Trunking Issue: Site "Finding Ctrl Chan"

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ltcpro

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Hello Everyone,

I am relatively new to the world of Scanners and I recently purchased a Uniden BC346XTC, Stock Everything. I am a Volunteer Firefighter and I got the scanner as a way to monitor my department's communications and for use as a Fire Tone Out Monitor at night.

I have configured the Scanner using FreeScan and have downloaded the County's Trunked System, Groups and Sites. I live in Savannah, GA and the scanner works fantastic when I am in my house and around the greater Savannah Area. However, when I go to work on Tybee Island the scanner has a tougher time using the sites in Savannah. The County system has a transmission site right on Tybee and I have programmed the control frequency and alternates for that site using FreeScan. However, everytime I try to monitor our Fire group using that site the scanner flashes between the Talkgroup Name, Flashing 5 Bar Connection and "Finding CtrlChan." My scanner is parked in my windowsill and I am located only about 1/2 mile from the transmission site, yet it still has issues. From other forums I understand the scanner is having issues communicating with the Control Channel but If I dial into the control frequency manually in HOLD it comes through clear as day with the Motorola Trunked Control Channel Sound.

To be clear, I have never heard a transmission on my talkgroup when I am on HOLD with the Tybee Site and Talkgroup. I have double and triple checked the programmed frequencies from the Radio Reference database which can be seen here: Chatham County/Effingham County Trunking System, Various, Georgia - Scanner Frequencies

Any insight or advice you can give to help me understand and fix this problem would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
 

UPMan

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Finding Control Channel means that the scanner is unable to receive the control channel's signal from the currently selected site. Best to disable the sites you are not near (easiest way is to assign Quick Keys to each site).
 

ltcpro

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Thanks for your reply UPMan, I will assign quick keys to the sites and disable all but Tybee and see if that helps. Will report back shortly.
 

ltcpro

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I have followed your suggestion and assigned unique quick keys to the sites. I disabled all sites except Tybee and I have not heard any transmissions and when I HOLD on our FD Dispatch it still gives me the "Finding CTRLCHAN" Message. Any other suggestions/troubleshooting tips?
 

UPMan

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Then either you've mis-entered the control channel frequenc(ies) or the site is not receivable for some other reason.
 

ofd8001

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If it was me, I'd program all of the Tybee Island site's frequencies:

024 (18) Tybee IslandChatham 851.23750 851.88750c 852.68750 853.38750 853.88750
If you only downloaded the control channel and not the remaining ones, it's possible they may be using a different frequency for the control channel, which isn't marked and thus "captured" by FreeScan. That could lead to the "Finding Control Channel" message (pretty much what Upman said).

I don't know any specifics on how this system is configured by the administrators, so the following is more "wondering" than informative. That being said, I wonder if there has to be a system radio affiliated with the Tybee Island site before it becomes active on fire talkgroups?
 

ka3jjz

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Bowie, Md.
I have gotten this message when the control channel signal is very weak or noisy. A couple of possibilities exist here - a better antenna, moving the scanner just a short distance (at frequencies this high, even a small movement can make a difference), or picking a site that is physically closest to you.

Mike
 

Otto

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Location
Portland, Oregon
I get the same message from time to time on my BC 15X. In my case the control channel is being drowned out by interference from cell phone towers.
You should look and see if there are any local cell towers close to your work, as they are known to cause issues in uniden scanners tracking a 800mhz trunked system.


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