Help programming simulcast Pinellas County

SeanFL

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May 26, 2020
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Just bought a Uniden SDS200 and have a question relating to programming my home area, Pinellas County, Florida. The system is simulcast. It lists 5 sites (2, 4, 5, 10, 12). Site 5 seems to be the main site and is fairly close to me (mid county) with strong signals.

When scanning, site 5 usually shows up. The scanner attempts to scan sites 2, 4, 10, and 12 and usually doesn't stop on anything (perhaps I'm too far from them? Or maybe they're not used much?). For this location, would deleting the other sites (adding them to avoid) help speed up scanning the system? Are the other sites scattered around the county and include cities that are farther away from me?

Thanks for your help understanding a multi-site system. I started with the zip code scan and am starting to fine tune what's scanned and what's avoided.
 

hiegtx

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Just bought a Uniden SDS200 and have a question relating to programming my home area, Pinellas County, Florida. The system is simulcast. It lists 5 sites (2, 4, 5, 10, 12). Site 5 seems to be the main site and is fairly close to me (mid county) with strong signals.

When scanning, site 5 usually shows up. The scanner attempts to scan sites 2, 4, 10, and 12 and usually doesn't stop on anything (perhaps I'm too far from them? Or maybe they're not used much?). For this location, would deleting the other sites (adding them to avoid) help speed up scanning the system? Are the other sites scattered around the county and include cities that are farther away from me?

Thanks for your help understanding a multi-site system. I started with the zip code scan and am starting to fine tune what's scanned and what's avoided.
I would agree with you that Site 5 is the main site. Looking at some of the other sites, more specifically site 12, which have fewer channels listed than Site 5, they may be mostly fill-in sites, for areas where Site 5 is not as readable.

The map showing sites for Site 5 is here:

That location map may be slightly misleading, as it shows the locations based on the list of the licenses shown. However, some of those are also associated with sites other than Site 5.

It would speed up your scanning speed if you either remove the sites other than Site, or set them to Avoid. For each site, the scanner may spend as much as 1 to 1.5 seconds to try ro receive & decode a control channel frequency for each site. Unless you can determine that specific talkgroups of interest to you are not being heard on Site 5, but might be on one other locations, then just leave the others off. You might not see traffic on the other sites (other than Site 5) because either you are too distant from one or more of them, or the antennas for those sites are set to be focused on a specific area (other than your area). I would leave them programmed, but set to Avoid, in case you find yourself somewhere that Site 5 is not being received clearly. You can assign separate quick keys to the other sites, so that you could enable them if so desired.
 

SeanFL

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May 26, 2020
Messages
7
Thank you Steve, glad I'm on the right path with speeding up scan times. Could you help me understand a bit more about sites. The map you linked (thank you) shows 10 locations, all listed as part of "site 5." Some of the other "sites" only have 2 or 3 locations listed. Are the locations on the map a listing of the base stations that would communicate with a repeater somewhere, or are those repeater locations, or receive locations, or it could be a combination of all of the above? I was thinking each "site" would be a tower with repeaters on it to serve an area of the county. Thank you for helping me learn.
 

Bolt21

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Dec 28, 2005
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You can assign quick keys to sites, so you can toggle them on or off instead of deleting them. Site 5 will carry virtually everything you need for Pinellas. Site 2 is north, but doesn't host all talkgroups. Site 4 primarily hosts the St. Petersburg TGs. Sites 10 and 12 don't carry routine traffic and are rarely used. At one point 12 was used for high performance data, haven't listened in a while, probably still that way.
 
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tpredmore

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Dec 11, 2000
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Tampa Bay, FL
At the very least, you should be scanning Sites 5 & 10. Site 12 is data traffic, so you don't need to monitor. Sites 2 & 4 are south county. If you aren't interested in listening to St. Pete public works/city services, you don't need to listen to those sites. Fire departments are on site 5. Law enforcement agencies are on Sites 5 & 10.
 

fredva

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Mar 19, 2007
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Thank you Steve, glad I'm on the right path with speeding up scan times. Could you help me understand a bit more about sites. The map you linked (thank you) shows 10 locations, all listed as part of "site 5." Some of the other "sites" only have 2 or 3 locations listed. Are the locations on the map a listing of the base stations that would communicate with a repeater somewhere, or are those repeater locations, or receive locations, or it could be a combination of all of the above? I was thinking each "site" would be a tower with repeaters on it to serve an area of the county. Thank you for helping me learn.
For a simulcast system, a site is not a single location but rather a group of transmitters around the area which all share the same set of frequencies. A given site will simulcast the same radio traffic on the same frequency from each of its transmitters. I wish they had used different terminology because most people default to thinking of a "site" as one specific location.
 

tampabaynews

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I'm with Bolt21 on this. Site 4 is St. Petersburg. Site 5 is Countywide. To be simple about it, that's all you need.

If you can receive Site 5 you won't need to program Site 10. Site 10 does not host any talk group that's not already using Site 5. Some St. Pete talkgroups are on Site 5, but you'll need Site 4 as well if you don't want to miss anything.

I don't think anyone has definitive purpose on 2, 10, and 12... but they're not needed in my opinion as they duplicate traffic already on Site 4 and 5. They're likely fill-in sites for some areas and have limited capacity.
 
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