Mobile Scanner Setup

BroadOne

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Yeah it seems I unfortunately literally can't tell anymore between sarcasm and genuine appreciation haha.

Quick update though, @mmckenna @trentbob if you guys wanna take a look. Or anyone really. I spent a lot of time going through each department filter setting, and after listening for awhile and making notes on the Noise/RSSI, I found that Wide Normal seems to improve signals the most or just leaving it off. I still want to better understand Invert/Wide Invert but I'm trying to research the filter settings to better learn about those two. I did also unplug any 12v or other power sources near the radio. The only thing near the radio currently is 1 Kenwood DPX304MBT radio built into the car for music/calls, 1 F70 Thinkware Dashcam (near the window/rearview mirror of course) and 1 R8 Uniden Radar for um "radar studies". After accounting all of that and removing all other USB/Plugs, my average noise level across all channels seems to be from 200 - 500 and the RSSI from -80 best to -120 at worst. My actual connection indicator, (the bars at the top right) are usually full, except for when it comes to the "Ham Radio" department I have set up, which usually indicates 2/5 bars. I'm guessing the repeaters are just quite far away. (I think it uses a special system, not sure, it's 145.555000Mhz and is a full net. I picked it up one day on the Close Call function and it has dial tones when users call in and out, etc. Not really sure what it is)

So here's the first recording I wanted to share which is a local Fire Tone-Out. (AudioFile (1).zip) The first file (TONEOUTLIVERECORDING) is phone audio which captured the speaker audio live in case that matters. And the mp3 labeled "ToneOut" is the raw user_rec WAV format which I had to manually piece together in Audacity using multiple of the audio files. (You can see how it looks in the images attached)1684155283573.png
1684154657405.png

And so when I was saying things were "cut" or "dropping", what I was meaning is. The audio is getting chopped off in places. For reference, this call had 200 - 500 noise, -100 RSSI. In my opinion, it's coming in pretty clear all things considered and you can obviously tell what's being said for the most part, and my signal strength indicated 5/5 (The top right bars). But it's obvious where I marked with red and blue scribbles, that the audio of what the person is saying, is being abruptly cut off where the red is. And there logically should be continuous waveform audio where my blue scribbles are. Like here's a fictional example > "I walked into the do--" .... "And then I fell down the st----" .... "Then I went to the house located at 100 Sta-----------"... Like why is it cutting out like that is basically what I want to try to better understand.

And I did include the HAMRADIO.wav just incase anyone was curious as to what it sounds like. I can still tell what's being said but as I mentioned usually a 2/5 on those.

Also quick question, is it even practical to begin to entertain the idea of "transmitting" from a mobile scanning setup or should one not even bother. Probably like "eh you're better off making a stationary base setup at home if you wanna do that".
 

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trentbob

W3BUX- Bucks County, PA
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5,458
@BroadOne, remember I live by the kiss principal so I'm not going to get real deep in the weeds here.. regarding the filters, when you say that you leave them off does that mean that you went to Global and turned filters off for every object on the radio or you just don't change the filter in department options on conventional frequencies which would mean that you are using a filter, you are using normal filter which is default in global filters and is applied to every object in the radio unless you go in to a site of a system or department options for a group of conventional channels and manually change the filter to something else. Right now global filter should be set to normal. When you look at Department options filter settings they should say global which means normal filter is being applied.

If you really want to get technical and get in the weeds with filters you can search radio reference and some members have very detailed explanation of the difference between the filters, a lot more information than I care to use as that information doesn't make any difference to me LOL. You have a choice between normal, wide normal, invert, wide invert or no filter at all.

Occasionally no filter at all might work on a single object or site but not usually, you should have at least the default normal filter on everything. It depends on your RF environment.

As far as adjustments that you've made on the radio, I'd really like to see you get back to just default the way the radio came out of the box, I don't really understand the system hold that you were talking about at 5 Seconds other than if you have gone into system hold in system options and changed system hold from 0 to 5 Seconds, that's not good, I also would put the standard default delay on each talk group and channel to 2 seconds and not 5. That's just an opinion...

After listening to your audio tapes it almost sounds like you have priority turned on sampling a priority Channel thereby interrupting transmissions? Also your squelch should be set to 2, no higher. Also, go into the menu and choose select service types and make sure they are all turned on, for some reason by default they aren't all turned on when you first get the radio. It won't help with your interrupted transmissions but it might allow you to hear more things that you are missing now.

Not sure what you were talking about transmitting from a scanner, that question I didn't understand, do you have a ham radio operators license? If so that's a topic for another thread.
 

BroadOne

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@BroadOne, remember I live by the kiss principal so I'm not going to get real deep in the weeds here.. regarding the filters, when you say that you leave them off does that mean that you went to Global and turned filters off for every object on the radio or you just don't change the filter in department options on conventional frequencies which would mean that you are using a filter, you are using normal filter which is default in global filters and is applied to every object in the radio unless you go in to a site of a system or department options for a group of conventional channels and manually change the filter to something else. Right now global filter should be set to normal. When you look at Department options filter settings they should say global which means normal filter is being applied.

If you really want to get technical and get in the weeds with filters you can search radio reference and some members have very detailed explanation of the difference between the filters, a lot more information than I care to use as that information doesn't make any difference to me LOL. You have a choice between normal, wide normal, invert, wide invert or no filter at all.

Occasionally no filter at all might work on a single object or site but not usually, you should have at least the default normal filter on everything. It depends on your RF environment.

As far as adjustments that you've made on the radio, I'd really like to see you get back to just default the way the radio came out of the box, I don't really understand the system hold that you were talking about at 5 Seconds other than if you have gone into system hold in system options and changed system hold from 0 to 5 Seconds, that's not good, I also would put the standard default delay on each talk group and channel to 2 seconds and not 5. That's just an opinion...

After listening to your audio tapes it almost sounds like you have priority turned on sampling a priority Channel thereby interrupting transmissions? Also your squelch should be set to 2, no higher. Also, go into the menu and choose select service types and make sure they are all turned on, for some reason by default they aren't all turned on when you first get the radio. It won't help with your interrupted transmissions but it might allow you to hear more things that you are missing now.

Not sure what you were talking about transmitting from a scanner, that question I didn't understand, do you have a ham radio operators license? If so that's a topic for another thread.
Got it, and not sure why I don't think of this sooner, but it occurred to me I could just screenshot the actual visual information from Sentinel than trying to explain it all .-.

So here's the systems:
1684161537959.png
Here's the Okaloosa Emergency
1684161567861.png
Here's Fire/EMS where the original ToneOut came from.

As for why all the "test" etc, I have those only because I found many channels from a few obscure forums here and there not from RR and was trying to see if any of them are still active before removing/reorganizing them.
1684161628454.png
Don't believe I have any priority channels at the moment nor do any use the Attenuator. I've set all the delays back to 2s instead of 5 (not pictured in image) and everything currently uses Wide Normal for the most part aside from Sherriff because I was testing the Wide Invert. Global Filtering is off.

What I've done is turned Global to Off and the way I've applied filters is by going into each department within the favorites and adjusting them one by one that way. But just to clarify, are you suggesting that at minimum, my Global filter should just be left at "Normal"?

Also Squelch has been set to 2 and all service types were already turned on, although there are some that show the following > (---) instead of (on) or (off). They show (---) and I can't change them.

And yes I have a radio license, but it sounds like the kind of question which would've been asked already so I'll probably do some looking around before I make a new post about that.
 

trentbob

W3BUX- Bucks County, PA
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Feb 22, 2007
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5,458
Yep we really need to clarify the filter situation. Global filter should be on normal. That should only change if you are sampling filters. Then you would sample, wide normal, invert, wide invert or no filter at all when you find an optimal filter for a site in a system or a conventional group of channels in department options you then return Global to normal so any object that you didn't go in and manually change to a new filter will have the benefit of normal filter. When you look at a site filter choice or department option filter choice that you have not changed at all it should say global which means it's on normal filter. If you went and changed it from Global to another choice like wide normal it is now no longer affected by the global filter it has its own filter now that will remain that way regardless of how Global filters are set.

On my radio, I don't have that many objects using filters as normal filter from the global setting is adequate. Every object does not need to be on a filter other than normal. Filters are for troubleshooting. Most of my 7-800 megahertz Phase 2 systems which I might have one or two sites active benefit from wide invert, I get a low error rate as opposed to the default normal.

Way too much focus on filters here. I think your issues are with programming and some things that you may have changed. You are listening to a lot of stuff, not quite sure how you are set up.

If you are able to, can you get as close of a clear in focus shot of your screen on your radio? If you use or know Photoshop try to clean it up as best as possible so it can be read. Thanks. Something actually being received would be best.
 

BroadOne

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I've set my global filter to normal as well as, I was looking through various posts and came across this: Not hearing all Denver PD EDACS traffic

In this post it just happens to say by N0GTG "Another possibility that occurs to me is Weather Priority being turned on. This would interrupt reception every few seconds."

I think they were using a different radio, but I went in my SDS and realized that my WX Priority was on. I turned it off and plugged the radio back into my setup, and I'm now hearing more consistent traffic across all channels. I also heard a transmission from one of my "test" channels. It's possible that this was the problem.

G-ATT was also turned on, so I turned that off.

Also here is a picture of the actual screen while receivingPXL_20230515_161012998 (1).jpgPXL_20230515_162130089.TS_028.jpg
 

trentbob

W3BUX- Bucks County, PA
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5,458
Okay that's why I wanted to see your screen because it absolutely sounded to me like you had a priority turned on! And certainly if the attenuator was on you will now see a definite improvement in reception.

I'm running out of time for the moment but I am going to take a quick look at your system in the database which I haven't really done, we have been speaking in general terms, I need to look at that system now but you are definitely going to see an improvement and you will no longer be interrupted with broken transmissions, had you not picked that up, I would as soon as I looked at your screen.
 

BroadOne

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Okay that's why I wanted to see your screen because it absolutely sounded to me like you had a priority turned on! And certainly if the attenuator was on you will now see a definite improvement in reception.

I'm running out of time for the moment but I am going to take a quick look at your system in the database which I haven't really done, we have been speaking in general terms, I need to look at that system now but you are definitely going to see an improvement and you will no longer be interrupted with broken transmissions, had you not picked that up, I would as soon as I looked at your screen.
Got it, I really appreciate it, and yeah I've been monitoring the channels and it's a lot more clear now without as many "drops" as were happening previously.

If you take a look at my database one thing I'm not too sure about if I have set up correctly or not is the EDACS system. I don't really understand when it comes to P25 and EDACS programming. I understand what they are, and mostly how they work, but there has to be something I'm not understanding still with how channels talk to eachother because how is it that I've correctly programmed the Niceville PD which uses 2 channels on 460.325 and 453.250, but then there's the SLERS EDACS system which shows that Niceville has an 800 MHz system with 7 channels including 2 control. What are these to then? Who is using them?

I imported the EDACS system but I never hear anything on the 800+ channels. So I'm wondering what piece of information am I not understanding. Is there a conversion I'm missing, or maybe Ch 1 and Ch 2 are the 2 control channels? But then why are they on 460/450. Maybe it's a repeater or simulcast. Maybe NPD isn't using them and it's actually encrypted by another agency or something but, idk, very confused where that's concerned.

1684170036795.png
Additionally, perhaps there are channels which have yet to be discovered? Like car-car transmissions, or I see OCSO has something called "Channel 15" and I have 9 of their channels. Does this imply the existence of 6 more which I don't have?
 
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trentbob

W3BUX- Bucks County, PA
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Okay, now that I have a look-see, you are using the EDICS system and it would appear as if you are programmed properly.

Eventually you are going to be replaced with a 700 MHz p25 phase 1 System, it is being used now but apparently it's being used for police helicopters? Air units? Also Florida Highway Patrol which is 100% encrypted. This Phase 1 system will eventually replace the system you are on now, I have no idea if it will be encrypted on local departments in your county..

I'm not familiar with your area and all I can figure out is what I see in the database. So here's where we stand.

You sending the audio of transmissions helped me come up with a solution to your problem right away, that's why I wanted to see your screen I was absolutely sure you had priority on. I would have seen it on the screen photo. Also you had the attenuator on which I also would have seen on your screen and that absolutely crippled your reception.

So I would say your reception problems have been solved and you are going to see a definite Improvement in reception.

So here's what you want to do. Now you want to read your local Florida forum, focus on threads that have to do with your county and the new p25 Phase 1 System and your system also. The fact that Florida Highway Patrol is now entirely encrypted is not good.

You don't necessarily have to start a new thread but just participate in the ones that might be there now and ask questions. Your county frequencies and the Florida database is no longer on topic in this thread.

The fact that you provided that audio of transmissions clearly helped me to find what I thought was the solution to your reception problem.

Good deal!
 

BroadOne

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I appreciate it, and I've already noticed a consistent improvement in the reception. As for the encryption I know a lot of FHP/FWC and more are already something that can't be monitored, but I'll definitely check for an appropriate thread to look further into that section of things. Otherwise the radio reception seems to be solved and I really appreciate it. I'll check out the Florida sections for the other questions. I do believe I came across a thread dedicated to the implementation of the new systems.
 

EMTJD

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Jan 31, 2018
Messages
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I've noticed that nobody is including PHOTOS of their mobile installs. These would no doubt be helpful for giving us ideas as to what we may be able to do in our own vehicles.
 
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