BCD436HP: P25 Timing Question / Help

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IBScan

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So I just got this radio. I started with the BCD996T and still use it. The 996 has it's own learning curve and seeing the 436 is a whole other animal. I got my 996 programmed perfect for my needs.

My question is about the P25 "LNK" / it's waiting for more P25 before it clears and resumes scanning.

EX: TG pops up, P25 Audio > LNK for few sec > Either more audio or resumes scanning.

On the 436, it's missing the conversation. I forgot what I did to set the 996 to keep LNK up for a few seconds. But I've messed with the P25 settings and even copying the 996 stuff converting for the 436 (not sure if settings converted too).

It's dropping LNK before the other party can respond. I know I did something on the 996, I assuming it's the P26 Waiting Time.

Is it even possible to get the 436 when the first person releases the mic, to have LNK stay lit for x seconds.

Right now, I'm missing parts, and the LNK flashes but no audio and when it does start decoding they're responding to the parts I missed.

Channel delay is not the issue. If it matters, it's this system: San Diego County - Imperial County Regional Communications System (RCS) Trunking System, Various, California - Scanner Frequencies

I hope that makes sense,

Thanks in advance.
 

ofd8001

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"DAT" means the scanner is monitoring the control channel and there are no transmissions for you to monitor.

"P25" means there is an active voice transmission which you are probably hearing.

"LNK" means the channel is receiving a "carrier" signal, but no voice, on a channel. It most often happens immediately after a voice transmission and remains there briefly until the scanner resumes monitoring the control channel.

This behavior is what you describe and happens in both models of scanners.

If you are getting parts of a conversation, that confirms your scanner is programmed correctly for both sites and talkgroups. So the next thing to work on is the decode settings, which is how the scanner processes the digitized signals.

You might try starting Sentinel and edit the Favorites List contiaining the system. Then go to the site or sites carrying the transmissions giving you problems.

Go to the Options tab in the right pane. You'll see fields for Digital Threshold Mode and Digital Threshold Level. You might try experimenting with different values, such as Manual instead of Auto and 7 for Level. Then save and do a write to scanner, including erasing Favorites Lists as part of the write process.

You'll probably have to try a number of combinations for the Mode and Level settings. No one size fits all as there are many variables.
 

troymail

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I know you said "delay is not the issue" but that sure sounds like the first thing that comes to mind. Missing responses on systems/sites with good reception is typically a "delay" setting thing. However...

Which sites for the system have you included in your programming? I'm wondering if you are sometimes receiving activity on a more distant/weaker site. Can you tell if any specific site(s) are worse than others?

Given the system type, I wouldn't expect too much trouble receiving the system - at least the site that is closest to you. However, I occasional see my local Motorola system experiences reception issues with the 436 as well (not sure why).

Are you using the stock antenna? I found long ago that replacing it with Radio Shack 800 Mhz antennas makes a big difference - and not that's pretty much all I use regardless of the band/frequency I monitor.

Good luck if you find yourself having to mess with digital threshholds -- that mess is the reason I walked away from Uniden years ago.
 

IBScan

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On my 996, I can't remember what I did. When a TG is active, it switched from the CC to a VC, P25... LNK while staying on the Voice Channel for a good time. Whereas the 436 as soon as audio stops it jumps back to the CC then back to the same VC it was on.

For the programming of the system. I broke it down to each their own system/site RCS SOUTH LAW, RCS SOUTH FIRE, etc The RCS system is a simulcast loop system with 3 loops North, South, East.

How would I get the 436 to stop jumping to CC when audio stops and to hold on the voice freq?

The digital thresholds haven't been an issue. Both set at 11 with a 1-2 ERR at times.

Yes, both scanner I've been using the stock antennas which haven't been that bad.
 

ofd8001

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See if increasing the channel delay time will help you achieve what you want.

The x96 scanners had a means to extend the site Hold Time. That isn't available in the x36 series. That is what you might have done.

The scanner jumping to the control channel after the carrier drops on the voice frequency is normal behavior. It is desired behavior too. That's because the voice frequency is released for use by other users/talkgroups on the system when the carrier drops. So you could be waiting for a police conversation to continue, but the voice frequency has been re-assigned to a fire conversation, for example.

I'm pretty sure even the "system radios" do this same thing - monitor the control channel after the carrier drops on the voice frequency that was assigned.

When scanning trunked systems, you are "following" talkgroups and not voice frequencies.
 

jonwienke

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The x96 scanners had a means to extend the site Hold Time. That isn't available in the x36 series.
Not true. It's column 11 of System properties in the Sentinel Favorite List editor.
 

IBScan

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See if increasing the channel delay time will help you achieve what you want.

The x96 scanners had a means to extend the site Hold Time. That isn't available in the x36 series. That is what you might have done.

The scanner jumping to the control channel after the carrier drops on the voice frequency is normal behavior. It is desired behavior too. That's because the voice frequency is released for use by other users/talkgroups on the system when the carrier drops. So you could be waiting for a police conversation to continue, but the voice frequency has been re-assigned to a fire conversation, for example.

I'm pretty sure even the "system radios" do this same thing - monitor the control channel after the carrier drops on the voice frequency that was assigned.

When scanning trunked systems, you are "following" talkgroups and not voice frequencies.
I'm not that much of a noob :D, I do appreciate the information. I took video to attempt to best describe what I'm talking about. I believe you got what I'm talking about and I had a feeling the setting is not on the 436. https://youtu.be/193SPGwftdU - pay attention to the Freq and P25 status on the 996 @ 1:23

The thing is the carrier hasn't dropped the voice freq yet. The RCS controller has a delay I believe and I don't know it's value but a RCS radio tech is on here and more so on a local forums. As on the 996 is still holding it and the convo continues up to 10-15 secs. I have Site Hold to 20 secs and it seems to only hold up to 20 secs and releases sooner if need be.

It took me a year to get the 996 perfectly to mimic the actual "field" radios.

Reason being when a deputy keys up with 10-4 takes less than 2 secs, the 436 misses it whereas the 996 catches it as it still holding the voice freq LNK....

In order to monitor the system, Status Bit, and seems to work better with End Code has to be turned off. Whereas the field radios will be getting this information, so when the VC gets dropped the system tells the radios go back to CC,

Edit System Options - Set Hold Time: 20, Set Status Bit: Off, Set End Code: Ignore
Edit Site Options - Digital Waiting Time: 0ms
Edit Department / Edit Channel - Set Delay Time: 30 Sec.

* In the video you might see Imperial Beach and Lemon Grove talkgroups and one of the scanners might be on IB and the other is on LG. Imperial Beach and Lemon Grove talkgroups and patched normally, the 996 can only to monitor which ever the dispatcher is using(?) as it can only receive from one or the other but not both (If IB is active, LG will be silent till they drop the patch) whereas the 436 can pick up 100% on either or TG's. The field Radios are programed for the substation and Imperial Beach radios won't have Lemon Grove vice versa, but both will have the mutual aid TG, etc. Not that many TG's programmed. I got to ride with the Medical Examiners office (a friend was the one who drove the white unmarked vans and placed the deceased in body bag, in the van, to the ME's office (sub-contractor)) and I got to play with the radio in depth, the ME radios only had 7 or 10 TG's ME 1-3, County Wide: LE S-N-E CMD's, LE TAC's, LAW AIR, only about a quarter of the dial was active. Not all RCS radios are programmed a like, Motorola XTS-5000.

I messed with every delay/hold I could find to no avail.

Reception issues is ATT put a tower on my block (5 lots down) I noticed I don't get full solid bars, it fluctuates now. The Sheriff's station has a T mobile repeater on the station (city council member wanted it because her and her family and friends use T Mobile...) since we don't use the old repeaters for anything since we got the RCS. Deputies only notice spotty service at the beach (I'm 1.5 miles east of the beach). I've noticed when I'm by the station, that T Mobile repeater drowns out my 996 while the moto radios are a-okay (I've done Ride-Alongs with them). I bought a "better antenna" from Scanner M***ter, they showed the stock version and another one but all metal (no plastic) claiming it was "100% better than the stock". I was new with scanners and was listening to everything. So a 800mhz would have limited me. They sent me the stock antenna for $40+SH and wouldn't refund or even send me what was pictured. I basically gave up on the bs phone tags after 2 months.

1 Communications Training for Amateur Radio Operators Introduction to the San Diego County 800 MHz RCS System & Local Government VHF Systems

RCS Loop Map

I guess I'm SOL like you said the 436 doesn't have the setting. I would of been better off getting a 396(xt).. I tried copying my 996 programming to the 436 including setting when I first got it hoping it would be that easy. I didn't know the ins and outs of the Home Patrol series of how it's setup. My way of programming was for speed as I was working as a stringer. I've given my programming to my friends (for free, some guy on local forums wanted to charge me 40 bucks instead of giving tips for the system as I was asking for info / tips on the particular system to learn.

I was a fresh noob then, Like I said, it took me about a year and many of hours fine tuning the 996 and it's perfect. My friend says it's better than downloading the radio ref version, he too has a 996, a Pro-196, and 396 I think, I converted my programming from Uniden to RadioShack fairly easy using Proscan and FreeScan and worked flawlessly as I was finish programming his RS radio we hear a shooting / murder down the road, we went to the crime scene, my other friend who worked for ME I texted him the call and he said he just got the call to pick up the body. So we're all waiting in the parking lot taking a smoke break, ME transport had to wait for the ME to finish and release the body for transport, I had my friends RS I just setup, clipped to my back pocket, and it matched the Deputies radios. Some random guy walking near was walking up to us and "Can I get a cigarette?", heard and saw the radio and could hear echoing from the deputies radios, "Oh never mind you guys are pigs".

Ex: I split the RCS up by loops and by type. So I have two of each zone, one for LE and one for FIRE. The quick buttons all setup, There is System Quick Buttons and Group Quick Buttons on the 996, the Group QB were the 996's version of Departments, so Func+Num I could turn on or off depts. I hope that makes sense

Now, I just wanted to clone that to the 436 and be mobile. I'm still a noob with the 436, I'm still debating on how I'm going to do it. My thought is Systems on the 996 will be Favorite Lists on the 436, so Pressing 0+E Turns on CHP, 0+1 Turns On/Off RCS SOUTH LAW, etc and pressing No, No+0-9 Turns On/Off Departments on that system.

Is there a better efficient way with this scanner or my thought of setting up would be way to go?

I'm still reading the manual and playing with it. I just wanted to be able to quickly while driving be able to turn systems and agencies on and off and if they have a better way?

I also use Free Scan (996 only :(), ProScan and Sentinel

I posted on the Uniden forums and it's silent over there.

Sorry for the rambling and jumping around.

In interested I can upload the 996 programming just let me know what software. Pro-Scan / Free Scan includes the scanner settings, Pro-Scan lets me change the boot screen :D Here is a PDF example of RCS SOUTH ZONE LAW: https://www.pdf-archive.com/2017/05/21/rcs-south-law/rcs-south-law.pdf
 
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ofd8001

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Do you have any type of Priority ID Scanning going on with your 436?

If you want to, you can export your 436 Favorites List to an HPE file, zip that and attach to a message. I'll take a look at it and see if I can make anything out.

What you mention is one of many ways you could go about programming your 436. I suggest you experiment and see what works best for you. (FWIW, if I understand the CHP and San Diego systems, I'd probably do what you are thinking.)
 

ofd8001

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Not true. It's column 11 of System properties in the Sentinel Favorite List editor.
You are talking about SYSTEM hold time. I was mentioning SITE hold time. Different things.

System Hold Time is the amount of time the scanner dwells on a given system. During that time, especially if the System Hold Time is lengthy, it could monitor the sites in a system for several repetitions.

Site Hold Time (that x96 only feature), is the amount of time a scanner dwells on a given site. If a user wanted to spend a little more time on a particular site, thus giving a little more preference to talkgroups affiliated with the given site, that is the way of doing so.
 

IBScan

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You are talking about SYSTEM hold time. I was mentioning SITE hold time. Different things.

System Hold Time is the amount of time the scanner dwells on a given system. During that time, especially if the System Hold Time is lengthy, it could monitor the sites in a system for several repetitions.

Site Hold Time (that x96 only feature), is the amount of time a scanner dwells on a given site. If a user wanted to spend a little more time on a particular site, thus giving a little more preference to talkgroups affiliated with the given site, that is the way of doing so.
I too suffer from lapse of terms. I used to know all the terms but after I got my scanner programmed there was no need to mess with anything. So I've forgotten a lot from 10ish years ago. It's like I'm starting all over with the 436.

The 996 is my goal settings, quick keys, etc for the 436.

I used ProScan and FreeScan for the 996 and ProScan and Sentinel for the 436 and linked the systems to radio ref in the .rar.

My 436 is bare as I've not sat down and worked on it. I've been playing with things, learning and figuring out what route to take and kinda lazy with it.

It seems like there are more quick key options on the 436.

The 996 and 396 shared the same OS with the 996 having one or two extra perks one being memory, the 396XT/996XT I thought were the same basic OS as the non XT with some extra options (NAC, etc) assuming "Site Delay hold" would be adjustable on the XT series right? (I hope you get what I mean by OS, the 996 OS is vastly different than the Home Patrol series and threw me for a loop).

I've been reading this: Easier to Read BCD436/536HP Digital Scanner Manual If you got what I meant how I have my 996 setup (you can see attached) I was thinking on making each system as a favorite list unless there is a better way to have 1 favorite list, where I can turn sites/zones and depts associated with those sites/zones on/off, etc But I think the Favorite list route is cleaner and faster. Just curious if there is a better way than the way I came up with. People said they never thought of doing the RCS like that.

I bought the 996 right before the XT's were announced... I was irked. I paid $550 (other places wanted 650-850), then same price for the new version shortly after I bought mine... The scanner paid itself off that year with the work I got done.

Now, "Site Delay / Hold Time" is software based so Uniden could add the option. There's no hidden options like the older ones had?

That flip flopping from the Voice Channel to the Control Channel and back to the same Voice Channel is what is making me miss transmissions. I was just messing with it now, via Department > Edit Channel > Hold Time, I set it to -5 sec / -10 sec, I'm not missing it but, I would be missing convos if I had anything other active / unlocked as I only have the Sheriff's Dept, South/ station 70 area active. If I had ANY other TG's active, it would resume scanning too quick and likely go to a different dept and that's how I miss out.

I asked Paul (Upman) if there was going to be "any scanners coming out soon / any projects to build / release new scanners because I'm about to buy another one and don't want to buy and then the newer better one comes out 2 weeks later...." He said nope and nope.

I'm finding more threads on here and other sites where I'm not the only one...
 

jonwienke

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That flip flopping from the Voice Channel to the Control Channel and back to the same Voice Channel is what is making me miss transmissions. I was just messing with it now, via Department > Edit Channel > Hold Time, I set it to -5 sec / -10 sec, I'm not missing it but, I would be missing convos if I had anything other active / unlocked as I only have the Sheriff's Dept, South/ station 70 area active.
Using a negative setting on a channel means the scanner will resume scanning after that many seconds, even if there is still traffic on the channel. A positive setting makes the scanner wait the specified number of seconds after the end of traffic before resuming scanning.
 

Ubbe

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The system hold time on BCDx36HP are a site hold time. If you set it to 2sec it will hold on each site, that has a carrier, for 2sec. Whistler has a true system hold time as it it only stays a predefined time, something like 200mS, on each site and scans all sites until system hold time runs out.

/Ubbe
 

ofd8001

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It seems like there are more quick key options on the 436.

I was thinking on making each system as a favorite list unless there is a better way to have 1 favorite list, where I can turn sites/zones and depts associated with those sites/zones on/off, etc But I think the Favorite list route is cleaner and faster. Just curious if there is a better way than the way I came up with. People said they never thought of doing the RCS like that.

That flip flopping from the Voice Channel to the Control Channel and back to the same Voice Channel is what is making me miss transmissions. I was just messing with it now, via Department > Edit Channel > Hold Time, I set it to -5 sec / -10 sec, I'm not missing it but, I would be missing convos if I had anything other active / unlocked as I only have the Sheriff's Dept, South/ station 70 area active. If I had ANY other TG's active, it would resume scanning too quick and likely go to a different dept and that's how I miss out.
Yes the Quick Key options are greater. You have an additional layer (the Favorites Lists) and the Departments (Groups in the x96) can have 100 Department Quick Keys versus 10 in the x96.

There are many ways of programming things, just like different routes to a destination. You go a different way but end up at the same place. Some are longer and more cumbersome.

If you are using negative channel delays (-5 or -10) that may be why you are missing. When negative delays are used, they tell the scanner to resume scanning even if the conversation hasn't concluded. Thus if you use a -10 second delay, the scanner resumes scanning after 10 seconds even though the units continue talking for another X seconds.
 
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