Monitoring DPS on a 396 T

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red8

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I need some assistance from my neighbors in the Lone Star. I am wanting to program the P25 channels on my 396 T. How does one go about doing it?
 

mass-man

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I dont have a 396T but remember a fellow figuring out you have to turn Tone Search off for it to properly in conventional P25!
 

nd5y

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What part of the state will you be in? In some areas the DPS is on local/regional trunked systems.
Are you using software or programming from the keypad?
The frequencies are listed at https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?aid=71.
Program all the statewide frequencies at the top of the page as conventional and make sure CTCSS/DCS is set to OFF.
If you are using Freescan then set the Tone column to None.
That is the only way a BCD396T will receive P25 conventional and it doesn't have NAC so you only need to program the frequencies once each.
 

mass-man

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thanks Tom. Just wondered? I drive thru Tyler often, but never have the time to monitor the VHF and the GATRRS assigned talkgroups at the same time...
 

hiegtx

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Do they use the local/county system exclusively or are comms patched to/from the VHF P25 channels?
For areas where they are using the local trunked system, I have not run across patches over to the P25 Vhf conventional channels. The one I hear most often is the Parker County TRS. You may hear DPS units on that system, but not simultaneously with the Vhf channels dispatched out of Mineral Wells, sometimes using the Aledo repeater (for DPS). It's either one or the other, but not both systems. I know that DPS Tyler has talkgroups on TxWARN P25, but I'm much too far away to verify what they are using. DPS also has talkgroups on FWRRS and the new Denton Phase II system, but again I am not in range to hear all traffic. I can't say whether they simulcast in the Houston area, or Austin, though DPS has talkgroups on systems in those areas.

Now, the exception here in the Dallas Metro area is when DPS 101, the copter based at Mesquite's airport, gets involved with one of the local agencies on either a suspect hunt, or a chase, I have heard him patch several systems together. The applicable TRS (Garland or Mesquite are the most common), the DPS dispatch, and sometimes a third one, such as Dallas County S.O. But that is not a common, daily, process, just during some sort of incident where air support has been requested from DPS. DPS 101 regularly will specify that they are simulcasting when this occurs.
 

hiegtx

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OOPS....TXWARN up in Tyler!
I do, occasionally, hear traffic on the DPS talkgroups out of Tyler, when one of the units gets far enough west to affiliate with the Kaufman TxWARN tower. But I'd be well out of range of any of the Tyler/Smith County area Vhf frequencies.
 

hiegtx

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I need some assistance from my neighbors in the Lone Star. I am wanting to program the P25 channels on my 396 T. How does one go about doing it?
For the 396T, either program the Vhf channels for the area of interest, or simply enter the Statewide Channel plan. That may look like a boatload of channels, but it's really not. If you look more closely, you'll notice that there are four base frequencies, and a group of mobile repeater frequencies. But if you look more closely, you'll see that the large number of Mobile Repeater frequencies is really only a handful repeated numerous times, but with different NAC codes assigned for them depending on location. Since the 396T cannot make use of NAC codes (that came with the 396XT and the old PSR500/600), enter only the unique frequencies. Leave the tone field set to none. Do not use "Search" as the scanner will treat the frequency as being analog, and look for a PL tone or DCS code.

The DPS system is set up to be duplex, with the base transmitting on one frequency, and the mobile units answering on a different one. Occasionally, the dispatcher may set his console to repeater mode, where you'll hear both sides of the conversation on the base frequency. But if that is not activated, you would need to be scanning both the base frequency and the ones listed as Mobile to Base x (Mobile to Base A is 154.6800). Unless you're close, you may not hear the mobiles except when repeater mode is active. So, I program the system with only a short (one second) delay, but with a 3 second hold time. That way, when the base unkeys, and the mobile answers on the other frequency, the scanner will not still be sitting on the base frequency waiting for a replay. Instead, the hold time will keep it re-scanning the DPS system to see if it hears anything else, like a reply on one of the mobile to base frequencies.

The Mobile Repeater frequencies, generally 159.2100 and 159.2175, are used in areas without a manned DPS dispatch office. You will hear both sides of the traffic on those frequencies.

There are about six or so "out of pattern" frequencies scattered in the individual regions. One in the Houston area is 155.535 (Richmond Dispatch, listed under DPS Pierce in the Region II Houston section). There are a few more, mostly south and southwest Texas area.
 

IAmSixNine

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For areas where they are using the local trunked system, I have not run across patches over to the P25 Vhf conventional channels. The one I hear most often is the Parker County TRS. You may hear DPS units on that system, but not simultaneously with the Vhf channels dispatched out of Mineral Wells, sometimes using the Aledo repeater (for DPS). It's either one or the other, but not both systems. I know that DPS Tyler has talkgroups on TxWARN P25, but I'm much too far away to verify what they are using. DPS also has talkgroups on FWRRS and the new Denton Phase II system, but again I am not in range to hear all traffic. I can't say whether they simulcast in the Houston area, or Austin, though DPS has talkgroups on systems in those areas.

Now, the exception here in the Dallas Metro area is when DPS 101, the copter based at Mesquite's airport, gets involved with one of the local agencies on either a suspect hunt, or a chase, I have heard him patch several systems together. The applicable TRS (Garland or Mesquite are the most common), the DPS dispatch, and sometimes a third one, such as Dallas County S.O. But that is not a common, daily, process, just during some sort of incident where air support has been requested from DPS. DPS 101 regularly will specify that they are simulcasting when this occurs.
Technically DPS101 doesnt patch the channels.
What he is doing is simultaneously transmitting on different radios.
So you will hear them talking at once to multiple agencies, the agencies responding are still only on their respected systems and not being patched through to the others. . I have been very impressed with them each time i have heard a chase or foot pursuit and how well he handles the radio traffic and the professionalism.
The helo can TX and RX because they have multiple radios in the helo and he can select which ones they want to transmit on and receive on individually.

I have hard them on Garland, Mesquite DPD 2 and DSO at the same time.
My guess is they have 2 700/800 trunking radios, 2 UHF and 2 VHF along with the normal Air band radios. But thats my guess. Id love to see the set up one day.

back to the original thread.
 

hiegtx

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Technically DPS101 doesnt patch the channels.
What he is doing is simultaneously transmitting on different radios.
So you will hear them talking at once to multiple agencies, the agencies responding are still only on their respected systems and not being patched through to the others. . I have been very impressed with them each time i have heard a chase or foot pursuit and how well he handles the radio traffic and the professionalism.
The helo can TX and RX because they have multiple radios in the helo and he can select which ones they want to transmit on and receive on individually.

I have hard them on Garland, Mesquite DPD 2 and DSO at the same time.
My guess is they have 2 700/800 trunking radios, 2 UHF and 2 VHF along with the normal Air band radios. But thats my guess. Id love to see the set up one day.

back to the original thread.
You're probably correct on that. But they execute that very well, coordinating multiple agencies involved in the incident.
 
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For areas where they are using the local trunked system, I have not run across patches over to the P25 Vhf conventional channels...
Yes and no. In the Houston and Austin regions, as well as the RGV, the dispatcher multicasts across VHF and the trunked talkgroups but they are not patched. This seems to be a statewide SOP and I wouldn't be surprised if all of the regions were set up this way. In regions where trunking is used the majority of mobile/portable traffic will be on the trunked side.

Multicasting across multiple VHF conventional channels and trunked talkgroups simultaneously is not uncommon either.
 

hiegtx

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Yes and no. In the Houston and Austin regions, as well as the RGV, the dispatcher multicasts across VHF and the trunked talkgroups but they are not patched. This seems to be a statewide SOP and I wouldn't be surprised if all of the regions were set up this way. In regions where trunking is used the majority of mobile/portable traffic will be on the trunked side.

Multicasting across multiple VHF conventional channels and trunked talkgroups simultaneously is not uncommon either.
I have not heard that happening on the Parker County system, at least not yet. But as I mentioned, that's the only TRS that I regularly encounter.
 

SCPD

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I listen to DPS Tyler often and they use both VHF and Trunked (probably simulcasting). In Texarkana DPS use 155.4450 123 NAC and the Marshall repeater. They can also be found on a few local dispatch channels and on the Bi-State information network system but do not have their own talkgroups. They just piggy on Bowie county dispatch.
 

jasday

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Steve,

They do simulcast across the Parker County P25 as well as I only hear the Mineral Wells dispatcher. I dont think ive actually heard a trooper on thr p25 system. Every once and a while you will hear Parker County make a all call for a Trooper on the DPS TGs.
 

hiegtx

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Steve,

They do simulcast across the Parker County P25 as well as I only hear the Mineral Wells dispatcher. I dont think ive actually heard a trooper on thr p25 system. Every once and a while you will hear Parker County make a all call for a Trooper on the DPS TGs.
I have not caught that when monitoring, but I cannot monitor the P25 system from home. I only hear it when I visit friends out in Stephens County, passing through Parker County, and sometimes listening to the system while out there. Apparently, I was not listening (or perhaps not looking at the scanner display) at the right time.

Thanks for the update.
 
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