Newbie with Pro95 and data cable

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TheHT

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Dec 23, 2011
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Hi there everybody! Last time I scanned anything, Clinton was still the president. Had an old Radio Shack scanner and listened to the police and fire departments and such and it was a blast (I'm in Port Orange, Volusia County). Recently, I figured it would be fun to see what was out there, so I dusted off the old scanner. Fast forward twenty minutes, I was wondering what an EDACS was and was utterly confused. After some research and some looking for a bargain, I've ended up with a Radio Shack Pro-95, a data cable, and Win95 software. I got a little 800mhz antenna and the power adapter for an old cordless phone just happened to work perfectly, seems like I was in business! Except, man, I'm still pretty confused. I've tried programming the "Volusia County System A" in a few times, but I haven't the faintest idea what I'm doing. Figured this was the place to go for help.

I think I understand the basics of EDACS. Channels have to be programmed in order, starting from 1. Lock out zero. If many police departments are using the same system, how does the scanner sort them out, or will it? Could I have it scan just the DBPD, for instance, or am I stuck with getting the whole system at once?

What are DEC(imal)? that I see with the EDACS channels? Looks like some sort of hex code for every channel.

How can I label the channels so that text shows up on screen (i think thats pretty cool)? For instance, "DB Dispatch", or "Event 1".

I've heard in a few places that the control channels were just changed recently but it's ok because this scanner is compatible with the change. Is that true? When I use the "Database" link on this website for volusia county, it mentions that Port Orange uses "LE7". What is that?

Last but not least, is there an online manual floating around for Win95? I've got the manual for this scanner and have been through it a few times, didn't really prepare me for that Win95 screen. Holy crap. Does anyone have a p95 file that might get me started with all this?

Thanks for your time and for reading, sorry about the disjointed nature of this post. Kinda jumped in with both feet and have lots of questions!
 

sjcscanner

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Trunked systems have "talkgroups". They are basically virtual channels within the trunked system. The DEC field is the ID for the talkgroup.

 

TheHT

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When entering IDs for the talk groups, do they need to be in the same bank the system is in?

For instance, I've entered Volusia County public safety System A in to bank 0, and System B in to bank 1.

It seems some of the talk groups are shared between systems. Is this possible/correct? For example, talk group (dec) 1234 is "Test123". Will I need to enter that twice if System A and System B both use talk group 1234 or are the talk groups shared amongst the systems?

Also, I just started storing some information from the talk group ID section of the RR DB and notice that on two channels labeled "Teletype" there are regular radio broadcasts. (System A, talk groups 0180 and 0181). I figure I either got something messed up, or most people have those IDs locked out and haven't noticed that there's voice on them? My bet is a misconfiguration on my end.

Also, next to my channel/bank numbers (top left of display) it shows the channel, bank, then what looks like a lightning bolt. I can't seem to find this symbol anywhere in the manual. What is this?
For instance, top left of display: S103(symbol)- - D(up arrow)+ED

Far as I can tell, it's bank, channel, Lightning?, Delay, Scan Up, Open, EDACS
 

TheHT

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Dec 23, 2011
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Talk group 190, also listed as Teletype, is coming in as a regular voice channel. Can anyone else in the area verify?
 

sjcscanner

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Yes, you have to put the talkgroups in both banks. Some counties with 2 systems have it where some channels are on one system and some are on the other. Some have it where all channels are broadcast across both systems. Your safest bet is probably to put all of them in both banks. If you listen and find that both systems share all the talkgroups, you could just use only the system which gives you a better signal. Maybe someone who scans Volusia county could tell you how the systems are set up.

As for the teletype channels, those are probably the channels where they run licence numbers and do checks on people, can't say for sure.

Far as I can tell, it's bank, channel, Lightning?, Delay, Scan Up, Open, EDACS
That sound about right, and the lightning means the scanner is receiving right then.
 

TheHT

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Dec 23, 2011
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Found some more information about the System A, System B thing from here. Relevant parts:
"All of Volusia County is using an EDACS 800 MHz Trunked System. As with any EDACS system you must program these frequencies in Logical Channel Numbering (LCN) order. In other words, you must program these frequencies in the same order as I have the listed below.

Volusia County has three different truck systems listed, System A, System B, and Daytona Beach. I do not know the reasoning for this as I have never heard any traffic on the System A or Daytona Beach systems. All the auction appears to be on System B, so save yourself some time and only program in System B. System B will allow you to hear Police, Fire, EMS for Daytona Beach and all towns within Volusia County including the Volusia Country Sheriff department."

Perhaps they are just a copy of each other. I can hardly pick up System A, where as System B comes in just fine. I have heard a few things on A, very well may be the same thing that's going on over on B.

A few more questions, hopefully more intelligent than the first few.

Is the whole system run off one radio tower? Are there multiple towers that broadcast the same thing and receive from the lower powered mobile units? Are the mobile units lowered powered?

If a squad car on this system is, say, 10 miles north of me, will I only be able to hear the base station portion of the conversation?

Whats up with the "Patch" talk groups?

Thanks again for everyone's help! Without this forum, I'd be lost.
 

sjcscanner

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The entire system likely has many towers spread throughout the county. (These are usually shown on a map in the database, but for some reason it says there is no location data for Volusia).

The mobile units are lower powered than the towers, but the towers get the mobile broadcasts and all simultaneously repeat them across the entire county. It is called "repeating", and the tower sites are often called "repeaters", but don't let that confuse you, as this process is almost instant. So when a mobile unit picks up the radio and starts talking, it is instantly sent across all the towers in the county. So you should be able to hear both the mobile and base conversations, as long as you have good reception of the system.

An exception to this is if a county has it set up to where "System A" and "System B" operate separately from each other, and are not linked. If that was the case, transmissions from System A would only be repeated across the area of the county where that system operated, and the same for System B.

The patch talkgroups are talkgroups set aside for patching together channels. They can be patched to another talkgroup or a frequency from outside the system. I've heard patches used in a variety of situations, such as large wildfires that require outside help and police searches that extend into other counties, really any situation where multiple agencies have to work together on the same channel. Keep in mind that patches can be done on any pretty much any talkgroup in the system, not JUST the reserved patch channels.
 
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shadcall

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I know some don't believe in it, but I have all 3 systems in my scanner. There have been times this year when System A went down and they switched to B and vice-versa. They Daytona Beach system isn't used much, but they do use it sometimes.

As far as the teletype channels, it is the one they run DL checks, license plates etc. Don't let the word teletype fool you.
 
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