Official Bucks County 700Mhz Phase II Radio System Thread

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radio3353

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The audio should be better after making a few adjustments. Also some temporary antenna changes were made to improve the signal, comments are welcome. The internet feed has some issue (loud whine) emitting from the digital radio, so audio is muted until the issue can be worked out.
BXW,
I monitored a few transmissions today in Upper Southampton and Warminster. The signal strength looks to be about 1 bar higher than yesterday, but the audio remains noisy and somewhat low. Hope this helps. I am using a PRO-106 with the RS 800MHz antenna. If I use my attic mounted ground plane at home reception is better, of course. But either way, it is clearly down than from before the switch over.
 

Septa3371CSX1

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BXW,
I monitored a few transmissions today in Upper Southampton and Warminster. The signal strength looks to be about 1 bar higher than yesterday, but the audio remains noisy and somewhat low. Hope this helps. I am using a PRO-106 with the RS 800MHz antenna. If I use my attic mounted ground plane at home reception is better, of course. But either way, it is clearly down than from before the switch over.
Are you saying you're reading the new system with your Pro 106? All the transmissions I saw yesterday on my 668 were Phase 2 thus the 106 wouldn't be able to decode it (unless you have it tapped and using software to decode).
 

pete7919

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This may be a post for a "fresh" thread, but as it concerns current vs former performance of Bucks' system, I'll put it here, since its a sticky and where others in my situation may go first.

I seem to be an exception to the rule--I went from having pretty good reception/performance on the old 500 MHz system, to it being absolutely atrocious on the new 700 MHz system. I have my 20+ year old Bearcat 560XLT in the room, hear an (obviously) analog Bucks fire dispatch, yet the digital simulcast hardly ever kicks on, and if it does, its half way through the dispatch (I've the system lock on--its ONLY scanning the 700 MHz system right now). If I go back into scan, I get analog Bucks dispatch just fine, MontCo, etc.

I'm using a 436HP that is connected to an attic mounted antenna that performed quite nicely with the 500 MHz system, and still works great with Montgomery County's 800 MHz system, yet I'm hardly grabbing anything at all. I'm located in Upper Southampton--its not like I'm trying to listen from rural Berks or something, though I am located in the LOS to Ivyland valley along Davisville Rd. My programming is up to date, as is the scanner's firmware, and I can confirm I haven't locked anything out. Has anyone else out there seen a performance degradation as I have, and if so, what did you do to resolve it, assuming you did?
I was having issues with the P25 decode and lots of errors which was causing poor performance. This may not exactly be the right way to go about but it made an improvement for me. On the 436 you go into the system and "Edit Site" option. Select the site and change "P25 Threshold Mode" to Manual. Then back out to the scan screen and press the hold button on the system. Push down on the "Volume" knob, hit "Function", then down on the "Volume" knob again and it will show you the error rate. Now when you press "Function" and turn the knob it will adjust the decode threshold. You can adjust the decode threshold to the value that has the lowest error rate.

I also have a Pro-668 and I can't get any reliable decode out of it from the same location as the Uniden. I haven't messed around with it to figure out why.

I'm located about 1 mile from the tower and I'm using the standard antenna with the latest firmware and database.
 

wa2km

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Faxed a letter to the Radio Coord for the County. Told her that the radio system is not working in the Ewing, Trenton area. Plays fine when you cross the Scudders Falls bridge in Yardley. Than drops out when you cross back into Ewing. Told them this could be a problem with matual aide and police pursuits into NJ. Asked if they were on low power and maybe they should up the power at the towers. We shall see I guess.
 

radio3353

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Are you saying you're reading the new system with your Pro 106? All the transmissions I saw yesterday on my 668 were Phase 2 thus the 106 wouldn't be able to decode it (unless you have it tapped and using software to decode).
Hi Joe,

No. This particular post is about the Central Fire Band rebroadcast coming out of Northampton FD on 155.250 MHz. I didn't requote the entire previous discussion so that may have caused some confusion. Sorry.
 

WGVFC166

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The new system is a SIMULCAST system so the same signal is coming from every tower. What you describe is the classic LSM issue - your radio can't discriminate the same signal arriving from more than one place, so you get drop outs. It is a big problem for many people with the new Phase 2 simulcast systems, especially those who are close to multiple towers. Listen to the North Band Philly Fire feed on RadioReference and you will hear the same problem. Tons of missed transmissions.

You could try disconnecting your attic antenna and using a small antenna on the radio to reduce reception from other towers. Or, put up a beam (yagi) antenna and play with the direction you point it. Otherwise, welcome to the new world. No current consumer scanner will work at your location if you are having LSM issues. There are many threads about this problem. Search for them.
Thanks for the feedback. You're correct--I got better (but not great) performance just putting the stock antenna back on, and saw similar performance improvements hooking my scanner to my mobile antenna. Barring a change in firmware or a change on the system itself, I guess I'm back to scanning the analog simulcast from Northampton to actually hear what's up on the now Central band--not sure I want to go yagi since I invested in the 436HP to scan both sides of the county line simultaneously (considering MontCo will be upgrading soon as well). Being close to the Ivyland site, but also pretty close to Lower Southampton's too, I need to resign myself to not expecting a P25 miracle anytime soon.
 

WGVFC166

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I was having issues with the P25 decode and lots of errors which was causing poor performance. This may not exactly be the right way to go about but it made an improvement for me. On the 436 you go into the system and "Edit Site" option. Select the site and change "P25 Threshold Mode" to Manual. Then back out to the scan screen and press the hold button on the system. Push down on the "Volume" knob, hit "Function", then down on the "Volume" knob again and it will show you the error rate. Now when you press "Function" and turn the knob it will adjust the decode threshold. You can adjust the decode threshold to the value that has the lowest error rate.

I also have a Pro-668 and I can't get any reliable decode out of it from the same location as the Uniden. I haven't messed around with it to figure out why.

I'm located about 1 mile from the tower and I'm using the standard antenna with the latest firmware and database.
I did see some performance improvement on the stock antenna--I'm not sure how much until there's a call I can track simultaneously off the Northampton fire repeater on my old 560, but thanks!
 

osiris

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Hi all,
I posted yesterday that the new Bucks system sounded great on my 536 with the outside antenna.
Today I drove from Doylestown to Feasterville and back home and while at work from Langhorne to Feasterville. I had my 436 in the car with just a RS 800 MHz antenna and I have to say it worked great!
Maybe 2 garbled transmissions but that could have been where I was, not the system or the radio, I had
the scanner sitting in the cup holder of my Ford Fusion. Everything I heard was more than readable. So, I like the new system as much as the old one. When I went into Montgomery County about noon time I lost the signal about 5 miles into the county.
It's also great being able to monitor what's going on on the fire ground channels. Also, it works fine inside the building where I work, which was somewhat of a problem with the 500 system.
Also, for reference, maybe some one can add that the Courthouse Security is now T/G 12. I heard them 2 or 3 times this morning, and the sheriff's cars are no longer on their own T.G because I heard them on Countywide Police T/Group 11.
Take all this for what it's worth, but for me, I'm having no problems yet.
 

wa3bxw

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Northampton 155.25

BXW,
I monitored a few transmissions today in Upper Southampton and Warminster. The signal strength looks to be about 1 bar higher than yesterday, but the audio remains noisy and somewhat low. Hope this helps. I am using a PRO-106 with the RS 800MHz antenna. If I use my attic mounted ground plane at home reception is better, of course. But either way, it is clearly down than from before the switch over.
Thanks for the update, we're still working on a few issues which takes time.
 

phillydjdan

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Faxed a letter to the Radio Coord for the County. Told her that the radio system is not working in the Ewing, Trenton area. Plays fine when you cross the Scudders Falls bridge in Yardley. Than drops out when you cross back into Ewing. Told them this could be a problem with matual aide and police pursuits into NJ. Asked if they were on low power and maybe they should up the power at the towers. We shall see I guess.
Why would you waste your time doing something like that? Here's the deal. You can't monitor with your scanner. That's due to LSM distortion. Here's the kicker: the APX radios actually used on the system work fine. I would be willing to put a $20 bill on their radios working perfectly in Ewing. The key difference is the equipment.

That said, I'll add my two cents. I ran up and down I-95 from Bensalem to central Delco with my APX portable clipped to my sun visor. It came in 100% down to around Center City, then about 80% down to the Girard Point Bridge. Once I passed that it dropped to about 40%. However, there were a few spots throughout central and eastern Delco where it came in well. So, you see, it's all about equipment.

I fully predicted tbe throngs telling their tales of poor performance. I wish I had a better answer, but if you're not going to have your fancy new scanner in one place with a yagi antenna, you maynas well toss it it the trash. Or buy an APX, of course.
 

wacker13

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Anybody know the custom frequency table is set up for this system. I can't pick anything up on this new system at all. I used to pick up the old system here and there ???
 

Depmodeche

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Hmmm... I'm not picking up anything at all from Bucks on my BCD436HP, even as I drive through Bucks County all day long. Is there perhaps a setting I should change in the scanner? Or a different antennae I should use? I use Sentinel and I update the firmware and database daily.

Thanks very much!
 

APX_Radio

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This information is false if you are talking about the Simulcast Trunked System. The issues people are seeing with coverage are equipment related on their end. I have no problem with my APX8000 with stock antenna doing a "no affiliation" scan.

Only 10 of the 22 tower sites are up and running.....
 

wa3bxw

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Bucks 700 coverage

First day back to work (Berlin, NJ) and I had no problem listening to the system with my portable (not scanner) laying on the seat of my car, perfect copy from Bucks County to Berlin. My only complaint was very low audio from the police dispatcher on zone 1, the fire dispatcher's audio was fine but the dispatcher on police zone 1 should practice what they preach "speak directly into the microphone" !
 

APX_Radio

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New console platform means new plantronics headsets! I think they are use to the old wide band non-noise cancelling headsets they had with Gold Elite.

First day back to work (Berlin, NJ) and I had no problem listening to the system with my portable (not scanner) laying on the seat of my car, perfect copy from Bucks County to Berlin. My only complaint was very low audio from the police dispatcher on zone 1, the fire dispatcher's audio was fine but the dispatcher on police zone 1 should practice what they preach "speak directly into the microphone" !
 

SCPD

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This information is false if you are talking about the Simulcast Trunked System. The issues people are seeing with coverage are equipment related on their end. I have no problem with my APX8000 with stock antenna doing a "no affiliation" scan.
Um, I work here. Only 10 towers are up, trust me. Just passing along some information that I thought others would be interested in knowing. Never made reference to "equipment related issues".
 
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APX_Radio

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If you only knew who I am... And there are 24 Simulcast Sites for the 7/800 system. They are all online.

Um, I work here. Only 10 towers are up, trust me. Just passing along some information that I thought others would be interested in knowing. Never made reference to "equipment related issues".
 
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