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Difference between revisions of "Multi-Site Trunked System Programming for Whistler/GRE Object-Oriented Scanners"

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==Applicable Scanners==
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Multi-Site programming is a solution to the issue of some Object Oriented Scanners not scanning multiple Sites in a single Scanlist. In this article we will try to give you a practical approach on how to best accomplish this.
  
*Whistler: TRX-1, TRX-2, WS1090, WS1098, WS1080, WS1088
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=Which Scanners Have This Issue?=
*Radio Shack: Pro-668, Pro-18
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The following discussion applies to these scanners;
*GRE: PSR-800
 
  
==Issues with monitoring multi-site trunked systems==
 
  
Earlier Whistler models such as the WS1040/WS1065 (and their Radio Shack/GRE variants) offer multiple scan modes for multi-site trunked systems:
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{{Text SDObjectOrientedScannersTable}}
  
*Stationary - Scans all control channels being received (and thus all sites).
 
*Roam - Scans all control channels being received, selects the best, stays there, and only re-scans if reception is lost.
 
*Off - Stops at the first control channel and does not move to another.
 
  
However, the database enabled object-oriented scanners listed at the start of this article 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.
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=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):
  
The solution is to program each site or group of sites as a separate system so they will be scanned.
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*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.<br>
 +
 
 +
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.
  
 
==Multi-Site Programming==  
 
==Multi-Site Programming==  
 +
The solution is to program each Site for a given System as a separate (totally different) System so they 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.
 +
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:#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 separately, with the user defining the duration a Site is scanned, giving the scanner a much better chance of hearing desired radio traffic. 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.
  
The first thing I do is start with a blank Virtual Scanner, define the coverage area I want for it, and name that Virtual Scanner as such. Then, download all the sites and talkgroups for the system in that coverage area, get all the scan lists and miscellaneous settings (backlight, LED, decode levels, etc) set up the way I want, and name it for the overall system (for example, Ohio MARCS). Do a "save to archive" so you have a clean backup.
 
  
Then, copy that system and name the new one Cuyahoga County (using the Cleveland area as an example), and lock out all except the Cuyahoga County simulcast. You can leave the scan lists alone or delete all but the ones for desired agencies in Cuyahoga County. I usually leave scan lists alone so I have a better chance of catching talkgroups which may have roamed away from their usual site.
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'''Other Tips'''
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*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
  
Next, copy the "base" Ohio MARCS system again, name the new one Lorain County, and lock out all except the Lorain County sites. You can leave the scan lists alone or delete all but the ones for Lorain County agencies.
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*Some users have reported that for whatever reason, these radios do not like manually entered "System Settings". When entering Sites and/or 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 if all the ''Settings'' are identical, manually entered systems just do not seem to function properly. However, TGRPs can be imported using the copy/paste method with good results.
  
Repeat this process for each site (or group of sites) you want to treat as separate systems, locking out all but the desired sites for that "system."
 
  
Finally, lock out the base Ohio MARCS system, unless you want to use it as a catch-all. In Ohio, I generally leave the "Ohio MARCS-IP" entry unlocked, but lock out all the scan lists in it except one which has the talkgroup Wild Card, so I can search separately from the designated scan lists.
 
  
This way you've minimized the amount of stuff you have to type in and the radio will scan each site separately, giving you a much better chance of hearing what you want to hear; when traveling, you can enable and disable scan lists as needed to scan what's around you.
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Related Link:
 +
[[Control Channel Only]]
  
You'll probably also need to fiddle around with the decode settings on the Advanced tab; after I tweaked the DSP Level Adapt setting to 100 (after much experimentation), P25 simulcast decode is almost flawless.
 
  
I think you'll find yourself hearing more stuff, more reliably. Works great on a TRX-1.
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Return to [[GRE/RS PC Object Oriented FAQ]]
  
  
First thing I learned (the hard way) is that for whatever reason, these things don't like manually entered system settings. When I entered local Ohio MARCS-IP sites manually and put in the talkgroups, I heard very little. However, when I used the Library Import feature ("Preferred" rather than zip code or location based), selected the specific sites/talkgroups and downloaded it, it worked like a champ. Never have figured out why this is the case; control channels, talkgroups and settings were all identical each time, but it just did not like manually entered systems.
 
  
  
Edit: Forgot to mention that you can copy/paste talkgroups and it will work fine. It seems to be just the system-level stuff like sites it's sensitive to where doing Library Import works and manual entry does not. You can just import sites and a talkgroup wild card and get by just fine.
 
  
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[[Category:Programming FAQs and Tips for GRE Scanners]]
 +
[[Category:Programming FAQs and Tips for Radio Shack Scanners]]
 
[[Category:Programming FAQs and Tips for Whistler Scanners]]
 
[[Category:Programming FAQs and Tips for Whistler Scanners]]
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[[Category:Digital Scanners with DMR]]
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[[Category:Digital Scanners with MOTOTRBO]]
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[[Category:Digital Scanners without DMR]]
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[[Category:Digital Scanners without MOTOTRBO]]
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[[Category:Digital Scanners without NXDN]]
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[[Category:Digital Scanners without ProVoice]]
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[[Category:Analog Trunktrackers]]
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[[Category:Object Oriented Scanners]]
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[[Category:Scanners FAQ]]
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[[Category:Software for GRE Scanners]]

Latest revision as of 07:28, 18 October 2019

Multi-Site programming is a solution to the issue of some Object Oriented Scanners not scanning multiple Sites in a single Scanlist. In this article we will try to give you a practical approach on how to best accomplish this.

Which Scanners Have This Issue?

The following discussion applies to these scanners;


GRE Radio Shack Whistler
PSR-7007 Pro-1077
Pro-181,5,8
PSR-8002,5,8 Pro-6682,5,8 WS10802,3,8
WS10882,3,6
TRX-12,3,4
PSR-9009 WS10952,3
WS10982,3,6
TRX-22,3,4
  1. Released around the time the PSR-800 was, but lacking additional/advanced features SEE #5.
  2. Project 25(P25) Phase I and II decoding.
  3. Capable of DMR decoding, with a free Upgrade to the latest Firmware via Whistler's EZ-Scan software.
  4. Capable of NXDN decoding, with a free Upgrade to the latest Firmware via Whistler's EZ-Scan software
  5. 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.
  6. Variant with Keypad
  7. Trunking w Analog Voice Only
  8. ALL THE SAME after UPGRADE except silk screening
  9. 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.

Multi-Site Programming

The solution is to program each Site for a given System as a separate (totally different) System so they 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.

  1. Example: This method applies to any multi-site trunked system, but we'll use Ohio MARCS-IP in Central Ohio as an example.
  1. Start with a blank Virtual Scanner (V-Folder), define the desired coverage area (for example, Central Ohio), and name the Virtual Scanner as such.
  2. 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.
  3. Name the newly imported system "Ohio MARCS-IP."
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. Repeat this process for each Site you want to treat as separate systems, locking out all, but the desired sites for that "system."
  8. 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 separately, with the user defining the duration a Site is scanned, giving the scanner a much better chance of hearing desired radio traffic. 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.


Other Tips

  • 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 that for whatever reason, these radios do not like manually entered "System Settings". When entering Sites and/or 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 if all the Settings are identical, manually entered systems just do not seem to function properly. However, TGRPs can be imported using the copy/paste method with good results.


Related Link: Control Channel Only


Return to GRE/RS PC Object Oriented FAQ