SDS100/SDS200: Scan is skipping priority channel

DMSSIOWA

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I have one channel set as a Priority channel. When I'm scanning (with priority off) that channel never comes in even though it's a very active channel. To hear it, I have to hold on that channel and not scan. Once I scan, it doesn't come in again. This is a PD channel. It'll stop on the FD channel fine, just not PD. It's the same dispatch center. They're on a trunked system.

I tried changing the priority to DND to see if that made any difference. Nope. It seems to be checking for the channel from what I can tell on the display, but it never lands for traffic.
Any ideas?
 

DMSSIOWA

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Nope, you're still in the wrong area of programming if you're seeing that message. That is for conventional programming, and not Trunking and it's telling you that no conventional frequencies are set to priority. According to what I saw in your programming, you have it right except you have to go into the favorite list to where you have your talkgroups, scroll to the right where PCH is and turn it on.
So just turning it on in there does the trick? I don't need to set anything else to 'on'. I have it on now so it should be working? As I watch the display it doesn't show it's checking DMPD any more regularly (the middle of the display above the line says DMPD) but maybe it doesn't show up there as it's looking. The channel is coming in regularly, though, so maybe that's it working.
 

werinshades

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So just turning it on in there does the trick? I don't need to set anything else to 'on'. I have it on now so it should be working? As I watch the display it doesn't show it's checking DMPD any more regularly (the middle of the display above the line says DMPD) but maybe it doesn't show up there as it's looking. The channel is coming in regularly, though, so maybe that's it working.
I looked at your file and everything was correct except for what I mentioned.

Just keep in mind scanner Trunking priority isn't like a commercial grade radio priority. That's why it's considered "broken". The best way you can confirm is hold on a non-priority talk group and see if the scanner "jumps" to the priority talk group when there's traffic. You also have to be scanning in the same system as to where the priority talk group is. If you're scanning another system, the priority talk group won't come up.
 

DMSSIOWA

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Nope, you're still in the wrong area of programming if you're seeing that message. That is for conventional programming, and not Trunking and it's telling you that no conventional frequencies are set to priority. According to what I saw in your programming, you have it right except you have to
I will take your word for it that it's working! I'll try the trick but that it's even landing there at all now is a plus for me. Thank you!
 

DMSSIOWA

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I looked at your file and everything was correct except for what I mentioned.

Just keep in mind scanner Trunking priority isn't like a commercial grade radio priority. That's why it's considered "broken". The best way you can confirm is hold on a non-priority talk group and see if the scanner "jumps" to the priority talk group when there's traffic. You also have to be scanning in the same system as to where the priority talk group is. If you're scanning another system, the priority talk group won't come up.
I tried holding on a different DMPD channel and it did NOT jump to the priority channel when there was traffic. I was listening on a different source and there were calls it didn't pick up. :-\
 

werinshades

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I tried holding on a different DMPD channel and it did NOT jump to the priority channel when there was traffic. I was listening on a different source and there were calls it didn't pick up. :-\
Did you make the change I mentioned before? Were you monitoring only the system that has the priority talk group in it?
 

DMSSIOWA

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I have nothing else for you unfortunately. The way I program my Trunking systems with priority talkgroups work well. Hopefully you can keep experimenting and get it to work.
Thanks for trying! This probably works well enough for now. It's still a big improvement over what I've had since I apparently messed it up before. :) I appreciate the help!
 

ofd8001

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I have one channel set as a Priority channel. When I'm scanning (with priority off) that channel never comes in even though it's a very active channel. To hear it, I have to hold on that channel and not scan. Once I scan, it doesn't come in again. This is a PD channel. It'll stop on the FD channel fine, just not PD. It's the same dispatch center. They're on a trunked system.

I tried changing the priority to DND to see if that made any difference. Nope. It seems to be checking for the channel from what I can tell on the display, but it never lands for traffic.
Any ideas?
Okay....

Getting back to original issue. Please confirm that Law Dispatch Service Type is turned on.

I did not see any FD channels in the file your provided. Do you have them in their own, separate, Favorites List? If so, that's probably a contributing factor. While the scanner is on the Fire favorites, the police channel might be active, but because it ain't in the "active" Favorites List, the police channel is ignored

For best results, you should put everything into one Favorites Lists, then via Quick Keys, turn undesired Departments off. (Or go through the button press sequence to Avoid them).

Also, just to emphasize: if you have Fire on its own Favorites List, setting up Priority on the Police Favorites List ain't gonna work. That's because priority is "functional" only when the prioritized system is active. In other words, it ain't going to check for police activity while the scanner is on the Fire Favorites List.
 

DMSSIOWA

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Okay....

Getting back to original issue. Please confirm that Law Dispatch Service Type is turned on.

I did not see any FD channels in the file your provided. Do you have them in their own, separate, Favorites List? If so, that's probably a contributing factor. While the scanner is on the Fire favorites, the police channel might be active, but because it ain't in the "active" Favorites List, the police channel is ignored

For best results, you should put everything into one Favorites Lists, then via Quick Keys, turn undesired Departments off. (Or go through the button press sequence to Avoid them).

Also, just to emphasize: if you have Fire on its own Favorites List, setting up Priority on the Police Favorites List ain't gonna work. That's because priority is "functional" only when the prioritized system is active. In other words, it ain't going to check for police activity while the scanner is on the Fire Favorites List.
I do have the FD channels on a separate favorites list. The control channel and all is the same as PD, same dispatchers do both from the same room (I got to sit in with them, that was fun!). I set it up that way so I could turn off PD or FD independently if I wanted to. I didn't realize the Service Type made any difference. This is what I have for DMPD and DMFD currently - different Favorite Lists. I'll attach my Favorite Lists for each so you can see if I have even more problems.

Right now, I'm getting all the channels to land, even PD, which was the original problem. That seems to be working as it should now - I'm hearing traffic where I wasn't at all earlier. It's just the priority for DMPD that is maybe or maybe not working.

There's not enough traffic overnight to check it all but I can try moving them all to the same Favorite list as just 'Des Moines' that will have all PD and FD on it and see how that goes during the day. There was just a call that I'm sure went to PD and then FD - I only heard the PD side of it but maybe they overlapped and that's why. Usually this dispatcher does FD and he's on the PD channel now. It's hard telling.

I'll try it tomorrow and see if it changes anything. Meanwhile, if you see any other errors in my files, I'd appreciate the heads up! Thanks!

Ohhhh wait. So DMPD/FD moved to a digital/trunked format and when they did that, they went with Westcom, which uses ISICS and was already switched to digital. Well, the western burbs were already on Westcom/ISICS, as is State Patrol and the airport. They ALLLLL use the same control channels. So if I have to group them all together, that Favorites list is going to be most of the agencies in the county. Another screenshot may explain this... They're all "Des Moines/WESTCOM Simulcast". I don't think I want that. Is this going to keep me from using priority channels at all?

(I just realized I was mixing up priority channels and quick keys earlier but I don't think that mattered - some may have been rolling their eyes at me, though!)

Let me know your thoughts. I'll live with whatever works. If I can't have DMPD as Priority, that's okay. It would be nice but not crucial. I would rather have the functionality of being able to turn off each group than have them all in one.
 

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werinshades

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I do have the FD channels on a separate favorites list. The control channel and all is the same as PD, same dispatchers do both from the same room (I got to sit in with them, that was fun!). I set it up that way so I could turn off PD or FD independently if I wanted to. I didn't realize the Service Type made any difference. This is what I have for DMPD and DMFD currently - different Favorite Lists. I'll attach my Favorite Lists for each so you can see if I have even more problems.

Right now, I'm getting all the channels to land, even PD, which was the original problem. That seems to be working as it should now - I'm hearing traffic where I wasn't at all earlier. It's just the priority for DMPD that is maybe or maybe not working.

There's not enough traffic overnight to check it all but I can try moving them all to the same Favorite list as just 'Des Moines' that will have all PD and FD on it and see how that goes during the day. There was just a call that I'm sure went to PD and then FD - I only heard the PD side of it but maybe they overlapped and that's why. Usually this dispatcher does FD and he's on the PD channel now. It's hard telling.

I'll try it tomorrow and see if it changes anything. Meanwhile, if you see any other errors in my files, I'd appreciate the heads up! Thanks!

Ohhhh wait. So DMPD/FD moved to a digital/trunked format and when they did that, they went with Westcom, which uses ISICS and was already switched to digital. Well, the western burbs were already on Westcom/ISICS, as is State Patrol and the airport. They ALLLLL use the same control channels. So if I have to group them all together, that Favorites list is going to be most of the agencies in the county. Another screenshot may explain this... They're all "Des Moines/WESTCOM Simulcast". I don't think I want that. Is this going to keep me from using priority channels at all?

(I just realized I was mixing up priority channels and quick keys earlier but I don't think that mattered - some may have been rolling their eyes at me, though!)

Let me know your thoughts. I'll live with whatever works. If I can't have DMPD as Priority, that's okay. It would be nice but not crucial. I would rather have the functionality of being able to turn off each group than have them all in one.
I do see what @ofd8001 is getting at here. It "appears" you have separate systems set up here with different favorite lists, but I'm still not sure what you have set up here. You can set up a priority talk group, but it has to be on the same system, same favorite list, but you can break it down by departments and this is where quick keys come into play.

In your scenario, and it appears all Departments use the same control channel, you can group them under 1 Favorite List (Iowa for example), 1 System (ISICS for example), 1 Site (Home area for example and ONLY if everyone is using the same site), then break it down by Departments: 1) Police 2)Fire...and so on.

In this scenario, if you perform a Channel Hold on a Fire Dispatch, and the Priority Police talk group becomes active, it will "jump" there once the Fire transmission is completed or no traffic there at all, as if you're waiting for a reply.

**I've attached my Illinois State Police Favorite List as an example**
 

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Ubbe

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What @GTR8000, and probably all scanner users, wants are preemptive priority in trunked systems. There is a data channel mixed in with the voice data on a voice channel and if the system administrator have enabled the preemptive feature on that site he can then select what TG's that should announce themselves in that extra data info as being active on another frequency at that site. Making all TG's announce themselves would load the system too much.

A scanner can then, if it has enough resources, detect if you have any of those announced TG's as being set as priority and could then immediately jump to that other conversation.

I was under impression that Uniden was working on this and had it functioning in at least one trunked system type.

As it is now in the scanner are that you have two different priority systems, one for conventional channels where you can select DND and the other things and another separate one for trunked TG's that are independent and always in use if you have set a TG to priority.

It only works from the control channel in trunked systems. Some systems have transmission trunking and others message trunking and one will stay on the voice channel during the whole conversation and the other type will have the radios and a scanner go back to the control channel as soon as a user release his transmit button.

When it immediately goes back to the control channel are when a Uniden scanner can monitor the control channel for any other calls that are set to priority are taking place on the same site and can instead jump to that conversation. So Uniden have a DND system for trunked priority as werinshades points out.

So trunked priority are dependent of that the system are set up in a certain way by the system administrator for the radio system to make it work, and it can only function for one site at a time so you will have to have all TG's on the same site but they can be in different departments so they can use individual quick keys for easy enable and disable from scan.

/Ubbe
 
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DMSSIOWA

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So what you're all telling me is that I need to completely reprogram my scanner... I guess I have a project. I'll give it a try and keep my old file, too, so if I mess it up, I can always go back to what I have now, minus the priority availability.

This should be fun. o_O
 

DMSSIOWA

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I do see what @ofd8001 is getting at here. It "appears" you have separate systems set up here with different favorite lists, but I'm still not sure what you have set up here. You can set up a priority talk group, but it has to be on the same system, same favorite list, but you can break it down by departments and this is where quick keys come into play.

In your scenario, and it appears all Departments use the same control channel, you can group them under 1 Favorite List (Iowa for example), 1 System (ISICS for example), 1 Site (Home area for example and ONLY if everyone is using the same site), then break it down by Departments: 1) Police 2)Fire...and so on.

In this scenario, if you perform a Channel Hold on a Fire Dispatch, and the Priority Police talk group becomes active, it will "jump" there once the Fire transmission is completed or no traffic there at all, as if you're waiting for a reply.

**I've attached my Illinois State Police Favorite List as an example**
Thank you. Examples are very helpful!
 

DMSSIOWA

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I do see what @ofd8001 is getting at here. It "appears" you have separate systems set up here with different favorite lists, but I'm still not sure what you have set up here. You can set up a priority talk group, but it has to be on the same system, same favorite list, but you can break it down by departments and this is where quick keys come into play.

In your scenario, and it appears all Departments use the same control channel, you can group them under 1 Favorite List (Iowa for example), 1 System (ISICS for example), 1 Site (Home area for example and ONLY if everyone is using the same site), then break it down by Departments: 1) Police 2)Fire...and so on.

In this scenario, if you perform a Channel Hold on a Fire Dispatch, and the Priority Police talk group becomes active, it will "jump" there once the Fire transmission is completed or no traffic there at all, as if you're waiting for a reply.

**I've attached my Illinois State Police Favorite List as an example**
Um...how do I open this in my Sentinel? Whenever I try, I only see my favorite lists, nothing seems to change. Sorry, I'm sure this is very very basic but I haven't done it before. I did unzip it so I have the .hpe file. I set up a new profile for it. But when I try to open or import the file, nothing happens and my stuff is still there.

And now I see I also need to download a newer version of Sentinel. I'll do that now, too.
 
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werinshades

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Thank you. Examples are very helpful!
A quick way to remember this is ISICS has to be set up in one system, SARA has to be set up in another. Each system contains the site control channels for each respective system. If your Trunking priority is set up in SARA, it will only function when you're in that system, and not monitoring ISICS talk groups and vice versa.
 

DMSSIOWA

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A quick way to remember this is ISICS has to be set up in one system, SARA has to be set up in another. Each system contains the site control channels for each respective system. If your Trunking priority is set up in SARA, it will only function when you're in that system, and not monitoring ISICS talk groups and vice versa.
Yep, that much did register in my brain. I have very little on SARA since county law channels all went encrypted. I basically have county EMS and that's it. (Don't even get me started on this one...they could have done this the way Westcom and DMPD do, only encrypting some channels for sensitive matters...but NO, they went nuclear.) Anyway, most of what I listen to is on one system - ISICS.
 

DMSSIOWA

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Um...how do I open this in my Sentinel? Whenever I try, I only see my favorite lists, nothing seems to change. Sorry, I'm sure this is very very basic but I haven't done it before. I did unzip it so I have the .hpe file. I set up a new profile for it. But when I try to open or import the file, nothing happens and my stuff is still there.

And now I see I also need to download a newer version of Sentinel. I'll do that now, too.
Oh, I figured it out. Yay me! That was more complicated than it needed to be, but I got it!

This is SO helpful. I definitely have a lot of work to do...
 
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