Radio Shack 164 Truck Scanning Issue

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Mattandsara

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Hi,

I have a 164 radio shack scanner I just received for Christmas. I was able to program the trunking channels and talk id's. The scanner we working great last night. It was scanning conventional and trunking channels and working great. Today I turned it on and all it scans and finds is the conventenial channels. I can manually go to my trunking channels and hear the communication....but when i'm in scan mode, it skips over the trucking channels.

Please help!!!
 

iMONITOR

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Welcome to Radio Reference!

Possible cause:

If you only programmed the site frequencies, but no talk-groups, then you will need to be scanning in Open Mode, which will pick up all talk-groups.

If you're scanning in Closed Mode, it will only pick up the talk-groups that you programmed. In Closed Mode, if no talk-groups were programmed, you will hear nothing.
 

Mattandsara

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Thank you for the reply. I have tried the scanner in open and closed modes. Same results. I do have the talk group id's programed. Like I said, the scanner was working great. Turned it off and back on, then nothing. When it scanned the screen flashed on the talk group id I was scanning which in this case was (3). It also flashed a (T) up above to the left of the G. This was when the scanner was working and picking up everything. Now, the (T) no longer flashed and I have nothing.
 

N8IAA

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Thank you for the reply. I have tried the scanner in open and closed modes. Same results. I do have the talk group id's programed. Like I said, the scanner was working great. Turned it off and back on, then nothing. When it scanned the screen flashed on the talk group id I was scanning which in this case was (3). It also flashed a (T) up above to the left of the G. This was when the scanner was working and picking up everything. Now, the (T) no longer flashed and I have nothing.
Just by coincidence, did you program the TGID's into the frequency bank of the trunked systems? The correct way to enter the talkgroups is by pressing the PROG button, then the FUNC button, then the TRUNK button. This gets you into the scanlist. Then you can program your individual TG's. Make sure that all of your frequencies correspond to the proper mode: MOT, ED, LTR. This can be confirmed by pressing the MODE button until the correct mode appears. This must be done in the PROG mode also.
HTH,
Larry
 

Halfpint

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Out of curiosity... Which programing software are you using? (Manual programming of even these `simple' trunk tracking scanners is fraught with multiple `gotchas' that using either of the 2 `leading' programing packages can/will eliminate. [Disclaimer: *I* have and use *both* WIN97 and PSREdit300 for programming these particular `style' radios.])

Having said that... *I* would first check to see if you actually have the correct banks activated, then check to see if you have the correct talkgroup `sub-banks' selected for the trunked system you want to listen to. (The main difference between `closed' and `open' for the banks is whether or not one hears just the programmed talkgroups or *all*, not just the programmed programmed, talkgroups on said system. In this case I wouldn't begin to worry about it being a problem.) Having made *that* check, though some would say that it would be the second check, the next check I'd make would be to make certain that the control channels, or in the case of a system that requires frequencies that have to be programmed in a LCN order, that had been entered were not locked out, or improperly locked out, by some happenstance. (The reasoning for my `order' of checking is that the first things I looked at are basically `main screen' items for each bank. Checking the `lockout status' of the control channels, conventional channels, and also talkgroup IDs within the `sub-banks', are separate `scroll-able' `windows' within that `main screen'.)

Now, with my PRO-2055s/97s, I have tried to keep the number of `conventional' freqs programmed into various trunked banks down to an absolute minimum preferring to, if possible, to dedicate a separate bank to them. Even though it can sometimes `eat up' banks it helps keep things a bit easier to listen to quite a bit of the time. (I *will* admit that when I only had a single PRO-2055 and PRO-97 {GAACK! That was such a long time ago! GRIMACE!} I *did* tend to try and cram as much as I could into each bank. SWMBO can relate many `horror tales' about times when I was almost going nuts trying to lock and unlock things just trying to stay on top of a `developing situation' without getting interrupted by something not even vaguely associated with whatever it was I was trying to follow because I had a bank to `cluttered'!) The other `side effect' of doing so meant that if I was trying out listening to a new system it made it a lot easier to trouble shoot my programming of that system. Eventually one ends up with certain systems one listens to the majority of the time and has other, separate, programming files that one can upload whenever needed.

If you haven't yet picked up some programming software I urge you to go and get at least WIN97 and PSREidt 300 and take advantage of their `trial periods' and give them both a good workout. Not only will that help you decide which one you like to use but, it will greatly help figuring out what your problem(s) may be and correct it/them. (Another disclaimer: For my PRO-2055s/97s *I* prefer WIN97 because one can have multiple programming files loaded into it at one time and can much more easily `cut-n-paste' data between the various files as needed. I will also admit that I do find a few times when PSREdit300 can do things easier and then I use it instead. But, then, I will also admit that I am a bit of a gadget/software `phreque'/`collector' and have *many* such `duplicates' around. {WAN GRIN!})

Oh, yeah... I am *also* known to write rather long`epistles' for replies. {GRIN!}
 

gmclam

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Considering that this was "working last night", my guess is that the active control channel changed. The RR database lists up to 4 frequencies of a site that can be used as possible control channels. All 4 of these frequencies should be programmed, set to the correct mode and not locked out.

So to figure this out right now, go in to MAN mode. Press MAN and then the 3 digits of where you programmed the first control channel (0 0 0 ?). Then press MAN again. Now press MAN to advance through each frequency. You should HEAR the control channel - it will sound like data. The 4th line on the PRO-97 display will show something like: MOT - CTRL 50%.

If you not receiving a control channel, that's the problem. Check the database and make sure you have programmed all possible control channel frequencies. If you are receiving the control channel - is it locked out? If so, unlock it. Make sure it is set to the correct mode.

Perhaps you are receiving the control channel, but that % being shown is quite low. If that's the case, you'll need to do something to improve your reception. An outdoor antenna, better antenna, different location, etc.
 

N1BHH

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As gmclam says, you may not have all the control channels programmed. Step through the channels and if you don't hear the control channel rumble, then you don't have them all. Some systems sit on one control channel with one secondary, while some systems shuffle through as many as 4 or 5.
 

Mattandsara

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Almost Fixed?

Thank you to everyone that responded.

A weird thing happened today. I turn the scanner on, and it began to flash the "T" in the upper corner and pickup the activity. I have not changed anything on the scanner. Went from working to not and back to working. I think gmclam may be right on the frequencies. Could the departments use one frequency one day and switch to another the next? My area shows 2 primary frequencies and 6 alternative. Do you have to program in the alternative frequencies or just the primary ones?

When i go through the steps gmclam has mentioned, I do hear the computer noise on 1 of the 2 primary frequencies but not both. Should I hear it on both? The other day when the scanner was not trucking, i couldnt hear the computer noise on either one.

If I dont hear the computer noise, how do I fix the problem? Or should I always hear the computer noise on at least one of the channels? Or all?

Maybe I need to program in the alternative channels and the days the scanner was doing nothing the departments were running under these alternative frequencies?

Thanks
Matt
 

N8IAA

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Thank you to everyone that responded.

A weird thing happened today. I turn the scanner on, and it began to flash the "T" in the upper corner and pickup the activity. I have not changed anything on the scanner. Went from working to not and back to working. I think gmclam may be right on the frequencies. Could the departments use one frequency one day and switch to another the next? My area shows 2 primary frequencies and 6 alternative. Do you have to program in the alternative frequencies or just the primary ones?

When i go through the steps gmclam has mentioned, I do hear the computer noise on 1 of the 2 primary frequencies but not both. Should I hear it on both? The other day when the scanner was not trucking, i couldnt hear the computer noise on either one.

If I dont hear the computer noise, how do I fix the problem? Or should I always hear the computer noise on at least one of the channels? Or all?

Maybe I need to program in the alternative channels and the days the scanner was doing nothing the departments were running under these alternative frequencies?

Thanks
Matt
If you are using the red and blue frequencies listed on radio reference, yes, you need to program all of them. My county when they were on analog trunking did it all the time. It is not unusual that this is done. It will make your scanning less of a headache:)
Larry
 

gmclam

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PRO-164 and trunk tracking .....

A weird thing happened today. I turn the scanner on, and it began to flash the "T" in the upper corner and pickup the activity. I have not changed anything on the scanner. Went from working to not and back to working. I think gmclam may be right on the frequencies.
Here's a simplistic overview. There are a group of frequencies. At any given moment, ONE of those frequencies is sending data - that is what we call the active control channel. At any given moment, the active control channel can change to any of the other frequencies. RR members have determined which frequenices are primarily used for this, and which are alternatively used. But it could be ANY of them. Program them ALL in to the scanner in the same bank.

Could the departments use one frequency one day and switch to another the next?
Yes. The control channel frequency can change at any time, but some agencies use the same one for days. However, voice channels change with virtually every transmission.

A "channel" on a TRS is called a talkgroup (TG). When someone wants to transmit, a computer assigns a frequency to their TG and sends data indication such over the control channel. Scanners receive the data and determine what "VC" (voice channel) to switch to.

When i go through the steps gmclam has mentioned, I do hear the computer noise on 1 of the 2 primary frequencies but not both. Should I hear it on both? The other day when the scanner was not trucking, i couldnt hear the computer noise on either one.
It is called TRUNKING, not trucking. When you are in MAN mode, you should hear data on one frequency - the active control channel. But if your system has "digital voice", you'll hear data instead of (analog) voice on such channels as well.

When you are in SCAN mode you should never hear a control channel. In order for your scanner to "trunk track", all control channels must have the MODE set correctly. If the system you are monitoring is Motorola, set the mode to MO (not FM, not CT, not DC).

If I dont hear the computer noise, how do I fix the problem?
In MAN mode if you don't hear the noise, any of the following is possible:
1. They are not transmitting. This is unlikely on a medium or large size system.
2. You do not have the correct frequency programmed.
3. You are not in MAN mode. That's the only time you'll hear the noise in a properly programmed scanner.
4. You are not receiving the signal. It is too weak. You have a bad location. You don't have the right antenna. On and on.....

Or should I always hear the computer noise on at least one of the channels? Or all?
You should NOT hear the noise when in SCAN mode. But you must hear the noise in MAN mode if you expect to be scanning the system.

Maybe I need to program in the alternative channels and the days the scanner was doing nothing the departments were running under these alternative frequencies?
Yup.
 

Mattandsara

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Dec 31, 2009
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Thank You

Thank you to everyone for their input and help. Once I programmed both the primary and secondary frequiencies the scanner began to trunk all the time and work great.

Thanks again for helping me fix the issue!
Matt
 
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