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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 11-08-2013, 8:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tah1966 View Post
I don't know how... I am a true novice when it comes to radio systems...that's why I bought the home patrol. For the ease of programming. I see where it can be done..I just don't understand how the new system works. I use to think I was smart...this is way above me... I am intrigued and that's why I having been reaching out to solve this...but I am getting defeated.

Try this manual:

Easier to Read HomePatrol Scanner Manual

.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 11-08-2013, 8:19 PM
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Originally Posted by fenderblue View Post
Don't feel bad, I don't know how to manually install and save to fave or so. I don't know how to find the channels in sentinel and save and even but in the favorites. Had for 2 weeks and still have problems. Reception is great with a outside antenna and you have to limit your miles so you don't too many channels. I still have problems with not scanning for my local channels. Going to see somebody tomorrow about how to use and program through the computer and save. I don't see any tutoring on U-Tube to help.
what system does your sheriffs use? if you are using the database to scan, you could be (out of bad luck) missing the transmissions due to all the other freq. that the unit is searching for. Have you tried limited the "select service types" in the menus, and also limiting the miles to .5.

ex. if the tower is say, 20 miles away and a range of 25, if you live within the 25 mile range and set the scanner range to .5 miles, the homepatrol will still look for that tower since its withing the circle of the tower, its how the scanner software is programed. I was missing alot of local traffic when I first bought my homepatrol because I set the range to how many miles the tower was away from me, doing so I was picking up departments 50 miles away because there was another repeater withing the range I set it to.

when I set up my favorites I just right click on the system I want to use and hit append to favorites and the porgram copies and pasts all the stuff I need (and more), Then I just go into the favorites (while still on the computer) and delete the stuff I want out of there (freq, un wanted towers/CCs, and talkgroups)
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 11-08-2013, 8:44 PM
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Monroe and Ontario Counties Public Safety Trunking System, Regional, New York is comprised of many simulcast sites. Current scanners have difficulty decoding simulcast signals as described in Simulcast digital distortion - The RadioReference Wiki. You need to try a smaller antenna, attenuation, or isolate one single tower with a directional antenna.
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Old 11-09-2013, 6:58 PM
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Default Thanks and another question

I want to say thank you to everyone who replied to my questions/problems. After reading everyone's suggestions, I spent a lot of time tweaking, and changing range, squelch , limiting channels, etc...and I finally saw the sheriff dept dispatch on the screen.

So, then I figured I had a reception problem. I played around with a radio shack antenna I bought (radio shack telescopic) I a m only getting random dispatch connections still. Ems comes in great but I am not hearing dispatch like I used to. (I used to hear initial dispatch as well as other communication between dispatch and the car).

Any ideas?
Do I need an exterior antenna? Or a different interior antenna?

Once again, thanks for any ideas.
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Old 11-09-2013, 7:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SB-Wi View Post
You need to try a smaller antenna, attenuation, or isolate one single tower with a directional antenna.
Listen to this guy. I've had similar problems using a homepatrol to monitor Saratoga County's 800 system. Unfortunately, the fact that you're receiving neighboring counties perfectly means nothing - different systems, technologies, and wavelengths make the comparison as that between oranges and apples. You're probably going to need a Yagi pointed at your nearest tower site.

The technology at work in a trunked system is decades more advanced than a simple VHF repeater, which makes monitoring these systems even more difficult.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 11-09-2013, 8:12 PM
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There is a signal analysis mode for the Home Patrol if you have the "Extreme" upgrade. If not, I am not sure if or how you can solve your problem.

An exterior antenna may or may not help. This has been discused extensively on here but the basic problem is that scanners do a poor job with multi-site P25 systems. If you live near a tower site you may be OK. If not it is likely that nothing will help. The best I can offer without you wasting a lot of time and money is simply to move the scanner to different locations in you house and see if you can find a place that works.

It is very difficult to see if you are making any improvement without a siganl analysis feature in the scanner.

As an example of the problem, I am in Monroe County and there is one location in my house, on top of a bookcase, where I can get marginal reception of Ontario North on my PSR-500. Moving a few inches kills all reception although the signal indicator is still 4 or 5 bars. I have a variety of exterior antennas and the reception is useless on any of them. I have experimented with directional antennas and it does not help since multiple towers are all in the same general direction from my location.

Sometimes a directional antenna helps but it is a risky investment that most of the time is of no value unless you happen to be at a location that provides adequate isolation from other towers in the same general direction.

This is where the signal analysis feature on the scanner can help. If you are at 90% or better, a directional antenna can make a difference. If reception quality is much below that, probably nothing will help. I have done extensive testing and find that use of the attenuator only makes the situation worse. It weakens the signal but does nothing to improve the ratio of the desired to interfering signal. Techniques like directional antenans and attenuation were often effective for analog FM systems but are of imited value given the deficiencies that scanners have with reception of digital signals in the presence of any interference or distortion.

I recently took my PSR-500 on trip to the Victor area to see what reception was like in Ontario County and found very poor results. Walking around the parking lot at Eastview Mall I had widely fluctuating signal strength and the PSR-500 could not even recognize the control channel as P-25. At Mead Square in Victor signal strength was a solid 5 bars but quality was only in the 60% range at best and only intermitent broken up audio could be received. I have found reliable reception can only be depended on within about 1 mile and line of sight to a tower. The terrain in Ontario County and the hilltop sites results in locations in any valley getting a mix of not only signals from multiple sites but also multpath reflections of the signals.

If you look at the information on the Monroe/Ontario system in the Radio Reference Data Base pages and click on the Site Name in the System Frequency Tables it will take you to Site Details. Click on each listed FCC License call sign and it will display a map and list of tower sites. Unless you are close to and line of sight to a tower site your chances are not good that you will get satisfactory reception.

This relates to the fact that scanners are not properly designed to receive this type of system. The actual user's radios are designed for digital reception and handle the multi-site interference issues with no problem. I have found that for some reason the Monroe/Ontario system is more of a challenge for scanners than the CNYICC system.

Last edited by k2hz; 11-09-2013 at 8:16 PM..
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 11-10-2013, 1:01 PM
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Thank you so much for the information... Obviously I have a lot to learn and I have not given up yet.

I can be very determined , so I will keep trying.

Thanks again.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 11-11-2013, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k2hz View Post

As an example of the problem, I am in Monroe County and there is one location in my house, on top of a bookcase, where I can get marginal reception of Ontario North on my PSR-500. Moving a few inches kills all reception ...
Just to place this in perspective, this weekend I was experimenting with the latest version of my multi-trunking scanning P25 receiver research system (made available to any/all as Free Software in source code form). The SDR receiver is equipped with a BNC adapter connected to a stock RS 800 MHz whip antenna. I had programmed the receiver with all the 9600 P25 control channels that I can hear (Tompkins, Onondaga, Cayuga, Ontario, Cortland, and NYSEG). The first two of these are the most difficult here, so it took a little bit of additional research (60 seconds or so) to find an acceptable location on the desk where *all* of them are now coming in - with perfect voice reception...

73

Max
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 11-11-2013, 3:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KA1RBI View Post
Just to place this in perspective, this weekend I was experimenting with the latest version of my multi-trunking scanning P25 receiver research system (made available to any/all as Free Software in source code form). The SDR receiver is equipped with a BNC adapter connected to a stock RS 800 MHz whip antenna. I had programmed the receiver with all the 9600 P25 control channels that I can hear (Tompkins, Onondaga, Cayuga, Ontario, Cortland, and NYSEG). The first two of these are the most difficult here, so it took a little bit of additional research (60 seconds or so) to find an acceptable location on the desk where *all* of them are now coming in - with perfect voice reception...

73

Max
This clearly shows that the problem with satisfactory reception is due to design deficiencies in the present commercially available scanners. A receiver designed for direct digital reception and appropriate Digital Signal Processing software for decoding like your system should eliminate most or all of the issues we are experiencing.

If someone can package and market the system you describe in a user friendly form it should be a real winner!
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