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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 10-19-2018, 3:46 PM
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My 436 has no problem with digital. Looking at the database, Phoenix police appear to be simulcasting. That is a problem for the 436 and other scanners. It's picking up signals from all the towers at the same time and that simply doesn't work. The resulting audio is garbled. The Uniden SDS100 solved that problem but at a cost.

There is no fix for the simulcast problem in the 436. It's simply the nature of the beast.
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Old 10-20-2018, 3:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KB7TV0 View Post
My first post. I work as a volunteer EMS operator in the Tucson area. I purchased a Uniden BCD436HP about three years ago to monitor local EMS and emergency traffic. The radio seems to be total junk. The communications sound completely garbled, especially PCSO and Tucson Police. I get no TFD reception.

Any suggestions?

I have recently uploaded the revised database.

It there a good handheld scanner that is not as complex and difficult to program?

Thanks in advance.

W.
I've been using my BCD-436HP in Tucson since Uniden released it. No issues with TPD/TFD/PCSO or anyone else. I run it 24/7/365. I'm at Speedway and Harrison, so I'm not too far from you.

Here is my .hpe file for Tucson - it currently has TPD team 4 and TFD actively being scanned, but it contains all TPD and PCSO talkgroups as well as many other things.

For TPD and PCSO it has only Simulcast A being monitored, and for TFD only Simulcast B is being monitored.

Give it a try and see if it helps with your reception.

www.kd7eir.net/Tucson.hpe
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Old 10-20-2018, 3:08 AM
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Originally Posted by KB7TV0 View Post
Did some research and it seems the 436 will not work with Simulcast A here in Tucson, so TFD will not be heard. Thanks.
That is 100% FALSE. I've been using it for YEARS on Simulcast A for TPD and PCSO, and Simulcast B for TFD.

You will not hear TFD on Simulcast A because TFD is ALWAYS on Simulcast B. TPD and PCSO is ALWAYS on Simulcast A, with the PCSO North talkgroups also ALWAYS being on Simulcast North, PCSO East talkgroups are ALWAYS heard on Bigelow.

Please stop blaming the inanimate object for YOUR failures.
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Old 10-20-2018, 3:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanRollman View Post
Not derogatory, just true. Yes, the 436 is basically junk when it comes to monitoring an LSM system, which the PCWIN system most certainly is. We all know that. But the Uniden fanboys won't admit it and instead chose to blame the operator, the system, the location, the antenna, the wind - anything but Uniden.

To the OP - yes, you're basically right. That scanner is crap if you're trying to listen to PCWIN. Unlike others, I won't blame that fact on you. To prove I'm neither a Uniden fanboy nor a Uniden hater, see my posts from last week wherein I rave about the Uniden SDS100 on PCWIN. Simply put, the 436 doesn't have the right hardware to work well on PCWIN (though they sell it as such, and occasionally you might here a few words). The SDS100 was actually designed by Uniden to cure the defects inherent in the 436 when it comes to monitoring systems like PCWIN (read their advertising - they all but admit this, even if only indirectly). And it works great on PCWIN.

But no, operating these scanners is not simple. Simple is a Unication G4 or G5, or a BK KNG-P800. The former will cost the same or less than an SDS100 but won't have nearly so many whizbang features, but will work well for basic monitoring once programmed (but you will need help to program it if you found the 436 challenging). The latter will cost a ton more but will work even better (it is a public safety grade P25 transceiver that happens to have a true "Receive Only" mode), but here again you would need proprietary software and help to program initially.

I used my KNG-P800 and my SDS100 to monitor PCWIN last week. Both sounded fantastic all over town. But I admit I am sufficiently techy that neither overwhelms me in terms of programming or operation. My 436, on the other hand, sounded like - well - junk.

You said "volunteer EMS". UofA EMS, or SARA? I can't imagine who else is "volunteer EMS" in the Tucson area. I'm guessing the former since they are dispatched on PCWIN, whereas SARA isn't (though monitoring PCSO East 1 could be quite useful to an active SARA member).

Dan
So, I guess my YEARS of monitoring PCWIN with the BC-436 WITHOUT ISSUES is all just my imagination? If someone is NOT successfully receiving PCWIN with a BCD-436 they THEY are the problem - they either have it programmed wrong or they have ZERO KNOWLEDGE of how to use a scanner.
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Old 10-20-2018, 3:26 AM
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Old 10-20-2018, 6:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kd7eir View Post
So, I guess my YEARS of monitoring PCWIN with the BC-436 WITHOUT ISSUES is all just my imagination?
Pretty much. In that case, mostly comes down to your definition of '"without issues". The 436 kinda works from some locations. But it's pretty junky in general from most locations. The SDS100, on the other hand...

Look, if you're happy with the quality of the 436 on PCWIN, great! Most aren't, and for good reason. It isn't fair to blame individual users for hardware design shortcomings that are well documented all over these forums, have been clearly witnessed locally by others who have been scanning for decades too, and has even been admitted by Uniden (it is the exact reason Uniden created the SDS100 knowing their 436 works poorly on systems like PCWIN).

If you've got a sooper dooper 436 that defies the feedback of most of the other long-time listeners on these forums and elsewhere, great. Just recognize you're an exception.

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Old 10-20-2018, 7:11 AM
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Originally Posted by kd7eir View Post
If someone is NOT successfully receiving PCWIN with a BCD-436 they THEY are the problem - they either have it programmed wrong or they have ZERO KNOWLEDGE of how to use a scanner.
To be clear on what I've been saying here - if someone is not hearing anything on PCWIN even with a good signal and after selecting the correct Simulcast site for the talkgroups of choice, they probably do have something set wrong. But that wasn't the OP's issue. He's hearing it, he's just commenting on how garbled ("junky") it sounds. And that's the truth for most.

Have you listened to PCWIN on an SDS100, a Unication, a KNG or a Motorola APX? Another possibility is you're just used to what others would describe as a pretty crappy sound and decode quality. Or not. But again, if you're happy with a 436 in Tucson, awesome. Rare, but awesome.

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Old 10-20-2018, 7:22 AM
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Originally Posted by kd7eir View Post
That is 100% FALSE.

You will not hear TFD on Simulcast A because TFD is ALWAYS on Simulcast B. TPD and PCSO is ALWAYS on Simulcast A.
It's not 100% false, and it isn't true that TFD is never on Simulcast A or that PCSO is never on Simulcast B. but it's true that's not a very reliable way to listening to what your interested in.

More precisely, TFD is always on Simulcast B and is often also on Simulcast A. PCSO and TPD are always on Simulcast A and often on Simulcast B. This is necessary for, among other things, efficiently accommodating Scan by subscriber radios on the system. When a PCSO deputy on East 1 includes Rural Metro in an active scanlist, Rural Metro and East 1 end up on the same simulcast (in addition to their respective normal full time simulcasts). Same with TPD and TFD. Happens all the time. But I agree that monitoring a simulcast that is secondary for that agency is not a good way to ensure you always hear them. That is why I wrote it the way I did in the PCWIN database entry on RR, which I help maintain.

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Old 10-20-2018, 11:27 AM
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I have come to the conclusion that my location, combined with the limitations of the 436 are the issue. I can pick up some PCSO, but not TFD and only broken TPD. Even the cell reception near Sabino Canyon and Cloud is crummy. I'm going to try the SDS100 after I sell the 436. Thanks again for everyone's feedback. If I win the Mega MIllions next week, a free new scanner for everyone!
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by KB7TV0 View Post
I have come to the conclusion that my location, combined with the limitations of the 436 are the issue. I can pick up some PCSO, but not TFD and only broken TPD. Even the cell reception near Sabino Canyon and Cloud is crummy. I'm going to try the SDS100 after I sell the 436. Thanks again for everyone's feedback. If I win the Mega MIllions next week, a free new scanner for everyone!
Good call! I have listened from that area many times - my 436 sounds terrible and my SDS100 sounds great. Let us know how it goes!

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Old 10-20-2018, 12:15 PM
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I have two of them and bought the first one in June 2014 and bought the second one last July. Neither will work with EDCAS systems. They are disappointing with their inability to work with Pro Voice or other add on options on them.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 10-20-2018, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by KB7TV0 View Post
I have come to the conclusion that my location, combined with the limitations of the 436 are the issue. I can pick up some PCSO, but not TFD and only broken TPD. Even the cell reception near Sabino Canyon and Cloud is crummy. I'm going to try the SDS100 after I sell the 436. Thanks again for everyone's feedback. If I win the Mega MIllions next week, a free new scanner for everyone!
Also, in the mean time, try the Bigelow site. You generally won't hear TPD or TFD on that site, but you will always hear PCSO East 1 on that site. Bigelow works ok in that area, and it is a single site rather than a simulcast, so it works ok on the 436.

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Old 10-21-2018, 9:56 PM
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I have been using the 436 to monitor TPD,TFD & PCSO since April of 2014 { when they retired the legacy system & fired up the PCWIN }.

I have no trouble hearing all of them & the quality of the audio is fine, so I guess I got lucky.

I purchased my radios as soon as the 436 were first released by Uniden & I don't know if that has anything to do with my luck with them.

There are times that garbled & long echo transmissions come through but, most of the time the interference is also experienced by the agencies that are transmitting & receiving & that is just the nature of the beast.

I have found that there are areas of town that have inherent lousy reception but, it is only temporary if you are mobile.

I have minor problems with reception in the Tucson mountains & it is only when I am mobile & there are mountains involved.
Flano says he has problems with reception on the S/E side of town near Vail.

This tells me that the quality of your reception has a whole lot to do with your location.

I did notice a big improvement in reception when they did a major firmware update a few years ago so, it is crucial to make sure that you keep the firmware & database updated.

I have also experimented with different antennas. I have had the best luck with the stubby 800/900 antennas in my area of town... { your mileage may vary }.



Thanks to Dan & Flano for their hard work keeping our local database up to date.


.

Last edited by mothertrucker; 10-21-2018 at 10:28 PM..
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:23 PM
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...

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In case you didn't know...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZXkLWG4GBQ

Never played it though.
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Old 10-22-2018, 5:29 PM
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Originally Posted by KK4JUG View Post
My 436 has no problem with digital. Looking at the database, Phoenix police appear to be simulcasting....The Uniden SDS100 solved that problem but at a cost....
The SDS100 hasn't been much of a solution for myself and several others here in the Valley that have posted about our experiences. It might handle LSM properly in terms of demodulation in the strictest sense, but range on our 700 MHz simulcast system is poor, and there have been far too many reports of mysterious "interference" causing the SDS100 to have a hard time switching from control to talk frequencies.

Myself and others have seen issues with receiving the old 800 MHz MCSO Moto Smartzone system, as well as the ancient conventional DPS UHF system. Myself and one of the other regulars on the AZ forum both found reception on the MCSO system was pretty bad from locations where the 436 had no issue.

And to be crystal-clear, those who had the issues and kept their SDS100s have reported that various firmware releases did NOT fix the issues. Now to be fair one or two people in the valley have reported great results, but most who have I have spoken to, and everyone that I have met in person for testing has seen the same issues / weaknesses.

So I'll admit that if I were someone who had not tested the SDS100 and was curious, I would probably buy one and try it out. I just recommend that you make sure you have a good return policy available from the merchant if you are buying one to test in the Phoenix area.
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Old 10-27-2018, 5:18 PM
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Just wanted to update... sold the 436 and got the SDS100 and it's a winner. P25 is no longer a problem. Can pick up clear TFD signals and the distorted reception is now clear. Thanks everyone for the feedback.

Great radio, but obvious flaw with the SDS100 is the lack of a GPS, as I've read in other posts. Uniden should have offered it as either a small, snug fitting module that plugs directly into the port or as an upgrade. I hate using wires and remote GPS units while traveling. Just more clutter. Does anyone know if the gentleman who installed internal GPS is still doing it? Did they work? I searched out the classified ads and could find no listing.

Thanks.
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Old 10-27-2018, 5:31 PM
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Does anyone know if the gentleman who installed internal GPS is still doing it? Did they work? I searched out the classified ads and could find no listing.

Thanks.
The member I believe you're referring to is "away" for a few years.

That's all I'll say...
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Old 10-27-2018, 5:34 PM
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The member I believe you're referring to is "away" for a few years.

That's all I'll say...
I think it's "only" 18 months but he sure is missed.
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Old 10-27-2018, 5:45 PM
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Originally Posted by KB7TV0 View Post
Just wanted to update... sold the 436 and got the SDS100 and it's a winner. P25 is no longer a problem. Can pick up clear TFD signals and the distorted reception is now clear. Thanks everyone for the feedback.

Great radio, but obvious flaw with the SDS100 is the lack of a GPS, as I've read in other posts. Uniden should have offered it as either a small, snug fitting module that plugs directly into the port or as an upgrade. I hate using wires and remote GPS units while traveling. Just more clutter. Does anyone know if the gentleman who installed internal GPS is still doing it? Did they work? I searched out the classified ads and could find no listing.

Thanks.
The "clutter" does work, however. I recently took a trip from GA to MI & back. On the way back, I used the SDS100 all the way. It worked beautifully, including updating scanned frequencies, simulcast, etc. It seemed to pick up all the bands and services I had punched in. There was a side benefit, too, There was enough juice through the cigarette lighter plug to keep the scanner charged. (I used a US Globalsat GPS antenna and a cheap Tram 700/800 mHz magnetic antenna.) It was a little cluttered but I got used to it very quickly.
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Old 10-27-2018, 5:47 PM
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Originally Posted by KB7TV0 View Post
Just wanted to update... sold the 436 and got the SDS100 and it's a winner. P25 is no longer a problem. Can pick up clear TFD signals and the distorted reception is now clear. Thanks everyone for the feedback.
Great to hear that the SDS100 has cured the junky performance you were getting from the 436 on PCWIN! The SDS100 was created precisely to cure the issue of how bad the 436 hardware works on systems like PCWIN. Being a long-time (disappointed) user of a 436 on Simulcast P25 systems, I too am very impressed with the SDS100. It's not nearly perfect compared to an APX or KNG radio, but such a huge improvement over the 436. Glad you've found a solution!

Let us know if you have any other questions about PCWIN. Love to try to help.

Dan


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