North Zone issues

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sparker1962

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Has anyone had any problems listening to groups using the North Zone CC 863.1500 lately?

I live in the Escondido area and have noticed the frequencies seem to get "stuck". What I mean is, while scanning the North Zone, the display on my 396XT will stop on one group and sounds like there is a open channel but I hear no sound. Then I start hearing various TG's on that "stuck" frequency. Some of the TG's I'm hearing are not programmed into my scanner (I'm not really positive on that since the display isn't updating). I've used the same settings for about 4 months without problems until yesterday. Just wondering if it's just my radio or a control channel issue.

Other systems seem to be fine (even though I don't hear much on them from Escondido)
 

LauraQ

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I have not noticed this problem on either my BCD996T or BCD996XT. I'm in San Marcos. Interestingly, I have been noticing "choppy" audio on some of the digital talkgroups over the past few months. The audio will break up. Have you noticed anything like this?

Thanks!
Laura
 

sparker1962

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I hear choppy audio but not on a consistent level. I think it depends if someone is using a hand held radio vs a radio in their vehicle.
 

LauraQ

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I hear choppy audio but not on a consistent level. I think it depends if someone is using a hand held radio vs a radio in their vehicle.
I agree. In fact, I've been listening for two hours this morning with no choppy audio at all. Weird.

Back to your issue, have you updated the firmware in the 396? This can often help.
 

sparker1962

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Yea, the latest 1.08.14
I'm going to do some more testing when I get off work today. I'm hoping it's not a radio malfunction or something :(
 

Mike_G_D

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Check to make sure that the "End Code Detect" option is on as well as the "Digital End Code Detect". If neither are on the radio will use carrier on/off to dictate when to stay on and leave a voice channel. If some other signal (say from an interfering device - this may explain your description of sounding like an "open channel") and a voice signal goes to that frequency, when the voice activity is over, the scanner may "hang" on that channel. If "End Code Detect" is set to ON then the scanner should detect the end code tone on analog signals or if "Digital End Code Detect" is on then the scanner should detect the end code digital data for digital voice and in either case will leave the voice frequency at the end of the transmission and ignore the interfering signal.

It might be that you have neither end code detect options set and something recently changed around you (new piece of computer equipment, etc.) or your neighbors and now there is an interfering carrier on one of your voice channel frequencies. Setting the end code detect options to ON should help. Also, the next time this happens, note the frequency and enter it into as a conventional channel and use the scanner to walk around and see if you can find the source of the interference. You could try taking the antenna off and/or use the attenuator if the signal is really strong so that you can localize it.

-Mike
 

sparker1962

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Mike,
Thanks for your reply. Your suggestion worked! I've seen that setting in FreeScan but didn't know what it did nor experimented with it. It does seem odd that after 4 months with it off, the problem is just now occurring.
Thanks again, it's good people like you that make this Forum a great tool for helping beginners in the digital radio world!
Thanks Again
 

Mike_G_D

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Glad to hear it worked! I often give advice and then hear nothing from anybody so never end up knowing whether or not my advice helped - not that that is a requirement, of course, but it's just nice to know.

Anyway, as I stated before, since it only recently started up (the interference) that would suggest that something new was introduced relatively recently to your immediate environment either within your house or around it. I would turn those end code detects off again and this time note which voice channel frequencies the problem pops up on. Then I would program those in as conventional channels in CSQ (no CTCSS, DCS, or NAC) mode and walk around to find out where the interference is coming from. Remember, the end code detects are not eliminating the interference just masking it - it is still there. So it would be a good idea to try and find it. It could be anything from a new piece of computer equipment to a new DVD player - but I would try and find it if possible. It also may be at one of your close neighbor's house's so if you don't locate it in your house you could try walking around the neighborhood. Again, when you get close, try using the attenuator and/or removing the antenna to reduce your receiver's sensitivity to allow you to zero in on the source.

One thing I sure wish the GRE radios that I own would have is a digital end code detect - your Uniden radios have that but not the GRE's. I occasionally have problems because of that omission.

Anyway, good hunting!

-Mike
 

sparker1962

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This is what I discovered. The suspect frequency was 860.22500. After entering that into a conventional channel, it was immediately picked up as an open channel with occasional human chatter. As I drove to work this morning on the 78 from Escondido to Oceanside, the channel keep open continuously. I also noticed this on 860.200000 but not as frequent. These two frequencies are listed as unused control channels for the North Zone (according to the RR's database). What is weird that these frequencies were not programmed into my scanner. I only use the primary and alternate North Zone control channel with the "control channel" box checked (in the FreeScan software). As long as the digital end code detect feature works, I guess I'm okay...
 

jmarshl

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Me Too

After reading this thread, I monitored RCS North and noticed the same open carrier situation. It worked normally just a few days ago. I am using a BCD996XT from Scripps Ranch. Mike, I followed your advice and enabled end code detect in both analog and digital. That solved the problem, THANKS.
 

Mike_G_D

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Well, I'll be! Interesting! I tuned it in and...yep! I'm getting it too! It is NOT an interferer! It seems to be one of the system's voice channels that is apparently, intentionally or unintentionally. left on continuous transmission.

Sparker1962 - 860.225MHz is a voice channel and not "an unused control channel" as you referred to it. In the RR database, only the red and blue frequencies are control channels - red being primaries and blue being alternates. The rest are known voice channels. They are listed for reference and for those older scanners that stil need to have all of the voice and control channels programmed in as opposed to just needing the control channels.

Anyway, as I said, I receive it to here in northeast Carlsbad and am now positive it is no interferer. For whatever reason it is a true system voice channel transmitter and is being left on continuous mode. So the occasional voice you hear is normal system stuff which you would hear if you had those talkgroups loaded in and scanned.

So far, my GRE units have not had a problem with it. They may, though, as I said they do not decode digital end codes as far as I know. They will decode the analog end code but not the digital on mixed mode systems which has caused me problems from time to time when the system gets busy and a digital voice transmission ends right when an analog voice transmission starts on the same frequency causing me to hear the analog stuff not related to the talk group I was listening to. So far it hasn't locked up on this but we will see!

At least now I am aware of it and will keep an ear out for it!

Interesting!

-Mike
 
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JoeyC

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From mid-city San Diego, I agree, no interference. The open transmitter on 860.225 is an open transmitter from the system but carries normal rotating talkgroup traffic as the other freqs do. Maybe Don can find this thread and tell us why this is?
 
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Has anyone had any problems listening to groups using the North Zone CC 863.1500 lately?

I live in the Escondido area and have noticed the frequencies seem to get "stuck". What I mean is, while scanning the North Zone, the display on my 396XT will stop on one group and sounds like there is a open channel but I hear no sound. Then I start hearing various TG's on that "stuck" frequency. Some of the TG's I'm hearing are not programmed into my scanner (I'm not really positive on that since the display isn't updating). I've used the same settings for about 4 months without problems until yesterday. Just wondering if it's just my radio or a control channel issue.

Other systems seem to be fine (even though I don't hear much on them from Escondido)

Im in Oceanside and i have had the same problem recently. My 396xt would get stuck on a TG and wouldnt scan. I turned on the end code detect and it works fine now.
 
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