BCD 436 HP reception issues in Loudoun Co VA

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EarlSuitor

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Dec 23, 2007
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Berryville, VA
For some time now I have been trying to figure out why the BCD 436 HP picks up other digital trunked systems so well and performs so poorly on the Loudoun Co, VA system. I believe I have found a $20.00 solution !! I have had several multi band antennae on the car and no luck..... so I got a 800 mHz cellular antenna (The Wilson Electronics Dual Band - 800-1900 MHz Magnet Mount Antenna with SMA Male Connector and 10-Foot RG174 Coax Cable) off Amazon for $20.00. It does away with the annoying popping & dropping issue many have complained about 98% ! I could pick up some transmissions all the way to Winchester and once in Loudoun I was impressed, very impressed. Evidently Loudouns system needs an 800 mHz antenna to work right. It still is marginal using the handheld antenna, but with this inexpensive rooftop groundplane 800 mHz antenna on the car it makes all the difference in the world.

BTW: What happened to the LCPS school bus LTR system? It went silent and has what sounds like ProVoice data channels coming off the Loudoun Heights site.
 

achmafooma

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Jun 26, 2013
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I bought the BCD436HP [my first digital scanner] specifically to listen to Loudoun County's P25 Phase 2 system, since practically nothing else on the market can do it. I'm located over in South Riding (southeastern Loudoun).

I got almost nothing from Loudon with the original antenna, and not much more with handheld wide-band antennas...even with Fairfax County and Prince William County coming in fine despite being further away.

What finally worked for me is an 800mHz antenna on the scanner, which doesn't help much on my ground floor, but gives me marginal reception in the rest of the house (though, being an 800mHz antenna, I start losing reception on other systems). On the car I have an Austin-Spectra multiband antenna that works reasonably well with the LC system.

I still feel like I'm missing a lot though...even when I show a solid signal in the the signal bar indicator at the top-right, I still get a lot of cut-outs and missed transmissions. The antennas were a big improvement, but I still feel like the scanner has a software problem that plays into this (and I'm hoping we get a firmware update for that).
 

EarlSuitor

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Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
122
Location
Berryville, VA
I bought the BCD436HP [my first digital scanner] specifically to listen to Loudoun County's P25 Phase 2 system, since practically nothing else on the market can do it. I'm located over in South Riding (southeastern Loudoun).

I got almost nothing from Loudon with the original antenna, and not much more with handheld wide-band antennas...even with Fairfax County and Prince William County coming in fine despite being further away.

What finally worked for me is an 800mHz antenna on the scanner, which doesn't help much on my ground floor, but gives me marginal reception in the rest of the house (though, being an 800mHz antenna, I start losing reception on other systems). On the car I have an Austin-Spectra multiband antenna that works reasonably well with the LC system.

I still feel like I'm missing a lot though...even when I show a solid signal in the the signal bar indicator at the top-right, I still get a lot of cut-outs and missed transmissions. The antennas were a big improvement, but I still feel like the scanner has a software problem that plays into this (and I'm hoping we get a firmware update for that).
You might want to try this antenna. If you use if in your house you may want to mount (magnetically stick it) on a horizontal piece of metal perhaps 1 X 1 foot, since it is a ground plane antenna. Put it as high as possible. I've noticed South Riding is problematic. So is Lucketts. Interestingly it seems that Lovettsville has some sort of small site perhaps at Station 12 that makes everything work great there, maybe even better than Leesburg. I was in Cleveland OH last week and noticed the same popping & dropping issue on a FDMA Phase I system. I'm not sure it's a software issue. I think its a reception issue........ not certain. Let me know if you try this and it works ....... it's only $20.00
 

JamesO

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Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
1,816
Location
McLean, VA
I am a bit too far from LC to pick them up unless I head out to Sterling or get a bit closer.

However, I run the Radio Shack 800 MHz antennas on all of my radios and I have not noticed too much lower frequency loss, but then again, almost all of the systems I monitor are 800 MHz, so maybe I do not know what I am missing.

Most stock antennas for handhelds are pretty lack luster, but the Radio Shack 800 MHz duck antenna does appear to perform.
 

EarlSuitor

Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
122
Location
Berryville, VA
I bought the BCD436HP [my first digital scanner] specifically to listen to Loudoun County's P25 Phase 2 system, since practically nothing else on the market can do it. I'm located over in South Riding (southeastern Loudoun).

I got almost nothing from Loudon with the original antenna, and not much more with handheld wide-band antennas...even with Fairfax County and Prince William County coming in fine despite being further away.

What finally worked for me is an 800mHz antenna on the scanner, which doesn't help much on my ground floor, but gives me marginal reception in the rest of the house (though, being an 800mHz antenna, I start losing reception on other systems). On the car I have an Austin-Spectra multiband antenna that works reasonably well with the LC system.

I still feel like I'm missing a lot though...even when I show a solid signal in the the signal bar indicator at the top-right, I still get a lot of cut-outs and missed transmissions. The antennas were a big improvement, but I still feel like the scanner has a software problem that plays into this (and I'm hoping we get a firmware update for that).
Yesterday I went the length of Snickersville Turnpike into South Riding and then West on 50 to Paris. The new antenna I mentioned was being used (car rooftop). I'd say I had a 95 % loud & clear rate. FYI. I was shocked at the good performance on Snickersville Turnpike, usually a poor reception area.

Antenna: (The Wilson Electronics Dual Band - 800-1900 MHz Magnet Mount Antenna with SMA Male Connector and 10-Foot RG174 Coax Cable)
 
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