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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-02-2013, 4:08 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6
Default Uniden bcd396xt set up problems

i have a bcd396xt and the audio sounds very garbled it says the error rate is 79 is there anything i can do to fix it? it shows i have full bars also

Here is a video of what im talking about. 20130702 154659 - YouTube
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2013, 11:52 AM
  Premium Subscriber
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 4,789

This is something that happens in simulcast systems. Your scanner is receiving multiple sites and is having trouble decoding the colliding signals. There are many other posts on simulcast distortion discussing this in greater detail.

Some things to try:

1. Have you upgraded to the most recent firmware edition? I noticed quite a bit of improvement on my local simulcast system after doing the firmware upgrade on my 396XT.

2. Set the attenuator for the Carver Scott site to ON. This dampens the incoming signal.

3. Try a different combination of settings for the P25 Adjust Level and P25 Adjust Mode. This may be painstaking as there are many combinations before you hit the "sweet sport"

4. Some folks have reported improvement using Yagi (a kind of directional antenna) pointed toward the closest tower.

5. Other folks have reported improvement using a paperclip for an antenna.

6. They say having a loose/open squelch setting may be helpful.

Fortunately from what I could tell on the You Tube video, the distortion isn't as bad as I have seen on my local system. So doing some or all of the above might be successful.

Last edited by ofd8001; 07-03-2013 at 11:54 AM..
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:54 AM
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Land of mixed mode digital comms
Posts: 225

Do you listen to any other systems besides Carver Co.? To me it seems like what I have have suffered is that you are picking up transmissions between two different towers.

Carver Co is a simulcast system (along with others in the metro due to standards of 95% coverage with a portable) and when your scanner is caught between two towers that are broadcasting sometimes the reception comes in garbled like that in your video.

I also thought it was programming with my scanner at first but as I started to listen to some towers (sites) out state which are not simulcast I found that these issues went away.

The only suggestion I might give is try some different antennas (like a stubby 800) or some attenuation. I have a friend that actually used a paper clip when he is at home in St. Paul so he could actually Rx as he is almost equal distance between two towers.
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Old 07-03-2013, 2:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6

I updated the firmware version 1.11.01 and set the ATT to on seems to be working much better
thanks for the help.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2013, 2:33 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6

also if someone could recommend a good 800 mhz yagi antenna that would be wonderful.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2013, 5:57 PM
  Audio Feed Provider
Audio Feed Provider
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Minneapolis MN
Posts: 27

I have had this problem before and it sounds like it is an is what ofd8001 is talking about. Simply turning the attenuator on fixed my issues.
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