Newbie needs some suggestions

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Bryce031

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Feed Provider
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
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Location
Mullica Hill, NJ
Good Evening!

I put up a feed for Gloucester County (NJ) Fire & EMS (APCO 25 Phase II) last month and have been having some 'issues' with my setup. I have the Bearcat BCD536HP paired with a roof-mounted discone antenna which I rewired with 50ft of LMR400 cable when I purchased the scanner. Conceivably, you would think my reception should be exceptional. It isn't. I've thought perhaps the reception issue is due to not having a 'purposed' antenna for the Phase II system. While the freqs are within the range of the discone antenna, I'm wondering if it could be the issue. I switched back to the stock telescoping antenna and still experience the same problem with signal strength/reception. I live almost dead center in the county. Bottom line is that reception and signal strength shouldn't be an issue, but it is. I have a few questions that I'm looking to have answered before I go and spend $200 on a new directional antenna.

1. Are there internal settings within the scanner that I can 'tweak' to optimize the reception or 'tune' the scanner to receive?

2. Will the acquisition of a new directional antenna solve the issue? If so, which antenna will suit this system the best?

3. Is there something else I'm not looking at which could be the route cause?

Very appreciative of all constructive feedback to help me provide the best feed I can for listeners...

Bryce
 

brucebuck1010

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Bryce, search on Simulcast. I'm new to P25 scanning, as well and have the same frustrating issues. The idea is that you want to receive from one single broadcast tower. When you start receiving on the same frequency from another tower at the same time, the time of arrivals are different and it screws up digital radio big time. I would assume that a directional antenna would help. Strange things like paperclips, smaller antennas, and mismatched antennas seem to help. It also seems to vary due to wx and time of day. Hope that helps.
 

Bryce031

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
13
Location
Mullica Hill, NJ
Bryce, search on Simulcast. I'm new to P25 scanning, as well and have the same frustrating issues. The idea is that you want to receive from one single broadcast tower. When you start receiving on the same frequency from another tower at the same time, the time of arrivals are different and it screws up digital radio big time. I would assume that a directional antenna would help. Strange things like paperclips, smaller antennas, and mismatched antennas seem to help. It also seems to vary due to wx and time of day. Hope that helps.
I'm really green, I guess. How do I search in Simulcast?
 

Spitfire8520

I might be completely clueless! =)
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
1,900
Location
Colorado
There is a wiki article titled Simulcast digital distortion you probably want to check out for a general description of the problem. At the very bottom, there are links to other articles of some settings you can also try out.

You can see how the sites are laid out for Gloucester County using this simulcast site map.

The article and most people attempt to describe it as a multipath issue, but it is a much more complex issue dealing with the receiver design of all scanners. Unfortunately since the issue is rooted in the receiver of the scanners, there are no guarantees that any of the suggested solutions will work.
 
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