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Just moved; fancy Motorola Type II trunking sounds like CRAP in this new town...

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AggiePhil

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I just moved from Abilene, TX, to College Station, TX. Abilene PD operated at about 156.xxx and the singal was VERY strong and VERY clear. Sounded clear as a telephone. Now I get to College Station, where the PD uses Motorola Type II 800 Mhz trunking systems...and it sounds like garbage. The volume of the transmissions is so low that I have to crank up the volume on the scanner. And then when someone transmits, there's so much static along with the voice signal that it's just incredibly annoying. And sometimes it sounds like the officers are just barely whispering into their mics.

Ugh...I thought htis 800 Mhz stuff was supposed to be a lot better! Where am I going wrong? How can I hear this 800 system as clear as I was hearing the 150 in my last town? :-(
 

troymail

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AggiePhil said:
I just moved from Abilene, TX, to College Station, TX. Abilene PD operated at about 156.xxx and the singal was VERY strong and VERY clear. Sounded clear as a telephone. Now I get to College Station, where the PD uses Motorola Type II 800 Mhz trunking systems...and it sounds like garbage. The volume of the transmissions is so low that I have to crank up the volume on the scanner. And then when someone transmits, there's so much static along with the voice signal that it's just incredibly annoying. And sometimes it sounds like the officers are just barely whispering into their mics.

Ugh...I thought htis 800 Mhz stuff was supposed to be a lot better! Where am I going wrong? How can I hear this 800 system as clear as I was hearing the 150 in my last town? :-(
You're right - to us it does sound really bad compared to, say, a dedicated channel VHF system - even worse if they were using a repeater and you could hear all of the users on the system and not just the dispatchers.

Unfortunately, they don't think about us hobbyists and our equipment providers are always playing catch-up trying to figure out how it all works and then build us a radio that does the job.

I recall when my local system went to trunk radio/800 in the late 80's or early 90's ... I bought an "800 Mhz capable" scanner to try and listen but at that time, there was no such thing as a trunking scanner... imagine how hard it was trying to follow those conversations - jumping across 15-16 frequencies each time they talked. Then, Uniden announced they were coming out with a trunk capable 800Mhz scanner and I was soooooo excited... It's been constant improvements ever since.

It takes some getting used to but in the end, it's pretty cool stuff. Hang in there....

BTW - I didn't bother looking yet but is College Station using digital or analog? (I guessing analog if you have alot of static). You may just be in a bad reception area that (hopefully) College Station and their equipment providers (and tax payers) will fix in time... My county is currently undergoing an upgrade (seems like constant upgrades in fact) -- they are doubling the number of transmitter sites - after 15+ years - mostly to support the digital capability. I think we originally bought "just enough" to get by....
 
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pacrat551

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AggiePhil said:
I just moved from Abilene, TX, to College Station, TX. Abilene PD operated at about 156.xxx and the singal was VERY strong and VERY clear. Sounded clear as a telephone. Now I get to College Station, where the PD uses Motorola Type II 800 Mhz trunking systems...and it sounds like garbage. The volume of the transmissions is so low that I have to crank up the volume on the scanner. And then when someone transmits, there's so much static along with the voice signal that it's just incredibly annoying. And sometimes it sounds like the officers are just barely whispering into their mics.

Ugh...I thought htis 800 Mhz stuff was supposed to be a lot better! Where am I going wrong? How can I hear this 800 system as clear as I was hearing the 150 in my last town? :-(
I was up in College Station back in May and the system sounded just fine to me. Signals and audio was strong. Are you sitting stationary? Have you tried moving your antenna around?

I know there are several members closer to that area than me, hopefully they will chime in and give you some more help.
 

N4DES

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There could be a number of issues here, if the system is NPSPAC (866-869) they have coverage contours that they must adhere to and if you are out of the footprint or a good distance away you won't hear them very well. Another consideration is possible interference from NEXTEL or someother 800 cellular carrier if there is a site close to you.

Just because you don't hear them well doesn't mean that the system doesn't work properly. It just isn't designed to work where you are and I bet if you drove close to the campus it works just fine.
 

n4voxgill

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In the future as VHF and UHF are required to comply with refarming and go to narrow band and also comply with safe harbor, reduced power, you will not get the same signals that you now receive.

You add a downtilt antenna and interference to 800 and that really limits the coverage and signal quality. The systems are designed to cover only the jurisdiction, with very little signal going more than 3 miles beyond the city/county limits.
 

AggiePhil

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Yeah, it's analog in CS. I'll try to make some traffic recordings and post them later on. I have some from Abilene too. You'll hear the difference. I actually live in Bryan, but it's literally right next door to College Station, so it should be fine. And yes, I want a better antenna, but I have the RS 800 Mhz rubber duck that should be pretty good. Also, the volumes on this system are all screwy. Some officers sound like they're using their "bedroom voice", just barely whispering into the mic. I don't see how the dispatchers can hear it.
 

rattlerbb01

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What I have noticed is that the CSPD dispatchers do have a low talking voice. Compared to Brazos County 911, who dispatched Bryan PD/FD/EMS, and Brazos SO and Constables, the volume coming from dispatch is considerably lower. Another problem that you may have noticed is a constant sound something like a wood-lathe idling in the background, if you can imagine that. They have a good system for themselves, but I think the repeaters are a little crappy. Especially when 867.275 comes up in the rotation. From Navasota, I can listen in with a Pro-96 w/ 800 RS antenna and hear every voice channel clearly, but 867.275 is extremely static-filled. The Bryan system is a whole lot clearer, but has less range. Neither antenna clears 200 feet. Maybe they will combine their channels to make one big system, or switch to Smartzone in the future. Brazos SO has a license for a repeater 10 miles south in Millican for 866.750 as a repeater, presumably for MDTs. I guess if you stay around the BCS area for a while, you'll get to see. It is just a waiting game for change in this region as change is slow.
 

VintageJon

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Hummmm, if you are using the origianl ducky I highly recommend you get the 800 MHz ducky and try again. I found the original to be good for VHF but crap for UHF and especially the 800 MHz digital band this reciever was designed for.
Me- I usually run a home-brew 1/4 wave cut for 867 MHz and get excellent reception in the APCO-25 866-868 MHz Travis County Public Safety Band.

73's
-Jon
 

AggiePhil

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See below...
VintageJon said:
Hummmm, if you are using the origianl ducky I highly recommend you get the 800 MHz ducky and try again.
AggiePhil said:
And yes, I want a better antenna, but I have the RS 800 Mhz rubber duck that should be pretty good.
:wink:
 

VintageJon

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AggiePhil,
With original ducky the Pro-96 was near useless, improved with 800MHz ducky and finally satisfaction with 1/4-Wave ground plane hung from ceiling with 10 ft of high grade coax and connectors.

Now I'm talking GRE and you're talking Motorola so "milage may vary".

As you say it may be an antenna problem as you have changed locations and modulation systems. It could be you need to reset the unit for better Moto Type II...
(I'm more familar with the Moto Apco-25 than the Type II so very little data/advice on the later is available here.)

73's.
Jon
 

rattlerbb01

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AggiePhil is doing everything right. The RS 800 antenna picks up very well on 851-868. It does exceptional on the APCO 25 digital in Bryan. It also picks up the Texas A&M and College Station systems very well in analog mode. The point of this thread is the quality of the College Station system. It ain't confined to just one type of radio or antenna. Folks listening to them around here would agree that there are quality problems. Asked a paramedic at Brayton Fire Training field if he ever heard the low audio and carrier noise in the background and he said yes. He was using a Motorola MTS2000 on the system.
 

VintageJon

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OH! Ahso Deska! The system is NFG, so nothing will help. Damned sorry for Aggie Phil as he has moved to this area with a sub-standard sywtem. So sad, too bad...

Thank God we have a really good APCO-25 working here in Austin. I hear it day and night...
It is dead-clear, 5X5 as we used to say...

-Jon
 

brazoscty

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College Station

I am using a PRO 97 with the standard "ducky" and I have no problem or noise hearing CSPD or FD. I live 7 miles outside of CS in a mobile home and hear everything going on in CS. I don't however, hear county dispatch (Brazos) on the Bryan FD channel. I have to be in town within 2 or 3 miles of the dispatch centerto hear them. No problem with the SO or VFD's. I hear Grimes county as if they were sitting in my yard.
 

AggiePhil

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Actually, I'm starting to think that the transmissions really aren't any dirtier than in Abilene. Rather, the overall volume is just so low that you have to crank the volume on your scanner up, thus also increasing the volume of the background static. What determines the volume at which a radio system broadcasts?
 

bpckty1

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"Folks listening to them around here would agree that there are quality problems."

The College Station TRS, in Aggieland. Is there a connection?
;^>
 

VintageJon

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Aggie-Engineering could explain it all... (Didn't consider that.)

Hope it gets better,
Jon
 

AggiePhil

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It actually isn't too bad. I've just been spoiled in Abilene, since transmissions were super clear and super loud there. I think the gain is just really low here in Bryan-College Station. Might try to find some kind of gain boosting antenna. But like I said, it isn't too bad.
 
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