Trouble Scanning VSP on Uniden BCD325P2

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765W

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I've added the Virginia State Police to my Uniden BCD325P2 every way that I can think of, but I'm still getting nothing when trying to scan.

I'm using FreeSCAN 2.18 --> FILE --> IMPORT --> RadioReference Trunked...

Then...Country="United States" --> State="Virginia" --> Available Systems="Virginia Statewide Agencies Radio System (STARS) [APCO P25]"

Sites & Groups= I select all listed sites that match VSP Divisions 1, 2 and 3, and the only group selected is "Virginia State Police". I live on the border of all three of these VSP Divisions, so I really need them all.

System Name= "VSP"

After importing, the system is listed as "[MOT2] VSP" and type "Mot Type II/ P25". According to RadioReference the VSP STARS is a P25 Phase I trunked system. I assigned quick keys and left everything else as imported, and uploaded to the scanner, but when it scans...I get nothing. I tried changing the type to MOT1 and P25 standard just in case MOT2 is wrong without any luck. I'm hoping someone with experience in scanning the VSP will notice something obvious that I'm doing wrong here. Any help is greatly appreciated. I've attached the .996 file.

Thanks, Newbie
 

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jasonhouk

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I've added the Virginia State Police to my Uniden BCD325P2 every way that I can think of, but I'm still getting nothing when trying to scan.

I'm using FreeSCAN 2.18 --> FILE --> IMPORT --> RadioReference Trunked...

Then...Country="United States" --> State="Virginia" --> Available Systems="Virginia Statewide Agencies Radio System (STARS) [APCO P25]"

Sites & Groups= I select all listed sites that match VSP Divisions 1, 2 and 3, and the only group selected is "Virginia State Police". I live on the border of all three of these VSP Divisions, so I really need them all.

System Name= "VSP"

After importing, the system is listed as "[MOT2] VSP" and type "Mot Type II/ P25". According to RadioReference the VSP STARS is a P25 Phase I trunked system. I assigned quick keys and left everything else as imported, and uploaded to the scanner, but when it scans...I get nothing. I tried changing the type to MOT1 and P25 standard just in case MOT2 is wrong without any luck. I'm hoping someone with experience in scanning the VSP will notice something obvious that I'm doing wrong here. Any help is greatly appreciated. I've attached the .996 file.

Thanks, Newbie
Can you zip and upload the .996 file here and we'll look at it.

Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
 

n8jsw

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When scanning VSP you need to make sure it is like in the attachment and it should scan right.
 

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765W

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Thanks for your fast responses. I've attempted the changes in the screen print, and I've uploaded a ZIP version of the .996 file. I haven't noticed any improvement, but I'll let is scan for a while and see what I get. I really appreciate your time and responses.
 

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JamesO

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VSP STARS can be tricky to scan. Most of the problem has to do with enough signal for the VHF signal to be trunked. I find that STARS is really focused on the Interstates and if you deviate off the Interstates too much reception can drop off quickly.

Where are you physically located?

What antenna are you using on the scanner?

Have you ventured out to an Interstate and tried to monitor the VSP STARS system?
 

765W

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Thanks for your response. I'm located about 10 miles from the nearest interstate(as the crow flies), but I'm able to received other trunked systems from over 20 miles away. I'm using a DIamond RH77CA 15" dual band antenna. I haven't tried moving closer to the interstate, but I will try that as well. I'm right on the border of VSP Districts 1, 2 and 3.
 

765W

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I noticed an error in the Comm Log in FreeSCAN... I've attached a screenprint of the error related to importing the VSP sites.

"No APCO band plan available for VSP_SiteName"
 

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jonwienke

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VSP STARS can be tricky to scan. Most of the problem has to do with enough signal for the VHF signal to be trunked. I find that STARS is really focused on the Interstates and if you deviate off the Interstates too much reception can drop off quickly.
No. First of all, it's VA-STARS, not VSP-STARS, and is used by a variety of Virginia state agencies, not just the state police. Second, I can pick up the system in Pennsylvania (I even get Close Call hits sometimes!), so it's not exclusively built out to service freeway areas. That may be true in some areas, but not everywhere.

OP, sites are not specific to any agency, they are used by all agencies on the system. If you aren't importing all sites, make sure you import all of the sites in your area. Are you getting any signal bars when scanning? If so, you have at least some local sites within reception range programmed. If not, you need to double-check what sites you downloaded, and where they are compared to your location.
 

765W

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Thanks for your response. I've imported 28 VA STARS sites, which are specific to VSP Divisions 1, 2 and 3. If I press hold while scanning some of the VSP sites, then I get static and about 4 signal bars, which leads me to believe that I should be hearing something. I have VSP Division 3 on a police scanner app to compare to my scanner, and I'm not hearing any of the calls that the app gets. Do you have a .996 file that successfully works with the VSP for comparison purposes? I may be able to use a working sample from a different area to correct any mistakes that I've made in my area. Thanks again for your help.
 

jonwienke

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If you're getting 4 bars, then signal strength shouldn't be an issue.

I have a 436 and 536, which program differently, so I don't know if I can help with all the nuances of programming. But I'm questioning the Motorola I/II setting, because IIRC that designates a hybrid digital/analog system that uses P25 for digital, but isn't a straight P25 system. VA-STARS is straight P25 system and doesn't have any analog components. When selecting system type, do you have an option for P25 trunked that doesn't have any Motorola anything?
 

765W

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Yeah, that makes sense as to why your .996 file may not help me. The import creates the system as a MOT2 for some reason, but I manually changed it to a P25 standard. I'm curious if there's anything special that I need to do with the control and alternate frequencies for each site...other than just confirming that they are present, which I've already done. I have a similar problem with scanning Orange and Greene Counties in Virginia, which are trunked systems as well, so I'm hoping that fixing one will help to fix the others. I may just need to ,somehow, find someone with the same model scanner(BCD325P2) that's able to scan the VSP and compare the .996 files. Thanks again for your time and help.
 

jonwienke

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I would suggest temporarily enabling ID Search (or whatever the P2 equivalent is) so that the scanner will play traffic from any talkgroup it hears, even if it's not programmed. That will help troubleshoot whether the problem is the system/site configuration or talkgroup settings.
 

765W

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I have two ID mode options of "ID Scan" and "ID Search". It's on 'ID Scan' at this point. I'll change that setting and give it another try. Thanks!
 

jonwienke

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ID Scan only plays traffic from programmed talkgroups. ID Search plays traffic from programmed and unprogrammed talkgroups. You may hear garbage trucks and dog catchers and school buses after changing the setting to Search, but at least that will tell you more about where the problem is.
 

765W

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Thanks for explaining the difference between the two. Yeah, that sounds like a good place to start troubleshooting. Thanks again!
 

fredva

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Orange and Greene counties' public safety uses conventional frequencies. Fire and EMS are analog conventional while the sheriffs and school systems have DMR/Mototrbo conventional frequencies. I know DMR decoding is an add-on feature for the 436/536 scanners but I'm not sure if it is available for the 325p2. It might be but I don't know.
 

fredva

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In your original post, you said that you selected sites that correspond with Divisions 1,2, and 3 but you didn't mention talkgroups. When you are on ID Scan, you need to have some some talkgroups programmed along with the sites, like Culpeper 2, Richmond 1, Richmond 2, etc. Otherwise, you're just telling the scanner to monitor the control channel frequencies from the sites but not to stop on any voice traffic.

Not sure if that is the problem but it might be.
 

troymail

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Just something to try to see if you are receiving the site frequencies - try programming the site(s) frequencies as conventional frequencies. On at least one, you should hear a constant data (control channel) signal and possible occasional voice on the others.

What do they sound like?

If you aren't hearing a good, clean constant control channel, the rest of the troubleshooting above won't matter.

BTW - as far as receiving other systems that are farther way - you can't really compare one system to another in that way....
 
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765W

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Thanks for the DMR information about Orange and Greene Counties. I've upgraded my firmware to prepare for the DMR upgrade, and I've see posts related to others purchasing the DMR upgrade for the 325P2, but I haven't found where or how I can purchase it. Is this purchased from Uniden?

As for the VSP talkgroups, I have 126 VSP talkgroups there as well as the sites. The talkgroups for Culpeper, Richmond, Appomattox, etc. for Division 1, 2 and 3 are all there.

I haven't tried to program the site frequencies as conventional, but I will. Not sure if this accomplishes the same thing, but I just pressed hold on several of the VSP sites and I'm able to get constant sound and 4-5 signal bars on each. I'm guessing this is the control channel for each of the sites that I held.

Thanks again for the excellent feedback.
 
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