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Xtl2500 scan help

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freqgeek2

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Looking for some assistance: my patrol car is equipped with a Motorola XTL2500 radio and has a StarCom21 APCO-25 digital trunked system programmed within the radio with several talk groups.
If possible, I would like some assistance with the “scan” feature. I have programmed the local police, Sheriff’s car-car, Illinois State Police, and the ISPERN talk groups in a scan list. When I activate the scan feature, the radio will scan the proper talk groups; however the radio will not automatically revert to the set priority channel which I have the Sheriff’s Office as the priority channel.

Example: if the radio has the Sheriff’s Office set as a priority channel and I am in the scan mode, when another channel becomes active and the Sheriff’s Office also receives a radio transmission my radio will not switch back to the Sheriff’s Office channel until the active channel has completed with the radio transmission as a result I miss a portion of the radio transmission upon the Sheriff’s Office channel which could result in a delay in a response time to a call.

Is there a way to fix the scan function so that the radio immediately returns to the channel which I have set as a priority channel?

Thank you..
 

gewecke

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Looking for some assistance: my patrol car is equipped with a Motorola XTL2500 radio and has a StarCom21 APCO-25 digital trunked system programmed within the radio with several talk groups.
If possible, I would like some assistance with the “scan” feature. I have programmed the local police, Sheriff’s car-car, Illinois State Police, and the ISPERN talk groups in a scan list. When I activate the scan feature, the radio will scan the proper talk groups; however the radio will not automatically revert to the set priority channel which I have the Sheriff’s Office as the priority channel.

Example: if the radio has the Sheriff’s Office set as a priority channel and I am in the scan mode, when another channel becomes active and the Sheriff’s Office also receives a radio transmission my radio will not switch back to the Sheriff’s Office channel until the active channel has completed with the radio transmission as a result I miss a portion of the radio transmission upon the Sheriff’s Office channel which could result in a delay in a response time to a call.

Is there a way to fix the scan function so that the radio immediately returns to the channel which I have set as a priority channel?

Thank you..
Maybe...first off, I am not a LEO, but I have access to some of the same gear so if you don't already have this then it might help you.

http://www.ileas.org/sites/default/files/%/ITTF Mobile-XTL2500 Radio Quick Start Guide 09-11.pdf

73,
n9zas
 

RodStrong

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It's a bit hard to answer your question, not knowing what the programmer has allowed you to edit or have access to regarding the scan edit function. The programmer can give you full access to manipulate your priority channels, some of them, or none of them. Since you mentioned you have your S/O primary set as "priority", this seemingly means you have the ability to set it as either priority 1 or priority 2, or possibly only priority 2. Priority 1 in public safety radios should always be set to "Selected", but again, you may or may not have that option. The programmer should not actually give you the option to manipulate priority 1 in my opinion.

I am not sure if I can explain this in writing without confusing you. In fact, I don't even attempt to explain this in writing to the users I work for. I just tell them to call me if they ever want to fool with their scan list.

Maybe someone else can chime in with an easy way to explain it. If you want to PM me with a phone number to call you, I can do that, and maybe walk you through what you are looking at and try to guide you based on that.
 

RKG

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I can't tell you what to do without reading your radio and seeing how it is programmed.

That said, whenever we make a "working" radio scan capable, the scan list always has two parameters:

A) Priority 1 is set to "Selected Channel;" and

B) Tx steering is set to "Selected Channel."

This means that so long as your radio is selected on the dispatch channel, traffic on that channel will override any scan traffic on any other channel, and whenever you pike up the mike and key, you'll key on the selected channel (even if the radio has landed on some other channel during scan).
 

box23

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I don't believe you can do what you are wanting to. When scanning conventional channels priority works like you are wanting. With trunking, though, once the channel grant is issued the radio does not return to the control channel until after the transmission is complete.

So when your radios switches to the channel granted for the scanned talkgroup, it has no way of knowing when your primary talkgroup becomes active on another channel. Once the message ends on the scanned talkgroup the radio returns to the control channel, sees your talkgroup is active, and switches to its granted channel.
 
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Priority does work in the trunked environment...Your problem may be that you have a conventional channel in your scan list. If you mix trunked and conventional resources in a scan list, priority monitor goes away.
 

RodStrong

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Priority does work in the trunked environment...Your problem may be that you have a conventional channel in your scan list. If you mix trunked and conventional resources in a scan list, priority monitor goes away.
If his programmer allowed him to scan mixed mode, that programmer needs to be stoned in the town square. Not having priority scan is very dangerous for public safety applications. Surely that is not the case here.
 

RKG

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I don't believe you can do what you are wanting to. When scanning conventional channels priority works like you are wanting. With trunking, though, once the channel grant is issued the radio does not return to the control channel until after the transmission is complete.

So when your radios switches to the channel granted for the scanned talkgroup, it has no way of knowing when your primary talkgroup becomes active on another channel. Once the message ends on the scanned talkgroup the radio returns to the control channel, sees your talkgroup is active, and switches to its granted channel.
Not so. With the advent of the SmartNet II feature set, a 3600 baud radio can employ a priority on trunked scan. It is even easier with Astro, since the data over the voice channel tells the subscribers on that talkgroup what other talkgroups are active.

As others have noted, you cannot have priority if you are in a "talkgroup" scan list that mixes trunked and conventional channels.
 

freqgeek2

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Thank you for all of the responses;
This is an extremely dangerous situation. I have taken the radio off of scan due to the fact that I have missed the dispatch center calling my unit number. When I ask the commander that is in charge of our radio system, I have been told that the scan function in a trunking system does not operate the same way as it has on our old VHF system (which I agree with). Due to the trunking operation, if your radio is on the Sheriff’s talk group and the scan function is active and the radio picks up a radio transmission on the local police talk group, the radio will complete the radio transmission for the local police before the radio will revert to the Sheriff’s talk group even if there is traffic on the Sheriff’s talk group while the local police talk group is active. The radio will not break a radio transmission to flip back to the Sheriff’s talk group which should be set as the primary or priority talk group.

I have a hard time believing that there is not some type of programming issue and that Motorola would produce a system that will not have some type of priority in place. How would you be able to listen to other talk groups in your trunking system if the radio will not switch back to you set priority talk group?
 

mikewazowski

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If you really need to monitor all those channels, you should have a second radio.

A canine unit I knew carried a second radio for scanning while his primary radio stayed on his dispatch channel.
 

freqgeek2

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I use to have a scanner in my patrol unit but since have removed it since our department moved over to the trunking system. I’m really only trying to monitor 5-6 talk groups on an all P25 system.
 

gewecke

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I use to have a scanner in my patrol unit but since have removed it since our department moved over to the trunking system. I’m really only trying to monitor 5-6 talk groups on an all P25 system.

Maybe consider a digital scanner for your squad? That might be the answer.

73,
n9zas
 

wlmr

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Priority scan has to be enabled in two places for this to work. One you have control over, your radio - and one you don't have control over, the system. Without the system broadcasting a continuous stream of which priority talkgroups are active along with the voice your radio is decoding, your radio hasn't a clue that your talkgroup is looking for you.

If you're lucky and the system doesn't have a massive pocketful of talkgroups set for priority scan, your radio would receive the info that your own talkgroup wants to talk to you. If there are too many talkgroups set for priority scan in the system, even that will experience likely delays.

A system near me has given up on using priority scan and for those who can demonstrate a valid need to listen to another talkgroup they provide a second radio.

For a two way radio, disconnecting from the active call you're listening to and going back to the control channel to see if you have audio on your talkgroup takes a long time.

Your job is to be listening to your talkgroup, no matter how much you want to listen to what is going on around you. If the people in charge want your job to be able to hear more than that (or if you can prove to them it's in their best interests), they need to provide another radio that maybe you can safely activate scan on.
 

kb0uxv

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We are using priority scan here (radio P1 is selected mode, P2 is user chosen) and it is working fine. My scan list is full and it always reverts to my priority one reliably. Our system, "ARMER" in MN, is the same set up as Starcom21. Something is strange.

I think WLMR is on to something. Does the commander in charge of your radio system have access to net management (PRNM)? If so, he should verify in UCM that the talkgroup's capability profile has the buble checked for "priority monitor."
 

freqgeek2

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Wlmr,
Thank you for attempting to enlighten me what my duties should be. I have been at this game for over 20 years! I suppose it would be hard to understand if you are not in the Law Enforcement field, however in the State of Illinois there is one other channel that every unit should be able to monitor and that would be the Illinois State Police Emergency Radio Network.
I believe the original question was: Is the Motorola XTL2500 capable of priority scanning?

Again, thanks for all that responded
 

mikewazowski

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Yes, the radio supports Priority Monitor on a system that's setup to provide it.

Have you contacted the radio shop that maintains your radio?

They would be the ones who could answer your question about the system.

You might want to take your own advice and leave the radio programming up to the guys that are trained and maintain your system.

Sounds like you're trying to do something with your radio without the knowledge of if the system even supports it.
 

kb0uxv

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k9cop, are all the things you are scanning on Starcom21? If some of them are "conventional" like 'Illinois State Police Emergency Radio Network" that you just mentioned, and you are using a scan list that does the trunked system and conventional, then there is no ability to do priority scan. There are also issues if some of the things you are scanning are on different systems. If that is the case, you are stuck with using a second radio or scanner as others have suggested here. My full time gig is a patrol deputy, so I know the value of whats going on around me. I hope you find a solution that will work for you.
 
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MTS2000des

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if talkgroup scan is being used, than this is a bad bad thing. TG scan allows the radio to scan talkgroups across different systems and conventional modes all in one scanlist. NOT a good idea for public safety users!
Everytime your radio leaves the active trunking systems' control channel, it is not on the network. It doesn't hear the CC data or low speed data so it misses calls on your primary system.

Scanning on a trunking system is totally different than scanning ACROSS trunking systems and conventional systems.

When scan is initiated WITHIN a trunked network, your radio never really leaves the CC channel when idling, so it is very efficient. It just "listens" to the CC data for the selected talkgroups that are tagged in the scan list. When one of those TG's becomes active, it switches to the voice channel and unmutes. Because the system is also putting out low speed data on voice channels, those setup for priority monitor in the system will tell any radios in scan the priority talkgroup is active and to retune if the scanned TG is a higher priority than the one currently being monitored.

It works very well, if you notice, there is no "break break" in the audio when priority scanning on a trunked system because your radio never actually changes frequencies, unlike a conventional (non-trunked) radio where the radio physically steps through channels looking for activity.

As others have said, you should contact the system help desk and open a ticket. If your radio is setup for priority monitor but the TG you want to set priority on is not enabled in the system, then the admins are the ones who have to fix it.
 

wlmr

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Wlmr,
Thank you for attempting to enlighten me what my duties should be. I have been at this game for over 20 years! I suppose it would be hard to understand if you are not in the Law Enforcement field, however in the State of Illinois there is one other channel that every unit should be able to monitor and that would be the Illinois State Police Emergency Radio Network.
I believe the original question was: Is the Motorola XTL2500 capable of priority scanning?

Again, thanks for all that responded
I stand by my original statement - if your agency requires you to monitor another channel, they need to provide you with the means to do so. As other posters have pointed out, scanning in a trunked system requires more in-depth settings than just in the radio in front of you. Priority scanning has to also have settings on a talkgroup by talkgroup basis in the system. And if you attempt to scan a channel that isn't within the system, priority scan settings in the radio do nothing for you even with the system settings correct.

Scanning with only a single radio on a trunked system sure can go down the drain real fast.

Your original question unfortunately has a simple answer of "yes" with a lot of configuration issues behind it that bring it a long ways away from simple. And unfortunately, way closer to 30 years supporting Public Safety has shown me that just being in Law enforcement (or for that matter, any other field) doesn't always prepare one for the changes that manufacturers like to throw in our paths. I tend to get on a soap box rather easily when I see a safer way for you to listen to more than your assigned talkgroup considering all the functional headaches that scanning (priority or not) brings. I take the phrase "officer safety" to heart and you stated in your first post that you have already missed part of a call intended for you. If the channel you mentioned is that important, push the issue up the chain of command and I truly wish you well.
 
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