Official STARCOM21 Sticky #3 [Summer 2008]

Are you satisfied with how the system is working?

  • No, couldn't be WORSE!

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • Neutral. It's "OKay"

    Votes: 7 53.8%
  • Yes, it's working out just fine for me

    Votes: 4 30.8%
  • Yes, nearly no problems, it's GREAT!

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    13
  • Poll closed .
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sixtytwo

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
468
Hmmmmmm.....

I am supposed to answer this poll like the scanner listener that I am, or as how I think a real user of the system would vote?

Basically I think the system itself is great. But the reception in the simulcast areas blows, plain and simple. Not MOT's fault. Other than the first week or so, I haven't heard very many complaints from the users.
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
318
Location
Central IL
From a hobbyist monitoring standpoint, I think it is great. My Pro-2096 handles it very well, and now I can hear D06 and D21, as well as my "home" district 10. I think the digital audio is reasonably good.
 

RoninJoliet

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Jan 14, 2003
Messages
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ILL
Here on the south side of the Chicago area the multi-path towers can get rough unless your in the "perfect spot" here at home...The audio is good at times then gets bad as most "users" sometimes complain...I think its getting better daily and in the fall when the leaves drop will really improve...I hear one tower in Grundy Co=T125 just perfect on PRO96/2096....Took a trip from local city down to Springfield and took the 396, it has cleaner reception on intermod and cell towers than the GRE500, the Starcom towers following down I55 seem to have much better coverage and alot less drop-outs than here in the north....Used a RS800 duck on the scanner....Seems the signals out in the country side fair much better.....
 

Statevillian

Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2006
Messages
255
Location
Chicago, IL.
Here on the south side of the Chicago area the multi-path towers can get rough unless your in the "perfect spot" here at home...The audio is good at times then gets bad as most "users" sometimes complain...I think its getting better daily and in the fall when the leaves drop will really improve...I hear one tower in Grundy Co=T125 just perfect on PRO96/2096....Took a trip from local city down to Springfield and took the 396, it has cleaner reception on intermod and cell towers than the GRE500, the Starcom towers following down I55 seem to have much better coverage and alot less drop-outs than here in the north....Used a RS800 duck on the scanner....Seems the signals out in the country side fair much better.....
I haven't been outside the Chicago Metro/suburb area so I can't comment about those outlying towers but I agree 100% with the rest of Ron's post. He's always on the money and what he is experiencing here locally is the same I have experienced.
 

ERICMYERS

Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
248
Location
Plainfield, IL
What's that new tower?

At 52 (Jefferson) at kendall county line road in the middle of the elevator property? I'm not sure when it went up, but I saw it this morning, and don't recall seeing it before. It's huge and has a fair amount of gear on it already. Sure would be nice if there were a starcom repeater on there. My signal reception 3 miles north of this tower is still hit or miss on a daily basis.

cheers,
Eric
 

RoninJoliet

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Messages
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ILL
I will check this out Eric, Starcom usually sounds fine to a certain respect here in Joliet using a outside antenna but still PLFD has its problems and i thought was promised a area repeater....
 

ERICMYERS

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Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
248
Location
Plainfield, IL
antennasearch.com shows that a tower has been there a long time, but maybe they just made it taller, or maybe I just never noticed it. I drive south on county line to jefferson every day, and you'd think I would notice a very tall tower with strobes before.... I remember a posting in CARMA about another repeater too, but can't find it anymore.

My trick to get PPD half decent on the 996 is to use a rubberduck on the 996, tilted about 45 degrees north. I get absolutely nothing with it straight up vertical. I listen on Dupage tower, as Will tower is completely useless for PPD traffic at my location. My shack is upstairs second story, near an east facing window on relatively high ground.

what does a starcom antenna look like anyway? do you know or have a picture, Ron?
 

RoninJoliet

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Messages
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ILL
The Starcom antenna's on D5 and other locations are mounted on the side of the tower in two seperate pieces, one verticle upward and a space below and another verticle downward, there usually "green" in color.....I use a Channel Master Tri-band antenna up 35' with 9913 lowloss coax for the 396 , the best tower's are T101-Dupage, T102-Cook Co South....I also use my GRE500 with the RSrubber duck on the second floor of my home and it gets T113-D-5 fairly well....On the outside antenna i have been receiving T105-Bureau Co and T133-Ottawa in the mornings lately when the bands been open...I use another CMaster up 35' with RG8 coax on my 2096 for T125-Grundy Co but that only hears D5,17,6,21, they took PLFD PD off that tower.....
 

baronofbeer

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Messages
91
Location
Stark County, Illinois
I think that District 8 could put a tower in the northern part of the district. The signal here is not that good. Heck, I've heard that Starcom, high band and low band will not even work in the town of Henry.

There is more to the district than just Peoria. Marshall county gets a trooper in their area every once in a while, but it seems like there is a trooper in the area of Stark County is when they are going home or heading down to their patrol assignment in Peoria.
 

RoninJoliet

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Messages
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ILL
Eric, took a ride past the tower at RT52 and Kendall County Line RD, it looks higher than it was at first but i did "NOT" see any Starcom antennas mounted on it....For this area south of Chicago, Starcom has no towers in Dekalb? or in Kendall Co, the one at District 5 is down in a hole and does not go signal wise to the west on a scanner.....When in the mobile the signals on my 396 and GRE500 skip around real bad, when using a 800mgz cell phone mag mount on thecar on the 396 it helps alot but on the GRE500 anything near a cell tower with the RS800 duck or mag-mount on the car destroys any trunking on the scanner!!! Even using the "ATTEN" in some areas near cell towers destroys the GRE500 in most cases....
 

K9JLR

Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Messages
279
Location
McDonough County, IL
I think that District 8 could put a tower in the northern part of the district. The signal here is not that good. Heck, I've heard that Starcom, high band and low band will not even work in the town of Henry.

There is more to the district than just Peoria. Marshall county gets a trooper in their area every once in a while, but it seems like there is a trooper in the area of Stark County is when they are going home or heading down to their patrol assignment in Peoria.
They probably figured that the adjacent Victoria, Providence and/or Kewanee towers would suffice for that area. Looking on the map, there is a "hole" in that area. I don't have much of a problem receiving adjacent towers when traveling from Victoria to Lacon via back roads.
 

RoninJoliet

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Jan 14, 2003
Messages
2,968
Location
ILL
I did read your post "Eric" and hope things have improved...My personal opinion is that the 996 has had MORE problems than the 396...In the CARMA club meetings i have seen more 996 sold than any other by members because of reception problems...My 396 with the older firmware-1.11.03 works very well on a ChannelMaster 5094A tri-band up35' with 9913 coax on T125,101,102 and today very well on CFD grid testing on there new digital conv- 477.9875...Also the GRE500 with a RS800 duck decodes and works better than the 396 with that same rubber duck....The GRE500 receives T113-D5 well where as the 396 does not...Location, location , i guess thats the key...Now i do not receive the village of Plainfield on anything very well, thats fact and that problem i think is "lack of towers" in there area, they complain constantly...From listening to them it seems the dispatcher is always refering to using a "portable" not a base radio??....I don't hear too much complaining from D5 or other Starcom users...And yes, the signal graph fluctuation proves that multi-path signals are not helping the situation...I do NOT get that fluctuation on the Grundy Tower-125=CC867.3875.....
 

bakechad

Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2008
Messages
20
Downloaded the August 2008 Monitoring Times Express Last night and one of the cover stories is on Illinois' Starcom 21. The author of the article is Rich Carlson of this forum.

Rich - what a great article! This is going to help a lot of people come up to speed on Starcom.
 

sixtytwo

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
468
FYI, was just in Minnesota and the simulcast towers up there sound as bad as Starcom21 does down here... it's not the system, it's the scanners, sadly.

Unless Uniden/GRE fix the decode issues, we're stuck, especially us mobile listeners.
 

kb9hgi

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
Jun 17, 2003
Messages
426
Location
IL
Site 212 Fowler changed CC

Site 212 Fowler The Control channel has changed it is now 867.4000
 

cipher66

ARTCC DB Manager
Database Admin
Joined
Aug 30, 2003
Messages
228
Location
Highland, IL
Hi Terry, and all,

Just a quick mention in D11 that Site 325 is pretty much loud and clear on my 396 here in Highland, IL. Just letting you know for the database at www.starcom21.com. I can make out all comms just fine although signal strength is fringe, going from 0 to 2 bars on the 396. Even at 0 bars, however, the signal is clear enough to understand and track the TG's on the system. Interestingly enough, though, the site that comes in the strongest here is site 305, Belleville.
 

baronofbeer

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Messages
91
Location
Stark County, Illinois
They probably figured that the adjacent Victoria, Providence and/or Kewanee towers would suffice for that area. Looking on the map, there is a "hole" in that area. I don't have much of a problem receiving adjacent towers when traveling from Victoria to Lacon via back roads.
I bet most of the problem I have is that I live at the bottom of a hill in my town.

Troopers I've talked to say that when they are in Toulon on a detail don't even bother trying to use Starcom.
 
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