Please help pal800 and BCT8

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PIFD

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Hi, could someone please help me, I pulled out my old BCT8 to attempt to get it on Jasper Counties Pal800 system.. and once again I'm having problems. I looked for hours at online solutions and the programing wiki. I can't get the BCT8 to ID SCAN mode... it just scans and my Home Patrol is picking up the channels fine..but not the BCT8.

i reset memory.. clean start and following programing instructions.

Motorola Type II Smartzone E2-800
Control Channel Only mode PL3
input Red and Blue Freq.s
input talk groups example: 43312
hit search ("The scan button on the BCT8 is actually the Search button")

screen says: Trunk M Pvt bank 1
and scan.

It's should say ID SCAN but it won't... what on earth am i doing wrong???
 

brian

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I don't own a BCT8 or any Uniden trunk-tracking scanner, so I'm just guessing. Hopefully someone else can offer some better advice. But it sounds to me like maybe the BCT8 isn't "hearing" and decoding a valid control channel. Do you have a way to verify in conventional mode that you're receiving a control channel signal on 853.8625? Maybe it's a reception issue or interference issue.

Also, I don't think this is your specific problem, but it could potentially be another problem, keep in mind that you'll need to configure this system to use the 800MHz rebanding bandplan.

I hope someone else will jump in with some better suggestions.
 

PIFD

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thanks, well i'm not sure about being able to verify the channels...as my other trunking scanner is a home patrol an completely automated... (wish homepatrol allowed manual programming if needed)

I did buy a serial cable and i'm trying the rebanded update now... on the BCT8... although i still think it should have went into the ID SCAN mode even with the wrong info..
 

PIFD

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purchased and spent hours using ScanControl uniden pro version program... and no luck... and whats strange is that the pal800 here is analog.. so i should receive something scanning in regular non trunked mode... but the listed 800 frequencies aren't working with this scanner... i guess it's back to scanning VHF.... which is all it really does now.
 

brian

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Regarding verifying the primary and alternate control channel frequencies, program those frequencies into the BCT8 scanner as conventional channels. Just like you would a VHF frequency. Then scan them. One of them should have the familiar idling diesel engine noise on it - that's your active (at the moment) control channel and it would verify that your scanner is capable of receiving the site in question (Jasper). If you don't hear the control channel audio on one of those frequencies, then one of several things could be happening:
- your antenna isn't capable of pulling in the control channel signal (ie, a reception related issue)
- the active control channel is on a frequency that isn't listed in the database
- there is a fault/problem with your scanner

If you do hear the control channel noise, the you want to verify that the control channel frequencies you programmed as "trunked" frequencies are correct. Assuming they are, now you know there is a problem with your programming or operation of the scanner - operator error.

I'm sorry I'm not more familiar with that model radio to help you further. You might try posting in the Uniden formum and someone who is familiar with that model might be able to help you.

One general point I'll make, and this isn't directed at PIFD or anyone in particular: the RR database, which supplies the data that these "automated" scanners use to work properly, depends on local listenters' submissions to stay accurate. Things change on radio systems fairly frequently, and if there are no listeners in an area capable of figuring out when these changes occur, the database becomes outdated and inaccurate, and these automated scanners cease to function properly. That's a notable flaw in this arrangement we have between RR, scanner manufacturers and consumers/listeners. I understand that most scanner listeners don't care one bit about the details of how these systems operate - they just want to listen. I don't have a problem with that. It's up to those of us who are interested in how these systems operate to maintain the ability to identify changes and submit them to the database. The number of listeners that fall into this category seems to be dwindling.

I hope you get your problem figured out. Good luck.
 

PIFD

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thank you brian I will try that again.. im pretty sure its just possibility damage due to age or signal strength. Yeah I see the issue with changing frequencies..I have had to detect and find frequencies and talkgroups in the past to nit only help update this database... but it was also the on way to get the frequencies in my home patrol unit... which is the only downfall of that unit
 

PIFD

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but do u know if the Jasper pall800 sight is rebanded? and if so what is the offset 440 maybe? and the step down in 15 or 24khz? and heck I cant figure out what they want me to imout for the high and low frequencys... this whole editing your freqs for rebanding just confuses the heck out of me and there really is no dumbed down simple explanations. .. I have looked for at least 8 hours.. about to give up
 

grcjrsc

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Jasper is showing in the database as re-banded. I am almost 100% certain all of the Palmetto 800 sites have been re-banded at this point. Have you updated the firmware in the BCT 8 to the new firmware that supports re-banding, and selected the correct custom tables? See the below information from Uniden on re-banding support for the BCT-8.

BCT8FirmwareUpdate < UnidenMan4 < TWiki
 

PIFD

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I did.. but I don't know for sure what to imput for base low and high freq and the correct off set and spacing.. it looked like a generic table...
 

grcjrsc

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That is the correct table they has listed for a standard re-banded system. Make sure you enter both band plan 1 and 2 so that it will handle the rebanded and standard frequencies correctly. For P-800 you need to select E2-CUS and enter the band plan as outlined in the above link. That should get you up and going.
 

PIFD

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another thing i have found.. my old BC350c picks up the control channel as well as my upgraded home patrol.. i'm using home patrol to monitor the trunking system and see when a freq. is active... but the old BCT8 won't pick up the computer sound.. i tried the deafult numbers givin on the table just as the link provides.. not sure if that info is correct to this system.
 

grcjrsc

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If you can't receive the computer sound on the control channel then that is where the problem lies. Receiving the control channel isn't based on the re-banding settings, it's just tuning the frequency. The band plans in the scanner tell it what to when the control channel sends a command to tune to channel 443, and the scanner knows what frequency is associated with channel 443.

If you aren't receiving any data on the control channel you need to check your antenna, etc. See if you can pick up anything of VHF, or UHF as well (NOAA WX Radio, ETC). However if you resolve the reception issue the above band plans are correct.

Hope you can get it resolved.
 

PIFD

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Band Plan Base Freq (Lower) Base Freq (Upper) Offset Polarity Spacing
1 851.0250MHz 854.0000MHz 440 + 25 kHz
2 851.0125MHz 868.9875MHz 0 + 25 kHz

well i did it all and no joy... still not picking up control channel or the voice my homepatrol is getting.. nothing.. so the table above isnt' right for this system or my radios broken in the 800 range.. cause it still picks up VHF fire paging.
 

PIFD

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and again another big thing is i have never seen this on my screen... source is Programming the BCT-8 - The RadioReference Wiki

"If you see "Bx SCAN id" scrolling across the display, you are NOT in the proper scan mode. Press the scan button until you see ID SCAN to scan only the id's you put in or to just SCAN to scan all the talk group id's." It only scrolls SCAN across the screen..even in Trunk mode.
 

grcjrsc

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If you scan the voice channels in conventional mode to you hear any traffic vs your HP-1? You should hear traffic on the voice channels if the HP-1 is receiving. Just program them in a separate just like a VHF or UHF channel and see what you hear. If you don't hear anything then something is preventing reception of 800MHz on that radio. Either the 800 front end is damaged or there is some physical issue preventing it.
 
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