Atlanta TRS

phughesatl

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I live in Suwanee and have a Whistler TRX-2. Trying to monitor the Atlanta TRS. I am able to receive the Fulton County TRS with no issues. I have the squelch set to zero and have tried attenuation with no success. My antenna is a discone on lmr-400 around 30 feet. Any suggestions on improving my receive of this system. Would an SDS-200 solve this? Thanks.
 

SkiBob

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Are you picking up any signal/bars at all? If not, a Yagi antenna may be in order. If you are getting signal, then you may be getting multi-path distortion. According to the map, the nearest tower to you is about 22 miles away, which is in Buckhead.

Let us know what kind of signal you are getting.
 

phughesatl

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Thank you sir for pointing out the obvious. I was over-thinking the multi-path issue when the real issue is I'm not getting enough signal. I can Dekalb marginally on a 800 mhz portable antenna outside my window. Any suggestions on a yagi?
 

SkiBob

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I don't have a particular suggestion for a Yagi only that it of course be in the 800mhz band.

Something to keep in mind is Yagi's are a good 2nd antenna as you are now focusing your listening in one direction. I don't know what else you are monitoring, but that's something to consider. Maybe you only listen to Atlanta when there is an event you want to monitor. Things like presidential visits, riots, large fires, building collapses, airport operations etc.

Let us know how else we can help and remember, the funnest part of the hobby is experimenting.
 

phughesatl

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Really appreciate the help. Have been experimenting with every antenna I have today.
 

pdhall54

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On your TRX-2 go to Search, Tune Mode and enter the control channel freq. (857.7875). I would leave the squelch open and see if you can hear the data stream in the audio. You may see a few bars in the S meter display. To compare tune to Gwinnett county’s CC freq.855.4875. I live in the Lilburn/Stone Mountain area and cannot hear the Atlanta TRS on my TRX-2.

I agree with using a 800 MHz Yagi for scanning outside your general coverage area. With a good directional Yagi and enough height you should be able to hear ATL.
 

ctiller

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I could only sporadically hear it with my BCD536HP, got the SDS-200 and it comes in loud and clear with no issue. I also got a terrawave high gain yagi outside and that helped even more.
 

N8IAA

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I live in Suwanee and have a Whistler TRX-2. Trying to monitor the Atlanta TRS. I am able to receive the Fulton County TRS with no issues. I have the squelch set to zero and have tried attenuation with no success. My antenna is a discone on lmr-400 around 30 feet. Any suggestions on improving my receive of this system. Would an SDS-200 solve this? Thanks.
You will not be able to hear the Atlanta system because of terrain. You can hear the Fulco system because of tower sites closer to Suwanee.

NO, a SDS200 will not improve your chances of hearing the system due to my first sentence. A Yagi will not improve the signal. The last time I heard the Atlanta system was when they were analog and I was mobile. Or, when I was inside of Fulco. Just one of those things about where in Gwinnett county we live.
 

pdhall54

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It really does boil down to where you are in Gwinnett, from the killian Hill 78 area I'm in was able to somewhat hear Atl using two 800 MHz antennas indoors with two SDR's and DSDPlus software. Crickets on the TRX-2
 

phughesatl

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I went into search tune and entered control channels for ATL and Gwinnett both display 4 bars on the signal strength. I don't hear any audio though. When I scan just the ATL system I get an occasional flash of "T" on the display but never see any signal strength there and it doesn't decode anything.
 

DanRollman

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You will not be able to hear the Atlanta system because of terrain. You can hear the Fulco system because of tower sites closer to Suwanee.

NO, a SDS200 will not improve your chances of hearing the system due to my first sentence. A Yagi will not improve the signal. The last time I heard the Atlanta system was when they were analog and I was mobile. Or, when I was inside of Fulco. Just one of those things about where in Gwinnett county we live.
Last time I drove up 85 to 985 I heard the Atlanta system well past Suwanee - most of the way to Gainesville - on my Unication G5 and my BK KNG2 radio, both attached to a small Browning 800 MHz antenna on the roof of the car. My SDS200 doesn't pick up Atlanta quite that far, but it does get the Atlanta system deep into Gwinnett. My old BCD436HP lost Atlanta around the perimeter. Quality of your receiver really does make a difference. YMMV, but that was mine.

Heck, HERO units in Gwinnett operate off a single-tower P25 trunked system located on top of the 2 Peachtree Street building in downtown Atlanta and it makes it all the way up there for them on their Harris radios, but don't expect a consumer grade scanner toy to hear the state P25 system at that location.
 

DanRollman

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It really does boil down to where you are in Gwinnett, from the killian Hill 78 area I'm in was able to somewhat hear Atl using two 800 MHz antennas indoors with two SDR's and DSDPlus software. Crickets on the TRX-2
So your $20 SDR can hear the Atlanta system from distances that your $500 consumer scanner cannot. Exactly my findings. The device you are using really does matter, and these consumer-grade all band scanners don't do a great job at it (although the SDS scanners do much better than any other I've used).
 

DanRollman

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I could only sporadically hear it with my BCD536HP, got the SDS-200 and it comes in loud and clear with no issue. I also got a terrawave high gain yagi outside and that helped even more.
Same. I never had a 536HP, but I had it's handheld equivalent the 436HP. Another example - from my house near Decatur my 436HP picked up absolutely nothing from the Forsyth system, but my SDS200 picks up Forsyth loud and clear using a simple Remtronix 800 MHz handheld antenna right on the radio from inside the house.
 

DanRollman

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So, Dan, the thing for Phughesatl, is to get a commercial radio and drive up 85. o_O

Good grief.
That doesn't make any sense Larry. But you know that. That's just the best you could come up with in lieu of a constructive response to help a hobbyist. Per normal.
 

N8IAA

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It does make sense, Dan, because it was sarcasm.

Terrain is still the problem as I stated in Post #8. A lot will depend on trees, buildings and other man made structures. Maybe a yagi pointed in the correct direction will work, maybe not.

My experience stems from attempting to monitor from my home site, not driving up 85 with one of the most sensitive commercial pagers for 700/800 MHz.

So, monitoring Forsyth Co. from Dekalb Co. nets some real interesting comms..........;)
 

DanRollman

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Terrain is still the problem as I stated in Post #8.
Terrain is certainly a factor. You told the OP that even with a different radio he would not be able to hear the Atlanta system because of terrain. You told the OP that a different radio won't even "improve his chances" despite the fact that the model he mentioned was specially designed for improved performance on the type of system he is trying to hear.

In truth, terrain is certainly a factor - a very important factor - but I was pointing out the falsity of your absolute statement, by letting the OP know that I have no trouble hearing the Atlanta system, without even using a yagi antenna, at locations well beyond Suwanee. I just wouldn't want the OP to give up on trying to get to his goal on the basis of the false statements in post #8.

Maybe a yagi pointed in the correct direction will work, maybe not.
So it is not just terrain, and a different antenna might help? Now we agree.

My experience stems from attempting to monitor from my home site, not driving up 85 with one of the most sensitive commercial pagers for 700/800 MHz.
The latter is the key here. I am glad you were able to recognize that the radio you are using may also very well be the issue at your location, and a different radio may work fine (as was my experience in your area).

So, monitoring Forsyth Co. from Dekalb Co. nets some real interesting comms..........;)
Yep, and I miss monitoring Forsyth County FD. I enjoyed that, and they run many very interesting incidents. I enjoy having good "reach" to monitor distant P25 systems when desired, even on handheld radios, using high quality receivers. To each his own, obviously. That's part of the fun of this hobby.
 

phughesatl

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Really appreciate everyone's help. Have played with antennas and location enough to see data from the control channel. Not enough signal to actually get the audio to lock. Gonna try a couple more things to try to improve my signal. Thanks everyone.
 
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