Difficulty programming Maryland State Police Project 25 Phase II

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mknovak

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I have a Uniden BCD436HP scanner and I’m having difficulty programming the Maryland State Police frequencies in the First Responders Interoperable Radio System Team (FIRST), which use Project 25 Phase II.

Their simulcast under the Anne Aurndel County system has a loud hum and is virtually not understandable.

I have successfully programmed Prince George’s County, Maryland, also using Project 25 Phase II, and the configuration appears the same.

The attached document show the settings I have programmed. I am not receiving any transmissions for the Glen Burnie Barrack using the below configuration.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

My email is mknovak@hotmail.com.

Thanks!
 

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emtLarmy15

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Have you tried updating your RR database through sentinel and just appending into your favorites? Or put the scanner in data base mode, put in your zip and see what happens?

I guess I'm confused as to why you are reinventing the wheel when it's all been done for you.
 

mknovak

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The configuration was done first through the current database in Sentinel, then by the Excel download through Radio Reference.

I've never had a problem configuring the scanner before, and thought I might be missing something.
 

troymail

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Where are you located and which sites are you/can you monitor? FiRST is going to be harder to receive than the Anne Arundel system. You will need to be receiving the AA site of FiRST.
 

mknovak

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I'm in Crofton, near the Anne Aundel/Prince George's line. I can receive both fire and police (including MSP) when using Motorola Type II SmartZone. Since MSP moved to Project 25 Phase II, the simulcast is very distorted with a loud buzzing n the background, so I want to listen directly from their Project 25 Phase II frequencies in the hope it will sound clear.

Prince George's Police is using Project 25 Phase II, and I can receive them in most parts of Crofton.
 

troymail

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I'm in Crofton, near the Anne Aundel/Prince George's line. I can receive both fire and police (including MSP) when using Motorola Type II SmartZone. Since MSP moved to Project 25 Phase II, the simulcast is very distorted with a loud buzzing n the background, so I want to listen directly from their Project 25 Phase II frequencies in the hope it will sound clear.

Prince George's Police is using Project 25 Phase II, and I can receive them in most parts of Crofton.
Sounds like you're getting lucky with the PG reception. I believe there is a tower on 301 in Bowie which is probably why.

FIRST as with most simulcast systems is hard to receive. You'll probably have to try different locations to in prove reception.

The buzz on the old talkgroup on the AA system has been a problem since they switched to FIRST as their orimary. It's just a terrible patch..
 

mknovak

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Thank you for the information. I'll try various locations throughout the county. The funny thing about the MSP patch is that t is also patched to their old low-band frequency 39.040, and it's crystal clear. No repeaters though and the reception on the BCD436HD is marginal without an external antenna.
 

ThePhotoGuy

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AA FiRST is hard to receive for me too. I always have to move the radio around to get the "good" spot and I am only a couple miles away from the Solley Site. I receive Baltimore and at sometimes Kent better than I receive the AA FiRST site.
 

mknovak

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I'm new to the trunked systems. What I don't understand how the Motorola mobile units can receive (and transmit) on the AA FIRST system. Are their receivers that much more sensitive than the Uniden BCD436HD?
 

troymail

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I'm new to the trunked systems. What I don't understand how the Motorola mobile units can receive (and transmit) on the AA FIRST system. Are their receivers that much more sensitive than the Uniden BCD436HD?
Not sure the exact question you are asking ...

how the Motorola mobile units can receive (and transmit) on the AA FIRST system


The radios transmit and receive on the band and/or system they are able to use - low band, AA trunk system, FiRST -- behind the scenes, the different bands/systems are cross patched such that they can all hear each other regardless of the band / system they are transmitting on.

This is done because transition of all radios across the state is not possible all at the same time.

Eventually, you can expect that all of MSP (or any set of users) will be on a single system but it is likely that there will still be patching onto at least county level trunking systems to allow county-level law enforcement to directly communicate with state law enforcement in a more or less consistent and "obvious" way.
 

mknovak

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The state police are now using Project 25 Phase II transceivers on the AA FIRST. Since my scanner, the Uniden BCD436HD is capable of Phase II reception, why is AA FiRST hard for me to receive when the MSP units in the same area (Annapolis and Glen Burnie) are able to.

Hope I was able to clarify the quesstion.
 

troymail

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Septa3371CSX1

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Also the subscriber radios used on FIRST and other P25 simulcast systems are designed to handle the various signal types (analog, C4FM, CQPSK).
 

boatbod

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Simulcast systems generally use LSM modulation which is best decoded by a radio that understands QPSK. Most hobby scanners only decode using C4FM and it does a poor job of recovering the signal when there is multipath distortion.

If you have the inclination, you can achieve very good results monitoring FiRST using OP25 software and a cheap RTL dongle, but it is Linux based rather than a stand-alone scanner.

Beyond that, some people are reporting good results using a Unication G4/G5 pager, but these only decode P25 Phase 1 audio at present, so are not fully compatible with MD FiRST yet. A firmware upgrade to support Phase 2 is anticipated.... eventually.
 
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