Trunked System Help Needed - Finding Control Channel

xendke

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Oct 25, 2020
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I am new to all this so bare with me.

I have a BCT15X with this trunk system programmed in. This scanner has no issues. Everything works as intended. This scanner was not programmed by me.

I recently purchased a used BCT15 which I am trying to program to be identical to the BCT15X. I used FreeScan to download the data from the BCT15X and am uploading everything as is to the BCT15. The conventional frequencies work just fine. However, I can't hear anything on the Trunked System mentioned above on the BCT15. When I hold on a talk group I see the message 'Finding CtrlChan'.

I have tried with different antennas, including the antenna being used by the BCT15X. I have also tried different locations in case of interference.
I am assuming I am missing some information that maybe is not being downloaded from the BCT15X or some kind of mismatch due to them being different models.

It is also worth noting I had to upgrade the firmware version of the BCT15 when I started this process.

If anybody has any leads or any experience with this, any help is appreciated!
 

wtp

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tvengr

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Please attach your FreeSCAN programming file so that I may check it. You will have to right click on the file and Send to Compressed (zipped) folder to be able to attach it.
 

xendke

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Oct 25, 2020
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Please attach your FreeSCAN programming file so that I may check it. You will have to right click on the file and Send to Compressed (zipped) folder to be able to attach it.
I attached a copy of the compressed file. Thanks for responding
 

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tvengr

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You have the wrong site type. Change to Mot UHF Band. Delete 470.1 MHz and 470.075 MHz. They are not in the south zone. Recalculate the upper frequencies in the band plan. I believe the 476 MHz upper frequency changed when I clicked on it.
 
Last edited:

xendke

Newbie
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Oct 25, 2020
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You have the wrong site type. Change to Mot UHF Band. Delete 470.1 MHz and 470.075 MHz. They are not in the south zone. Recalculate the upper frequencies in the band plan. I believe the 476 MHz upper frequency changed when I clicked on it.
I just tried with the changes you described but no luck. Still same issue.
 

xendke

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Oct 25, 2020
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is the squelch set the same ?
is attenuation on the one radio ?
try just listening to the control channel on both to make sure you can get it.
hit HOLD, type in the FREQ, hit HOLD.
the control channel is the red on in the table.
and try it on both control channels to see which one comes in better or at all.
both radios behave the same when I listen to the control channel specifically.
 

ofd8001

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Feb 6, 2004
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"Finding Control Channel" means the scanner is not receiving any kind of control channel for a trunked system, most often when holding on a talk group.

This can happen for many reasons. One scanner may be super sensitive and it gets the control channel where you are and the other scanner is at the "other end", when you happen to be at the edge of coverage.

Usually when I'm at wits end on trunked system problems, I will program the closest site's frequencies as conventional system frequencies. I use all of them, not just those identified as control channels. Then I will scan the system. Hopefully you will hear one of the frequencies sound like a "motorboat" - that's the control channel. Lock that channel out. Then you should begin hearing voice traffic. That confirms you are in range and have no reception issues. It becomes a pesky little trunking programming issue from there.
 

ofd8001

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Seems I read somewhere, that the control channels are the only ones that need to be programmed in or, did I miss interpret what I read? Thanks! :)
That is correct, you can get by with programming only control channels. There are those, me included, who program all the frequencies (control and voice frequencies). You never know if the database has missed a control channel, or one of the voice channels is pressed into service as a control channel. Better to have all and not need them.
 

wtp

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Custom Frequency Tables


Base Spacing Offset
470.00000 12.5 380
476.00000 12.5 520
For Custom Motorola/VHF/UHF Systems allows you to create a custom band plan for VHF/UHF systems. Custom band plans require that you enter both a lower and an upper base frequency value. The lower base frequency (or base) is always the base frequency as provided in the Radio Reference Database. Use this Excel spreadsheet to calculate the upper base frequency value. If you don't have Excel you can download and install a viewer here. The upper base frequency can also be found using the Band Plan Calculator at the online Wiki. Also, look at Determining Base/Step/Offset for VHF/UHF Motorola Systems at Radio Reference.com.

that is from marks scanners
 

a417

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I would suggest to anyone that doesn't have Microsofts Excel to download the free OpenOffice suit. It has compatible programs for both Excel and Words that I think are actually better than Microsofts programs.

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/Ubbe
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Don't ever pay for Microsoft compatibility again.
 

tvengr

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I just tried with the changes you described but no luck. Still same issue.
Since the BCT-15X works, try entering 470.1 and 470.075 again. It is possible the control channel frequencies changed and have not been updated in the database. It wouldn't have worked before with the wrong site type.
 

GTR8000

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Since the BCT-15X works, try entering 470.1 and 470.075 again. It is possible the control channel frequencies changed and have not been updated in the database. It wouldn't have worked before with the wrong site type.
Nothing has changed with the system. The control channels and custom frequency table listed in the database are correct.
 

tvengr

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Nothing has changed with the system. The control channels and custom frequency table listed in the database are correct.
Thanks for the info. I am just trying to make educated guesses since I am slightly out of range. Do you see any other problems with his file?
 

GTR8000

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Thanks for the info. I am just trying to make educated guesses since I am slightly out of range. Do you see any other problems with his file?
I don't have FreeSCAN installed any longer, so I'm unable to check it. If the system is setup as it shows in the database, it should be fine. Just make sure that he has all 4 control channels per site in there, as they do roll every once in a while. Currently they are 470.575 for the North zone and 476.2375 for the South zone.
 

tvengr

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Try resetting the BCT15. Turn scanner off. Press and hold 2, 9, and HOLD buttons while turning it on. I believe it will erase your programming. If so, reprogram it with the Mot UHF Band site type correction and without the 470.1 and 470.075 frequencies. If that doesn't do it, you may have a problem with the used scanner you just bought.
 

Eng74

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The BC15 is different than the BC15X when it comes to sites. The 15X does multi site different than the 15. For the 15 you have to do each site as it’s own system, so you might want to check that.
 
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