Multi-Site Trunked System Programming for Whistler/GRE Object-Oriented Scanners
Multi-Site programming is a solution to users not being able to find an easy way to make the Object Oriented Scanners move onto the next Site listed below a Site in a single Scanlist, instead the scanner never attempts to scan the next receivable site, only ever moving on-to the next ScanList. In this article we will try to give you a very partical approach on how to best accomplish this.
Which Scanners Have This Issue?
The following discussion applies to these scanners;
- Released around the time the PSR-800 was, but lacking additional/advanced features SEE #5.
- Project 25(P25) Phase I and II decoding.
- Capable of DMR decoding, with a free Upgrade to the latest Firmware via Whistler's EZ-Scan software.
- Capable of NXDN decoding, with a free Upgrade to the latest Firmware via Whistler's EZ-Scan software
- Ability to be Upgraded for DMR (and add P25 Phase II to Pro-18) decode with a Paid Upgrade with User paid shipment to Whistler, returned by them. Once, returned, continued forward support is possible via Whistler Repair and EZ-Scan Software, with all the newer additions and features of a WS1080.
- Variant with Keypad
- Trunking w Analog Voice Only
- ALL THE SAME after UPGRADE except silk screening
- Never released publicly, subsequently became WS1095
Issue with multi-site trunked system monitoring
Earlier Whistler models such as the WS1040/WS1065 and their Radio Shack/GRE variants, offer multiple modes for scanning multi-site trunked systems with multiple different Control Channels(CC):
- Stationary - Scans all CCs being received and thus all sites.
- Roam - Scans all CCs being received, selects & stays on the best decodable site, and only re-scans if reception is lost or falls below data decode threshold.
- Off - Stops at the very first decodable CC and does not move to another.
However, the Object Oriented Scanners only scan multi-site systems using the Roam method; once an acceptable site is located the scanner stays on that site and only looks for another site if reception is lost. In many areas this causes a great deal of radio traffic on other nearby tower sites to be missed.
The solution is to program each Site for a given System as separate (totally different) Systems so they can and will be scanned separately. Desired talkgroups must be entered for each site which is entered as a separate system, but can be combined into the same scan lists (for example, Anytown Fire, Anytown Police, and Anytown Service). This will allow scanning of multiple separate sites, especially for the larger incorporated towns, cities and counties that we want our scanners to cover.
- Example: This method applies to any multi-site trunked system, but we'll use Ohio MARCS-IP in Central Ohio as an example.
- Start with a blank Virtual Scanner (V-Folder), define the desired coverage area (for example, Central Ohio), and name the Virtual Scanner as such.
- Using the "Preferred" options under the Library Import tab of the EZScan software, choose the system and select for download all of the desired Sites and Talkgroups(TGRPs) for the preferred coverage area. Make sure to add a TGRP Wildcard. Import this information to the scanner.
- Name the newly imported system "Ohio MARCS-IP."
- Set up ScanLists and miscellaneous settings (backlight, LED, decode levels, etc) as desired, making sure to put the TGRP Wildcard in a separate ScanList. Do a "Save to Archive" so you have a backup of your initial programming. This archive will serve as a clean backup in case you have to start over.
- Copy the "Ohio MARCS-IP" system and name the new system "Franklin County." Lock out all except the Franklin County Simulcast. ScanLists can be left alone or the ScanLists which do not normally pertain to Franklin County can be locked out. Leaving all ScanLists enabled increases the chance of catching TGRPs which may have roamed away from their usual/typical Site.
- Copy the "Ohio MARCS-IP" system again, name the new system "Columbus City", and lock out all except the Columbus City Site. Once again, ScanLists can be left alone, or all ScanLists can be deselected except the ScanList for TGRPs which normally use the Columbus City Site (Columbus FD, Columbus PD, etc).
- Repeat this process for each Site you want to treat as separate systems, locking out all, but the desired sites for that "system."
- Finally, in the "Ohio MARCS-IP" system you started with, de-select all except the Scanlist which holds the TGRP Wildcard. This will allow you to scan the wide-area system as needed for additional TGRPs not found in your defined ScanLists.
By programming in this manner, most of the tedious data entry and configuration process only needs to be done once. The scanner will scan each Site or group of Sites entirely separately; with the User defining and delineation of the duration a Site is scanned, giving the scanner a much better chance of hearing desired radio traffic, especially more reliably. When traveling, ScanLists can be Enabled or Disabled as needed, to scan what is receivable nearby. Tip: Not all Scanlist have to be 1 to 200 (in order), you can make ScanList 1-9 and backwards from 200-191, these will be your 18 most Enabled Sites, allowing you to get to them quickly.
- It will probably be necessary to experiment with the digital decode settings on the Advanced tab; once the DSP Level Adapt has been optimized, P25 simulcast decoding is almost flawless.
Check out GRE/RS/Whistler based DSP ADC/DAC Adjustments for additional info
- Some Users have reported: For whatever reason, these radios do not like manually entered system settings. When entering tower sites and system settings manually, very little is received; however, when the Library Import feature is used to select and import the specific Site(s), reception is flawless; even though the Sites and settings are all perfectly identical, manually entered systems just do not seem to function properly. However, talkgroups can be imported using the copy/paste method with good results.
Note: While the "how to" details differ, this can also be done with Uniden scanners for an improvement in "signals received" for a given area (county, city, etc).'
Control Channel Only
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