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STARCOM-21 and PSR-500

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#1
I am from Indiana and recently purchased a PSR-500. This past weekend I was in Illinois and listenting to STARCOM-21 in the District 6 and 10 areas. I ran it on P-25 Auto. For the most part the dispatch transmissions sounded good, but mobiles were often hard to understand. I don't know is this was something related to the PSR-500, or a characteristic of Starcom. In listening to the MOT 800-900 system in Indiana ( SAFE-T ) the mobile units sound clearer. Makes me think it is related to the 9600 baud system with Starcom.

Anybody else with similar observations ?
 
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#2
observations..........

bessiedawg said:
I am from Indiana and recently purchased a PSR-500. This past weekend I was in Illinois and listenting to STARCOM-21 in the District 6 and 10 areas. I ran it on P-25 Auto. For the most part the dispatch transmissions sounded good, but mobiles were often hard to understand. I don't know is this was something related to the PSR-500, or a characteristic of Starcom. In listening to the MOT 800-900 system in Indiana ( SAFE-T ) the mobile units sound clearer. Makes me think it is related to the 9600 baud system with Starcom.

Anybody else with similar observations ?

It is definitely Starcom, not the 500.
 
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#3
I listen to Starcom 21 on my Pro 96 and the transmissions are often distorted and difficult to understand unfortunately.
 
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#4
Interesting, and unfortunate for everybody. ( Especially the users. ) I noticed that they were having a fair amoutn of problems with wind noise. In addition, I did monitor several exchanges where the mobile signal dropped out totally and the Post could no longer copy them.

I did happen to hear District 6 Troopers stop a stolen vehicle on I-55 ! Great job, and fortunately they had radio coverage at that particular location.
 
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#5
You can't comment on the 500 and Starcom without another digital scanner to comapre with......Even with the new update to my Uniden 396, the GRE 500 still blows the Uniden 396 away on Starcom. Tower sites I have experimented with since Friday afternoon are sites 102 and 115 (Cook County), 101 (DuPage County) and 113 (Will County). All Chiagoland area. Experimenting done near O Hare Airport, east to I94/Kennedy expressway near the Loop, south to 79th Street and west to Lockport/Homer Glen area. In Chicago proper sites 102 and 115 sounded pretty decent. No change from previous findings pre-update. GRE still handles Starcom decently. The bad weather over the weekend did play havoc on the 500 and many transmissions were garbled and the dispatchers had trouble understanding too and asked for repeats, so I know it wasn't the scanners.

The GRE 500 snags far more transmissions than the 396. It is just amazing. Is the 500 THAT good or is the Uniden 396 digital...even with the latest update...THAT bad?....

I sincerely believe that many of the Starcom problems we complain about are really system and weather issues and not the scanners themselves. Just my observation and my 2 cents worth.
 
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#6
Statevillian said:
I sincerely believe that many of the Starcom problems we complain about are really system and weather issues and not the scanners themselves. Just my observation and my 2 cents worth.
Disagree with this particular statement.

Hey, you just yourself got done comparing two scanners, one doing better than the other, that should be a big data point (or hint).

Multicast P25 is a byotch in many conditions, but a properly designed radio is going to be able to handle the challenges. I have several P25-capable scanners (500, 96, 296) and while they're getting better, they still all fail at some point on multicast P25 reception. It's frustrating in many respects because you can HEAR what's going on with analog, and maybe even correct it, no such opportunity with digital. High antenna, low antenna, no antenna, attenuation...
 
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#7
Just my opinion

sixtytwo said:
Disagree with this particular statement.

Hey, you just yourself got done comparing two scanners, one doing better than the other, that should be a big data point (or hint).

Multicast P25 is a byotch in many conditions, but a properly designed radio is going to be able to handle the challenges. I have several P25-capable scanners (500, 96, 296) and while they're getting better, they still all fail at some point on multicast P25 reception. It's frustrating in many respects because you can HEAR what's going on with analog, and maybe even correct it, no such opportunity with digital. High antenna, low antenna, no antenna, attenuation...
OK. Maybe you are correct. I compared the 396 and 500 since I got the 500 in October. The 500 has always outperformed the 396 in my books. But, the traffic I hear where dispatchers and troopers are not responding or commenting it was very bad and to try again says it is not the scanner at all. But, those drop outs on both at times are not mentioned by anyone using a radio. At this point I hear more and more actual users complain in adverse weather conditions than average or nice days and nights. I am sure the technology is not perfect in the scanner world when the actual users have issues. I think we are lucky to be able to hear this stuff anyway. Very fortunate. I have faith in GRE. I am sure they will improve even more over what they have already done with digital scanning.
 

GTO_04

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#8
The 500 just has the 396 beat plain and simple. The 396 update did fix the EDACS beeps, but IMHO it did not really fix the motorboating issues on SAFE-T. Is motorboating also a big issue with the 396 on STARCOM-21?

GTO_04
 
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#9
I receive "NO" motorboating here at all on the GRE500 or Uniden 396, only on my PRO96 on the Starcom System monitoring T101,102,125, but on T113,126 the dropouts and echoing (multi-path distortion) are a problem...I agree since the 1.3 GRE upgrade the scanner beats the pants off of the 396 here at my location...My RS2096 using a outside antenna follows T125 in Grundy Co almost perfect but i think thats not a simulcast tower...On this tower i copy D5,17,6,21 in ILL...The districts in the boonies seem to fare much better...I agree with Statevillian that wind,rain weather conditions do very much influence my 700/800 signals....I have not done the upgrade to the 396 as there have been bad vibes about EDACS and here i have a 6 channel EDACS system (Will Co) ILL that works great on all scanners so even tho the audio is "crap' on the 396 the GRE500 and PRO96 make up for it...I bought Staevillian's 246, thats a better sounding audio and sensativity scanner in my opinion than the 396....I need "GOOD" audio and sensativity not bells and whistles....Been listening for over 35 years and had many models, i do appreciate the scanner company's keeping technology alive...
 
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#10
RoninJoliet said:
....I have not done the upgrade to the 396 as there have been bad vibes about EDACS and here i have a 6 channel EDACS system (Will Co) ILL that works great on all scanners so even tho the audio is "crap' on the 396 the GRE500 and PRO96 make up for it....
you probably saw in another thread, Ron, that Willco EDACS on my 996 isn't working right since the firmware update. I still don't know why, but today I checked the database to make sure my ARC file was still current, (it is) and I've also now set the audio to Analog instead of All and upped the hold time to see if that cures it...won't know until I load the new profile tonight. Will report whatever happens.
eric
 
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#11
No Motorboating on Starcom

GTO_04 said:
The 500 just has the 396 beat plain and simple. The 396 update did fix the EDACS beeps, but IMHO it did not really fix the motorboating issues on SAFE-T. Is motorboating also a big issue with the 396 on STARCOM-21?

GTO_04
I get no motorboating ever on the 500. And, on the 396 I have not heard it on the Starcom system.
 
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#12
I also monitor the Indiana SAFE-T system which is not P-25. It does sound better than Star-Com. When I was in Illinois, I did notice that wind noise was playing havoc with the mobile transmissions. In some cases it totally obliterated the voice for the entire transmission.
 
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#13
Thank you for the observation!

bessiedawg said:
I also monitor the Indiana SAFE-T system which is not P-25. It does sound better than Star-Com. When I was in Illinois, I did notice that wind noise was playing havoc with the mobile transmissions. In some cases it totally obliterated the voice for the entire transmission.
A few of us locally have noticed and reported weather impacting the digital communications and I have been told 'no' by local radio/scanner experts. Based upon what I hear in multiple weather scenarios....and God knows, Chicago can have 3 of 4 seasons in one day!.....I have noticed that distinction.
 
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#14
Couple of points here -

Location is going to play a big role in how good your reception is on the simulcast sites.

I could definitely see some of you being quite happy, if you're lucky enough to live in a good area and your mobile monitoring is also in those good areas. Sadly, a large portion of my commute covers poor coverage area. No motorboating, because GRE is smart enough to mute that (yay!) but plenty of garbled voice and dropouts.

It is consistent from day to day, I know this stretch will be bad, this one OK and this next one great.

With respect to weather, I too have noticed slight degradation during bad weather but it's impossible to say what that's due to. Also be aware that 800 MHz propagation varies day to night with better propagation at night, and there's a seasonal component (leaves vs. no leaves). To some extent, wind noise is a radio user issue, they need to get their lips right up to the mic so the noise canceling can work, it certainly isn't a digital issue.

62
 
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#15
I agree 100% with "62" on location as here up stairs in my tri-level i have my 2" spot on the shelf near the window which gives 98% on T113 which is about 5 miles from me....I use my three tower antennas two being CMaster 5094A antennas up 35' one with 9913 coax and one with RG8Uto monitor T101,102,125,126, T125 in Grundy is excellent but being about 30 miles from T101,102,126 is sometimes rough...Digital as mentioned is a whole new ballgame...Hearing Aurora, Naperville, GrundyCo in analog trunking results in 4-5 bars and is no problem...In regards to Eric in PLFd, i have trouble with T113-D5 also so hearing PLFD on T101,102 is better but there farther away from my location (wierd)...I think you (Eric) must have some problem with programming the LCN on Will Co Edacs because i hear them on a 396 or GRE500 fine on a rubber duck from Joliet to Fox Valley Mall...Im very bad with computer's so ALL my programming has been by hand and i know every detail and setting in all my scanners!!No software except Win96.. Been in the hobby 38 years and still learning..Ron in Joliet.....Scanners:245,246,396,898,PRO92,PRO96,2096,GRE500
 

gewecke

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
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#16
Pro-106 owners; what differences are there between pro-106/ gre version?

I am strongly considering buying the pro-106 next friday.(about 98% sure) and I'm interesting in hearing comments about the differences,if any? Either favorable or not are fine,as I'd like to research this beast as much as possible before making the purchase.
Also I've heard some comments that the pre-programmed data in it to allow starcom21 or other digital systems reception has faults?
Again,your thoughts?
Thanks tons, :)
n9zas
 
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#17
As i printed on another web site, some may find the GRE/RS models good on Starcom, my opinion is here in Chicago land the multi-site towers work poorly for me on the GRE/RS scanners....I get alot of dropouts and just flickering trying to receive them and in the mobile the cell towers wipe out my GRE500/RS106...My Uniden 396XT is alot more stable on Starcom and in the car...The GRE/RS models are great when i took them to Ottawa and Peru IL on stand alone towers...I have a friend in Bloomington and i think he may have sold his GRE/RS models for trhe new Unidens....I see this same thing now reported on the Starcom-yahoo group...This is my personal opinion....For the price on sale you would get a great buy on the RS106 and in Bloomington you may get lucky....
 
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