536: You've got to get this fixed....

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troymail

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Sitting here listening to an active talkgroup on my State P25 Phase 2 system - local site (I'm sitting inside the footprint of the site)...

My GRE PSR800 is hearing an active TG clear as a bell and the Uniden 536 is scanning right over/through the system/site (several passes) with not a single indication of any activity.

Terrible.

EDIT: I've now changed the settings on the 536 to scan only the single system/site that the PSR800 is monitoring. Best I can say is that at least the 536 stopped on the talkgroup this time but not until half way through the conversation - popping and garbling.
 
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troymail

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Was this a known issue prior to the very latest firmware update?
It was to me (and I believe others) so the good news is that it isn't a new problem - just one that needs some serious attention.

If you scan the entire database or many systems/talkgroups/channels that are fairly active, you probably don't notice this at all. But if/when you zero in on a single system, it's very noticeable that the radio misses ALOT of traffic.

Even if the PSR800 is garbling the voice, at least it (quickly) stops and lets you know there is activity. Apparently the 536 just goes right past it with no indication there was activity at all. The 800 is exceptional when it comes to CC lock (I think the PSR500 was as good or better). The 536 is fairly poor.
 

whsbuss

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It was to me (and I believe others) so the good news is that it isn't a new problem - just one that needs some serious attention.

If you scan the entire database or many systems/talkgroups/channels that are fairly active, you probably don't notice this at all. But if/when you zero in on a single system, it's very noticeable that the radio misses ALOT of traffic.

Even if the PSR800 is garbling the voice, at least it (quickly) stops and lets you know there is activity. Apparently the 536 just goes right past it with no indication there was activity at all. The 800 is exceptional when it comes to CC lock. The 536 is fairly poor.
Do we know if the 436 exhibits the same behavior?
 

LIScanner101

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I guess what I was getting at was, why wasn't this fix rolled into the latest FW rev? Is this now going to be on another FW rev?
 

markab

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sites

Sitting here listening to an active talkgroup on my State P25 Phase 2 system - local site (I'm sitting inside the footprint of the site)...

My GRE PSR800 is hearing an active TG clear as a bell and the Uniden 536 is scanning right over/through the system/site (several passes) with not a single indication of any activity.

Terrible.

EDIT: I've now changed the settings on the 536 to scan only the single system/site that the PSR800 is monitoring. Best I can say is that at least the 536 stopped on the talkgroup this time but not until half way through the conversation - popping and garbling.
Does the system your trying to monitor have multiple sites? If so, try removing all the other sites except the closest one that carries the TG your interested in listening to and see if that helps.

Mark
 

AZScanner

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Does the system your trying to monitor have multiple sites? If so, try removing all the other sites except the closest one that carries the TG your interested in listening to and see if that helps.

Mark
Or just use site hold mode. Func+Dept > Dept > scroll to site desired > Dept to lock it in. I do this on our local P25 P1 simulcast system when at home since one of the sites works better there than all the others do.

-AZ
 

kikito

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I guess what I was getting at was, why wasn't this fix rolled into the latest FW rev? Is this now going to be on another FW rev?

Keeping in mind that he's talking about a Phase 2 TDMA system which just like Simulcast systems have been the "Achilles Heel" of scanners and still in the minority type of things monitored with these scanners at this time. But will continue growing with time obviously.

I know, I know. If the companies claim the scanners can do such things and sell them as such then they should be perform as such. Absolutely. ABSOLUTELY agree they need to keep trying to fix it.

What I'm trying to say is that people that don't have Simulcast and/or Phase 2 in their area shouldn't worry about it and miss out on such a great scanner otherwise.

I haven't tried the BCD436HP on our 700/800MHz Simulcast system yet but the 396XT and the PSR-800 pretty much did poorly on it. Some days one would do better than the other for some reason, maybe positioning had some thing to do with it as we know.
 

troymail

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A bit more info -

I am monitoring a single site - and even only have just the single CC frequency programmed (both the 536 and the 800).

I've been sitting here playing trying to see if I can optimize things by holding on just that system*, just the department within the system*, and even down to holding on just a single talkgroup.

*For holding on the system and/or department, the signal strength bars constantly drop out (discussed in other threads - supposedly due to some type of Uniden "housekeeping activities" with NFI). I have to believe this is at least part of the problem.

Regardless of method of attempts to hold on system, department or talkgroup - the 536 routinely misses (but on occasion the start of) transmissions that are heard on the PSR800 - and the 800 is scanning the system/site (not holding) for only new talkgroup activity. I can confirm that the PSR800 is receiving all of the activity because I also have a PSR500 plugged into Pro96Com and I can see the talkgroup go active.

I will agree that most times when the 536 detects and works on a digital talkgroup, it seems to hold and decode it better but that's only for the portion of the activity it detects (which seems like < 50% of the time) - even though while holding on a talkgroup the radio is displaying a solid 5 bars.

EDIT: I'm current focsed on the Phase 2 performance - but I've seen similar results detecting (or not detecting) non-Phase 2 activity as well on this radio.
 
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whsbuss

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What I find disheartening is if you don't have another scanner to monitor, how much real traffic is being missed? I've noticed UPMan (and I'm sure he's read these type of posts) does not get engaged to acknowledge any issues with this. The only reason he posted the P25 test NFM/FM is someone found a workaround that worked for Their system. And with the posts to that forum has still not produced any findable results.
 

gjhamilton

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I don't think that any amount of software updates or work arounds are going to fix anything.

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gjhamilton

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Yes if it still is using a discriminator tap it's going to be the same story on LSM stuff.

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troymail

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So then what do we do? Is it a design failure?
Not much you can do other than to decide on your needs vs. the capabilities and features and go from there.

Bottom line is there still isn't a scanner out there that handles P25 (Phase 1 or 2) with LSM well - at least, not to my satisfaction.

Of course, if you don't need a radio that does these types of systems, it's not a factor for you (at least not now).
 

gjhamilton

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I will say that the 536 is the best scanner I have ever owned however it still has the same issues as the previous ones. Just not as bad. Anyone that tells you different is either lying or doesn't know what they are talking about.

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whsbuss

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Of course, if you don't need a radio that does these types of systems, it's not a factor for you (at least not now).
Unless you're in a very rural area with small population, P25 (whatever phase) is either implemented or coming in the next 3-5 years. One thing that has me so puzzled is the housekeeping the x36 has to perform which I agree can definitely contribute to the issue. GRE uses a totally different architecture.
 

KevinC

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A bit more info -

I am monitoring a single site - and even only have just the single CC frequency programmed (both the 536 and the 800).

I've been sitting here playing trying to see if I can optimize things by holding on just that system*, just the department within the system*, and even down to holding on just a single talkgroup.

*For holding on the system and/or department, the signal strength bars constantly drop out (discussed in other threads - supposedly due to some type of Uniden "housekeeping activities" with NFI). I have to believe this is at least part of the problem.

Regardless of method of attempts to hold on system, department or talkgroup - the 536 routinely misses (but on occasion the start of) transmissions that are heard on the PSR800 - and the 800 is scanning the system/site (not holding) for only new talkgroup activity. I can confirm that the PSR800 is receiving all of the activity because I also have a PSR500 plugged into Pro96Com and I can see the talkgroup go active.

I will agree that most times when the 536 detects and works on a digital talkgroup, it seems to hold and decode it better but that's only for the portion of the activity it detects (which seems like < 50% of the time) - even though while holding on a talkgroup the radio is displaying a solid 5 bars.

EDIT: I'm current focsed on the Phase 2 performance - but I've seen similar results detecting (or not detecting) non-Phase 2 activity as well on this radio.
Try setting the "hold" time to 99 seconds and see how it acts.
 

PhillyPhoto

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So then what do we do? Is it a design failure?
Professional radios have been working on digital simulcast systems for over 20 years. To not be able to build a scanner that can handle these systems since the first ones were released over a decade ago is unacceptable. It's clearly something in the hardware design, otherwise you'd be able to update the firmware for any previous model for it to work. As a business model, I don't see why companies would continually ignore LSM issues in favor of pushing things like WiFi connectivity. If the scanner can't hear the system, why would I care if I can make a feed out of it? All that this does is push people to actual radios more and more and that will just lead to encrypting everything and further diminishing the hobby, thereby shrinking the future scanner market. Another option is SDR, and although the learning curve is higher, the results are better because they don't skimp on the hardware.
 

whsbuss

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Professional radios have been working on digital simulcast systems for over 20 years. To not be able to build a scanner that can handle these systems since the first ones were released over a decade ago is unacceptable. It's clearly something in the hardware design, otherwise you'd be able to update the firmware for any previous model for it to work. As a business model, I don't see why companies would continually ignore LSM issues in favor of pushing things like WiFi connectivity. If the scanner can't hear the system, why would I care if I can make a feed out of it? All that this does is push people to actual radios more and more and that will just lead to encrypting everything and further diminishing the hobby, thereby shrinking the future scanner market. Another option is SDR, and although the learning curve is higher, the results are better because they don't skimp on the hardware.
Actually I agree with your point on encryption. More and more police depts. are moving to encryption and the scanning hobby will be left with just monitoring fire depts. and local gov't activity. For the new bees out there bells and whistlers are what sells scanners. But isn't the whole purpose of listening to know what is happening? That's what the consumer manufacturers should be focused on.
 
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