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Uniden Advanced Technical Topics For all threads regarding technical performance of specific models or general higher tier, technically oriented discussion of the technology used in Uniden scanners. Please use the Tech Support forum for all normal questions.

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  #301 (permalink)  
Old 02-04-2014, 6:02 AM
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I've posted my initial findings in this thread, because I was looking for a local response monitoring our county trunked system (San Diego County RCS) but so far I have been the only one to report.

In summary. I am listening stationary with an attic antenna that gets 5 bars of signal. Analog on the system is clean but the digital decode needed tweaking from the auto default mode. I'm running a P25 threshold of 10 for the best clarity, but the audio still occasionally cracks, and pops mid transmission and sometimes has a significant delay in initiating digital decoding. Downgrading and using the antenna that came with the radio or running ATT degrades the quality further yet. In comparison, my 796D and 785D are running circles around the 536HP as far as digital clarity and consistency goes. If only they had the incredible memory structure and display that the 536 does...

Since results are widely varied based on systems monitored, it seems its time for UNIDEN to start providing firmware options for those who many not be listening to the systems in the Dallas/FW area. I also have a 996XT and when the last firmware upgrade came out for it I loaded it and promptly reverted back to the older version which was a MUCH better option for this system. I am sorry that I did the immediate firmware upgrade that UPMAN suggested we do as the first step, wondering if the version on the scanner at delivery wouldn't have been an improvement over what it is now. Anyone know if there is any way to get the original firmware for the 536H?
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  #302 (permalink)  
Old 02-04-2014, 6:18 AM
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You might find something on the train posted below
BCD436 Choppy
Look at page 1 of this trend

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  #303 (permalink)  
Old 02-04-2014, 6:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UPMan View Post
Report the system, site, receive conditions, and receive quality. Posting the recording would be good, too.
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Originally Posted by KevinC View Post
To add to what Paul posted...


I would like this thread to be reports/videos/audio ONLY...but I'm not in charge.

If it gets filled up with banter back and forth (like this post) all the reports will get lost.
I'd like the thread to get back to just this...but that's just me.
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Last edited by KevinC; 02-04-2014 at 7:03 AM..
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  #304 (permalink)  
Old 02-04-2014, 5:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mtindor View Post
You don't seem to get it. What antenna I'm using is irrelevant, period. Nobody should have to re-orient their scanner, move to a different location in the house, turn attenuators on, or use a particular antenna.

The signal strength shows that the signal is sufficiently strong. I can get beautiful decode on all my scanners on many sites that have a consistent 1-2 bars of signal. There is much more signal available there than 1-2 bars.

Sorry I can't / won't post a larger video. This system is not super active. There are no "metro" systems around me that generate sufficient traffic. I'd have to record a 15 minutes video to give you what you want. And that isn't worth my time.

Most transmissions sound like that. Some are better than others, some are worse. Some days even the BCD536HP can't decode a thing. It does perform better than my RS PRO-197 on this particular system, but by no means can one consider it as performing brilliantly.

Mike
Mike,
I was looking at your video's and I noticed that the Pro-197 is running with the Global Attenuation on , that would cause the scanner to miss the CC . I would try using the roam feature and try to set it in the high range.
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  #305 (permalink)  
Old 02-04-2014, 7:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Nascar18 View Post
Mike,
I was looking at your video's and I noticed that the Pro-197 is running with the Global Attenuation on , that would cause the scanner to miss the CC . I would try using the roam feature and try to set it in the high range.
The global attenuator isn't on. I have it set to Global Attenuator mode, yes -- which means that any time I press ATT, it acts upon the whole scanner instead of individual items. But the attenuator is not on. As you can see in the example, there is plenty of signal.

Mike
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  #306 (permalink)  
Old 02-05-2014, 1:44 PM
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On a system that is simulcast, at least as shown in the RR database, if I am located about equal distant to 3 sites, that according to the RR database transmit the same frequencies, how could that affect my reception of a P25 Phase II system?

Now if I am at a different location and the 2nd closest site is about twice the distance as the closest site I am going to assume that my reception of the same system is going to be better vs the first location. Is this a correct assumption?
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  #307 (permalink)  
Old 02-05-2014, 1:49 PM
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Simulcast reception suffers from "multipath signal distortion" Simulcast digital distortion - The RadioReference Wiki
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  #308 (permalink)  
Old 02-05-2014, 2:27 PM
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Simulcast reception suffers from "multipath signal distortion" Simulcast digital distortion - The RadioReference Wiki
I can tell you multi path signal distortion is my worst enemy at my home location. Doesn't matter the scanner (had them all except for X36's or PSR800).
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  #309 (permalink)  
Old 02-05-2014, 3:10 PM
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Nr2d, that is exactly my plight. At my current location, I am smack dab in between 3 towers all about 4 miles from my location (yes it is the same Camco system I believe you are referring to) and in some areas I get simulcast multisite distortion. Drive a few miles North so that you are 2 miles from one tower and 4 miles from 2 others, it sounds perfect. This is using the PSR 800. If I buy a 436hp that'll be a good test.

Last edited by policefreak; 02-05-2014 at 3:15 PM..
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  #310 (permalink)  
Old 02-05-2014, 3:16 PM
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Simulcast reception suffers from "multipath signal distortion" Simulcast digital distortion - The RadioReference Wiki
Thanks for the reference. thinking about it It was a stupid question. I am quite familiar with multipath cancellation in analog communications but never really thought about it in digital communications. This digital Public Safety Communications is new to me. Give me the old analog FM days anytime. Must have had a senior moment.

Thanks.
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  #311 (permalink)  
Old 02-05-2014, 3:35 PM
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I tossed up another video of my monitoring of the WVSIRN Ohio Co Simulcast.

This video has the decoding error information on the display [for whomever it was that asked].

Uniden BCD536HP monitoring WVSIRN Ohio Co Simulcast - YouTube

Mike
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  #312 (permalink)  
Old 02-05-2014, 3:43 PM
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Doesnt sound that great. Do you have any other radios that monitor this system? How do they perform?
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  #313 (permalink)  
Old 02-05-2014, 3:59 PM
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Default PCWIN P25 Phase 2 TDMA in Tucson, AZ

Very short recordings of PCWIN test transmissions on 436HP

First clip "Shots fired" is from Site 2 Simulcast B TGID 18024 (Pima County Sheriff), with 8 towers. Second clip "Code 999" is from Site 9 Mt Bigelow TGID 18009 (Pima County Sheriff), a non-simulcast site. I live about 25 road miles and 5 air miles from the Mt Bigelow site. I am about 1 mile from the nearest tower for site 2, and about 5 miles from the second nearest tower.

The recordings were made in my house with the stock antenna.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqR7UkFpOvU
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  #314 (permalink)  
Old 02-05-2014, 4:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtindor View Post
I tossed up another video of my monitoring of the WVSIRN Ohio Co Simulcast.

This video has the decoding error information on the display [for whomever it was that asked].

Uniden BCD536HP monitoring WVSIRN Ohio Co Simulcast - YouTube

Mike
I'm sure you tried playing with the P25 decode setting? I see it's set to default (Auto/8)
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Old 02-05-2014, 7:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kd7eir View Post
Very short recordings of PCWIN test transmissions on 436HP

First clip "Shots fired" is from Site 2 Simulcast B TGID 18024 (Pima County Sheriff), with 8 towers. Second clip "Code 999" is from Site 9 Mt Bigelow TGID 18009 (Pima County Sheriff), a non-simulcast site. I live about 25 road miles and 5 air miles from the Mt Bigelow site. I am about 1 mile from the nearest tower for site 2, and about 5 miles from the second nearest tower.

The recordings were made in my house with the stock antenna.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqR7UkFpOvU
The audio sounds pretty decent. Were those actual transmissions or were they doing a drill? The 'shots fired' girl made a strange noise at the end and the code 999 girl was chuckling. Assuming code 999 means the same in Tucson as it does in Phoenix I can't imagine the dispatcher finding it funny.
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Old 02-05-2014, 7:10 PM
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I'm sure you tried playing with the P25 decode setting? I see it's set to default (Auto/8)
No I haven't, nor did I intend to. It just hadn't crossed my mind. I'm pretty confident that it would be too much effort for little-to-no yield.

I haven't read/heard of anything that would indicate that anyone else with simulcast problems got improvements [without unwanted side effects] by messing with the P25 decode settings.

I may screw with it a little bit later this evening, but overall it's not worth my time to have to change setting, wait for traffic (which could be half an hour at a time), change setting again, repeat ad nauseum -- and then come up with no improvement.

I just made the video for the person who asked about possibly seeing the error info.

Mike
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  #317 (permalink)  
Old 02-05-2014, 8:03 PM
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The audio sounds pretty decent. Were those actual transmissions or were they doing a drill? The 'shots fired' girl made a strange noise at the end and the code 999 girl was chuckling. Assuming code 999 means the same in Tucson as it does in Phoenix I can't imagine the dispatcher finding it funny.
Those were test transmissions. They have the various agencies doing their own testing as well as overall testing prior to the potential go-live in April.
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  #318 (permalink)  
Old 02-05-2014, 9:13 PM
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dwlipp,

How did you listen to Phase 2 on your 396?
Motorola offers an option known as DDM (Dynamic Dual Mode) with their ASTRO 25 Phase II radio systems. This option allows talkgroups to switch between FDMA and TDMA depending on the capabilities of the radios affiliated with a talkgroup at any given time and this often results in you hearing TDMA transmissions on a Uniden 996XT or 396 scanner for example. I am guessing that is how he hears Phase 2 on a 396.
(sorry for jumping in but I get that question a lot)
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  #319 (permalink)  
Old 02-06-2014, 8:15 AM
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Doesnt sound that great. Do you have any other radios that monitor this system? How do they perform?
I don't if your question was directed to me but no I don't have any other radio that can monitor the Camden County Public Safety system. My other scanner that is hooked up is the BCD996T and I don't think that will decode TDMA.

I think a lot of the problems with simulcast receive is multipath. I live closest to the Lindenwold site. The next closest site is the Camden County College site which is about twice the distance. I have a friend in Cherry Hill who lives close to 3 sites. He has problems receiving Camden County Public Safety were as I would say that 90 - 95% of my reception is trouble free. I attached 2 files showing the situation. Both maps are centered on our approx. locations.
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Last edited by nr2d; 02-06-2014 at 8:31 AM..
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:51 AM
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I don't if your question was directed to me but no I don't have any other radio that can monitor the Camden County Public Safety system. My other scanner that is hooked up is the BCD996T and I don't think that will decode TDMA.

I think a lot of the problems with simulcast receive is multipath. I live closest to the Lindenwold site. The next closest site is the Camden County College site which is about twice the distance. I have a friend in Cherry Hill who lives close to 3 sites. He has problems receiving Camden County Public Safety were as I would say that 90 - 95% of my reception is trouble free. I attached 2 files showing the situation. Both maps are centered on our approx. locations.
I share the pain. Here's the site map for MontCo, PA - I'm located between East Norriton and Norristown on this map. Impossible not to get multi path here in this simulcast system.
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