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Started a project with PSC9600 and some quantars.....Need some help

This forum is for discussions regarding System Infrastructure and Related Equipment. This includes but is not limited to repeaters, base stations, consoles, voters, Voice over IP, system design and implementation, and other related topics.

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Started a project with PSC9600 and some quantars.....Need some help

Postby VP900 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:00 pm

So I had some extra time and some extra cash and decided I was going to start a project...... (the first of many bad ideas) :lol:

I had a surplus of PSC9600's sitting around that were either donated or picked up at surplus, approx 10 of them, all the last version Astro 6.96.

I acquired some epic IV quantar boards for some existing quantars that I had in the shop and I manged to purchase about 18 more of them that already had the epic IV ethernet boards already in place (these were pulled from a multisite smartzone system in Phoenix, Arizona).

My original project was to put the boards into a bunch of UHF 438-470mhz that I already have and create my own "site trunking" site in UHF, but since I didnt want to ruin or play with some perfectly good UHF quantars, I decided to start off by trying to get a site to work in low power 800mhz (we have a couple old nextel frequencies that we acquired some time back). I figured if I could get it up and running in 800, it shouldn't be that hard of a conversion when I put the boards into the UHF repeaters, as they are already tuned and ready to go...

First thing I did was upgrade the quantars from Astro 7.4 to Astro 7.14, I managed to do that and I upgraded the PSC9600's to the latest version (6.96).

I went through and set up basic generic IP addresses for the PSC's and the Quantars:,, and so on. I wrote down the original factory set IP addresses to change them back to later on. Next, I set the box numbers (1,2) for redundancy, and then I proceeded to program system ID, WACN, frequencies, control channel, failsoft etc in CSS. I then programmed everything as matching within the quantars: Freq, Failsoft, IP address, etc etc etc.

So I went through and double and triple checked my work and proceeded to program everything and start to link everything together. Im using 2 PSC9600's in redundant configuration, (i started off with only 2 quantars just for testing, one for control and one for a voice channel), and I have everything routed through a HP Procurve 2524 switch.

Now lies the problem... When I power everything up, everything boots normal, repeater 1 goes into control channel mode and keys up (i verified the sys ID and NAC with a spare scanner I had sitting around), but it only stays keyed up for about 30-45 seconds and then you can hear the relays unlatch on the PSC9600, the quantars lose their PSC link on the Epic IV card and both repeaters reboot and go into site fail.

I'm programming with the latest CSS 7.17.02 that was just released, and I have also programmed them with Astro CSS 7.14. I would be willing to send someone a copy of the codeplug, but I just cant figure it out. I know enough about networking to be dangerous, but Im not fluent.

I have spent most of my career doing subscriber units, and the only infrastructure ive managed was conventional systems. this is a learning experience for me only, its just something I was interested in seeing if it could be done, I had some spare time to kill and the equipment to experiment with.

I would be happy if someone could at least point me in the right direction, I would be willing to send someone a codeplug to look at and maybe see if I missed something obvious or if there is a field that Im not seeing that needs to be adjusted.

And before I forget, I did add the 5mhz reference connections on the back to the reference input (tried the front and the back inputs) on the quantar from the PSC9600.

If I can get this "test" site up and running, it would give me a little more insight as to what to do when I decide to change it over to UHF, even though I know there are alot more conversions that need to take place for "other band trunking".

Thank you in advance.

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Re: Started a project with PSC9600 and some quantars.....Need some help

Postby Karl NVW » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:35 pm

The controller needs to see a second station on a different RF channel that can serve as the backup control channel if station 1 TX fails or RX1 is hit with hostile receiver interference.

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Re: Started a project with PSC9600 and some quantars.....Need some help

Postby VP900 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:45 pm

Thank you sir for the reply, I appreciate it.

I already had channel 1 and channel 2 enabled as control channel capable, as well as failsoft capable.

I did, however, notice that the OTA channel assignment number does NOT change when I edited the frequencies. I read in CSS help that the number would change when you save an archive and write it back in or if the command comes from the master controller to change to a different frequency.
I do not have the master controller, only the PSC9600, and when I read/save/write the archive, it still does not change.

Here are the channel parameters that I have assigned to both PSC's and the quantars:


Channel 1 856.2625/811.2625
Failsoft enable
Control channel enable

Channel 2 857.2625/812.2625
Failsoft enable
Control channel enable

PSC 1+2 Base frequency 851.00625, 6.25, 45mhz offset

I might be able to post some screen shots of the CSS shortly, and show some of the additional parameters.

I have matched the System ID and WACN in both PSC's. I think it may be a network problem or a channel configuration problem, any ideas?

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Re: Started a project with PSC9600 and some quantars.....Need some help

Postby motorola_otaku » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:15 pm

This is something I've thought about dabbling in, so I'm happy to let you screw up and learn from your mistakes. :lol:

Could the CSS version you're using be an issue? I was always under the impression that the CSS version had to match the system release software version or you couldn't program anything. I know when I was hacking away at my AstroTAC 9600 before I converted it to a 3000 I had to use an old CSS version that would only run in XP just to talk to the box, and they were both 6.x releases.
When exposed to Rapid Fire Growth or Thermal Emergency, two things are lost:
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Re: Started a project with PSC9600 and some quantars.....Need some help

Postby 515 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:21 pm

I'd try and use Motorola's "standard" IP scheme, so use for PSC1, and for PSC2. The channels would be for channel 1, for channel 2, and so on... Network mask for everything should be

Also, make sure you have the box numbers set for the channels. Channel 1 should be "box 1", channel 2 should be "box 2" and so on...

Do you have 50 ohm coax with BNC T's connecting the reference signal from the PSCs to each Quantar's BNC #30 port? There should be 50 ohm terminators on each end. It's like an old 10base2 Ethernet cabling setup with T's for each device and a terminator on each end, but it's for a 10 MHz reference signal. I'm pretty sure you need this.

Do you have a cable connecting the RJ-45 "Redund" ports on the back of the PSC's together? I believe it's a "mirrored" cable, so pin 1 on one end connects to pin 8 on the other, pin 2 connects to pin 7, and so on...

I'd try and program the two PSC's separately, while the other is disconnected or powered down.

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Re: Started a project with PSC9600 and some quantars.....Need some help

Postby 3-of-2-unimatrix-1 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:38 pm

Make sure all the boxes are on the same VLAN (either 1 or 2 - they need to be consistent).
(this does not speak on the compatibility of software, only the hardware connections as a
starting point). Also, what do your CSS service status screens tell you ?

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