04 June 2005

June's 1st Weekend Post

Once again I'll first open this posting with a genuine "Thank You" to all of you who have been writing in with regard to the Westmoreland County 800Mhz radio system, offering your opinions about it, as well as other technical data on where things are and how it is set up to operate. Notes on the live scanner feed are also appreciated, and your continued participation is encouraged.

As can be observed by simply reading our Scanner Page, the NKNOC Labs has been using both WIN96 and PRO96COM software applications in connection with monitoring the new WCDPS 800Mhz communications system. For those not aware, the WIN96 program is used to easily program all of the frequencies, text tags and settings into either a Radio Shack Pro-96 or Pro-2096 scanner via your PC. Both programs require a special data interface cable that connects your scanner to the Com Port on the computer. WIN96 makes programming the radios a snap, and Don Starr is to be commended for producing such a comprehensive piece of software for a very reasonable cost. WIN96 sort of fits into the picture and does its job BEFORE you start scanning. PRO96COM, another great and FREE piece of software (thank you Mike Vander Veer!) on the other hand, comes into play DURING scanning, displaying the Radio ID's and Unit Numbers (that you've entered) on your computer screen whenever a radio keys up. Here's the short take on how it works. Your scanner is tuned to the Control Channel of a 9600 baud digital system's tower signal. The scanner's IF section strips out the digital data stream and feeds it to your PC's Com Port where PRO96COM picks it up and decodes it into all of the individual pieces of data it carries. These fields of information are then routed to and displayed on the various screens of the program. It should be mentioned here that when your scanner is connected to your PC for use with PRO96COM, it must be put into PC/IF mode (press PGM-FUNC-PGM-PGM) which lets it talk to your computer through the serial port. This is fine, however, when in PC/IF mode, the scanner DOES NOT put out any audio from either the speaker or earphone jack. "Watching" and listening at the same time (which is the whole idea in the first place...) requires TWO scanners. You can find links to websites for both of these programs on our scanner page under "Scanner Software". The NKNOC Labs Westmoreland County 800Mhz system data files for both of these programs are also available for download by using the links on the Scanner Page.

OK, time here for a plug for that old Booger Blah-gher himself, K3SAM. Be sure to check out his website which is chock full of Westmoreland County scanning information, especially the new 800Mhz system. Frequencies, TalkGroups, Station & Unit Designators, How To's, Photos, and much more. Link to K3SAM CLICK-IT or TICKET !! And be sure to tell him that the "GMan" sent you!

Have a great weekend, and as always, click on the "Comments" link below to leave your mark here!

Scan on....