Miami County Public Safety

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KC8WJG

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I'm monitoring Miami County, but I'm still a newb when it comes to trunked systems. I'm using the BCD996T and programmed it using Freescan with the RR database imported. The amount of traffic I'm hearing doesn't seem to be right for the number of agencies in the county. The scanner is silent 50% of time. Could it be that there is much less activity these days thanks to MDT's and cell phones? When I monitored the old TRS back in the early 2000's, the scanner never shut up.

Under Available Systems, I selected the MARCS-IP P25 system for the county, but for sites and groups, I wasn't entirely clear on which ones I needed. In the sites column, there is "Miami County" and "Troy." (I'm in West Milton which is about 7 miles from Troy.) Should I select both of these or one or the other? In the groups column, there is "Miami County." I selected it as well. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

radioscan

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Site 15 (Zone 1) Troy may no longer be active. We need confirmation of this. Can you put the control channel (773.831250) in manual mode and see if a signal is present?

The county site is what you want to program in. It is a simulcast (countywide) site and you should be picking up most or all of the traffic from that site. Zone 4 Site 005.
 

KC8WJG

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Site 15 (Zone 1) Troy may no longer be active. We need confirmation of this. Can you put the control channel (773.831250) in manual mode and see if a signal is present?

The county site is what you want to program in. It is a simulcast (countywide) site and you should be picking up most or all of the traffic from that site. Zone 4 Site 005.
When I get a chance, I'll try that control channel to confirm if I hear anything.

So what you're saying is that I only select Miami County from the "site" column and nothing from the "groups" column?

Or would it be easier to forgo the software and just program the scanner by hand?
 

KC8WJG

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Ok, apparently I'm making this more confusing than it needs to be. I thought I had done all of that already. Let me try to do a fresh install and see what happens.
 
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tvengr

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I'm using the BCD996T
The 396T and 996T had problems receiving P25 systems with the early firmware. The latest version is v3_02_00. In the menu go to Settings > See Scanner Info > Firmware Version. What version do you have?
 
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KC8WJG

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The 396T and 996T had problems receiving P25 systems with the early firmware. The latest version is v3_02_00. In the menu go to Settings > See Scanner Info > Firmware Version. What version do you have?
It's v3_02_00

I'm thinking this is a case of operator ineptitude and needing to read the Uniden manual in greater detail. I've been monitoring for three decades, but this stuff is different compared to what I was used to with VHF conventional analog. I know darn well that I'm missing out on hearing a lot, but now need to figure out why.
 

tvengr

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If you attach your programming file, I will check it for problems. You will have to right click on the file and send it to a compressed (zipped) folder to be able to attach it.
 

KC8WJG

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Using FreeSCAN, the system type and site type for the 396T and 996T is Mot Type II/P25 for the Ohio MARCS system..
I see a choice for Mot P25/P25 Standard, 800 MHz Standard Type II, and 800 MHz Splinter Type II, but not one that's worded exactly as the one you listed. Let me see what I can do as far as sending you the programming file. I hate dealing with ZIP files.
 

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tvengr

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Mot Type II/P25 is the third from the top in the new system window under select system type. I'll take a look at your file. It looks like the site type should be Mot P25/P25 Standard.
 
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KC8WJG

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I have done an ARC996 file for Miami Co. Later today, I will convert it to a FreeSCAN file for you to try.
I reprogrammed and it seems to be a little more active, but still not what I would expect from a county with three smaller cities and dozens of agencies. Maybe I just picked a slow night? OSP District 5 is quite active.

Thank you, tvengr, I appreciate your help.
 

tvengr

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Here is the file. MARCS Miami Co site on system quick key 1. MARCS Troy site on System quick key 2. Save the attached zipped file to your computer and extract. Open the extracted file with FreeSCAN and Upload Programming. Highlight Erase All Systems and Settings. Start Upload. Group quick keys as follows:
1. Miami Co Fire
2. Miami Co Hosp
3. Miami Emerg Ops
4. Miami Co Interop
5. Miami Multi Tac
6. Miami Co Law
7. Miami Co DPW
8 OH State Patrol
 

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budevans

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Just an FYI, I checked the MARCS Sites this morning and I see that the TROY site has been deleted.

Looking at the current tower placement, it appears that Troy is now located roughly equal distance between three of the Simulcast Sites towers. Towers 1,8 and 5.

Here's a link with a picture of the towers placements. FCC Callsign WQQU789 (MIAMI, COUNTY OF)

So KC8WJG may be experiencing Simulcast issues.
 

jasonk

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You're likely suffering from Simulcast Distortion - a very common problem with most scanners on these P25 Simulcast Sites. The only scanners that handle it well are the SDS 100 and SDS 200 - also the Unication G4 or G5 pagers work great on this system.
 

tvengr

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I noticed also that the Troy site has been eliminated from the database since I created the file.. That is on a system quick key so that it can easily be turned off. I don't know if KC8WJG has tried the new file yet. If still having problems, I agree that it is most likely due to simulcast distortion.
 

KC8WJG

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I noticed also that the Troy site has been eliminated from the database since I created the file.. That is on a system quick key so that it can easily be turned off. I don't know if KC8WJG has tried the new file yet. If still having problems, I agree that it is most likely due to simulcast distortion.
I uploaded the programming file that tvengr prepared. I might be hearing slightly more than I was before. Perhaps the times have changed (more cell phones and MDT's) since the last time I monitored the Miami County TRS back around 2007-2008. I just expected it to still be busy almost all of the time. For what it's worth, I locked out most of the public service parts of the system (county engineer, road maintenance, etc.)

Regarding the simulcast distortion: I knew going in that it was going to be a fact of life. I was thinking my problem wasn't the distortion, but in instead, incomplete or improper programming, or maybe inadvertently having a site or talkgroup locked out since I'm still not entirely clear on how the quick keys work. Maybe I don't know enough about the distortion either. I thought a signal had to be present in order to get it? Am I to understand that simulcast distortion can cause an absence of a signal altogether?

I can't justify spending the equivalent of a new car down payment on one of the SDS-series scanners at this time. I do hear the distortion at times, but again, I know that I can't really do much about it and will just have to settle for being able to hear what I can hear. As long as I can feel like I can monitor the "big picture" and have analog VHF on the BC760XLT fill in the gaps, it will be okay.

At any rate, thank you to all who helped or offered advice. I'll be monitoring what I am able to while I learn more about this scanner -- and this new way of life for scanning -- as I go.
 

tvengr

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You don't have to lockout public works. Just turn off group quick key 7. That is why the groups all have quick keys. While scanning Miami Co, just press the Function knob and then 7 on the keypad to toggle public works on and off.
 
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KC8WJG

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You don't have to lockout public works. Just turn off group quick key 7. That is why the groups all have quick keys. While scanning Miami Co, just press the Function knob and then 7 on the keypad to toggle public works on and off.
I am slowly getting the hang of it. Thanks.
 
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