Will GRE PSR-500 work for GATRRS in Austin?

dc2wheel

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I have an older GRE PSR-500 that I'm hoping to get working to scan the Austin GATRRS system. Heard they've made some changes to the system recently and that I may need a newer scanner to pick up all transmissions. If it will work, does anyone know of available downloads for ARC500/BuTel files for the Austin area?
 

hiegtx

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I have an older GRE PSR-500 that I'm hoping to get working to scan the Austin GATRRS system. Heard they've made some changes to the system recently and that I may need a newer scanner to pick up all transmissions. If it will work, does anyone know of available downloads for ARC500/BuTel files for the Austin area?
GATRRS is still a P25 Phase I system, so technically, a PSR500 could monitor it. However, the two main layers used in Austin itself are Simulcast.
88821

Whether your PSR500 will, or will not work is related to the location you are at. There may be a few spots where simulcast does not hammer your reception, but in most cases, Simulcast Distortion can make your PSR500 unusable.
Simulcast digital distortion - The RadioReference Wiki

It's extremely location sensitive. If you are lucky enough to be very near one of the sites, it's strong signal may wash out the conflicting signals from other sites, and it may work. If you are at a location where terrain (hills) or perhaps a cluster of tall buildings blocks all but the closest site to you, then it might work there as well. Or maybe not. Simulcast issues can sometimes be made worse by where your scanner is in your house or apartment. Occasionally, just moving the scanner a few feet in one direction or another can be the difference between monitoring the system, or hearing a garbled mess.

If you can be a little more specific on where you'll be in Austin (right now, your profile indicates Washington, DC), then perhaps one or more of the members in the Austin Metro area can give you a better idea of whether the PSR will work, or needs to be replaced. One of them also might be able to share a file to give you a "jump start" in that area.
 

dc2wheel

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Thanks for the detailed info, I'll be staying in the Hyde Park neighborhood, about 3 miles directly north of the state capitol building.
 

N1GAW

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...Does anyone know of available downloads for ARC500/BuTel files for the Austin area?
In order to download the system/frequencies for your area, from Radio Reference through your software, you need to be a premium member.
 

Russell

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I had a PSR500 in Austin for several years, your mileage WILL vary. Because of simulcast your reception will vary widely depending on your location. I found a spot at work (at that time) that worked wonderfully, but at home I couldn't get any solid copy. Mobile ops varied widely, as well.

Russell
 

hiegtx

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Thanks for the detailed info, I'll be staying in the Hyde Park neighborhood, about 3 miles directly north of the state capitol building.
Looking at the map for Simulcast 1 on GATRRS, here's the tower sites as indicated in the database:
88852

Zooming in more, to look at the Hyde Park area, you are fairly close to one site in Central AUstin:
88853
Whether your Hyde Park location would be close enough to that one site, with a string enough signal to override the other, more distant sites, I have no way of knowing from 200 miles away (in Dallas). You might find a spot in where you are staying that possibly could work, but no way to know for sure unless you tried it. Simulcast 1 is primarily used for public safety agencies (Fire, Law Enforcement, & EMS; Simulcast 2 should be all the other city & county agencies other than public safety (utilities, public works, etc). I'd say program the 500 & try it. That won't cost you a dime other than the amount of time to set it up. If it does not work, then there are a couple of Broadcastify feeds that cover Travis County fire/ems, and law enforcement agencies.
 

rbarker

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I have 2 Grecom PSR-500's and they work great. I'm in Lago Vista but most of the time, it's fine.
 

jaspence

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A directional antenna may be one solution, or on a hand held an antenna with less gain or even using the attenuator may help.
 
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