Marcs talkgroups

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steveh552

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Posted this a few days ago on the Marcs yahoo group with not a single reply, so I thought I would post here:

I am going to be buying either a 396 or PSR500 and am researching
everything to be prepared. I am only buying so that I can monitor the
MARCS system but will also be putting regular conventional as well.

The question I have is how do I know which talkgroups will work on
what sites, maybe better worded, what I would be able to hear on the
Licking county sites. I know I want Medflight and OSP (which I know I can monitor), maybe a few
others, but do not want to waste room putting things in that I would
not be able to monitor in the first place.

Thanks in advance.
 

radioscan

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That question is not easily answered. Best advice is to look over the MARCS talkgroups
and just put in those that cover the area around you including all surrounding counties and then pick and choose what you want to listen to.

You are asking a question that pertains to listening tastes, what interests some of us may not interest you. With the PSR-500 you can just put in what you wish, and create a
talkgroup "wildcard" so any new talkgroups that are not programmed in are easily recognized when they pop up active on your programmed tower sites. You can set them to alert you with an audible alarm and using the LED feature of the radio. It also gives you the ability to quickly store it to memory. You can also use the control feature in the Win500 software to record hits as to what talkgroups are the most active.

I do not have every talkgroup programmed in, but I have a lot of them, some that do not
pertain to my local area. So basically it is a matter of going though the talkgroups and choosing what you want to listen to.
Using the PSR-500 for Licking County you have plenty of room to play with for what you want to put in it. You should not have
to worry about wasting memory.
 
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hoser147

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Yep Mark is right some of them will drive ya nuts with nonsense, that you will decide you dont want tying up your scanner, its all about your listening taste and style..............Hoser
 

steveh552

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My main listening is law enforcement and fire/ems. I do not listen to much else. I was just curious if there was away of knowing which groups worked on what sites.
 

hoser147

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There are lots of different Mutual aid talkgroups, one for each Sheriff office, and other agencies. With a statewide system and your location, you should have plenty. Are you going to use your new digital for MARCs only? Hoser
 

steveh552

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There are lots of different Mutual aid talkgroups, one for each Sheriff office, and other agencies. With a statewide system and your location, you should have plenty. Are you going to use your new digital for MARCs only? Hoser
As of right now that is the plan. I have an old 2m radio that I use for my VHF stuff when I am in the car and I have a BC350a that I have about 10 freqs programed for the local stuff, and nothing here is trunked.
 

wa8pyr

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The question I have is how do I know which talkgroups will work on what sites, maybe better worded, what I would be able to hear on the Licking county sites. I know I want Medflight and OSP (which I know I can monitor), maybe a few others, but do not want to waste room putting things in that I would not be able to monitor in the first place.
You'll only be able to hear those talkgroups for which a user radio has affiliated to the site you're monitoring. Check the Wiki for a deeper explanation of how SmartZone systems work.

For example, if no one using talkgroup 1664 (OSP Post 45) is affiliated to any of the sites you're monitoring, you won't hear it. While it's unlikely that you wouldn't hear Post 45 on at least one of the Licking County sites, there is always that possibility.

The same holds true for any talkgroup; if no one is using it in your area, you won't hear it.

Basically, Mark's suggestion to pick out only that which you really want to monitor is good. Depending on which radio you buy and how much memory you plan to use, you should also put in the mutual aid talkgroups (MCALL, MCOMM, ECOMM), as well as the SO-xx talkgroups for your area. The hospital talkgroups for your area (HOS-xxxx) wouldn't be a bad idea, either.
 

mtindor

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Another suggestion is to run in ID Search Mode or Open Mode (in some scanners this means creating a wildcard). If you buy a PSR-500, you'd want to add a Group Wildcard (so that you hear all talkgroups) and a Private Wildcard (so you can hear I calls). Then, when new ones pop up and you see the IDs, cross reference them to the RRDB and decide if you want to add them.

That way, initially you won't miss _anything_ - If it can be heard off of the sites you are listening to, you will hear it. Then you can add those TGs in manually with appropriate text tagging so that you know exactly what they are when they pop up next time.

So, in summary, add the ones you're pretty sure you will hear anyway, then add a Group and a Private Wildcard to catch anything else. then when you hear something new for which you don't have a specific TG programmed in, you'll get the TGID and you cross reference it with the RRDB and decide if it is soemthing you want in. If you do want it in, add it like you did the others.

Mike
 

SLWilson

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How to figure it out....

My main listening is law enforcement and fire/ems. I do not listen to much else. I was just curious if there was away of knowing which groups worked on what sites.
To help you out a little....Program the tower sites in your area into the scanner. Then, set it up to receive in the OPEN mode.

That way, you will hear EVERYTHING that goes through your local tower. In the open mode, you can hear it all WITHOUT having to enter each TG in the area.

As you listen and hear agencies you'd want to monitor,jot down their tg ID and go back into programming. Set the bank to the CLOSED mode. Add all of the TG's you identified. And then, you'll have it the way you want it....

That should do it for him shouldn't it Hoser?

Steve/KB8FAR/Gallia County, OH :)
 

steveh552

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Canal Winchester Ohio
Thanks for the replies all. I just want to have all the info so that when I get the scanner (which one is yet to be determined, just knowing it will be either 396 or 500) I will know what to do with it and what to expect.

As some may remember I had bought a pro-433 from Radio Shack and found out the kid that sold it did not know anything about it really and it was not capable of doing what I was wanting, so I had returned it. Just dont want to make the mistake again.

Should I be able to get all 3 towers in our area picked up, living in the west end of Newark?
 

mtindor

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Thanks for the replies all. I just want to have all the info so that when I get the scanner (which one is yet to be determined, just knowing it will be either 396 or 500) I will know what to do with it and what to expect.

As some may remember I had bought a pro-433 from Radio Shack and found out the kid that sold it did not know anything about it really and it was not capable of doing what I was wanting, so I had returned it. Just dont want to make the mistake again.

Should I be able to get all 3 towers in our area picked up, living in the west end of Newark?
I don't live in Newark, but it wouldn't surprise me if you could get all the towers and quite a few from other counties given the terrain in Licking Co (and Central Ohio) being relatively flat.

If you have a scanner that can receiver 800 mhz now, you can at least program in the control channels for all the sites you are interested in hearing and then see what kind of signal strength you get on them all. You'd know beforehand what to expect that way.

Mike
 
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