BCD436HP Federal Listening

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all4gaines

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I am currently in Broward County and use a BCD436HP with radioshack 800mhz antenna. For the last 5 weeks I have been scanning over 2000 channels from the 164-175, 400-415 ranges. I have also been using an open CTCSS/NAC search with no results. I have used CTCSS coded, DCS codes, NAC codes, and Color codes all of which again gave me no results. I have come to the realization that federal monitoring in Florida just is not happening.

If anyone has any options or suggestion let me know. Till then, I am going back to local listening.
 

radioguru6613

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I am currently in Broward County and use a BCD436HP with radioshack 800mhz antenna. For the last 5 weeks I have been scanning over 2000 channels from the 164-175, 400-415 ranges. I have also been using an open CTCSS/NAC search with no results. I have used CTCSS coded, DCS codes, NAC codes, and Color codes all of which again gave me no results. I have come to the realization that federal monitoring in Florida just is not happening.

If anyone has any options or suggestion let me know. Till then, I am going back to local listening.
If you're using an 800mhz antenna then that's your problem ... you should be able to hear tons of stuff, particularly CBP and USCG on VHF, most UHF is now on VHF as part of a major re-banding effort. Get the right antenna and your world will open right up. Try 162.55 (Weather) if you're not getting that solid as a rock then you know you're not setup right.
 

W8RMH

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Make sure you have Federal enabled in the "Service Types" menu.
 

SCPD

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Right Antenna for Monitoring Federal Frequencies

What antenna should be used to monitor Federal Frequencies? I think I'm using a 800mhz antenna as well. Not sure. I always thought an antenna is an antenna......So I should be using a certain one?
My scanners are: BCD436HP & BCD536HP.
Thank you......

Tanner
 

tampabaynews

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If you're trying to monitor federal on VHF then you simply should get a VHF antenna. An 800mhz antenna is of course designed for 800mhz so your mileage may vary on other bands.

For most people a "wideband" or "all band" antenna is a good choice. However you generally won't have the reception you would with one tuned to a specific band.
 

radioguru6613

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What antenna should be used to monitor Federal Frequencies? I think I'm using a 800mhz antenna as well. Not sure. I always thought an antenna is an antenna......So I should be using a certain one?
My scanners are: BCD436HP & BCD536HP.
Thank you......

Tanner
Your best bet is the actual antenna that came with the radio, it was designed to pick up everything the radio can listen to.
 

SCPD

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stock

Incorrect the OEM antenna is a compromise at best.

Sent from my Z750C using Tapatalk


The stock antenna works good enough
First turn on FULL DATABASE! (so it can pick from the full database)
Then You need to turn on the service type Federal ,ok?
Then put your zip code in and the scanner will choose the federal channels for your area.

Look in Miami-DADE country this is where the federal group is.Not in Broward.
Another way is to use sentinel and make your own scanlist,it lets you pick from the full database frequencies but you still need to have the service types on in the scanner it Must say ON next to Federal!
Dont forget to Save after eveyrthing you do!

If you dont do it like that it will choose from the frequencies you currently are using and Not the full database .So then the scanner seems like it has no federal frequencies.

These frequencies could be dead for days,then active all night,they are patience-eaters.
Always update the database for the newest frequencies.This doesnt guarantee they are all in there,I find new frequenices using the Close call or search all the time.
 
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SCPD

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And keep in mind if the federal frequencies are encrypted the 436 will mute it unless your doing a search with record or physically watching it seeing if it stops on anything showing activity.
 

radioguru6613

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Ok so I changed the antenna to a Diamond SRH815 and have been scanning the 2000 channels for the last 3 weeks and not a peep.

Dumb question but does anything work on that unit, if you plug in 162.55 do you hear NOAA and if so how well? Full Quiet or full of static?

That to me has always been the benchmark, if you can't hear a 1kw transmitter on the Dade/Broward line from just about anywhere in either county, then you have an issue.
 

Station51

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Riverside County, CA
Experiment and evaluate performance

Dumb question but does anything work on that unit, if you plug in 162.55 do you hear NOAA and if so how well? Full Quiet or full of static?

For VHF that works well I run a couple of NMO mount antennas on the roof of my vehicle and use weather freqs constant broadcast to ascertain the sensitivity of different antennas.
For example I will scan ALL the NOAA freqs (in service scan) to evaluate the antenna performance.
Antenna A may only pick up the local weather channel while Antenna B may pick up other WX stations in outlying areas hence making it the best choice for VHF

"Multiband" antennas lose a little sensitivity because they are covering a variety of frequencies.
A "MONOBAND" antenna is band specific and "usually" will provide better performance although equipment has been improving over the years.

Personally in reference to mobile operations I have consistently found that a MONO VHF antenna provides the best multiband reception for and that is what I have my HP2 hooked up to..

The other antenna I run in a Comet DualBand for my FT-8800 DualBand Ham rig.

Experimenting is all part of the hobby!
 
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AZScanner

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Somewhere in this room. Right now, you're very col
Services, services, services.... location, location, location. These are 2 things that will make you crazy until you find out about how they work. I lived less than 2 miles from a major airport and thought I had a busted scanner until I realized the air band service was off lol.

Let's make this super easy. Follow these steps and see if this helps any.

First, turn on the full database.
Menu>Set Scan Selection>Full Database - on, all others off for now.

Next, set your range, then your location.
MENU>Set your location>Range>50 (this is the max it goes)
MENU>Set your location>Enter Zip Code>USA>{Your Zip Code}

Lastly, turn on ALL services. Everything. Even security guards and school buses:
MENU>Select Service Types>Set any that you see OFF to ON.

We did all that for two reasons. 1, if you come across a frequency that is known to the RRDB, you'll see the alpha tag and 2, no matter what service they may be listed under in the RRDB, the scanner won't skip them.

Now SEARCH the Fed Bands of interest: 162-174, 406-420, etc. but do so in SMALL increments (so many scanner users try to search gigantic swaths of spectrum all at once and get upset at how little traffic they hear). No more than 15MHz at a time I'd say. 15 is ok, 10 is better and 5 is best. Now sit on that little section of spectrum for a couple hours during normal business hours (8AM to 6PM tops) as that is when most fed channels are active. Make note of what you find and then move on to the next 5 or 10 Mhz and do the same thing. Repeat this each day, but vary the times you listen to a particular patch of spectrum. One that is dead in the morning might be quite chatty in the afternoon and vice versa. Eventually you'll find most of the active fed channels in your area, which from the sounds of it I'm guessing will be a very different list of frequencies than what you are scanning now. Bear in mind that these frequencies change all the time, and sometimes the feds prefer to piggy back onto an existing P25 system rather than stand up one of their own, so you may find the agencies you're looking for are actually on a military or public safety DTRS, and not the VHF band anymore. Also listen up to the national mutual aid channels in the 800 MHz band, these will light up from time to time with fed activity too. I've even heard them using FRS radios before to "hide in plain sight" - most of us would never think to scan those channels.

One last thing you can do too is go sit at a park near the federal building and search there. You might even get some close call hits from there, so turn on Close Call DND also to catch those - I leave it on all the time and it's been interesting at times.

Good luck, let us know if you start finding activity or not. Lots of very savvy folks in here, willing to help.

-AZ
 
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