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New BCD996T Can't Hear PPD at all

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mesocyclone

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Phoenix, AZ
I know I must be an idiot, but I can't hear PPD at all now. The only thing I hear are non-digital Maricopa County channels

Here is what I did:

1)downloaded the Uniden software
2) Saved off the scanner pre-load
3) COpied it to another name - my own version, and deleted all systems except Maricopa Conv, Nationwide, Phoenix-Mesa and Tempe MOT.
4) Wrote the scanner with that
5) Selected the PPD system (Quick Key 22) and put it in ID search mode

And here it ssits, saying nothing.

The display is jumping around the different PPD sites. It is scrolling "ID SEARCH" and has an up-arrow on the right hand side.

The third line says NFM (isn't this stuff digital?) and on the right shows flashing LNK or P25

The fourth line is S2:-2----------0 with the 2 flashing

The last line is GRP***-----------------------

I live in the Phoenix mountains and have good shots to several sites. I've tried this with the included antenna, and with an attic-based antenna. It is sitting on top of a BC780 which gives me plenty of NFM stations with either antenna.

So what am I doing wrong? Is this thing dead in digital mode, or am I missing some magic just to get it to start decoding things? Do I need to use a different database? Is there one I can download?

HELP! I can't work my new toy!!

PS... I've been scanning since before there were scanners (made my own in the mid '60s by putting several LO's into a surplus police receiver). But this new-fangled stuff is darned complicated. I'm gonna go back to writing my Java programs and hope someone can straighten me out on how to work this darned thing!

Thanks in advance
 

ICP963

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Chandler, AZ
mesocyclone said:
So what am I doing wrong? Is this thing dead in digital mode, or am I missing some magic just to get it to start decoding things? Do I need to use a different database? Is there one I can download?

Thanks in advance
There is a file Phoenix.zip of Phoenix area UASD files for the 396 in the files section of the Yahoo group ArizonaScanner at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ArizonaScanner/files/ That file can be imported into the 996 UASD program and used. That should get you a good working start.

If that dosen't get you going, let me know and we can get something else to you.
 

STiMULi

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I am interested in your issue but because I don't live in / frequent Phoenix I can't add much to it.

I would suggest that you post your issues here and there would be bunches of people to help you.

Good Luck
 

AZScanner

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Somewhere in this room. Right now, you're very col
Sounds like you locked onto an intellirepeater or something. Perhaps the south mountain one, although that one should get traffic pretty regularly.... at any rate here's what I'd try:

Step 1. - make sure all the control channels you have programmed match the RRDB

Step 2 - lock them all out except for sites A and B.

From there you can probably figure out what's wrong. Good luck - I'm jealous.. wish I had a 996 to play with :D
 

mesocyclone

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Messages
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Location
Phoenix, AZ
Still no go

I tried the files provided (thanks!).

The analog ones work fine. The rather limited PPD 800 APCO-25 one does not. Right now I have my scanner with just that system loaded, and it is happily scrolling "ID SEARCH" as it silently scans away.

I have not yet tried setting up a system myself, from documentation. I suppose I can use the freqs in the wiki and try that next. But if it doesn't work with Uniden's programming, and with the file provided, I suspect that either I am doing something wrong or the scanner is NFG.

That I may be doing something wronjg is not as unlikely as it seems. This is a very odd scanner. When I first fired it up, and hit "SCAN", it told me there was nothing to scan. At the time it was loaded with gazillions of systems. I then used the quick-key to enable Phoenix, and it quit complaining. It was only after I stumbled across a little item in the manual that I realized that ID SCAN requires IDs to be programmed in. I don't even know where to get them, so I changed it to ID SEARCH.

Any other ideas??
 

mesocyclone

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Messages
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Location
Phoenix, AZ
Well, it works, sorta

I am now receiving some audio on the digital channels - often even understandable, sometimes garbled.

However, South Mountain seems to be providing nothing, and I have a good shot to it. The only site that is doing much is Tempe-Chandler, which I should not even be able to hear (Camelback Mountain is in the way, unless the site isn't where I would expect). I have left it for a while in automatic APCO-25 AGC mode, and it got a bit better, but isn't greatt.

Does anyone here in the valley have experience with scanning Phoenix PD's new APCO-25 system? I would appreciate advice, frequencies, tricks, etc. This is especially true with BCD996T users.

On the old system, there were a couple of "chase" channels that had the major events. Where are they now, and are they unencrypted? How about the casual car-to-car?

Do all sites simulcast, or do I need to listen to several sites to hear the good stuff? I read something about an intelligent repeater on S Mountain. Can I scan it (so far, it doesn't produce anything interesting)?

Is the Uniden supplied Phoenix-Mesa system load accurate and complete?

The BCD996T seems to be very powerful for analog systems, but I already have a shelf of scanners for that.

Thanks in advance
 

ctrl

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Messages
127
Location
Phoenix Area.
mesocyclone said:
I am now receiving some audio on the digital channels - often even understandable, sometimes garbled.

However, South Mountain seems to be providing nothing, and I have a good shot to it. The only site that is doing much is Tempe-Chandler, which I should not even be able to hear (Camelback Mountain is in the way, unless the site isn't where I would expect). I have left it for a while in automatic APCO-25 AGC mode, and it got a bit better, but isn't greatt.

Does anyone here in the valley have experience with scanning Phoenix PD's new APCO-25 system? I would appreciate advice, frequencies, tricks, etc. This is especially true with BCD996T users.

On the old system, there were a couple of "chase" channels that had the major events. Where are they now, and are they unencrypted? How about the casual car-to-car?

Do all sites simulcast, or do I need to listen to several sites to hear the good stuff? I read something about an intelligent repeater on S Mountain. Can I scan it (so far, it doesn't produce anything interesting)?

Is the Uniden supplied Phoenix-Mesa system load accurate and complete?

The BCD996T seems to be very powerful for analog systems, but I already have a shelf of scanners for that.

Thanks in advance


Dump the phoenix.usd you have now. Load this one, it will be the most recent.
The control channel you want is 867.2125. This file has all of the phoenix talk groups programmed.

This has all chase, and patrol precincts, organized. You only need the 1 control channel.

There should be no problem now, however if you have any questions, just ask.
 

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ctrl

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Location
Phoenix Area.
Here is a Mesa PD file, I have not verified everything in it because I'm on the westside and cannot recive Mesa from here. I have however been close enough once or twice to verify it does work.
 

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mesocyclone

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Messages
78
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Getting better

Thanks, ctrl, for the PPD file. I am now running it in my BCD996T.

It does work better, although the overall results are not that good.

So I have some questions...

The Uniden files have a buncn of sites which, not surprisingly, correspond to various PPD transmitting sites. Your file does not. So I am confused about how this thing works... what is my scanner listening to? One site? Three sites? All sites?

I get some transmissins quite clearly, and others garbled.

In other words, is your list good regardless of where I am listening from (which, in the Phoenix coordinate system, would be approximately 44th st and Glendale)?

Also, do you have all the interesting groups programmed in? If I have it in SCAN ID mode, do I get the right stuff, or do I want it in SEARCH mode?

Finally, what is this up-arrow that is continuously on the right hand side of the second line of the display?

Thanks!
 

ctrl

Member
Joined
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Messages
127
Location
Phoenix Area.
mesocyclone said:
Thanks, ctrl, for the PPD file. I am now running it in my BCD996T.

It does work better, although the overall results are not that good.

So I have some questions...

The Uniden files have a buncn of sites which, not surprisingly, correspond to various PPD transmitting sites. Your file does not. So I am confused about how this thing works... what is my scanner listening to? One site? Three sites? All sites?

I get some transmissins quite clearly, and others garbled.

In other words, is your list good regardless of where I am listening from (which, in the Phoenix coordinate system, would be approximately 44th st and Glendale)?

Also, do you have all the interesting groups programmed in? If I have it in SCAN ID mode, do I get the right stuff, or do I want it in SEARCH mode?

Finally, what is this up-arrow that is continuously on the right hand side of the second line of the display?

Thanks!

The phoenix system does transmit on a couple sites. The main site is the simlucast A. This is the control channel I gave you. You should be able to receive them anywhere with that one control channel. There is another West Valley Site that has 'ok' coverage. Simlucast E.

The uniden file, if it is the same one packaged with the bc396, has a few different sites that carry other non-phoenix traffic, mesa, chandler, ect. I had the same problems you're having at first too.

The problem with your garbeled transmissions is probably an interference problem, or lack of antenna. (probably both) In some places the phoenix system is hard to pick up. Try moving the scanner around, and see what happens. I have no problems with my bc396 at 75th / peoria.

The list I gave you contains ALL of the talkgroups that are not encrypted. So yes this is all you will be able to recieve. Leave the scanner in ID SCAN, as there is no other talkgroups to listen to at this time.

The up arrow is the direction the scanner is scanning as it pertains to the system numbers. 1.2.3, ect..

Basically, visit this link if you havent already: http://www.radioreference.com/modules.php?name=RR&sid=2508

Simlucast A and E carry phoenix police talkgroups. (B Is for Fire Department, not PD as it says.) A Seems to be the most reliable.

All of the IR sites carry traffic only affiliated with the radio at that time. (Say a northside unit traveled to the backside of south mountain his radio would affilate to the South Mountain site, and you could then recieve the traffic on the talkgroup he's on--Not worth even monitering this site, imo.)

I'm using the cheap radio shack 20-176 antenna for base use, it does pretty good here in phoenix for 800mhz, and the fire VHF. I can't pick up mesa or chandler from peoria with it, but other then that its fine.
The stock antenna on my 396 does fairly well too, though.

Anymore questions let me know.. And if anyone else from phoenix has more insight on how this all works can explain it better go ahead..

Good luck.
 
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mesocyclone

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Messages
78
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Thanks... more questions

You mention that S Mountain is not worth listening to.

My location is a bit odd. I am in a SE facing canyon in the Phoenix Mountains E of Tatum Blvd (48th St. alignment) and N of Lincoln (the same road as, farther west, Glendale).

I have a v-notch shot to S. Mountain - for example, I get Sprint Broadband microwave internet off of it, and I can get Phoenix TV okay. However, I have no direct shot to any other location in Phoenix, although I do have direct to E Mesa, AJ, Apache Jcn, etc. I am relatively high in elevation so I can work at least one 440 ham repeater in AJ without even an antenna on my HT.

I suspect my best bet, purely from an RF signal strength issues, is South Mountain. Anything else I am only going to get on a reflection, and of course those can be tricky - weather related, multiple reflections giving multipath problems, etc. The closest to me would be the one at the 25th & Lincoln police station, although I don't know exactly where it is locate - at the station?

So if there is a way to get, say, central, E and S Phoenix chase on S Mountain, I'd use it.

On one analog scanner, I used a decent scanner antenna in the attic, which gives it an excellent shot at S Mtn (with, of course, a little attenuation from the tile roof). I have good PPD coverage with it. I didn't have much luck originally using that for P-25, but I still need to test it with the latest file.

I also use an mast-mounted outside scanner antenna, with better coax, for another scanner. On that, I get desense - the Radio Shack 2004-2006 scanners desense 30 db (measured with a signal generator, a directional tap and a calibrated signal generator) - so I use a filter to notch out some signals (I suspect FM transmitters, or perhaps a continuous high power pager).

On digital, its a lot harder to diagnose signal problems - too weak, too strong, desense, multipath and intermodulation all give essentially the same symptoms! I guess I could listen to a control channel in FM (non APCO-25) mode and diagnose it that way.

Ideas? Should I try S mountain, and if so, do I need to program it as a different site?

Finally, Phoenix has a bunch of sites. I take it the load you gave me will handle several of them? Or is it just set for a good site?

Thanks for all the help.
 

ctrl

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Messages
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Location
Phoenix Area.
mesocyclone said:
You mention that S Mountain is not worth listening to.

My location is a bit odd. I am in a SE facing canyon in the Phoenix Mountains E of Tatum Blvd (48th St. alignment) and N of Lincoln (the same road as, farther west, Glendale).

I have a v-notch shot to S. Mountain - for example, I get Sprint Broadband microwave internet off of it, and I can get Phoenix TV okay. However, I have no direct shot to any other location in Phoenix, although I do have direct to E Mesa, AJ, Apache Jcn, etc. I am relatively high in elevation so I can work at least one 440 ham repeater in AJ without even an antenna on my HT.

I suspect my best bet, purely from an RF signal strength issues, is South Mountain. Anything else I am only going to get on a reflection, and of course those can be tricky - weather related, multiple reflections giving multipath problems, etc. The closest to me would be the one at the 25th & Lincoln police station, although I don't know exactly where it is locate - at the station?

So if there is a way to get, say, central, E and S Phoenix chase on S Mountain, I'd use it.

On one analog scanner, I used a decent scanner antenna in the attic, which gives it an excellent shot at S Mtn (with, of course, a little attenuation from the tile roof). I have good PPD coverage with it. I didn't have much luck originally using that for P-25, but I still need to test it with the latest file.

I also use an mast-mounted outside scanner antenna, with better coax, for another scanner. On that, I get desense - the Radio Shack 2004-2006 scanners desense 30 db (measured with a signal generator, a directional tap and a calibrated signal generator) - so I use a filter to notch out some signals (I suspect FM transmitters, or perhaps a continuous high power pager).

On digital, its a lot harder to diagnose signal problems - too weak, too strong, desense, multipath and intermodulation all give essentially the same symptoms! I guess I could listen to a control channel in FM (non APCO-25) mode and diagnose it that way.

Ideas? Should I try S mountain, and if so, do I need to program it as a different site?

Finally, Phoenix has a bunch of sites. I take it the load you gave me will handle several of them? Or is it just set for a good site?

Thanks for all the help.

In short, simlucast A (867.2125) is the only control channel to carry everything all the time. It's pretty much your only and best bet.
The problem is we do not know which mountian site this frequency is based from. (At least I dont, and according to the database here its unknown.)

After I responded to you lastnight, I did a little bit of testing with simlucast E ( 867.1375--The only other site I can recieve from my location) I found out it also does NOT carry all traffic either.

The problem with the south mountian site is, you will literally be missing 95% of traffic. I dont exactly understand why--other then the PD's radios arent affilated with that site most of the time. I know it all looks confusing when you see all these different sites. But as far as I know only Simlucast A (867.2125 Primary at this time, and 867.9625 Alternate) carry everything. So far I haven't missed anything that I know of, I hear all sides of conversations and all the precincts and the 3 chase channels.


I use Simlucast A (867.2125) control channel everywhere I have taken my scanner and it seems to work--although better in some places then others. For all I know there could be another site obtainable at your location, but not from mine. I think alot is still unknown about the phoenix system and the way it operates--or at least not many people are coming forward with the information.

Hit hold while no traffic is on the system, and moniter the control site and see what you can come up with, I have a feeling its just a location/antenna issue.


Simulcast A: Phoenix Police and Municipal Services
20 frequencies (unknown which 20 of 39 below) transmitting from 9 sites in Phoenix:
Site 1 (WPNW554): Downtown Phoenix, 200 West Washington.
Site 3 (WPWX741): SW Phoenix, Fire Sta34, 50 N. 51st Ave.
Site 4 (WPWT692): Maryvale, 4020 W. Glenrosa.
Site 5 (WPWR968): Squaw Peak Area, Phx PD Substation, 6208 N. 24th St.
Site 6 (WPXE694): North Mountain (North Central Phoenix), 10600 N 7th St.
Site 7 (WPWS651): Sky Harbor Airport area, T4, 3800 E Sky Harbor Blvd.
Site 9 (WPWS758): North Phoenix, Adobe Mountain, 23060 N. 27th Avenue.
Site 26 (WPXE706): NE Phoenix, 15040 N. Tatum Blvd.


Pointing a directional antenna (I know your probably not line of sight) at one of these locations is probably going to give you the best results, (also unknown which one) and as you can see south mountian isnt on there.

Me personally I have a direct line of site 5 miles from North Mountain, Shaw Butte. I dont have any reception problems except when I'm in the far west side of my house with the rubber duck (This leads me to believe the signal is coming from the east, probably north mountain.)


On a side note relating to sprint broadband-- I believe you when you say you have a perfect shot to south mountain. I know what it takes to have a good connection with them. I used to have sprint when it was first introduced 98-99 or so. Whole nother line of problems. :)

Good luck!
 

mesocyclone

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Phoenix, AZ
Hmmm . a look at your freq list

I took a list at your frequency list, comparing it to the wiki's Phoenix frequency list.

It is a bit odd.

Here is what I found:

867.2125 A primary control
867.1375 E secondary control
867.3500 Thompson peak ordinary
868.0759 Thompson Pk secondary control
867.1625 E primary control
867.2000 C primary, ordinay on 902,903,904
867.9759 C primary
867.9625 A primary control


How was this list put together??

Thanks

John
 

STiMULi

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The Arizona DB needs updating. I look forward to confirmed changes.

If you guys note differences in the DB to what works please submit a change :)
 

ctrl

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mesocyclone said:
I took a list at your frequency list, comparing it to the wiki's Phoenix frequency list.

It is a bit odd.

Here is what I found:

867.2125 A primary control
867.1375 E secondary control
867.3500 Thompson peak ordinary
868.0759 Thompson Pk secondary control
867.1625 E primary control
867.2000 C primary, ordinay on 902,903,904
867.9759 C primary
867.9625 A primary control


How was this list put together??

Thanks

John

That list is just random--Sites I was trying to recieve from my location.

A is all thats usefull to me.

867.2125
867.9625

You can remove everything but these 2, and its all the same.

In the last 3 months these are the only ones I have used. .9625 was the control channel last month, now its been switched to .2125.
 

mesocyclone

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Phoenix, AZ
I am currently monitoring a PPD event on Colter St (a ways north of Camelback) - don't know the street/avenue. C6 (North Chase) is being used.

Interestingly, I am hearing it on Simulcast C (Tempe/Chandler) from here in W Paradise Valley. Some traffic is apparently on C-Deck 3 - I don't know the group code for that.

Also, APCO-25 audio setting around 4 seems to be best.
 
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