Multi-site trunking on a Pro97

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Chaos703

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I have a question about multi-site trunking on a Pro97.

Although I have no way to be sure, I strongly suspect that my 97 struggles when it's in an area with two or more strong control channels on the state SmartZone network. For example, when traveling between Tulsa and the City, I notice that OHP traffic seems normal coming from the Bristow site, then gets really sporadic when I'm around Stroud, then seems fine again to once it's feeding off the Carney site until I get to the Arcida area where it drops out again. Then it just seems ... confused? ... the entire time I'm in the City.

I should add that I don't think it's a simple of problem of a week signal in a fringe area because when the scanner does pick up traffic, it's generally clear and strong. But I feel that it's failing to lock onto talk groups in the areas with more than one control channel.

Any thoughts?
 

gmclam

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PRO-97 and trunking

We have a multi-site trunked system here in my county. I too have noticed all kinds of issues with the PRO-97 and which control channel it "decides" to receive from at any given moment. When I first started using a '97 I was reading lots of posts here about this issue. The conventional wisdom seems to be to put your different control channel frequencies into the same bank, but be sure to put conventional channels (set to AM, FM, CT or DC) between them, and make sure those conventional channels are not locked out. While I've done that, I still find that the '97 will favor one cc over another. Now I typically use a PRO-95 (which supposedly functions the same) for monitoring my trunked system, but that's another issue.

What you might TRY is putting one set of control channels in one bank, and the other set in another bank. I know it means you have to program the TGs into both banks, but you can use the rest of the channels in each bank for conventional freqs if you like. Anyway, the '97 seems to have an easier time managing two active control channels when they are in separate banks. And of course, it makes it easier for you to select one or both to monitor.
 
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dstew67

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Missouri
I have a question about multi-site trunking on a Pro97.

Although I have no way to be sure, I strongly suspect that my 97 struggles when it's in an area with two or more strong control channels on the state SmartZone network. For example, when traveling between Tulsa and the City, I notice that OHP traffic seems normal coming from the Bristow site, then gets really sporadic when I'm around Stroud, then seems fine again to once it's feeding off the Carney site until I get to the Arcida area where it drops out again. Then it just seems ... confused? ... the entire time I'm in the City.

I should add that I don't think it's a simple of problem of a week signal in a fringe area because when the scanner does pick up traffic, it's generally clear and strong. But I feel that it's failing to lock onto talk groups in the areas with more than one control channel.

Any thoughts?
I think this is an issue of topography, more than it is the scanner. I've had this issue with several different scanners, with several antennas. I also hear Turner units occasionally talk of dead spots.

What I have noticed, is that my 97 seems to be a little better than my 396 in these conditions. My 396 seems to want to hold on to a particular control channel, even though another stronger signal is available.
 

Gilligan

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I have a Pro-97 and I multi-site the state 800 system as well. I know I've done some looking into this and you have to be very careful about the channels you use as spacers. I believe I use 1300.000Mhz set to FM mode (not CT or DC) for the spacers and it works fine. But keep them active (not locked out or attenuated).

So I might have
01 tower1_ctrl1
02 tower1_ctrl2
03 spacer
04 tower2_ctrl1
05 tower2_ctrl2
06 spacer
07 tower3_ctrl1
08 tower3_ctrl2

You can also put the actual site names for channel identifiers and that way you'll know which site you're hearing. So name the system (Program + Func + Bank# + Text) Oklahoma DPS and then name the tower sites in the individual channels.

Let me know if you need more help with this.

You might also look at this forum thread:

http://www.radioreference.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59978&highlight=pro-97
 

dstew67

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Dec 19, 2002
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Missouri
I have a Pro-97 and I multi-site the state 800 system as well. I know I've done some looking into this and you have to be very careful about the channels you use as spacers. I believe I use 1300.000Mhz set to FM mode (not CT or DC) for the spacers and it works fine. But keep them active (not locked out or attenuated).

So I might have
01 tower1_ctrl1
02 tower1_ctrl2
03 spacer
04 tower2_ctrl1
05 tower2_ctrl2
06 spacer
07 tower3_ctrl1
08 tower3_ctrl2

You can also put the actual site names for channel identifiers and that way you'll know which site you're hearing. So name the system (Program + Func + Bank# + Text) Oklahoma DPS and then name the tower sites in the individual channels.

Let me know if you need more help with this.

You might also look at this forum thread:

http://www.radioreference.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59978&highlight=pro-97
Great info. Thanks Gilligan!! I'm running to get my 97 as soon as I click submit :)
 

kjwilson

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Dec 7, 2004
Messages
37
Location
Tulsa, OK.
Gilligan,

I understand how to do it, but I'm not sure about what the advantages are. Please correct me if my conclusions are wrong.

1. If I program all of the OK DPS control channels in one bank, I do not need to program all of the other site frequencies into my scanner as it will (my scanner) switch to the correct frequency based on the data received from the control channel.

2. Can I still program specific Talk Groups? I looked at the database, and there doesn't appear to be any duplicate Talk Group IDs. So I wouldn't have Tulsa UDE on minute then Edmond Animal Control the next as I move between sites?

3. If I were in OKC would I still be able to listen to Tulsa radio traffic? That would be what I see as the advantage of this method of programming a scanner, especially when traveling the turnpike. To be able to follow OHP traffic from one end to the other without having to switch banks or anything else would be great for avoiding potential traffic problems while traveling out of town.

4. Does anyone know if this works on the Pro-94 also?
 
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