Are there any good scanners for Simulcast??

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LubeckTech

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The best thing I have seen so far outside of a Motorola or Kenwood radio for P25 simulcast is the Unication G5 Pager. Are there any consumer scanners which will produce decent results??
 

firsttommy

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I monitor a simulcast system and had bad results with a WS1040. I did a work around by using a cheap yagi antenna and pointing it to the closest tower in the system. So far I am liking the results.

The major downside to this approach is you make your portable scanner and turn it into a desktop unit. So I'm looking at getting the G5.
 

LubeckTech

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The G5 is a nice radio but the price is what puts me off on buying one. I work for a Motorola/Kenwood dealer in WV and get to play with a lot of nifty stuff. Problem is if I am going to spend that much money (even wholesale) I want something more versatile.
 

bailly2

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best thing for simulcast disortion is stick the antenna through a hole in the side of an empty paint can near the bottom. point open side toward tower. better than a yagi. works with the stock antenna
 

jonwienke

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best thing for simulcast disortion is stick the antenna through a hole in the side of an empty paint can near the bottom. point open side toward tower. better than a yagi.
No.

All this accomplishes is attenuating the signal. It is in no way a substitute for a Yagi antenna, as it does not properly handle signal phasing to achieve good performance and directionality. You can accomplish the same thing by turning the attenuator on without making your scanner look like a trailer-park Buck Rogers movie prop.

The Uniden x36 scanners handle simulcast better than most others, but they are not perfect. If it's an issue, the only real solution is a directional antenna, which is going to make portable operation more difficult.
 

newsphotog

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I've had great luck with my Whistler TRX-2, but I feel it falls short in all other areas as a mobile scanner.
 

cpetraglia

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The G5 is a nice radio but the price is what puts me off on buying one. I work for a Motorola/Kenwood dealer in WV and get to play with a lot of nifty stuff. Problem is if I am going to spend that much money (even wholesale) I want something more versatile.
You spend the money on a G5. and you will be happy. Add up a 536. cable, mast and a decent yagi, not to mention the time invested setting up, and you just bought a G5. No more guessing, perfect decode on P25 LSM.
 

jonwienke

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It depends on whether you want to monitor multiple digital and analog systems, or just one P25 system. And a mast and yagi will pick up more signal than the stubby antenna on the G5. The x36 will pick up stuff the G5 won't even detect. Note the G5 has a sensitivity of 6 microvolts, while the x36 scanners are less than .5 microvolts-->10dB better.

If you're in a strong coverage area, that won't matter. But if you're in a fringe area it's a big deal.
 

jaspence

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Simulcast

I have the PSR-800 and RS Pro-18, both from GRE, the predecessor to the Whistler scanners. They both handle the local simulcast system very well.
 

prcguy

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Voltage changes in dB are calculated on a 20log scale so .5uV to 6uV is closer to a 20dB change.
prcguy

It depends on whether you want to monitor multiple digital and analog systems, or just one P25 system. And a mast and yagi will pick up more signal than the stubby antenna on the G5. The x36 will pick up stuff the G5 won't even detect. Note the G5 has a sensitivity of 6 microvolts, while the x36 scanners are less than .5 microvolts-->10dB better.

If you're in a strong coverage area, that won't matter. But if you're in a fringe area it's a big deal.
 

jonwienke

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You're right. Given a constant impedance, power is the square of voltage. Which make my original point all the more relevant--the G5 is an option in an area with strong signal, but is not a general-purpose substitute for a good scanner, especially if you can't attach an external antenna.
 

goodmore

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I went from a 536 to a TRX 2 because of Simulcast distortion. The 536 would just release the signal and continue scanning resulting in partial transmissions being heard. The TRX 2 will give a slight vrrrrrrrttt sound but hang in there enough so the entire transmission can be heard. By the way that vrrrrrrrtt sound I typed is under patent. It is only to be used by those on this forum. If I felt like drilling another hole into my attic I would try the Yagi.
 

LubeckTech

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There are 2 ways to attach an external antenna to a G5. One is to use the amplified charger base, this works but most pager amplified bases don't couple very well to the pager and are lossy. Unscrewing the antenna on the G5 reveals a SMA connector!! Don't try that with a G1 - the results would not be pretty!
 

radio3353

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The best thing I have seen so far outside of a Motorola or Kenwood radio for P25 simulcast is the Unication G5 Pager. Are there any consumer scanners which will produce decent results??
No, not for most people. Very location dependent.

The G5 does not yet handle P25 Phase 2 systems. Very important to remember that before you lay down your money. Is your system of interest Phase 1 or 2? Also, the Unication products are not a scanners per se. They can follow only one system at a time.

Good luck. Simulcast is tough to listen to for most people without professional gear.
 

LubeckTech

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The G5 is designed from the ground up to be a a pager hence not worth the money for most people. The current LSM system in my area is Washington Co Ohio MACS. Currently it is Phase I but from studying the CC data with DSD+ it looks like they are experimenting with Phase II. When they will implement Phase II is most likely a question of money as the agencies which use the system will have to procure appropriate radios. My main reason for starting this thread is I have customers who call in asking me if I can program the new scanner they want to buy. So far I have to tell them yes BUT they are not (unless you are in just the right place) going to Washington Co Marcs and even if they could they will not hear Washington Co Sheriff's Dept. as they are encrypted. The surrounding Ohio MARCS repeaters are very listenable but Wash. Co. carries most of the interesting non encrypted traffic. I would love to find a scanner I could recommend and I would like to have a single scanner at home which could monitor UHF, VHF and 700 in a single unit but so far have not seen anything. Did AOR ever market the scanner they were talking about? I read about one that was supposed to do P25 and Turbo DMR but was going to have a MSPR in the $1500 range. At the moment the best thing I have found are various AirSpy and RTL dongles for monitoring. I also want to experiment with GNU Radio and OP25 as I have read promising things about them with LSM systems.
 

teufler

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Simulcast is hearing more than 0ne tower at a time. You can defeat simulcast by either the beam, which has been talked about, or reducing the antenna of choice to pick up only the closest tower and not having the gain to pick up further away towers. The "paint can" approach sounds like it would work. Know need to go out and buy another scanner, that probably is going to have same effect as others. The county went from gain antennas, on mobiles to just quarter wave spikes, to reduce gain to just the closest tower, so even the high dollar systems, they have simulcast "echo" problems.
 

Spitfire8520

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The best thing I have seen so far outside of a Motorola or Kenwood radio for P25 simulcast is the Unication G5 Pager. Are there any consumer scanners which will produce decent results??
The answer has always been that your mileage will vary, especially since your local conditions cannot be replicated anywhere else. If you are looking for a scanner that is guaranteed to produce decent results out of the box, you can be guaranteed that there is none.

This entire forum is littered with hundreds of posts claiming one model over another, and many tend to disagree. The replies so far is a perfect example of this. One reply claims the Uniden x36HP performs better, another reply claims that the Whistler TRX is superior.

Of course there are attempts at fixing the signal with directional antennas or attenuating the signal, but of course those aren't much of a solution when mobile.
 

milf

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The following I have had good results on multiple P25 Phase I LSMs.
GRE/RS PRO-96 CPU 1.3, 1.4, DSP 1.4
Uniden BCD396XT
Uniden BCD436HP
However, YMMV depending on the system setup, your location, DSP adjustments, etc...
 

sparklehorse

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<snip> The x36 will pick up stuff the G5 won't even detect. Note the G5 has a sensitivity of 6 microvolts, while the x36 scanners are less than .5 microvolts-->10dB better.

If you're in a strong coverage area, that won't matter. But if you're in a fringe area it's a big deal.
I don't know how Unication calculates the 6 uV sensitivity metric. To me that spec sounds like a radio that's practically deaf, but the G5 is far from deaf. It's produced excellent P25 decode for me when I'm out in fringe areas, far from the nearest towers of my local system. Places where my 436 can't buy a signal. That's with the G5's stubby little antenna vs. an RS800 duck on the 436. It's surprisingly sensitive on VHF as well, when you consider it's only using an internal antenna for that band.

Also worth noting is the G4 is now down to about $560, and the G5 about $100 more than that. That's a pretty reasonable sum for these rugged little handhelds. The drawbacks mentioned are all true though: no Phase II (yet), monitors only one system at a time, talkgroup scan list limited to 64 talkgroups, conventional scan list limited to 16 channels, can't hold on a talkgroup, no delay. It's not ideal as a base unit, but for me it works great for keeping tabs on what's going in my city while I'm commuting or otherwise mobile.

.
 

SCPD

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My solution? Purchase a Motorola XTS5000. Learn CPS. Hidden channel method. You will thank me later. Better radio, good price, and if you happen to need a wheel chock, you have one.
 
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