Question Regarding Mass. State Police Trunked Radio System

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TommyT891
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Question Regarding Mass. State Police Trunked Radio System

#1 Post by TommyT891 » 03 Aug 2014 12:43

I have a Uniden 996XT Scanner fed by an outside antenna with LMR-400 Cable. The Mass. State Police Zones 3,4,5,6, and 8 are programmed in it. I am able to receive Zones 5 and 8 with no problems. I'd like to also be able to receive Zones 3,4, and 6 if I could. Is it necessary to make any adjustments to the Band Plan since they have re-banded? I posed this question to Scanner Master, and was told that' since it was not a true rebanding (Just a change of Control Channels), that would not be necessary. In checking the Easy-to-Read Scanner Manual from Mark's Scanners, it would appear that it would be, and they provided a chart to accomplish this.

If anyone has info regarding this topic, it would be very much appreciated.

Thanks !!
Tom
Wayland, MA

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garys
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#2 Post by garys » 03 Aug 2014 13:04

It's very unlikely that you will be able to receive those zones from where you are located. The range on 800 Mhz frequencies is not the great and you are well out of range of the southeast MA and Cape Cod sites.
We're peace loving people, we're not hunting trouble, but if trouble should find us, we'll stand up and fight.

TommyT891
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#3 Post by TommyT891 » 03 Aug 2014 17:42

Actually, I did pick the MA Environmental Police on Zone-4 once - It may have been a band opening, though.
Tom
Wayland, MA

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chiefj
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#4 Post by chiefj » 04 Aug 2014 06:16

TommyT891 wrote:Actually, I did pick the MA Environmental Police on Zone-4 once - It may have been a band opening, though.
I am not the one to tell you how the MSP system works, but I am in Southeastern Mass and cannot get the Cape zones. However, I will often get the Environmental Police when they are in Western Mass. and it is not skip. Also I regularly get MSP Troops around Boston and Central Mass. So, I believe it is how the system is set up for various agencies, particularly those, like the Environmental Police, who frequently move through different zones.
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ecps92
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#5 Post by ecps92 » 04 Aug 2014 08:30

I think we are confusing two different issues. Zones vs Talk-Groups

Hearing a Zone is a result of Location, Location, Location and Antenna. From where Tommy is, he we likely NOT hear the Cape Zones and is blocked by GBH (Great Blue Hill) for hearing the Plymouth Cnty Zone. unless there is a good band opening. ie: Cape folks hearing DOC Bridgewater

Now as to hearing traffic from those Zones on your Local Zone, that is a result of someone being affiliated to the tower[s] on your zone. And you will hear traffic across the state, if the TG has been openned into your Zone. And not all zones are allowed to ROAM into another Zone. I doubt a Cape Cod PD would be able to talk back from A/H, B or C Troop, unless there was a special request to the Techs to add the TG (Think of the Mutual Aid for the Worcester Fire or the Springfield Tornado) which basically spawned some of the need for the Events TG's vs using the LPS groups

Example - You should 98% of the time NEVER hear B-Troop traffic on an A/H or D Troop Zone I say 98%, because when someone HITS the Emergency Button, we have seen/heard them on Zone 5 (A/H)
Also, if something BIG is going on the TECHS might implement something so folks in eastern mass have situational awareness, as long as it doesn't impact the availability of the Zone. This is why, Sometimes the Cape does hear the SOPS traffic on the LNG Escorts and sometimes they never hear it

Hope this helps.
chiefj wrote:I am not the one to tell you how the MSP system works, but I am in Southeastern Mass and cannot get the Cape zones. However, I will often get the Environmental Police when they are in Western Mass. and it is not skip. Also I regularly get MSP Troops around Boston and Central Mass. So, I believe it is how the system is set up for various agencies, particularly those, like the Environmental Police, who frequently move through different zones.
Bill Dunn N1KUG
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garys
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#6 Post by garys » 04 Aug 2014 11:50

TommyT891 wrote:Actually, I did pick the MA Environmental Police on Zone-4 once - It may have been a band opening, though.
It was not a band opening. If you heard traffic from an Environmental Police Officer on the Cape it was because their Talk Groups are heard across all Zones statewide. That's because they have one main dispatch Talk Group and have EPOs all across the state. As such, they are going to have units affiliated with every MSP Zone. I can hear EPOs in the western part of the state on Zone 5, but that doesn't mean they are in Zone 5.

Head on over to Radio Reference and read through their Wiki. There is plenty of information on how trunk systems work. It will help you understand why you'll hear some talk groups in your area and why you won't hear others.
We're peace loving people, we're not hunting trouble, but if trouble should find us, we'll stand up and fight.

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garys
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#7 Post by garys » 04 Aug 2014 11:58

MSP has a few statewide talk groups. The SOPS Talk Group and the "Statewide" one that is used by the air wing come to mind. Most Talk Groups are set up to only be active on a Zone when a mobile or portable unit (subscribers in Motorola parlance) are in those Zones and affiliate with a particular Talk Group. This is done to keep from loading up the system with traffic that none of the subscribers in the Zone need to hear. Sometimes it's easy to forget that these systems aren't set up for the convenience of the listening audience.

Where my son lives in AL, the new 700 trunk system has very few county wide Talk Groups. Almost all of the police talk groups and most of the fire ones are heard only on the tower with which they are affiliated. There is no system wide simulcast of anything but the ambulance provider and that might just be because they have units throughout the county and thus it's likely that units are going to be subscribed to all or most of the towers at any given time.
chiefj wrote:I am not the one to tell you how the MSP system works, but I am in Southeastern Mass and cannot get the Cape zones. However, I will often get the Environmental Police when they are in Western Mass. and it is not skip. Also I regularly get MSP Troops around Boston and Central Mass. So, I believe it is how the system is set up for various agencies, particularly those, like the Environmental Police, who frequently move through different zones.
We're peace loving people, we're not hunting trouble, but if trouble should find us, we'll stand up and fight.

cdgordon
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#8 Post by cdgordon » 04 Aug 2014 15:14

If you look at the list of Zones/frequencies, any Zone with a freq that has a zero for the 4th digit needs to be entered as a rebanded site with a custom bandplan. With very few exceptions, any Motorola system can be scanned by using the basic 2 line rebanding bandplan.

chris

TommyT891
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#9 Post by TommyT891 » 07 Aug 2014 15:12

cdgordon wrote:If you look at the list of Zones/frequencies, any Zone with a freq that has a zero for the 4th digit needs to be entered as a rebanded site with a custom bandplan. With very few exceptions, any Motorola system can be scanned by using the basic 2 line rebanding bandplan.

chris
Thanks for the info - The only thing I'd need to know is: What is the frequency step for the basic 2-Line Rebanding Band Plan?
Tom
Wayland, MA

cdgordon
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#10 Post by cdgordon » 08 Aug 2014 17:42

both lines are 25KHz
First line must be the one with the offset

chris

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JFR
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#11 Post by JFR » 11 Aug 2014 12:29

I'd like to emphasize what Gary said about affiliation. It's how you most often hear weird things show up in your Zone. If an D-Troop (Zone 4) radio is present up in Zone 5 for a detail at Gillette or something, then you will hear that D-Troop TG on the here on Zone 5 while he is here. Note: Not sure if its affiliation by UID or by TG. Meaning, if while on his Gillette detail his radio is on SOPS2, I'm not sure if you will hear Zone 4 D-Troop. If he selects his home TG from Zone 4 while sitting at Gillette, you will def hear D-PTL-x. This is why I keep my radio in TG ID Search to find non-standard TGs on Zone 5.

-JR

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