Issues with hearing MARCS in Auglaize County

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Larkin71

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I began having this issue some weeks back. I figured it was probably user error, but after talking to some fellow scanning hobbyists in the area, they've been having trouble too. Basically, my Uniden BCD536HP stopped getting Marcs. There have been 2 or 3 days where it comes back, but never lasts longer than a day. Here is the stranger part-I work in Mercer County and take the scanner with me each day. Once I get back in Mercer County, I get everything back. Celina PD, Mercer County Sheriff, OSP posts, Allen County Sheriff, etc. Leave and go home? And its analog only. I've done all I can think of, from reset to going full database and also changing zip codes and range, and also putting on the ATT. Not much improvement. Short of moving from St Marys to Celina, I'm at a loss for what to do (if anything can be done) to solve this. So, I was wondering, has anyone heard anything about tower troubles, reduced power, getting ready to change frequences that might suggest this is short term? I really don't think anything is wrong with my radio.
 

ctpd845

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Which site are you having issues with and what site are you receiving in Mercer County that is working?
 

Larkin71

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I may not know enough about this to answer your question. I am using the full data base now, but when I programmed my favorite list I used the data base to set it to the marcs systems I wanted to listen to. Sheriff’s offices, Celina PD, etc.
 

grumpy_hermit

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I live west of Lima and have found that, from my location, the Celina tower has a much better signal than does the Wapak tower. I have TGs for Auglaize and Mercer counties programmed to both towers and the TGs perform much better through Celina. Based on my observations, the Wapak tower is weak when towers in surrounding areas are fine.
 

W8RMH

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Just a thought, these MARCS sites are old and tired, and they are Motorola Type II, so they may have some performance issues.

Once everything goes to the P25 system in the spring things will be better.
 

Larkin71

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I live west of Lima and have found that, from my location, the Celina tower has a much better signal than does the Wapak tower. I have TGs for Auglaize and Mercer counties programmed to both towers and the TGs perform much better through Celina. Based on my observations, the Wapak tower is weak when towers in surrounding areas are fine.
Hi Grumpy. So, when I'm in St Marys or any part of Auglaize County, I should be listening differently than when I'm in Celina/Mercer County? Its a little over my head, I just use the radio reference data base. And I am confused too because St Marys is closer to Wapak than Celina, so its strange not to be able to get say OSP-Wapak post and OSP from PIqua and Van Wert in Celina but not St Marys, not to mention Allen County Sheriff too.


Just a thought, these MARCS sites are old and tired, and they are Motorola Type II, so they may have some performance issues.

Once everything goes to the P25 system in the spring things will be better.
Sure hope so...as if the winter isn't long enough already! Shucks. I have someone who is searching for a better antenna I can try to. This is weird because up until this started, it was great. Literally happened overnight. When I went back to listen to my recordings from the night before, I had no Marcs, and weird thing...for a night or so every couple of weeks...it comes back and then....its gone. Totally confusing.
 

phask

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If you are just using the default, and seemingly have no idea which sites you are loading or are capable of receiving - then that is some of the issue.

Most MARCS sites have a range in that scanner of 25 - 30 miles. You are probably loading 5 or more sites, if you have it set via zipcode. If you have more than 3 or so it really slows down the scanning. Avoid (lock out) all but the 1 or 2 closest sites.

Also the may OSP dispatches it may not show your local post as the dispatch and may rotate to different dispatch ID's - yet still be doing dispatch for your area.

Best way is to create favorites for just what you really want and not use the entire database.
 

Larkin71

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Actually, I do use favorites lists, to cycle through the whole thing is to miss stuff so I rarely fuss with using the full data base unless I'm just bored and want to see what else I can pick up or I heard something happened in a neighboring area and want to see what's going on. Its just so weird to me to be in Celina and I can pick up the Auglaize County Central dispatch for instance, but can't that pick up in St Marys.
 

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phask

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Too lazy to look at a map :) What is probably happening is there is a Auglaize unit in Celina, when it associates with that site all the traffic routes through there also.

I'm in Muskingum and see other counties often, I suspect it has too do with prisoner transfers as I'd see the same ones repeatedly. I just avoid those un-wanted counties. You also could delete them from the favorite list, unless you have ID search on.

Same with OSP - I'll see out of area units and their area's traffic often - probably passing thru on i70.


Actually, I do use favorites lists, to cycle through the whole thing is to miss stuff so I rarely fuss with using the full data base unless I'm just bored and want to see what else I can pick up or I heard something happened in a neighboring area and want to see what's going on. Its just so weird to me to be in Celina and I can pick up the Auglaize County Central dispatch for instance, but can't that pick up in St Marys.
 

Larkin71

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I'm not sure I understand to be honest. What happened was, when I was home, in Auglaize County, everything worked just fine, and then it stopped. No settings changed, no lists altered, etc. Then I went to work in Celina, and everything comes in fine. So the question is, what happened to render Auglaize County a dead zone for Marcs? I've noticed even on the scanner app which is run by a gentleman in St Marys, he only gets basically the same stuff I do, but he does get Mercer County Sheriff traffic, probably because he has a better antenna, but he doesn't get OSP anymore either. Now, this morning, I'm back at work, and getting literally everything I hope to hear, and when I go home tonight, it won't be coming in. That is the problem I have and is so baffling. I sure don't want to give up on the scanner, but obviously to only have something that works at work...is no fun either, lol.
 

grumpy_hermit

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I can't really address your possible issues because I am unfamiliar with your scanner. What I would suggest is to lock out the Wapak tower and associate the desired Auglaize County talkgroups with the Celina tower. How you accomplish that with your particular scanner will have to be addressed by someone else. On my scanners, I have many identical talkgroups associated with numerous towers and the scanner will lock on to the first tower that it gets a hit on but that isn't necessarily the strongest signal.
 

beejay

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Any thoughts on trying an " FM trap " . Seems to help my location using one of my GRE-600's.

beejay
 

phask

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Need to know what sites you have for your favorite list(s), are they using location control. If so do you change location in the scanner?

To extend what I said earlier - I'd make sure you have at most 3 local sites, and preferably 1.

If you frequent the 2 locations - create separate ones for each - or 1 each and one traveling.

I'm 99% certain you have a favorite list / site issue.

I'd re-create the favorites - unlikely, but maybe something changes at the site.

I'm not sure I understand to be honest. What happened was, when I was home, in Auglaize County, everything worked just fine, and then it stopped. No settings changed, no lists altered, etc. Then I went to work in Celina, and everything comes in fine. So the question is, what happened to render Auglaize County a dead zone for Marcs? I've noticed even on the scanner app which is run by a gentleman in St Marys, he only gets basically the same stuff I do, but he does get Mercer County Sheriff traffic, probably because he has a better antenna, but he doesn't get OSP anymore either. Now, this morning, I'm back at work, and getting literally everything I hope to hear, and when I go home tonight, it won't be coming in. That is the problem I have and is so baffling. I sure don't want to give up on the scanner, but obviously to only have something that works at work...is no fun either, lol.
 

Larkin71

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I appreciate it, and will be trying to make a new favorite list. I have a new SD card with the software on it, ready to go just for that reason. However, where I'm confused, is that from what I've read, the Uniden BCD536HP is supposed to be basically no programming. You put in your zip code and away you go, and you can use the data base to make favorites list to just scan what you want scanned and skip what you don't want. That's basically what I did, and everything was fine, up until a few weeks ago. And please remember, I'm not the only one in the area having reception problems in Auglaize County. I'm not sure if I understand about programming specific towers, because I was always led to believe this was a self programming scanner for stuff like that. Also, if you look at St Marys, its basically between Celina and Wapak, you'd think both locations could equally be received. But again, I have only had this scanner since May. Much left to learn. Oddly enough, as I sit here in my office in Celina, it is working wonderfully. Couldn't ask for better performance, as long as I don't leave this county.
 

W8RMH

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I appreciate it, and will be trying to make a new favorite list. I have a new SD card with the software on it, ready to go just for that reason. However, where I'm confused, is that from what I've read, the Uniden BCD536HP is supposed to be basically no programming. You put in your zip code and away you go, and you can use the data base to make favorites list to just scan what you want scanned and skip what you don't want. That's basically what I did, and everything was fine, up until a few weeks ago. And please remember, I'm not the only one in the area having reception problems in Auglaize County. I'm not sure if I understand about programming specific towers, because I was always led to believe this was a self programming scanner for stuff like that. Also, if you look at St Marys, its basically between Celina and Wapak, you'd think both locations could equally be received. But again, I have only had this scanner since May. Much left to learn. Oddly enough, as I sit here in my office in Celina, it is working wonderfully. Couldn't ask for better performance, as long as I don't leave this county.
That scanner self programs at the mercy of what data is entered in the RadioReference database. If information is incorrect, or the system is changed by the licensee, it will directly affect the scanner.
 

Larkin71

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Thanks W8RMH, that actually makes a little sense to me. I think I know what you're saying. I notice there has been some updates here:
https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=901&opt=all_tg
Also, I am getting Marcs at home tonight. Sure hope it lasts, but we'll see. I wasn't getting it when I got home tonight at 5, but I left the scanner on anyway and went to my son's soccer and when I came back home...it was blaring the right stuff. Go figure. I am going to do try to do a database update on the Sentinel software, and remake my favorite lists on my new card and use it, starting tomorrow.
 

Larkin71

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Well that didn't last unfortunately. It was 3 days on and now its 3 days off. Sure wish I understood what was happening.
 
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