Newbie here in desperate need of some help please!

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towtruckdude

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Hello everyone. Im new here, and new to using scanners, and was hoping for a little help. I have an old Radio Shack PRO-46 scanner and ive been listening to dps metro east on it. Because of my job, the scanner has really helped improve my response times when I'm called out to tow a car for them.

The problem is, I can only seem to get a decent signal in my house. As soon as I hop in my tow truck with the scanner, I lose almost all reception. I upgraded to a larger antenna as well as a Uniden Bearcat BC75XLT, and its gotten better, but still has horrible reception at times. Can anyone recommend any tips on getting a better signal in the truck? Am I just going to be forced to mount a large antenna on the truck? And if so, can anyone recommend a good one that wont break the bank (and hopefully not require drilling any holes in the truck)?

Thanks!
 

SCPD

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Your more likely getting interference from your truck, & I don't think you can do any thing about that. I have a PRO106 & using it in my house is good but using it in car / truck I get bad reception for analog
even with out side antenna. Hop this helps you , & good luck.
 

wtp

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coax?

you said upgraded to a larger antenna, are you using the same coax. it might be getting too old for use. have you used the radio in the truck with just the rubber duck like in the house?
 

AirScan1

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Singal booster might help
They sale them at scanner stores radio shack any
Major electronic shops
 

KB7MIB

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What make/model of antenna are you using? I don't know how much you know about radios, so I'm just wondering if you're using a UHF resonant antenna like you should, or if you're trying to use a VHF or 800 MHz resonant antenna that may not work as well.
Your coax may be bad, whether at either end (broken solder connection at the connector), or a break in the middle somewhere. You mention not wanting to drill holes, so I assume you're using a mag mount? Do you route the cable into the cab where it gets pinched by a door? You may have crushed the cable at that point, and you'll have to replace it.
Also, it may be possible that your truck is producing some kind of interference that is affecting your ability to receive a decent signal, as jbxfire mentioned. Try some experiments with the engine running and not. Is there a noticeable difference in reception?
 

AZScanner

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DPS is difficult to monitor at times period. I listen to them during my commute and it seems like no matter what I do, in certain parts of town DPS just sounds like static and noise. I'm looking forward to when they simulcast the Metro's full time on the YRCS as it comes in much more clearly.

If you have the money to upgrade to a digital scanner, now's the time - the BCDx36HP's work very well on our digital systems here, and eventually DPS will go P25 just like everyone else has. They will probably use the YRCS system since that's eventually going to become a statewide system.

This article from all the way back in 2001 talks about how they need to switch to digital due to a lack of parts available for the aging analog system. Here we are 13 years after this article was written, and DPS is still on analog. The analog system is probably being held together with duct tape and bubble gum by now. I'm sure a switchover to the YRCS is imminent.

There's a guy on the yahoo scanner group that works for DPS - perhaps he also visits here. If you're here Walter, can you share any more updated information on when DPS plans to go P25?

In the meanwhile, I recommend taking your truck to a communications shop or Ham Radio shop and see what they can do for you. Since you just are interested in monitoring UHF, I'm sure they will be able to sell you a properly tuned antenna and can also professionally install it for you for a nominal fee. That would probably yield the best results right now. After DPS goes P25, it would be a simple matter to replace the antenna with one for 700/800 MHz. You'd probably just need a new whip to install on the existing base.

-AZ
 

news15

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Does your truck have it's own 2-way radio? At one time I had an old Motorola unit in my work car that wreaked havoc with my cell phone reception. I had to turn the 2-way off before making phone calls.
 

jaspence

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If the noise is coming from the truck or a truck two way, a signal booster will boost the noise land the signal. I filter might filter the noise if it is from the electrical system.
 

KB7MIB

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AZScanner, Walter (who is a state radio tech) has mentioned before on the Yahoo group that it would take several times more tower sites for a 700/800 MHz system to provide the same coverage the UHF system does now.
It would probably make more financial sense (and cost less for the taxpayers) to replace the current UHF equipment with newer equipment, than to attempt a statewide digital trunked system at 700/800 MHz.
I don't know if things have changed since he made that statement, but that was the last that I had heard.
 

AZScanner

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AZScanner, Walter (who is a state radio tech) has mentioned before on the Yahoo group that it would take several times more tower sites for a 700/800 MHz system to provide the same coverage the UHF system does now.
It would probably make more financial sense (and cost less for the taxpayers) to replace the current UHF equipment with newer equipment, than to attempt a statewide digital trunked system at 700/800 MHz.
I don't know if things have changed since he made that statement, but that was the last that I had heard.
Interesting! Well he would certainly know since any work of that nature for DPS would involve him. I still say the YRCS might one day grow up to be a statewide system, but time will tell. Perhaps a mix of 700/800 and UHF will be employed - 700/800 P25 in metro areas and UHF P25 in the more rural parts. Perhaps Walter could chime in with what he knows (and is allowed to share publicly, of course).

-AZ
 
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