536HP P25 Phase II Audio Quality

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MesquiteWx

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Now I am not sure if this is related to the sticky of P25 or not. Phase I works great but Phase II lacks a lot to be desired. The audio sounds will deep and a lot of bass and sometimes I can't even hear it at all as it sounds like it isn't getting a strong signal as it is cutting out and choppy even though it is getting a strong signal but, that is just what it sounds like. I have noticed it is worse on dispatch rather than the units so I am not sure if this is a problem with their system or the settings on my radio. I have done the whole switch from NFM to FM and it didn't help at all. I thought it was maybe the system until I listened to another Phase II system and the same problem. So it must be the settings in the scanner or a problem with the scanner on Phase II. There are P25 systems that are twice as far as the Phase II systems and they are crystal clear so it isn't a range problem. Is there some settings I can check that will clean up the audio so it isn't so deep and dial in the choppy audio. The antenna I am using is a ST-2 up on a 50" tower. I am able to hit repeaters 100 mile away on P25 Phase I crystal clear. So I don't think I should be having a signal strength problem on this systems that are very close. The map below shows where the systems are in reference to me. Red are the Phase II systems which I have problem with and the green are Phase I that I have no problem with even on the 996XT.
 

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Ensnared

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Phase II, No TDMA

Yes, you are listening to a system that is labeled Phase II, like my local P25 here in Waco, Texas; however, the site does not list any "T" or TDMA talk groups.

From what I understand, there are a limited number of P25 trunking systems Phase II TDMA talk groups here in Texas. Houston, Texas is one of these Phase II systems. If you look at the RR DB for TxWarn P25, you will see a lot of "T" talk groups for this city. Yes, TDMA talk groups do sound rather "pinched" & less dynamic than "D" talk groups.

You can go to You Tube & pull up videos specific to TDMA talk groups on the GRE PSR 800 & the two new Phase II Uniden radios. Yes, it sounds different, but not what you're describing.

I don't think you're listening to Phase II TDMA.
 
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hiegtx

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The Forney system is Phase II. Plano is listed in the database as Phase II, but operates as Phase I. However, there have been multiple posts about reception problems on that system, even from those living in the system coverage area.
 

MesquiteWx

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However, there have been multiple posts about reception problems on that system, even from those living in the system coverage area.
Which system are you referring to Plano or Forney?

I am more concerned with Forney but used Plano as reference since it is the only other Phase II system close to me.

I am not sure Plano is running Phase I. When I was listening to them Friday when they were doing the manhunt for the fugitive they were operating Phase II and have been the past couple of times I have dropped in when DPS was assisting on searches. I was only able to monitor them via the 536 and not the 996 which makes me think they were Phase II and not Phase I.

So would this be a problem with these two systems or something with the radio? I am able to monitor 10-20 miles past those sites from conventional to P25 with no issues and they are crystal clear. I am really banging my head wondering if it is those systems or a problem with the radio on Phase II. Forney is worse and it is the next city over. Forney's Dispatch is the worse. Mobiles and handhelds come in clear most of the time. I have noticed they bounce back and forth between Phase I and Phase II though and it still isn't any better even on my 996XT which is solid when it comes to P25 when they do Phase I but even on it they sound horrible. I have a friend who has the 396 who can literally throw a stone at the tower from his back yard and he reports the same problem when they do Phase I. I was chalking it up as their system until I heard Planos the other day and it did the same thing. So I am not just real sure at the moment.
 

hiegtx

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Which system are you referring to Plano or Forney?

I am more concerned with Forney but used Plano as reference since it is the only other Phase II system close to me.

I am not sure Plano is running Phase I. When I was listening to them Friday when they were doing the manhunt for the fugitive they were operating Phase II and have been the past couple of times I have dropped in when DPS was assisting on searches. I was only able to monitor them via the 536 and not the 996 which makes me think they were Phase II and not Phase I.

So would this be a problem with these two systems or something with the radio? I am able to monitor 10-20 miles past those sites from conventional to P25 with no issues and they are crystal clear. I am really banging my head wondering if it is those systems or a problem with the radio on Phase II. Forney is worse and it is the next city over. Forney's Dispatch is the worse. Mobiles and handhelds come in clear most of the time. I have noticed they bounce back and forth between Phase I and Phase II though and it still isn't any better even on my 996XT which is solid when it comes to P25 when they do Phase I but even on it they sound horrible. I have a friend who has the 396 who can literally throw a stone at the tower from his back yard and he reports the same problem when they do Phase I. I was chalking it up as their system until I heard Planos the other day and it did the same thing. So I am not just real sure at the moment.
So far, at least, I am not seeing any Phase II talkgroups show up on my 536HP (which is on an external antenna), though I have not sat glued to it 24/7 either. I do receive Plano on my 396XT and HP-1, though reception is spotty due to distance (I live southwest of downtown Dallas). Are you seeing the Phase II indicators? So far, none of the talkgroups themselves have been updated to the mode indicator for Phase II, and one of the DB admins lives up there, so I presume he would update it if he's seen it. This is my one day of the week in the office (near Forest Ln & Central Expwy), and I set the 436HP to hold just on PAWM, so far nothing but Phase I.

Forney, lately, has mostly been Phase II (seeing the PT0 & PT1 in the display of the 536), though in the past they have flipped back and forth.
 

MesquiteWx

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I don't monitor Plano really if at all. DPS-101 was out on that search Friday so I pulled them up. They may have just been Phase II on that channel that day because of the nature of the call because the channel was closed and I had both TG on each radio locked on and I was only able to to get them on the 536 and they both use the same kind of antennas 50' up on a tower. So I can't really comment on if that is always the case since that was the only time and I don't monitor them regularly. So they may only go Phase II on closed channels or sensitive calls.

Yes Forney is Phase II the majority of the time. I haven't heard them on Phase I in weeks and when they do go Phase I it is for a very short time like a couple hours. Longest I have heard them on Phase I was a couple days but usually they aren't Phase I.

So It seems Plano has reception problems from what I can gather from those even living there. Do you think this is the same problem with Forney as well? They were done by the same company and my inside sources at Forney and in Kaufman Co both aren't happy with its performance. I wish I had another system to test it against so I can nail it down to a problem with their system or the radio itself since I guess Plano isn't a good system to test it against ether.
 

hiegtx

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I really can't say much about Forney. I'm so far away, that my reception is not gonna be much more than marginal, unless I put up a yagi aimed that direction. I can get everything else of interest in that direction (Mesquite, Garland, the Kaufman site for TxWARN P25) without it, so I don't think I'll dedicate an antenna, and a scanner, only to add Forney. I can hear them scratchy, but there, on my 536, which is on an ST-2. I can't get Terrell, though, but again, it's not really a big interest to me.

I've got a couple of those antennas, that I haven't put up yet. I do plan to put one up aimed, generally, toward Tarrant County, for the FWRRS, and hopefullly the Crowley site. I did see that Mansfield updated their license (they're a subsystem of FWRRS) to add the emission code for Phase II. Not sure what I'll use the second one for yet.
 

troymail

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Hearing talkgroups on a x36 and not on a x96 is a pretty good but no certain indicator of Phase 2. The true indicator is whether you are seeing "P25" displayed (Phase 1) while the talkgroup is active or you are seeing "PT0" or "PT1" display when they are in Phase 2.

As far as the "T" listings vs. "D" listings on RR database, these aren't entirely reliable as they depend upon what information the submitter provided.

"T" on the database means "TDMA capable" but unless you know for sure exactly how the system is programmed, essentially any talkgroup on a system listed as Phase 2 is "TDMA capable" (in theory).

Of course, as long as one radio is affiliated with the talkgroup that is not Phase 2 / TDMA ("PT0" or "PT1") capable, the talkgroup will be in Phase 1 mode ("P25").
 

MesquiteWx

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Hiegtx if you happen to get a tx from Forney sometime check your signal strength and see what it shows. I am curious what the results are. I wonder if you getting a strong signal but experiencing the same problems as me with the scratchy choppy reception. My signal is rather strong from them being just one city over. I would get some video but they have very little traffic. Sometimes you get bursts of activity and then sometimes they are quiet. Which I know that isn't the radio, there just isn't much happening out there. I am really leaning towards it being their system but wanted to eliminate any issues if any on my end first if I could. I was thinking about putting a Yagi up to see if it helped any.

@Troymail I agree with you about the RR database not being entirely reliable for the TDMA systems. There is some on TxWARN that are listed as TDMA but they are in Phase I and are not even TDMA capable.
 

hiegtx

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Hearing talkgroups on a x36 and not on a x96 is a pretty good but no certain indicator of Phase 2. The true indicator is whether you are seeing "P25" displayed (Phase 1) while the talkgroup is active or you are seeing "PT0" or "PT1" display when they are in Phase 2.

As far as the "T" listings vs. "D" listings on RR database, these aren't entirely reliable as they depend upon what information the submitter provided.

"T" on the database means "TDMA capable" but unless you know for sure exactly how the system is programmed, essentially any talkgroup on a system listed as Phase 2 is "TDMA capable" (in theory).

Of course, as long as one radio is affiliated with the talkgroup that is not Phase 2 / TDMA ("PT0" or "PT1") capable, the talkgroup will be in Phase 1 mode ("P25").
That's true, however, my x36 scanners are more sensitive than the 396XT that I use mainly for the local trunked systems. I'm hearing transmissions on my 436HP, with the R/S 800MHz antenna, that my 396XT does not, with the same antenna.
 

hiegtx

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Hiegtx if you happen to get a tx from Forney sometime check your signal strength and see what it shows. I am curious what the results are. I wonder if you getting a strong signal but experiencing the same problems as me with the scratchy choppy reception. My signal is rather strong from them being just one city over. I would get some video but they have very little traffic. Sometimes you get bursts of activity and then sometimes they are quiet. Which I know that isn't the radio, there just isn't much happening out there. I am really leaning towards it being their system but wanted to eliminate any issues if any on my end first if I could. I was thinking about putting a Yagi up to see if it helped any.

@Troymail I agree with you about the RR database not being entirely reliable for the TDMA systems. There is some on TxWARN that are listed as TDMA but they are in Phase I and are not even TDMA capable.
Mesquite,
I'm not getting a strong signal on Forney; just too far away. Usually, one bar, sometimes zero, but hearing the system. Once in a great while, I'll get a stronger signal, but not often, so my reception is usually scratchy.

BTW, I've left the 436 here at the office on ID Search, on PAWM, and so far, nothing but Phase I activity.
 

MesquiteWx

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I am thinking about moving the 536 to the truck and driving to their Justice Center under the tower and sees what happens...LoL That will give me answers at least.

Next time I pull up Plano I will see what it is coming up as. It may just be during sensitive calls they go Phase II. Actually I just pulled it up and see what comes up.
 

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MesquiteWx

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I was finally able to grab an example of the audio. This is on Phase II. Now keep in mind this is from a neighboring city and I am able to pick up Phase I systems which are 10+ miles further than this site crystal clear. Heck, I am able to hit a DPS repeater 100 miles away without problems. I have a friend who lives a stones throw from this tower and he says it sounds this way too. Is this a problem with the scanner on Phase II or just Forney's system. I really can't tell but I am leaning towards their system as it sounds worse from dispatch. Even some of their officers ask dispatch to repeat their tx. Also Forney was running a M/A call for my city and they were on Mesquites InterOp channel and our Dispatch even told Forney to 10-9. Any ideas?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IICkM7uX9Bo
 

MesquiteWx

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Whoops! It's fixed. I uploaded it straight from my camera and forgot to change the privacy setting. It should work now.
 

Mpanella

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I have the same issue with my 536. The phase II trunked audio is HORRIBLE! Sound like the dispatcher is under water.
 

kb8rvp

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I don't have any phase ll in my area yet but wondering of you have tried setting the scanner to FM and then NFM to see if that helps and also if you have tried having the AGC on and then trying it with the AGC off to see if any of these settings help with the audio quality.

Mike
 

Ensnared

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Helping With Decision

I have the same issue with my 536. The phase II trunked audio is HORRIBLE! Sound like the dispatcher is under water.
Under optimal conditions, Phase II seems to be a bit tricky. I believe I am going to wait on another scanner to come out, not Uniden.

Thanks for information.

Sorry you're having difficulty.
 
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