New to digital scanning

chipstew

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Joined
Oct 5, 2010
Messages
5
Location
Middletown, Conn
I am new to digital scanning. Have used analog for 50+ years. Own a Uniden BCD536HP Scanner World from Bearcat Warehouse. They programmed New Haven and Middlesex County Police, Fire, and probably local govt. Lots of frequencies means slow scanning. I figured out the Avoid key and eliminated all of the services I did not care about. This sped up the scanning greatly. Now for the problem. All of the analog services come in very clear. But the digital services i.e Conn. State Police and Middletown Fire are received but very thick sounding. (garbled). They are not encrypted. I called Bearcat and the rep said it might be because they are using a form of simulcast where there is transmission from more than one site. In my early radio days, this was never possible but I guess today it might be. Does anyone have a solution to my problem?
 

N1GTL

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Jun 14, 2005
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CT
CSP and Middletown are both multi-site meaning CQPSK. Scanners are not great receiving these signals. I have a BCD325P2 and my local PD/FD have a site within 1000' of my house and I am constantly dealing with garbled transmissions and high error numbers. You can play with some settings but I have tried that without success.
 
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Does anyone have a solution to my problem?
I live in the Westfield section of Middletown and listen to CSP and Middletown all the time on my 325P2, 396XT and 996XT.

They sound fine to me. I'd return the scanner and get a 996P2.
 

ecps92

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Joined
Jul 8, 2002
Messages
11,731
Location
Taxachusetts
Experiment with less of an Antenna.

Some folks have resorted to a paperclip and resolved the simulcast issue
I am new to digital scanning. Have used analog for 50+ years. Own a Uniden BCD536HP Scanner World from Bearcat Warehouse. They programmed New Haven and Middlesex County Police, Fire, and probably local govt. Lots of frequencies means slow scanning. I figured out the Avoid key and eliminated all of the services I did not care about. This sped up the scanning greatly. Now for the problem. All of the analog services come in very clear. But the digital services i.e Conn. State Police and Middletown Fire are received but very thick sounding. (garbled). They are not encrypted. I called Bearcat and the rep said it might be because they are using a form of simulcast where there is transmission from more than one site. In my early radio days, this was never possible but I guess today it might be. Does anyone have a solution to my problem?
 

W1KNE

Owner ScanNewEngland.
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Feb 15, 2010
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Taunton, MA
They sound fine to me. I'd return the scanner and get a 996P2.
That would be quite the downgrade in scanners. Don't trade it in for the 996P2, the 536hp is a far superior scanner to the 996P2 in just about every way.

When you say the audio is "thick" and garbled. Is it just the difference in hearing digital or is it digital breakup?
Is this your first digital scanner? What version of firmware are you running? Make sure you're on the latest version.
You may have multipath distortion.

When I was in Middletown last year on my 536hp, CLMRN sounded clear to me, without any issue.
 

chipstew

Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2010
Messages
5
Location
Middletown, Conn
CSP and Middletown are both multi-site meaning CQPSK. Scanners are not great receiving these signals. I have a BCD325P2 and my local PD/FD have a site within 1000' of my house and I am constantly dealing with garbled transmissions and high error numbers. You can play with some settings but I have tried that without success.
Thanks am working on solutions
 

chipstew

Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2010
Messages
5
Location
Middletown, Conn
That would be quite the downgrade in scanners. Don't trade it in for the 996P2, the 536hp is a far superior scanner to the 996P2 in just about every way.

When you say the audio is "thick" and garbled. Is it just the difference in hearing digital or is it digital breakup?
Is this your first digital scanner? What version of firmware are you running? Make sure you're on the latest version.
You may have multipath distortion.

When I was in Middletown last year on my 536hp, CLMRN sounded clear to me, without any issue.
Just on hearing digital. It is not weak signal digital breakup
 

ecps92

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Jul 8, 2002
Messages
11,731
Location
Taxachusetts
Keep experimenting. Move the radio a few inches - wait and monitor, move a few more, monitor
The only answer is experimentation and it can take [don't get frustrated] a bit, but the efforts will be worth it
Dropped the antenna down as low as it will go and for the last 20 minutes State Police sounds a bit better but not crisp.
 

darkness975

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Nov 4, 2016
Messages
755
I am new to digital scanning. Have used analog for 50+ years. Own a Uniden BCD536HP Scanner World from Bearcat Warehouse. They programmed New Haven and Middlesex County Police, Fire, and probably local govt. Lots of frequencies means slow scanning. I figured out the Avoid key and eliminated all of the services I did not care about. This sped up the scanning greatly. Now for the problem. All of the analog services come in very clear. But the digital services i.e Conn. State Police and Middletown Fire are received but very thick sounding. (garbled). They are not encrypted. I called Bearcat and the rep said it might be because they are using a form of simulcast where there is transmission from more than one site. In my early radio days, this was never possible but I guess today it might be. Does anyone have a solution to my problem?
I can hear CLMRN on a BCD325P2, SDS100, and SDS200.

Question for you - what is the topography of your location? Have you tried traveling with it to see if it improves from different locations? Even within the house?

CLMRN is weird. My BCD325P2 and SDS100/200 will not receive the RadioReference version of it from home but my SDS100/200 receive it on a custom (slightly modified) favorite's list.
The real weird thing is that if I go a half mile up the road the RadioReference version of it comes in fine on all units.

I'm just happy that I can hear it from home on the SDS scanners with the custom favorite's list.
 

APX7500X2

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Dec 13, 2010
Messages
736
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NY/CT
My 996P2 far outperforms my 536HP........And i do use a paper clip on my TRX-2 to listen to CLMRN and it works great
 

W1KNE

Owner ScanNewEngland.
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Feb 15, 2010
Messages
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Taunton, MA
Hmm, I don't remember putting down the 996P2? I have two of them, and they're both excellent scanners. Never said that they weren't.
Just pound for pound, the 536 outperforms the 996P2 in my case. YMMV, as always. That's why we all have different models to choose from.
 

Whiskey3JMC

Avid surfer...of the AIRWAVES!
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Greater Philly Area, PA USA
But the digital services i.e Conn. State Police and Middletown Fire are received but very thick sounding. (garbled). They are not encrypted. I called Bearcat and the rep said it might be because they are using a form of simulcast where there is transmission from more than one site.
Yes, this is the textbook example of simulcast distortion. Not everyone with a non-SDS series scanner (SDS100 or 200) has the same luck that doctordialtone has. No doubt that the scanners he mentioned are great radios otherwise but they will lock up, sputter, stutter, etc on a simulcast system for most listeners. There are various workarounds mentioned throughout these forums. None have ever worked for me. I sold 2 of my "simulcast-challenged" scanners to fund an SDS100. Literally like night and day
 
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