Trunking??

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birdo1060

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Jul 27, 2006
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Hello all, sorry to bother for a stupid questions, but getting frustrated!! I have a BC246 and looking to program trunkated freq (if such exists). I love the website so far for tradditional freq as im used 2. but don't understand if its a non-digital system, i would like someone to answers a few ?'s. 1) Why will it give u full freq #'s, then list a bunch of 4-5 dig 'DEC'? 2) I like the descripton of what im looking at, but after which prefix dose the 'dec' #'s go under. 2) Does the 'DEC' have any corillation too the above listed full freq. #'s.

MOST IMPORTANT, is it possiable to load a trunkated sys into a BC246? This preprogramed stuff just isn't working? Looking for more local action. Been getting lots and lots and lots of beeps, jargarls, and other sounds I can't spell from searching and storing. Any suggestions....PLEASE!!

ps. Yes I know from other users getting the arcXXX software will help very much, but in the meantime???

thanks all for reading!!
birdo
 

nexus

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Ok welcome to the forum first off. This will be the one place you can get all of your questions answered, or supported at least. So you did something right by coming here.

Now, one thing I'd like to point out is its called TRUNKED not trunkated, I have no earthly idea where you got that name from but it isn't valid for anything I know of. Not that it really matters to your issues, but it was just bugging the hell out of me that you were incorrectly wording it heh heh...

The BC-246T IS A TRUNKTRACKING SCANNER. So yes, it will do trunking. Thats the main focus of that radio. I highly suggest you read the manual, and then reread the manual, and after that, READ IT AGAIN! Everything you need to know in order to properly program that scanner is in the manual. It will just take you some time to get acustomed to it. I'll tell you that the 246 IS NOTHING LIKE THE SCANNERS YOU WERE USE TO BEFORE. And the way TRUNKING works is NOTHING like CONVENTIONAL. So throw out all of the knowledge you have learned about conventional because its useless when dealing with trunking. You're just going to have to start from scratch and learn it.

Let me explain the basics of trunking in lamen's terms...

Let's say you are at a fast food restaurant. And there is a single line formed for all of the patrons. And lets say you have 6 patrons in line waiting for a free register so someone can take their order. Ok now visualize a counter with 5 registers with an employee at each, and one manager standing in the background making sure everyone is properly served without any problems. As a register becomes available the next person in line walks up and the order is taken right? right... Ok well here is how this has anything to do with trunking...

The patron would be considered a "user" on the trunked radio system
The register would be considered a "repeater channel" on the trunked radio system.
The manager would be considered a "Control Channel" on the trunked radio system.

Now, lets say your area that will use the trunked system has 20 users (these can be broken down into alpha police department, yankee fire department, hotel sheriff's office and so forth you get the idea)... Ok so you have 20 users (or patrons in fastfood)

Ok and the trunked system has 6 repeater channels (or frequencies). (these 6 repeaters are the registers in fastfood) Out of those 6 repeater channels, or frequencies ONE WILL BE A CONTROL CHANNEL, and it usually rotates between 2 or 3 of the repeater channels every few hours or days. The remaining 5 channels will be used to service the users.

Now the control channel is managing the entire system. When officer brown with alpha pd keys his radio, the control channel will get the signal that he keyed his radio and wishes to talk, the control channel (or CC for short) will then assign one of the available 5 repeater channels and allow him to begin talking. That is the job of the control channel, to route everyone's transmissions to an available repeater channel on the system, and on the correct talkgroup. (i'll get into talkgroups in a second because that is actually what you brought up in your post)

You're probably wondering well how does all of those users keep seperate if they're all sharing the same 5 (or however many) repeater channels there are on a trunked system. Part is the control channel, and it does it by the use of what we call TALKGROUPS.

Imagine a talkgroup like a folder (or directory) in a computer. It's very much like that.

Your computer has a hard drive right? And on that hard drive you have A LOT of different data right? Well you can't keep all of that data in one place, you have to seperate it, and you do this by the use of directories and sub-directories (or folders).

The trunked system works the same way. EACH AGENCY (OR USER) HAS ITS OWN DIRECTORY (called a ZONE) on the trunked system. and within their zone they have SUB-DIRECTORIES (called a TALKGROUP).

So lets use Alpha PD for example... Alpha PD has one zone on the trunked system, called Alpha PD (this part, the zone is transparent to you, meaning you don't need to worry about it) But within that zone, they have 3 distinct talkgroups. What conventional scanners would call a "CHANNEL" So they have a talkgroup called "DISPATCH" a talkgroup called "CARS" and a talkgroup called "DETECTIVES" ok so each of their radios will have these 3 talkgroups (or what you would understand it to be as a CHANNEL)

When Officer brown has his radio set to DETECTIVES talkgroup, and keys his radio, the CC will assign him a free repeater channel out of the 5 available on the system, and allow him to talk. Anyone else with a radio on the Alpha PD Zone monitoring the DETECTIVES talkgroup will hear Officer Brown talk. And they of course can respond back.

So a talkgroup is what would be a CHANNEL by conventional standpoint. Its called a TALKGROUP though, don't call it a channel.

Ok now, on to what you said. The info you provided are not frequencies, THOSE ARE TALKGROUP ID CODES. The DEC and HEX are TALKGROUP ID NUMBERS. This is how you know what agency is talking and what talkgroup they're talking on.

What you want to do is go back to the database where you saw that information, and above all of the HEX/DEC info you'll see a list of FREQUENCIES they'll be something like 856.7375 868.6675 866.2375 and so on (those are examples btw) THOSE are the REPEATER CHANNELS. You will need to take your scanner and program each of those frequencies into your scanner and it needs to be programmed in either Motorola or EDACS depending on which system you're trying to listen to. I'm using MOTOROLA btw in these examples.

Once you have all of the frequencies programmed in and setup properly for the type of system (motorola or edacs etc.) then when you scan the scanner SHOULD lock in to the CONTROL CHANNEL and will sit there until someone keys their radio. At that point you'll see the TALKGROUP ID display on the screen and you should hear the traffic.

The list of talkgroups you see is for your convience. You can manually enter those into your scanner OR when you see one come up on your screen SAVE IT TO MEMORY and then you can rename it with the correct agency name etc from the list. You're really going to need to delve into that manual and learn how to do all of this.

I hope this made sense to you. If not ask more questions, and I and others will try to help you out.
 

nexus

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And YES getting ARC246 software will be a BIG TIME SAVER. Simply because there is SO MUCH data that has to be entered, and when you get into adding names to each talkgroup its very time consuming. With the software you'd simply just fill in the blocks with the info you obtain from the database here and then save it to the scanner.

But in the mean time, I would suggest you tell us WHAT SYSTEM you're interested in listening to so we can better help you program it.

So telling us what state, county, and city you're interested in will go a long way.
 

hiegtx

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birdo1060 said:
Hello all,...

MOST IMPORTANT, is it possiable to load a trunkated sys into a BC246? This preprogramed stuff just isn't working? Looking for more local action. Been getting lots and lots and lots of beeps, jargarls, and other sounds I can't spell from searching and storing. Any suggestions....PLEASE!!
ps. Yes I know from other users getting the arcXXX software will help very much, but in the meantime???

thanks all for reading!!
birdo
The Trunking Basics in the Wiki, as linked by W5JSS, will answer many of the questions in the first part of you post. Nexus has also given you some explanatioin on trunking.

As for the second, yes you can put trunked systems in the 246. At any given time, I have 15 to 20 trunked systems loaded in my 246. To get more specifc help, we'd need to know which system(s) you are trying to hear. What city/county/state are you located in? Look in the database for your state, then select the county. That will give you access to a listing of the trunked systems in the county, as well as the conventional (non-trunked) frequencies reported to be in use there.

With some location information, someone could give you more specific help as to how to program that particular system.
 

nexus

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heh hehe great minds think alike.. I was just re-reading his post again after I posted mine and thought, well he needs to tell us the state/county/city he's trying to listen to so we can give him better help on programming it.. Because until we know if its motorola I, or II, or APCO25, or EDACS or LTR we can't really do much. heheh..

I wanted to try to give him a lamen's version of how trunked fuctioned versus whats on the wiki. I've used the "fastfood restaurant" analogy in the past and it's worked out. But usually thats with the person right there in front of me heh heh. The thing is that once you understand the 4 basic things of trunked system its pretty much simple after that. users, repeater channels, a control channel, and talkgroups.

Ok I'm rambling here.
 

1075

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Jul 21, 2006
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Nexus,
I can't speak for the author of this thread, but your post did a great job of explaining trunking for us dinosaurs who are just now moving from conventional to trunked scanning. THANK YOU.

I am in Central MD and am looking into purchasing a handheald scanner that will be used to scan both analog & digital 800 systems as well as low and high UHF (Howard, Carroll, Frederick, Montgomery as well as MD State PD and a few others). In have been spending a lot of time on this site and trying to learn and refrain from a flood of newb questions. Sooner or later though I'm sure that I'll need to know something that has been asked a thousand times and I will have overlooked because of the shear volume of information on this site. I appreciate the fact that there are people like you who will take the time to help us out.
 
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nexus

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Aug 13, 2002
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Location
Mississippi
1075, thanks for the kind words and vote of confidence. And like you, I too still have a lot of questions. It wasn't until just last year that I had a learning curve with EDACS. EDACS works in a completely different way than Motorola. When it comes to scanning and this site, there shouldn't be any stupid question. I implore you and everyone else to seek out your own answer first, but if that fails, asking for help is certainly understandable.

When you get your new scanner you may want to consider getting software downloaded that will allow you to program it via computer. It will save a huge amount of time in programming it. True there is a lot of information on here and it can be overwhelming, the WIKI pages have most of it.
 
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