Downtown PDX Reception

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gakoenig

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Hi Guys,

So, I am sort of a noob to this whole scanning thing. My business has me driving around a lot, so I really want to be able to listen while in my vehicle. I'm running a BCT346XT or a Home Patrol off of a mag mount Larson antenna I got from Ham Radio Outlet. The coax cable is running through my passenger door (sub-optimal, I know).

I live downtown and go through a LOT of dead spots. I'm trying to figure out how to improve reception to fix this. I'm figuring PPB officers likely don't run into that problem very much...

Is this an issue with antennas? The cable running through my vehicle? Or does Portland just have a bunch of little dead spots?

Wold throw this on a general forum, but sort of lost and wondering if it is just downtown PDX...

Thanks!
 

gakoenig

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I think I might have solved my problem, at least on the Home Patrol.

The HP1 database has the Simulcast Backbone populated with every channel. I removed all of them, with the exception of the 4 control channels, and everything seems to be working MUCH better now.
 

DickH

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I think I might have solved my problem, at least on the Home Patrol.

The HP1 database has the Simulcast Backbone populated with every channel. I removed all of them, with the exception of the 4 control channels, and everything seems to be working MUCH better now.
I think it's your imagination. The only difference control channel only trunking and all channel trunking is it will scan unnoticably faster with CC only. The reason PPB doesn't have trouble is their radios cost about $3000 and yours costs about $200. Like the difference between a VW & a Mercedes.
One thing you might try is a Radio Shack 800MHz antenna on the scanner. You may find it as good or better than the coax and external antenna. Remember, glass does not bother radio waves and that coax (RG58 or 59) has a lot of loss at 800MHz.

Here's how I used to have my scanner before I got a city Motorola.



Velcro on the door and the scanner.

 
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gakoenig

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Nothing quite like the placebo effect!

You are totally right. I threw a Diamond multi-channel antenna on the HP1 (with the new Extreme upgrade) and was getting slightly better reception according to the new onboard testing tools, inside the vehicle, than I got with the Larson and coax cable. Funny how that works.

I still get a few really junky areas of reception - I84 between 205 and 5 is really spotty. Parts of downtown are really spotty. The 24 hour Starbucks is absolutely dead (totally unacceptable for Eastern/Northern cars, I am sure). Perhaps a slight improvement with the HP1, but now you've got me questioning myself. Hard to do an antenna comparison while driving 84 though...

The HP1 has made figuring this stuff out really easy though. I am sure it doesn't do anything other scanners can't do, but it is far more moron compatible! =)
 

PaulNDaOC

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In addition to receiving a whole lot better, the Motorola's also have the advantage of switching to one of the fill-in sites if reception through the area-wide Simulcast system isn't providing the best coverage for that particular radio.

Whenever I am in town I have always had great reception on a handheld scanner all over Downtown, the West Hills, and most of the rest of the city including on the Banfield.

Where I found poor coverage was in parts of SW and east county which get coverage from fill-in sites.

On the other side of things a friend of mine at BOEC told me yeats ago that the area that they encountered most radio problems was in Parkrose due to Rocky Butte being in the way of Mt. Scott and Council Crest and other sites.

With that being said, I sure miss the old UHF/VHF system.

KOB647!!!!
 
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DickH

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... Whenever I am in town I have always had great reception on a handheld scanner all over Downtown, the West Hills, and most of the rest of the city including on the Banfield.

Where I found poor coverage was in parts of SW and east county which get coverage from fill-in sites. !
The next time you're here try driving down Burnside from I-205 to102nd and around the 122nd & Halsey intersection.
 

UPMan

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If you are in a downtown area, the issue could be too much signal, rather than too little. A strong transmission on a nearby frequency can cause the front-end of the scanner to desense to other signals in the band. One possible solution is counterintuitive, but easy to check out. Next time you are at that Starbucks, try hitting ATTEN.
 
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