PSR500/PSR600: I'm getting sick of my PSR600 - recommendations for better sound?

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scanmanmi

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I used to like listening to my scanners. I could clearly hear things even far away. I've got a super high gain VHF/UHF antenna at 40' and could hear 30-40 miles no problem. Now everyone is going 800 and I've got a MPSCS tower 8 miles away and it sounds horrible. Even when the signal is strong the audio quality is poor and garbled. If the strength gets down to 3 bars it cuts out completely. The bars constantly fluctuate from 2-5 up and down. Is there a better audio P25 scanner? I've seen some videos on Youtube that act like mine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00dPRGTbrPY

https://youtu.be/4xivI6LfF1g?t=23 (wrongly titled encrypted)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0J9XiyJ3zzI

The analog works OK it's just this digital garbage.
 

cpetraglia

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You are likely suffering the dreaded Linear Simulcast Modulation distortion. You are not alone. There is a ton of information on LSM and many ideas to improve your reception here on this Forum. I use a directional Yagi outdoor antenna pointed at my closest tower. I have three PSR 600 scanners and the Yagi brings things to a good 95% decode. You should also consider a Unication G5 pager. They are not scanners per say, but are perfect reception on LSM systems.
Good luck with all.
 

Spitfire8520

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A directional antenna is just about the only thing that somewhat improves the decode of a P25 simulcast site for scanners, and even then it is not guaranteed to fix the issue.

Right now there is no scanner that handles simulcast properly and it does not appear that there will be one anytime soon. Sometimes a different model or different brand might decode better in your location, but there is no way to know unless you actually get the scanner. Scanner manufacturers have largely been silent on the issue for the past decade so it likely will not change anytime soon.

You could always try something like a cheap SDR solution that has become popular if you enjoy tinkering with stuff. The Unication route also works since they are designed to be a P25 voice pager for public safety users.

For what its worth, the 2nd video that you linked shows the noise of an encrypted TG. It is more evident 42 seconds into the video.
 

scanmanmi

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Thanks for the quick reply. This is on the state of Michigan MPSCS system so I don't kinow how there could be LSM. The towers are scattered and I've checked the frequencies and there are none the same around here.

As far as the second video, that is what mine sounds like lots of the time and I guarentee there is no encryption. A transmition can start out normal and degrade into that junk with a good signal.

Also there is another tower I would like to listen to 18 miles aaway but I only have 1 or 2 bars. Should I be able to pick that up with almost line of site? Latest drivers are installed.
 
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Spitfire8520

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Thanks for the quick reply. This is on the state of Michigan MPSCS system so I don't kinow how there could be LSM. The towers are scattered and I've checked the frequencies and there are none the same around here.
What site are you attempting to monitor? Simulcast sites generally have "Simulcast" in the site name, although it is not 100% accurate all the time. You will not see different towers listed individually in the database as they are logically treated as if they are a single site. You make want to take a look at the Simulcast digital distortion page on the wiki to see if it describes the problem you are encountering. It is also possible that you have something else going on.

Something else that could be happening is that there is a strong interfering signal nearby that is overloading the scanner and causing it to have reduced sensitivity. This can be a nearby radio system or even a cell tower. It would be a bit odd if this were the case as generally you would see full signal bars all the time with poor decode quality.

Also there is another tower I would like to listen to 18 miles aaway but I only have 1 or 2 bars. Should I be able to pick that up with almost line of site? Latest drivers are installed.
There is a bunch of factors involved that makes it hard to answer. I would think you should be able to receive something given what you have described. Is your closest MPSCS site also line of sight?
 
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lucky43113

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Thanks for the quick reply. This is on the state of Michigan MPSCS system so I don't kinow how there could be LSM. The towers are scattered and I've checked the frequencies and there are none the same around here.

As far as the second video, that is what mine sounds like lots of the time and I guarentee there is no encryption. A transmition can start out normal and degrade into that junk with a good signal.

Also there is another tower I would like to listen to 18 miles aaway but I only have 1 or 2 bars. Should I be able to pick that up with almost line of site? Latest drivers are installed.

I am in Pickaway County Ohio and I have the same issue sounds all muffled and garbled ad I have a 996p2 with an outside discone antenna about 20ft in the air
 

usswood

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Thanks for the quick reply. This is on the state of Michigan MPSCS system so I don't kinow how there could be LSM. The towers are scattered and I've checked the frequencies and there are none the same around here.

As far as the second video, that is what mine sounds like lots of the time and I guarentee there is no encryption. A transmition can start out normal and degrade into that junk with a good signal.

Also there is another tower I would like to listen to 18 miles aaway but I only have 1 or 2 bars. Should I be able to pick that up with almost line of site? Latest drivers are installed.
Their are more than a few Simulcast sites on this system and not knowing what tower you are listening to will not help us help you.. Also there is encryption on a lot of the talkgroups including the State Police...

If the first Video is yours try turning on ATT and see if that helps... also this seems like a simulcast tower your listening to
 
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scanmanmi

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These MidMichigan towers are pretty evenly spaced. I checked the frequencies on them and they are all different. I was kind of wondering if digital speech is a problem on all scanners or just this one. I don't understand how digital sound could be so much worse then analog.. It should be better!
 

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cpetraglia

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After looking at the system, it is a multi-site and not simulcast. My mistake. It is an Identical setup to the VA Stars statewide system which I listen to all the time with my PSR600s. I have an outside antenna and am able to listen to 4 or five of the sites within range and I get perfect decode. The possibility of some strong interference is sounding pretty real. A close by cell tower can effect your reception. This leads us back to using a directional antenna. Are there any other P25 systems that you can hear clearly from your location? What about a close by transmitter in your systems freq. band? I have a university near by (1 mile) that is still using 800 analog and when they transmit, I can hear a difference.
 

bigcam406

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I own both the 500 and 600. I monitor Toronto public safety with them and i find that the LSM issues only occur on certain voice channels from the 1 tower that i can receive. The majority are decoded fine.
 

Spitfire8520

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These MidMichigan towers are pretty evenly spaced. I checked the frequencies on them and they are all different.
As previously stated, a simulcast site logically acts as if it is a single site so the individual towers are not database. It appears the map you shared is also out of date and does not accurately represent the structure of how the sites are laid out. 109 & 110 was absorbed into 112 (Midland County Simulcast). 112 is a 4 site simulcast, meaning that there are 4 towers using the exact same frequencies. You can see all 4 tower locations if you look at the license WQVZ379.

It appears MPSCS has an official map of counties using simulcasted sites. If you were attempting to monitor any of these sites, that would explain the issues you are seeing.

If you are trying to monitor any of the other sites, then might just be poor signal strength or possibly a poor performing unit. Perhaps the system isn't all that well designed. Unfortunately the vagueness of which sites you are monitoring is producing vague answers.

I was kind of wondering if digital speech is a problem on all scanners or just this one. I don't understand how digital sound could be so much worse then analog.. It should be better!
It generally does not. The PSR-600 is usually a very strong performing digital scanner. A full list of alternative scanners can be found here, and of course the reviews can be found all over these forums. I think generally the newer TDMA scanners would probably be a better pick should you want a scanner for the long run. Hopefully your issue is not related to simulcast.
 

usswood

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After looking at the system, it is a multi-site and not simulcast. My mistake. It is an Identical setup to the VA Stars statewide system which I listen to all the time with my PSR600s. I have an outside antenna and am able to listen to 4 or five of the sites within range and I get perfect decode. The possibility of some strong interference is sounding pretty real. A close by cell tower can effect your reception. This leads us back to using a directional antenna. Are there any other P25 systems that you can hear clearly from your location? What about a close by transmitter in your systems freq. band? I have a university near by (1 mile) that is still using 800 analog and when they transmit, I can hear a difference.
Your looking at it wrong, there are several counties that are simulcast... but it is a multi-site system as most state TRS are

These MidMichigan towers are pretty evenly spaced. I checked the frequencies on them and they are all different. I was kind of wondering if digital speech is a problem on all scanners or just this one. I don't understand how digital sound could be so much worse then analog.. It should be better!
Now, if you live in one of the simulcast tower counties, you need to located the nearest one to you and point (I've heard backwards works best) a small directional at the closest tower near you and play with ATT to see if that helps to
 
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krokus

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Also there is another tower I would like to listen to 18 miles aaway but I only have 1 or 2 bars. Should I be able to pick that up with almost line of site? Latest drivers are installed.
I would make that tower another system entry, with the associated TG. That way the towers can be scanned separately, and you can save time from not having the scanner compare signal levels.

Of course, improving the signal quality would be a good idea, with an external antenna, and/or a Yagi.

Sent via Tapatalk
 
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