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Old 08-24-2010, 10:23 AM
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Exclamation Hanover County Switch Over

Hanover County will be switching over to their new Digital communications TRS at 0300 on the 25th, which is tonight. I hope it works better than the legacy system has been doing!

I also hope my 996T's problem is found today as it is getting old with the coming and going of audio or the whole scanner just quits.

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Old 08-25-2010, 8:33 AM
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They've cut over. I don't know if they are running concurrent at this time.
I see no real improvement in signal from the Bryan Park area, but never really had a good signal on their old system from here either. I was hoping coverage on the new system was going to be like that of the metro Richmond system, I'm usually able to copy it from at least one and a half counties (not a unit of measurement I know!) out of Richmond, Henrico, or Chesterfield.
FWIW, I have seen some improvement turning on the NFM with my GRE500. When its off, it appears to be more digital. Antenna placement in the house doesn't seem to solve anything (Radio Shack 800 antenna). Still messing with some of the other settings.

*They just put a fire call out, the two tone quick call audio is going out over the fire dispatch talkgroup. It sounds kind of distorted, that might get annoying.

Also, I'm working from home today, so I'm just listening in wildcard mode, no new TGIDs for you guys just yet.

Last edited by topcop1833; 08-25-2010 at 8:41 AM..
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Old 08-25-2010, 8:58 AM
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I know watching and listening to the new system has not shown me a lot either. I can hear Henrico & Richmond further up 95 than I can Hanover on their new digital system. I use a preamp here with a Diamond Discone and it helps a lot for everything around Hanover. I also use the 800mhz antenna from RS when I use the D396XT just as a HH. The stock antenna on that scanner is the worse I have seen. But the audio of the 396 is not near as good for feeding RR which I find odd. Something keeps happening to my 996 and I guess I will send it back to Uniden again for the 3rd time. That is rather aggravating for a $500.00 scanner!!! IMHO..
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Old 08-25-2010, 9:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topcop1833 View Post
They've cut over. I don't know if they are running concurrent at this time.
I don't believe that there will be any concurrent use. From this point on, everything will be P25.

Quote:
Originally Posted by topcop1833 View Post
I was hoping coverage on the new system was going to be like that of the metro Richmond system, I'm usually able to copy it from at least one and a half counties (not a unit of measurement I know!) out of Richmond, Henrico, or Chesterfield.
Don't get your hopes up. I traveled around town during the testing phase. Coverage inside the county is great. But just a few miles outside the borders and things get crappy (for scanners, at least). The system is set up with fifteen simulcast towers and uses LSM. Scanners don't like large simulcast systems. Beyond the intended coverage area, the distortion is ridiculous. I'm hoping that future models will address the issue better, but I won't hold my breath.
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Old 08-26-2010, 9:48 AM
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Default Hanover County Switch Over

I have been monitoring stationary since the switch. It sounds good if you stay in a sweet spot with no multipath interference. Mobile was a different story altogether. I would assume it is a scanner issue, and not a system one. I have heard many of the users complain of low audio from the dispatcher, when I did not experience the same.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:50 AM
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It sounds good if you stay in a sweet spot with no multipath interference. Mobile was a different story altogether. I would assume it is a scanner issue, and not a system one.
Oh yeah. And sometimes I can keep my scanner sitting on a desk with perfectly clear audio one minute, and garbage the next. Frustrating to say the least. Obviously no scanner users were consulted during system testing

And apparently the range on the system is outstanding. I heard through the grapevine that the signal doesn't start to fade (for actual users on Moto radios) until the Tri-Cities to the south and F'burg to the north. Not too shabby.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:01 PM
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For those with Uniden scanners, this might also help...

P25 audio decode level adjustment - The RadioReference Wiki

I don't believe this system is multi site, right? So you shouldn't be running into Simulcast distortion issues... 73 Mike
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Old 08-26-2010, 1:18 PM
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It's actually a fifteen-tower simulcast system. Multipath/distortion is a moderate problem. It doesn't totally preclude me from listening, and it could be worse. Just talk to the folks in Phoenix.
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Old 08-26-2010, 1:49 PM
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Ouch - 15 sites? Then this wiki article is applicable..

Simulcast digital distortion - The RadioReference Wiki

I guess it would be a good idea to keep these 2 articles handy for new Uniden users...although how applicable this is to Linear modulation (as mentioned in the wiki) is certainly open to discussion

73 Mike
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Last edited by ka3jjz; 08-26-2010 at 1:51 PM..
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Old 08-26-2010, 4:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jehm1212 View Post
The system is set up with fifteen simulcast towers and uses LSM. Scanners don't like large simulcast systems.

The Uniden XT scanners work best on LSM simulcast systems.

If you have a Uniden 396/996 XT scanner - make the following changes...

- Change* the "P25 Adjust Level" from default 50 to either 87 or 93 (exactly these numbers, yes!)
- Force** the system modulation (Hold+F+9) to from AUTO or NFM to FM (don't ask, just do it!)


LSM simulcast systems (and CQPSK modulated systems) have much narrower thresholds and more sensitive timing issues and thus doing the exact opposite of what seems right in this case, by essentially increasing the 'opening' in the two 'windows' descibed above, allows our lesser precision scanners have more time to decode any conflicting incoming signals bouncing in from two adjacent sites.

Trust me -- just try it -- it makes a noticable difference (assuming you are in range of the system.)

;-)


* See the aforementioned wiki article for instructions to power on the scanner and find this hidden setting.

** This cannot be done via software - it must be done manually and will loose the setting with software upload/download change to the system.
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Old 08-27-2010, 9:13 AM
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Default TG Logging

I work 10 hr shift mon-thu but the little time I have listened.

some possible TG's I have log thus far and there are alot more not listed in database.

TG 2176 animal control..
TG 2226 Utilities
TG 2096 most definitely FIRE Dispatch

TG 2042 Encrypted

thats what i have so far.

Last edited by flyingscotsman; 08-27-2010 at 9:16 AM..
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Old 08-27-2010, 3:18 PM
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The system seems to get a lot farther out than the old system. I am picking them up in Hopewell on my Pro-106 with a RS 800 antenna. Not perfect but I was not able to pick up a thing on the old system this far out (I would say its a 10 plus mile improvement on the range old vs new system).
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Old 08-28-2010, 1:53 PM
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Hello C5corvette,
I finally got my relatives to move on after 3 days and so I was able to follow your suggestions! LOL And they worked!!! Now I must say the 396 did(sounds) better than the 996 but both have improved a lot!! I am impressed and thank you very much for your help!
For whatever reason the uploading issue with the 996 was finally cleared up up after reloading the firmware AGAIN. What the issue is with that is beyond me!
So thanks again!
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Old 08-28-2010, 2:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC4ASF View Post

Hello C5corvette,

I was able to follow your suggestions! LOL And they worked!!!

I am impressed and thank you very much for your help!

So thanks again!

Ben

A lot of people are skeptical until they try it. But it does work.

I really think someone should add it to the P25 adjustment wiki.
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Old 08-29-2010, 6:39 PM
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So, it appears that I have entered all the freq's correctly but from time to time perfectly clear transmissions turn into garbled mush! Im using a pro-106. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-29-2010, 8:43 PM
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Hi Doug,
I am not familiar with the 106 but basically the scrambled garbled transmissions are digital communications when something is not right. I discovered today that if I moved my 346 HH about 6" the signal meter dropped 2 signal bars BUT the transmissions clarity improved greatly!! Unfortunately the radio is very near the edge of a table and cannot stay where it is now. Hopefully someone else will know more about your radio regarding setup.

Take care
Ben
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC4ASF View Post
Hi Doug,
I am not familiar with the 106 but basically the scrambled garbled transmissions are digital communications when something is not right. I discovered today that if I moved my 346 HH about 6" the signal meter dropped 2 signal bars BUT the transmissions clarity improved greatly!! Unfortunately the radio is very near the edge of a table and cannot stay where it is now. Hopefully someone else will know more about your radio regarding setup.

Take care
Ben
Does you scanner have a built in attenuator option? If not, how about adding a 1.5 or 3 dB pad in-line with the antenna?
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Old 08-30-2010, 2:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c5corvette View Post
The Uniden XT scanners work best on LSM simulcast systems.

If you have a Uniden 396/996 XT scanner - make the following changes...

- Change* the "P25 Adjust Level" from default 50 to either 87 or 93 (exactly these numbers, yes!)
- Force** the system modulation (Hold+F+9) to from AUTO or NFM to FM (don't ask, just do it!)


LSM simulcast systems (and CQPSK modulated systems) have much narrower thresholds and more sensitive timing issues and thus doing the exact opposite of what seems right in this case, by essentially increasing the 'opening' in the two 'windows' descibed above, allows our lesser precision scanners have more time to decode any conflicting incoming signals bouncing in from two adjacent sites.

Trust me -- just try it -- it makes a noticable difference (assuming you are in range of the system.)

;-)


* See the aforementioned wiki article for instructions to power on the scanner and find this hidden setting.

** This cannot be done via software - it must be done manually and will loose the setting with software upload/download change to the system.
First a question. If Hanover Co. has switched to 100% to P25 why now am I receiving talkgroups 04-021 and 02-104 i.e., "Back in the county" on their EDACS system?

I am located in Prince George using a 996XT and have tower mounted mast mounted preamped mostly Scantennas. The EDACS CC is 4 of 5 bars signal strength and the P25 CC is 5 bars.

After making your recommended menu changes I still am experiencing choppy audio. I tried different value entries up to "99". I left it on "83" and "400ms" P25 wait time. The audio appears about 90% chop free here but not optimized. Additionally I tried changing P25 Wait times with no improvement only making reception worse. Using NFM or FM mode made no difference. I am 20+ air miles from Hanover and do not have a multi-path distortion signal issue.

This audio chopping reminds me of the same reception problem when the Hopewell trs first became operational. At that time I was using a 796D scanner. Part of resolution was manually adjusting the P25 decode threshold level. In part that is what we are trying to do here. Currently my 996XT is set to "Auto". I want to be able to manually adjust it as shown in the Wiki table for "Setting the P25 Decode Level for the BCD396T and BCD996T". The 996XT dynamic table values display a range from "7-13". Unless I am misunderstanding something this setting should be changeable by the user. I can access the dynamic screen table display by pressing "FUNC" and the "Volume" control but I cannot remember what the required user entry for this hidden menu is to enter the "Manual" mode for selecting another value. Pressing the Func control twice does not work on the 996XT to access the "Manual" mode. The default settings are "8" and "Auto". With my 796D and 996T I found "7" and "Manual" to be better settings. These adjustments also were in hidden menus. The Butel ARC996T software had a user option to select "Manual" and change to a different value setting but the Butel ARC996XT software does not have this option. If anyone knows the keyboard entry(s) to access the "Manual" adjustment mode please post it.

The Sheriff's Office dispatch talkgroup chops worse than the Fire Dept. here.
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Old 08-30-2010, 3:33 PM
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I'm not trying to hijack this thread, but since the Hanover topic has a lot of attention recently, I'm curious as to the purpose of the "Richmond Capital Region" talkgroups. Are they a patch into the Richmond/Henrico/Chesterfield system?
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Old 08-31-2010, 3:14 PM
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Quote:
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I'm not trying to hijack this thread, but since the Hanover topic has a lot of attention recently, I'm curious as to the purpose of the "Richmond Capital Region" talkgroups. Are they a patch into the Richmond/Henrico/Chesterfield system?
I am 99% sure that is correct.
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