BCD436HP P25 simulcast

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kainixon2187

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I live in an area with lots of P25 simulcast systems and bcd436hp isn’t doing such a great job receiving them. I was wondering what settings I should my scanner set at to get the most out of it, for example, squelch, digital threshold, attenuator, etc.
 

jonwienke

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No setting change will help much for simulcast reception issues. A directional antenna can solve reception problems, but is only useful for a fixed location, and borks trying to receive anything else. The only solution that works consistently is getting a receiver specifically designed for simulcast, such as an SDS, or one of the Unication pagers.
 

ButchGone

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I found that adjusting digital threshold made a huge improvement in monitoring P25 simulcast systems. I set it to MANUAL, and threshold 7 in my area. The DEFAULT or AUTO settings are just not stable where I am, and the difference between those settings and MANUAL 7 is significant. It's not perfect, and reception depends on your proximity to a cellular tower, but I can hear what I want. Some folks have mentioned MANUAL 6 or 8 works for them, so your location and systems may vary. Give it a try, good luck.
..BG
 

maus92

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I live in an area with lots of P25 simulcast systems and bcd436hp isn’t doing such a great job receiving them. I was wondering what settings I should my scanner set at to get the most out of it, for example, squelch, digital threshold, attenuator, etc.
There is no one mitigation strategy - the quality of reception of digital simulcast systems in non-optimized radios is highly dependent on the monitoring location. Any adjustments made to the receiver will also depend on the user's location, meaning that another person's settings will likely NOT work for your location. Luckily for me, my 536 works well for me because my office is only a couple thousand feet from a simulcast tower, while the next closest site is 5+ miles away with terrain features in between. On the road, my 436 was horrible (highly variable) in reception - no where near 3.4 DAQ in many places. My SDS and Unication radios solved that problem.
 

dwayne0564

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Just got my SDS 100 today, I have a simulcast issue in my area also, wasn't getting getting hardly anything anymore, but after 3 hours, I was a great choice, my 436, can even compare to the SDS 100 in my area, and that's with the basic stock antenna, Now just have to Sell of some old scanners and get a new SDS 200.
 

ofd8001

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As noted above, getting decent simulcast decode on non-SDS models is very location dependent, even 100 yards can be noticeable. You just gotta experiment to see what works best for the location you usually do your scanning.

The best decode I ever got with my vehicle scanner was when the antenna cable broke, essentially leaving my scanner without an antenna. Of course that meant I could not receive the non-simulcast systems.
 

SteveSimpkin

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My 436 works great here in simulcastville. Dont know what everyone always complains about that.
 

jonwienke

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My 436 works great here in simulcastville. Dont know what everyone always complains about that.
My 436 worked great picking up simulcast on one end of a Wal-Mart parking lot. On the other end, it got nothing. The SDS100 worked great in both locations while connected to the same antenna as the 436.
 

Ubbe

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The threshold function in 436/536 scanners doesn't really work in the auto setting when receiving weak and noisy signals, and probably also with simulcast signals. It will try and tune itself to decode with lesser bit errors but it will increase the value to higher and higher numbers until it stops decode all together and starts scanning again.

The problem with that are that it stores that threshold number together with the channel. The next time that the scanning reaches that channel it fetches that threshold number and use as a starting point, as it with noise free signals have stored the best setting for a bit error free reception. But now that setting doesn't decode a thing and just skips over that channel.

The threshold setting will accept a wider range of the signal as acceptable with lower numbers like 5-6 and a more narrow range that only accept very few bit errors with higher settings like 12-13 and will mute and continue scan if the bit errors are to many. It is almost like a squelch for the digital decode. If you have several sites in the same system that transmits the same information you can set the threshold high to only hear the error free sites. If you set the value low you'll hear the weak sites, and could be the only one you can hear from a system, or it could be a simulcast system that the scanner treats as interference when it receives a lot of bit errors from the digital decoder.

/Ubbe
 

NWI_Scanner_Guy

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My 436 works great here in simulcastville. Dont know what everyone always complains about that.
In my case, simulcast issues were a matter of location, location, location. At my house, the reception of my county's P25 Phase 2 simulcast system was spotty at best on my 436HP, but hop in my car and drive down the road about a mile and reception was crystal clear. It was cheaper to buy a SDS100 than to move for better reception. LOL!! :D
 
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