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  #61 (permalink)  
Old 03-13-2014, 5:25 PM
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Originally Posted by maus92 View Post
I was up in Gaithersburg at the airpark last night and listened to the Astro MC TRS for the first time using my 436. I have to say that the audio quality using this radio is poor - even after making 2 of the adjustments: P25 Threshold changed from 8 to 11; P25 Threshold Mode to Manual. I was unable to get a change to NFM to FM to stick: the window still showed NFM in the display. I'll need more quality time with the manual it seems.
Those changes you made were intended to improve decoding performance, not to improve audio quality.
I had no trouble using Sentinel to change from NFM to FM.

I have no problem understanding the Montgomery County dispatchers on my 436. I think the sound quality varies by System. I think the sound quality of the WMATA system is worse than Montgomery County, for example. In general, I find women's voices usually more intelligible than men's voices.

Last edited by redburgundy; 03-13-2014 at 5:59 PM..
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Old 03-14-2014, 8:27 AM
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Originally Posted by redburgundy View Post
Those changes you made were intended to improve decoding performance, not to improve audio quality.
I had no trouble using Sentinel to change from NFM to FM.

I have no problem understanding the Montgomery County dispatchers on my 436. I think the sound quality varies by System. I think the sound quality of the WMATA system is worse than Montgomery County, for example. In general, I find women's voices usually more intelligible than men's voices.
I was making the changes to the radio via the radio's controls, and not through Sentinel. This morning, I did them with Sentinel, and I will be going to Olney in a bit to check out if it makes a difference.

The fire dispatcher that I was monitoring at the airpark was male, and he sounded terrible even with no discernible accent. Would not poor decoding affect speech quality heard on the radio?

Sound quality does vary between systems. For instance, DNR's analog repeater system sounds hollow to me. AACo's TRS on the fire side sounds scratchy even with full bars - it's analog. Their P25 police side sounds better than Montgomery County's, even though the systems are similar.
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Old 03-14-2014, 9:47 AM
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Originally Posted by maus92 View Post
The fire dispatcher that I was monitoring at the airpark was male, and he sounded terrible even with no discernible accent. Would not poor decoding affect speech quality heard on the radio?

Sound quality does vary between systems. For instance, DNR's analog repeater system sounds hollow to me. AACo's TRS on the fire side sounds scratchy even with full bars - it's analog. Their P25 police side sounds better than Montgomery County's, even though the systems are similar.
Lots of things can affect sound quality.
The microphones in dispatcher headsets, for example.
The quality of the speakers in the scanners.
Some dispatchers enunciate like they have a mouth full of marbles.
As I understand it, the P25 Threshold setting and the receiver bandwidth setting affect the part of a radio that takes the radio signal and turns it into a digital bitstream. If a few bits are wrongly decoded, that could affect the audio quality, but more likely would produce unintelligible garble.
But the kinds of audio quality impairments that I'm hearing are more likely due to the part of the radio that takes the digital bitstream and renders audio.
I'd like to control the "equalizer" that determines the relative amplitudes of different audio frequency bands--I think the 436 sound has too much low frequency component.
I haven't used a headset, maybe that would help.

Last edited by redburgundy; 03-14-2014 at 10:38 AM..
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Old 03-14-2014, 3:45 PM
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Originally Posted by MacGnG View Post
I had jury duty today in baltimore city. I didn't pick up anything from the courthouse on my scanner. anyone know what frequencies the courthouse uses?
Baltimore City Sheriffs Security is on a UHF system local to the 2 courthouse buildings in Baltimore. The frequencies used to be on the RR site, but I don't see them now. You might be able to find them with Close Call.
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Old 03-14-2014, 3:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redburgundy View Post
Lots of things can affect sound quality.
The microphones in dispatcher headsets, for example.
The quality of the speakers in the scanners.
Some dispatchers enunciate like they have a mouth full of marbles.
As I understand it, the P25 Threshold setting and the receiver bandwidth setting affect the part of a radio that takes the radio signal and turns it into a digital bitstream. If a few bits are wrongly decoded, that could affect the audio quality, but more likely would produce unintelligible garble.
But the kinds of audio quality impairments that I'm hearing are more likely due to the part of the radio that takes the digital bitstream and renders audio.
I'd like to control the "equalizer" that determines the relative amplitudes of different audio frequency bands--I think the 436 sound has too much low frequency component.
I haven't used a headset, maybe that would help.
You should hear some of the female police dispatchers in Baltimore City....

The Montgomery County system sounded a bit better this morning after uploading the tweaks via the Sentinel software. While undoubtedly mics and speakers affect sound quality, so do other elements in the system. The early Moto P25 voice systems suffer from poor audio quality - for whatever reason - when received on scanners, and that quality can vary depending on model of scanner. This I know from direct observation. The audio quality on the newer Moto full P25 systems - like FiRST and PG County (and St Mary's new Harris system) - monitored on the 436 sound much better than MontCo.
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Old 03-17-2014, 4:00 PM
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Originally Posted by redburgundy View Post
........... In general, I find women's voices usually more intelligible than men's voices.
My wife, looking over my shoulder at this replies "That's because they are more intelligent....ible"


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  #67 (permalink)  
Old 03-20-2014, 9:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maus92 View Post
Baltimore City Sheriffs Security is on a UHF system local to the 2 courthouse buildings in Baltimore. The frequencies used to be on the RR site, but I don't see them now. You might be able to find them with Close Call.
cool thanks. i'll probably get jury duty next year again, so i'll check it out.
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  #68 (permalink)  
Old 04-01-2014, 4:12 PM
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I've had my BCD436HP for about two weeks now and absolutely love it

Way better than the PSR-800 I used to have...
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Old 04-07-2014, 9:48 PM
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I have finally gotten my 436 back from repair. Unfortunately it was 3 days to late for my trip to DC.
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Old 04-08-2014, 5:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyiv View Post
I have finally gotten my 436 back from repair. Unfortunately it was 3 days to late for my trip to DC.
Repair? Brand new radio? What was the problem?
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  #71 (permalink)  
Old 05-09-2014, 9:50 PM
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I ordered a BCD436HP yesterday and it came today (I love Amazon Prime especially when it comes a day early!!).

Not really a fan of how the AACo System sounds on it (will need to check settings, etc.)

I couldn't ever pick up Baltimore County on my PSR-800 or HP-1 and it comes in good (85-90%). A little scratchy a times.

Baltimore City comes in great. (much better than HP-1 and PSR-800).

The Airport system doesn't come in as good as my HP-1. Never tried it out on the PSR-800 before.

Howard County- 1 or 2 bars at times. Same as HP-1 and PSR-800.

QA/Caroline/Talbot-So far cant pick that up. I could with my HP-1.

Now to FiRST:

Baltimore Site-I get full bars similar to PSR-800 did.
Anne Arundel Site- 3 or so bars sometimes more (about the same as PSR-800). Need to find a better spot.
Kent Site-Comes in at times; 1 or 2 bars. I could never get that with the PSR-800.
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  #72 (permalink)  
Old 05-09-2014, 10:23 PM
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make sure you turn on all the services you want in settings menu, you will hear even more stuff. i really like my 436!
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Old 05-10-2014, 8:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ThePhotoGuy View Post

Not really a fan of how the AACo System sounds on it (will need to check settings, etc.)
The x36 radios don't do well (in my opinion) on older Motorola digital (or mixed mode) systems - specifically with digital decoding. I've never had success with any Uniden radio on these types of systems when it comes to digital. The x36s are no better - possibly worse.

A couple weeks back I was trying to sleep and a police helicopter was hovering around the area. So I turn on my 436 and tried to listen to AA police (I don't normally). It was so distorted I had to go get my PSR500 so I could listen.

The x36 radios are pretty good on P25 simulcast - but not perfect. Some users are still reporting they won't work at their location. I've found that where I place the radio still matters for good reception/decoding and if I move the radio for better FiRST AA site reception the Baltimore site reception/decode quality drops (I'm talking about 10 feet difference).

Both x36 models are pulling in more distant transmissions. However, in some cases the signal is there for a bit and then gone.

This is one of many reasons I keep my older radios -
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  #74 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2014, 8:14 PM
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A little more testing with it today.

Putting BCD436HP & Home Patrol side by side. It appears the decode rate is about the same on the BCD436HP & HP-1. The 436 might be a tad bit quicker to decode than the HP-1. (Basing this on the Anne Arundel System).

There was some kind of exercise today and I had the 8Tac frequencies on both radios side by side. HP-1 was getting 1 bar while the 436 was getting 3 bars. The audio seemed much more clear and less static sounding then on the HP-1.
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Old 07-23-2014, 5:40 PM
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I stopped at the candy store in New Castle Delaware a few weeks ago. I just couldn't leave without buying something. So I decided that the most practical purchase would be that of the BCD536HP. I swapped out my PSR400 for the 536 right there in the parking lot with the help of one of the local hookers.

I used the radio in location mode for a few weeks while I was on the road. The first system we monitored was obviously the State of Delaware Public Safety system. I had no problems while traveling up through Wilmington and on into Pa. Once in Pa I was picking up plenty of conventional systems and frequencies with no problem at all. We strolled through Philly, grabbed a cheese steak and took in a bedroom fire on the west side. The Philly system was loud and clear our entire time in the city. We made our way up to Scranton, then off to State College and eventually stopped in Pittsburgh for a few days. After Pittsburgh we ventured up to Cleveland, Toledo and then spent a few days in Detroit. The only place that I had any issue was in Detroit and it was with the Fire Department radios. I later learned that Detroit was having problems with the Michigan State system.

So long story short, when we got back into Maryland I took a few days and loaded this puppy up. I have every county loaded plus the District.
The only trunked systems in Md that I have listened to on this radio are Prince George's, Chuck, Calvert, Anne Arundel, B'more City, B'more County and HoCo.

PG's system came in ok while I was in the county. The audio was less than perfect and I lost signal about a mile from the county line. I compared the signal with that of my APX portable and mobile and it really wasn't that different.
PG was the only Md system that I had any problem with.

Most conventional frequencies came in ok but not as good as my old 400. I used my Alinco 635 to compare VHF and UHF signals.

I will report more when I can. I'm actually having a blast with this thing.
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