Looking for frequencies:

Pendragon1991

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Hi, I located in Detroit Michigan and am looking for frequencies for Detroit, Taylor, Romulus, Lincoln Park, Allen Park, Melvindale and down river area but can't seem to find the police or fire frequencies. If i set my Uniden BCT15 Trunktracker III scanner to Michigan will it atomatically pick up these calls or do i need to program every single police and fire station frequency into a system or group.
 

Pendragon1991

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smithken

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The only thing you can do is buy a new scanner. As WTP mentioned the 15 doesn't do digital and there is no way to make it do digital. You need a scanner that can handle P25 phase 1. If you go used a BCD996T looks the same as the BCT15 but the 996 does P25 phase 1. I don't know if there are any plans on upgrading the system (MPSCS) to P25 phase 2 but I would consider a phase 2 capable scanner in case they do, the BCD996P2, BCD536HP or the SDS200 are phase 2 capable base/mobile scanners.
 

Pendragon1991

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Thanks for the info. I'm looking at the BCD536HP. Is the program by zip code as easy as it sounds ?
How can i tell if my area's PD frequencies are digital and / or encrypted?
The closest to home forum i could find is this one. I was hoping some of you more experienced scanners could point me in the right direction.
SO far you all have been great.
 

Ronaldski

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Only consider Unidens, many will suggest the expensive $650-$700 hard to find in stock sds 100 or 200 that are designed for simulcast which Detroit and Wayne county is. Thread pertaining to S.E. MI and the issues. and what I say about the brands.
 

jonwienke

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Yes, so basically this scanner is worthless for police and fire in my area ? Is there anything i can do to convert this or am i screwed ?
Unfortunately yes, your current scanner is mostly useless in your area for what you want to hear.

The only scanners designed for receiving the simulcast systems in your area are the Uniden SDS100 (handheld) and SDS200 (base/mobile). Unfortunately, they are also the most expensive. Other cheaper models will work OK in some locations, but not at all in others. If you plan on using the scanner while traveling, or in multiple locations, a SDS is your best bet.
 

Pendragon1991

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Unfortunately yes, your current scanner is mostly useless in your area for what you want to hear.

The only scanners designed for receiving the simulcast systems in your area are the Uniden SDS100 (handheld) and SDS200 (base/mobile). Unfortunately, they are also the most expensive. Other cheaper models will work OK in some locations, but not at all in others. If you plan on using the scanner while traveling, or in multiple locations, a SDS is your best bet.
Thanks, i'm coming to the realization that i made a $150.00 mistake. I'm trying to get an RMA from the seller as i bought the BCT15 on ebay.
I heard that the SDS200 is difficult to program so i'm not sure what i'm going to do yet. I appreciate all of your input. It's been about 10 years since i had a scanner. When i was a young lad i used to run to Radio Shack to get different crystals for my dad's scanner...lol I'm so behind the times on this now.
 

Pendragon1991

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Thanks, i'm coming to the realization that i made a $150.00 mistake. I'm trying to get an RMA from the seller as i bought the BCT15 on ebay.
I heard that the SDS200 is difficult to program so i'm not sure what i'm going to do yet. I appreciate all of your input. It's been about 10 years since i had a scanner. When i was a young lad i used to run to Radio Shack to get different crystals for my dad's scanner...lol I'm so behind the times on this now.
Oh by the way, how do i tell what type of signal my area is using? I see MPSCS P25 Phase I listed but have no idea what type that is... Digital...Simulcast ? just a newbie here now...lol
 
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jonwienke

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P25 is a type of digital radio.

Basic programming of an SDS scanner is very easy, just update the database (install Sentinel, download the latest update, and write to scanner) and enter your zip code. You'll want to learn how to refine the default, but you'll be hearing something in just a few minutes.
 

Ronaldski

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Yes the sds models are only ones that are designed for simulcast. Other current Uniden models to consider depending on your budget that are less expensive, 436hp, home patrol II, 536hp all program the same way with sentinel.
The 325p2, 996p2 program with other software with freescan being the free option. Since your a premium subscriber you can use freescan with your login credentials you use here and just download the frequencies, talkgroups.

These other Unidens work anywhere from great to well depending on your location and the four towers in your county.
My 396xt - the prior version to the 325p2 current model works very good on saginaw and midland simulcast that also have four tower systems.

Link for videos how to use freescan(325p2,996p2)-

Link for how to use sentinel

As with any model you do get, be sure to update the firmware from Uniden as they improve & fix many items including assistance with simulcast.
 

krokus

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Oh by the way, how do i tell what type of signal my area is using? I see MPSCS P25 Phase I listed but have no idea what type that is... Digital...Simulcast ? just a newbie here now...lol
Basically, P25 is a digital modulation mode, like AM or FM are analog modulation modes. MPSCS uses P25 with the Motorola trunked system. As of right now, all of the system operates with phase 1 signaling, which is one conversation per repeater. Phase 2 allows two conversations per repeater, and MPSCS will be implementing it in the not too distant future.

As for how to tell, look at the database entry for Wayne County. That will show the discrete frequencies in use, and the trunked systems that most public safety comms are utilizing. Following that information will show you the control channels for the repeater sites, which is what the scanners need. (The control channel tells which repeater the conversations are on, called talkgroups.)
 

Pendragon1991

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Basically, P25 is a digital modulation mode, like AM or FM are analog modulation modes. MPSCS uses P25 with the Motorola trunked system. As of right now, all of the system operates with phase 1 signaling, which is one conversation per repeater. Phase 2 allows two conversations per repeater, and MPSCS will be implementing it in the not too distant future.

As for how to tell, look at the database entry for Wayne County. That will show the discrete frequencies in use, and the trunked systems that most public safety comms are utilizing. Following that information will show you the control channels for the repeater sites, which is what the scanners need. (The control channel tells which repeater the conversations are on, called talkgroups.)
Thanks for the info, I have gotten an RMA from the seller for the BCT15 so i will be returning it. I will be buying a digital scanner next. I'm trying to decide on saving money with the 536hp which i believe is P25 phase 2 compatible but not simulcast compatible and don't even know if i need to be simulcast compatible or just spending the money now and getting the SDS200 and deal with the devorce from it...lol. Does anyone in the Detroit down river area use a 536hp ??? and if so how do you like it, what are the restrictions and what are your recommendations. I don't want to make another purchasing mistake. This is all way more complicated then it used to be and i appreciate everyone's help.
 

Pendragon1991

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Yes the sds models are only ones that are designed for simulcast. Other current Uniden models to consider depending on your budget that are less expensive, 436hp, home patrol II, 536hp all program the same way with sentinel.
The 325p2, 996p2 program with other software with freescan being the free option. Since your a premium subscriber you can use freescan with your login credentials you use here and just download the frequencies, talkgroups.

These other Unidens work anywhere from great to well depending on your location and the four towers in your county.
My 396xt - the prior version to the 325p2 current model works very good on saginaw and midland simulcast that also have four tower systems.

Link for videos how to use freescan(325p2,996p2)-

Link for how to use sentinel

As with any model you do get, be sure to update the firmware from Uniden as they improve & fix many items including assistance with simulcast.
Hmmm, you stated that the SDS200 is the only scanner setup for simulcast yet you also said ..."My 396xt - the prior version to the 325p2 current model works very good on saginaw and midland simulcast" just trying to figure out if i need a scanner simulcast compatible or not. It sounds like the SDS200 is the do all be all scanner of this day and age of scanning but is very expensive for someone with my level of experience. Do they allow Go Fund Me links in their classified section here...lmao !
 

jonwienke

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Hmmm, you stated that the SDS200 is the only scanner setup for simulcast yet you also said ..."My 396xt - the prior version to the 325p2 current model works very good on saginaw and midland simulcast" just trying to figure out if i need a scanner simulcast compatible or not.
Simulcast reception is very location-dependent for receivers not designed for it. Even with good signal, you'll get nothing in some places, and perfect reception in others. It's a total crapshoot. At your home location, you may get lucky, and you may not. If you plan on using the scanner mobile, you'll find a conventional scanner will cut in an out as your location changes, while a SDS will get good reception anywhere there is signal.
 

smithken

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Most of what you want to listen to is on the Downriver Mutual Aid system and the database shows that it's simulcast. Everything else you want to listen to is on the MPSCS system. Go to the Radio Reference home page, click on Databases, click Michigan on the map and then click on Wayne County, the database will show all of the talk groups and whether they are full time encrypted or part time encrypted or not encrypted at all, most of the stuff you want to listen to in not encrypted. Detroit could be a problem. I live 2-3 miles outside of Detroit and I have a hard time receiving the Detroit Simulcast site and there is very little Detroit traffic on the Wayne County Simulcast site, I do not have an outside antenna but I'm sure that would help.
 

Pendragon1991

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Most of what you want to listen to is on the Downriver Mutual Aid system and the database shows that it's simulcast. Everything else you want to listen to is on the MPSCS system. Go to the Radio Reference home page, click on Databases, click Michigan on the map and then click on Wayne County, the database will show all of the talk groups and whether they are full time encrypted or part time encrypted or not encrypted at all, most of the stuff you want to listen to in not encrypted. Detroit could be a problem. I live 2-3 miles outside of Detroit and I have a hard time receiving the Detroit Simulcast site and there is very little Detroit traffic on the Wayne County Simulcast site, I do not have an outside antenna but I'm sure that would help.
Yes, this makes sense. All of the downriver area back in the day were all on the same frequencies and Detroit had it's own set of frequencies. this was about 35 .years ago. I think i'll try to swing the SDS200 this way i'll have room to grow. I see where it says DMA project 25 for downriver and MPSCS P25 for most of detroit so i want to get the simulcast talk groups from downriver and the digital P25 signals from the city too. Your info is priceless to me my friend. As you can understand i bought the wrong scanner once already...lol. I can't make a $700.00 mistake this time or you'll here a call on your scanner for shots fired at my house :( I want to join the scanner community again but not as a subject...
 

Pendragon1991

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Yes, this makes sense. All of the downriver area back in the day were all on the same frequencies and Detroit had it's own set of frequencies. this was about 35 .years ago. I think i'll try to swing the SDS200 this way i'll have room to grow. I see where it says DMA project 25 for downriver and MPSCS P25 for most of detroit so i want to get the simulcast talk groups from downriver and the digital P25 signals from the city too. Your info is priceless to me my friend. As you can understand i bought the wrong scanner once already...lol. I can't make a $700.00 mistake this time or you'll here a call on your scanner for shots fired at my house :( I want to join the scanner community again but not as a subject...
So all in all i do not necessarily need the SD200 i could get away with the 536hp Correct ?
 

cmjonesinc

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If you're just needing p25 phase 1 you may give P25RX a try. It's new but has good reports of handling simulcast well with the latest update. Plus the developer is also issuing regular updates and adding features which isn't something we seem to be getting from the big 2 anymore. Good bit cheaper too. I run mine next to multiple uniden and gre scanners as well as sdr's and find it to preform exceptionally but I haven't had a chance to give it a go in a harsh simulcast environment. It lacks some of the features of scanners but as for just listening it works great. BlueTail Technlogies and a thread here P25RX P25 Phase 1 Receiver With Bluetooth Audio Support
 
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