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General Scanning Discussion For general questions not specific to a model of scanner or general discussion of use of a scanner. Location specific posts should be directed to the regional forums listed below.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-19-2014, 12:11 AM
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Default Low Volume By Police..

Here's the rub.

The local police dispatcher's audio is perfect. Nice and clear and loud.

But, most of the police officer's audio is very quiet, very low volume...


I'm wondering if they're doing it that way on purpose to deter someone listening in. Because, if I turn up the volume I'll be able to hear the cop(s) but then the dispatcher will blow my ear drums out.


Analog frequency, non-trunked system.


Thanks for any ideas or comments to solve this problem.
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:38 AM
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I think it depends on the agency. Some dispatchers speak loudly, some do not. Some officers speak softly or do not hold the microphone properly.

I hated this when I was working on the street. Some officers you would have to have them repeat because you could not hear them. And if you turned the radio up the dispatcher may be too loud, however we had some officers who would blast out regardless of the volume setting.

I don't think it is related to deterring any listeners though. It depends on the supervisors setting the tone, so to speak, buy monitoring the proper system volumes.

If you listen to my feed which broadcasts 5 different channels you will hear varied volumes depending on the channel and dispatcher.

On our county sheriff channels (currently no feed) their dispatchers speak very softly making local scanner listening difficult plus the officers are generally a lot louder.

If your scanner has an AGC setting this setting helps balance the audio level you hear as you listen to different radio sources so you can hear them at a similar volume.
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Last edited by W8RMH; 05-19-2014 at 12:47 AM..
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Old 05-19-2014, 1:21 AM
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Well, it's odd because I know one of the dispatchers and she says that she hears them just fine..lol.

She might have the volume cranked up! of course, I can't do that because her audio level is perfect and would blow my ear drums out.

I wish my scanner had AGC (Uniden BC125AT) but it does not. My digital scanner does but I use it for digital only. Maybe I'll make a separate system just for the local PD and set AGC on it. I'll try it. Thanks for the help Richard!
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinballwiz86 View Post
Here's the rub.

The local police dispatcher's audio is perfect. Nice and clear and loud.

But, most of the police officer's audio is very quiet, very low volume...


I'm wondering if they're doing it that way on purpose to deter someone listening in. Because, if I turn up the volume I'll be able to hear the cop(s) but then the dispatcher will blow my ear drums out.


Analog frequency, non-trunked system.


Thanks for any ideas or comments to solve this problem.
Microphones are usualy strong. A friend of mine who lives in Vancouver WA got picked up and taken home by police told me that the officer spoke very softly and dispatch read him on the first shot!
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Old 05-19-2014, 3:57 PM
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Many times officers have very poor radio skills. The leave mics on the holder, some leave the mic laying on the seat, some hold the mic far away from their mouth. Some departments use portables instead of mobile radios and while driving the officers don't turn their head toward the lapel mic. Yes dispatchers have the radio turned up to where they can hear officers and they don't have to worry about the dispatcher audio level since they will never hear it.

Another possible cause if they are using a repeater. The audio level may be set too low on the repeater causing all levels to be too low. The dispatcher typically is a different audio path that doesn't use the repeater input.

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Old 05-19-2014, 5:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdulrich View Post
Many times officers have very poor radio skills. The leave mics on the holder, some leave the mic laying on the seat, some hold the mic far away from their mouth.
One of the dispatchers here has the opposite problem; this one sounds like a CBer running a power mic on a radio with a clipped limiter. The dispatcher must be eating the mic, because the other dispatchers at the same location sound just fine.
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Old 05-19-2014, 7:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdulrich View Post
Many times officers have very poor radio skills. The leave mics on the holder, some leave the mic laying on the seat, some hold the mic far away from their mouth. Some departments use portables instead of mobile radios and while driving the officers don't turn their head toward the lapel mic. Yes dispatchers have the radio turned up to where they can hear officers and they don't have to worry about the dispatcher audio level since they will never hear it.
I agree with this. When I use my Motorola handheld at work I hold my external mic about a foot from my mouth and it comes across perfect on the other end however, other guys hold it against their mouth and it is very loud on the other end.
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Old 05-19-2014, 9:42 PM
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Default $.02

even with a $500 radio how much research and parts went into the AGC circuit?
versus what /\/\ can develop with millions ???
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Old 05-20-2014, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinballwiz86 View Post
The local police dispatcher's audio is perfect. Nice and clear and loud.

But, most of the police officer's audio is very quiet, very low volume...
Poor radio technique. Plain and simple. It's usually not a problem to the dispatchers because the professional grade consoles they're listening to have excellent AGC action on receive audio. It'll bring a whisper up to full volume, so long as the back ground noise doesn't wash it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinballwiz86 View Post
I'm wondering if they're doing it that way on purpose to deter someone listening in.
No. If they wanted that, they would encrypt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinballwiz86 View Post
Thanks for any ideas or comments to solve this problem.
Unless you're technically up to it, you won't solve the problem. I suppose you COULD build an external AGC circuit and run the scanner audio through that. Technically, it's a trivial task, but not from the perspective of someone with no electronics construction background.
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