• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

WS1040: Connection issues??

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
22
Location
CA
#1
Hello I am new to the scanner world!

Over the past few days I have been listening to my local PD. I would say about 10% of the transmission come in real choppy or not at all. I live within a mile from my police department which uses a digital trunked system. My radio reads 5 bars all the time.

For example:
Officer: ask to check a subject for warrants
Dispatch: says go ahead(but I don't hear this or sometimes it's real choppy)
Officer: continues

Is this normal behavior? Both dispatch and the officers come in choppy at times. Do I need to lower/higher my squelch? Should I turn on/off the Global Attenuator? Or how can I improve signal without buying an antenna?
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
21,692
Location
Bowie, Md.
#2
There are several possibilities here, but none of them involve a connection issue between the scanner and PC. It would be most helpful if we knew where you are (county/state is fine) and what system you are trying to trunk

I assume from your last sentence that you live in an apartment or condo. While an outdoor antenna is generally best, you can improve your reception (at times) by using a good mag mount and putting it nice and high on a metallic surface, or building an off center dipole. However let's eliminate some possibilities with your answers first before doing anything

Mike
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
22
Location
CA
#3
I live in Alemeda County in CA. When I set up the frequencies I set the one that covers my area the most. I can't add an outside antenna due to apts.
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
21,692
Location
Bowie, Md.
#4
If you go to the bottom of this page from our database...

Alameda County, California (CA) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

This lists all the trunked systems in Alameda that folks have submitted data. Which one are you trying to hear? I'm going to guess it's the East Bay Regional system...

There is a possibility here that you are hearing multiple sites at the same time. This would cause your choppy condition. Your best bet here would be to run an attenuator on that system (simple experiment there) and/or to get a nice little beam that you can hide in your closet or other space that's nice and high. Happily, beams at these frequency ranges tend to be very small, so hiding them is not an issue. A beam would help point to the site(s) that are closest to you, while attenuating others.

The other possibility here is that the site you are using is simply too far away. At freqs this high, 20 miles or so under flat geographic conditions is about all you can expect with a good antenna - less, if the topography has lots of hills, or you have buildings or other high structures in the way. Here, too, a better antenna might help, or finding out which of those sites is physically closest to you (someone in the California forum can help with that). No attenuator needed in this case - just a better signal. If this is the case, you might profit from using the RS 800 Mhz duckie - even tho it's a tad short for listening on 700 Mhz, it should still receive pretty well...

Mike
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
22
Location
CA
#5
The antenna is a 700Mhz. Even though I'm within a mile of the PD? How would I know I'm in hearing multiple sights? I have setup up 2 primary and 2 alternate control channels.
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Messages
198
#6
You have two primary CC. You need to set the site to roam. There are three settings off, roam, and stat. If you are on roam then delete one of the sites, the weaker one and see how that works. Roam works good most of the time but sometimes the stronger CC will get lost momentarily then the scanner locks on the weaker one which can cause the issue you describe. The RSSI from the factory seems to read 5 bars a lot, it's very generous.
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
22
Location
CA
#7
Okay so I would set the multi-site to "roam", and leave everything else? What will be the best to set the threshold hi and low to?
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Messages
198
#8
Stock for now on the threshold I gave up on the roam feature. Too many times it would switch to the weaker site. I could tell by the frequency. Then I would get some garble before it switched back. I decided I just wanted to scan 1 site, the stronger site and it works better here. Make sure your on p25 narrow FM. Wide FM isn't so good when the signal gets weaker. I tried WFM and when I was in the grocery store it was terrible. NFM works fine in the store. Experiment and find what works best.
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
22
Location
CA
#9
Okay thanks for the help! I'm trying roam right now it seems better. The next thing I'll try is putting it to narrow. I thought I wouldn't have any connection issues since I live close to the PD lol. Any other tips?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Messages
198
#10
On mine I just monitor one site now and turned roam off. I deleted the second site frequencies because the scanner will still look for a CC if it loses the first one momentarily even if roam is off. My second site was not strong enough most of the time to decode properly. NFM is standard for p25, I only tried it the other to see what happens, and it makes a difference here.
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
21,692
Location
Bowie, Md.
#12
erojas, why do you refer to this thread as a 'connection issue'? Your scanner - in fact, any consumer scanner - doesn't actually connect to a trunk system. It reads the control channel for information and presents its findings (yes that's highly oversimplified).

Just curious..Mike
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
22
Location
CA
#13
As I said earlier "I am new to the scanner world." This is my first scanner. I have no previous experience with any. And my guess was I had some connection issues. It works 90% of the time but I wanted to get help from someone with experience that can knows about this stuff.
 
Joined
Dec 18, 2012
Messages
40
Location
Portage County, Ohio
#14
Just going to add here that how close you are to the PD is irrelevant with this system unless the PD has a system tower in the back of the building. It's not like a conventional system where in order to hear dispatch you need to be close enough to the dispatch center to hear the traffic. Dispatch as well as the car and portable radios connect to the system tower, usually whichever they are closest to. Your goal with a scanner is to connect to the tower that is closest to your location and that will most likely serve the units you want to listen to. Unless you're going to driving around the city with the scanner, I personally don't see a reason to use the roam feature or to have more than a single sites CC in your scanner. Sounds like you're just listening from home so as suggested by others, I would just at the CC of the tower closest to your location and fly with it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
22
Location
CA
#15
Thanks for the reply! Changing it to roam seems to help with the choppy audio. So I should only have 1 primary control channel. And no others? The ones I have are the closest to me.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top