Heading Down the Black Hole

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trentbob

W3BUX- Bucks County, PA
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Hey there, thanks for the info. I am quite a distance from Conway. As the crow flies, I'm just under 30 miles, but I don't know exactly where their transmitter site is. The analog VHF stuff (FD/EMS) in that area, dispatched by the Conway Police is very scratchy and almost not readable. So it's not surprising that the digital PD transmissions are coming in broken and "digital" sounding. It's just so confusing why sometimes they come in perfectly clear, like they're the same town. You're right on assuming the Wolfeboro digital PD transmissions come in clear as day here. And plenty of other digital transmissions from around the state come in clear as well.

It's almost like Conway was broadcasting from a different tower on those days when it was coming in clear. I also noticed that the weather was overcast at least a couple of those days, but I can't be sure about all of them.

The folded dipole I'm using is tuned for high VHF, but not 155 specifically.
Well now we know how far away you are from what you're trying to pick up I think your problem has been clearly identified. As I said a regular VHF High frequency when you're too far away will be scratchy and broken but a digital VHF High when you are too far away will be digitally. Or you just won't get it at all whereas conventional VHF you'll get noise even though you can't make out what it is you'll still hear noise with digital you'll hear nothing.

Why does it work better sometimes than others, I think you answered that. Atmospheric changes perhaps. Whether or not your next antenna idea works, time will tell. If you can get the antenna higher then you will get better reception.

I feel confident that this answers your original question however it hasn't been solved yet but I'm sure this is what we are looking at.
 

ecps92

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Thanks, wanted to ensure you were not trying the Repeater input [ ha ha ha]

Per the FCC they have multiple FB2 sites [FB2 = Repeater] so it is likely, as does the County Dispatch
they are selecting a different Repeater/Transmit site that you may not be hearing as well

See if you get similar results on the County SO system as they [used to] have a similar set-up of different Repeater locations.


For ecps92:

155.64 NAC 317
 
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emsflyer84

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Thanks, wanted to ensure you were not trying the Repeater input [ ha ha ha]

Per the FCC they have multiple FB2 sites [FB2 = Repeater] so it is likely, as does the County Dispatch
they are selecting a different Repeater/Transmit site that you may not be hearing as well

See if you get similar results on the County SO system as they [used to] have a similar set-up of different Repeater locations.
Thanks. As far as I can tell, I am receiving the county transmissions, even on their repeaters in the Conway area. But I'll keep a closer eye on that as well. Thanks.
 

lu81fitter

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Marshall County, Illinois
The folded dipole I'm using is tuned for high VHF, but not 155 specifically.
I don't have any experience with dipole antennas, so I can't comment on them. I do have experience with a mobile-to-base conversion kit that I use at home. I live in a bit of a valley, but I still seem to be picking up VHF-Hi, and UHF, along with some 7/800 signals from about 35-40 miles. My UHF reception (around 450-460) is the scratchiest. My antenna is about 20 feet AGL on the corner of my house. Lately, I have been using the newest Larsen tri-band antenna, but you may be able to get by with a VHF 1/4 wave whip.

This is just a random suggestion for an antenna idea. I don't know if it will work any better than what you have. Maybe someone here can shed more light on this idea that has more experience than I.

Here are some links to the stuff I have.

https://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/laird-technologies-mbcn-7531


I should also add that on VHF-Hi and UHF, my listening is just analog. The 7/800 is digital.

Good luck and have fun exploring your options! :)
 

emsflyer84

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I don't have any experience with dipole antennas, so I can't comment on them. I do have experience with a mobile-to-base conversion kit that I use at home. I live in a bit of a valley, but I still seem to be picking up VHF-Hi, and UHF, along with some 7/800 signals from about 35-40 miles. My UHF reception (around 450-460) is the scratchiest. My antenna is about 20 feet AGL on the corner of my house. Lately, I have been using the newest Larsen tri-band antenna, but you may be able to get by with a VHF 1/4 wave whip.

This is just a random suggestion for an antenna idea. I don't know if it will work any better than what you have. Maybe someone here can shed more light on this idea that has more experience than I.

Here are some links to the stuff I have.

https://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/laird-technologies-mbcn-7531


I should also add that on VHF-Hi and UHF, my listening is just analog. The 7/800 is digital.

Good luck and have fun exploring your options! :)
Thanks for this. This is similar to the setup I’ll be trying this weekend. I ordered a ground plane kit from Centerfire:


I’ll mount my Diamond RH77CA onto this kit and see how it does.

I actually looked at the Laird kit and a few others. If my experiment with this kit works, I’ll probably order something a little more substantial of the same type.

I had actually looked at this Laird so I’m glad to hear some input on it!
 

sallen07

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emsflyer84

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I installed the same setup this past Saturday, and so far I have been VERY happy with it. I was orginally going to put up a discone but wanted something a little more discreet.
More good news on the Laird. Good to hear! I had been looking at this:


I wonder how it would compare to the Laird unit? The Laird is cool because of its compact form factor. I’m definitely going for discreet. Any thoughts on the Scannermaster unit? Thanks!
 

emsflyer84

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Well, another overcast morning and the frequency I’ve been trying to get is coming through loud a clear. It must be atmospheric. Maybe the new antenna setup or some more height will be just enough to pull it in even when it’s sunny and clear.
 

emsflyer84

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Ok all, quick update. I put the Centerfire ground plane kit with Diamond RH77CA on the roof over the weekend. It seems to work well. Better then what I've had up so far. I also realized that I ordered the wrong length radials for the ground plane kit for what I'm listening too. I only ordered 6" radials and they really should be like 20" I believe. But either way, it's working quite well. This setup uses standard BNC connectors so it's not well suited for extended outdoor use in harsh weather, so I ordered the Laird ground plane kit with the correct radials, and the Larsen tri-band antenna as suggested. I'll be putting that up this weekend and that (hopefully) will be the end of my antenna games. Will post another update once the final setup is installed. Thanks for all the input!
 
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