I have a choice to get 1 SDS200, or 1 536HP and 1 BCD996P2

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vegasjjimbo

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I live in North Las Vegas Nevada. I want to monitor North Las Vegas police, fire, ambulance, Clark County Fire, Nevada Highway Patrol. North Las Vegas casinos. Which would be best ? Do I need DMR ?

Thanks you any advice !
 

hiegtx

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Dallas, TX
I live in North Las Vegas Nevada. I want to monitor North Las Vegas police, fire, ambulance, Clark County Fire, Nevada Highway Patrol. North Las Vegas casinos. Which would be best ? Do I need DMR ?

Thanks you any advice !
Looking at Clark County in the database, most of the agencies you are looking for are on this system:

I see a number of the casinos that are using DMR. If those interest you, then add the DMR upgrade.

Look at the site map for the Las Vegas Simulcast:
85504

You've probably seen a number of posts concerning Simulcast, to the point it seems like a broken record. But is can be a serious problem in some locations. In a simulcast system, you have a number of transmit sites, all broadcasting the exact same conversations on the same frequency at the same time. That's to ensure coverage in the area, as well as inside buildings. The 'professional' radios carried by users of the system are designed to work with that. Most scanners are not.

Whether that affects you, or not, is very closely related to your location. At your location, the transmissions from the various transmit sites arrive there, carrying the same conversation, on the same frequency. But, depending on your specific area, they arrive at varying times. Yes, we are talking about very slight time differentials between those in range for you. But that can be enough that either you can't receive the system at all, with many scanner models, or it tends to be garbled, and missing some transmissions. If you are very close to one tower, such as within a quarter mile, that very strong signal can, at times, can be enough that the scanner is not affected by weaker signals, from more distant sites. Or, if you are lucky enough to be where surrounding hills, or maybe a cluster of buildings, blocks enough of the out of synch transmissions that the scanner can handle the system. It can be so location specific that even moving your scanner a few feet in one direction or another, inside your house, can make a difference between not getting the system, to receiving it with few problems. For a more detailed description on Simulcast Distortion, see this page in the Wiki.

Simulcast digital distortion - The RadioReference Wiki

The map above is what the database pulls up for the Las Vegas Simulcast site. But, the map is a bit misleading. Those tower locations are derived from the FCC licenses for the frequencies. As you can see, near the upper right corner of the map, there are two call-signs. One of them, which I've highlighted, has a number of the simulcast locations. But, that license, WNQU894, is also shown on the maps for the first three sites listed for this system: Black Mountain, Apex Peak, and Angel Peak. So, some of those tower sites are not in the simulcast. Instead, they are other sites. I can't guarantee you, for sure, as to whether or not Simulcast will affect you. If someone near you adds comments, on what works for them, then that will give you a better idea. If Simulcast does turn out to be an issue at your location, then your best choice of the scanners listed is the SDS200. It was designed to handle simulcast. If you want to roll the dice, and try the 996P2, then buy from a dealer or other source (like Amazon) that allows returns without hanging a large restock fee on you. If the 996 works, keep it & get the BCT15X. Just keep in mind that most of what you indicated interested you, by far most of that is going to be digital, either P25 or DMR. The 15X is a good, analog, scanner. Useful for conventional and older trunked systems (that are not digital), along with aircraft.

For the Nevada State Police, it appears that they are still using their older EDACS system:
But, for some locations, they show some conventional (non-trunked) frequencies.
Maybe someone in your state can clarify what you need to look for in monitoring that agency.

Las Vegas PD is on this system. But, as just about all of the talkgroups are encrypted, you would not be able to hear them no matter which scanner you buy.
 

737mech

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Aug 14, 2006
Messages
2,224
Location
Clark County, NV.
The BCD536HP works fantastic in Clark County for everything you listed. Metro is encrypted so you won't be able to scan them. The simulcast problem described above I have not experienced it yet. The bcd996p2 would be a nice choice but the bcd536hp has a few more features I like. Ability to record, a better display, ability to wifi and use siren app. Definitely get the DMR upgrade many are switching to DMR. Don't bother with NXDN or PRO Voice they aren't used in Clark County. Not that I have found anyway. The SDS200 looks nice but I'm not happy about the price and some of the negative posts about it having issues. I also like monitoring Military Air and the BCD536HP works great there. It's the big brother to my three BCT15X scanners.
 

62Truck

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Joined
Aug 13, 2005
Messages
1,790
Location
Uranus
Looking at Clark County in the database, most of the agencies you are looking for are on this system:

I see a number of the casinos that are using DMR. If those interest you, then add the DMR upgrade.

Look at the site map for the Las Vegas Simulcast:
View attachment 85504

You've probably seen a number of posts concerning Simulcast, to the point it seems like a broken record. But is can be a serious problem in some locations. In a simulcast system, you have a number of transmit sites, all broadcasting the exact same conversations on the same frequency at the same time. That's to ensure coverage in the area, as well as inside buildings. The 'professional' radios carried by users of the system are designed to work with that. Most scanners are not.

Whether that affects you, or not, is very closely related to your location. At your location, the transmissions from the various transmit sites arrive there, carrying the same conversation, on the same frequency. But, depending on your specific area, they arrive at varying times. Yes, we are talking about very slight time differentials between those in range for you. But that can be enough that either you can't receive the system at all, with many scanner models, or it tends to be garbled, and missing some transmissions. If you are very close to one tower, such as within a quarter mile, that very strong signal can, at times, can be enough that the scanner is not affected by weaker signals, from more distant sites. Or, if you are lucky enough to be where surrounding hills, or maybe a cluster of buildings, blocks enough of the out of synch transmissions that the scanner can handle the system. It can be so location specific that even moving your scanner a few feet in one direction or another, inside your house, can make a difference between not getting the system, to receiving it with few problems. For a more detailed description on Simulcast Distortion, see this page in the Wiki.

Simulcast digital distortion - The RadioReference Wiki

The map above is what the database pulls up for the Las Vegas Simulcast site. But, the map is a bit misleading. Those tower locations are derived from the FCC licenses for the frequencies. As you can see, near the upper right corner of the map, there are two call-signs. One of them, which I've highlighted, has a number of the simulcast locations. But, that license, WNQU894, is also shown on the maps for the first three sites listed for this system: Black Mountain, Apex Peak, and Angel Peak. So, some of those tower sites are not in the simulcast. Instead, they are other sites. I can't guarantee you, for sure, as to whether or not Simulcast will affect you. If someone near you adds comments, on what works for them, then that will give you a better idea. If Simulcast does turn out to be an issue at your location, then your best choice of the scanners listed is the SDS200. It was designed to handle simulcast. If you want to roll the dice, and try the 996P2, then buy from a dealer or other source (like Amazon) that allows returns without hanging a large restock fee on you. If the 996 works, keep it & get the BCT15X. Just keep in mind that most of what you indicated interested you, by far most of that is going to be digital, either P25 or DMR. The 15X is a good, analog, scanner. Useful for conventional and older trunked systems (that are not digital), along with aircraft.

For the Nevada State Police, it appears that they are still using their older EDACS system:
But, for some locations, they show some conventional (non-trunked) frequencies.
Maybe someone in your state can clarify what you need to look for in monitoring that agency.

Las Vegas PD is on this system. But, as just about all of the talkgroups are encrypted, you would not be able to hear them no matter which scanner you buy.
From looking at their sites, it does not appear they are simulcast with the exception of site 33 so there should be no issues with simulcast distortion.
 

Kaleier1

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2019
Messages
227
Hi Vegasjjimbo.

NLV police, NLV fire and Clark County fire (as well as LV fire) are on the county SNACC system found in the database here. It is P25 Phase 1. You will also hear ambulances talking to hospitals on this system when transporting a patient. The ambulances also have their own frequencies on the UHF band, located here in the database but most of it is boring stuff like just saying they are coming on shift and what vehicle number they are taking or telling dispatch to cancel the fire department units. There is some dispatching to calls. I scan them as part of a favorites list with the SNACC system which is more active so maybe I miss more dispatch type calls for the ambulance companies.

I found the LV simulcast site works the best for me and the SDS200 is designed to prevent simulcast distortion so that is a big consideration. I did experience distortion when using two SDR dongles with Unitrunker so got an SDS200 when I was considering a 536HP. At your location you may be able to use the Apex or Angel Peak sites but whether you will get simulcast distortion is unknown. If a large part of your listening is the SNACC system consider the SDS200.

NHP uses the NSRS system found her in the database. It is an EDAC system. Lots of talk groups but I only have NHP programmed to my favorites list. The Sunrise Mountain site is the most active site for NHP. RIo Hotel, UNLV, and LV Simulcast don't seem to have much activity but I do have them programmed in my favorites list.

As for NLV casinos, looking at the database here, (scroll to bottom of page "All Trunked Radio Systems in Clark County"). Aliante, Texas Station, and Fiesta Rancho are trunked DMR. Cannery is Standard LTR.

.Jerrys Nugget shows up in the data base as UHF analog FM but an FCC license search shows both UHF analog FM and DMR at 25 watts. Looks like mostly DMR so the analog FM may be older licenses for radios they no longer use that were replaced with DMR ones.

I couldn't find anything in the database for the other NLV casinos but a a search for FCC licenses here shows Poker Palace uses UHF analog FM but only using 5 watts (click on the the call sign and it will show you power output, type of station ie fixed base, mobile, repeater etc, and emission type number, which can be cross referenced to what they mean here. Station type cross reference is here.)

Silver Nugget and Lucky Club (Fifth Street Gaming dba Silver Nugget and dba Lucky Club) are like Jerry's Nugget showing both UHF analog FM and DMR but with power output of 4 watts.

So yes, for most of the NLV casinos you will need the DMR upgrade ($60) from Uniden.
 
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