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BCD996P2: Seller-Programmed Scanners P25 Phase 1

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Feb 25, 2012
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Location
Delmar, NY
#1
Has anyone out there have experience with scanners that were programmed by the seller? How good is the programming?

Reason I'm asking is that I'm not receiving everything I believe I should. I provide the feed for Town of Bethlehem Fire and EMS (Albany Co NY) which just moved to the P25 system. Sometimes reception is garbled, sometimes nonexistent.

Any pointers or advice appreciated.

73 definitely Frank N4ZHG
 

hiegtx

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Dallas, TX
#5
Has anyone out there have experience with scanners that were programmed by the seller? How good is the programming?

Reason I'm asking is that I'm not receiving everything I believe I should. I provide the feed for Town of Bethlehem Fire and EMS (Albany Co NY) which just moved to the P25 system. Sometimes reception is garbled, sometimes nonexistent.

Any pointers or advice appreciated.

73 definitely Frank N4ZHG
Any programming done by a seller, unless they are truly local (in your town or county, for example), is only going to be as good (or bad) as the information in the RadioReference database. They wold not be familiar with your specific area, and would simply program the systems in the county (or counties) you pay for, which may not be representative of what you can actually receive. You can do the same thing with software, at less cost, even if you need to also get a six moth or yearly premium subscription to this site so that you can utilize web imports. For newer, database, scanners such as the 436HP, SDS100, or the current Whistler scanners (TRX-1/-2, WS1088, WS1098), the software is provided by the manufacturer, and no subscription is needed.
 

W8RMH

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Grove City, Ohio (A Bearcat not a Buckeye)
#6
This is the downfall of someone else programming and maintaining your scanner. Agencies may move to newer systems, frequencies and control channels change, talk groups may be are added, changed, or deleted, sites may change, etc. You should really learn to program and maintain your scanner yourself for optimal performance.
 

bob550

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Albany County, NY
#7
The disadvantage to seller-programmed scanners is that the system programming is not getting routine updates by you. The Albany County system is still maturing, with Bethlehem currently using the "County Cell" site. Be aware too that the Bethlehem system is in transition between the old analog frequencies and the new P25 county system. Some of the lesser used fire and EMS remain on analog only for the time being. If you don't have those analog frequencies in your scanner, you'll miss those calls. The garbled transmissions are most likely simulcast distortion, where the incoming signal is too strong. Although, you may also be suffering from weak signal strength, which would also cause the audio to intermittently drop out. I'm using a 996xt with a discone antenna on the peak of the roof. My 536HP is connected to both the discone and a rubber duck mounted on a nearby window. I can't say that I'm completely missing anything with either scanner.
 

iMONITOR

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Location
MACOMB, MI.
#8
Has anyone out there have experience with scanners that were programmed by the seller? How good is the programming?

Reason I'm asking is that I'm not receiving everything I believe I should. I provide the feed for Town of Bethlehem Fire and EMS (Albany Co NY) which just moved to the P25 system. Sometimes reception is garbled, sometimes nonexistent.

Any pointers or advice appreciated.

73 definitely Frank N4ZHG

Once a scanner is programmed to any extent, it's fairly easily to view/edit it to your individual needs. Download the existing programming into one of the many programs available and see what's been done. From there you can make corrections, deletions and additions as required. It's a learning curve, but with today's scanners it's almost a necessity and you'll get a lot more out of your scanner.
 

TailGator911

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Feb 12, 2005
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Location
Fairborn, OH
#9
You might want to consider learning the programming aspects of your scanner so that, if nothing else, you will come to know and learn the ins and outs of your individual radio and how it is programmed. Always the best option, IMO.

JD
kf4anc
 

bob550

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Albany County, NY
#10
You might want to consider learning the programming aspects of your scanner so that, if nothing else, you will come to know and learn the ins and outs of your individual radio and how it is programmed. Always the best option, IMO.
Especially important for you to consider as a feed provider. The 996P2 programs easily using FreeSCAN which, of course, is free. The RR subscription to enable the downloads is $15 for six months and $30 for one year. It's well worth considering. I've been using FreeSCAN for my 996xt for several years and can vouch for that software.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
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Location
Delmar, NY
#11
Oh, I'm well aware of the political issues in Betlehem. Fire is staying on VHF analog while EMS went to 800. This makes life easier as I only have to worry about EMS for this exercise.
 

bob550

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Albany County, NY
#12
Oh, I'm well aware of the political issues in Betlehem. Fire is staying on VHF analog while EMS went to 800. This makes life easier as I only have to worry about EMS for this exercise.
I get the sense that there's coverage problems with the 800 MHz in town. For now, I've created a Bethlehem-only Favorite List for my 536HP composed of both P25 and analog. In doing so, I don't miss any local transmissions. It seems like EMS is dispatched on the digital channels at this time.
 
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