Monitoring AFRRCS with a BCD325P2

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SierraTangoAlpha

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I am wondering what I am doing wrong with my BCD-325P2, I am loading the databases from RR and it is putting in all of the province-wide frequencies. I have the conventional and the EDACS for Edmonton also (minus the Leduc Airport) and I get a lot of nothing. No traffic.

I just got a lock-up with a Bow Island name and ID 972 but no sound at all. Is it worthwhile to program all of the AFRRCS freq. in or should I just do the COMMON or INTEROPERABILITY Channels?

My UBC125XLT will do the conventional Parkland, Leduc, Stony and will pick up some voice traffic. My P2 just locked up on Edson ID 2776 but if I am not looking or its not connected and logging I would never know.

I have an MFJ Dual Band Whip, the rubber duck, and a Mag mount base-mobile antenna available but mostly nothing is helping.

Is an SDS100 going to be any different? Tsturina Lock up ID 151 so its hearing something just not really useful to listen to. Is it down to spreadsheets and logging now in terms of digital scanning? I would like to use this effectively but sort of struggling.

It just sits there...staring at me....lol
 

SierraTangoAlpha

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For all of my complaining I just logged a pager test for Alderside in the clear with some vocal distortion but very readable 18:39 pm (no one was more surprised than I!) Musical Tones and then dispatch asking for check in.
 

mciupa

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The two IDs you posted have encrypted digital traffic. In the database they are marked as DE. They are not listenable. Stick to the D talkgroups in your programming.
 

omrail

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I am wondering what I am doing wrong with my BCD-325P2, I am loading the databases from RR and it is putting in all of the province-wide frequencies. I have the conventional and the EDACS for Edmonton also (minus the Leduc Airport) and I get a lot of nothing. No traffic.

I just got a lock-up with a Bow Island name and ID 972 but no sound at all. Is it worthwhile to program all of the AFRRCS freq. in or should I just do the COMMON or INTEROPERABILITY Channels?

My UBC125XLT will do the conventional Parkland, Leduc, Stony and will pick up some voice traffic. My P2 just locked up on Edson ID 2776 but if I am not looking or its not connected and logging I would never know.

I have an MFJ Dual Band Whip, the rubber duck, and a Mag mount base-mobile antenna available but mostly nothing is helping.

Is an SDS100 going to be any different? Tsturina Lock up ID 151 so its hearing something just not really useful to listen to. Is it down to spreadsheets and logging now in terms of digital scanning? I would like to use this effectively but sort of struggling.

It just sits there...staring at me....lol
The large majority of what’s on AFRRCS at this point is encrypted so you will not hear it. Having said that all city of Edmonton services or going to AFRRCS and at this point I know Fire, roadways, waste management and some transit are for sure in the clear.

EDACS is still in use with it being simulcast on AFRRCS. My understanding is the LRT tunnel is still causing issues for radio coverage on AFRRCS.
 

SierraTangoAlpha

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The large majority of what’s on AFRRCS at this point is encrypted so you will not hear it. Having said that all city of Edmonton services or going to AFRRCS and at this point I know Fire, roadways, waste management and some transit are for sure in the clear.

EDACS is still in use with it being simulcast on AFRRCS. My understanding is the LRT tunnel is still causing issues for radio coverage on AFRRCS.
I get the warbling voices sometimes or crosstalk with very small interruptions. Annoying but still readable. I was thinking about taking the plunge and getting an SDS 100, but I will need to learn how to avoid loading some of the DE channels. When I download from the RR database it all just comes down. Rather than edit it and possibly miss something I just take all the channels as they come
 

Jay911

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The large majority of what’s on AFRRCS at this point is encrypted so you will not hear it.
Of the 702 talkgroups in the RRDB, 162 (or only 23% of the total) are encrypted.

My understanding is the LRT tunnel is still causing issues for radio coverage on AFRRCS.
Simulcast is what's causing problems in Edmonton on AFRRCS.

Is it worthwhile to program all of the AFRRCS freq. in or should I just do the COMMON or INTEROPERABILITY Channels?
You need the site(s) nearest your location, and whatever talkgroups you want to listen to.

The sites are what carries the talkgroups you listen to.

The talkgroups are what separates agency XYZ from agency ABC.

"Lockup", "warbling sound", "grinding", etc., is all indication that you're listening to digital signals in analog mode. AFRRCS is 100% digital. Any frequencies or talkgroups you program in for AFRRCS need to be set as Digital.

You can pick any of the channels (talkgroups) in the RR database that don't have an 'e' or 'E' in the "Mode" column. You're likely to only hear things from your local area or slightly beyond - for example you will not hear Red Deer or Edmonton comms in Calgary.
 

SierraTangoAlpha

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Of the 702 talkgroups in the RRDB, 162 (or only 23% of the total) are encrypted.



Simulcast is what's causing problems in Edmonton on AFRRCS.



You need the site(s) nearest your location, and whatever talkgroups you want to listen to.

The sites are what carries the talkgroups you listen to.

The talkgroups are what separates agency XYZ from agency ABC.

"Lockup", "warbling sound", "grinding", etc., is all indication that you're listening to digital signals in analog mode. AFRRCS is 100% digital. Any frequencies or talkgroups you program in for AFRRCS need to be set as Digital.

You can pick any of the channels (talkgroups) in the RR database that don't have an 'e' or 'E' in the "Mode" column. You're likely to only hear things from your local area or slightly beyond - for example you will not hear Red Deer or Edmonton comms in Calgary.
Thanks for the reply, I will have to go through the database (I just got Rainbow Lake ID 151 in the clear) and check off anything close that has a D. I am using XT by Butel to manage the radio and have just been checking all.. (Lougheed ID 522 in the clear just now)

Diggin in to the menu, there is an option to ignore fully encrypted or partially encrypted systems, so I have deleted the scanner and started again ignoring all fully encrypted systems and downloading only the ''partially encrypted'' channels and we will see how that goes.81438
 

Jay911

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Thanks for the reply, I will have to go through the database (I just got Rainbow Lake ID 151 in the clear) and check off anything close that has a D. I am using XT by Butel to manage the radio and have just been checkig all.. (Lougheed ID522 in the clear just now)
151 is Community Peace Officers for the entire NW corner of the province, not just Rainbow Lake. As per the database.

522 shows as being Yellowhead County Fire channel 2.

And you don't want "partially encrypted" channels, you want channels with no encryption. I guess you could also have partially encrypted ones too if you want to hear drunken R2D2 screaming in between transmissions.
 

SierraTangoAlpha

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I am using the filters available in XT Pro and the only choices are to exclude fully encrypted channels. I am assuming a partially encrypted channel may sometimes operate in the clear.
I read in the AFRRCS data set the DE/D channel nomenclature, but when I download from the database no such appellation exists. So I am forced to manually select the channels using the filters available..my choices are only those two

Redid the whole thing again no partially encrypted channels. Only Wabamun,Devon,Evansberg. All quiet on conventional and digital.
 

SierraTangoAlpha

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As you can see by my programing choices west of the city on top of a hill with a tower 1/4 mile away. Either my programing sucks or there in nothing going on. (I have my other scanner looking at conventional local as well and its pretty quiet. Its pretty discouraging really. I have cut the number of channels to only Digital and still hear nothing. The radio reports a SID 005AH-4646 as the nearest full signal source but still nothing at all
 

kayn1n32008

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If your closest site is 05A-4646, you are likely not going to hear a lot of traffic. Parkland County Fire still uses their UHF analogue network for Fire comms. RCMP are essentially 100% encrypted. AHS is essentially encrypted, except for their MA-11 to MA-15 talkgroups.

The other issue you will run into is that unless a radio is affiliated to 05A-4646, there will not be any traffic to listen to.

It is entirely possible to not see any unencrypted traffic on a site that does not have much local government users.
 

SierraTangoAlpha

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If your closest site is 05A-4646, you are likely not going to hear a lot of traffic. Parkland County Fire still uses their UHF analogue network for Fire comms. RCMP are essentially 100% encrypted. AHS is essentially encrypted, except for their MA-11 to MA-15 talkgroups.

the other issue you will run into is that unless a radio is affiliated to 05A-4646, there will not be any traffic to listen to.

It is entirely possible to not see any unencrypted traffic on a site that does not have much local government users.
Well, I have both the conventional and digital channels covered, plus a dedicated conventional scanner that usually yields some activity. Just not having any luck with the digital end of things. I have pruned the channels down to the most likely usual suspects. (Villeneuve, Evansberg, Devon) and just getting nothing.

I am going to be moving around today EAST and will see how well my Edmonton City lock outs are.
 

SierraTangoAlpha

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Are you able to hear the Villenuve site? Can you hear the Evansberg site? Can you hear the Devon site?
I have the data from RadioReference and input with Arc Butel, and I can hear exactly nothing.The Wabamun site shows 5 bars briefly as the scanner rotates through the search.
I guess what I am trying to do is make sure I am using the software correctly ( I was downloading things that would not yield any traffic DE Channels) I have made the change to only D channels and limited the data set to Wabamun Devon Villeneuve,Evansberg ..and to put it bluntly...not hearing anything.

I have a Dual Band Whip, plus a Mag mount external (No Discone yet) and its not really making any difference. I hear nothing. A lot of nothing. Thanks for taking the time to respond I am going mobile for the day and will see how the Edmonton programming I did works out
 

Jay911

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As you can see by my programing choices west of the city on top of a hill with a tower 1/4 mile away.
Just so you know, you don't have your location set in your RR profile, and there are officially 18 cities in Alberta. "The" city is not very helpful, but other comments you made lead me to believe you're talking about Edmonton.

The radio reports a SID 005AH-4646 as the nearest full signal source but still nothing at all
As kayn1n said, that does indicate you are receiving Wabamun strongly. However, radio users have to be on the Wabamun site in order for you to hear them. (The system doesn't rebroadcast traffic from other locations into sites where there are no official radio users to hear them, in order to save frequencies for actual local use.)

Well, I have both the conventional and digital channels covered, plus a dedicated conventional scanner that usually yields some activity. Just not having any luck with the digital end of things. I have pruned the channels down to the most likely usual suspects. (Villeneuve, Evansberg, Devon) and just getting nothing.

I am going to be moving around today EAST and will see how well my Edmonton City lock outs are.
There are no "conventional" channels in AFRRCS, with the exception of the five simplex channels shown here - click - and they are extremely low-power and short-range. You might hear STARS once in a blue moon on Simplex 1 if you are very close (within 1-2km) of where they are landing, but that's it.

All the "actual" activity on AFRRCS will be on the trunked system frequencies.

When you say you have "pruned the channels down" to Villeneuve, Evansburg, and Devon, you're talking about keeping those sites, correct, not the RCMP talkgroups by those names? As mentioned, RCMP is 100% encrypted and won't give you any traffic whatsoever.

I would think that on Villeneuve you should at least hear St Albert CPO once in a while - I did last week when I was up that way.

I have the data from RadioReference and input with Arc Butel, and I can hear exactly nothing.The Wabamun site shows 5 bars briefly as the scanner rotates through the search.
I guess what I am trying to do is make sure I am using the software correctly ( I was downloading things that would not yield any traffic DE Channels) I have made the change to only D channels and limited the data set to Wabamun Devon Villeneuve,Evansberg ..and to put it bluntly...not hearing anything.

I have a Dual Band Whip, plus a Mag mount external (No Discone yet) and its not really making any difference. I hear nothing. A lot of nothing. Thanks for taking the time to respond I am going mobile for the day and will see how the Edmonton programming I did works out
As much as I don't personally find ARC software to be useful/helpful, it does sound like you have it programmed properly if you're seeing 5 bars on the screen when Wabamun scrolls by. So long as you have talkgroups programmed in, you should eventually hear something. The thing is, "limiting the data set to {names}" doesn't explain much about what talkgroups are programmed in. There are no talkgroup categories named Wabamun, Devon, Villeneuve, or Evansburg. Those are site names. Devon has a couple of talkgroups in the Leduc County talkgroup category, one of which you might hear occasionally.

I would suggest you go to this page - RRDB for AFRRCS - in your web browser, and make note of the talkgroup groups that might have something you want to hear. Make sure those are turned on in ARC, and try your programming again.

Here's my suggestion of which ones might yield results:

Community Peace Officers - Provincial Radio Control Centre Talkgroups

AHS - North Communication Centre Talkgroups

AHS EMS - Central Communications Centre Talkgroups

Combined Events - Province Wide Talkgroups [rarely used]

Agriculture and Forestry Talkgroups

Fort Saskatchewan Talkgroups

Strathcona Talkgroups

Brazeau Talkgroups [only Brazeau Combined Events]

Parkland Talkgroups [only Peace Officers, Fire, and Combined Events]
 

SierraTangoAlpha

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If he’s west of Edmonton, he can forget Ft. Saskatchewan talkgroups.
Its been pretty quiet, West of the city. I spent the weekend in Tofield and got some good activity as I passed through Edmonton and Sherwood Park so the pruning of dataset worked in the City. I got lots of CPRail activity this morning on my way into town. I am back monitoring Wabamun, Evansberg, Villeneuve, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain on AFRRCS and then all of the Conventional Radio available in the same area on the XLT-125
 
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