Camden County TRS & SDS100/200 Scanner

aslc

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Does anyone have experience monitoring Camden County's P25 Phase 2 simulcast system using an Uniden SDS100/200 scanner? If so, in what town is your scanner located? Is reception consistently good or do you get occasional garble? Simulcast has made it a real challenge to get clear reception. Mixed results using Uniden BCD436/536 and bad result using Whistler WS1040.
 

policefreak

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I am in Berlin Boro Camden County and use either the Remtronix 800mhz portable antenna or a Larsen Tri-band magmount antenna on the car driving around with the SDS100. I would say inside the county with the proper filter applied reception is about 90-95% copyable. Occasionally a transmission comes through that is either garbled or lost completely and the scanner hangs up on the frequency for a few seconds passing dead air. While setting the squelch to 0, applying the proper filtering, being in the county, and using the correct th antennas help, it still happens about 5-10% of the time. Not just on Camden County, but on any P25 Phase 2 system. This does not affect Phase 1 Philadelphia or any other Phase 1 transmission. Overall though I think you will find the SDS series is about the BEST scanners on any P25 system. And Camden County is one of the strongest P25 systems in our area. I have copied transmissions perfectly on the system from well out into Salem County, to the NJTP in Bordentown, to the shore towns of Ocean City, Atlantic City and Tuckerton. Hope this helps! Where are you monitoring from?
 

aslc

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Thanks for info. I'm in Cherry Hill near 295 & Kresson Rd. Strong, overlapping signals in this spot from a few towers is a problem. 536HP is fair on CC system maybe 75% clear, 25% garbled at home. Worse when driving around. I usually go with Broadcastify app when out. I'm sure a different antenna would help. Just don't know if $600 for SDS100 is worth 90-95% copyable vs. 75% I'm getting now. I guess a yagi at home would help. The guys that provide the CC Broadcastify feeds get near 100% and they're not using SDS100's. Must be antenna and their locations.
 

Skypilot007

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Location is key to good reception on these systems using scanners. I seem to be located in a very good position for receiving Camden County as I use a BCD996P2 with a discone antenna and I get crystal clear 100 percent decode from the site I'm receiving. I'm guessing I'm receiving one of the sites in Vorhees or Waterford.
 

nr2d

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I have a SDS200 operating in Laurel Springs, right off of the White Horse Pk. It is programmed identically to my BCD536HP and I receive Camden County with no problems. There is a caveat though. I have it progeramed to receive the Lindenwold site only. A friend of mine lives in old Erlton and uses the 536HP. He has had problems due to the fact that he is almost eqi-distant from the Cherry Hill PAB, Frontage Rd and Haddenfield sites. I set up programming for him to receive the Cherry Hill PAB site and it works pretty good. It's not like the old analogue system but he says with the 1 site programmed in it work well.

We both have external antennas, I have 1 cut for 700/800 MHz and he is using a VHF ground plane. The big think I can suggest is programming in the frequencies for the site closest to your location. I also have the internal attenuators on both scanners on. This helps on both the Camden County and on the 536HP also on the NJSP. I still have problems receiving the NJSP on the SDS200. I have 2 cell sites with 1000' of my location.
 

policefreak

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Thanks for info. I'm in Cherry Hill near 295 & Kresson Rd. Strong, overlapping signals in this spot from a few towers is a problem. 536HP is fair on CC system maybe 75% clear, 25% garbled at home. Worse when driving around. I usually go with Broadcastify app when out. I'm sure a different antenna would help. Just don't know if $600 for SDS100 is worth 90-95% copyable vs. 75% I'm getting now. I guess a yagi at home would help. The guys that provide the CC Broadcastify feeds get near 100% and they're not using SDS100's. Must be antenna and their locations.
Yea a yagi might help. I also think the other problem might be the cell towers that line both 295 and the NJTP tend to interfere with 700mhz signals up to over a 1/2 mile away. If you were to set the Attenuator on Camden County on your 536 what would you get?
 

policefreak

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Location is key to good reception on these systems using scanners. I seem to be located in a very good position for receiving Camden County as I use a BCD996P2 with a discone antenna and I get crystal clear 100 percent decode from the site I'm receiving. I'm guessing I'm receiving one of the sites in Vorhees or Waterford.
From the Medford area you might actually be getting that big TV antenna over in Waterford. That thing booms.

I have a SDS200 operating in Laurel Springs, right off of the White Horse Pk. It is programmed identically to my BCD536HP and I receive Camden County with no problems. There is a caveat though. I have it progeramed to receive the Lindenwold site only. A friend of mine lives in old Erlton and uses the 536HP. He has had problems due to the fact that he is almost eqi-distant from the Cherry Hill PAB, Frontage Rd and Haddenfield sites. I set up programming for him to receive the Cherry Hill PAB site and it works pretty good. It's not like the old analogue system but he says with the 1 site programmed in it work well.

We both have external antennas, I have 1 cut for 700/800 MHz and he is using a VHF ground plane. The big think I can suggest is programming in the frequencies for the site closest to your location. I also have the internal attenuators on both scanners on. This helps on both the Camden County and on the 536HP also on the NJSP. I still have problems receiving the NJSP on the SDS200. I have 2 cell sites with 1000' of my location.
The thing is all the "sites" (transmitting locations) are fully simulcast and use all the same frequencies and control channel. Yes there are a few transmitters that only repeat certain frequencies in addition to the control channel. The problem is all the scanners just read the control channel and then automatically flip to the correct frequency when a transmission is received. Even if you could control and limit what voice frequencies the scanner receives, you would likely miss traffic. The best way to try and hone in on a simulcast system on any scanner other than an SDS series is to use a directional antenna aimed at either the nearest transmitter or one in which there are no other transmitters on that system in the same direction. And yes you are correct that those cell towers play havoc on the 536s ability to receive any other 800mhz system correctly.
 

jonwienke

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Location is a lot less of a factor with the SDS scanners, as they are designed specifically to deal with simulcast.
 

joey123

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Any idea what the threshold level should be for the uniden 536hp for Camden county public safety The audio is very scratchy and I can’t understand what there saying my location is in Cherry Hill New Jersey
 

nr2d

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From the Medford area you might actually be getting that big TV antenna over in Waterford. That thing booms.



The thing is all the "sites" (transmitting locations) are fully simulcast and use all the same frequencies and control channel. Yes there are a few transmitters that only repeat certain frequencies in addition to the control channel. The problem is all the scanners just read the control channel and then automatically flip to the correct frequency when a transmission is received. Even if you could control and limit what voice frequencies the scanner receives, you would likely miss traffic. The best way to try and hone in on a simulcast system on any scanner other than an SDS series is to use a directional antenna aimed at either the nearest transmitter or one in which there are no other transmitters on that system in the same direction. And yes you are correct that those cell towers play havoc on the 536s ability to receive any other 800mhz system correctly.
If you go this RR database page:


And look at each call sign listing all the frequencies are NOT transmitted at every site. Now I put them into an Excel spreadsheet and only 14 of the frequencies are transmitted from the Lindenwold site. Interesting enough looking at the "Site Frequencies" listed below the map and call sign listing none of the control channels listed are in the listing I made in Excel.

Looking that the sites individually from this RR data base web page:


I come up with a different set of frequencies.

I would think that if every frequency is transmitted at each site it would have to show up in the FCC license.
 

aslc

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It's not possible on a simulcast system to limit reception to one tower since all towers transmit on the same frequency at the same time. A directional antenna will help by pointing to a specific tower but if you live in an area like me that has multiple towers close by only the antenna and/or SDS100/200 will help. Cell towers and NJ Tpke towers have nothing to do with reception problem on Camden County TRS.
 

nr2d

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It's not possible on a simulcast system to limit reception to one tower since all towers transmit on the same frequency at the same time. A directional antenna will help by pointing to a specific tower but if you live in an area like me that has multiple towers close by only the antenna and/or SDS100/200 will help. Cell towers and NJ Tpke towers have nothing to do with reception problem on Camden County TRS.
So you are stating that at the Lindenwold site, the closest to my location, transmits all 25 frequencies as shown on the main Camden County page, bottom of page:


Even though if you go through the license listings, on the same page, you will only see that 20 frequencies are licensed for Lindenwold. Just as a note going through the license there are no control channels frequencies listed. A control channel is required for the trunk system to work.



Frequencies Listed
in Camden County
Main list
Frequencies Listed
at Lindenwold Site
by license
769.80625​
769.80625​
769.81875​
770.25625​
770.25625​
770.85625​
770.26875​
770.86875​
770.85625​
771.20625​
770.86875​
772.10625​
771.20625​
772.11875​
771.21875​
772.88125​
772.10625​
773.45625​
772.11875​
773.46875​
772.88125​
773.93125​
772.89375​
774.18125​
773.45625​
774.19375​
773.46875​
854.1375​
773.93125​
854.1875​
773.94375​
854.3625​
774.18125​
857.1375​
774.19375​
857.6625​
854.1375​
858.6875​
854.1875​
859.0375​
854.3625​
857.1375​
857.6625​
858.6875​
859.0375​
 

u2brent

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ALL YOU NEED IS THE CONTROL CHANNEL.
Not sure why you can't see it in your list, I can see it :unsure:
The Control Channel is transmitted from every tower site in the simulcast, without it there is no site to monitor.
The CC tells the radio what frequency to tune to. (regardless whether the frequency it is directed to is programmed or not in the scanner)


System Frequencies

Red (c) are primary control channels | Blue (a) are alternate control channels | Site Map(s): FCC Callsigns RR Locations


RFSSSiteNameFreqs
1 (1)001 (1)Countywide Simulcast769.80625769.81875770.25625770.26875770.85625770.86875a771.20625771.21875
772.10625772.11875a772.88125772.89375773.45625773.46875a773.93125773.94375
774.18125774.19375c854.1375854.1875854.3625857.1375857.6625858.6875
859.0375
1 (1)002 (2)Camden City851.1625c851.7375852.7875853.1875853.700
 
Last edited:

u2brent

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I added the control channels manually since when I searched the sites by their license the control channels did not show up.
The FCC license will not show what frequency is a CC (control channel), SCC (secondary/alternate control channel), VC (voice channel/frequency), and not every frequency that is listed is actually used in every case. It's why the RR DB differs from the FCC, The RR DB is confirmed by users and submitted for all scanner enthusiasts to benefit. The FCC is a fine starting point for learning/discovering about new systems, but this system has already been verified by users and the RR DB page is all you need in regards to Camden Co's TRS. The ALT CC's listed may become a CC at anytime. This is why all those listed should be included in the scanners site programing. Voice Channels are not required in the scanner because the info is decoded directly from the CC, The scanner knows which frequency/slot to tune for a specific call/TG to be picked up and followed. (They [Voice Channels] don't need to be programed into the scanner in order to tune it in)
I should note that this applies to P25 systems only, LTR, DMR, NXDN, ect.. do require VC's and LCN's to track the trunking on those types..
 

Whiskey3JMC

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The FCC license will not show what frequency is a CC (control channel), SCC (secondary/alternate control channel), VC (voice channel/frequency), and not every frequency that is listed is actually used in every case. It's why the RR DB differs from the FCC, The RR DB is confirmed by users and submitted for all scanner enthusiasts to benefit.
This is what makes frequency hunting and system discovery such a fun hobby :) Like assembling a radio puzzle
 

nr2d

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The FCC license will not show what frequency is a CC (control channel), SCC (secondary/alternate control channel), VC (voice channel/frequency), and not every frequency that is listed is actually used in every case. It's why the RR DB differs from the FCC, The RR DB is confirmed by users and submitted for all scanner enthusiasts to benefit. The FCC is a fine starting point for learning/discovering about new systems, but this system has already been verified by users and the RR DB page is all you need in regards to Camden Co's TRS. The ALT CC's listed may become a CC at anytime. This is why all those listed should be included in the scanners site programing. Voice Channels are not required in the scanner because the info is decoded directly from the CC, The scanner knows which frequency/slot to tune for a specific call/TG to be picked up and followed. (They [Voice Channels] don't need to be programed into the scanner in order to tune it in)
I should note that this applies to P25 systems only, LTR, DMR, NXDN, ect.. do require VC's and LCN's to track the trunking on those types..
Whether it is a control channel, alternate control channel or a voice channel being transmitted from a certain site, such as the Lindenwold site, it still should be shown on the license for that specific site, correct? The control channels I added were not shown for the Lindenwold site. The source of the frequencies I used was the RR database: Countywide Simulcast Site Details (Camden County Public Safety). I didn't go to the FCC data base to search. The list I post previously on the left side did not include the 4 control frequencies after the search. I added them for clarity, mostly for my self.

Again correct me if I'm incorrect, the FCC license at each site will show what frequencies are authorized to be transmitting from the specific site.
 

GTR8000

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Again correct me if I'm incorrect, the FCC license at each site will show what frequencies are authorized to be transmitting from the specific site.
Could just be a licensing SNAFU. Yes, ideally the licenses should reflect what frequencies are authorized at each site, but sometimes things get overlooked with licensing. Don't take what you see on the licenses as gospel, instead what matters is what is happening in the real world. Since the Lindenwold site is right smack in the center of the county, it seems like a fair assumption that the countywide cell is active at that site. That means all of the frequencies that are part of the cell, whether properly licensed or not, must be active at that site.

As was previously noted, a simulcast cell operates with all sites in the cell transmitting on the same set of frequencies throughout the entire cell.
 

aslc

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My understanding is that not every frequency listed transmits off of every tower in the system (there are 16 antenna sites), however, they transmit off of strategically located towers so that the simulcast frequencies can be received everywhere in the county and on into neighboring counties. So, for example if the closest tower doesn't have a specific frequency you will still receive the transmissions from another tower. Some of the antenna sites are there to make sure that the system can receive transmissions from the lower power portable and mobile radios and account for terrain and structures that might interfere with the signals.
 
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