Friday, May 11, 2018

SA GRN Setting up the new P25 System

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



Creating a P25 System.
These instructions related to the following models: UBCD396T – UBCD996T – UBCD396XT – UBCD325P2AU.

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 – refer to Part One.

For these instructions it will be assumed that you have your local control channel/s.

UBCD396T and UBCD996T start here.
Turn your Scanner ON.
While in Scan mode, push the MENU button (UBCD396T – Menu pad is on the left side of Scanner)
This will open up the Scanners Menu screen.

Program System will be highlighted.

Push the E.Yes button to confirm your selection.

The Select System menu will now be displayed.

Using the rotary volume dial – scroll and highlight New System. (if not already highlighted)

Once New System has been highlighted, push the E.Yes button to confirm your selection.

Select System Type Menu will be displayed.

Using the rotary volume dial – scroll and highlight MOT (Motorola).

Push the E.Yes button to confirm your selection.

MOT menu screen will be displayed.

By default, P25 will be highlighted, push the E.Yes button to confirm your selection.

Menu will ask to confirm again, push the E.Yes button.

Processing Please Wait will appear.

The System 1 Menu will now appear.

By default, Edit Name will be highlighted.

Push the E.Yes button to confirm.

You can now edit the name for the new system. Naming the system makes it easier to reference.

For this example we will use – SA GRN P25.

Edit Name menu will be displayed.

To remove the current ‘System’ alpha tag, push the .NO button three times.

This process will remove the default text from the screen leaving a blank display for you to enter your own text.

To input text – use the following procedure.

Using the rotary volume dial, scroll it left or right to find the required letter or number, the text will appear under the cursor.

Scroll until you find the capital letter `S’.

Once you have the letter `S’ appearing, push the 6 keypad to move the cursor to the right.

Repeat the process until you have entered the text SA then you push the 6 button twice to create a space to then enter GRN.

Once you have entered GRN you can then push the 6 button twice and create another space and enter P25.  Once you have finished the screen should say SA GRN P25

If you make a mistake while entering the text, use keypad button 4 to go back a place and use the .NO button to erase the incorrect text or simply re-type over the existing text. If you push the .NO button more than once you will erase all the entered text and will have to start over again.


Once SA GRN P25 is displayed on the screen, push the E.Yes button to confirm.

Processing Please Wait will appear and the scanner will revert back to the Edit Name menu.

Your new system name will be displayed at the top of the menu.

Using the rotary volume dial, scroll and highlight Edit System Options.

Push the E.Yes button to confirm.

Edit System Options Menu will be displayed.

Using the rotary volume dial, scroll and highlight Set Quick Key.

Push the E.Yes button to confirm.

Set Quick Key Menu will be displayed.

Using the rotary volume dial, scroll and highlight a number to access the SA GRN P25 system.

This number will help you turn the system on or off via the keypad.

For this example I will use number 5. (Select a number that is convenient for you to remember or access).

Highlight the numeral 5 on the screen and push the E.Yes button to confirm.

Processing Please Wait will appear.

Screen will revert back to the Edit System Option menu and Set Quick Key will be highlighted.

Using the rotary volume dial, scroll and highlight ID Scan/ID Search and push the E.Yes button to confirm.

The ID Scan/ID Search Menu will appear.

Using the rotary volume dial highlight ID Search, push the E.Yes button to confirm.

ID Scan is for talk groups already stored in the memory.  ID Search looks for all activity on the SA GRN network and includes the talk groups that you may have already stored. ID search will let you hear ALL activity.
For first time users, select ID Search. If you select ID Scan, the scanner will search its memory looking for talk groups it assumes will be in there.  If there are none entered – you will hear nothing and the Scanner will appear deaf.

The screen will revert back to the Edit System Options menu.

Push the MENU button – Once.

Screen will revert back to previous menu and you should have SA GRN P25 displayed at the top of the screen. Edit System Option will be highlighted.

Using the rotary volume dial, scroll and highlight Set Frequencies then push the E.Yes button.

Select Frequencies Menu will appear.

By default on a new system – New Frequency will be highlighted, push the E.Yes button to confirm.

Input Frequency menu will now appear.

Type in the P25 control channel frequency you wish to use for your area.

Only enter control channels of reasonable signal quality and those used in your location. Entering too many control channels of poor quality will result in lost performance of the Scanners ability to decode the signal quickly and correctly.
Remember to enter the decimal point!  If you make a mistake, push the .NO button once to go back one place, twice to remove the entire line.

Once you have input the frequency you wish to use – push the E.Yes button.

The screen will revert back to display the frequency menu.

At this point no changes are required, so push the Menu pad once to take you back into the Select Frequency Menu.

If you have more than one control channel to enter, scroll down the screen and highlight New Frequency again and push the E.Yes button.

You can now enter your second frequency using the same process.

Once completed, push the E.Yes button again to confirm.

The screen will display the frequency menu again.  Disregard these menu options and push the Menu pad once to go back to the Select Frequency menu.

Once you are back in the Select Frequency menu, you can view the frequencies you have entered. If you are confident that these are correct, push the Menu pad once.

You will now be back at the SA GRN P25 menu screen and Set Frequencies will be highlighted.
You are now ready to start Scanning.

Push the SCAN button.

You should see `SA GRN P25’ scrolling across the screen and `ID SEARCH’ underneath. 
If all data has been entered correctly and the correct control channels entered, you should see a small bar graph on the top right hand side of the screen. This is the signal strength indicator. A good signal should be between 3 to 5 bars. You should also see the control channel frequencies flash on the bottom of the screen.  Depending on your location and the amount of active voice traffic you should hear some activity within a few minutes or even seconds.

Once a transmission is heard, you will see the letters `ID’ appear on the screen, followed by a series of numbers – for example ID:3489.  This is a SA GRN talk group ID number. Some of these may be encrypted. If this happens and the ID number shows but you receive no voice, there is probably a good chance that this ID is encrypted. The SA GRN has encryption on the Police and SA Ambulance service, plus a few others including Fisheries.  
The letters ENC will also appear on encrypted talk groups.

When an encrypted talk group ID number appears, you can push the HOLD button. While in HOLD mode, push the L/O button (lockout), this will lockout the offending talk group ID.

To resume scanning, push the Scan button or the HOLD button.

If a talk group ID appears that can be heard quite clearly like the Adelaide Fire ID:647 and you wish to save this to the Scanners memory, wait until it appears on the screen and push the HOLD button while they are talking.

While in HOLD mode and the talk group is displayed (ID:649) push the E.Yes button once.

Quick TGID Save will appear on the screen with the ID number 649 (Adelaide Fire).

Push the E.Yes button again to save the ID number.

Processing Please Wait will appear.

The TGID will now be saved into a `Quick Save’ folder in the Scanners memory.

A TGID Menu will appear on the screen letting you edit the name of the TGID should you wish to. Editing the TGID name is the same process as editing the System or Site name. Once completed simply push the Scan button to resume scanning. If you don’t wish to edit the name – simply push the Scan button to resume ID Searching. You Scanner should now be in ID Search mode again looking for active TGIDs in your location.



UBCD39XT and UBCD325P2AU start here.
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.

Program System will be highlighted.

Push the E.Yes button.

The Select System menu will now be displayed.

Using the rotary volume dial – scroll and highlight New System. (if not already highlighted)

Once New System has been highlighted, push the E.Yes button to confirm your selection.

Select System Type Menu will be displayed.

By default, P25 will be highlighted, push the E.Yes button to confirm your selection.

P25 Menu will appear in the top left of the screen.

 Standard Trunk will be highlighted, push the E.Yes button to confirm.

Menu will ask to confirm again, push the E.Yes button.

Processing Please Wait will appear.

The new system default name will now appear with a letter P to the far right of the screen. (P=P25)

It will display System 1    P25

By default, Edit Name will be highlighted.

Push the E.Yes button to confirm.


Edit Name will be displayed across the top of the screen with the default text underneath.


You can now edit the name for the new system. Naming the system makes it easier to reference.
For this example we will use – SA GRN P25.

To remove the current ‘System’ alpha tag displayed on the screen, push the .NO button twice.

This process will remove the default text from the screen leaving a blank display for you to enter your own text.

To input text – use the following procedure.

Using the rotary volume dial, scroll it left or right to find the required letter or number, the text will appear under the cursor.

Scroll until you find the capital letter `S’.

Once you have the letter `S’ appearing, push the 6 keypad to move the cursor to the right.

Repeat the process until you have entered the text SA then you push the 6 button twice to create a space to then enter GRN.

Once you have entered GRN you can then push the 6 button twice and create another space and enter P25.

Once you have finished the screen should say SA GRN P25

If you make a mistake while entering the text, use keypad button 4 to go back a place and type over the text you have already entered or push the .No Button once to delete the single highlighted symbol. Push the .NO button twice to erase the ALL text.

Once SA GRN P25 is displayed on the screen, push the E.Yes button to confirm.

Processing Please Wait will appear and the scanner will revert back to the previous menu, but will now have SA GRN P25 written at the top of the screen. Edit Name will be highlighted.

Using the rotary volume dial, scroll down and highlight Edit System Options.

Push the E.Yes button to confirm.

Edit System Options Menu will be displayed with Set Number Tag highlighted.

Using the rotary volume dial, scroll down and highlight ID Scan/Search.

Push the E.Yes button to confirm.

ID Scan/Search Menu will be displayed and by default ID Search should be highlighted.

If not, use the rotary volume dial, scroll and highlight ID Search.

Push the E.Yes button to confirm.

Screen will revert back to previous Edit System Options Menu and ID Scan/Search will be highlighted.

You now need to back out of that Menu screen so push the Menu button once.

SA GRN P25 Menu will be displayed and Edit System Option will be highlighted.

Using the rotary volume dial, scroll down and highlight Edit Site.

Push the E.Yes button to confirm.

Select Site menu will now be displayed and New Site will be highlighted.

Push the E.Yes button to confirm.

Processing Please Wait will appear.

The Site Menu will now be displayed. (By Default it will show the site as a new number and P25 to the right of the screen.)

It is a good idea to name the site where the control channels are located. A Site is where the tower is located that transmits and receives the information from the control channel/s.
Using the same principle as naming the System, give the site location a name so you can reference it later if needed.
For this example – name the site `Adelaide’. (Remember - name the site relevant to its location)

To input text for the site name – use the following procedure.

Edit Name will be highlighted. Push the E.Yes button.

To remove the default text (Default display setting will have Site   1-1   P25 written on the screen) push the .NO button twice, leaving you a blank screen to input your own text.

Using the rotary volume dial, scroll it left or right to find the required letter or number, the text will appear under the cursor.

Enter a new name for the site location. Use the same method used to enter text for the System.

Once completed and you have created a name for the site, push the E.Yes button.

The new name of your site will appear at the top of the screen. This is your Site Menu.

Using the rotary volume dial scroll down and highlight Set Quick Key and push the E.Yes button.

Set Quick Key menu will be displayed.

Using the rotary volume dial highlight a number that is convenient for you to remember or access.

This number will be associated with the System and give you quick access via the keypad.

For this example use select number 1. Push the E.Yes button to confirm.

Screen will revert back to previous menu and SA GRN P25 will be displayed at the top of the screen.
Set Quick Key will be highlighted.

Using the rotary volume dial, scroll down the screen and highlight Set Frequencies.

Then push the E.Yes button.

Select Frequencies menu will now be displayed and New Frequency will be highlighted.

Push the E.Yes button.

Input Frequency menu will now be displayed.

Type in the P25 control channel frequency you wish to use for your area.

Only enter control channels of reasonable signal quality and those used in your location. Entering too many control channels of poor quality will result in lost performance of the Scanners ability to decode the signal quickly and correctly.
Remember to enter the decimal point!  If you make a mistake, push the .NO button and re-enter the text.

Once you have input the frequency you wish to use – push the E.Yes button.

Processing Please Wait will appear.

The Frequency Menu will now be displayed with the frequency you just entered at the top of the screen.

Edit Frequency will be highlighted.

To enter a second frequency, use the rotary volume dial and scroll down the screen and highlight New Frequency again. Then push the E.Yes button.

You can now enter a second control channel is you have one available.

Once you have entered a second frequency push the E.yes button.

You have now entered two control channels for the site location.

In a built up area like a city, there may be several control channels within a small area. Instead of creating multiple sites, you can enter several control channels into one site. The Scanner will pick the strongest control channel from the group and use this one. However I would still suggest limiting your amount of control channels to no more than perhaps 4 at the most. If you have more than ten, create a more sites and enter the extra control channels there.                                                                                                                                          Remember that there is no point entering 10 control channels in the site if 6 of them are more than 10 kms away.                                                   
Only enter control channels that are again, of good signal quality and reception for the area you’re trying to monitor.
If you are travelling – this is where you may wish to create a second or even third site. For example if you lived in Adelaide and your work activities took you to Murray Bridge weekly, you would create a series of sites that the scanner could track as it travelled. Similar to how a mobile phone jumps to different mobile phone towers as you travel.

Once you have entered all the control channels you wish to use, push the MENU button twice to return to the Site Menu and Set Frequencies is highlighted again.

You are now ready to Scan.



Push the SCAN button to commence scanning

You should see the name of the Site/s you created across the screen and `ID SEARCH’ underneath. If all steps have been followed correctly and the correct control channels entered, you should see a small bar graph on the top right hand side of the screen. This is the signal strength indicator.
A good signal should be between 3 to 5 bars. You should also see the control channel frequencies flash on the bottom of the screen.  Depending on your location and the amount of active voice traffic you should hear some activity within a few minutes or even seconds.

Once a transmission is heard, you will see the letters `ID’ appear on the screen, followed by a series of numbers – for example ID:3489.  This is a SA GRN talk group ID number. Some of these may be encrypted. If this happens and the ID number shows but you receive no voice, there is probably a good chance that this ID is encrypted. The SA GRN has encryption on the Police and SA Ambulance service, plus a few others including Fisheries.  The letters ENC will also appear on encrypted talk groups.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                    
When an encrypted talk group ID number appears, you can lock it out by pushing the L/O button while the TGID is on the screen. 
By pushing the L/O button it will temporarily lock out the offending TGID until the Scanner is powered off and powered back on again.  
                                                                                       
When a TGID appears like the Adelaide Fire ID:647 and you wish to save this to the Scanners memory, wait until it appears on the screen and push the E.Yes button while the TGID is active.

The Screen will say “Quick TGID Save?” and the TGID 647 will be also displayed.
If you want to save it – push the E.Yes button.

A TGID menu will now appear. With the TGID number shown at the top of the screen.
Edit Name will be highlighted. Push E.Yes to continue editing.

If you don’t wish to edit the name – simply push the Scan button to resume ID Searching and the TGID will be stored as a number only in a quick save group.

Giving the TGID a name will make it easier to see who is talking next time that TGID is used. Instead of the number appearing on the screen, you will see the alpha tag you created for that TGID.
Editing the TGID name is the same process as editing the System or Site name. 
Once completed simply push the Scan button to resume scanning.
You Scanner should now be in ID Search mode again looking for active TGIDs in your location.

Ozscan Document: Creating a P25 System V1:6  



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