BCD325P2: Losing control channel/not hearing all traffic?

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jcb209

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Hi Forum.

I'm trying to determine if I purchased a bad 325P2 or it's a programming issue. I purchased a 996P2 at the same time and had to send it back.

I have only 1 P25 system programmed (nothing else but the 1 system) as our local PD will be converting to a local P25 system from conventional over the next few months. Some of the neighboring departments have already move to the system. At this time, they are NOT encrypting the traffic (I confirmed this with officers on the system) which means I should hear most or all of the traffic for that TGID.

However, I'm only hearing some of the traffic. Listening to FD traffic on the system (which do not encrypt, side by side with RR broadcast), I noticed I'm missing over 50% of the traffic on the FD TGID which raised the question on traffic.

Just today, the control channel was in the display and I was hearing traffic and logging (ProScan connection, plus I also use FreeScan). About 2 hours ago, the display went to NFM and was scanning all the channels in the system (like a conventional scanner), and no traffic is heard. Right now, it is intermittently showing the control channel, with NFM being shown most of the time. I have even reloaded the programming, with no resolve.

The scanner has NOT moved from it's present position, so it's not a matter of the antenna changing position (which "could" cause signal loss).

The radio is less than 6 months old. I'm wondering if I happened to get 2 defective radios on my purchase. The seller refunded my 996 (even though I would have taken an exchange, it received no signals, even conventional), so I don't have another digital scanner to continue comparing.

Any insight would be helpful. I'm leaning toward a bad radio more than a programming issue. Do I need to contact Uniden support like I did for my 996? I don't have the need for the extra features the 436/536 offer, which is why I chose the 325.

Thanks.
 
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ofd8001

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Is this a system with multiple sites? If so, the traffic you are hearing on the RR Broadcast could be carried on site A when your scanner is "listening" to site B.

If these were two new scanners, I doubt the odds favor you getting two bad ones at the same time.

When you lose reception, presuming you are holding on a channel, you'll see a "Finding Control Channel" message.
 

jcb209

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No "Finding control channel" when I hit the hold button.

Both sites listed in the FCC database are showing the same frequencies and information (Type FB2). RR only lists the one site, though.

The ONLY difference I see is the Lat/Lon, which I don't see the scanner taking advantage of:

WNPK739 (AUSTINTOWN, TOWNSHIP OF) FCC Callsign Details
Austintown/Boardman Joint Public Safety Radio System Trunking System, Austintown, Ohio - Scanner Frequencies

I can try putting 2 sites (adding the one not listed) with the only difference being the lat/lon entry, but I don't think that will resolve the issue.

I will at least give it a shot. Other ideas welcome.

Thanks ofd8001
 

marksmith

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Enter all the frequencies. They might be alternating the control channel. Get a $15 dongle and download Unitrunker. It is a software program that shows all the activity on a trunked site.

If this is a newly developing system, which it sounds like, lots of things could be happening. It sounds like when it is showing NFM it is losing the active control channel. Good reason to enter every frequency. They are likely alternating.

Sent from my LG-V410 using Tapatalk
 

ofd8001

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This is a puzzler. . .

The database doesn't indicate this is a simulcast system, but two sites reasonably close together using the same frequencies tends to be a simulcast system. I'd probably ask this question in the Ohio page.

Simulcast systems can be problematic. If you are between sites, you are receiving transmissions from both towers and your scanner has difficulty decoding the signal. This typically manifests itself as either no audio or garbled audio.

I don't have this model scanner (I do the older versions - 396XT and 996XT) and simulcast is challenging. I changed some of the P25 settings and use Site Attenuation with slight improvement.

You can check Mark's manuals on how to make these changes:
Easier to Read BCD325P2 Digital Scanner Manual
 

jcb209

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Enter all the frequencies. They might be alternating the control channel. Get a $15 dongle and download Unitrunker. It is a software program that shows all the activity on a trunked site.

If this is a newly developing system, which it sounds like, lots of things could be happening. It sounds like when it is showing NFM it is losing the active control channel. Good reason to enter every frequency. They are likely alternating.

Sent from my LG-V410 using Tapatalk
The system isn't new, it's been active for a couple years. It replaced an aging 800 trunk system that was failing. They are adding new talkgroups for the county PD traffic that is moving from the old/antiquated VHF repeater system (the traffic from the depts that have moved to date is 1000% clearer).

I had all the frequencies, even the MO/FX1 freq that are different in the group and all activity was on the 5 listed for the sites, actually only 3 of the 5, the control and alternate control didn't log any traffic. There was no traffic on the MO/FX1 frequencies.
 

ofd8001

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I think it's always a good idea (unless you have memory limit issues) to program all frequencies - those marked as FBx for reasons Mark mentioned. This is true for new or old systems.

MO (mobile) or FX1 (base radios) do not need to be programmed. You'll never receive them on a trunked system. They are the frequencies used by portables/mobiles/base stations to talk into the system.
 

jcb209

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Why not ask the feed provider ?

Sure it's not just reception issues?
Feed provider has not yet responded. I sent a message a couple weeks ago. I have also sent a message to a scanner friend of mine (today) to see if he knows who the provider is. He may be someone not online all the time and may be able to get an alternate contact method.

There was a big structure fire a couple weeks ago, gave me a good comparison. I work near the one tower and it made no difference. Still missed traffic.
 

jcb209

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Another test/issue

Just for giggles, I put in a 2nd system consisting of 3 active conventional frequencies. So, the scanner is programmed with 1 P25 system w/2 sites, and 1 conventional w/3 channels

My Pro98 is broadcasting traffic and the BCD325P2 is still scanning (no traffic). Placed the scanner in manual (HOLD), actually heard data noise on the P25 control channel. Placed the scanner on the Conventional PD channel (HOLD) that my Pro98 always listens to (my PD is currently on this channel until the P25 conversion, which is why I'm trying to listen to this system). No traffic on the 325 when heard on the Pro98. I'm listening live right now, Pro98 traffic, silent 325. The scanners are side by side.

It's kinda telling me the scanner is not getting the signal (acting like the 996P2 did out of the box). I'm leaning toward having to contact Uniden Support for possibly another defective scanner (antenna connection?). I even went as far as a factory reset and reload of the scanner.

Thoughts? Maybe UPMan can give some insight when he gets to this thread.

Thanks to all of you for the suggestions.
 

flawson61

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Jun 6, 2017
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Enter all the frequencies. They might be alternating the control channel. Get a $15 dongle and download Unitrunker. It is a software program that shows all the activity on a trunked site.

If this is a newly developing system, which it sounds like, lots of things could be happening. It sounds like when it is showing NFM it is losing the active control channel. Good reason to enter every frequency. They are likely alternating.

Sent from my LG-V410 using Tapatalk
Where can I buy a $15 dongle, is it the rtl-sdr one??
 
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