RadioReference on Facebook   RadioReference on Twitter   RadioReference Blog
 

Go Back   The RadioReference.com Forums > U.S. Regional Radio Discussion Forums > Minnesota Radio Discussion Forum


Minnesota Radio Discussion Forum - Forum for discussing Radio Information in the State of Minnesota.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-30-2017, 10:22 AM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: East Bethel, MN
Posts: 17
Default AnokaCounty Simulcast (MP25)

Hi all, I am bringing this over from the Antenna forum for some local MN insight. I just bought BCD996P2 and trying to set it up as a base here in East Bethel. Below is the problem I am having. The thoughts are to change out the stock antenna with a homebrew dipole, fm trap, etc.

"One thing I am experiencing out of the box is voice transmissions that sound clear (emergency dispatch, etc.) seem to cut in and out. Sort of like a bad mic. But many of them do it. I am seeing 4 bars many of the times this is occurring. I have been combing the settings using "Freescan" and dont see anything jumping out at me. I am monitoring AnokaCounty Simulcast (MP25). Could a better antenna alleviate this do you think?"

Here is a link to the antenna discussion:
https://forums.radioreference.com/sc...-amplifer.html

Last edited by svankrev; 12-30-2017 at 10:25 AM.. Reason: added
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-30-2017, 4:13 PM
stmills's Avatar
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Twin Cites Area MN
Posts: 852
Default

A bit more info may help - looking at the ARMER tower map there are at least 4 towers near East Bethel- which part of the city are you in, where in your home are you using the scanner- main floor, basement, interior room , near window, do you have metal siding or roofing, have you tried different spots in the room and different rooms?
__________________
Steve Mills EMT-B
Twin Cities Incident Page-TCIP
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 12-30-2017, 7:16 PM
ScanWI's Avatar
MN & WI DB Admin
  RadioReference Database Admininstrator
Database Admin
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 712
Default Simlucast Whoes

I feel your pain< I used to live in Athens and listening to Anoka was very difficult. You have too much signal, this something that radios can handle to a point but scanners have a hard time with. Anoka has a very saturated RF overlay, the scanner is receiving too many sites at once at slightly different timings. Scanners have a tough time with this.

You will want to try and reduce the signals for the other towers and try to focus on just one tower in the simulcast. A few tricks that have been tried with varying success.

small or no antenna
directional antenna
putting the antenna in a paint can
using a RF adapter as an antenna
__________________
____________________________________
"If it don't glow, don't buy it"
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 12-30-2017, 8:57 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: East Bethel, MN
Posts: 17
Default

Thanks guys, that seems to be the consensus. I am going to rig the dipole just because I have the stuff to do it here. Not confident about the success of that. I have tried no antenna and retracting the stock antenna with little success. I have engaged the -20dB attenuation and that was too much and resulted in no reception. The directional seems like something to try.

Steve- in answer to your questions, I am about 1 mile west of Coon Lake and about 1 mile north of the Ham Lake fire station on Crosstown and CR 68. My radio is currently on the lower level of a split entry home. Vinyl siding and asphalt roof. Near a window. Initially had it on the upper level near windows and had similar results.

Last edited by svankrev; 12-30-2017 at 8:58 PM.. Reason: correction
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 12-30-2017, 8:57 PM
Raven95150's Avatar
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Nowthen, MN
Posts: 924
Default

If you switch antennas, this is what I would recommend. It's the same as the popular "RS800" antenna that used to be available at Radio Shack. This antenna has been highly recommended here on RR for a long time. I have the SMA version on my 396XT and it works great for me on Anoka County. You'll want the BNC version and a 90į BNC adapter if you don't already have one.

https://www.universal-radio.com/cata...ants/6119.html

ScanWI has some good points there as well, but I think an antenna that's known to work well would be a good place to start.

Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk
__________________
KD0AXS
Metro Skywarn #7344

Last edited by Raven95150; 12-30-2017 at 9:13 PM..
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 12-30-2017, 9:57 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: East Bethel, MN
Posts: 17
Default

Raven, you talked me into it. Looks like from the reviews that there are a lot of happy customers. ScannerMaster had the BNC version in stock so I ordered one up along with the right angle BNC connector.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 12-31-2017, 1:03 AM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,420
Default

I believe Scanwi is spot-on. Anoka is a simulcast system with multiple towers using the same frequencies. Your scanner is having trouble decoding those multiple incoming signals.

Best way to confirm this "syndrome" is to take your scanner to about 1/4 mile of a transmitter site. If the audio cleans up, that confirms simulcast distortion.

If that is confirmed, counter to intuition, a better antenna is the worst thing you can do. Rather you want to "degrade" your incoming signal such that the scanner is getting poor incoming signal from just one tower. My local system, a simulcast system, actually sounds better when I disconnect the antenna.

Other things to try are: set site attenuation on and tinker with the P25 adjustments/settings. Sometimes those will help.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 12-31-2017, 7:51 AM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: East Bethel, MN
Posts: 17
Default

Freescan has a remote control function that has nice bar graph indicators for signal and P25 errors. I did notice that the P25 indicator jumps during the "cutout" occurrences. Still trying to find the P25 settings however.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 01-02-2018, 9:15 PM
mike6454's Avatar
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Minneapolis,MN
Posts: 223
Default

I bought a BC996P2 earlier this year same issue i sold it for anoka north&south using a Whistler 1065 desktop no problems at all
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 01-02-2018, 11:12 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,420
Default

See: Easier to Read BCD996P2/XT Digital Scanner Manual and Easier to Read BCD996P2/XT Digital Scanner Manual

When setting threshold, it's a trial thing - you may have to see which works best for your particular system at your particular location.

Wouldn't make much of the signal strength indicator. If you have a distortion issue, you will see a strong signal indication. (That's the problem - you got too much signal coming in from a couple of places). Also, seeing the signal strength meter "drop off" is normal behavior. Its something to do with internal housekeeping in the scanner.
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 01-03-2018, 11:52 AM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: East Bethel, MN
Posts: 17
Default Threshold

I did find the threshold adjustment and tried several levels however it seemed to have no effect. I also rigged the home-brew dipole antenna and there was actually some improvement but still not clean. I will try the RS800 antenna when that arrives and see what I get. Its just too dang cold outside to try anything outdoors at this stage.
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 01-03-2018, 9:45 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,420
Default

Just for the heck of it, try a paperclip antenna: https://forums.radioreference.com/ra...p-antenna.html

All inside work and only costs a paper clip.
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2018, 8:03 PM
sjgostovich's Avatar
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Hudson, WI
Posts: 293
Default

I'm sure you've already tried it but play around with the squelch a little bit. For some reason when I'm in the metro and surrounded by sites I can sometimes find a "sweet spot" on the squelch (with my Uniden radios) that seems to help the clarity. Just something else to try. Good luck!
__________________
"Narrow banded, but not narrow minded!"
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2018, 9:10 PM
stmills's Avatar
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Twin Cites Area MN
Posts: 852
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sjgostovich View Post
I'm sure you've already tried it but play around with the squelch a little bit. For some reason when I'm in the metro and surrounded by sites I can sometimes find a "sweet spot" on the squelch (with my Uniden radios) that seems to help the clarity. Just something else to try. Good luck!


Great tip- I had never spent much time with squelch settings but had spent countless amount of time with the fine tuning, when I did seek out the sweet spot and found it at a much higher squelch setting than I was using I started getting reception in areas I didnít use to.
__________________
Steve Mills EMT-B
Twin Cities Incident Page-TCIP
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 01-12-2018, 7:57 AM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: East Bethel, MN
Posts: 17
Default

Well I have been playing around with the RS800 on the end of a cable in conjunction with a coffee can and have improved the situation somewhat but still getting some cutting out and a flood of P25 errors (on the graph anyway). But its better. I tried a paper clip briefly and after reading the thread about it, I will have to do some more experimentation with that. Also some talk about a miracle baby but I'm not keen about the idea of throwing money at the problem until it goes away. I also will try the squelch. I think I have that set all way on right now. At work this AM, more playing this afternoon.
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 01-12-2018, 8:30 AM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: East Bethel, MN
Posts: 17
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike6454 View Post
I bought a BC996P2 earlier this year same issue i sold it for anoka north&south using a Whistler 1065 desktop no problems at all
I guess I do have the option of returning this unit and trying something different. The 1065 is $100 cheaper than the BC996P2. Money is not the issue but just really want something that we can listen to at home. On your Whistler, are you going through any of these antenna gyrations or did it pretty much work right out of the box? (thanks all)
Reply With Quote
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 01-12-2018, 4:51 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,420
Default

FWIW, I visit family in Minnesota every year and have used several models of scanners to monitor the ARMER system. The Uniden x36 series "seems" to be much better at dealing with simulcast distortion than my x96 series scanners.
Reply With Quote
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 01-12-2018, 7:08 PM
ScanWI's Avatar
MN & WI DB Admin
  RadioReference Database Admininstrator
Database Admin
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 712
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ofd8001 View Post
FWIW, I visit family in Minnesota every year and have used several models of scanners to monitor the ARMER system. The Uniden x36 series "seems" to be much better at dealing with simulcast distortion than my x96 series scanners.
I would agree on this, however the part of Anoka county that he is having a issue in all my scanners have issues in. The only radio/scanner to prevail is the Unicaiton G5. It works flawlessly in Anoka County.
__________________
____________________________________
"If it don't glow, don't buy it"
Reply With Quote
  #19 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2018, 8:55 AM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: East Bethel, MN
Posts: 17
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScanWI View Post
I would agree on this, however the part of Anoka county that he is having a issue in all my scanners have issues in. The only radio/scanner to prevail is the Unicaiton G5. It works flawlessly in Anoka County.
Whistler makes this claim about the WS1065. I just wonder how well this works.It might explain why it may work better in this situation.

Automatic Adaptive Digital Tracking - When monitoring P25 digital systems, instantly adapts the digital decoder to the digital modulation format of the transmitted signal, then analyzes the signal over 50 times each second and adapts to any subtle changes caused by multipath or fading. No cumbersome manual adjustments are required.
Reply With Quote
  #20 (permalink)  
Old 01-15-2018, 1:31 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: East Bethel, MN
Posts: 17
Default

Just to update the thread, I have tried pretty much all of what has been suggested here and the results are inconclusive. The best option was putting the 800 mHz antenna in a coffee can and aiming the open end at one of the towers using the signal strength meter. There is a definite weather factor and the reception and decoding changes pretty much with the wind (so to speak) One minute its pretty good then it changes the next. Call it murphy's law but the one TG I really want to get in (Anoka North dispatch) breaks up the worst in pretty much all configurations. I ordered a WS1065 today and will be trying that later in the week. Hopefully there will be some improvement. The 996P2 in a really nice scanner but it just does not seem to get the job done in my location.

After reading through some other threads, it is apparent that P25 systems are a real handful for most scanners. The Unicaiton G5 is just one notch above where I want to go with this hobby (price-wise) at this time anyway. The washing machine is making unnatural noises and may need some reinvestment soon..

Last edited by svankrev; 01-15-2018 at 1:36 PM..
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 8:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
All information here is Copyright 2012 by RadioReference.com LLC and Lindsay C. Blanton III.Ad Management by RedTyger
Copyright 2015 by RadioReference.com LLC Privacy Policy  |  Terms and Conditions