WS1080: Spotsylvania Scanning

Joined
Dec 25, 2016
Messages
5
Location
Virginia
#1
I bought a WS1080 a couple years ago when Spotsy moved to the current system but I have had little luck receiving anything from my home near Snell. I can usually pick up the State police here but nothing from Spotsy. If I drive a couple of miles from my house towards Thornburg or Livingston I start to hear Spotsy dispatches. A couple of weekends ago I built an 850 MHz J-pole and shoved it about 20 feet in the air but still nothing from Spotsy although the State Police came in a little better. Could I be in that much of a dead zone here that I can't hear the Thornburg tower that is about 5 miles away? My old analog Radio Shack trunk tracker worked great here before the switch. Or could there be a setting on my scanner that has lowered the sensitivity with regards to Spotsylvania? Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks,
Tom, KK4WPR
 

fredva

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 19, 2007
Messages
1,322
Location
Virginia/West Virginia
#2
Tom, you may be suffering from digital simulcast distortion. Spotsy's system is a simulcast system. Each transmission will go out on the same frequency from multiple towers, and if you are in a bad spot, the signals from two or more towers will arrive at your scanner out of sync and will cause a garbling voice, or no digital decoding will take place at all (silence). If simulcast distortion is the problem, a directional antenna can help by isolating the signal you receive to one tower. There are cell phone directional antennas for the 800 mhz range that are sold on Amazon for around $15, or you could build one.

I have a WS-1080. It works well on listening to the state police, but Spotsylvania's system is spotty.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2016
Messages
5
Location
Virginia
#3
That might explain why my scanner receives Spotsy if I drive a mile or two from my house in any direction. I am going to whip up a 3 element yagi and give it a try.

Thanks
 

Dafe1er

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 20, 2011
Messages
783
Location
Off in a far away place, far from u.......
#4
I bought a WS1080 a couple years ago when Spotsy moved to the current system but I have had little luck receiving anything from my home near Snell. I can usually pick up the State police here but nothing from Spotsy. If I drive a couple of miles from my house towards Thornburg or Livingston I start to hear Spotsy dispatches. A couple of weekends ago I built an 850 MHz J-pole and shoved it about 20 feet in the air but still nothing from Spotsy although the State Police came in a little better. Could I be in that much of a dead zone here that I can't hear the Thornburg tower that is about 5 miles away? My old analog Radio Shack trunk tracker worked great here before the switch. Or could there be a setting on my scanner that has lowered the sensitivity with regards to Spotsylvania? Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks,
Tom, KK4WPR
Also make sure you have updated your Spotsy folder as they had a couple channel changes recently.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2016
Messages
5
Location
Virginia
#5
I updated them last week but it is easy enough to do it again.
I have a question about the display: what does a blinking white S with a black background (instead of T for trunking) mean? I don't see that S in the manual.
Thanks
 

Dafe1er

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 20, 2011
Messages
783
Location
Off in a far away place, far from u.......
#6
I updated them last week but it is easy enough to do it again.
I have a question about the display: what does a blinking white S with a black background (instead of T for trunking) mean? I don't see that S in the manual.
Thanks

I believe it is as follows:

S - appears when the squelch circuit is open.

T - blinks when the scanner is receiving a trunking control channel frequency
 
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