BCD396T: need help programming Kansas, Harper County Kansas state wide inter-operable communications system

naa674

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
21
See if this one works.

The attached file includes the three systems from tvengr's post, in one FreeSCAN fike, and a *.pdf file with the details on the file.

I combined all three systems into one FreeSCAN file, and made a couple of changes:
I changed the trunked system's type to Motorola Type 2/P25. That matches what the 396T was set for. The original setting, "P25 Standard" was added in the next version of the 396, the 396XT. That 'P25 Standard' type, in FreeSCAN, is tagged as "Digital XT', for the XT series scanners (396XT & 996XT).
I changed both trunked systems from ID Scan to ID Search. ID Scan would only pick up what was already programmed in the file. On the other hand, ID Search will pick up those TGIDs, plus any other active talkgroups that are not programmed and not locked out. For a TGID that is programmed, you'll see the text tag identifying what it is. For one that is not programmed, you will only see the talkgroup ID, not a text tag.

If you get a "new" talkgroup ID (one that is not programmed), then first check to see if it's listed in the KCICS system in the database.
First, open KCICS in the database.
Scroll down to the talkgroup listings (under the section with all the sites).
You'll see the header System Talkgroups,
Right under that, you;ll see a link for List All in One Table
View attachment 77426

That will list all the talkgroups in the database in numerical order, instead of sorted by Department. So, if you get a 'new' talkgroup, with the scanner only showing the TGID, not a text tag, you can see if it is in the table, but not programmed in the file. You can lock those out as they come up, if they are of no interest, Or, add them to your file if you so desire.
The list of talkgroups will appear in order, like in this screen capture:
View attachment 77428

Now, if you find a new TGID, that is not already in the database, you'll need to listen to it and try to determine what it's used for.
If you look at Harper County, you can see that the TGIDs are more or less assigned in numerical order.
View attachment 77429
In the screenshot, note that EMS Dispatch is 2560, County Fore Dispatch is 2561.
2562 is not listed, but you can see that Sheriff Tac 1 & Tac 2 are shown as 2563 & 2564.
While I'm not very familiar with KCICS, a lot of systems allocate groups of TGIDs for a given agency or department. So, if 2562 starts popping up (not currently in the database), my first guess is that it may be Harper Co S.O. Dispatch. But, of course, listen and see if that guess sounds correct.
Its been a slow day here for scanning. Do you think it would be in my best interest if this does not work to pay member ship to Radio Reference and down load through freescan to program, or is that basically what these zip files are.
 

tvengr

Active Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
1,030
Location
Monkton, MD
You have a lot more control over what you want to listen to by creating files rather than scanning from the database. There is no reason the files should not work. The files we have created use the same information from the database and we delete things that you don't want to hear. We also limit the number of sites so that it doesn't slow down your scanning. I create all of my own files for scanning. I have ARC396 for programming my own scanners. I recently installed FreeScan to be able to help out others. I appreciate the help when I make mistakes. There should be no reason why my files wouldn't work now. Let's check something on your scanner. Hold in the HOLD button while turning on the scanner. Go to Settings in the menu. There will be 2 settings that normally are not visible. Scroll to P25 Adjust Mode and P25 Adjust Level and let me know what the values are. When you press E, the value will be displayed. Press the MENU button to exit before going to the next one. When finished, press the SCAN button to exit the menus.
 
Last edited:

naa674

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
21
See if this one works.

The attached file includes the three systems from tvengr's post, in one FreeSCAN fike, and a *.pdf file with the details on the file.

I combined all three systems into one FreeSCAN file, and made a couple of changes:
I changed the trunked system's type to Motorola Type 2/P25. That matches what the 396T was set for. The original setting, "P25 Standard" was added in the next version of the 396, the 396XT. That 'P25 Standard' type, in FreeSCAN, is tagged as "Digital XT', for the XT series scanners (396XT & 996XT).
I changed both trunked systems from ID Scan to ID Search. ID Scan would only pick up what was already programmed in the file. On the other hand, ID Search will pick up those TGIDs, plus any other active talkgroups that are not programmed and not locked out. For a TGID that is programmed, you'll see the text tag identifying what it is. For one that is not programmed, you will only see the talkgroup ID, not a text tag.

If you get a "new" talkgroup ID (one that is not programmed), then first check to see if it's listed in the KCICS system in the database.
First, open KCICS in the database.
Scroll down to the talkgroup listings (under the section with all the sites).
You'll see the header System Talkgroups,
Right under that, you;ll see a link for List All in One Table
View attachment 77426

That will list all the talkgroups in the database in numerical order, instead of sorted by Department. So, if you get a 'new' talkgroup, with the scanner only showing the TGID, not a text tag, you can see if it is in the table, but not programmed in the file. You can lock those out as they come up, if they are of no interest, Or, add them to your file if you so desire.
The list of talkgroups will appear in order, like in this screen capture:
View attachment 77428

Now, if you find a new TGID, that is not already in the database, you'll need to listen to it and try to determine what it's used for.
If you look at Harper County, you can see that the TGIDs are more or less assigned in numerical order.
View attachment 77429
In the screenshot, note that EMS Dispatch is 2560, County Fore Dispatch is 2561.
2562 is not listed, but you can see that Sheriff Tac 1 & Tac 2 are shown as 2563 & 2564.
While I'm not very familiar with KCICS, a lot of systems allocate groups of TGIDs for a given agency or department. So, if 2562 starts popping up (not currently in the database), my first guess is that it may be Harper Co S.O. Dispatch. But, of course, listen and see if that guess sounds correct.
Pretty slow day here, not much on scanner. If this does notget it should I do premium subscription to download from site or is that what these files basically are?
 

naa674

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
21
You have a lot more control over what you want to listen to by creating files rather than scanning from the database. There is no reason the files should not work. The files we have created use the same information from the database and we delete things that you don't want to hear. We also limit the number of sites so that it doesn't slow down your scanning. I create all of my own files for scanning. I have ARC396 for programming my own scanners. I recently installed FreeScan to be able to help out others. I appreciate the help when I make mistakes. There should be no reason why my files wouldn't work now. Let's check something on your scanner. Hold in the HOLD button while turning on the scanner. Go to Settings in the menu. There will be 2 settings that normally are not visible. Scroll to P25 Adjust Mode and P25 Adjust Level and let me know what the values are. When you press E, the value will be displayed. Press the MENU button to exit before going to the next one. When finished, press the SCAN button to exit the menus.
adjust mode 3, adjust level 50 And thank you what you are doing for me all the help is very cool.
 

tvengr

Active Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
1,030
Location
Monkton, MD
That will just affect the P25 decoding, not the talkgroups you receive. My local system seems to be best with a value of 8. Using 3, the audio is choppy. Is the dispatch you are hearing on a trunked system or a conventional frequency? If you are hearing the dispatch on a trunked system, there may not be any activity on the other talkgroups. Did you get a chance to try my new files?
 

hiegtx

Mentor
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 8, 2004
Messages
6,465
Location
Dallas, TX
Pretty slow day here, not much on scanner. If this does notget it should I do premium subscription to download from site or is that what these files basically are?
The files that tvengr and I posted have the correct frequency and talkgroup from the database. While, in the long term, I would recommend becoming a Premium Subscriber, in this particular case, doing your own import from the database would not change anything. You'd end up with files that have the same data as the already posted FreeSCAN files.

When you say you are still just hearing Dispatch, are you meaning Harper S.O. Dispatch via their Vhf channel?

If that's the case, then try this:
Press the Hold key to stop scanning.
Now, slowly, turn the scroll know to go through the programmed channels.
When you get to one of the trunked systems (Barber County or Sumner), at some point you will see the frequencies for that site. On one of them, in each system, should be the active control channel.
Do you see bars at the upper right corner of the display, indicating the strength of a signal being received? If you don't see that on one, or both, of the systems (we're concentrating on the sites here), then either you are not picking up enough signal for the scanner to receive & track that site. Or, they may be using a different control frequency than the one in the database. You may also see a message on the display "finding the control channel", which would mean that the scanner is not receiving enough signal to work. Be sure to scroll thru both trunked systems (Barber & Sumner).

Which antenna are you using? The stock antenna?

The attached file is similar to the previous one. However, I have added the Barber County conventional frequencies. I have also verified that for the two trunked systems included, (One for each of the surrounding counties, Barber & Sumner; I do not see a site listed for Kingman County.) the file has all of the listed frequencies, not just the designated control channel & alternate. If the database is correct, the only ones you need are the the control channel freq., and any listed alternates. But I have included all frequencies for each site, just in case a change was not documented.
 

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naa674

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
21
That will just affect the P25 decoding, not the talkgroups you receive. My local system seems to be best with a value of 8. Using 3, the audio is choppy. Is the dispatch you are hearing on a trunked system or a conventional frequency? If you are hearing the dispatch on a trunked system, there may not be any activity on the other talkgroups. Did you get a chance to try my new files?
Dispatch comes across on the conventional system, have not heard anything since I re instaled to scanner, small town not much going on.
 

naa674

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
21
The files that tvengr and I posted have the correct frequency and talkgroup from the database. While, in the long term, I would recommend becoming a Premium Subscriber, in this particular case, doing your own import from the database would not change anything. You'd end up with files that have the same data as the already posted FreeSCAN files.

When you say you are still just hearing Dispatch, are you meaning Harper S.O. Dispatch via their Vhf channel?

If that's the case, then try this:
Press the Hold key to stop scanning.
Now, slowly, turn the scroll know to go through the programmed channels.
When you get to one of the trunked systems (Barber County or Sumner), at some point you will see the frequencies for that site. On one of them, in each system, should be the active control channel.
Do you see bars at the upper right corner of the display, indicating the strength of a signal being received? If you don't see that on one, or both, of the systems (we're concentrating on the sites here), then either you are not picking up enough signal for the scanner to receive & track that site. Or, they may be using a different control frequency than the one in the database. You may also see a message on the display "finding the control channel", which would mean that the scanner is not receiving enough signal to work. Be sure to scroll thru both trunked systems (Barber & Sumner).

Which antenna are you using? The stock antenna?

The attached file is similar to the previous one. However, I have added the Barber County conventional frequencies. I have also verified that for the two trunked systems included, (One for each of the surrounding counties, Barber & Sumner; I do not see a site listed for Kingman County.) the file has all of the listed frequencies, not just the designated control channel & alternate. If the database is correct, the only ones you need are the the control channel freq., and any listed alternates. But I have included all frequencies for each site, just in case a change was not documented.
Yes just the harper co SO, when I held on a freq. and scrolled did not see any bars for signal, and seeing the finding control channel message. Using the short stock antenna (like 1.5 inches long)I know they them selfs are still having problems in certain parts of the county and dispath can not hear officers. Aparently because of using local towers, instead of spending the money for there own.
 

hiegtx

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Joined
May 8, 2004
Messages
6,465
Location
Dallas, TX
Yes just the harper co SO, when I held on a freq. and scrolled did not see any bars for signal, and seeing the finding control channel message. Using the short stock antenna (like 1.5 inches long)I know they them selfs are still having problems in certain parts of the county and dispath can not hear officers. Aparently because of using local towers, instead of spending the money for there own.
Sounds like you are not getting enough signal for the trunked systems to work.

Instead of the stock antenna, have you considered one of the Remtronix 800MHz antennas? (That's the same one often called the "RadioShack 800MHz antenna. It used to be manufactured by GRE, but sold thru Radio Shack. After The Shack folled up their tents for the most part, manufacturing & distribution was taken up by Remtronix, which was started by ex-GRE America people.) The 396T uses an SMA mount, but originally, it was supplied an SMA to BNC adapter. No way for me to guess, positively, that the better antenna would solve the issue. It would improve reception on 700 & 800 MHz systems. It also works well on Uhf. Vhf-high reception suffers a bit, but that may not be a factor. I use that antenna on several scanners. It helps for700 & 800 MHz trunked systems, and also works well on Uhf for me. (Dallas PD & FD still use conventional Uhf for now; a new P25 Phase II system is scheduled to go into service fall of next year.) Dallas County S.O. and a number of the smaller suburbs are still on Vhf. I have no trouble hearing them, but they are relatively close.

If you have a little spare time this weekend, try taking a drive, with the scanner, over into Sumner County. See if you hear anything on KSICS when nearer that site. Besides state police, Sumner also has a few talkgroups on the system. If you start getting traffic over there, you might also hear your county (Harper), if they are carried on the Sumner site.
 

naa674

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
21
Sounds like you are not getting enough signal for the trunked systems to work.

Instead of the stock antenna, have you considered one of the Remtronix 800MHz antennas? (That's the same one often called the "RadioShack 800MHz antenna. It used to be manufactured by GRE, but sold thru Radio Shack. After The Shack folled up their tents for the most part, manufacturing & distribution was taken up by Remtronix, which was started by ex-GRE America people.) The 396T uses an SMA mount, but originally, it was supplied an SMA to BNC adapter. No way for me to guess, positively, that the better antenna would solve the issue. It would improve reception on 700 & 800 MHz systems. It also works well on Uhf. Vhf-high reception suffers a bit, but that may not be a factor. I use that antenna on several scanners. It helps for700 & 800 MHz trunked systems, and also works well on Uhf for me. (Dallas PD & FD still use conventional Uhf for now; a new P25 Phase II system is scheduled to go into service fall of next year.) Dallas County S.O. and a number of the smaller suburbs are still on Vhf. I have no trouble hearing them, but they are relatively close.

If you have a little spare time this weekend, try taking a drive, with the scanner, over into Sumner County. See if you hear anything on KSICS when nearer that site. Besides state police, Sumner also has a few talkgroups on the system. If you start getting traffic over there, you might also hear your county (Harper), if they are carried on the Sumner site.
Thanks once again for your advice, will look into different antenna and trying it out and about. Onceagain Thanks,Iwill reply onceI have tried suggestions, it will be awhile, (week or two to fully test)
 

hiegtx

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Joined
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Messages
6,465
Location
Dallas, TX
Thanks once again for your advice, will look into different antenna and trying it out and about. Onceagain Thanks,Iwill reply onceI have tried suggestions, it will be awhile, (week or two to fully test)
What I'm suggesting is that we need to determine if the problem is with the programming. I suspect that is not the case, unless the database information is incorrect. tvengr & I arrived at the same point in creating a file. Does not prove either of us is infallible, but I suspect that he has been programming scanners for some time. For me, that goes back to the first programmable scanners decades ago.

When you have time to take the short road trip suggested, that will do a lot to see if it's a reception problem, due to distance (as I suspect), then see if an antenna change can cure the issue. Of course, if they ever added a site actually in your county, that would be a big help.

Good luck!
 

naa674

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
21
It was easier when scanners had crystals! I have a number of tunable receivers also.
OK so I have a ham radio also, I took the antenna off put it on the scanner and now we know its not the programming it the antenna and lack of reception. So Thank you to tvenger and hiegtx. I hope someday I can as helpfull as you both have been, to some one that needs it. Once again Thank You. Problem solved.
 

naa674

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
21
What I'm suggesting is that we need to determine if the problem is with the programming. I suspect that is not the case, unless the database information is incorrect. tvengr & I arrived at the same point in creating a file. Does not prove either of us is infallible, but I suspect that he has been programming scanners for some time. For me, that goes back to the first programmable scanners decades ago.

When you have time to take the short road trip suggested, that will do a lot to see if it's a reception problem, due to distance (as I suspect), then see if an antenna change can cure the issue. Of course, if they ever added a site actually in your county, that would be a big help.

Good luck!
OK so I have a ham radio also, I took the antenna off put it on the scanner and now we know its not the programming it the antenna and lack of reception. So Thank you to tvenger and hiegtx. I hope someday I can as helpfull as you both have been, to some one that needs it. Once again Thank You. Problem solved.
 

hiegtx

Mentor
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 8, 2004
Messages
6,465
Location
Dallas, TX
OK so I have a ham radio also, I took the antenna off put it on the scanner and now we know its not the programming it the antenna and lack of reception. So Thank you to tvenger and hiegtx. I hope someday I can as helpfull as you both have been, to some one that needs it. Once again Thank You. Problem solved.
Good, glad you're headed in the right direction.
 
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