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Old 11-30-2018, 9:11 PM
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Default Is anyone successfully scanning Scottsdale Az PD?

I am new to digital.scanning. Finally got a digital scanner so I could scan my local PD (Scottsdale, Az). I have uploaded the files to my scanner (WS1040), but it just scans and never picks up any traffic? There are so many settings in Win500, I must be missing something... any suggestions???
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:56 PM
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It looks like it is possible to program too many sites on the Regional Wireless Cooperative (RWC). Not all sites on a system will carry the radio traffic you are looking for. If you programmed any of the other sites, then you will probably have to remove them and only program Simulcast H: Scottsdale in order to successfully monitor Scottsdale.

Something else that you might encounter is simulcast distortion. A sign of this is your scanner seemly having extremely strong signal and locking onto something, but the audio tends to be broken and it flashes back and forth between receiving and scanning.
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:35 PM
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Spitfires response is correct. Make sure you are only scanning Simulcast H. For home use, you may need a directional antenna, and you may need to experiment with the best direction to point it in to get decent reception. For mobile/portable use, you may be out of luck, unless you upgrade to a Uniden SDS-100, which has had mixed reviews from local users here, or a Unication G4 or G5 pager, with the inherent limitations that it has due to being a pager and not a scanner. (However, reception is reported to be 100%, 100% of the time.)

Several local users have had useable reception with the Uniden 436 & 536 scanners, compared to the GRE/Whistler models. (I myself have a GRE PSR-500, and simulcast reception is non-existent with it.)

The Thompson Peak IR site does carry Scottsdale PD A2 North, so if you're in the north part of the city, and can settle for only hearing the North channel, you could try that.

Go visit the Arizona forum here. You'll be able to find other Scottsdale located listeners, as well as those across the Valley and the state. Read through the threads there for lots of good local information.

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Old 12-01-2018, 11:10 AM
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As previous post says use simulcast H and Thompson Peak site. I monitor them just fine here in Mesa near Riverview. North and South Dispatch along with some Tac channels. one thing I do is break down the RWC in my favorites list by agencies.

Snobsdale simcst H
Tempe simcst F
Chandler simcst C
PhxPD Simcst A and so on...then I delete the encrypted and unwanted channels...

Last edited by eg153wftx; 12-01-2018 at 11:17 AM..
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Old 12-01-2018, 12:13 PM
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Default is WS1040 PH 1&2

Some other with more knowledge might have the the answer but I believe the RWC is a mix of Phase 1&2 P25 and is the WS1040 a capable PH2 scanner.. could be your problem...

www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=2508

Last edited by eg153wftx; 12-01-2018 at 12:29 PM.. Reason: added DB link
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Old 12-01-2018, 2:29 PM
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The active TG's are Phase I. IIRC, there have been reports of some Phase II testing, but there are no full time active Phase II TG's.

John
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Old 12-02-2018, 4:00 AM
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Scottsdale PD, for whatever reason, is particularly difficult to monitor with conventional scanners. I'm located near the Loop 101 and Shea and I've tried most everything with minimal success until I purchased a Unication receiver. It works flawlessly, not only on Scottsdale, but every other agency on the RWC, TOPAZ, and AZWINS systems.

Not to be flippant, but my advice would be to return the scanner and purchase a Unication G4 (about $595.) Speaking from experience, you will continue to be frustrated trying to monitor Scottsdale with anything other than a Unication. (I've heard some positive comments about the Uniden SDS100, but have not personally tried it.)

In the meantime, you can try two options and hope for the best. First, program in ONLY Simulcast H not Thompson Peak. Then tinker with your antenna positions to see if anything changes. (Also, keep in mind that most everything other than South and North dispatch is encrypted so you won't hear anything there.)

Secondly, a provider monitoring SPD has recently added a site on the scanner app. The provider has been tweaking his system and seems to be having pretty good luck broadcasting most SPD traffic. He, too, was struggling with reception until he deleted Thompson Peak.
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Old 12-02-2018, 9:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eg153wftx View Post
Some other with more knowledge might have the the answer but I believe the RWC is a mix of Phase 1&2 P25 and is the WS1040 a capable PH2 scanner.. could be your problem...

www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=2508

The WS1040 is a Phase 1 scanner only, it does not do Phase 2. That being said, the only Phase 2 traffic noted on RWC so far has been testing so the 1040 can certainly be programmed for RWC.

As for performance on it it all depends on location. Where I live I hear a simulcast site just fine on my 1040 and other similar radios but I can only receive a single tower on the simulcast set, so in effect it is much like a single tower site.

If you can replicate that behavior and force the 1040 to only receive a single tower and exclude other simulcasted towers it will work fine. This can often be done by reducing antenna efficiency, using a directional antenna, finding a local "sweet spot", using a reflector and other things, either alone or in combination.

Like John said, there are varying reports of how different scanners work on simulcast. Personally I have had mixed results with each of my radios in town at various locations but generally have found that the SDS100 works best compared to other scanners. The Unication also works very well but, again as John said, it is not a scanner and your programming and operational considerations are limited.
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Old 12-03-2018, 6:54 PM
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AzTac is right on the money, though others made fair points as well. If you aren't even picking up the control channel, it's probably time for a Unication. The Unications lock onto control channels from far greater distances than any scanner including the SDS100 (I've compared the G4 to every digital scanner out there, and there is no comparison in terms of range with simulcast systems. I know of several Unication owners in the Valley who can pick up either EVERY simulcast in the valley from their location, or at least nearly every simulcast. From I17 and Peoria I can pick up every simulcast in the valley except for simulcast J. Scottsdale PD / simulcast H are full scale. I have a friend at I17 and Camelback who can receive all simulcasts, every one of them in the valley.

Unications are in another universe compared to scanners when it comes to simulcast reception. Just make sure you understand going in that there are compromises you will have to get used to, though there are tricks to overcome many of those issues. Spend some time in the Unication forum to get a better idea of what I mean.
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Old 12-04-2018, 2:18 PM
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Default Much Appreciated

Thank you everyone for your Replies Just wanted to answer a few of the reply questions.
I made sure to only upload the Simulcast H frequency and talk group files. Still no luck :-( I have not tried an external antenna, is this something I should try?, If so, What am I looking for?
I am located in the Granite Reef/McDonald area. Is there a certain direction I should focus on?
Sounds like the Unication, might be the way to go, I am just trying to stay informed with what is going on in my local area.
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Old 12-04-2018, 4:13 PM
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In the area of McDowell and Scottsdale Road, I pick up Scottsdale PD perfectly on Simulcast H, using a Uniden SDS100.

Just another data point for you.
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Old 12-04-2018, 6:42 PM
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Azonie;

Just to clarify, you mentioned Scottsdale PD specifically, but are you picking up ANY traffic of any agency on the RWC? I'm trying to ascertain if this is an issue with your scanner function/programming or if it's specific to SPD.

Being located near McDonald Drive you should be able to clearly receive Simulcast H towers. (In simple terms Sim H towers are located in south & central Scottsdale and primarily carry south (Districts 1 & 2) traffic while Thompson Peak handles north (District 3 & 4). That's an oversimplification, but you get the rough idea.

There are so many nebulous factors that impact simulcast radio systems (i.e. a nearby cell phone tower can sporadically wreck havoc and completely block reception.) If you're receiving other agencies on the RWC and are confident in your programming of SPD control channel/backups, you might try taking the scanner to some other location in Scottsdale and seeing what happens.

One final word of advice from someone who has been there: Before you invest money in antennas, etc.and pull out your hair over this (I did...) consider cutting your losses and research Unication or SDS100. You can spend money and do everything right and STILL not receive SPD on your WS1040 - and you may never know why...
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:25 AM
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Default Scottsdale RWC Simulcast

Unication is the solution to Scottsdale Simulcast H reception unless you are willing to invest in a rooftop directional antenna and lose many days or weeks tinkering with no guarantee of success.

Besides a Unication G5, we use an old Uniden BCD996XT connected by 50 feet of very low loss LMR-400 coax to a Larsen yagi antenna on a 10 foot rooftop mast aimed at the corner of Miller and Osborn roads. This is the approximate location of the transmitter and tower at Scottsdale Police District 2 Downtown, 3700 N. 75th Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85251.

You can use Google maps to pinpoint your home location and the approximate compass direction to that transmitter and aim a yagi appropriately. (Ironically, that antenna also does an excellent job of receiving the Thompson Peak site in the opposite direction, due to that transmitter's high power and high elevation, and despite the fact the yagi is engineered to reject most signal coming from the backwards direction.)

Phoenix Fire is also on Simulcast H and often comes in clear when Scottsdale Police does not, so you might try programming in Phoenix Fire K1 Alarm. If you can hear K1, you may be getting close to the best possible settings for Scottsdale Police.

Squelch is important. Every now and then I accidentally close squelch and then wonder why reception has stopped. Make sure squelch is always fully open when monitoring P25 systems.

With Unication, we easily receive Scottsdale H from throughout the East and Central Valley. That said, it is a P25 system with occasional loud screeches, inconsistent volume from unit to unit, and the metallic digitized voice quality that Motorola has never been able to completely overcome. Police radio technicians spend more time than hobbyists trying to get P25 systems to work correctly across sites and agencies.

Keep in mind that the Scottsdale Police Department today is much more secretive, and, in my experience, more brittle than it once was. This means that occasionally "in the clear" communications may seem guarded or cryptic. (I first monitored Scottsdale Police in the late 1960's while working for The Republic and Channel 12.)

And hot calls are switched immediately to encrypted channels, although my understanding is that police "best practices" suggest keeping emergency radio traffic on the channel where it originates to avoid confusion over what channel to use and lost critical transmissions.
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Old 12-05-2018, 2:40 PM
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Default Again, Thank you

It is awesome to have the vast knowledge base to bounce things off of !!!
Again, I will try to give answers to some of the replies...

(Q)...Just to clarify, you mentioned Scottsdale PD specifically, but are you picking up ANY traffic of any agency on the RWC? I'm trying to ascertain if this is an issue with your scanner function/programming or if it's specific to SPD.
(A)...Per suggestions earlier, I have only uploaded the Simulcast H file and associated talkgroup file. So, I do not even know if I can other transmissions.

(Q)...I'm trying to ascertain if this is an issue with your scanner function/programming or if it's specific to SPD.
(A)... This is the first Digital Scanner I have owned and I am very intimidated by all of the possible controls that can be altered in the Win500 program, so all I have done, is uploaded exactly (as it is), in the Files on RR. If there is something more to it, it could very well be (Operator Error) that is my problem

(Q)...Being located near McDonald Drive you should be able to clearly receive Simulcast H towers.
(A)...That is what I thought, I know it is completely different now, but I used to scan them back in the day when it was analog, and had no issues with signal at all.

(Q)...If you're receiving other agencies on the RWC and are confident in your programming of SPD control channel/backups
(A)...I will try uploading other files from RR for the RWC and see if they work......That being said, I am definitely NOT CONFIDENT in my programming......LOL

(Q)...One final word of advice from someone who has been there: Before you invest money in antennas, etc.and pull out your hair over this (I did...) consider cutting your losses and research Unication or SDS100.
(A)...Too late for the hair...lol.... I have until mid January to return the WS1040, so if I can confirm the programming is done correctly (would appreciate suggestions on how, with my scanner ignorance, I can do this) and the scanner is functioning as it should, and still have no luck, I will return the scanner, and look into the SDS100 or the Unication...

Again, thank you, you have all been so helpful, thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to reply, and please know every response is greatly appreciated...
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Old 12-06-2018, 6:07 PM
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Azonie;

Thank you for the answers. I certainly feel your pain adjusting to the new digital scanning world. I miss the days of punching in six digits on the scanner keypad and you were in business.

I have no experience with Whistler scanners specifically. If you haven't already done so, you might look at the Whistler forum on this site and see if it offers any programming help.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Good luck. Let us know the outcome.
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Old 12-06-2018, 7:18 PM
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what is with these poorly designed overpriced scanners?

I'm using a 450 dollar flea-bay MOTOROLA XTS5000 700/800 HT picked up 11 years ago from PANTER88 along with skegen and I can scan/trunk all of the valley 800/700 systems each one being programmed with multiple sites in each system and I have zero issues with listening to any of the valley agencies. None of this nonsense about requiring one specific site being programmed either.

This ht's been running since 2007 with zeros problems, albeit only 16 scan talkgroups per a channel but I don't even find the limit of 16 tg's being scanned a problem either.

Of course it's only one system of 16 tg's scanned at a time but I can scan dispatch channels of multiple PD and or FD's as long as they use the same Sys number and best of all from my Prescott house I can even pick up some White tank and TOWER MTN sites with no problems.

When I'm down in the valley working I usually start picking up most valley 700/800 systems, West or East side just South of Black Canyon City between BCC and New River with the radio sitting in my 4-runners drink/cup holder using the stock Moto 1/2 wave ht antenna.

And the xts5k was a less than a Whistler or a Uniden even with battery, drop-in charger and a PSSM for connecting the antenna in a higher location with the radio tucked away in my back pocket if needed.

These crummy unidens and whistlers don't even have option of using the scanner equivalent to Moto PSSM either.

No tx vco nor a PA CHAIN is populated in my radio either so no auto affiliation concerns either even though I use the hidden tg scan method too.

Last edited by mm; 12-06-2018 at 7:23 PM..
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Old 12-06-2018, 8:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mm View Post
what is with these poorly designed overpriced scanners?

I'm using a 450 dollar flea-bay MOTOROLA XTS5000 700/800 HT picked up 11 years ago from PANTER88 along with skegen and I can scan/trunk all of the valley 800/700 systems each one being programmed with multiple sites in each system and I have zero issues with listening to any of the valley agencies. None of this nonsense about requiring one specific site being programmed either.

And the xts5k was a less than a Whistler or a Uniden even with battery, drop-in charger and a PSSM for connecting the antenna in a higher location with the radio tucked away in my back pocket if needed.
Until the SDS100 was introduced, consumer scanners were not designed to receive P25 Simulcast. Not poorly designed, just not designed for this task.
The price of a MOTOROLA XTS5000 with trunking and digital options was around $4,000+ ten years ago. Quite a bit more than most people would be willing to pay for an alternative to a "scanner".
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Old 12-08-2018, 9:59 PM
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Default P25 Scottsdale PD

I write mostly VBscript and Javascript, and every now and then I have to ask a question on a forum "how do I do so and so in javascript"
Instead of a good response I get responses such as "use Python" or 'Use a .net program".. Which would probably work, BUT!,,, Im using javascript...
Thats what sometimes happens on here, people will say they are using a certain brand/model scanner and everyone tells them to buy a "their" favorite receiver. And although that may fix the problem (buying a whole new expensive scanner), it does not help the current issue.

Here is my feeble attempt to try and assist with the current radio you have..(which might not be much more help then just telling you to buy a better radio)
The antenna and position is extremely important. Also if you can adjust your P25 Threshold on your scanner thats important too.
Getting a local simulcast correctly:
Need the correct control channel
Need a good antenna
Scanner must be squelched correctly

The crappy thing about 700+Mhz frquencies is how narrow the wavelength is. Its so small that literally a few inches of placement could mean the difference between getting your local PD and not hearing anything.
For example, if I put my Uniden BCD325P2 on the right side of my desk, I get all of RWC, if I move it 12 inches to the left, I'll get hardly anything.

The more expensive Unication engineered for P25 radios handle this perfectly, but the consumer scanners or much more sensitive.. But you can get it to work fine if you put in a lot of time experimenting.
Putting my money where my mouth is, here are some archived audio from my Uniden BCD996P2.
rayotter.com - /scanner/record_archives/scanner_audio_trunk/

Last edited by rakotter; 12-08-2018 at 10:14 PM..
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