the "update scanlists" option will only update system/site frequencies and (possibly) the alpha tags for talkgroups that you have programmed (i.e. it won't ADD new talkgroups to your existing scanlists).

I think this also means the scanlist update won't add new conventional frequencies because it's not really an update to something existing.
That was my understanding also.................



I could be wrong......
I don't think so
 

detroit780

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Michigan
Updating

I go to import the MPSCS system in Michigan every week by the second tab on the lower right of the screen. I do a standard import select the MPSCS system select all talk groups and all towers (Only towers during a new site build or now for rebanding) When complete you will see if any new talk groups or frequencies were new. If so next step I do is in the MPSCS system itself I make sure no scan list is selected and then import. When complete I know ahead of time if 1 or 12 TG's changed then look for those 1 or 12 TG's that have no scan list assigned (To make them easirer to spot) Then assign the colors I want for the LEDS and assign a scan list. Then copy configuration file to SD.


Les


Hey everyone.

I've had an 800 for a while now, and the updates always seem to go smoothly, or so I thought...

I have 26 scanlists programmed for stuff in my area. One of the local police departments added an alternate frequency to their lineup. This department is all traditional narrowband VHF. So far, my scanlist for that department is only two channels - their main dispatch and the private channel. The new frequency was put into the R/R database over two months ago. Still after doing updates, I notice my scanlist for that department is not updated. It only has two channels listed. This makes me wonder if other updates are also not working???

Here's what I do to udpate the scanner (hooked up to Win XP box, running the software as local administrator):

1. Lib files must copy to SD card to be used by computer? yes/no. YES
2. Location data files on SD card same version as on computer. Copy files to SD card? yes/no. YES
(this step really makes no sense to me by the way)
3. File copy complete!
4. Library update successful. Perform update on stored data with updated info from new library data? yes/no. YES
5. Click update channels button.
6. Done.

I've fooled around in the software, but can't find anything that would cause my updates to fail. Everything SEEMS to be updating correctly based on what I see. So you seasoned 800 ops, I need your help. Please tell me what I'm doing wrong, and what I need to change to get these updates to really work.

Thank you, thank you.

Tim
North Atlanta, GA
 

WK4U

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Continuing...

Thanks Les and Troymail.

Playing around further after both your emails seems to be enlightening me. What you guys say does make sense.

All my scan lists ARE downloaded directly from the RR database. I found the program waaay to clunky to make a scanlist on my own. What I did however is split up different departments within my own county (Cobb) into many scan lists. Seemed logical to me at the time, and indeed it worked and still does today. I can choose what all I want to scan based on selecting scan lists.

So just now I looked in the conventional frequencies tab on my computer and found the new VHF FMN frequency I'm looking for. It wasn't in my scan list however. I went back into the standard library import and drilled down to that one little municipality and updated my specific scan list (and de-selected scan list 001). The process worked fine. Then after copying the configuration to my SD card, I could browse objects on my 800 and finally see the new frequency in its appropriate scan list. Hooray.

Going full circle, I'd like to ask the "800" pros out there how YOU program your scanner? I can't see how an entire trunking system can be put into one scan list!? That's too much to scan. Also do we have to go through the standard library import every time we want to update conventional frequencies or trunk system talk groups? I always [naively] thought the regular library updates took care of that for us. If I'm wrong, there's probably going to be a PSR800 for sale very soon. At least my 396XT is easy to update (and confirm) using FreeSCAN - he he.

Thanks in advance for all constructive feedback. I'm burning candles at both ends, and probably won't be back on here till Monday afternoon. Looking forward to any replies.

Very best.
 

detroit780

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PSR800 programming

I program the Michigan statewide system scan lists by areas, my local county talk groups in one scan list, state police districts in each of their own lists and so on.

The weekly library update is exactly that a library update not a scan list update. It doesn't know what you have in your scan lists because you set them up. I only worry about keeping my largest system updated since it's the one that's constantly growing. The smaller systems don't change often and the conventional I usually add what I want and there are little changes there too.

Les


Thanks Les and Troymail.

Playing around further after both your emails seems to be enlightening me. What you guys say does make sense.

All my scan lists ARE downloaded directly from the RR database. I found the program waaay to clunky to make a scanlist on my own. What I did however is split up different departments within my own county (Cobb) into many scan lists. Seemed logical to me at the time, and indeed it worked and still does today. I can choose what all I want to scan based on selecting scan lists.

So just now I looked in the conventional frequencies tab on my computer and found the new VHF FMN frequency I'm looking for. It wasn't in my scan list however. I went back into the standard library import and drilled down to that one little municipality and updated my specific scan list (and de-selected scan list 001). The process worked fine. Then after copying the configuration to my SD card, I could browse objects on my 800 and finally see the new frequency in its appropriate scan list. Hooray.

Going full circle, I'd like to ask the "800" pros out there how YOU program your scanner? I can't see how an entire trunking system can be put into one scan list!? That's too much to scan. Also do we have to go through the standard library import every time we want to update conventional frequencies or trunk system talk groups? I always [naively] thought the regular library updates took care of that for us. If I'm wrong, there's probably going to be a PSR800 for sale very soon. At least my 396XT is easy to update (and confirm) using FreeSCAN - he he.

Thanks in advance for all constructive feedback. I'm burning candles at both ends, and probably won't be back on here till Monday afternoon. Looking forward to any replies.

Very best.
 

troymail

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I believe the PSR800 was designed to be used in simple ways to make it easy for a novice user to get up and running. This means one of two things:

- a simple "standard" load of a system with a few options like which agency categories/groupings (for conventional frequencies), trunked sites and categories (e.g. RR grouping like "Fire", "Police", "Services", etc. )

The user has the option of loading some or all of the system in placing the data in one or more scanlists. However, there are some limitations.

- a "location based" (city, zip code, etc.) load. This uses location and the RR "tags" ("Law Dispatch", "Law Tac", "Interop", etc.) categories and allows the user to select which of those categories they want loaded. Of course, this gives you less/no control over which systems and conventional frequencies are loaded. It also automatically assigns the frequencies/talkgroups (objects) to a scanlist that matches the tag values.

But you know all of that already....

If the software (either on the radio or in EZ Scan) maintained all of the control (i.e. use the "location" based imports/loads), it could probably do more to provide a better "update" process that reflects the RR library updates each week. But given that users have the first option (standard imports) and also completely manual programming options via EZ Scan, it's nearly impossible to perform updates against that programming without likely messing it all up and irritating the user.

If GRE were still working this (and the software doesn't already work this way), I'd recommend that if the VScanner/VFolder is set to "Set Location = ON", the configuration should maintain how the import was performed (i.e. which City and/or Zip codes and TAGS were used on the import) and perform the update using those same options (to include import of new things that match). Of course, the user in this case would ceding all control to the software (Note: if the software detects even the slightest manual "tweaking" in the Vscanner/Vfolder, it would then need to just do the update style it does today.

Anything can be done with the software with unlimited funding and time - but that's never the case or an option.

As far as how I program --

Like many other users, I migrated over time from radio to radio with the last before my PSR800 being the PSR500. The 500 gave me alot of options (LED and alert settings, ignore status bit, etc) that I used. Additionally, I've always tried to split trunked systems across multiple scanlists for beyond even the RRDB categories or TAGS, For example, programming of my home county system:

Scanlist 1 - Fire Routine (dspatch, medical calls, etc.)
Scanlist 2 - Fireground
Scanlist 3 - Fire Admin
Scanlist 4 - County Police Routine
Scanlist 5 - State Police
Scanlist 6 - Sheriff
Scanlist 7 - Airport Fire
Scanlist 8 - Airport Police
Scanlist 9 - Police Priority Dispatch
Scanlist 10 - Emegency

etc. - you get the idea

The last two are interesting in that the system is a Motorola which when using the status bits, allows for detection of things like a radio's emergency button being pushed and when patches are setup (in most cases for this system indicates a priority dispatches over several talkgroups simultaneously).

Then of course there are the options/ability to configure lights and audible alerts...

All of this is custom because before the EZ Scan radios and Uniden's HP-1, everything was custom. Some of us went much more custom than others.....

When I started with the PSR800, I made every attempt to carry over this custom programming. It can be tedious but it's really about what you want in your programming. But that comes at a cost. That is a decision you are making at the start and when you do, you've committed yourself to custom programming that can be difficult to maintain and/or change over time - particularly for a system that is new and/or constantly changing. However, those of us who do this type of programming see this as a big part of the hobby and love all of the "nerd knobs" or bells and whistles.

Over time I've moved away from significant custom programming but mostly because I'm more interested these days in tracking new systems and identifying new talkgroups (I'm not the basic "listener user"). The majority of custom programming I do now is limited to:

- always manually setting the backlighting and recording options
- splitting trunked system sites (and sometimes even the control channel frequencies) over multiple scanlists (which means using the "duplicate system" option in EZ Scan software and then locking out sites and frequencies).
- SKIP or LOCK out known talkgroups to focus on the new/wildcard hits

Having said all of this - it's obvious that the PSR800 was not envisioned to be a "nerd knob" radio. To understand this, take a look at all of the settings the PSR500 provided and compare that to the PSR800 setting options. Huge difference. Even more obvious is the lack of a alphanumeric keypad on the PSR800. It was intended to increase the user base (which would be great for all of us for many reasons) by lowering the bar to entry and simplifying use for the inexperienced user while also providing a few of the basic bells and whistles that could optionally be used by the more experienced user. Again, it's a question of time and money how much is included in the radio and you can never be everything to everyone...

The two things I'd consider (if not cost prohibitive) in improving on the PSR800 would be:

- bring the alphanumeric keypad back
- provide two clear and distinct types of firmware that could be installed at the user's wish on the radio:
NOVICE: a true novice user EZ Scan/PSR800 type (scaled back version of the current PSR800 design)
ADVANCED: something closer to the PSR500 firmware that includes the basic import programming option which could then be tweaked through the keypad or PC software

As a huge bonus - rather than making the choice of these options at the radio (global) level, make these options at the VScanner/VFolder level (e.g. folder 1 could be a NOVICE folder and folder 2 could an ADVANCED folder).
 
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WK4U

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Think I'm gonna sell my 800...

Again thank you to both Les and Troymail.

Your cogent replies and excellent explanations have convinced me that I no longer want to fool around with my 800 radio. I really do want more control and not play with an entry level radio. I'll probably draft up an advertisement, and put it up for sale here on RR tomorrow.

Too bad really, because this 800 is the best radio I own to hear my own county's P25 multi-site TRS.

Thanks for your excellent inputs. If we ever meet in person, I promise the first drink is on me :)

Tim
 

troymail

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Again thank you to both Les and Troymail.

Your cogent replies and excellent explanations have convinced me that I no longer want to fool around with my 800 radio. I really do want more control and not play with an entry level radio. I'll probably draft up an advertisement, and put it up for sale here on RR tomorrow.

Too bad really, because this 800 is the best radio I own to hear my own county's P25 multi-site TRS.

Thanks for your excellent inputs. If we ever meet in person, I promise the first drink is on me :)

Tim
You are quite correct. It's a great radio and I don't recommend you part with it. You can/should perhaps just use the simplified imports and/or location and Tag based input.

If you need assistance, I am more than happy to help.

Troy
 

IowaGuy1603

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Jones County Iowa
Again thank you to both Les and Troymail.

Your cogent replies and excellent explanations have convinced me that I no longer want to fool around with my 800 radio. I really do want more control and not play with an entry level radio. I'll probably draft up an advertisement, and put it up for sale here on RR tomorrow.

Too bad really, because this 800 is the best radio I own to hear my own county's P25 multi-site TRS.

Thanks for your excellent inputs. If we ever meet in person, I promise the first drink is on me :)

Tim
I would suggest you try reading THIS and using it.

Easier to Read PSR800 Digital Scanner Manual

The PSR 800 isn't all that complicated once you figure out a few basic steps


Abandoning the best radio you own just because it takes a bit of minor tweaks to make it work the way you want it to is like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

EZScan will let you do almost anything you want..................I have added frequencies that are not in the database and customized the display readout with out a major problem
 

jackj

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I agree with IowaGuy. If you truly think the PSR-800 is the best radio you own then selling it is kind of like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Do yourself a favor and keep the radio, learn the architecture of trunked radio systems and then learn how to program using EZScan. EZScan will let you do almost anything you might want to do with the radio. Oh by the way, it isn't an entry level radio. But it is one that a beginner can get up and operating in just a few minutes.
 

jkahn

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You are quite correct. It's a great radio and I don't recommend you part with it. You can/should perhaps just use the simplified imports and/or location and Tag based input.

If you need assistance, I am more than happy to help.

Troy
I will agree with Troy. Even if Uniden is coming out with new radios to decode the 700MHz TDMA systems, the PSR800 is still a great radio, and reading the "easier to use" guide might help convince you to try a little more. I don't consider myself a "power user" by any means, although I have been in the hobby for more than 50 years, and programming can be as easy or complex as you want to make it.

To the OP on arranging scanlists:
I have my County (Montgomery MD Simulcast) and the neighboring County (PG MD TDMA) in 3 lists each: Fire/EMS, PD and local/other (like muni PD and Hiway Roads division). I have all of DC in 1 list for PD/Fire/etc, because most of PD has gone encrypted! I also have several scan lists for federal systems I monitor, so I can add/remove them as I please. It does get cumbersome to update, but I do this usually twice a year for a complete new download and sorting. The rest of the time I just read the various forums here, and if something new comes up, I manually add it to the scan list, which is rare.

I have a new virtual scanner for Northern VA with each county in 2 talk groups: PD and Fire/EMS and some larger municipalities in a scan list all their own. For STARS (Statewide State Police) I have just 1 scanlist with all towers and TGIDs, but I "skip" almost everything in the software before I send it to the SD card, and when I travel, I just skip/unskip the TGs as I go.

JK :)
 

WK4U

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Yep...

I would suggest you try reading THIS and using it.

Easier to Read PSR800 Digital Scanner Manual

The PSR 800 isn't all that complicated once you figure out a few basic steps


Abandoning the best radio you own just because it takes a bit of minor tweaks to make it work the way you want it to is like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

EZScan will let you do almost anything you want..................I have added frequencies that are not in the database and customized the display readout with out a major problem
Thanks sir. I did find this site when I first bought the 800. Also used it with my 396XT. Very good info indeed. I'm no power user with the 800, but think I've got it down fairly well. I do understand objects going into groups, then into sites, then into systems. Conventional frequencies still the way we used to do it years ago with memory banks for the most part.

My feelings about selling did not come overnight or from this thread. This thread only pushed me over the edge of the fence really. Also the fact that GRE is now gone, and we have NO IDEA what Whistler is going to do. I appreciate your words about keeping this 800. Thank you.

Now I've gotta draft up an ad, and post it on the for sale forum...

Tim
 
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