Fire en-route traffic Loveland?

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poltergeisty

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I have an older scanner, a BC296D I bought recently on eBay and I have had mild to bad reception listening to towers; Bald, Loveland and Horsetooth. I have tried different antennas and I seem to get better results with an old VHF antenna. My external cell antenna works really well though. My question: When I hear fire or ambulance paged I never seem to hear them say "en-route" any more. Are they using MDT to tell dispatch that they are en-route now or what? Maybe my bad reception is making me miss traffic, I don't know. I plan on buying a GRE pre amp as I couldn't even hear anything in the car. I tried adjusting audio quality to its lowest setting too! What gets me is that commercial and ham radio repeaters come in better than public safety!
 

natedawg1604

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Reception will be highly dependent on your location, especially in the 700-900 bands. The 700-900 bands are FAR less "forgiving" with signal propagation, as compared to VHF or UHF. Frankly I get great reception with a radio shack 800 MHz whip antenna on my 396XT, that's all you really need. If you are getting a weak DTRS signal from your particular location, huge antennas won't help much.

I would suggest compiling a list of all DTRS towers in your county and surrounding counties, and then carefully verify which sites you can hear. You should NOT simply "assume" that you can or can't hear certain sites simply because they are two counties away. You may be surprised which sites you can, or can't, hear from various locations. For example, there are certain high-elevation spots in Broomfield where I can hear DTRS towers from Longmont, Gunbarrel, Bald North and I believe Horsetooth Mountain.

Also, with DTRS when you pick up a control channel you have to make sure that you are truly hearing the site you THINK you are hearing. DTRS uses "duplicate" frequencies for various sites and sometimes you will pick up a control channel at site B 45 miles away, when you think you are hearing site A 20 miles away.

You should understand that radios used by actual DTRS users automatically select the site with the best signal properties, so users don't need to know which site they are using. Moreover, DTRS radios don't get confused by "duplicate" site frequencies because they analyze metadata from the Control Channel to confirm which site is being used. However, no scanner has these capabilities (and if it did it would cost several thousand $).

Also, driving and DTRS can get VERY messy. Basically, you have to learn a lot about "general coverage" patterns of all nearby DTRS sites, and figure out which site is best to use at which location. You will find a lot of forum posts about how many DTR sites one should listen to at once, I generally listen to one site at a time. When I travel in the Denver-Metro area, I frequently switch sites on DTRS to find the best signal. In general, if you are new to DTRS you should plan on spending a lot of time trying things out, failing, trying again, etc. DTRS is a huge system and it may seem overwhelming at the beginning.
 
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scanlist

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For "geisty": I have both 296 and 796 desk models. You will need to adjust the "Sound Quality" setting in the radio to fine tune it for DTRS.

This setting effects both CC decode and Voice channel decode.

First step is to set the radio to a bank with a P25 system in scan. Second is to press the "trunk" key it should sit on the control channel at this point. If not scroll through the channels in the bank till you are on the CC which will show the alternating "DAT" display.

Next hold down the "9" key till it double beeps and will show the "SOUND QULTY" screen.

Next hold down the number "2" key until it double beeps and displays the number "2" to the left of word "Low" on the display. This will correct weirdness with CSP TG's.

Next scroll with the thumbwheel up or down to get the following settings.

Low 0633 Mid 1985 Upp 3242

Press the "E" enter key to save this setting.

Press the "RSM" button to get back to a normal screen display.

Press scan and use the radio normally.

This is the setting I use for both radios. Setting the quality settings too high or too low will cause poor CC lock and horrible voice decode.

Also of note the 296D with digital card enabled draws between 290 to 300 ma and will take down the charge of the OEM battery pack rather quickly. Some 296D radios would heat up while connected to the AC adapter with the digital card enabled (Mine does) when turned on for long periods of time.
 

BOWLERPBA

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I live in Longmont, but work for the City of Loveland. My trusty Pro-96 and my XTS 3000 R sets next to my computer.

Mark
 

poltergeisty

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RLG, Fly heading 053, intercept 315 DVV
It is confirmed. I heard ambulance and fire go in route and the ambulance said the computer was down. So they do in fact use MDT for in route traffic. They may even use it to say they are on scene since sometimes I don't even hear that traffic. it begs the question as to why keying up your radio and just saying, "en route" then having to click or type on a laptop.
 

jimmnn

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It is confirmed. I heard ambulance and fire go in route and the ambulance said the computer was down. So they do in fact use MDT for in route traffic. They may even use it to say they are on scene since sometimes I don't even hear that traffic. it begs the question as to why keying up your radio and just saying, "en route" then having to click or type on a laptop.
It's much much easier than clicking or typing on a laptop most systems deploy status buttons which are very easy to use and some even are triggered by putting the vehicle in park after the emergency lights were on and such.

Jim<
 
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