Low Volume By Police..

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pinballwiz86

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Here's the rub.

The local police dispatcher's audio is perfect. Nice and clear and loud.

But, most of the police officer's audio is very quiet, very low volume...


I'm wondering if they're doing it that way on purpose to deter someone listening in. Because, if I turn up the volume I'll be able to hear the cop(s) but then the dispatcher will blow my ear drums out.


Analog frequency, non-trunked system.


Thanks for any ideas or comments to solve this problem.
 

W8RMH

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I think it depends on the agency. Some dispatchers speak loudly, some do not. Some officers speak softly or do not hold the microphone properly.

I hated this when I was working on the street. Some officers you would have to have them repeat because you could not hear them. And if you turned the radio up the dispatcher may be too loud, however we had some officers who would blast out regardless of the volume setting.

I don't think it is related to deterring any listeners though. It depends on the supervisors setting the tone, so to speak, buy monitoring the proper system volumes.

If you listen to my feed which broadcasts 5 different channels you will hear varied volumes depending on the channel and dispatcher.

On our county sheriff channels (currently no feed) their dispatchers speak very softly making local scanner listening difficult plus the officers are generally a lot louder.

If your scanner has an AGC setting this setting helps balance the audio level you hear as you listen to different radio sources so you can hear them at a similar volume.
 
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pinballwiz86

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Well, it's odd because I know one of the dispatchers and she says that she hears them just fine..lol.

She might have the volume cranked up! of course, I can't do that because her audio level is perfect and would blow my ear drums out.

I wish my scanner had AGC (Uniden BC125AT) but it does not. My digital scanner does but I use it for digital only. Maybe I'll make a separate system just for the local PD and set AGC on it. I'll try it. Thanks for the help Richard!
 

scannerizer

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Here's the rub.

The local police dispatcher's audio is perfect. Nice and clear and loud.

But, most of the police officer's audio is very quiet, very low volume...


I'm wondering if they're doing it that way on purpose to deter someone listening in. Because, if I turn up the volume I'll be able to hear the cop(s) but then the dispatcher will blow my ear drums out.


Analog frequency, non-trunked system.


Thanks for any ideas or comments to solve this problem.
Microphones are usualy strong. A friend of mine who lives in Vancouver WA got picked up and taken home by police told me that the officer spoke very softly and dispatch read him on the first shot!
 

mdulrich

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Many times officers have very poor radio skills. The leave mics on the holder, some leave the mic laying on the seat, some hold the mic far away from their mouth. Some departments use portables instead of mobile radios and while driving the officers don't turn their head toward the lapel mic. Yes dispatchers have the radio turned up to where they can hear officers and they don't have to worry about the dispatcher audio level since they will never hear it.

Another possible cause if they are using a repeater. The audio level may be set too low on the repeater causing all levels to be too low. The dispatcher typically is a different audio path that doesn't use the repeater input.

Mike
 

flythunderbird

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Many times officers have very poor radio skills. The leave mics on the holder, some leave the mic laying on the seat, some hold the mic far away from their mouth.
One of the dispatchers here has the opposite problem; this one sounds like a CBer running a power mic on a radio with a clipped limiter. The dispatcher must be eating the mic, because the other dispatchers at the same location sound just fine. :confused:
 

GregOH

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Many times officers have very poor radio skills. The leave mics on the holder, some leave the mic laying on the seat, some hold the mic far away from their mouth. Some departments use portables instead of mobile radios and while driving the officers don't turn their head toward the lapel mic. Yes dispatchers have the radio turned up to where they can hear officers and they don't have to worry about the dispatcher audio level since they will never hear it.
I agree with this. When I use my Motorola handheld at work I hold my external mic about a foot from my mouth and it comes across perfect on the other end however, other guys hold it against their mouth and it is very loud on the other end.
 

wtp

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$.02

even with a $500 radio how much research and parts went into the AGC circuit?
versus what /\/\ can develop with millions ???
 

zz0468

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The local police dispatcher's audio is perfect. Nice and clear and loud.

But, most of the police officer's audio is very quiet, very low volume...
Poor radio technique. Plain and simple. It's usually not a problem to the dispatchers because the professional grade consoles they're listening to have excellent AGC action on receive audio. It'll bring a whisper up to full volume, so long as the back ground noise doesn't wash it out.

I'm wondering if they're doing it that way on purpose to deter someone listening in.
No. If they wanted that, they would encrypt.

Thanks for any ideas or comments to solve this problem.
Unless you're technically up to it, you won't solve the problem. I suppose you COULD build an external AGC circuit and run the scanner audio through that. Technically, it's a trivial task, but not from the perspective of someone with no electronics construction background.
 

pinballwiz86

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Thanks for all the great advice. I ended up fiddling with the AGC but it didn't do jack. I might build an external AGC circuit. This has been an annoyance. My cheap Uniden BC125AT has a better analog AGC? lol!
 

ecps92

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There is nothing that can be done if there are two audio levels.

Sounds like the Disp/Console is wired right into the Repeater/Base and the Mobile/Portable audio is the problem that has not been addressed by the Radio Tech's. Hard to find tech's who will spend the time to adjust a system properly

Thanks for all the great advice. I ended up fiddling with the AGC but it didn't do jack. I might build an external AGC circuit. This has been an annoyance. My cheap Uniden BC125AT has a better analog AGC? lol!
 

sibbley

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I don't think that a scanners AGC works very well at all. I used to have the same problem between officers and dispatch. Officers had low volume and dispatch was very loud. I ditched most of that trouble by going with a professional grade radios for monitoring. AGC actually works the way it's supposed to. Only time I run into this problem now is when some officers are on portable. Otherwise, everything is loud and clear.

I use Kenwood TK290's and 390's, Motorola HT1250's, Vertex 454's, and Icom F60v.
 

902

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To the original point, this could be a lot of things. First, the system could have been left "wideband" and the vehicle and portable radios programmed up in narrowband. That would automatically make them a lower volume - and all at a constant level. Are there systems that haven't narrowbanded? You bet there are. Lots of them for all kinds of reasons spanning from lack of knowledge to deliberate choice. They will sound louder on the dispatcher end and the mobiles will be significantly softer. The dispatcher won't notice because she doesn't listen to herself in the headphones, only the cars/portables. They all sound fine, and they're all at a level and volume she can adjust to hear comfortably.

The other situation could be that comparator output, or "poor man's microwave" (UHF FXO) links (if they use them) are set too low by people who probably should not be playing with radios, or the systemwide compression is not in line with the console output.

Lots of stuff spanning the continuum.

It may not be a problem for the cars because sometimes there is a compandoring scheme used in narrowbanding where the vehicle receiver expands audio beneath a threshold to a certain value and the dispatcher audio might be above the compression point. You won't find that in a scanner. So, that might be it, too.

The one thing I'm pretty sure of is that "scannerland" probably factored nil into why it sounds the way it does.

Actually there is something that can be done, but it involves spending. If you feed your audio into a professional mixing board, you can limit the gain and set compression points so that low sounds come up and high sounds go down or stay at a fixed point. It's also wires and other stuff all over the place. Probably a little extreme for casual listening - and someone might come in at a future point and set everything just right and make it work normally. Then it wouldn't be useful anymore. Alternatively, something like an MFJ 784B might help, too.
 

gewecke

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IF this is a repeater you're listening to try monitoring the INPUT only ... received audio should be a little louder, unless you're too far away from the repeater? 73, n9zas
 

KC3ECJ

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I've noticed Kenwoods sound low. Does Kenwood have a compander enabled by default?
 
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DaveNF2G

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As a former dispatcher, I have to cast my vote with the "poor radio discipline" crowd. There are a lot of officers who simply cannot be bothered to pick up the microphone before talking into it.
 

ShyFlyer

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I've encountered this while listening to NMSP District 5. There is one dispatcher in particular that speaks so low that she's almost unintelligible, unless I crank up the volume. Her coworkers are loud and clear.
 

RoninJoliet

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We have the same problem here in IL on a nice new 700mgz Starcom Digital System which one male dispatcher on District 5 Will Co who seems to "sit back and relax" or is constantly drinking and moving the "mike' down by his adams-apple and ruining a new loud great system....Im so glad when he is off duty.....
 

sibbley

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I've noticed Kenwoods sound low. Does Kenwood have a compander enabled by default?
Of the Kenwoods I have bought, none have had the compander feature enabled by default. My older Kenwoods, 290's and 390's, are very loud, my newer 3312 does sound low at times on the private channels I monitor.
 

eaf1956

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As a former dispatcher, I have to cast my vote with the "poor radio discipline" crowd. There are a lot of officers who simply cannot be bothered to pick up the microphone before talking into it.
And drop the donuts and coffee....Geesh!
 
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