PAWN system

zarah

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Dec 22, 2018
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Murphy, TX
Hope I am not interrupting the conversation here...I have monitored PAWM for @ least 3 years with no problems on my BCD436HP. Clear reception on all talk groups.
I began to notice though around Sept 19th I was getting very little from PAWM which is extremely abnormal but do get an increase in Collin County SO traffic(perhaps because no PAWM traffic to stop at). I completely erased the database that was installed and reinstalled an updated data base on the scanner as well, with the same result.
I have a 3 year warranty on the scanner so I sent it in and was sent a new unit.
Same results.
BUT now it gets weird. I live near Renner and Murphy Road, when I go north on Murphy Road and cross the FM544 area all the PAWM talk groups come in as they did pre Sept 19h. This tells me it's not the radio but the signal is perhaps being blocked or corrupted between the site and my area. I have not tried to go south to see where the southern "boundary" is located.
Has anyone heard of or experienced a situation like this?
Thanks
 

IAmSixNine

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Well the PAWM system is a simulcast system so its possible something RF wise has changed and your scanner is experiencing the LSM issues. This could be an adjustment at the site, antenna replacement or cabling, or any other number of things.
By traveling to a different location your scanner coming to life does support this.
 

hiegtx

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Hope I am not interrupting the conversation here...I have monitored PAWM for @ least 3 years with no problems on my BCD436HP. Clear reception on all talk groups.
I began to notice though around Sept 19th I was getting very little from PAWM which is extremely abnormal but do get an increase in Collin County SO traffic(perhaps because no PAWM traffic to stop at). I completely erased the database that was installed and reinstalled an updated data base on the scanner as well, with the same result.
I have a 3 year warranty on the scanner so I sent it in and was sent a new unit.
Same results.
BUT now it gets weird. I live near Renner and Murphy Road, when I go north on Murphy Road and cross the FM544 area all the PAWM talk groups come in as they did pre Sept 19h. This tells me it's not the radio but the signal is perhaps being blocked or corrupted between the site and my area. I have not tried to go south to see where the southern "boundary" is located.
Has anyone heard of or experienced a situation like this?
Thanks
I'd agree with SixNine.

Simulcast is affecting you. Driving north on Murphy Road, you start getting close enough to the site just north of FM544, so that it's signal may be strong enough to overload the out of synch transmissions from other sites in the simulcast layer of PAWM.
1603472373409.png

I would not be surprised if the antenna patterns on the PAWM side have been adjusted to provide better coverage as additional sites are activated on the Collin County layer of the system.
 

zarah

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Dec 22, 2018
Messages
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Location
Murphy, TX
I'd agree with SixNine.

Simulcast is affecting you. Driving north on Murphy Road, you start getting close enough to the site just north of FM544, so that it's signal may be strong enough to overload the out of synch transmissions from other sites in the simulcast layer of PAWM.
View attachment 93193

I would not be surprised if the antenna patterns on the PAWM side have been adjusted to provide better coverage as additional sites are activated on the Collin County layer of the system.
Thanks to both of you for the explanation, now the question...is there anything I can do about this other than moving further up north?
 

hiegtx

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Thanks to both of you for the explanation, now the question...is there anything I can do about this other than moving further up north?
If you were only using the scanner at home, and PAWM was pretty much the only thing you wanted to hear, then you could use a directional antenna, such as a yagi, aimed at one site.

But that's no help if you're using the scanner when out & about in Collin County, or in various rooms of the house (other than the one that coax from a yagi antenna was run to). You can try using "less" antenna, such as not using a gain antenna like the Remtronix (or RadioShack 800MHz antenna). Instead, try the original, stock, antenna. In some cases, using attenuation on the site might help. In one case, I was working with a member down in Johnson County. Where he was located, the Alvarado & Cleburne site for the Johnson County layer of FWRRS, were about the same difference from him. But, in the same direction as to the Cleburne site, the Crowley site was much farther away. What worked for him was using an aluminum pan, placed alongside the scanner, so that the scanner's "view" to the Cleburne & Crowley site was blocked, and the only antenna the scanner could see was Alvarado. That enabled him to monitor Johnson County on his TRX-2. Again, that's not workable except when at home. Out of the house and mobile, that's not a practical solution. You can see a map of the PAWN towers here. If you wanted to try blocking signals from other sites, you'd probably have more luck using something (a cookie baking sheet or aluminum baking pan) to cut off the signals to your north & west, and only use the Wiley site .

You might also try going to a very minimal antenna, such as using a paper clip. If that reduces the signals from the other sites enough, you might be able to hear PAWM without losing most everything else. If that works, then consider a short antenna, like this one. Or, perhaps, a "race" antenna. These are short antennas, sold to be used at say a NASCAR race, where the only thing that you want to hear is very close, like between one of the cars and his/her pit crew. ScannerMaster has one like this. You might also drop by the HRO store there in Plano and see what they might have. There, you might be able to try it in the store, to see if there is any improvement before purchasing.

If none of the above works, then you may want to either upgrade to the SDS100, or one of the Unication pagers. I know that's what you wanted to hear, but simulcast is a pain to deal with. In some cases, even moving the scanner a few feet one direction or the other may make a huge difference.
 

zarah

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Dec 22, 2018
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Murphy, TX
Hiegtx..Thanks so much for the solution suggestions...I tried the cookie sheet and also the paperclip suggestions. Still same result. Not too sure about spending the time and $ on the yagi but may stop by the HRO shop to look into a short antenna. As far as getting another scanner, I am not sure that is a route I want to travel without knowing if the problem is a repeater and associated hardware problem or "aiming" issue.
I did notice while on the Broadcastify app the host who broadcasts PAWM is apparently having the same issue cause it was very quiet. I have no idea where he/she is located however.
I am hoping that as they (who ever does the system maintenance) work on things the issue will be resolved.
 

KI5IRE

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Johnson County, TX
Hiegtx..Thanks so much for the solution suggestions...I tried the cookie sheet and also the paperclip suggestions. Still same result. Not too sure about spending the time and $ on the yagi but may stop by the HRO shop to look into a short antenna. As far as getting another scanner, I am not sure that is a route I want to travel without knowing if the problem is a repeater and associated hardware problem or "aiming" issue.
I did notice while on the Broadcastify app the host who broadcasts PAWM is apparently having the same issue cause it was very quiet. I have no idea where he/she is located however.
I am hoping that as they (who ever does the system maintenance) work on things the issue will be resolved.
If I remember correctly back when I was looking into yagis when I was trying to hear Denton County from my house in Tarrant County I found some yagis that could be had for around $100, one of which i believe was a desktop version someone on RR linked me. Just thought I'd mention that incase that's in your budget. You certainly don't have to spend $300 on an antenna.

I also have a Diamond RH3 that I picked up at HRO for my BCD396xt when I was working in Plano a few years back, it helped alot.
 

zarah

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Dec 22, 2018
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Location
Murphy, TX
Want to update...Went to HRO and they only have stubby antennas for ham type radios, none for 800s. I am trying to hold off on a Yagi unless thats the last resort. One guy there has an SDS100 running but only has Plano and Allen FD monitored so no telling if he is receiving Plano or Murphy PDs ok.
I did however make it a point to drive near and under the antenna sites on both Ave. N in Plano as well as on Park (Betsy) in Murphy. As was the case on my entire drive I picked up nothing from PAWM, even directly under the antennas. (Previously as I got closer to the Betsy location, all came in perfectly.
It was suggested I extend the hold time on the scanner for PAWM to give it time to "sort the signals out" and now have a 15 second hold on PAWM and that has helped a little bit. The guys @ HRO also suggested playing with the attenuation settings although they couldnt recommend which way to go (up or down) with the settings. Anyone have suggestions on which direction to try for the attenuation?
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions so far.
 

hiegtx

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Want to update...Went to HRO and they only have stubby antennas for ham type radios, none for 800s. I am trying to hold off on a Yagi unless thats the last resort. One guy there has an SDS100 running but only has Plano and Allen FD monitored so no telling if he is receiving Plano or Murphy PDs ok.
If he has Plano & Allen FD programmed, then he would also be able to hear the PDs if programmed. Since they are all on the same system, he'd be able to hear anything that is not encrypted. (A handful of Allen PD talkgroups are encrypted; Plano has quite a few, but dispatch, for both cities, is in the clear, no encryption noted.)
I did however make it a point to drive near and under the antenna sites on both Ave. N in Plano as well as on Park (Betsy) in Murphy. As was the case on my entire drive I picked up nothing from PAWM, even directly under the antennas. (Previously as I got closer to the Betsy location, all came in perfectly.
That's unusual. In many cases, when you get within a quarter mile of a tower (or closer), the strong signal from that location usually overrides the out of synch signals from the other simulcast sites. This is making me wonder what they have changed in preparation for Collin County joining PAWM. You do have all of the frequencies programmed, don't you? in case they have made a change in which ones are designated for control channels.
It was suggested I extend the hold time on the scanner for PAWM to give it time to "sort the signals out" and now have a 15 second hold on PAWM and that has helped a little bit. The guys @ HRO also suggested playing with the attenuation settings although they couldnt recommend which way to go (up or down) with the settings. Anyone have suggestions on which direction to try for the attenuation?
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions so far.
Attenuation on the scanner (it's set for the site on a trunked system) is either on, or off. There's no choice of how much attenuation is applied.

You should not need a 15 second hold time. If three or so seconds, at the most, don't help, then you're just spinning your wheels & going nowhere.

A yagi antenna is only going to help you when sitting at home. I picked up one of these, and it works well on GMRS even though it's just hanging from a closet door inside.
It's currently out of stock, unfortunately.

If you take a look at the Wiki page for antennas, about two thirds down are links to build an antenna yourself.

I think you would find even more by searching with Google.
 

walsabrook

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I have had issues with multiple sites being received at my home in Allen. I solved the issue with my BCD996P2 by purchasing a Cushcraft PC804 directional antenna. I have it mounted on a small microphone stand. I point it at one site north of me, and no more multi site issues ...
 

Uni1

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I havent noticed any issues with the PAWM system on any of our radios or scanners. I live in the same area.
 

zarah

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Dec 22, 2018
Messages
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Location
Murphy, TX
I havent noticed any issues with the PAWM system on any of our radios or scanners. I live in the same area.
Thats the info I have been wondering about. I would think it was my scanner but it is a brand new BCD436HP that worked just fine before Sept 19th or there abouts. What kind of scanner and antennas are you picking PAWM up on with no problems?
 

zarah

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Dec 22, 2018
Messages
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Murphy, TX
I have had issues with multiple sites being received at my home in Allen. I solved the issue with my BCD996P2 by purchasing a Cushcraft PC804 directional antenna. I have it mounted on a small microphone stand. I point it at one site north of me, and no more multi site issues ...
Will look into that.
 

zarah

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Dec 22, 2018
Messages
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Location
Murphy, TX
If he has Plano & Allen FD programmed, then he would also be able to hear the PDs if programmed. Since they are all on the same system, he'd be able to hear anything that is not encrypted. (A handful of Allen PD talkgroups are encrypted; Plano has quite a few, but dispatch, for both cities, is in the clear, no encryption noted.)

That's unusual. In many cases, when you get within a quarter mile of a tower (or closer), the strong signal from that location usually overrides the out of synch signals from the other simulcast sites. This is making me wonder what they have changed in preparation for Collin County joining PAWM. You do have all of the frequencies programmed, don't you? in case they have made a change in which ones are designated for control channels.

Attenuation on the scanner (it's set for the site on a trunked system) is either on, or off. There's no choice of how much attenuation is applied.

You should not need a 15 second hold time. If three or so seconds, at the most, don't help, then you're just spinning your wheels & going nowhere.

A yagi antenna is only going to help you when sitting at home. I picked up one of these, and it works well on GMRS even though it's just hanging from a closet door inside.
It's currently out of stock, unfortunately.

If you take a look at the Wiki page for antennas, about two thirds down are links to build an antenna yourself.

I think you would find even more by searching with Google.
I find the antenna issue odd too. I even sat in a parking lot near the water tower where the antenna is mounted for 5 minutes and nothing. I got a short antenna from Amazon today and at the house there is no difference..scanner seems deaf to PAWM, will try going mobile with it later.
I wiped the scanner clean, and did the same with the Sentinal list I had. Re searched the database and reloaded the info to Sentinal as well as the scanner. Same result. Now I wonder if trading this BCD436HP in for a SDS 100 would help or is it a system issue. So frustating.
 

Uni1

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Standard antennas on 536, Pro 197, SDS 100, and G series. Scanners stay in the house. G5's are for mobile use.
 

hiegtx

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I find the antenna issue odd too. I even sat in a parking lot near the water tower where the antenna is mounted for 5 minutes and nothing. I got a short antenna from Amazon today and at the house there is no difference..scanner seems deaf to PAWM, will try going mobile with it later.
I wiped the scanner clean, and did the same with the Sentinal list I had. Re searched the database and reloaded the info to Sentinal as well as the scanner. Same result. Now I wonder if trading this BCD436HP in for a SDS 100 would help or is it a system issue. So frustating.
Since you could not hear PAWM, even right at the site on the water tower, that makes me wonder if there is something wrong with your 436HP. Are you hearing any of the other systems in the area? GMRS? Collin County site for Dallas P25/NCTCOG?

If you are hearing the other systems without a problem, then it is likely to be a side effect of simulcast. The SDS100 would deal with simulcast. If you are no longer hearing any of the other systems (or not receiving as well as you used to), then I would suspect something is wrong with your 436.
 

IAmSixNine

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I have an SDS100 and 436 and work in Wylie/Southern CC area. Not sure what your schedule is but im willing to take both my scanners with me on a lunch break and if you wanted to meet up we could compare devices. This would help determine if its a simulcast issue or perhaps something wrong with the hardware of your scanner. DM me if you want to do some testing.
 

zarah

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Murphy, TX
I
Since you could not hear PAWM, even right at the site on the water tower, that makes me wonder if there is something wrong with your 436HP. Are you hearing any of the other systems in the area? GMRS? Collin County site for Dallas P25/NCTCOG?

If you are hearing the other systems without a problem, then it is likely to be a side effect of simulcast. The SDS100 would deal with simulcast. If you are no longer hearing any of the other systems (or not receiving as well as you used to), then I would suspect something is wrong with your 436.
I am able to get Collin County sheriff and jail channels, and Seagoville and Sachse PDs on GMRS too.
I have an SDS100 on the way..should be here Monday 11/2. I will compare the 2 scanners before sending one back. I did, however get a CH-32 short antenna which is improving reception on the 436 a little when out and about but not @ home. I have high hopes for the SDS100.

I was reading some owner reviews on Amazon for the 436, and even some sds100 and there were a few who said theirs just went deaf. Some after just a few days, some after 2 years, so it is a known problem to Uniden. Mine isnt completely deaf and I believe you are right about the simulcast issue and am sure "they" have changed something since I was getting clear reception for such a long time before. Would like to hear input from a tech or two who actually works on the PAWM system. They may provide a little info that could help us all. I am not sure which entity owns and maintains that system, NCTCOG maybe? LOL this may be NCTCOG's payback for south Murphy strongly opposing the proposal of the eastward extention of Renner Road.,,move an antenna and kill reception.
 
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zarah

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Dec 22, 2018
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Murphy, TX
I have an SDS100 and 436 and work in Wylie/Southern CC area. Not sure what your schedule is but im willing to take both my scanners with me on a lunch break and if you wanted to meet up we could compare devices. This would help determine if its a simulcast issue or perhaps something wrong with the hardware of your scanner. DM me if you want to do some testing.
I certainly appreciate that offer and will keep it in mind.
I have an SDS100 on the way, to be delivered Monday 11/2 and will get it all set up and then will compare my 436 to it.
If I am still having trouble with either one after that, I will get in touch with you.
 
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