UCAN Weber County Simulcast

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pmstewart

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I have been monitoring the Weber Simulcast Site for a few weeks now.....I restarted my computer this morning and opened UniTrunker and what I found astonished me. It has now populated with 3 more frequencies. I have not updated UniTrunker from RR in quite some time so I was surprised to check the website and it only lists 11 in the DB as well.....There are 14 listed here.....

And all channels have been very busy this morning at times......

Will someone help to confirm this and if confirmed explain how and why.......
 

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kf7yn

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Thanks for sharing your latest observations Paul.

The 'how' is irrelevant (at least to me) but the 'why' is pretty much straightforward. The 7202 system is expanding, more freqs are needed to accomodate growth and some freq reshuffling is inevitable because of interference issues with neighboring sites. This has always been an ongoing process for the system as a whole. It will be interesting to see what the engineers do with the apparently conflicting freqs.
 

pmstewart

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It doesn't help the admins for the system have been given an open license by the fcc to shuffle this stuff without answering to anyone over any changes.......
 

kf7yn

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UCAN owns the licenses.. who would you have them to answer to? The nature of a multi-site trunked system necessitates the need to shuffle frequencies.

Let's say you have several cars... you can drive any of them on any day of the week you choose. The State licences them but they don't have the right to dictate what car you drive on any given day. There is no reason to be perplexed about these changes, they've been going on from the beginning. It's just the way it is.
 

SCPD

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I'd be suspicious of any channels that are weeks old with a hit count of 1 and first / last seen timestamps that are the same.

See channels 30, 117, and 482. These may have been caused by false decodes.
 
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pmstewart

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Jon,

Your always the bearer of such GOOD news......LOL However, I could use a little less good news fella!!....

UT, if I were a betting man I wouldn't bet on channels which had a million hits....I've discovered the count provided may be helplful for some stuff but ......this count is also tainted with things like someone turning their radio to a particular channel which registers as a "join" and when the channel on the radio is switched to a different channel or the radio is turned off it registers a "leaves."

There are also false entries when one person may call dispatch from a specific RID and if there is another radio listening in with a priority flag set in their radio for this particular channel it also registers a "call" from the idle radio but no voice traffic is present in that conversation. So if one unit turns on a radio at the beginning of duty and calls dispatch with a 10-41 and dispatch responds in kind along with two radios set with priority flags there are 6 or 7 entries for that one call alone.....but only two of them are actual voice communications.

Paul
 

bchris

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I'd be suspicious of any channels that are weeks old with a hit count of 1 and first / last seen timestamps that are the same.

See channels 30, 127, and 482. These may have been caused by false decodes.

Paul,
The screen name above and the name of the software being the same is not a coincidence. I do not know Mr Unitrunker personally, but I have to admire him for the amount of work he must have put in to this software, and he shares it with us for free! I wouldn't expect much, if any, support for individual questions or problems, and yet in many cases he does post in our forum with some (usually brief) information. He must make a living somehow w/ a day job, and then he does provide some support during his personal time for 50+ forums? Wow. True, it is possible that he misunderstood our issue, and it is also possible that we might misunderstand his reply. That being said, I put my complete trust in any information he does provide regarding his own software. I also feel compelled to share any knowledge I have gathered with users of our local forum, especially those users who I think very highly of such as you, Paul. I will try to clarify below what I think he means with his post.

UT, if I were a betting man I wouldn't bet on channels which had a million hits....I've discovered the count provided may be helplful for some stuff but ......this count is also tainted with things like someone turning their radio to a particular channel which registers as a "join" and when the channel on the radio is switched to a different channel or the radio is turned off it registers a "leaves."
I don't completely follow you on the first part of this. On the last part, I have not noted that a "join" or a "leave" registers as a hit. This is based on when my UT setup sees a site for the first time and/or the site is seldom used, in which cases it is easier to recognize a small change in the hit counts. I feel pretty confident on this, but I cannot verify as I don't have Unitrunker set up at the moment, but I could be wrong.


There are also false entries when one person may call dispatch from a specific RID and if there is another radio listening in with a priority flag set in their radio for this particular channel it also registers a "call" from the idle radio but no voice traffic is present in that conversation. So if one unit turns on a radio at the beginning of duty and calls dispatch with a 10-41 and dispatch responds in kind along with two radios set with priority flags there are 6 or 7 entries for that one call alone.....but only two of them are actual voice communications.
Whoa! You must be way beyond my understanding of UT. It seems like this info would require a very intimate knowledge of the Motorola trunking system, as well as UT. You might be completely correct, it's just that I don't know how you or I could know such details - what-up?

Here are some bits of info that I have noted from using UT that may or may not apply directly to your post.
At home, I normally use an older scanner w/ an audio discriminator tap and I program all the local CC freqs into it as analog channels. This of course connects to the audio-in of my computer, then UT decodes whatever data channel (aka: trunking site) I have selected. As you know, when UT first sees a data channel, it takes a few seconds to decode enough data to decide which site it is. During this time there is activity on the "currently unknown" system, and UT names it "Adhoc" until the site is identified. You agree, right?
Whenever I change channels from one site to another, there is this same delay before UT realizes that the data stream is coming from a different site. During this time, all the activity on the new site is mistakenly logged on the old one, including any LCN's (and therefore frequencies) being used. This becomes a HUGE problem for people like you and I who are trying to keep track of frequencies and hit counts for multiple sites. I have minimized this issue by putting a zero or unused freq between all the active ones in my scanner. Now when I change channels, I pause on the in-between 'quiet' channel long enough for UT to realize that the CC has been completely lost. Then when a new CC is selected, UT sees it as a different site and does not create the false entries. Sometimes I don't pause long enough, in which case I have to click on the 'Channels' tab in UT and delete the false channels, which really came from a different nearby site.

When I travel I use newer scanners w/ direct data outputs, and the same thing happens, only worse. First, the signal tends to fade in and out as I drive, causing data errors. Then if I want to listen to the scanner as I drive, the scanner is constantly changing CC's across multiple sites. If I forget to disable UT while scanning, things get REALLY screwed up and very quickly !

I think what Mr Unitrunker meant was whether a false entry is due to what I have described or due to an error in decoding the data stream, it can usually be recognized by a very low hit count and/or the first and last dates being identical, especially if that date is at least a few weeks old. This condition would indicate a channel that showed up very few times, on one single day, and has not showed up since. The examples he used from your post were LCN's 30, 127, & 482.

Another way I indentify false entries is demonstrated in the image below. For some sites I have verified each frequency against the FCC database. When I do that, I enter the call sign as the label on each freq and mark it as confirmed. When a new freq shows up that has no label, it better have a consistently growing hit count, or it gets deleted. I know this forum has a lot of talk about UCAN freqs being used on the wrong sites and changing frequently, but I have personally found that to be the exception, not the rule. That is: 1) After I remove and keep up w/ all the false entries, 2) Now that rebanding is a distant memory, and 3) after a new site has been up and running and in-use for a period of time. As Jon said, sometimes changes and additions are needed, and there are a few mistakes or wrong freqs in the system, but really not that many.

Some interesting points from your UT pics and mine: 1) The CC always has zero hits (it is never used for voice). This would only be true for systems like UCAN who rarely, if ever, rotate the CC freq. 2) The alt's always have fewer hits than the main voice channels --> I think the system can use them for voice, but only as a last resort if all other channels are busy. This would be a good indicator for how often a certain site is nearing max capacity - how many hits are on the alt CC's ? 3) Simulcast sites always have 1 CC and 3 alts. Other sites always have 1 CC and 1 alt. 4) Any valid CC or alt CC is updated in the data stream every second, unless the system is very busy w/ voice traffic. Therefore, if you can decode a data stream from any given site, the CC and alts will always show up and update, even if there is no voice traffic at all. I think this is when I noted that radios can join and leave, while the hit counts do not change. I guess that makes sense, since no voice channels were used by those actions.

-B.Christensen
.
 

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pmstewart

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What A Mouth-Full

To BC and All......

You guys are fantastic, I've met Jon and he's a wonderful and very savvy guy! BC - Never have one of your posts ever contained any info which was not carefully thought out and extremely well explained.

That said.....I own all of you an apology. I meant my post simply in gest......UniTrunker as a program is a phenomenal tool. My eternal debt of gratitude to the maker of the software!!!!!! Even more so because it's free!! I echo the sentiment conveyed about UT by BC!!

BC - I have no credentials to affirm the info given except thousands of monitoring hours with two current setups running UT. The first is tied to a custom made desktop computer running two monitors. It is connected to the CC, as yours - through a discriminator port, a Pro 95 with an 800 MHz portable antenna. The difference here is I'm running 2 Pro 197's on 20-546 serial to usb cables as voice. This way I can monitor the voice on two channels at the same time on Weber Simulcast. I also have a Pro-39 scanning the voice channels of the two closest sites so I can help verify the content of the voice. Further I have a iScan-107 which is trolling the whole UCAN trunk on all the local sites so I can compare the info coming from all sites (107) and just info coming from Weber Simulcast (95 & 197's) & Mt. Ogden (2066 & 2052).

The second setup I'm running is tied to my laptop with a Pro-2066 feeding the cc to a Pro-2052 as voice. The 2066 is connected through the sound and discriminator tap and the 2052 is connected through an RS-232 9-pin cable monitoring Mt Ogden.

It appears when someone turns on their radio or changes channels I get the joins or leaves. When a 1FJ Jail or Bailiff Units comes online it registers a "joins" on both my sites at the same time. The voice however only comes on the "affiliated" site to the radio (or possibly the closest). The next observation is when an fire unit in the area is testing a radio I get a joins on each channel they tune to. If an a radio is changed to a car 2 car channel you can see the units which do not have them programmed as a priority by the way they "join" when two officers are going to the channel but a third is joining. Either that or the "call" signifies a repeater they are using in common which is ties the conversation together.

This post is a little long so I will finish the rest in more posts.....Thanks UT and BC!!.....

Paul
 

pmstewart

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BC - I also put a space in between CC's for the same reason. I figured out if I don't clear the data from one site first and or close out UT and reopen it I get bad results. My channels haven't been branded under "label" with the info you've put in but that's a great suggestion so as time goes I will get them identified as well.

One of the things Jon and I may have figured out about alt cc's is they carry encrypted traffic on them. I get life flight encrypted traffic here on occasion. Currently I have on alt cc which shows 36 hits on Weber Simulcast and I have logged about the same number of hits of tgid 58976 Life Flight Encrypted.

If you were to check the "Users" tab under the current system you'll find a column named "online" this may help in figuring out as radios are turned off and turned on or as they come on and off channels....this is how I'm confirming my theories.....

If UT does detect the turning on and off of radios or the changing of channels that is also a huge plus for us....if we can figure out how to use this info to our advantage.

When monitoring the control and alternate on Mt Ogden I don't get many hits from Life Flight Encrypted at all and there is no hits on them either.

I have a netbook computer I take in the car with any combo of scanners to travel with. I can program on the fly as well as use UT.

Again, I'm sincerely sorry over misleading anyone about my previous post. UniTrunker is an outstanding asset to us all.

Paul
 

pmstewart

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One of the things I forgot to put in the post yesterday is a question of sorts.....in Weber County we have 1FJxx callsigns which are associated with the Jails as guards and bailiff's ......when they turn on their radios I believe the radio is "affiliated" with the tgid for Weber County Sheriff and defaults to tgid 6080 or at least the radio identifies itself with the UCAN computer as such even though the jail is on a different tgid.

Can this be possible?
 
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