PSR 800 Supportability

Status
Not open for further replies.

itchy243mhz

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2004
Messages
16
Location
Maryland
Once the support contract expires for the weekly Radio Reference updates to the GRE EZ Scan program, will PSR 800 owners be able to utilize some other method to receive updates such as maybe using the supportability loads of the new Whistler 800 clones? Any guesses on if the Whistler WS1080 database load work on the 800? Sorry if I've missed this if it's been a topic before.
 

n5ims

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2004
Messages
3,689
Your question has no answer at this point. Hopefully once Whistler releases their version, a good answer can be found.

For some details on the process that generates the files for the PSR-800, read this post by the person that actually handles the process under contract from GRE. http://forums.radioreference.com/gre-scanners/269551-has-gre-closed-4.html#post2004890 One important part of that post is quoted below that comes as close as possible to answering your question at least as good as possible back in July of 2013 prior to the Whistler announcement.

This process will be valid until at least December 2014. That's as far as I've been paid to run the weekly update process on my home PC. After that, the process will only work if one of two things happen: a) someone buys the GRE IP and continues the update process or b) I, out of the goodness of my heart, choose to continue the update process without compensation. Note that (b) likely requires that I buy the necessary domain name (used by the EZ-Scan PC software) and maintain a dedicated server. I'm not sure I want to do this.
 
Last edited:

Pro94Pdx

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 24, 2010
Messages
44
Location
Milwaukie, OR
I'm not sure I understand this post completely, and was wondering if someone might be able to explain. Doesn't the EZ software just access frequencies from the radio reference database on it's own? What is it that needs to be updated specifically for the PSR 800 on the radio reference database? I thought it was just like any other scanner software, which links to the radio reference database and uploads the frequencies you choose to the scanner. Is there something else in that process that I'm not understanding? If the radio reference database is regularly changed and updated with new frequencies on it's own, won't that PSR 800 be able to follow those and update accordingly after December 2014? Or does this mean that the scanner will not work anymore at all?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

n5ims

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2004
Messages
3,689
I'm not sure I understand this post completely, and was wondering if someone might be able to explain. Doesn't the EZ software just access frequencies from the radio reference database on it's own? What is it that needs to be updated specifically for the PSR 800 on the radio reference database? I thought it was just like any other scanner software, which links to the radio reference database and uploads the frequencies you choose to the scanner. Is there something else in that process that I'm not understanding? If the radio reference database is regularly changed and updated with new frequencies on it's own, won't that PSR 800 be able to follow those and update accordingly after December 2014? Or does this mean that the scanner will not work anymore at all?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
As explained fully in the link to the old "Has GRE Closed" thread in my post above, Every Friday, Don runs his program on his personal PC to extract the Conventional and Trunking Systems data from the RR database. Once everything has been received, his program will parse through that data and convert it into the format needed by the PSR-800 (those RRDB_vvv.nnn files you may see on the SD card). Once the files have finished (and I assume are verified to be correct), they are packaged up and placed on the server the PSR-800 software downloads them from (a server setup by GRE and now maintained by Don).

The PSR-800 (or even the Uniden HP1s that use a similar process) do not access the RR database directly. This is done by the custom software written by Don (for the GRE scanners) and the author of the Uniden equivalent software. They then convert it into the format expected by the various scanners. If that software doesn't run, the scanners don't get any updates. Read the linked post and surrounding ones where DonS and UPMan explain the process.

It is my understanding that both the GRE and Uniden scanners that use this process do have the ability to bypass this and enter your own programming. It's no where as easy as the "download and select" method, but will allow you to make changes even after the updates are no longer available. It won't be easy, but should be possible. The scanner will still work using the old programming until something changes, even without updates.

Unless you're moving to a totally new area, you should only need to update a few things and only do so when they change (which doesn't happen all that often). Chances are, that new area's programming will still be mostly correct from the old upload. You may also need to spend some time doing some manual entries when your local system makes a major change (like moving from one system to another). It's likely that you'll need a new scanner then anyway, like the folks that have had their old Analog Motorola system or EDACS system move to a new P-25 Phase II system are having to do now.
 

itchy243mhz

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2004
Messages
16
Location
Maryland
Thanks for the gouge N5IMS, I look forward to the release of the new Whistlers for the ultimate answer. Also in the chance that the new Whistler set up doesn't work, 800 owners will be looking to this group of experts to come up with a workaround to do data base updates. Therein lies the tangible value of this Forum. Thanks again
 

jackj

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2007
Messages
1,542
Location
NW Ohio
If Don isn't interested in continuing the update service then maybe RR would be if it was a paid service. I really have no idea what a fair price for the service would be but it would probably make for a tidy little second income for Don. Who knows, it might even blossom out into a new business for someone - supporting all those data-base scanners who's manufacturers no longer support. That was the only misgivings I had when I bought my 800, what happens when the scanner is discontinued.
 

mrkelso

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
1,440
Location
NNJ
Anyone have any clue as to how much this will all cost to run?
 

AZScanner

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
3,352
Location
Somewhere in this room. Right now, you're very col
I don't see any reason why Don couldn't release a modified version of his update software that would accept an RR Premium username and password and then update the DB on the scanner. I'm sure folks would be willing to pay a few bucks to be able to update their scanner the minute something new was updated in the RRDB. Forget a weekly update, folks could update our scanners any time they wanted. I think Uniden missed a bet by not having Sentinel be able to directly download into the scanner from the RRDB if you're a premium subscriber. Some of the systems in my area get updated almost every day. It'd be nice to be able to put in my RR credentials and update them in the scanner "automagically" each morning.

-AZ
 

KevinC

Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Jan 7, 2001
Messages
4,847
Location
Somewhere other than home :(
I don't see any reason why Don couldn't release a modified version of his update software that would accept an RR Premium username and password and then update the DB on the scanner. I'm sure folks would be willing to pay a few bucks to be able to update their scanner the minute something new was updated in the RRDB. Forget a weekly update, folks could update our scanners any time they wanted. I think Uniden missed a bet by not having Sentinel be able to directly download into the scanner from the RRDB if you're a premium subscriber. Some of the systems in my area get updated almost every day. It'd be nice to be able to put in my RR credentials and update them in the scanner "automagically" each morning.

-AZ
I'd be willing to bet Don can't modify it in any way as that would have to be approved by RR and "possibly" now Whistler as they bought the GRE IP rights...but I could be wrong.
 

AZScanner

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
3,352
Location
Somewhere in this room. Right now, you're very col
I'd be willing to bet Don can't modify it in any way as that would have to be approved by RR and "possibly" now Whistler as they bought the GRE IP rights...but I could be wrong.
That's too bad... I think being able to update the scanner's database at any time from the RR Web Service would be a desired feature and selling point. Uniden's Sentinel program doesn't currently do this either, so it would be a big win for Whistler and/or Don to be able to offer that.

-AZ
 

n5ims

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2004
Messages
3,689
I don't see any reason why Don couldn't release a modified version of his update software that would accept an RR Premium username and password and then update the DB on the scanner. I'm sure folks would be willing to pay a few bucks to be able to update their scanner the minute something new was updated in the RRDB. Forget a weekly update, folks could update our scanners any time they wanted. I think Uniden missed a bet by not having Sentinel be able to directly download into the scanner from the RRDB if you're a premium subscriber. Some of the systems in my area get updated almost every day. It'd be nice to be able to put in my RR credentials and update them in the scanner "automagically" each morning.

-AZ
Exactly one of the major problems with being contracted to create software. It's all done by you, with your sweat and brain power but when after all is said and done, you don't own any of it. It's all owned by the folks that paid you to create it. Unless you were very lucky, you can't use any of what you did to create something on your own that uses what you learned creating the company's software. If you do, they (or who they sold the IP to) can sue you for big bucks, tie up your bank accounts and future employment opportunities because you violated their copyrights and signed agreements you had with them (perhaps even patents the company got from your work) on your new project.

You can be sure that those "RRDB_vvv.nnn" files, their formats, layouts, folder structure, and most everything about them (except for the data they hold) are copyrighted and/or considered to be "trade secrets". If someone that was part of the team that had access to them were to recreate them in some manner outside of the original project they'd be shut down quickly and hard. If someone were to recreate them that had no direct knowledge of them (basically reverse engineer them), they had better do so in a very isolated manner and fully and carefully document their entire process or they'll be in similar trouble. This isn't as simple as looking at the files and making your own process to create them (you violated the process by using the protected files as your starting point!) but must be done in a totally isolated manner (often called double-blind).
 

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
65,126
Location
Virginia
RR

Why would the GRE scanner program that calls in to Radio Reference be shut off unless Radio Reference flew the coup,then we would all be with boat anchors.I say as long as Radio Reference is around then the GRE owners are ok.
 

TES

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Apr 27, 2004
Messages
866
Location
America's High Plains
Why would the GRE scanner program that calls in to Radio Reference be shut off unless Radio Reference flew the coup,then we would all be with boat anchors.I say as long as Radio Reference is around then the GRE owners are ok.
Try a re-read of the first reply in this thread.
 

n5ims

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2004
Messages
3,689
Why would the GRE scanner program that calls in to Radio Reference be shut off unless Radio Reference flew the coup,then we would all be with boat anchors.I say as long as Radio Reference is around then the GRE owners are ok.
If you're talking about the PSR-800, then you have it wrong. The PSR-800 does NOT get it's updates directly from Radio Reference but instead gets them from a GRE registered server (now ran by Don Starr under prepaid contract until Dec, 2014). The data that populates the files placed on that server are sourced from Radio Reference, but unless Don does his tasks nothing is placed on that server so there won't be files available for the PSR-800 to download.

Read the posts above that describe the process. If you don't believe them, read the posts from the old thread that I linked to above to hear both DonS describe what he does and UPMan state that the process that they use is similar.
 

Swipesy

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2003
Messages
1,605
Location
Northern Ohio
There is a major point being left out of this discussion. Speaking only to the PSR800 here.

The weekly updates to EZScan only updates the database in the software and ultimately in the radio if you update the SD card. It does not update the ScanLists TalkGroups or Conventional frequencies you have programmed (except the description of already programmed TG's and Conventional freq if you so choose). So you still have to either manually add new TalkGroups or Conventional frequencies to existing ScanLists or completely rebuild your ScanList via the software. All the updates do is update system frequencies for trunked systems. So, whether or not updates continue you still need to pretty much manually update existing ScanLists you have created. This can be done via extractions from RR into, say Excel, and then uploaded into EZScan.

I said this way back before the PSR 800 was ever released and say it again. It is a very bad idea that the owners of a $500.00 +/- radio have to be directly tied to RR, or 3rd party software vendors in order to update OUR equipment. GRE did us no favors by limiting the PSR800 directly to RR and EZScan software that is crippled by GRE to allowing for 100% importing and Exporting from that software. The best solution was the PSR 500 whereby YOU the owner could choose to buy from RR and your choice of several software vendors a software to update your scanner. People and companies come and go and limiting an expensive piece of equipment to specific companies or people for the data to update the scanner is not good for the end user. The current arrangement lines the pockets of limited individuals with dollars while shutting out open competition for providing alternatives.

Numerous times the justification for the current arrangement has been "justified" under the guise of protecting GRE's intellectional property (didn't seem to be an issue with PSR 500 or Pro 96) and I still believe in the Tooth Fairy.
 

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
65,126
Location
Virginia
GRE/Whistler

REF:This process will be valid until at least December 2014. That's as far as I've been paid to run the weekly update process on my home PC. After that, the process will only work if one of two things happen: a) someone buys the GRE IP and continues the update process or b) I, out of the goodness of my heart, choose to continue the update process without compensation. Note that (b) likely requires that I buy the necessary domain name (used by the EZ-Scan PC software) and maintain a dedicated server. I'm not sure I want to do this.

I was told by Whistler reps that they hired some of the GRE reps to work at Whistler,now if that same person that wrote the PSR-800 program has written the program then we are ok IF he hasnt changed the
clone of the 800's IP address,now give me one good reason why they would?The scanners are the same,right?The new Whistlers (at least the few that they are going to release).I emailed Whistler and
the PSR-800 and 900 are coming down the pike they say,unless they are bullcrappimg then what would they have to gain from that?I want the PSR-900 and I cant wait til Whistler releases it!
Ive owned the new uniden and to me,the GRE,still works better.I have zero issues with my PSR-800.
 

kruser

Active Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
3,199
Location
St. Louis County, MO
I said this way back before the PSR 800 was ever released and say it again. It is a very bad idea that the owners of a $500.00 +/- radio have to be directly tied to RR, or 3rd party software vendors in order to update OUR equipment. GRE did us no favors by limiting the PSR800 directly to RR and EZScan software that is crippled by GRE to allowing for 100% importing and Exporting from that software.
I've said the same and fully agree. Having a database (maintained by someone other than yourself) driven scanner is a risk the owner takes when making the purchase.

At least with the similar Uniden HP based models, you can use Butel's ARC software and import favorites directly from the RR database but that is not an option for the GRE PSR800. If Whistler is nice and releases everything so 3rd parties can write similar software like Gommert does for the Uniden HP based models, things may be a lot better for the 800 owners. And who knows but Don S. may still hold some rights in the 800 software and/or firmware which may prevent Whistler from doing this unless Don also agrees.
Something tells me Whistler would never do it anyway but I've seen stranger things happen with IP rights.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top