Plano PD

pmartin73

Patrick, KJ5PMM
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I echo TexTac's appreciation for the diligent work being done here. I'm a HAM but am just now coming back to scanning after not owning a scanner for several decades. Am attempting self-educate as best I can - so please forgive my novice questioning.

I just got a 536HP (using 11/15 version of RRDB) and have been trying to listen to Plano PD, but not hearing anything. Do I understand correctly that Plano is currently "dark" in terms of being able to monitor? As in, we are not sure of what frequencies/talk groups they are using?
 

TexTAC

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If your radio can receive Project 25 Phase II systems, you should be able to hear Plano Police Dispatch and some police ops on the PAWM (Plano, Allen, Wylie, Murphy) system. Some of the Plano Police talkgroups are encrypted (They RR page will show a “TE” under “mode”) but police dispatch and some ops are not encrypted.
 

pmartin73

Patrick, KJ5PMM
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Plano, TX
I'm able to listen to Plano Police Dispatch via Broadcastify, but my scanner is not picking it up. The feed provider is TomOrtiz, but I don't seem to have permissions to send him a message on here to find out how I might be able program my scanner.
 

hiegtx

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I'm able to listen to Plano Police Dispatch via Broadcastify, but my scanner is not picking it up. The feed provider is TomOrtiz, but I don't seem to have permissions to send him a message on here to find out how I might be able program my scanner.
What is your location? How about an intersection near you, to compare with the map of simulcast sites. Your 536HP is capable of receiving the system, but it can be adversely affected by simulcast systems.
Simulcast digital distortion - The RadioReference Wiki

At present, you cannot directly contact the feed provider because both of you are still in the "Newbie" category. That means that, one, your posts are subject to Moderator approval, and two, you cannot utilize the messaging option until your status upgrades to Member.
 

pmartin73

Patrick, KJ5PMM
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Plano, TX
What is your location? How about an intersection near you, to compare with the map of simulcast sites. Your 536HP is capable of receiving the system, but it can be adversely affected by simulcast systems.
Simulcast digital distortion - The RadioReference Wiki

At present, you cannot directly contact the feed provider because both of you are still in the "Newbie" category. That means that, one, your posts are subject to Moderator approval, and two, you cannot utilize the messaging option until your status upgrades to Member.
Thanks much for your help here, Steve.

I am 2.31 miles NW of the location indicated on the RR map for the PAWM site.

I've tried listening using both the telescoping indoor antenna, as well as an outdoor discone antenna mounted about 18ft high.
 

hiegtx

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Thanks much for your help here, Steve.

I am 2.31 miles NW of the location indicated on the RR map for the PAWM site.

I've tried listening using both the telescoping indoor antenna, as well as an outdoor discone antenna mounted about 18ft high.
If the site you are referring to is the one that you see when you first click on the site, then that is misleading.
Here's that first map:
1606004247074.png
The one you really need to look at has the individual tower locations:


1606004331797.png
Each of those markers is the approximate location of transmitters used.

If you are very close to one of those (a quarter mile or less), then possibly the extremely strong signal can override the out of synch signals from the other towers. The problem is that the signals from the various sites arrive at your scanner at varying intervals. Yes, it's an extremely small out of synch time lag, but enough to confuse most scanners & affect their ability to monitor the system successfully. So, if you are sandwiched between several of the actual sites, it's going to affect your reception.

The Uniden SDS series scanners, the Unication pagers, and the BlueTail receiver are all engineered to deal with that synch problem. (See this long thread.) While the 536HP is a good scanner (I have one as well), and it is better on simulcast than some other scanners, it can still be overwhelmed with simulcast distortion. If you are using your scanner at home, in a fixed location, you might be helped by aiming a directional antenna at a specific tower, as far enough away (in dorection) as possible from other sites. Sometimes, "less" antenna helps (one not as sensitive, including only using a paperclip), Attenuation works for some people. But the problem with a directional antenna, or "less" of antenna, will negatively affect your reception of other systems. I can hear PAWM on my 536HP, but I'm so far away (southwest of downtown Dallas) that simulcast does not hinder me.
 

pmartin73

Patrick, KJ5PMM
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I'm about 1.5 mi NW of the Allen tower.

This definitely presents a very interesting problem. I will try experimenting with different antennas as well as going mobile.
 

hiegtx

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I'm about 1.5 mi NW of the Allen tower.

This definitely presents a very interesting problem. I will try experimenting with different antennas as well as going mobile.
If you decide to try a directional antenna, I'd suggest aiming towards the site near Independence & Eldorado Pkwy. Aiming at that one is better than trying for the Allen tower. Aiming for Allen, from your approximate location, you'd end up with a Plano, as well as a Murphy & Wylie tower back 'behind' the one you are aiming at. Try a search & you'll probably find tips for building, instead of buying, an antenna.
 

pmartin73

Patrick, KJ5PMM
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Sounds like a good strategy might be to buy/build a directional Yagi just for PAWM, and use an antenna switcher to select between my existing discone and the Yagi.

Or better yet, use the 536HP for the truck and bite the bullet and buy an SDS200 for home :)
 

hiegtx

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Sounds like a good strategy might be to buy/build a directional Yagi just for PAWM, and use an antenna switcher to select between my existing discone and the Yagi.

Or better yet, use the 536HP for the truck and bite the bullet and buy an SDS200 for home :)
I think I'd reverse that.

Use the SDS200 (or SDS100) when out in the truck, since you cannot use a directional antenna in a moving veficle. But an SDS series scanner (or one Unication pager, or the BlueTail) can handle it.

Use the 536HP, with a directional antenna to try to get Plano when at home (in other words, a fixed location).
 

IAmSixNine

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What happens when you park on PPD 1 or PPD 2?
What happens when you scan all public safety on the PAWM system? Do you hear anything?
Since your new to this device and have been away form scanning for a bit are we sure he has his favorites list correct, are the agency type selected correct? Just some additional trouble shooting here.
 

pmartin73

Patrick, KJ5PMM
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What happens when you park on PPD 1 or PPD 2?
What happens when you scan all public safety on the PAWM system? Do you hear anything?
Since your new to this device and have been away form scanning for a bit are we sure he has his favorites list correct, are the agency type selected correct? Just some additional trouble shooting here.
Great question. When I park on PPD 1, I *occasionally* hear a distorted, broken voice. I'm using the latest DB from RR and I just created a favorites list with only PAWM. Generally on PAWM, I hear nothing.
 

hiegtx

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Great question. When I park on PPD 1, I *occasionally* hear a distorted, broken voice. I'm using the latest DB from RR and I just created a favorites list with only PAWM. Generally on PAWM, I hear nothing.
The "distorted voice" can be an indicator of simulcast issues.

When you created your PAWM only list, did you append the system from the main database? If so, then it should be set up correctly.

I would still suggest that you take the 536HP with you (use the DC power cable that should have come with it) and try driving within a quarter mile, or less, from one of the tower sites.

This is the link to the second map I posted above. If you click on one of the markers, you'll sett a pop-up telling you the location of the site, like a street address or at least a block number. If, being very close, you then hear the system clearly, that basically confirms that your issue is related to simulcast.
 

pmartin73

Patrick, KJ5PMM
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Tonight I set up a Yagi eleveated about 8ft and aimed roughly at the Independece/Eldorado tower, and was able to hear Plano Dispatch 1 and 2 finally.

But, the transmissions coming thru from Plano Dispatch via the Broadcastify feed do not seem to coincide with those I'm now hearing on my scanner. Curiouser and curiouser.
 

hiegtx

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Tonight I set up a Yagi eleveated about 8ft and aimed roughly at the Independece/Eldorado tower, and was able to hear Plano Dispatch 1 and 2 finally.

But, the transmissions coming thru from Plano Dispatch via the Broadcastify feed do not seem to coincide with those I'm now hearing on my scanner. Curiouser and curiouser.
If you mean "out of synch", that's not unusual. I have multiple scanners around the house. More often than not, the audio on one or the other either is slightly ahead, or slightly behind, what I'm hearing on a different scanner.

Similarly, If I have two televsions going at the same time, tuned to the same channel, one will be a few seconds behind of the other. Almost, at times. like a replay of what I've already heard on the other set. All of these are fed from the same cable connection.
 

pmartin73

Patrick, KJ5PMM
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If you mean "out of synch", that's not unusual. I have multiple scanners around the house. More often than not, the audio on one or the other either is slightly ahead, or slightly behind, what I'm hearing on a different scanner.
No, I meant to say, it's not a timing thing, I wasn't hearing the transmissions come thru at all on the Broadcastify feed.
 

pmartin73

Patrick, KJ5PMM
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Plano, TX
Once I can find out exactly what freqs/id's are in TomOrtiz's Plano Police Dispatch feed, I'll be able to solve the mystery of the differences between his feed and my scanner's receive. On Tom's feed today, for instance, I hear a female dispatcher who I don't hear at all on my scanner. I compiled a spreadsheet with all the PAWM towers with distances and bearings from my location and so far the best results seem to come from aiming the antenna approximately at the Ridgeview Pump Station tower.
 

hiegtx

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Once I can find out exactly what freqs/id's are in TomOrtiz's Plano Police Dispatch feed, I'll be able to solve the mystery of the differences between his feed and my scanner's receive. On Tom's feed today, for instance, I hear a female dispatcher who I don't hear at all on my scanner. I compiled a spreadsheet with all the PAWM towers with distances and bearings from my location and so far the best results seem to come from aiming the antenna approximately at the Ridgeview Pump Station tower.
Remember that when a feed is set up, only Dispatch talkgroups are permitted. Those labeled as Tac or Talk are not supposed to be used. I wonder if he has something other than Plano PD on the feed. Since you have the scanner, you can add whichever ones you want. His feed page only says "Plano PD", so no real information as to exactly what is included.

I take it that you have your Yagi aimed at the Ridgeview tower? All of the PAWM simulcast sites would have the exact same frequencies, and would be carrying the same talkgroups. So, as long as you are pointed towards one of the Simulcast locations, you would not get a different set of talkgroups than anyone else monitoring the system, but a different tower, would hear. Does the feed have the metadata as to what talkgroup is being played?
 

pmartin73

Patrick, KJ5PMM
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Correct, my Yagi is aimed at the Ridgeview tower. Tom's feed doesn't include metadata (that I can see). His feed does include Plano Dispatch 1, lagging a few minutes behind what I hear on my scanner.

The Yagi is not picking up the Collin County Simulcast, as its frequency range is specifically 800MHz/850MHz/900MHz/1700MHz/1800MHz/1900MHz/2100MHz/2600MHz. I've ordered a combiner which should arrive tomorrow so I can merge the discone signal with the Yagi. Since the Yagi is high gain/narrow band, I'm hoping its signal for Plano will be the one the scanner uses.
 
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