Living With The Infamous RWC

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janetball1994

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After trying just about every antenna and antenna placement combination I could conjure, including the best log periodic and yagi I could find, I still couldn't keep my 536HP or TRX-2 from having their lousy, commercial grade front ends hammered with simulcast transmissions while receiving the RWC. While I understand that price point is an issue, I could never quite fathom why Uniden and Whistler waste R&D on frills like wifi and don't engineer better front ends into their products.

The solution to Sim C reception here in Ahwatukee was simple as returning to the collapsible antenna that came with the radios, and since even those tended to overload the radios when extended, to fully collapse them and run them horizontally. Presto -- Sim C untarnished.
 

mesocyclone

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That works, as does an attenuator. A filter might also work if you needed to hear far away stations - unless the interference you are getting is in-band. I don't know what the linearity of the scanner front ends is - whether that's the problem (overloading, intermod) or they respond to out of band signals.
 

janetball1994

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That works, as does an attenuator. A filter might also work if you needed to hear far away stations - unless the interference you are getting is in-band. I don't know what the linearity of the scanner front ends is - whether that's the problem (overloading, intermod) or they respond to out of band signals.
Yep, but this issue wouldn't exist if the designer's of these radios ditched the frills, like wifi and rudimentary attempts at band scope, and beefed up the front ends. I'd be willing to pay more for that.
 

SCPD

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Yep, but this issue wouldn't exist if the designer's of these radios ditched the frills, like wifi and rudimentary attempts at band scope, and beefed up the front ends. I'd be willing to pay more for that.
My ex landlord told me he bought a VHF-High only, crystal controlled scanner in 1970 for $100. Once the radio was purchased he said each crystal was $5. So eight channels cost him $40. He indicated that he needed another scanner to cover VHF-Low as it was a couple of years later when a VHF-Hi/VHF-Low dual band scanner came out. So 16 channels of the two bands cost $280.

In terms of current dollars for one 8 channel scanner this is about $880. So scanners with the incredible features they have, including the huge memory, the computer capable programming, service searches, limit searches, vicinity searches, dynamic bank programming, alphanumeric display . . . . My landlord said that the top of the line, most current models have held at $500 for ten or more years.

People seem to have a hard time with $500 and given the figures above scanners are 43% cheaper than they were in 1970, with those being only one band capable, it is hard, on the face of it, to understand why people object to the prices. I'm with you, I would pay more to have better front ends, which would get rid of a lot of noise, interference and weird simulcast problems.

We should realize though, that wages have not kept up with the changes in the value of the dollar and the cost of a lot of items over this time period. For example, gas is about twice as expensive as it was in 1970. I'm recently retired and my annuity is based on the 3 year period 2013, 2014 and 2015. I'm told that in about 10 years my annuity, even with the annual cost of living increase, will not carry the same purchasing umpf it does now. So I may not be as willing to pay more for increased performance by 2025.
 
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SCPD

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A cousin of mine started with the U.S. Forest Service, on the Kaibab National Forest, in 1974 as a GS-3, which had an hourly pay of $3.08. The "57 Monster" bit him in 2005 and he was a GS-11 by then. The 57 monster is the mandatory retirement age of 57 for law enforcement officers and firefighters. In terms of 2016 dollars this would be $15.77, however the 2017 hourly rate for a GS-3 is only $12.53. This would be a shortfall of about 21%. That eats up half of the difference (cheaper) of 43% between the 1970 $100 scanner and its present value of $880. Combine that with gas being twice as expensive, along with many other items I haven't compared, I can see why a lot of people balk at a price at or above $500.
 

janetball1994

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Kendrick10423;2732421 Combine that with gas being twice as expensive said:
Point taken, but if $500 radios aren't cutting it in a multi-path, simulcast environment like Phoenix absent fortunate geography, then that's money wasted. It doesn't matter how many sexy features a radio has if it's not primarily a reliable receiver. Personally, I'd happily pay double that for a better front end and amateur grade UHF/VHF performance, but all we seem to get on the public service bands are shiny toys like the stuff Uniden and Whistler put out.
 

cellphone

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After trying just about every antenna and antenna placement combination I could conjure, including the best log periodic and yagi I could find, I still couldn't keep my 536HP or TRX-2 from having their lousy, commercial grade front ends hammered with simulcast transmissions while receiving the RWC. While I understand that price point is an issue, I could never quite fathom why Uniden and Whistler waste R&D on frills like wifi and don't engineer better front ends into their products.
If you are primarily interested in solving simulcast distortion with the RWC, take a look at the Unication G4/G5 radios.
https://www.scannermaster.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=unication

These radios have commercial grade receivers and do not have the LSM issues that plague consumer grade scanners. You can read more in the Unication forum too.
https://forums.radioreference.com/unication-forum/
 

InlandAZ

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Or, save yourself a bunch of money (until Phase II comes to pass) and use a PRO-197 - It's all I use for the RWC.
 

cellphone

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A fixed base scanner is easier to get around simulcast distortion, because you can find an antenna and position where it works, and then don't mess with it. If you have a location where you limit the radio to receiving one transmitter, scanners can work well. For the most part this works, unless you are in a location where you receive multiple transmitters (like 32nd Street and Baseline where I lived in the past). When mobile or portable, simulcast distortion is a big problem as you are frequently receiving multiple transmitters. This is where the Unication works great.

Janet mentioned she would pay more for a radio that works. No scanner can match the performance of the Unication G4 or G5 on the RWC. Plus it will work with Phase II in the future.
 
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janetball1994

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Janet mentioned she would pay more for a radio that works. No scanner can match the performance of the Unication G4 or G5 on the RWC. Plus it will work with Phase II in the future.
Thanks for the tip. I gave up looking at Scanner Master sometime back because of their prices. Looks like I'll need to check in there more frequently.
 

cellphone

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You can get it at http://www.rayspagersales.com for a few dollars less. That is the best price I have found shopping around. All the other Unication dealers are around this same price, but some will have different shipping charges.

I prefer Scanner Master due to their great service and support. In this case, they are just a few dollars more.
 

InlandAZ

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A fixed base scanner is easier to get around simulcast distortion, because you can find an antenna and position where it works, and then don't mess with it. If you have a location where you limit the radio to receiving one transmitter, scanners can work well. For the most part this works, unless you are in a location where you receive multiple transmitters (like 32nd Street and Baseline where I lived in the past). When mobile or portable, simulcast distortion is a big problem as you are frequently receiving multiple transmitters. This is where the Unication works great.

Janet mentioned she would pay more for a radio that works. No scanner can match the performance of the Unication G4 or G5 on the RWC. Plus it will work with Phase II in the future.
Interesting, I like to hear more - does it do DMR/NXDN etc...

As to my base 197 - it doesn't matter where I take it, it always does well on the RWC. The same is true of my 106. Maybe I've just got a bum 668 (even with the unofficial mod). Yesterday we had an incident a few blocks away, the 668 was deaf to most of the traffic, the 197 pulled in everything loud and clear.

Also to the G4/G5 units - are they easily programmed?
 

cellphone

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The G4/G5 do not do DMR/NXDN. They are only Analog and P25 at this time. Theoretically, this could be added in the future with firmware. This is not their target market, so I'm sure it is not a priority to add DMR or NXDN.

The units are easily programmed via software and is very user friendly.

These questions and many others can be answered on the dealer sites listed in this thread or on the Unication Forum here on Radio Reference.
 

cellphone

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...I still couldn't keep my 536HP or TRX-2 from having their lousy, commercial grade front ends hammered with simulcast transmissions while receiving the RWC.
To help with simulcast distortion issues, there are some P25 settings on the BCD436HP or BCD536HP. Make sure each RWC site is set for:
Digital Threshold Mode: Manual
Digital Threshold Level: 6

I find that this works better than the default Automatic settings.
 

janetball1994

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To help with simulcast distortion issues, there are some P25 settings on the BCD436HP or BCD536HP. Make sure each RWC site is set for:
Digital Threshold Mode: Manual
Digital Threshold Level: 6

I find that this works better than the default Automatic settings.
Thanks for the tip.

I think what's really needed here is something on the order of am inline preselector, attentuator, notch filter with steep sides that operates in the 700Mhz to 900Mhz range. I haven't been able to find anything that's designed for those freqs.
 
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