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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up WinCTCSS and MDC1200 Decoding

    If anyone has a scanner or receiver with a discriminator tap (EDIT: DISCRIMINATOR TAP NOT A REQUIREMENT, APPARENTLY - SPEAKER OUT WORKS FINE) and would like a nice and simple software-based CTCSS decoder, check this link:

    http://www.antistatic.org/winctcss/

    I inquired at RR if such software was available after a Google came up empty, and I was pointed to this. Works quite well, but is in its early stages of development. I've e-mailed the author and asked if he might consider including DCS decoding capability at some point.

    If anyone knows of any other software based CTCSS/DCS decoders (other than Wintone) I'd be interested. Thanks.
    Last edited by Scott SNE Webmaster; 12-14-2006 at 10:48.
    Scott - Scan New England Webmaster

  2. #2
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    Scott,

    Something I would love to see is a CTCSS/MDC/QCII decoder all in one software based.

    I was trying to see if a friend of my would make a software but do not have knowledge of radios and how it would work.

  3. #3
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    good luck finding someone who can write a software package to decode MDC. From what I have been told the protocol has been kept somewhat hidden by Motorola.
    Greg Lynskey
    W2GEL
    Communications Center Director - South Worcester County Communications Center

  4. #4
    gr8amp Guest

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    The author of WinCTCSS also has written a program called WinMDCD which decodes MDC-1200. I have tested it out briefly, and it works well.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Jim. Learn something new everyday. Yet amazing that it cost us $1000 per channel that we wanted MDC on at the PD.
    Greg Lynskey
    W2GEL
    Communications Center Director - South Worcester County Communications Center

  6. #6
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    Jim,

    Yes thanks and Scott thanks for the link. I know Millville have a Cimaron decoder and now I'm going to use out speaker jack from out console and try this out.

    THANKS

    Greg $1000 per channel. WOW

  7. #7
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    John, thats about the going rate for a new cimaron decoder (we don't have a motorola console).

    Jim, thanks again, definitely works very well. Haven't seen one mistake come up yet. Are you able to answer what two of the columns mean though? I'm not sure what OP and ARG are. OP seems to always be coming up with 01 while ARG is coming up with 80 or 00. Southbridge Police is coming up 00, all others are coming up 80.

    Also, for those who may be interested in this, unlike the WinCTCSS, the WinMDCD runs right off the headphone or line out jack. There is no need to have a data slicer or d-tap.
    Greg Lynskey
    W2GEL
    Communications Center Director - South Worcester County Communications Center

  8. #8
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    So upon paying closer attention, it looks like ARG 00 indicates a post transmission MDC while 80 indicates a pre transmission.
    Greg Lynskey
    W2GEL
    Communications Center Director - South Worcester County Communications Center

  9. #9
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    I never had great luck with the winctcss but windmdcd on the other hand has run great without a stitch. Great program.

  10. #10
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    I just tried WinMDCD, but had no luck decoding anything. The volume level must have to be set to a precise level, but I'm not sure what level that is...
    Last edited by N1ZZN; 12-13-2006 at 17:39.
    Jeff Lehmann - N1ZZN WQDJ863
    Hanson, MA

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by N1ZZN
    I just tried WinMDCD, but had no luck decoding anything. The volume level must have to be set to a precise level, but I'm not sure what level that is...
    You sure that the input is making it to the sound card's capture portion of the input? Just because it's coming through the speakers doesn't mean it's being captured.

    Also, with the trunking decoders which ARE very level-specific, I usually set everything to 50% and slide up and down in minimal increments until I find the sweet spot.

  12. #12
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    Gregg you know that many newer Motorola Radios can read out MDC1200 right on the display. My EX600's and HT1250's portables do it. I think if you just wanted to mount a little CDM1550 at the station you would be all set. You can find them on Ebay. Or buy a small used Motorola console.

  13. #13
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    I got lucky one day to find a Comtegra on E-bay for 50 bucks. It had no power supply but was able to get the manual from Gai-Tronics and stoped at YDI and picked up a WallWart and put a 5 pin din connector in it.

    Works great.

    There was a Command Plus for $900 bucks the other day.

  14. #14
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    Make sure that when you go into your volume settings, switch over to Recording and make sure Line in is Checked.

    John, yes I am aware. All the radios that the PD has that can do it do decode. However, we just spent $140,000 rebuilding the dispatch center and as part of it was a $65,000 touchscreen computer based radio console. The actual radios that drive this console are not in dispatch, they are in a back room. As stated before, we did not go with a Motorola console so it did not have MDC decode built in. A cimmaron box is needed to decode through the console. Also, the actual radios driving the console are all CDM750s (no alpha display) since they only need to be used on 1 channel.
    Greg Lynskey
    W2GEL
    Communications Center Director - South Worcester County Communications Center

  15. #15
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    I'm finding that WinCTCSS works amazingly well using just the audio output of a scanner. A discriminator tap is clearly not a requirement. I'm using my BCD396T at work and passing audio through the mic in jack of my laptop. Works dandy.

    Here's another neat addition that's freeware:

    http://www.eusing.com/WindowManager/WindowManager.htm

    This is a neat little freeware utility that keeps the window(s) of your choice always on top. I'm using it to keep WinCTCSS on top while I work in other applications. Speaking of work...back to it!
    Scott - Scan New England Webmaster

  16. #16
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    More fun stuff!

    By using the proper record audio input (in this case Wave Mix Out) I am actually decoding PL information from feeds in Teamspeak! It's not quite as solid a decode as it is connected to a scanner, but the fact that it works, and seems reasonably accurate, is amazing.
    Scott - Scan New England Webmaster

  17. #17
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    I also was able to do the same with the WinMDCD. That is setting my record audio to Stereo Mix (each sound card is called something different) I was able to decode MDCs from past files I had as well as other feeds. Some definite neat software.
    Greg Lynskey
    W2GEL
    Communications Center Director - South Worcester County Communications Center

  18. #18
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    Default WinMDCD

    To continue my amazement...here is a text file of MDC1200 loggings...taken from the Attleboro Area feed in Teamspeak!

    Code:
    12/14/2006	13:45:53	01	80	0397	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:46:04	01	80	0104	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:46:31	01	80	2077	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:46:41	01	80	2077	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:47:20	01	80	0212	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:47:30	01	80	0212	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:48:07	01	80	A238	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:48:12	01	80	A238	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:48:47	01	80	3509	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:48:52	01	80	3512	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:43:05	01	80	6965	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:43:13	01	80	6174	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:43:23	01	80	4073	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:44:01	01	80	3936	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:44:36	01	80	6187	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:44:41	01	80	6187	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:45:05	01	80	4106	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:45:17	01	80	3936	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:45:54	01	80	3501	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:46:17	01	80	6141	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:46:29	01	80	0003	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:47:25	01	00	0304	POST UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:47:33	01	80	4073	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:47:34	01	80	4268	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:47:37	01	80	4073	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:47:41	01	80	4268	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:49:02	01	80	0003	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:49:26	01	80	6141	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:49:38	01	80	7098	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:49:46	01	80	7128	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:49:48	01	80	6141	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:49:59	01	80	0041	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:50:20	01	80	7098	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:50:33	01	80	7098	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:50:36	01	80	5102	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:50:44	01	80	5109	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:50:53	01	80	7096	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:50:57	01	80	7096	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:51:20	01	80	3510	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:51:42	01	80	5058	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:51:48	01	80	5058	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:51:58	01	80	8051	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:52:18	01	80	4267	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:52:22	01	80	4267	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:52:35	01	80	5109	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:52:49	01	80	7412	PRE UNIT ID
    12/14/2006	13:53:21	01	80	2077	PRE UNIT ID
    I love neat stuff like this!
    Scott - Scan New England Webmaster

  19. #19
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    Scott,

    Something you are missing is the EMERGENCY ALARM and RADIO CHECK in the description.

  20. #20
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    Um...I'm not missing them if they didn't get transmitted...
    Scott - Scan New England Webmaster

  21. #21
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    OK Now this is new to me, I notice that it seems like on my scanner on Springfield, the BCT15 isn't catching the burst all the time, just occasionally.
    Almost as if the burst is transmitted before the PL tone?
    Still this is a great program and it's easy to use.

    Also note, it can decode under noisier conditions. But for the best sake, have the volumer on the higher side than softer to help.
    http://www.necrat.us/skippy/snesig2.jpg

  22. #22
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    Mike, I would suspect that is just the BCT15 not opening up fast enough. I've commented a couple times on mine that it seems to have a slow scan speed and also seems to sometimes be slow to open up with PL/DPL.
    Greg Lynskey
    W2GEL
    Communications Center Director - South Worcester County Communications Center

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scan Cape Cod
    Um...I'm not missing them if they didn't get transmitted...
    I didn't think it had this much to it. I just thought it would decode the ID and that is is.

    I plugged it in and Tried Radio Check, Emergency Alarm, Select Call and Call Alert . The MDC Quick Call was the only one that did not register.

    So I give 2 Thumbs Up for this program and three thumbs up for the maker of this.

    GREAT FIND SCOTT

  24. #24
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    Also, I was listening to a scanner feed that was of course stopping on numerous different transmissions, so maybe I missed the extra stuff, but I didn't any of that stuff come across even once. Weird? Or normal? Beats me, this is new to me too.
    Scott - Scan New England Webmaster

  25. #25
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    Emergency alarms more times than not are accidental. As far as Radio Check, Selective Call, and Call Alert...I have never heard any of these on the air or even know of anyone that uses them so I am not surprised that nothing of that type came across.
    Greg Lynskey
    W2GEL
    Communications Center Director - South Worcester County Communications Center

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