BCD396T: Not picking up anything!

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masterb

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Alright so i dusted off the 396t as its been sitting for a few months because i haven't had time to use it much. Tured it on and i'm getting a big nothing..zip..not a single hit. Checked the primary numbers in the database to see if anything changed, put in the new numbers that have changed and still nothing. not picking anything up in analog or digital.. not even the airport towers which is a sure hit always. ( scanning in Calgary Canada btw ). The only thing i have picked up is the radio stations when i search FM broadcast.
running V.3.0 so i don't think that is the problem. The digital not hitting i can see something maybe changed and i have missed updating it or something but not getting anything in analog is a bit puzzling. Any suggestions? Appreciate any help as it's been a week of tinkering and still nothing. Thanks!
 

EJB

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Alright so i dusted off the 396t as its been sitting for a few months because i haven't had time to use it much. Tured it on and i'm getting a big nothing..zip..not a single hit. Checked the primary numbers in the database to see if anything changed, put in the new numbers that have changed and still nothing. not picking anything up in analog or digital.. not even the airport towers which is a sure hit always. ( scanning in Calgary Canada btw ). The only thing i have picked up is the radio stations when i search FM broadcast.
running V.3.0 so i don't think that is the problem. The digital not hitting i can see something maybe changed and i have missed updating it or something but not getting anything in analog is a bit puzzling. Any suggestions? Appreciate any help as it's been a week of tinkering and still nothing. Thanks!
Do you live near a tower where you can use your weather feature? What kind of antenna are you using?

If you are able to hear FM radio stations it should prove that it is working.

Report back here and I will see if I can help you. We are right now getting hammered with a severe thunderstorm that the cold front originated in Alberta, lol, thanks.

I used to have a 396T and miss it. :)
 
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masterb

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Calgary
I can get some wx but its spotty where i am (at work in Ogden) one thing i just discovered is my TGID's are all the same. ex: every police channel is 400, all Fire is 200. if i try to enter the DEC number from the database (A1 dispatch # 32784) is says bad TGID number. I haven't re-programmed or updated anything through the computer for about a year so i'm a bit rusty but i'm thinking each department should show a specific TGID and not all CPS channels showing as '400'... right? As i said i tried to change the 400 for A1 to 32784 as listed but it wouldn't let me. Maybe i can only do this throughprogramming it by computer..?.. Thanks!!!!!
 

EJB

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Ok: I see you are trying to scan the Calgary Digital Radio system.

I'm not at all familiar with Calgary or this system but;

Was there an offset's and such for this system?

What kind of software are you using? ARC by chance?

You should be able to enter in I think about 200 talkgroups with any system with this scanner.

There are 7 towers with this system, which ones can you hear the control channnel's off?

Talkgroup 32784 should be scannable, it's the dispatch for some form of Calgary police.
 

masterb

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Thanks for the suggestions, I will keep tinkering and see if i can figure it out or try to get in touch with someone in the city with a digital.
 

wtp

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this can't hurt

just try setting up a new group with all the frequencies you need.
just bare bones to get started. see what happens. turn off all other systems for now.
 

Jay911

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The talkgroup IDs sound like they're corrupted. "Bad TGID" - that (CPS A1 dispatch, 32784) certainly should be valid. I am not sure why programming the correct TGID would be considered "bad". I could see it if the radio was in hex mode, but I don't think the x96T series can even do that.

For the immediate time period, try setting the system to ID Search. You can do this either by hitting Scan while the radio is on the trunk system, or by going through the menus and choosing Edit System, then Edit System Options. The Easier to Read Manual can help with doing this.

Do you have the ability to download your system data using FreeSCAN? If you can do that, send it to me at jay911@gmail.com and I'll take a peek at the configuration.
 

Jay911

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For what it's worth, if the TGID value is 400, you should still hear something, so long as the audio type is set to All or Analog, because 400 is a fire dispatch channel (in analog mode).
 

masterb

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Yeah the ID on the scanner was 400-1 instead of the 32784 listed and i know forsure that is what i porgrammed in at one time and it worked fine. The IDs just run consecutive after that A1:400-1, A2:400-2, A3:400-3 etc. I am hopeing i have hit a button or turned something off because i haven't programmed anything in it for a about a year ( need to buy a USB cable, new pc doesn't have serial port). i did a custom search and got a cpl hits 866.xxx which i know is a control ch. just noise no voice. i manually loaded the new primary's into the scanner but nothing. The only hits i get are WX and FM radio if i do a service search. Running custom searchs produces nothing as does close call. I've been places next to things i know i should pick up with close call but not a thing. Hopeing its just something i've turned off or whatever otherwise i will just reload everything once i get a usb. Can't send anything to you as i don't have the usb yet. Thanks for replying!
 

masterb

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Ok Jay so i did another custom search in the 860-870 range and started to get hits from Fire/CPS. wrote down each freq and compared them to what i had entered as control channels in the scanner. So it seems when i programmed it i entered ONLY the primary control channels not any of the others because the ones i just wrote down are listed in black on the database so they aren't primary's or alternates. Once i entered these new hits ( 868.5375, 7375,3875, 866.6875) into the scanner: programs- (my system Cgy Digital ) - set frequencies. everything in the digital world is working. im getting non stop Fire/Cps hits and it displays the name as it always did in the past. I thought i only had to enter the primary cc's when programming and i have aways done that with no issues.. that right or should i be entering all the cc's lised in the database? Seems like all is somewhat well in that part once i tweak it a little now i will try to figure out why no hits from any of the analog. Thanks to all for the suggestions and help.
 

Jay911

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Yeah the ID on the scanner was 400-1 instead of the 32784 listed and i know forsure that is what i porgrammed in at one time and it worked fine. The IDs just run consecutive after that A1:400-1, A2:400-2, A3:400-3 etc.
As the Mythbusters are fond of saying, "There's yer problem". Somehow the radio is configured to consider the Calgary system a Motorola Type I system instead of Motorola Type II. I didn't even know you could change the system flavor once it was programmed in the radio.

I don't have a 396 handy any more (given to my nephew) so I can't look on it and see how to change things, but I'll try to go from memory (and the aforementioned Easier to Read Manual).

Go into MENU, Edit System, find the Calgary system in your radio, and Edit Sys Options. Find the option titled Edit Fleet Map, and go in there. Choose a 'Custom' plan. You will be presented with a screen that says "Set Block 0" and lists a bunch of sizes. Choose "Size Code 0". The screen will ask you to set block 1 next. Again choose "Size Code 0". Keep doing that though block 7, and when it's done, you'll probably be back on the menu that includes "Edit Fleet Map". Hit SCAN at that point and you should be back in business.

Fleet Maps are how scanners (and, technically, pro radios) determine whether a talkgroup is a Type I or Type II talkgroup. Somehow your radio got configured to use some kind of Type I fleetmap. Calgary's system is purely Type II.

Hope this helps!

PS. Instead of trying to source the USB cable from a mail-order outfit or somewhere else distant, you can use the serial cable and a USB adapter you can get from pretty much any computer store. MemEx has this one, which I use on everything from scanners to ham radios to professional radios to industrial controllers:

Keyspan High Speed USB Serial Adapter
 

masterb

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Nov 11, 2007
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Calgary
Thanks Jay that worked perfectly and now the correct numbers are showing. Thx for the tip on the serial-usb i had read about it a while back but haven't had a chance to check who had one in the city.. now i know :) Thanks again!
 

masterb

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Calgary
Just wondering about the Control Channel part of my other post... Was I mistaken about only entering the primary numbers or do you enter all the numbers for each tower? I only ever entered the primary's before and never had any issues with lack of traffic. Last night I was only getting hits from the ones in black on the database not the primary's or alternates. Thanks
 

Jay911

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You only need the control channels in your scanner. Make sure you have "C-Ch Only" set in the system options (see the Easier to Read Manual).

When you were doing custom searches in the 800 band, the reason you were only getting hits on the "ones in black" is because they are the voice channels. You wouldn't have received any hits from the control channels because they don't carry any voice.

The scanner is smart enough to take the info the control channel sends out regarding what voice channel a particular conversation is on.
 
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