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Friday, May 11, 2018

SA GRN network P25 update news.

As some of you may already be aware, the SA GRN network moved to a new P25 system on the 9th of May 2018.
This changeovers suddenly left a lot of Scanner users wondering why their Scanners suddenly went deaf.





I have created a quick  instruction guide to help you get up and running again unit I release my new data base.

This is the first part to help you find the active control channel in your area.

The information provided is relevant for the following models:
UBCD396XT and UBCD325P2AU (US Models including BCD325P2 and BCD396XT)
However it can also be used as a guide to the earlier models, UBCD396T and UBCD996T. 


Part One.
Finding active control channels.
You will need a Pen and Note Pad.

To create a system to monitor the new SA GRN P25 system you will require the control channel that is being used in your area.

If you do not already have access to this information, you can find the active control channel by simply doing a custom search.


Turn your Scanner ON.

While in Scan mode, push the MENU button (on the UBCD396XT it’s the rubber pad on the left of Scanner).
This will open up the Scanners Menu screen.

Using the rotary volume dial – scroll it clockwise to the right and highlight Search For.

Once Search For has been highlighted, push the E.Yes button to confirm your selection.

Using the rotary volume dial – scroll it clockwise to the right and highlight Edit Custom.

Once Edit Custom has been highlighted, push the E.Yes button to confirm your selection.

Custom 1 will be highlighted, push the E.Yes button to confirm your selection.

Using the rotary volume dial – scroll it clockwise to the right and highlight Edit Search Limit.

Once Edit Search Limit has been highlighted, push the E.Yes button to confirm your selection.

Set Lower Limit menu will now be displayed – type over the existing frequency.

Type in 410.000 and push E.Yes

Set Upper Limit menu will now be displayed – type over the existing frequency.

Type in 430.000 and push E.Yes

The screen will revert back to the Custom 1 menu screen.

Using the rotary volume dial – scroll it clockwise to the right and highlight Set Modulation.

Once Set Modulation has been highlighted, push the E.Yes button to confirm your selection.

Set Modulation Menu will now be displayed.

Using the rotary volume dial – scroll it clockwise to the right and highlight NFM (Narrow Band FM) and push the E.Yes button.

Using the rotary volume dial – scroll it clockwise to the right and highlight Set Step.

Once Set Step has been highlighted, push the E.Yes button to confirm your selection.

The Set Step menu will now be displayed.

Using the rotary volume dial – scroll it clockwise to the right and highlight 12.5 kHz.

Once 12.5 kHz been highlighted, push the E.Yes button to confirm your selection.

The Custom 1 menu screen will now be displayed again.

Using the rotary volume dial – scroll it clockwise to the right and highlight Set C-CH Only.

When Set C-CH Only is highlighted, push the E.Yes button to confirm your selection.

C-CH Only Mode will be highlighted. Push E.yes

Using the rotary volume dial – scroll it and select ON.

Once done – push the E.Yes button.

The screen will revert back to the Set C-CH Only Menu.

Now push the Menu button 3 times.

This will take you back to the Search For menu screen and Edit Custom will be highlighted.

Using the rotary volume dial – scroll it to the left (anti-clockwise) and highlight Custom Search and then push the E.Yes button.

The Scanner will now start scanning the search limits you have specified.

At the bottom of the screen, you will also see a series of numbers from 1 to 0.

These represent 10 custom searches. As our only interest is in custom search 1, please push the following keys to shut down the other searches. 

Push 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and finally the 0 button.

This will leave only the Custom Search that you have created.

There should only be the numeral 1 flashing on the bottom of the screen.

In the time that you have done this the Scanner may have already found the active control channel and stopped on it.

If it has found an active SA GRN P25 control channel it will display the following data.

SID: 03DCh-000 (the last three numbers will be different in your location, 000 entered for example only)

The screen will alternate between “Custom 1” and “SID:03DCh-000”. This is normal.

Look to the top right of the screen, if the signal is strong, there will be a signal strength indicator,        for a good strong signal, there should be 5 bars.

The more bars the better. If the signal only shows 2 bars, use the rotary volume dial and gently turn it clockwise to continue the search. (DO NOT PUSH SCAN).

The scanner will continue to search through the designated search limit only stopping on control channels that are close enough to break the digital threshold and be received. 
Generally anything with 2 bars or less is of poor quality and obviously too far away to be decoded correctly.
If the Scanner stops on a good strong signal and 5 bars are showing on the signal indicator, this is one frequency that you should write down for future reference.

You can also push HOLD while the Scanner has paused on the control channel. If it is active you will hear traffic within a few seconds. 
Push HOLD again to release the scanner back into search mode – DO NOT PUSH SCAN.

When there is activity you will see text similar to this example - ID:2913
You may also hear encrypted talk goups. These will make an annoying `Mettalic’ sound.     
                        
You may see and ID Number but no voice, this is an encrypted talk group and cannot be decoded into voice.

While there is no traffic (No ID number showing) look at the bottom of the screen and you will see a frequency displayed.

Write this frequency down. This is your control channel. Remember, five signal bars is best.

Do not worry about any frequency displayed while there is voice traffic (when a ID number is showing) as this is a voice channel frequency and will not work if you enter it as a control channel.

For example.   The scanner has stopped and you can see SID:03DCh-001 on the screen, all is quiet and the frequency 413.3875 is displayed at the bottom of the screen, the signal indicator is showing 5 bars.
This means 413.3875 is your control channel.

If there suddenly is voice activity and a ID number is displayed, the frequency at the bottom of the screen will change, this is NOT the control channel, this is a designated voice channel. 
Wait until the transmission ends and the original control channel will be displayed again, returning to 413.3875.
Only the strongest control channels found should be used. 
In an average search you may only find one or two with a standard antenna, maybe three or four with a larger outdoor antenna.
You can enter all in your scanner, but remember that entering a weaker control channel simply because you found one, does not help the scanner work any better. 
If anything it can cause more problems especially with a larger outdoor antenna.

Only enter good strong quality frequencies…

Once you have completed your search and are happy with the one or two control channels you have located, you can now create a system to monitor the SA GRN in your area.
Make sure you have written down the active control channel/s on your note pad you will need to reference this information in the next step.

Ozscan Document: Control Channels V1 15/05/2018

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