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Uniden BCD996P2 and Ohio MARCS Scanning issues

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theotherjfk

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#1
I work as a Police Officer and used to be partnered with a guy who used a BCD996XT scanner in the car with us so we could hear neighboring jurisdictions while out on patrol. Well I was transferred and wanted to pick up my own scanner, I was advised to get the Uniden BCD996P2 since it is the newer updated version of the XT. I've been having all sorts of issues with it, and my partner has been having all sorts of issues with his as well since we switched the MARCS system.

My main issue is that I only ever pick up one neighboring jurisdiction, and that happens to be one down in Kentucky. I've uploaded everything directly from RadioReference, thanks to a premium account, and my Scanner shows switching back and forth between jurisdiction on the top (Basically County Displays then City Displays, etc) and also the SO and GRP numbers flash but I never hear any radio chatter.

Does anyone know a simple, easy, step by step, almost idiot proof way, to program this so I can hear anything? (Trust me the volume is turned up, and I have experimented moving the squelch around between 0,1, and 2).
 
Joined
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Location
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#2
So given the limited information that you have provided, I am going to make a few assumptions about your situation. Since it sounds like you switched to MARCS recently, then you are likely referring to MARCS-IP. If you and the agencies you are trying to scan are not on MARCS-IP or any other Project 25 system, then you may have a different issue that may require a little bit more information like system type and sites you are trying to monitor.

One of the issues you might be running into is that you have too many sites programmed into the scanner. For massive radio systems only specific sites will carry the traffic you are looking for, so it is ideal to only program sites that are built to cover that location. If the scanner locks onto the wrong site, then it might be silent since no radios are using that site. Basically only program the site(s) that cover the agencies you want to hear.

If you are on MARCS-IP, then you could be running into is what has been called simulcast distortion. What you would commonly see this issue is the scanner sometimes rapidly flashing between receiving a talkgroup and scanning. You would hear is either broken or no audio. What is happening is with systems like MARCS-IP is that they are creating "sites" that are really several different physical radio towers. What this means is that all these different radio towers transmits the exact same information at the same time to expand coverage for the radios that you use.

There is a lot of technical details for this, but the fact is that scanners are terrible at dealing with simulcast sites. Your radio generally does not run into this issue as it is specifically designed to properly handle simulcast sites properly. Currently there are no scanners that will properly handle this issue. There are some reports that some models of scanners might handle the problems slightly better, but it will mostly require fine tuning or messing with antennas to get it working while stationary. Trying to get it working 100% while mobile is almost impossible.

As a final thought, the RadioReference Database is not always up-to-date. You should normally see some type of signal bar being displayed when it is scanning a system like MARCS. If you don't, then it is possible that the database is not updated. You may need to custom program every frequency for a site in order to get it to lock properly.

Hopefully my reply is at least somewhat helpful.
 

phask

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KZZV - SE Ohio
#3
I'd suggest having this moved to the Ohio forum (click the red triangle in the upper right corner).

Then add the agency, jurisdiction and your location(s). Unless you are in one of the simulcast areas (Columbus is a prime one) , the 996 does fine. You can also add your file Freescan or whatever and others can examine it.
 
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