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Trunk Tracking and Talk Group Programming Help

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Hello there,

I am very new to scanning and looking for help in programming some trunk frequencies and talk groups into my recently purchased Pro-97 scanner. I have read the manual over and over to try and understand how I should program my scanner but I haven't had much luck :-(.

I live in Toronto, Ontario Canada and I would be interested in programming the Toronto Pulblic Safety Trunk frequencies and talk groups (Police, File, EMS, etc.) found at the following radioreference.com page http://www.radioreference.com/modules.php?name=RR&sid=738 .

Could someone please point me in the right direction?

Where would I begin to program my scanner with these trunk frequencies and talk groups?

Any help is appreciated.

Thank you,
Scott
 

wyldman

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While I can't help with programming the RS scanner (not familiar with them),I can help you with organizing the Toronto public safety system.

There are 4 towers which broadcast in TO,Everything is not simulcast across all the towers,so you need to program them all in separately.If you set them up as one system,it will lock on to only one control channel,and you will miss a lot of the action.

You will need to set up four systems,North,South,East and West.Enter the correct control channels in for each system,and then set up all your talkgroups in each one.You can set up all the talkgroups first in one system,then just copy them over to the other three.

It is a very busy system,so having all the talkgroups set up allows you to just listen to what you want.You can also just pick the one system closest to you and listen to that.All the dispatch comes off the south tower though,so if you listen to just the east tower,you will miss all the dispatch stuff.

Try to set it up like this

System 1 System 2 System 3 System 4
North South East West

Then in each system you can set up groups for all the different services like this.

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5 Group 6
Fire N Fire S EMS 11 Div 12 Div 13 Div

You can then easily select exactly what you want to listen to.
 

fmon

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Program your freqs in this format. The purpose of the Dummy 1300.0000 FM freq is to help the scanner to loop through the different Controls.
Code:
1st Canadian P01    862.9625      MOT
1st Canadian P02    863.2125      MOT
Dummy               1300.0000       FM
Bell Tower (Ea02    867.6125      MOT
Bell Tower (Ea03    868.0875      MOT
Dummy               1300.0000       FM
Widdicombe Hil02    867.7625      MOT
Widdicombe Hil03    867.9875      MOT
Dummy               1300.0000       FM
Yonge / Hwy 4001    866.7375      MOT
Yonge / Hwy 4002    867.2375      MOT
Dummy               1300.0000       FM
This data is used for the Pro-96 but should be the same for the 97
Storing known trunked frequencies
1. Press MANual, Press three digits to get the bank and channel number desired then Press
MANual again. (Upper left should read Mxxx for your bank and channel number)
2. Press PGM, (upper left should change from M to P)
3. Press TRUNK
4. Press MODE until Motorola is displayed.
5. Press PGM
6. Enter the frequency
7. Press Enter
8. If text is desired for the freq, Press TEXT. Use the numbered keys and text in up to 16 characters.
9. Press Enter
10. Repeat steps 5 through 9 until all frequencies and text (if used) are entered in selected bank. If text are not used, skip step 8 and 9.

Storing known Talkgroup ID’s
1. Press PGM
2. Press TRUNK
3. Enter the 5 digit Mot Id number
4. Press ENTER
5. Press TEXT
6. Using numbered keys, text in up to 16 characters.
7. Press ENTER
8. Press Up button
9. Repeat steps 3 through 8 until all are entered.
 
Joined
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Thanks guys for the help...I'm starting to understand...

So I should take each of the four zones and program all of the south zone frequencies into one bank and another zone into another bank, etc. ?

Frank, when you say to program the frequencies in that order, did you mean to continue programming all the south frequencies, then continue with all the east, north, west or do I only need the frequencies you listed?

Following your instructions I can program the talk groups but do I just start from bank 1 or is there a specific order or banks to program the talk groups. ?? With the different banks of frequencies, I really don't know the correct location for the talk groups.

Once the scanner is programmed, how exactly do I select a talk group? Once I select a talk group will the scanner jump around the various frequencies to follow that talk group's conversations??

Sorry guys, I'm really new to trunk tracking...
 

fmon

Silent Key Jan. 14, 2012
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Scott said:
So I should take each of the four zones and program all of the south zone frequencies into one bank and another zone into another bank, etc. ?
You can use a separate bank for each zone (site), then use only the talkgroups for that site in the bank. However, when a radio assigned to site 1 affiliates with a tower on another site you may miss those coms if the scanner is scanning the bank with site two at that time. Continued after next quote.
Frank, when you say to program the frequencies in that order, did you mean to continue programming all the south frequencies, then continue with all the east, north, west or do I only need the frequencies you listed?
This scanner is a Control Channel only scanner for Motorola trunking systems (and works better if only CC's and Alt CC's are used). Thus, if you program one bank with the frequency list as in my first post, you can cover the complete system with one bank. However, the RR Database link you presented has 204 talkgroups (TG's), but the scanner can only store 150 TG's per bank (5 sub-banks of 30 TG's each). One way around this 150 TG limit is to place each site in separate banks and program the associated TG's assigned with that site in that bank. Continued from first quote.Another option around the 150/ bank limit is to weed out unnecessary TG's (garbage trucks etc), then program all sites in one bank, using the dummy freq between freq group.
Following your instructions I can program the talk groups but do I just start from bank 1 or is there a specific order or banks to program the talk groups. ??
Read the sections in your owners manual under trunking - talkgroup IDs through changing the open/closed mode. These would normally start after step 2 (under storing TG's) in my instructions. Top line on the display should indicate Bank 0-0 (assuming your are using scanner bank 0. The second 0 is for sub-bank 0 of 5 (0 through 4) in that bank. Line two should indicate ID No. 00, which is the first ID slot of 30 for the sub-bank. At this point by repeatedly pressing the up arrow, you can navigate through all 30 slots in this sub-bank and watch line 2 change numbers 0 through 29. Continuing with the up button, you can step through the next sub-bank etc.
With the different banks of frequencies, I really don't know the correct location for the talk groups.
To enter ID's in the correct bank, manually select the bank as in my step 1 under Storing known frequencies. Then follow the instructions under Storing known TG's.
Sorry guys, I'm really new to trunk tracking...
At one time we were all where you are. :) BTW, welcome to the forum.

A much better method for programming is to purchase (download and try free for 30 days) Win96. http://www.starrsoft.com/software/win97/default.asp. Click on Get IT to Download. You will also need a cable - Radio Shack 20-047 - to hook to a USB port and the PC/IF port on side of the scanner.
 
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Hi Frank,

Thank you for the additional information.

I did what you suggested - I stored the frequencies you listed in your first reply into one of my scanner banks. I also programmed in the police and fire talk groups into the same bank.

I have one problem though - my scanner does nothing but scan and scan and scan...it does not seem to find any radio traffic. Currently I am just hitting the scan button, should I be doing something else to put it into 'trunk scanning mode?

I notice the other system frequencies have traffic but the primary control frequencies seem to have data only and the alternate control channels never seem to have any traffic.

To confirm, the number I program into my scanner as the talk group ID is the number found under the DEC column? What are the other columns used for?

Thanks again
 

fmon

Silent Key Jan. 14, 2012
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Scott,

Review this page and compare line 1 on the display when you manually step through each of the frequencies. http://myweb.cableone.net/marksscanners/97/97.html#rm. Each 800 MHz freq should have MO after the 3 digit bank/channel number on the upper left. The 1300.0000 freqs should indicate FM in the same location. The first letter in manual mode will be M instead of S. S would be what you see when the scanner stops on a talkgroup during scan.

Recheck PGM>TRUNK and verify Line 2 on display indicates Motorola TGID #xx and line 3 indicates MOT: none or MOT: xxxxx.
To confirm, the number I program into my scanner as the talk group ID is the number found under the DEC column? What are the other columns used for?
Dec is correct. The A=analog under mode, HEX= the hex value of the dec number. Open Windows Calculator and click Scientific under the View Menu. These two pictures indicate these values on the first talkgroup (City of Toronto Corporate Security). Note the bullet checked Hex or Dec. The Hex value is 510 in Calculator, but the zero after 51 is ignored and a silent zero would be placed before the 5. Hence...051. These are never used in scanners but I think the radios used by Public Safety are programmed with Hex values.
 
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Hi Frank,

THANK YOU! That was my problem...the trunk frequencies were in FM, not the MO mode. As soon as I made that change, I could see priority channels come alive.

Just to show how little I know of trunking, I had actually locked out the priority channels because I thought they were just annoying data channels...now I see the use!! LOL

Now I feel my Pro-97 purchase was worth it ... very nice radio.

Thanks again!

Scott
 
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Sorry, another quick question, why were those channels set to FM, is that the default?

Do you always have to change to MO mode?
 

seamusg

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lastactionhero said:
Sorry, another quick question, why were those channels set to FM, is that the default?

Do you always have to change to MO mode?
FM is the default, MOT is for Motorola trunked systems. You only have to change it for a trunked system. Your bank choices are: conv (Conventional), MOT (Motorola trunked), EDACS (EDACS trunked), and LTR (LTR trunked) and rge RX MODE choices are: AM,FM(both conventional), MOT( Motorola trunked), EDACS (EDACS trunked), CT,DC (both tone squelch), and LTR (LTR trunked).
 
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fmon

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Glad its working

Adding to the post by seamusg, in my post 3 above, you likely missed step 4 in the initial "Storing known trunked frequency" procedure. Missing step 4 would leave all 800 freqs at default FM. BTW, you don't want any lockouts of freqs in this bank.

Also Scott, CC only programming will only work with Motorola trunking systems (all types). Should you ever need, both EDACS & LTR require a Logical Channel Number (LCN). In EDACS, the CC expects the available voice channel (VC) to be found in a certain location in the assigned bank. This LCN is usually published. LTR is arranged with each TG expecting to use what is called a "Home Channel" and the LCN is set up accordingly. In either case, neither system will find a channel "0", thus no LCN will ever be programmed in channel 0. Uniden scanners don't even have a channel 0.
 
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What a difference it makes to have everything programming correctly! Now I hear what I have been missing!

Regarding EDACS systems, when you mention that 'the CC expects the available voice channel (VC) to be found in a certain location in the assigned bank' looking at this radioreference.com page for Halton Region,

http://www.radioreference.com/modules.php?name=RR&sid=1777

do you mean the little two digit numbers beside the frequencies (o1, 02, etc.)?

If so I'm not really sure how that would work.?

Would I enter these frequencies and talkgroups for Halton Region in a similar format to the Toronto frequencies except I would pick the EDAC mode when programming my scanner?

Thanks again,
Scott
 

fmon

Silent Key Jan. 14, 2012
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lastactionhero said:
Regarding EDACS systems, when you mention that 'the CC expects the available voice channel (VC) to be found in a certain location in the assigned bank' looking at this radioreference.com page for Halton Region,, do you mean the little two digit numbers beside the frequencies (o1, 02, etc.)?
Yes, these frequencies for site 1 on your link would be in this LCN order in your scanner.
01 859.61250
02 866.11250 *
03 866.31250
04 866.81250
05 867.31250 *
06 862.26250
the 01 through 06 is where the frequency needs to be placed in the selected bank.

If so I'm not really sure how that would work.?
Only place the frequencies in the slot, not the 01 etc and of course the * just indicates one of these will be the active CC at any given time.
Would I enter these frequencies and talkgroups for Halton Region in a similar format to the Toronto frequencies except I would pick the EDAC mode when programming my scanner?
Correct, if you go to message 5 in this feed, I modified entries for EDACS. http://www.radioreference.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44228
Also, Halton regeon has 3 sites but unlike Motorola, EDACS must be programmed with only one site in each bank. IOW, select other banks for Oakville and Burlington sites. Neither of those sites indicate a CC, so they will not work if none exist. However, it could be no one ever submitted the CC info to the database admin. So you can program the freqs for site 2 in the LCN like site !. If a CC exist, you should hear it when you press ENTER.

Oh, and use the period (.) for the dash (-) if you use AFS ID's.
 
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Thanks Frank for the quick reply! You have been a great help! Without you my scanner would be scanning around but I don't know what I would be hearing...LOL.

It's too bad that with 1000 channels on my Pro-97, I still only have 10 banks...it seems that you can only really use about 1-5% of the actual banks storage capacity in turns of frequencies for trunk systems.

EDACS for example, you program 6 frequencies in channels 501 - 506 for Halton, then you have to jump to channels 601 - 606 for Oakvile then channels 701 - 706 for Burlington (do I have that logic right)...if so, why would they not make the banks 20 frequencies each instead of 100 ?

I took your advice and purchased the Radio Shack USB Programming cable. I had to purchase it through E-bay as the Radio Shack stores here in Canada do not sell scanners or scanner cables (they used too). Hopefully I will receive the cable soon, as I have a lot of programming to do :) .

Scott
 

fmon

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Good choice on the cable. You can put conventional frequencies in trunking banks, some use active FM freqs in place of the *dummy* 1300.0000. The EDACS bank with channel 1 through 6 would have 94 slots available. BTW, since you can't use channel 0 for an EDCAS freq
 

fmon

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fmon said:
Good choice on the cable. You can put conventional frequencies in trunking banks, some use active FM freqs in place of the *dummy* 1300.0000. The EDACS bank with channel 1 through 6 would have 94 slots available. BTW, since you can't use channel 0 for an EDACS freq
Well I hit he space bar while holding another key down, thus the above message was sent before completion. I'll try again.

Good choice on the cable. You can put conventional frequencies in trunking banks, some use active FM freqs in place of the *dummy* 1300.0000 in Motorola multi site setup. The EDACS bank with channel 1 through 6 would have 94 slots available. BTW, since you can't use channel 0 for an EDACS freq, Bank 0 would be ideal for EDACS - then set channel 0 up for 1050 Hz tone priority WX Alert. Procedures can be found in the SAME Standby Mode section in your owners manual. I don't have a Pro-97 to test this with but it certainly works with the Pro's-92/2067, 95 and 96/2096.
 
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So I would be correct to program all 6 Halton frequencies in bank 1 so channels 101 to 106, then Oakville in Bank 2 so channels 201 to 206 then Burlington in Bank 3 so channels 301 to 306 ?

Then I would program all the talk groups into each bank?
 

fmon

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lastactionhero said:
So I would be correct to program all 6 Halton frequencies in bank 1 so channels 101 to 106, then Oakville in Bank 2 so channels 201 to 206 then Burlington in Bank 3 so channels 301 to 306 ?

Then I would program all the talk groups into each bank?
Correct on both.
 

VaSheriff

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fmon said:
Storing known Talkgroup ID?s
1. Press PGM
2. Press TRUNK
3. Enter the 5 digit Mot Id number
4. Press ENTER
5. Press TEXT
6. Using numbered keys, text in up to 16 characters.
7. Press ENTER
8. Press Up button
9. Repeat steps 3 through 8 until all are entered.
I understand all of this. But how do you block out the people you don't want to listen to? For example, 02032 is our local jail. I don't want to listen to their foolishness about opening and closing doors and bringing 3 bag lunches up to the sallyport all the time.

I entered the 22 frequencies found here....

http://www.albemarle.org/department.asp?department=ecc&relpage=5326

I receive everything fine, but I don't want to hear some of it. :confused:
 
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You need to Close a Open door, lol.

You need to put that Bank into Close Mode, Then only the TG ID's that you stored will be all you will hear.
 
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