EBRCS Question Thread

N6ML

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Has anyone tried a SDS100 on the EBRCS system especially if you live in a location where another scanner had trouble? For example at my house I need to use a yagi and an attenuator with my BCD536HP and I would much prefer being able to use a portable unit.
I'm waiting for UPS to deliver my SDS100. It was supposed to arrive on Friday, but tracking says it was delayed by a train derailment (???). It made it to San Pablo, then Oakland, and now seems to have gone to Eureka! Very strange. Anyway, I hope it'll get here soon, and I'll compare to my old BCD396T, which has trouble when I'm out and about, and a Unication G5, which does much better on LSM (but has other issues)
 

N6PIV

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I'm waiting for UPS to deliver my SDS100. It was supposed to arrive on Friday, but tracking says it was delayed by a train derailment (???). It made it to San Pablo, then Oakland, and now seems to have gone to Eureka! Very strange. Anyway, I hope it'll get here soon, and I'll compare to my old BCD396T, which has trouble when I'm out and about, and a Unication G5, which does much better on LSM (but has other issues)
I look forward to your comments, I was close to pulling the trigger on the G5 but decided to wait once the SDS100 was announced.

Thanks,

Art
 

rooivalk

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I'm very interested in the results, as well. My 436 is only about 30% active when trying to receive EBRCS.
 

N6ML

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I've been holding off a bit on reporting on the SDS100 performance, because there are some issues that are being worked through (in firmware) that do affect reception of EBRCS... but so-far, I can't say that I see any problems that are obviously related to LSM.

My only comparison is an old BCD396T, which works fine in some areas around here (Brentwood), but seems to get confused in other areas, which never appeared to be related to signal strength - the "bars" would jump between full strength and nothing, and it'd say "Finding control channel", or audio would sporadically get garbled while driving around. It was generally unusable when out'n'about, but somewhat usable at my home. I assumed that those issues where due to simulcast, but never really proved it. The SDS100 seems mostly usable in most places I've gone - including most of east Conta Costa, and a bit around Concord and Livermore.

I will say that the Unication G5 receiver on 770MHz is definitely superior, so if you're in a marginal coverage area, and can live with the limited functionality, the G4/G5 would be a better choice, IMO. Central Contra Costa simulcast is solid in Brentwood with the G5, where the SDS100 either can't decode it at all, or breaks up a lot (depending on conditions, I guess) - using the same outdoor antenna.

Are there any particular areas where "y'all" have had issues with simulcast? If I happen to be in/around those areas, I could take the G5 and SDS100 and see how they do.....
 

RJS

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Updated my SDS100 to latest beta and Phase 1 is much better, now out performing my 436 (faster and receiving more traffic that the 436 stay deaf on from here in East Contra Costa. Even picking up Central ConFire which was nearly impossible from anywhere in my home without a high mounted or outside antenna. VHF is still scratchy and notice weather band is weaker than when first purchased using stock antenna.

In drive tests, picking up much more with Remtronix vs RS800 with EBRCS system here and in Central CC. Stock antenna only good for all band listening which around here is not much value as most have made the move to the EBRCS. Wish Uniden would make a smaller SMA or BNC adapter and this scanner would be nearly perfect.

Firmware updates ... keep coming!
 

N6ML

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@RJS Hi! I'm in Brentwood. Central Simulcast is marginal out here. I can get it upstairs in the house, but not downstairs (other houses in the path), even with the Unication G5. Even with yesterday's firmware, I'm still hearing late starts (miss the first couple of words) during conversations. It's more obvious to me because I'm listening on the G5 at the same time.

For the BNC adapter, see: https://www.radioreference.com/apps/classifieds/showproduct.php?product=9003&cat=13 I made my own, rather crudely ... stuffed a similar adapter in the drill-press and "machined" it down with a file.
 

kma371

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@RJS Hi! I'm in Brentwood. Central Simulcast is marginal out here. I can get it upstairs in the house, but not downstairs (other houses in the path), even with the Unication G5. Even with yesterday's firmware, I'm still hearing late starts (miss the first couple of words) during conversations. It's more obvious to me because I'm listening on the G5 at the same time.

For the BNC adapter, see: https://www.radioreference.com/apps/classifieds/showproduct.php?product=9003&cat=13 I made my own, rather crudely ... stuffed a similar adapter in the drill-press and "machined" it down with a file.
You're listening to Central site in Brentwood? Doesn't east work better?
 

N6ML

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You're listening to Central site in Brentwood? Doesn't east work better?
Partly for "academic purposes" (comparing receiver performance is a lot more interesting with a weak signal than a strong one), but also a lot of the TGs are not carried on East, so when anything interesting happens west of Mt Diablo, I have to go to Central to listen. I can also get AlCo East from Patterson Pass with an outdoor antenna (it's about 20 miles LOS)

As a side note, something else that I've noticed, while experimenting with antennas, is that Central Simulcast (at least the site that I'm hearing out here) seems much stronger with a horizontally polarised antenna, where CoCo East and AlCo East seem to be vertical. Not sure if that's by design, or if I'm getting some weird path effect....
 

RJS

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@RJS Hi! I'm in Brentwood. Central Simulcast is marginal out here. I can get it upstairs in the house, but not downstairs (other houses in the path), even with the Unication G5. Even with yesterday's firmware, I'm still hearing late starts (miss the first couple of words) during conversations. It's more obvious to me because I'm listening on the G5 at the same time.

For the BNC adapter, see: https://www.radioreference.com/apps/classifieds/showproduct.php?product=9003&cat=13 I made my own, rather crudely ... stuffed a similar adapter in the drill-press and "machined" it down with a file.
Confire Central comes in good on Central Simulcast site out by Vasco / Marsh Creek area and agree limited as you get closer to the greater Brentwood / Antioch area. I monitor that site for CONFIRE CENTRAL and East Simulcast site for CONFIRE EAST. I also scan them both on the old VHF for dispatch activity; however any tac activity (channels B2-B9, C2-C9 etc.) need to be monitored via the EBRCS channels.

I have a Laird BB8062N on a NMO mount on the top of a desk in our den for EBRCS monitoring and works well. Mobile I use a Larsen TriBand for CHP, VHF and monitoring the 700-800 EBRCS system. My Remtronix works well for when walking around. I also have found monitoring the Central Site is better with horizontal positioning (good observation, I thought it was just the area I live in).

Try the Larsen, you will not be dissapointed. HRO in Alameda sold me on it a few years back when I dumped about $300 in other antennas like the Austin Spectra. I'm pretty sure Amazon has it as well or The Antenna Farm.
 

RJS

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You're listening to Central site in Brentwood? Doesn't east work better?
Yes, it's for CONFIRE Central monitoring. I find better luck just monitoring the old VHF for ConCentral dispatch out here in East County and listen to the East Site for all the activity out here.
 

Cambion

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I've been keeping my eye on this thread but haven't seen any activity. For those who have bought an SDS100 scanner and are in the Central Contra Costa area, how has the SDS been peforming? I saw spotty reports when the scanner first released, but it's been a fair amount of time since then and was wondering. I've been using my Unication G5 but I miss the pause feature of a regular scanner.
 

RJS

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I've been keeping my eye on this thread but haven't seen any activity. For those who have bought an SDS100 scanner and are in the Central Contra Costa area, how has the SDS been peforming? I saw spotty reports when the scanner first released, but it's been a fair amount of time since then and was wondering. I've been using my Unication G5 but I miss the pause feature of a regular scanner.
SDS100 with Global Filter set to Wide Normal works great. I use an Remtronix 800 antenna.
 

qc

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I've been keeping my eye on this thread but haven't seen any activity. For those who have bought an SDS100 scanner and are in the Central Contra Costa area, how has the SDS been peforming? I saw spotty reports when the scanner first released, but it's been a fair amount of time since then and was wondering. I've been using my Unication G5 but I miss the pause feature of a regular scanner.
I have the SDS100 with stock Uniden Antenna in Concord. and have no problems getting 100% of transmission on Central Simulcast
 

Cambion

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Thanks! I'm up in Martinez off center, and my PSR500 is just deaf. The G5 Unication has been great. I might bite the bullet and get one of these now. Cheers!
 

qc

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Glad I can help love the SDS100, I'm thinking of getting G5 Unification to keep dedicated to Fire Calls, do you have the VHF option? if so hows the VHF reception Cal Fire?

Take care
 

Cambion

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I've not tried it at all. I put Solano County fire in and it works good from here in Martinez. I do have the VHF version of the G5 and the free DMR upgrade. I'm going to see if I can buy the SDS100 soon (talk to the wife! bahaha). If it works I'll be putting my G5 up on the market.
 
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qc

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I've not tried it at all. I put Solano County fire in and it works good from here in Martinez. I do have the VHF version of the G5 and the free DMR upgrade. I'm going to see if I can buy the SDS100 soon (talk to the wife! bahaha). If it works I'll be putting my G5 up on the market.
Thanks, I'm interested in the G5

73
Shon KJ6FNN
 

rooivalk

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I broke down and picked up an SDS100. On EBRCS, compared to my 436, the results are dramatic. The 436 was only receiving at most approx. 20% of transmissions, the SDS is nailing 90+, with most losses coming at the beginning of a Tx. I'm receiving everything on CCCO Central Simulcast. The SDS was used, straight out of the box, plugged in my Zip code, and that's it, zero adjustments. I may do a vid, with identical antennas (the old reliable RS 800MHZ) and factory settings, just to confirm the SDS's performance. The radio has some quirks, otherwise, but on EBRCS, i am impressed. For reference: I'm in 94598, walking distance to The Orchards shopping center.
 

Cambion

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I broke down and picked up an SDS100. On EBRCS, compared to my 436, the results are dramatic. The 436 was only receiving at most approx. 20% of transmissions, the SDS is nailing 90+, with most losses coming at the beginning of a Tx. I'm receiving everything on CCCO Central Simulcast. The SDS was used, straight out of the box, plugged in my Zip code, and that's it, zero adjustments. I may do a vid, with identical antennas (the old reliable RS 800MHZ) and factory settings, just to confirm the SDS's performance. The radio has some quirks, otherwise, but on EBRCS, i am impressed. For reference: I'm in 94598, walking distance to The Orchards shopping center.
I'm here to tell you, I too was so shocked and amazed by the performance of the SDS100. And my setup went the same way. Charged the battery, powered it on, entered my zip code, and boom.... scanning away. I was even picking up Oakland on the EBRCS system. I'm now looking at setting up the Sentinel software to further define favorites. I did a down and dirty quick Favorites for the Central country city PDs, Sheriff and county fire. But I want to get a lot more in there. I'm 94553 off Pine and Center in Martinez.
 
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mibzzer15

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So I was just messing around with my 536hp, started using discovery mode. Got multiple hits on TGID 4263 on the ALCO Southwest site. I don't see it in the database unless I am missing something. They were talking about some perimeter fencing and making sure cars weren't blocked. Any idea who this might be?
 
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