GPS range on State Police

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ofd8001

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I'll try to take a stab at explaining why I think this was done.

The first link you have posted is for the no longer used VHF radio system. All of the Minnesota State Patrol communications are now conducted on the ARMER radio system, which is a state-wide trunking system. Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response (ARMER) Trunking System, Various, Minnesota - Scanner Frequencies Your second link is for one of the districts for the MSP on this system.

The newer Uniden scanners (HP series) have, similar to your 96 series scanner, location controlled scanning. There are two "components" to location controlled scanning: site location and department location. ("Department" is the new term for what was called "groups" in the 96 scanners).

The RR database has a location (lat/long) for each site/tower along with a "reception" range. There is also a location for each department along with a "reception" range.

Because the MSP is a statewide agency the "reception" range for this department (aka group) is large. The same is true for other statewide entities (BCA, corrections and federal users).

If the range wasn't so massive, someone with a HP series radio using GPS control, would not receive these statewide entities all over the state. That's because as someone travels around Minnesota, the GPS input may cause the department to be "turned off" as it was out of range.

This same principle is applied to other states. For example, Indiana has a similar statewide system. The range for departments (aka groups) is like 165 miles. Here in Kentucky, the statewide conventional system's frequencies show a "reception" range of 228 miles.

I agree that the second link you have is showing a 400 mile circle. However, when doing a download of the Minnesota system, the range for statewide departments comes in at 250 miles. I'm at a loss to figure out the discrepancy.

I hope I'm making sense of this. It's one of those things I think I know how/why it was done, but coming up with a way to articulate it is challenging.
 

Freqed

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I somewhat get what you mean as we have a large system here in OK., although not statewide as IN. or MN. but what doesn't happen here in OK. is that I can be in the NE corner and hear what is going on in the SW (covered by system) part of the state as the comms. are not transmitted statewide until someone from the SW part of the state travels into the NE part of the state and the system follows him. I had looked somewhat at the MSP page and wasn't aware that the old pages I posted were not in use. It appeared to me that it was still in migration and not all posts were on the new system. I am just trying to set-up coverage of I-35 from the Iowa line to St. Paul.
Thanks
 

phask

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No where near the one in question, but I've seen this for several years since I first started using the location enabled scanners.

IMHO it's misunderstanding or laziness on the admins.

I had a very lengthy conversation with a few who understood it and with a few that did not.

In a nutshell - some do not "give a crap"about that field.

It took me forever to get one revised that was a single xmit site that had 450 or so miles. I can go on and on, but basically - gave up.

Using the defaults when using a location based scanner is somewhat of a waste many times due to the crap of a database with ridiculous range settings.
 

sfd119

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Maybe that's why ARMER shows up in Wisconsin on my scanner using Location based scanning. It's annoying because I cannot hear it from where I'm at at all.
 

NDRADIONUT

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Its not laziness... We are more than happy to fix the range problems if they are submitted. No one has the donated time to go look at every entry for correctness. The gps data was added after a lot of the freq. data was already present in the db so some things slipped between the cracks when it was added... So again if you see any issues just submit them or bring it up in the forums.... Armer shows up in wisconsin because the gps data is done with circles which cover more than what is intended most of the time...
 

ofd8001

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I somewhat get what you mean as we have a large system here in OK., although not statewide as IN. or MN. but what doesn't happen here in OK. is that I can be in the NE corner and hear what is going on in the SW (covered by system) part of the state as the comms. are not transmitted statewide until someone from the SW part of the state travels into the NE part of the state and the system follows him. I had looked somewhat at the MSP page and wasn't aware that the old pages I posted were not in use. It appeared to me that it was still in migration and not all posts were on the new system. I am just trying to set-up coverage of I-35 from the Iowa line to St. Paul.
Thanks
You might think about posting in the Minnesota forum asking if anyone has an up to date ARMER file for the area you'll be travelling in. Might save re-creating a wheel.

I think there might be a little disconnect in the rest of the conversations. Sites and their ranges are apples with the Departments/Groups being pears. The original question was toward the range settings for Departments/Groups.

I think the DB administrators are doing as good as they can and had to come up with something that would work. Unfortunately because boundaries of states/counties/cities, etc., are not either circular or rectangular, it's tough to set a practical range without going beyond borders. It's better to be too big than too little otherwise things would be missed.
 

mikewazowski

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It took me forever to get one revised that was a single xmit site that had 450 or so miles. I can go on and on, but basically - gave up.

Out of your 8 submissions, I only find this one which asked to have a range changed:

"Range for Cass Railroad is 147.73348638276 miles
http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?rpt=6&aid=1572

Needs corrected to resaonable distance."

Submission was made September 20th and Bubba1661 seems to have made the change on September 24th.

Doesn't seem like 450 miles and I wouldn't consider 4 days to be forever.

Do you have a specific submission you could point me towards? It's always a concern when somebody has a complaint about the database and we'd like to figure out what happened so we can avoid it in the future.
 

sfd119

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Armer shows up in wisconsin because the gps data is done with circles which cover more than what is intended most of the time...
Is there an algorithm of sorts we can use to figure out what Tower Range is roughly. I'm in Washburn County and I know I can't hear a 800MHZ well. I only have VHF stuff, but I'm guessing it won't reach into the county I am in.
 

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I have to agree at some point that systems are different in every state. When you purchase a scanner that has features to help it make it easier to program (GPS) and you should just be able to dload right from RR and be good to go. I would have been stuck if I had just loaded everything in and left it at that. The whole point of GPS was to just hear what's is in your range and keep your scanner from scanning systems it can't even recieve. All the systems I programmed in MO. settings come out in the ocean just west of Africa??? Something that should just take about 5-10 min. takes an hour or more to get it right. Nothing like driving through MO. and your scanner turns on MI. systems you can't even recieve.
 

phask

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Out of your 8 submissions, I only find this one which asked to have a range changed:

"Range for Cass Railroad is 147.73348638276 miles
Division of Natural Resources Subcategory Location Data Report

Needs corrected to resaonable distance."

Submission was made September 20th and Bubba1661 seems to have made the change on September 24th.

Doesn't seem like 450 miles and I wouldn't consider 4 days to be forever.

Do you have a specific submission you could point me towards? It's always a concern when somebody has a complaint about the database and we'd like to figure out what happened so we can avoid it in the future.

You are not seeing all the request - some were via emails or PM.

That one was one where it took the help of another admin. to help explain the process so that admin. could understand. He had no idea exactly how it worked or had received bad instructions. There were also several PM/emails on this and Bubba changed it immediately once he understood - the 4 days as just explaining the process. 10 minutes was the time to actually change it :)

Anyway - I'm done with it, it's an unfortunate issue in the entire DB.

As it is; I know my local systems nearly as well as some of my state's admins and they do a very good job. Some work in the industry.

I've had range issues dismissed as to paraphrase, "you must directly monitor to be able to submit", well I can't monitor and that is the issue.

I , for one will never submit a range issue again.

Using a range setting in a Uniden it will load several systems that are > 150 miles in Wva and even VA. Traveling I see this even more.

With all the newer Uniden , location based scanner users this will come up more and more, though even many of he users do not understand it.

This really deserves it's own thread.
 

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A lot of the reason people purchase new scanners and then sell them shortly after saying "It's too complicated for me" is in part because of the database issues. Uniden might be better served by hiring someone to clean up the GPS issues and make their radios more right out of the box friendly. Back to the point at hand, even 250 miles on a site is excessive because you have more than one site to cover an area that big. If you just had one site in the center of the state then ok, but when you have a site in almost every county of said state, with each one set @ 250 mile range that doesn't get it.
 
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ofd8001

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Is there an algorithm of sorts we can use to figure out what Tower Range is roughly. I'm in Washburn County and I know I can't hear a 800MHZ well. I only have VHF stuff, but I'm guessing it won't reach into the county I am in.
There are many factors on how far a tower "reaches out". Transmitter power, antenna height, antenna gain and topography are but a few.

You might try a google search for coverage maps which are prepared by engineering firms. From there you can get a ball park idea on tower range.

The following site has some maps for around the twin cities:

ARMER Coverage Maps
 

sfd119

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There are many factors on how far a tower "reaches out". Transmitter power, antenna height, antenna gain and topography are but a few.

You might try a google search for coverage maps which are prepared by engineering firms. From there you can get a ball park idea on tower range.

The following site has some maps for around the twin cities:

ARMER Coverage Maps
Doing radio work, I'm well aware of all of that fun stuff. I'm just looking for a simple solution for the DB admins so I don't have a scanner trying to pickup ARMER from 2-3 counties away from the nearest site.
 

NDRADIONUT

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The 250 mile setting is for statewide talkgroups which is different from the site radius setting of 15-25 miles for a single site and up to 50-60 miles for a simulcast system. County only talkgroups are set to the radius of the county involved. There are also regional tg's that are set for a part of a state.
 
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