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Old 10-10-2018, 12:41 PM
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Default I may have jumped the gun when buying......

Hello Everyone:

I am new to scanners and need a little help. I purchased a Whistler WS1065 and seem to have it up and running.

The issue:

The RR database has the desired frequencies (Will County IL) labeled as STARCOM21 Statewide Illinois Project 25 Phase II.

Am I out of luck with the WS 1065? The WS1098 is nearly double the price. Is the WS1065 on its way to obsolescence. It was affordable and maybe this is why.

Your help is appreciated.

David in Plainfield IL 60585

Last edited by dhartman2007; 10-10-2018 at 2:12 PM..
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Old 10-10-2018, 1:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhartman2007 View Post
Hello Everyone:


The RR database has the desired frequencies (Will County IL) labeled as STARCOM21 Statewide Illinois Project 25 Phase II.


David in Plainfield IL 60585

Looking at the site, several of the towers are NOT listed as Phase 2, though a number are and those that aren't are probably on a list to convert (though I do not know this). Sorry to say, the WS1065 is not able to handle the P25 Phase 2 systems. Check the database and see if the towers in your area are P1 or P2.

You would have been much better off saving and waiting for the TRX-2 or the WS1098. Is there any way you could return that scanner for a refund or possible exchange for a P2 scanner?
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Old 10-10-2018, 1:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhartman2007 View Post
Hello Everyone:

I am new to scanners and need a little help. I purchased a Whistler WS1065 and seem to have it up and running.

The issue:

The RR database has the desired frequencies (Will County IL) labeled as STARCOM21 Statewide Illinois Project 25 Phase II.

Am I out of luck with the WS 1065? The WS1098 is nearly double the price. Is the WS1065 on its way to obsolescence. I was affordable and maybe this is why.

Your help is appreciated.

David in Plainfield IL 60585
STARCOM21 is shown as a "P25 Phase II" system because the control channel data reports that it is capable of Phase II operation. However, if you look at the database page for the system, the vast majority of the talkgroups are currently P25 Phase I, which your WS1065 can handle. Look at the Mode column. Hover your mouse over the Mode column header and you'll see a description of what those letters mean. A D means that a talkgroup is digital (Phase I), which your scanner can decode. If that mode for a given talkgroup is a T, then the talkgroup is using P25 Phase II, which your scanner cannot handle. All the TGIDs for your home county, Will County, are listed as D, so for now, you can use the WS1065. That also applies to the Will County P25 system. The system is listed as P25 Phase II, but all talkgroups are Phase I (Mode D).

I skimmed through the talkgroups on STARCOM21, and the only areas that I see showing Phase II TGIDs are Cook & Lake County. Also, any talkgroup with a letter E in the mode (DE or TE) is encrypted, and no scanner can monitor them. For your county, Joliet appears to be encrypted (showing DE), but all of the others, at least currently, are not.

I suspect that eventually, all the talkgroups will transition to Phase II usage, but that could be sometime off. Someone in the Illinois state forum might be better able to advise you if that is planned, and if so, what time frame is expected. You would be more 'future proof' if you exchanged the WS1065 for a scanner that can do Phase II, but at present, that scanner will work.
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Old 10-10-2018, 4:39 PM
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Thank you for your very detailed response. I have to consider upgrading to the more spendy unit.

The trouble is the larger, neighboring cities' frequencies are marked as "unmonitorable" Open Sky 9600.

I think I'll be likely only be listening to Barney and Andy so I wonder if the greater investment is worthwhile.

In any event, thanks a ton for sharing your knowledge.
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Old 10-10-2018, 5:41 PM
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Originally Posted by dhartman2007 View Post
Thank you for your very detailed response. I have to consider upgrading to the more spendy unit.

The trouble is the larger, neighboring cities' frequencies are marked as "unmonitorable" Open Sky 9600.

I think I'll be likely only be listening to Barney and Andy so I wonder if the greater investment is worthwhile.

In any event, thanks a ton for sharing your knowledge.
The only "Open Sky" system that I see near you (assuming that Will County is correct for your location) is this one. Most everything else near you, except for the Cook & Lake county users on STARCOM using Phase II, is a format you can monitor, as long as an upgrade to Phase II is not eminent.

But if you want to upgrade, to be ready for Phase II, you may want to look for a unit that can also handle DMR. The WS1098 will do DMR. In my area, a few cities are using DMR or NXDN, which is cheaper than P25 systems, but that's also causing problems when they try to interact with neighboring agencies.
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Old 10-10-2018, 7:34 PM
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So to the original poster. Before spending another dime really do some research first. I understand you wanted a cheap radio but the radio you got is a rebranded GRE radio that was also sold by Radio Shack. When RadioShack was going out of business they were basically giving them away for $200. It's pretty old technology with the first version coming out around 2003 when the first digital scanners were introduced by Radio Shack and Uniden, but I have three of them (RS) even though I don't list them under my equipment. In their day they were an excellent radio.


You got a lot of good advice here with people looking up your system and so forth. Try going to the forum of your home state and then look for the thread for your system or systems you want to listen to and talk to those folks.


The reason I say that is between the two brands of radios Whistler and Uniden you're going to find that different P2 systems and D M R & N X N D systems work differently on each brand of radio.


Unfortunately if you do want to hear what you want to hear you might have to come up with the money and selling your new radio probably won't bring that much. You can however use it for VHF, UHF and T band trunked digital systems. P1 simulcast systems might be a problem depending on LSM.


Find out what brand radio your local users prefer for your system for example I listen to a 700 megahertz Phase 2 simulcast system and a nxnd system. My Whistler radios don't pick up the P2 system, not a lick. With lots of fine-tuning and a yagi antenna and a tinfoil hat on my head with the squelch turned off the best I could do is three words out of 10, Maybe. The x36 radios from bearcat decode the system but are muffled and garbled and quite unintelligible. They also miss many calls even sitting on one talk group. In the Northeast we have something called LSM or linear simulcast modulation. The SDS 100 sounds better but scanning still misses Transmissions with all the updates of course. But you can make settings, sit on one system and it works fairly good with a minimum amount of Missed Transmissions but you can only listen to that system because the setting on the system hold. Most people don't even realize they're missing Transmissions unless they put a Motorola or unication radio next to the SDS 100. I put my apx 7000 up against the SDS 100 and realized I was missing a lot of transmissions and it would scan right through them, again that is with all the updates and settings proper. A lot of people are in denial regarding this but putting it next to a Motorola or unication radio makes you a believer.


You may find on your thread that the folks in your area don't have any problems at all with either brand or you may find they all use a Motorola or unication radios like in my County. That's why you want to talk to the locals.


You may find the same case with DMR and nxnd. My Whistler trx-1 misses most Transmissions on my cities nxnd but the SDS 100 Works flawlessly on my nxnd system. As far as VHF and UHF you'll learn that your 1065 will beat them all.





You may find a lot of people are going to disagree with me because they are loyal to one Corporation or the other. My only loyalty is to the green pieces of paper with dead presidents on them in my pocket LOL. Don't forget the used Market also once you find out from the locals in your area the best radio for your systems. Good luck and remember you get what you pay for.
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:01 PM
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Default New Member from Plainfield. I need advice.

Hello Everyone.

I am new to the world of scanners. I recently purchased a Whistler WS 1065 which, despite glowing Amazon reviews, possibly may be a zonk. (The jury is still out)

Can anyone offer some advice as to best monitor Plainfield IL Police and Fire?

My initial experience has been mixed with the unit mentioned.

1) It has been unusable on the ground floor of my home. (I live N of town if that is of any relevance)
2) From the second floor, I receive clear transmissions in the early evenings (4 nights thus far)
3) The successful transmissions received have been infrequent
4) The weather has been vastly different over the four days in service
5) The antennae mast is completely vertical
6) I have experimented with various levels of squelch with little/no perceived impact on listening

Is the equipment worth keeping? Does any Plainfield/Will users have a radio he can recommend? I hate to invest a bunch of dough to simply monitor Plainfield since neighboring Aurora and Naper are not available.

Last edited by dhartman2007; 10-11-2018 at 1:51 PM..
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Old 10-11-2018, 2:03 PM
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Did you program the Starcom T113 tower in that there using...Sometimes outside antennas don't work on Starcom...The 800mgz rubber duck adv on Whistler site is better....PLD PD is TG1001, the FD is TG33946 for north and TG33950 for south....There still PhaseI….Squelch should be set rite when the noise stops....You have to find a "sweet spot" in the house where you see "5" bars on the signal ….
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Old 10-11-2018, 2:09 PM
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Thank you for your reply. I will take your advice on finding the best location in the house.

As far programming the tower question, I am not certain. My understanding of programming is limited to assigning objects to a scan list then uploading them to my scanner from my PC. Then choose that scan list by pressing the associated scanner button.

How can I check the tower setting you mention?

Thank you.
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Old 10-11-2018, 2:10 PM
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Personally, I would sell it and get a Unication G4 or G5. They are pricey but they work.No other antenna needed but the stubby that comes with it. Does phase 1 and phase 2. All the other scanners over the years never worked very good on a simulcast system such as Starcom. Uniden has a new one out that some say works, but I think it depends on your location. Unication has a promotion going on until 12/21/18 for G4 or G5 for $595 regular $695. Order from Ray's Pagers and get either for $565.50.
I have had digital scanners since 2009 and none would work without choppiness, missed or dropped calls, etc. Check them out
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Old 10-11-2018, 2:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elrod View Post
Personally, I would sell it and get a Unication G4 or G5. They are pricey but they work.No other antenna needed but the stubby that comes with it. Does phase 1 and phase 2. All the other scanners over the years never worked very good on a simulcast system such as Starcom. Uniden has a new one out that some say works, but I think it depends on your location. Unication has a promotion going on until 12/21/18 for G4 or G5 for $595 regular $695. Order from Ray's Pagers and get either for $565.50.
I have had digital scanners since 2009 and none would work without choppiness, missed or dropped calls, etc. Check them out
Let's see if we can help fix his problem before recommending going out and spending money the OP might not have to. Contrary to popular belief not everyone has problems with LSM.
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Old 10-11-2018, 3:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elrod View Post
Personally, I would sell it and get a Unication G4 or G5. They are pricey but they work.No other antenna needed but the stubby that comes with it. Does phase 1 and phase 2. All the other scanners over the years never worked very good on a simulcast system such as Starcom. Uniden has a new one out that some say works, but I think it depends on your location. Unication has a promotion going on until 12/21/18 for G4 or G5 for $595 regular $695. Order from Ray's Pagers and get either for $565.50.
I have had digital scanners since 2009 and none would work without choppiness, missed or dropped calls, etc. Check them out
I live in a simulcast area and have none of the problems you state with three different digital scanners. Location is the first problem, and even the best radio will not give satisfactory results under certain conditions. In some cases, moving the radio even a few inches makes a big difference, and the antenna can make or break reception.
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Old 10-11-2018, 3:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jaspence View Post
I live in a simulcast area and have none of the problems you state with three different digital scanners. Location is the first problem, and even the best radio will not give satisfactory results under certain conditions. In some cases, moving the radio even a few inches makes a big difference, and the antenna can make or break reception.
Is there a device that can help overcome the antenna sensitivity problem? Can other devices like TV sets or computer monitors impact signal strength?
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Old 10-11-2018, 4:00 PM
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Default Advice? Buy a used G4/G5

I agree with Elrod. I spent 2 years pissing around with Yagis, paper clips and searching posts here looking for ways to (fix) the Simulcast problems associated with the scanners from uniden and whistler. There is NO FIX unless you're in a blissful, perfect spot at home. I spent a little more, got a Unication G5 Pager and it works everywhere, anywhere. I took my Whistler down your way to Grundy, LaSalle County and got nothing on the whistler. A GIGANTIC disappointment considering my Pro96 from 2004 did far better. The G4/G5 Pagers are rock solid no matter where you go. Even with no outside antenna, just sitting in my drink cup tray in the car. I've been to Dekalb Co, Kane Co, Grundy Co, Will Co, LaSalle, Livingston, Rock, Henry, Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Lake, Cook, Peoria, Woodford and Stephenson with the Whislter WS1080, Pro96 and G5 Pager. The G5 pager gets P25 talkgroups perfectly on the Starcom21 system. The other scanners don't even come close. Since the post says "I need advice" I'm confused on why others are saying don't mention the G4/G5 Pagers yet! let's pile useless "fixes" and home remedies on top the old WS1065. I'm waiting for the guy who says drill a hole in a paint can to show up soon. SO my advice is buy a cheaper* G4/G5 Pager here in the classifieds of Radio REF when one comes on or get the Uniden SDS 100 or wait for the new Whistler TX-100 and 200. SELL your WS1065 as Phase II is showing up more and more along RT80 and that area of the STATE on Starcom21.
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Old 10-11-2018, 4:15 PM
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@dhartman2007- It's not the antenna* it's the scanners. They can't handle and were not designed to decode a P25 Simulcast system by their own admission. They can't deal with all the same signals arriving at the scanner at different times from different directions as you get bit error distortion. The only "device" that will help is a new SDS 100 from Uniden, the "new" Whistler TRX-100 and 200 or the Unication Pagers. I'm leaving out the other professional radios since people seem squeamish to pay even a little more for the Unication yet alone Relm or Motorola Pro radios to monitor P25 digital simulcast. I wish I had done that first instead of wasting $500 on the substandard toy scanners
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Old 10-11-2018, 4:26 PM
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@jaspence - you must be lucky. Because MICHIGAN has videos on Youtube of the exact kind of crap and distortion we all suffer from. I have had the opposite of your luck in every county I've been in with the Whistler scanners when it comes to P25 Simulcast. The OCEAN of complaints and posts here on RRef alone proves how lucky and unique your situation must be. HERE is one video from MI on Youtube below that sealed the deal for me. I've had his type of issues everywhere I go with the WS1080. But perfect reception with the G5 pager. From what I've seen and heard about the scanners here on RRef? everyone does have problems with Simulcast, especially when mobile.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZP8bjTySmI
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:17 PM
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David... I'm curious did you read my post at all? I'm 65 years old and have been monitoring since I was 11 LOL... I gave you a complete history of the radio that you bought since it was introduced in 2003 and what its strong points are and what you can use it for. You took a recommendation from Amazon? Really? Did you follow my advice and go to the forum for the state that you live in and then find the thread for the systems you want to hear and talk to the locals to see what they use and what radios work best? You might find that they all use Motorola's or unication radios like they do in my County. You won't know until you talk to them as they have been through this before. I wrote quite a lengthy informative post with the hopes that it might help you. Good luck.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:37 PM
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Okay David I see that the mods continued your thread to the state of Illinois. You are on the right track. The mods will do that sometimes, they will continue a thread from one forum to another. I'm surprised that there is no thread on that forum for that particular system that you want to hear. Again good luck.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trentbob View Post
Okay David I see that the mods continued your thread to the state of Illinois. You are on the right track. The mods will do that sometimes, they will continue a thread from one forum to another. I'm surprised that there is no thread on that forum for that particular system that you want to hear. Again good luck.
I was confused when I got home to see my first post in the newbie forum vanished. I deduced the mods removed one post to reduce redundant conversations/content. I did read your post and thank you for your input.

To continue my request for advice... I have moved the 1065 to every corner of my home with little luck. The signal strength is finally a solid one single bar at nearly midnight, with audible traffic. My next step is to contact the manufacturer, betting on their expertise rather than my lack of knowledge.

I almost wish it did nothing rather than give me enough signal to keep trying things at this time of night.
haha!

Regards
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Old 10-12-2018, 7:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Johnnydollar2 View Post
I agree with Elrod. I spent 2 years pissing around with Yagis, paper clips and searching posts here looking for ways to (fix) the Simulcast problems associated with the scanners from uniden and whistler. There is NO FIX unless you're in a blissful, perfect spot at home. I spent a little more, got a Unication G5 Pager and it works everywhere, anywhere. I took my Whistler down your way to Grundy, LaSalle County and got nothing on the whistler. A GIGANTIC disappointment considering my Pro96 from 2004 did far better. The G4/G5 Pagers are rock solid no matter where you go. Even with no outside antenna, just sitting in my drink cup tray in the car. I've been to Dekalb Co, Kane Co, Grundy Co, Will Co, LaSalle, Livingston, Rock, Henry, Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Lake, Cook, Peoria, Woodford and Stephenson with the Whislter WS1080, Pro96 and G5 Pager. The G5 pager gets P25 talkgroups perfectly on the Starcom21 system. The other scanners don't even come close. Since the post says "I need advice" I'm confused on why others are saying don't mention the G4/G5 Pagers yet! let's pile useless "fixes" and home remedies on top the old WS1065. I'm waiting for the guy who says drill a hole in a paint can to show up soon. SO my advice is buy a cheaper* G4/G5 Pager here in the classifieds of Radio REF when one comes on or get the Uniden SDS 100 or wait for the new Whistler TX-100 and 200. SELL your WS1065 as Phase II is showing up more and more along RT80 and that area of the STATE on Starcom21.
Johnny,
You have said it all.
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