LOSS OF SIGNAL

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Eugene

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Dec 19, 2002
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541
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Portsmouth, VA
Greetings. I have a couple of questions regarding a loss of signal issue. I have a BCD 436HP. On a recent trip to Richmond on I-64 I noticed a loss of signal in Division 5 and Division 1 from about 5 miles from New Kent (where it drops from 4 bars to 0 bars almost immediately) until about the I-295 exit where it goes back to 4 bars, again almost immediately. It does the same thing between the Laburnam to the Mechanicsville exits, I have no problems anywhere north or west of the city. This occurs going both ways on I-64.

Now I have both the Rumford and Williamsburg towers programed for both Division 1 and Division 5, figuring that any cars on the fringe of the border (near the New Kent line) may affiliate with the opposite divisions tower but stay with their respective divisions talkgroups. However the signal loss continues. Has anyone else noticed this and any ideas if not?

Also while there they had a 2 alarm highrise fire in the city. I listened to Richmond fire but heard nothing. I had 4 bars signal strength and was close enough to see the smoke. In analyze mode, had full deflection on the "S" bar but zero on the "Q" and "A" bars. I have heard Richmond in the past, although you had to be close to the city, but never this. I rechecked talk groups and they appeared correct. So...….??

I have a through-the-glass TRAM antenna hooked up to a pre-amp which seems to work well otherwise. I know the through the glass antenna isn't ideal but it works well enough with the pre-amp.

Anyway I am stumped. Any insights would be appreciated and thanks in advance.

Eugene KG4AVE
 

GROCKSHD

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Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
395
Location
Virginia Beach, Virginia
It’s a dead spot for sure for these scanners. Every time I travel that way, I get zero reception after I pass the Williamsburg tower, until I’m northbound on 295. Next trip I’ll connect my scanner to my Comet CA-2X4SR and see if that improves reception.

sorry I don’t have any input on Richmond
 

LeSueurC

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2014
Messages
1,010
Location
Portsmouth, VA
Greetings. I have a couple of questions regarding a loss of signal issue. I have a BCD 436HP. On a recent trip to Richmond on I-64 I noticed a loss of signal in Division 5 and Division 1 from about 5 miles from New Kent (where it drops from 4 bars to 0 bars almost immediately) until about the I-295 exit where it goes back to 4 bars, again almost immediately. It does the same thing between the Laburnam to the Mechanicsville exits, I have no problems anywhere north or west of the city. This occurs going both ways on I-64.

Now I have both the Rumford and Williamsburg towers programed for both Division 1 and Division 5, figuring that any cars on the fringe of the border (near the New Kent line) may affiliate with the opposite divisions tower but stay with their respective divisions talkgroups. However the signal loss continues. Has anyone else noticed this and any ideas if not?

Also while there they had a 2 alarm highrise fire in the city. I listened to Richmond fire but heard nothing. I had 4 bars signal strength and was close enough to see the smoke. In analyze mode, had full deflection on the "S" bar but zero on the "Q" and "A" bars. I have heard Richmond in the past, although you had to be close to the city, but never this. I rechecked talk groups and they appeared correct. So...….??

I have a through-the-glass TRAM antenna hooked up to a pre-amp which seems to work well otherwise. I know the through the glass antenna isn't ideal but it works well enough with the pre-amp.

Anyway I am stumped. Any insights would be appreciated and thanks in advance.

Eugene KG4AVE
It’s indeed a dead zone, I know exactly where you’re talking about.
 

Eugene

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Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
541
Location
Portsmouth, VA
Mike: I do not have site 34 but I shall input it. I will add it to both and see what happens next time. Wonder where it and the other 2 "unknowns" are.

Eugene KG4AVE
 

Randy_Vick

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 13, 2017
Messages
67
Location
Suffolk, VA
You got me to thinking about Richmond. When in the area I've frequently heard the Fire automated dispatch system, but can't recall hearing apparatus. I'd written it off as being missed because of other traffic in the area.
 

Webodisk

Silent key.
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Joined
Dec 18, 2002
Messages
1,181
Location
Virginia Beach,VA
Mike: I do not have site 34 but I shall input it. I will add it to both and see what happens next time. Wonder where it and the other 2 "unknowns" are.

Eugene KG4AVE
Not sure, I happened to notice last trip thru it locked on site 34
 

W4UVV

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2002
Messages
1,632
Location
Prince George, Virginia--Central Va.
Greetings. I have a couple of questions regarding a loss of signal issue. I have a BCD 436HP. On a recent trip to Richmond on I-64 I noticed a loss of signal in Division 5 and Division 1 from about 5 miles from New Kent (where it drops from 4 bars to 0 bars almost immediately) until about the I-295 exit where it goes back to 4 bars, again almost immediately. It does the same thing between the Laburnam to the Mechanicsville exits, I have no problems anywhere north or west of the city. This occurs going both ways on I-64.

Now I have both the Rumford and Williamsburg towers programed for both Division 1 and Division 5, figuring that any cars on the fringe of the border (near the New Kent line) may affiliate with the opposite divisions tower but stay with their respective divisions talkgroups. However the signal loss continues. Has anyone else noticed this and any ideas if not?

Also while there they had a 2 alarm highrise fire in the city. I listened to Richmond fire but heard nothing. I had 4 bars signal strength and was close enough to see the smoke. In analyze mode, had full deflection on the "S" bar but zero on the "Q" and "A" bars. I have heard Richmond in the past, although you had to be close to the city, but never this. I rechecked talk groups and they appeared correct. So...….??

I have a through-the-glass TRAM antenna hooked up to a pre-amp which seems to work well otherwise. I know the through the glass antenna isn't ideal but it works well enough with the pre-amp.

Anyway I am stumped. Any insights would be appreciated and thanks in advance.

Eugene KG4AVE
--------------
1. I can't explain specifically your dead zone "RF anomonly" source which does exist in the RF spectrum. But I but can relate to a couple of past STARS transmission T/R history which did occur. First the STARS Midlothian Site antennas are NOT omni directional. They are phased to maximize its' ERPs to favor I64 E/W and I95 partially N/S (pre-Glen Allen STARs site installation). When the STARS site installation plan became available the Waverly site initially was left as a PTP microwave relay site which, in hindsight seemed like a stupid thing to do. Why? Because the VSP Division 5 and Division 1 boundary line is very close to the Prince George Co./Sussex Co. line. If a comprehensive site survey had been conducted, it was obvious that Waverly always should have been a repeater site. The VSP Division 5 mobiles often had difficulty contacting Chesapeake dispatch and had to depend on existing Div 5 assets or the Petersburg Div 1 repeater. In that period VSP decided then to simulcast Div 1 & Div 5 dispatches attempting to close the gap. Meanwhile, Prince George Co. every Thursday has court day. As you might expect frequently Div 5 troopers also were present as were Div 1 troopers.

2. Finally somebody at VSP HQ realized that Waverly should be a STARS repeater site instead of a microwave PTP relay site. The decision was made not on the Div 5 mobiles not being able to have a Div 5 STARS repeater closer but was based upon the VSP mobiles on I64 having signal "dropouts" and other loss of signal issues. The Waverly repeater site soon corrected some of the VSP mobiles temporary loss of signal issues but obviously not all of them.

3. In 2014 I "retired' doing satellite tv installations on both C & Ku band for both the Atlantic Ocean and CONUS satellite regions. I also did satellite tv teleconference downlinks. By having portable downlink capability I occasionally experienced "hot spots" and "dead spots" called "puddles". When operating mobile occasionally I encountered a weakening of a repeater signal for no apparent reason. It most likely was one of the RF anomonlies present in the RF spectrum. Just be glad you don't live in one of the RF "null puddles".

John:)
W4UVV
 

N4RXP

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 14, 2016
Messages
6
Location
Richmond, VA
Try the King William/Rumford tower (STARS site 005). You should get I-64 coverage from that tower.

Landon N4RXP
 
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