Impressed Again with the 996XT

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chgomonitor

Silent Key
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Jan 27, 2003
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422
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Chicago
Tonight 700 MHz conditions must be "up" a bit. I'm getting the Illinois Starcom21 site located in DuPage county, site 101 from my shack up at the north end of the Des Plaines River valley in Wheeling. This isn't far as the crow flies but I usually cant track this site at all - local terrain blocks my line of site to the towers.

I checked the control channel on other radios - 774.28125. It's way down in the mud, I have to open squelches up all the way to hear it at all. When it comes in on the Icom R7000 the S-Meter is basically not coming off the zero peg and its fading in and out.

On the 996XT hooked to the same antenna the radio has a very solid lock on the signal and the radio is tracking the system. Most of the time it's also giving me voice talk group activity and radio ID's off the site, too. Digital audio recovery is excellent with almost no digital warble or dropouts. In fact, it sounds just about as good as my usual local sites - Lake County and North Cook.

This is the point at which one starts to appreciate what the engineers were claiming for P25 systems being better than analog. If this system were conventional analog I'm certain the audio would be well down in the static noise floor, probably unusable. It's a pleasure having a radio which performs well enough to finally allow a hobbyist to observe this sort of system performance.

Okay then, I'm impressed.

Happy Scanning! - Ted
 

DaveIN

Founders Curmudgen
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Jan 5, 2003
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West Michigan
Yep, when band conditions are in, the XT is fantastic on DX systems. I am able to get repeat performance on the same DX systems when conditions are good. This is true of the GRE counterparts as well.
 
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