New to scanning

Status
Not open for further replies.

WBLscanner

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2017
Messages
4
Location
White Bear Lake Mn.
I'm new to police scanning, and I started using a HomePatrol2 scanner. I'm receiving WBL police main, and WBL fire main frequencies, I don't seem to hear many calls and I'm wondering if there our other sites I should have programmed in my scanner? Thanks for any help you can provide.
 

d3v1n79mn

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 24, 2016
Messages
6
I'm in the WBL area and am listening via RTL-SDR.
I am using Unitrunker to listen to the Ramsey County Simulcast.
The Ramsey County Simulcast is a P25 digital trunked system with the main control channel on 852.08750.
White Bear Lake is in this system, fire and police along with about half of the metro area.
As far as just White Bear Lake goes, it's pretty slow.
Maybe 60 hits from fire and police in a day.
Not sure how the home patrol 2 works but I listen to all of the police dispatches on the Ramsey system along with all the tac channels.
I set tac channels above WBL and WBL above all other traffic.
I get great reception but for some reason early morning WBL radio traffic can get garbled.
I do use a roof mounted antenna.
I have only about 3 months worth of knowledge so I'm learning also.
 

BrainBro

Newbie
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
4
Location
BrainBro
Hello,
I have a HP-1 but I believe they are similar in setup. Be sure you have all of the Service Types you want to listen to selected in your profile. You also may want to extend the range setting under "Location Settings" in your profile. I am in Hennepin county and I do monitor St. Paul but am not that familiar with WBL. If you are trying to monitor something specific I might be able to sort it out. I found that using Scanner Screen (link below) and turning on the Real-time-log is helpful in seeing what is being received and from where.

http://forums.radioreference.com/scanner-programming-software/306096-scanner-screen-von-wallace.html
 

WBLscanner

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2017
Messages
4
Location
White Bear Lake Mn.
Thanks for the reply BrainBro. I checked my range and it is at 10 miles, and I'm getting all of the counties surrounding Ramsey county. I'm going to save the link to Scanner Screen and get familiar with hp-2 before I download the software. I know that I will have more questions about frequencies and talk group ID # and how to find and enter them into the scanner. Again thanks for the help.
 

ofd8001

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
6,295
Location
Louisville, KY
If you haven't already, I'd suggest programming the Minneapolis City Center, Ramsey, Washington and Anoka sites.

I also recommend programming all the interoperability talkgroups. If there is something major going on, most likely there is a patch involving one of them.
 

wogggieee

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
Messages
1,212
Location
Hugo , MN
WBL is always on the Ramsey County system and is often on Washington county as well. 60 hits a day is a significant underestimate of their activity. Are you positive that you're monitoring them on the ARMER system and not on the 155.88 fire paging system? What is your signal strength? if you are indeed listening on the digital side do you have any digitization type noises?
 

johnmoe1

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
326
Location
Dakota County, MN
60 hits a day is a significant underestimate of their activity.
I wondered about that, too. I wasn't sure what was meant by a hit. Just counting the main WBL police dispatch talkgroup, I got around 782 transmission from Jan 2 12:30 - Jan 3 12:30. This was a bit over 42 minutes of audio.
 

d3v1n79mn

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 24, 2016
Messages
6
I just reset my hits to check for 24 hours.
I'm less than 1/4 mile from the police station in WBL.
My control channel is always pegged at 100% and gain is set so it just hits 100%.
My gain is set to 250 no base band and no auto.
I use two of the dirt cheap dongles that drift at start but I do check for drift when I hear distortion.
They seam rock solid after warm up.
I do get garbled speech from WBL police about 5% of there calls and I can still understand them but they are distorted.
Does a hit count as when there is a call or when they join into the simulcast?
I'm only monitoring the Ramsey county ATM I'd be willing to bet they would hit on the Washington county simulcast too but I haven't tried.
 

d3v1n79mn

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 24, 2016
Messages
6
786 in 24 hours is about 33 transmissions an hour..that would be awesome from just WBL.
But 786 transmissions and only 42 minutes of talk time is like 3 second a call?
I have data unchecked in unitrunker maybe that's why I'm missing so much.
What is included in the WBL talkgroup?
I did just buy a NESDR SMART and now I wish I never touched the cheap ones.
I'm also using a non-directional antenna.
 

d3v1n79mn

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 24, 2016
Messages
6
Well i just checked and have over 30 hits in an hour...lol
I've been sitting next to the scanner the whole time and I've only heard from them only like 8 times :/
 

WBLscanner

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2017
Messages
4
Location
White Bear Lake Mn.
Thanks for the replies. My range is set for 10 miles, I can extend that or decrease it. I'm on the armer system. The radio indicates that I'm monitoring a APCO P25 standard radio system. White Bear Lake Fire Main 1 12108 for the channel. Ramsey County-Cities is what is listed as the Department, the department has 2 channels. It seems that I'm on the digital system, its 6:00 Tues. evening as I type this out and haven't heard anything from fire or police. I hear more from St.Paul and Dakota police and Fire then WBL. Hopefully you can help me straightened this out. Like I said I'm new to scanning with a new radio, not really sure what I'm doing. Thanks
 

wogggieee

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
Messages
1,212
Location
Hugo , MN
If you're monitoring the fire main you won't be hearing any police activity which is where most of WBLs activity is. Their police and fire channels were separated a few yaers back when they switched to ARMER. WBLPD is on 12100.

Hits I'd usually refer to in the Unitrunker sense which would be any activity generated on a talkgroup. In terms of recorded audio a few days back I had 1:04 recorded for WBL compared to 2:22 for Washington county Sheriff North Dispatch. Distance from the ARMER tower (water tower on Centerville) is going to matter more in terms of signal than distance from the PD/FD.
 

d3v1n79mn

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 24, 2016
Messages
6
I had over 1900 hits via unitrunker for the WBL talkgroup in these 23 hours.
There was a fire last night so about 1000 of those hits were just from fire and I'm only on Ramsey county.
But unitrunker hits don't equal talking and I'm not sure the HomePatrol2 lists hits the same as unitrunker.
I only generally hear about 60 or so transmissions with talking in a normal day (12 hours or so) when I listen.
I'm not sure what a hit means in unitrunker.
I would love to see how the home patrol compares to these rtl-sdr dongles.
 

johnmoe1

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
326
Location
Dakota County, MN
"60 or so transmissions with talking in a normal day"

I wonder if it is a difference in how we are counting. Do you count a single conversation as 1 transmission?

10:43:40 White Bear Lake PD "303"
10:43:47 White Bear Lake Dispatch "303"
10:43:49 White Bear Lake PD "Out at St John's"
10:43:53 White Bear Lake Dispatch "Out at St John's 10:43"

I count that as 4 transmissions with 8.1 seconds of audio.
 

d3v1n79mn

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 24, 2016
Messages
6
I bet that's what I'm doing wrong.
I was estimating in my head the number of conversations and not ever time they let off the mic.
 

ofd8001

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
6,295
Location
Louisville, KY
Thanks for the replies. My range is set for 10 miles, I can extend that or decrease it. I'm on the armer system. The radio indicates that I'm monitoring a APCO P25 standard radio system. White Bear Lake Fire Main 1 12108 for the channel. Ramsey County-Cities is what is listed as the Department, the department has 2 channels. It seems that I'm on the digital system, its 6:00 Tues. evening as I type this out and haven't heard anything from fire or police. I hear more from St.Paul and Dakota police and Fire then WBL. Hopefully you can help me straightened this out. Like I said I'm new to scanning with a new radio, not really sure what I'm doing. Thanks
You may want to check that you have enabled all the desired Service Types.
 

tpost02

Member
Joined
May 17, 2017
Messages
5
Hey was this issue ever solved? I have recently gotten the HP-1 which I know is comparable with WBLs radio system. I can hear fire (when it is used) but not police. I was a firefighter for 10 years so I know the frequency each are used and I am not picking up police at all. I am also a mile from the station. Im going to try a few different things but would love an update if anyone has any.
 

ofd8001

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
6,295
Location
Louisville, KY
Hey was this issue ever solved? I have recently gotten the HP-1 which I know is comparable with WBLs radio system. I can hear fire (when it is used) but not police. I was a firefighter for 10 years so I know the frequency each are used and I am not picking up police at all. I am also a mile from the station. Im going to try a few different things but would love an update if anyone has any.
Rather than going through a litany of the many things that could be your issue, you might want to export your Favorites List to an HPE file, zip it and attach to a post. That way we can give it a "look-see" to see if anything is jumping out at us.

About the only thing we could not see from that is whether you have the correct Service Types enabled on the scanner. That is a scanner setting rather than a Favorites List setting.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top