Minneapolis Police/Fire

Status
Not open for further replies.

Angelica231

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 22, 2006
Messages
30
I see on Broadcastify all of Minneapolis Police/Fire are offline. I have my scanners on those frequencies and haven't heard even gibberish! Switching back to St Paul, no problemo. I am located in East St Paul and I'm getting 4 of 5 bars in signal strength. I notice the letter "T" for talk group is missing with only "G" (global) and of course S for the signal strength; (Radio Shack/Whistler Scanner). I think I remember reading here that Minneapolis had gone to encryption. Does anyone know if there is truth in this? Any help would be appreciated :)

Angi
 

dvendt

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2012
Messages
179
Location
Elysian, MN
I've been hearing alot of Minneapolis police on my SDS100. I live about 70 miles SSW of the cities.
 

dvendt

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2012
Messages
179
Location
Elysian, MN
Hennipin Co. Sheriff has gone encrypted I know. But the cities are heavy in simulcast and the SDS100 & 200 are the only two scanners built to deal with it.
 

danda

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
5
I've been away from scanning for quite some time and just purchased an HP2. I got everything updated and running fairly well. I was hoping to hear at least some Minneapolis police but haven't heard anything. I've been reading that Hennepin runs a pretty complicated system but shouldn't I hear at least a little something from them?
 

BenFranske

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
May 6, 2005
Messages
36
You might occasionally hear Minneapolis on a Hennepin tower if there is a user radio which has a stronger signal to that tower and is "pulling" one of the TGs to the Hennepin tower but Minneapolis runs their own towers as well and so in normal operation if you want to hear Minneapolis you probably need to be within range and scanning a Minneapolis tower.
 

BenFranske

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
May 6, 2005
Messages
36
I can easily create Broadcastify feeds with any set of TGs you want (within the ToS) from the Minneapolis N-S towers and publish those. Work up some suggested groups of TGs (e.g. which TGs you want grouped together into a feed) and I'll see about setting it up. I can create an essentially unlimited number of separate feeds.
 

danda

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
5
You might occasionally hear Minneapolis on a Hennepin tower if there is a user radio which has a stronger signal to that tower and is "pulling" one of the TGs to the Hennepin tower but Minneapolis runs their own towers as well and so in normal operation if you want to hear Minneapolis you probably need to be within range and scanning a Minneapolis tower.
I'm in NE MPLS but haven't heard anything. I guess what I'm wondering is how are others able to get them? I get St Paul no problem so I feel like I'm missing something? I've been away from scanning for quite some time and things seem to have gotten a lot more complicated. Any help with this is appreciated.
 

BenFranske

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
May 6, 2005
Messages
36
I'm not familiar with the HP interface at all so you will need to figure out how to make it do this but... You need to be monitoring the control channel for a Minneapolis Tower (either Minneapolis N-S Simulcast or Minneapolis City Center) you then need to make sure to be monitoring the talkgroups for MPD.
 

hiegtx

Mentor
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 8, 2004
Messages
9,512
Location
Dallas, TX
I'm in NE MPLS but haven't heard anything. I guess what I'm wondering is how are others able to get them? I get St Paul no problem so I feel like I'm missing something? I've been away from scanning for quite some time and things seem to have gotten a lot more complicated. Any help with this is appreciated.
Are you scanning using a Favorites list? Or using the main database and location control?

The sites for both Minneapolis as well as Hennepin County are simulcast, which can pose a problem. While the HP-2 is a good scanner for many areas (I have one as well), it does not do well with simulcast. See this Wiki article for a more complete description of simulcast and how it affects scanners.
Simulcast digital distortion - The RadioReference Wiki

As Ben posted, you need to make sure you are trying to monitor the correct site.
The Minneapolis N-S Simulcast has a number of transmit towers.
86089

If you were very close to that site farthest north (a quarter mile or less), you might have better results, as the one very strong signal can override out of synch signals from other towers. But there are four locations close enough to you to cause a problem.

For the Minneapolis City Center Simulcast, two sites are close together, with the third over in Ramsey County. If those two downtown are close enough together, you might be able get a clear signal, though the one farther east, towards St. Paul might still be an issue.
86090

If you are using the scanner just at home (not in your vehicle), are you only using the original antenna? Or a different one, possibly an external antenna? If using just the original antenna, try moving the scanner to a different spot in your house. Sometimes, a few feet may make all the difference. Another thing you can try is use a metal baking sheet, or other fairly large metallic object, and place it to one side of your scanner. The object is to see if you can block signals from multiple sites. For the City Center site, try the sheet on the 'east' side of the scanner, to block the signals from Ramsey County. If trying to use the N-S Simulcast, then place your sheet on the 'south' side of the scanner, to hopefully block signals to the south of you, leaving the signal from the site west of you.
 

danda

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
5
Oh boy.. I obviously have no idea what I'm doing. How do I even see if I'm monitoring Minneapolis N-S or City Center? I'm using the full database and haven't even looked at how to set up favorites yet. I just got it yesterday. I'm using the original antenna and have driven around with it to see if anything comes up but haven't gotten anything. Not even static. I'm pretty close to just throwing in the towel and sending the scanner back.
 

danda

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
5
Okay.. I think I got it figured out. I updated thru sentinel again and got MPLS coming in. Not as well as I'd like so I'm thinking a new antenna might be needed. Any recommendations? I'm probably going to be using my HP2 mostly as a base scanner. But will probably want one for both home and mobile. Thanks everyone for your help. It's going to be nice learning all of this again.
 

ofd8001

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
7,489
Location
Louisville, KY
Oh boy.. I obviously have no idea what I'm doing. How do I even see if I'm monitoring Minneapolis N-S or City Center? I'm pretty close to just throwing in the towel and sending the scanner back.
Well. . . The Minnesota ARMER system is probably the most robust radio system around. It is also the most complex system I've seen, especially in the Metro area. If you can grasp how this works, you can handle anything.

There are many subsystems that work together to provide responders with radio coverage. Minneapolis N-S is a subsystem, as is Minneapolis City Center, as is Hennepin East, as is Hennepin West.

Minneapolis N-S is the backbone subsystem for the city of Minneapolis talkgroups. Talkgroups like Minneapolis PD and FD will use this as their preferred subsystem. It is designed to have a footprint that is limited to Minneapolis city limits. (If Minneapolis units get outside the city, they may be "allowed" to use other subsystems.

Minneapolis City Center is the backbone subsystem for state agencies such as state patrol, DOT and also medical units. You should NOT count on this system to receive Minneapolis agencies.

Hennepin East is the backbone subsystem for the eastern part of the county. You'd hear Richfield, Bloomington on this one.

Complicating reception on any of these subsystems, they are simulcast which means they have multiple towers using the same frequencies, to improve in-building signal at at lower transmitter power.

The HP series of radios can have problems decoding simulcast signals. It is kind of like two people saying the same things to you, but a little out of sync - you have trouble understanding. Scanners will either be silent or garble in this situation. The SDS series of scanners is much better at decoding simulcast systems.

You get St. Paul okay because you are not between towers for this subsystem (Ramsey). Conversely, if you were to go over to St. Paul a little ways, you might hear Minneapolis better. That's the fluky nature of simulcast.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it will take some patience and a lot of luck to do any enjoyable scanning with an HP model scanner. I go to Minneapolis most every year to visit family and always bring a scanner. Only when I got my SDS 100 did I get decent decoding of simulcast every other digital capable scanner left a lot to be desired (796D up to the x36 models). (The signal was/is good, the problem is in the decoding of the digital signal).

Even more bad news - Minnesota is one of them "cranky" states when it comes to scanners in vehicles. You must have a state permit or FCC amateur license to legally use a scanner in a vehicle.
 

BruceMN

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2004
Messages
36
Location
Duluth, Minnesota
In my opinion, now is the time to demand complete transparency with law enforcement. From our hobby standpoint this includes open radio communications except with certain tactical channels to protect law enforcement during high risk operations. I obtained an amateur radio license to put a scanner in my car more than 10 yrs ago, I liked amateur so much I never put a scanner in my car but put a 2 meter radio in instead. i do enjoy listening to law enforcement from my home.
 

wogggieee

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
Messages
1,316
Location
Hugo , MN
A bit tardy to the party but the three most likely possibilities i'd guess based on my experience here:
1. Bad programming of scanner
2. The talk groups you want are not on the tower you're listening to
3. If you were trying to listen to the protest a lot of those channels were cross patched and both channels are not always heard by the scanner. This is especially the case if you not on the native tower for that incident. For example a lot of the a lot of the Minneapolis protest traffic was on Minneapolis 8 and cross patched to statewide tac channel like L-Tac 4. If you were to be listening on the Washington county tower you'd need to be on L-Tac 4 to hear the traffic as Minneapolis 8 wouldn't show up.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top