Lakewood Reception Question

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tonya

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I gave a friend who lives in a high rise building along the lakeshore an HP-1 radio to use. I've read many posts on the problems receiving Marcs-IP systems in Lakewood. In my car when driving through Lakewood I rarely can receive a signal so I do understand that. Is the same true with the Cleveland system. That doesn't seem to be working either. I'm going to try a few different antenna's but does anyone have any other suggestions?
 

SCPD

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The city of Lakewood PD and FD is on MARCS-IP so I find what you are saying strange.

I used to monitor them when I had someone I knew living there but now I don't. So I haven't heard any users complaining.
 

T-Santon

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At a high rise in Lakewood, my best guess would be the typical "simulcast distortion" response... Multiple towers that are line of sight, and scanners that can't properly receive CQPSK.

Yagi antennas and/or attenuation may help in many circumstances (but it's no guarantee).

I have found two solutions, but neither is ideal...

One is a Unication G4 or G5 "Pager"... That will run you at least $565 bucks at the moment, and it has some pretty major limitations when used as a scanner... But overall I love how well it receives. Much better than any scanner.

Or, for around 20 dollars, you can buy a RTL-SDR dongle, throw Ubuntu Linux onto your computer, and then install OP25 (which is not an easy install... but works great once you get it up and running).

Quite frankly, until a scanner manufacturer finally decides to address CQPSK, I'm done buying scanners... That money will instead go towards more dongles, and more mini-pc builds using Ubuntu MATE and OP25.



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wa8pyr

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I gave a friend who lives in a high rise building along the lakeshore an HP-1 radio to use. I've read many posts on the problems receiving Marcs-IP systems in Lakewood. In my car when driving through Lakewood I rarely can receive a signal so I do understand that. Is the same true with the Cleveland system. That doesn't seem to be working either. I'm going to try a few different antenna's but does anyone have any other suggestions?
Try a paper clip for an antenna. :D

Actually, I'm serious. Try the smallest antenna that works, and if necessary couple that with use of the attenuator on the Cuyahoga County MARCS site. Simulcast issues are the most likely cause, so you want to reduce reception of that site until you're only receiving one tower.
 

eorange

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For what it's worth in NE Ohio...paper clips, attenuating race stubbys, and cheap HDTV yagi antennas have never eliminated simulcast distortion, although the latter showed some promise.

The only thing that fixed the problem is a Unication G4. Yes, there are some limitations, but you quickly learn to tolerate them when you enjoy 100% distortion-free reception, every day, all the time.

That said, I have zero problems receiving Lakewood, or for that matter, anything on MARCS-IP / GCRCN.
 

T-Santon

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Well the Cuyahoga County "Site" is actually multiple towers placed around the county... But ideally that is the site you want to monitor Lakewood on...

But another possible alternative you could try is the Lake County site... I hear a lot of Lakewood traffic on there, but I'm not sure if it carries 100% of the traffic (it may only occur when one of their radios affiliate with the Lake County site). And Lake County is also a simulcast, so even that may not work out in a high rise.

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wa8pyr

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For what it's worth in NE Ohio...paper clips, attenuating race stubbys, and cheap HDTV yagi antennas have never eliminated simulcast distortion, although the latter showed some promise.

The only thing that fixed the problem is a Unication G4. Yes, there are some limitations, but you quickly learn to tolerate them when you enjoy 100% distortion-free reception, every day, all the time.

That said, I have zero problems receiving Lakewood, or for that matter, anything on MARCS-IP / GCRCN.
No doubt, but not everybody has $500 to spend on a Unication. Most folks have to do the best they can with what they've got, especially if they have other things they want/need to monitor, making a scanner necessary anyway.
 
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