BCD536HD P25 Conventional Issues

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Salvation

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I have posted my issue in a few other threads that I am not sure if my issue is the same as theirs as I keep getting trunking adjustments which I am working with a P25 Conventional channel. So I decided to make my own thread.

*Disclaimer: this is not a complaint or a rant. Just trying to help diagnose and make known my issue that hopefully will get noticed and have a simple repair. I thank everyone that has given past advice including UPMan and thank those who give future advice..

Here is the Frequency in question:

Ocean County, New Jersey (NJ) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

Little Egg Harbor
Frequency License Type Tone Alpha Tag Description Mode Tag
506.86250 WIL285 RM 293 NAC LEHT PD 1A Police Ch. 1A P25 Law Dispatch
506.86250 WIL285 RM A4E NAC LEHT PD 1B Police Ch. 1B P25 Law Dispatch
506.86250 WIL285 RM 203.5 PL LEHT PD 1C Police Ch. 1C FM Law Dispatch


Essentially at this point I am receiving no more than 10% of the transmissions from this PD on my BCD536HD. I have a Pro197 and BC785D which both have no issues capturing the transmissions from this PD.I have swapped antennas between the three different scanners with no change.

I was the first one to find out that changing from NFM to FM fixed the problem that sparred UPMan to do the poll of everyone to try changing the Band Defaults to see how it effected everyone ( http://forums.radioreference.com/2135793-post38.html ). Now with the newest Firmware, it doesn't matter if your in NFM or FM, the scanner is dropping 90% (or more) of the transmissions.. No reaction at all.

I have tried messing with the threshold and delays and making the channel a priority. I am now at a loss as to what is going on.

Here are a couple videos I did of the issue. This one was taken tonight with both my BCD536HD and Pro197 holding on the channel. You will see that the BCD536HD will catch just a single transmission from this conversation. The audio on the BCD536HD was set to Digital with NAC of 239 and the squelch was at 0.

More P25 issues with BCD536HD - YouTube

This second video was taken the other night where the Pro197 was scanning and the BCD536HD was holding on the frequency. This time the BCD536HD audio was set to "All" so it will show anything that comes across the scanner. This video shows that the BCD536HD is capturing a signal but is not processing it. The BCD536HD just plays the digital sound in analog mode (the hiss) and you can hear the talking coming from the Pro197.

Continued P25 issues on BCD536HP - YouTube

So is there any other ideas that I could try? I am not sure if UPMan will see this but is there anything Uniden or you yourself would like me try to help diagnose where the problem is? Willing to even try a beta firmware if you want to try a few things.. I am looking for help and to help. Not looking to whine or complain.
 

Boatanchor

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I noticed that the RSSI (S Meter) did not even register a signal being present on the 536HP, despite being held on the channel. Yet, when the 536HP did eventually receive, the RSSI meter displayed full scale.

On your first video, when the 536HP was in 'analogue' mode, the RSSI meter registered a full scale signal each time a P25 carrier was present. Despite this, it did not switch to digital decode.

This tells me two things.

Firstly, the RF stages/PLL are working correctly.
&
Secondly, the problem appears to be isolated to a firmware/decoder problem.

As for the S Meter, In 'digital' mode the radio obviously does not display RSSI (S Meter) values, unless it thinks there is a valid/demodulated P25 signal present. If the radio is not detecting P25 correctly for some reason, the S meter obviously doesn't display anything despite a full scale signal being present on the channel.

It would be very interesting to see if this can be replicated in other units.

Only people such as yourself, who can monitor a system with two radios (preferably something other than a x36HP) would even know that they were missing transmissions. Others would just assume the system was quiet :)

It is highly likely that this problem, would be causing dropouts to occur on trunking systems too.
 

whsbuss

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SE Pa
I noticed that the RSSI (S Meter) did not even register a signal being present on the 536HP, despite being held on the channel. Yet, when the 536HP did eventually receive, the RSSI meter displayed full scale.

On your first video, when the 536HP was in 'analogue' mode, the RSSI meter registered a full scale signal each time a P25 carrier was present. Despite this, it did not switch to digital decode.

This tells me two things.

Firstly, the RF stages/PLL are working correctly.
&
Secondly, the problem appears to be isolated to a firmware/decoder problem.

As for the S Meter, In 'digital' mode the radio obviously does not display RSSI (S Meter) values, unless it thinks there is a valid/demodulated P25 signal present. If the radio is not detecting P25 correctly for some reason, the S meter obviously doesn't display anything despite a full scale signal being present on the channel.

It would be very interesting to see if this can be replicated in other units.

Only people such as yourself, who can monitor a system with two radios (preferably something other than a x36HP) would even know that they were missing transmissions. Others would just assume the system was quiet :)

It is highly likely that this problem, would be causing dropouts to occur on trunking systems too.
In two other threads there are reports of missed transmissions, particularly since the new firmware was release (although some reports before as well). But Salvation is saying things were 90% before the update.
 

Salvation

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Little Egg Harbor, NJ
In two other threads there are reports of missed transmissions, particularly since the new firmware was release (although some reports before as well). But Salvation is saying things were 90% before the update.
The original firmware I was at 30-40% received transmissions using NFM and 90%+ received transmissions using FM. The new firmware I think I am receiving less than 10% of the transmissions in both NFM and FM mode.

I don't like to downgrade the firmware. The software tester kind of person I like to be, I prefer to go forward and not backward. I do have my Pro197 to listen to my local PD but still would like the BCD536HD working properly as well.. I really like the 536HD despite this issue and I admire a company willing to keep a representative visible like UPMan is and willing to interact with the community. And as I said before, I am more than willing to be the Guinea Pig if Uniden wants me to test a firmware or try some different settings.
 

davenlr

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Try this...

Enter the problem frequency via "Quick Search" (Hold+frequency+Hold) on the 536 and see if it does any better.
How would you know what frequency of a trunked system the transmission was going to be on?
Any chance the 536 thinks the transmission is encoded, and just ignoring it?
 

Salvation

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How would you know what frequency of a trunked system the transmission was going to be on?
Any chance the 536 thinks the transmission is encoded, and just ignoring it?
This is a conventional P25 frequency and not a trunked system..


Anything to try and get the scanner not to ignore encoded transmissions and see if something changes?
 

Salvation

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Try this...

Enter the problem frequency via "Quick Search" (Hold+frequency+Hold) on the 536 and see if it does any better.
Ok... I have had it sitting in Quick Search since I saw your post. Of course thats when things get quiet.. Just started to get some action now and with about a dozen transmissions, the Quick Search has caught all of them and even found the NAC..

There are the three channels using the same frequency just with different NAC so I am wondering if they are confusing the scanner. I am going to delete the other channels and see if this fixes anything.
 

JoeyC

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Does the unit pick up and decode the frequency when it is in a FL with audio option set to digital and in NAC search mode similar to your Quick Search result? You said that it wasn't decoding in Auto mode and it wasn't opening squelch when the NAC code was programmed either.
 

RBMTS

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Just out of curiosity, did you try setting that specific frequency to NAC SEARCH rather than slaving a NAC code to it? I wonder if that might make any difference.
 

Salvation

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Ok.. I removed the other entries with different NACs on the same frequency. Tested it in NAC Search and it does not work.. Still just ignores the transmissions even in hold mode and Squelch at 0..
 

Salvation

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Interesting that the "Quick Search" method works.

Agreed.. I wonder if UPMan can check with the tech guys to see how QS and FL are dealt with differently? After work, I will try to mess with creating a Favorite of the same frequency with minimal names on it to eliminate character issues.

Anything else anyone thinks I should try?


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Alliance01TX

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Good video - Noted that your RF signal drops (RF Level Meter) like a rock indicating (suspected) local high interference or Simlucast signal related perhaps as not sure if your signal is off one or multiple towers?

And I think did say you changed antennas as well - correct?

For grins have you tried at different location outside your shack - away from the house?

Bill
 

troymail

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Good video - Noted that your RF signal drops (RF Level Meter) like a rock indicating (suspected) local high interference or Simlucast signal related perhaps as not sure if your signal is off one or multiple towers?

And I think did say you changed antennas as well - correct?

For grins have you tried at different location outside your shack - away from the house?

Bill
Maybe I'm wrong but doesn't it make sense that the signal level drops like a rock on a conventional channel once the transmitter stops transmitting? It's not like a trunked system where the radio reverts to monitoring the control channel (thus always showing some type of signal/strength) after the voice activity is gone.

In reference to receiving things while HOLDing on the frequency -- it seems like reception on trunked systems/talkgroups in very similar. If you hold on a talkgroup, reception seems to be more complete but if you scan the system (or multiple systems), the 536 is less likely to stop on activity that another radio is picking up. Why it scans past/passes activity by is a huge question.....
 

Salvation

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Well I don't seem to have any issues with the NJICS P25 Phase II system.. Able to get all transmissions from that. I tried many different settings still without success. So weird that it works fine in Quick Search but not in Favorites List. Really wish I knew how they are dealing with them differently.


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DaveIN

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Just for testing, did you try putting each channel in its own favorite and scan them?

How about trying the IFX?
 

troymail

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Well I don't seem to have any issues with the NJICS P25 Phase II system.. Able to get all transmissions from that. I tried many different settings still without success. So weird that it works fine in Quick Search but not in Favorites List. Really wish I knew how they are dealing with them differently.


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Interestingly, it just dawned on me that I have had various Interop conventional frequencies programmed in a favorites list also and have never been able to figure out why I'm not hearing anything from them. I know they are active from time to time and I've heard them in the past on other radios. I guess I'll have to try some of this Quick Search and/or Hold testing as well. The only problem is that these frequencies aren't very active so I could be hearing even less (nothing) from the 536 for an extended period while trying to play detective on this. Not good.
 
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