Home Patrol 2 Problem

brennin

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My question relates to my HP2. I reside in Queen Anne"s Co., and for the last 5 years or so monitored fire & EMS talk groups in both Kent & Q.A. Co's. These are on the F.I.R.S.T. system which uses simulcast. I also monitor 2 analog conventional dispatch channels on the same HP 2. My sentinel software is current & checking the RR database, none of the channels are encrypted. Also, it appears there have been no changes to 2 sites involved, Kent simulcast & Q.A. simulcast, & all control freqs are correct & yes the attenuation is off. As mentioned before, the HP2 has always worked well, receiving the trunked signals. However, about 4 to 5 days ago, I noticed the HP was only receiving the analog dispatch signals, nothing on the F.I.R.S.T. Just curious, anyone in the Kent- Q.A. area with an HP 2 encountered this problem ? Replies appreciated. I posted this also on the Uniden forum. Thanks a lot, Puzzled & bewildered
 

maus92

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The sheriff in Queen Anne uses encrypted tgs, but has been doing so for several years so no recent changes.
 

atlong

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Have you checked Sentinel for what frequencies are programmed into the sites you're monitoring? Sometimes the control channels change and if your programming doesn't include all of the frequencies at a particular site, a control channel change will cause your radio to not receive anything.
 

maus92

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I should add that the Talbot simulcast covers some of Queen Anne, as well as the Matapeake ASR. There was talk of raising the antennas at the Safety Drive site to improve coverage in the Queenstown area. If that has been done, it may have introduced some simulcast distortion for certain receivers (HP2 do not do well in simulcast systems in general.)
 

brennin

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I am well aware that Q.A Sheriff Freqs. are encrypted. That's why I only monitor Fire/EMS freqs. in Q.A. Kent Co. Sheriff still has 2 non encrypted freqs. Yes I did check the Sentinel software & all control freqs entered in the scanner agree. The antenna I am using with the HP 2 is a Harvest 5RH789 Omnidirectional.
 

maus92

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I get that you are well aware of what agencies / tgs are encrypted, but your nomenclature needs more precision. The frequencies in use on both the Kent Simulcast and the Queen Anne Simulcast cells have not changed. One tower site in the Queen Anne Simulcast cell *may* have re-mounted its transmit antennas at a higher position on the Safety Drive tower, which could *conceivably* cause a phenomenon called simulcast distortion, which your type radio is notorious. If the radio is completely dead on a system it used to receive, that means that the radio needs to be reflashed; the radio or antenna connection has failed, or a control channel has changed.
 

brennin

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Thanks for the reply maus92. I tried an experiment today. Cecil Co. has a site called Cecilton ASR. I live about 30 miles from there so I downloaded some Cecil Co. freqs in the F.I.R.S.T.. into the HP and drove up there. Sitting at the Royal Farms, eating lunch, I had the scanner on, it came to life. Clear concise broadcasts on the Cecil Freqs. So as far as I'm concerned, the scanner in itself, is fine. The culprit is the simulcast distortion. Apparently, it has gotten to such a level lately in my area, the HP can't decode the signals. So here ends the mystery. I understand the remedy is the SDS200. So I'll ask you a question: compared to the HP, would you say the SDS200 is an easier or more difficult scanner to program. Thank you. Thanks to all the good friends for their replies.
 

maus92

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Thanks for the reply maus92. I tried an experiment today. Cecil Co. has a site called Cecilton ASR. I live about 30 miles from there so I downloaded some Cecil Co. freqs in the F.I.R.S.T.. into the HP and drove up there. Sitting at the Royal Farms, eating lunch, I had the scanner on, it came to life. Clear concise broadcasts on the Cecil Freqs. So as far as I'm concerned, the scanner in itself, is fine. The culprit is the simulcast distortion. Apparently, it has gotten to such a level lately in my area, the HP can't decode the signals. So here ends the mystery. I understand the remedy is the SDS200. So I'll ask you a question: compared to the HP, would you say the SDS200 is an easier or more difficult scanner to program. Thank you. Thanks to all the good friends for their replies.
Almost identical as far as programming goes. Tvengr might even convert your hp2 programming to work on the sds if he sees this post.
 

tvengr

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Almost identical as far as programming goes.
You can export a hpe favorites list file from your HomePatrol Sentinel and import it into BCDx36HP Sentinel for the SDS100 and SDS200. You will be able to add items such as quick keys and site NAC's which are not available on the HP2.
 
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brennin

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Thank you for that info. Uniden has a trade in program, so I'm thinking of trading the HP in for an SDS 200. Talked with some folks who belong to fire dept. looks like the simulcast system is here to stay.
 

fxdscon

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Bearcat warehouse
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OK, that's not a Uniden trade in program, you're actually just selling your old scanner to Bearcat Warehouse.

Uniden had kicked around the idea of a trade-in program some time back, but decided against it.
 

maus92

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I had some business on the shore today, and afterwards I was able to snoop around QAC for a couple hours. This tower site at Safety Drive in Queenstown is either not on the air, or is in some sort of limited power mode. Sitting in the park next to the site, RSSI was poor, as it was on many of the roads adjacent to it. It does look like the radiating antennas have been raised as there are no antennas typical to other FIRST sites mounted lower on the tower. IDK, strange. The lack of good RSSI suggests that the OP's problem in not necessarily "simulcast distortion," rather either a the site being offline or an incomplete reconfiguration. The sites at MSP Centreville and Sudlersville were showing good signal strength. Might be interesting to know the location of the OP. The cch for the QAC simulcast has not changed.
 

tvengr

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Thank you for that info. Uniden has a trade in program, so I'm thinking of trading the HP in for an SDS 200. Talked with some folks who belong to fire dept. looks like the simulcast system is here to stay.
Please let me know if you have any questions about programming the SDS200.
 

maus92

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Thank you for that info. Uniden has a trade in program, so I'm thinking of trading the HP in for an SDS 200. Talked with some folks who belong to fire dept. looks like the simulcast system is here to stay.
The FIRST system is not going anywhere - in fact there is an ongoing coverage improvement program that will be adding sites throughout the state for the next several years - including a possible new site in the Queenstown area of QAC. The "bad" news is the more sites included in a simulcast cell, the greater the possibility of introducing simulcast distortion in certain areas.
 

brennin

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maus92: Interesting observation about the tower sites. Thankyou !
 
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