Portage MARCS Setup

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Hopefully someone could point me in the right direction or clear up some of my errors. I have a GRE PSR-500 programmed with the Rootstown (NEOMED) tower and PC talkgroups. I have a 700mhz Yagi on the roof, LMR-400 cable down to the scanner. The antenna is, to the best of my abilities, pointed towards the Rootstown tower. I am still having trouble getting good, clear audio to pickup.

For those familiar with the PSR-500, I have full bars while scanning the TG's, The T and G icons, for the most part, are always displayed.

Most of the time, the scanner will stop, I'll hear some faint static, and the signal meter falls from full to 1 - 0 bars, no audio. I use Win500 for programming, and at the moment, only have the Rootstown site control frequency programmed. I am located in Atwater, so I'm not terribly far away from the tower but have never had any luck with the included antenna, which is what lead me to going up and outside.

Any suggestions or corrections would be greatly appreciated. I have attached my config file from Win500 for review.
 

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wmlovell

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Dec 26, 2006
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Location
Aurora, OH
On your PSR-500, press the "FUNC" key and then the "ATT". This should turn off the "G" on your display.

This will turn off the Global Attenuation feature (which is designed when enabled to receive only closer signals on everything programmed in the radio, instead of just a specific frequency).

This should give you better reception on everything and hopefully will solve your problem.

The NEOMED & Shallersville sites come in clearer, especially with the external YAGI. I can get the Shallersville site on my PSR-500 easily with an inside antenna from the north border of Aurora. You may be able to get the Stark Co sites, too.

Feel free to PM me.
 
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Portage County, Ohio
I tried your suggestion, it appears to not have changed anything, and maybe possibly made it worse. Seems like I'm getting less actual audio now and more of the scanner trying to decide if it wants to sit on the frequency or not. I appreciate the suggestion.

I wish I had your luck with reception. I used to live in Rootstown so getting a signal inside wasn't ever an issue. Now, living down here, I can't get anything from Rootstown indoors or even outside in the yard on the factory antenna. Which leads me to my position I am in now. I have no trouble connecting to the Salem tower in Mahoning, but that only eliminates the issues I'm having if the sheriff is in the southern part of the county.

It still bugs me that I can have full bars while scanning and then once it picks up something on a TG, it just wants to flash. It will connect to a trunked frequency and display it as well as the TG ID, but that's about all I get for the most part.
 

W8RMH

Feed Provider Since 2012
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Try moving the antenna direction a little. You may be getting a signal from another tower in the same direction or interference off of a cell tower.

I use Google Earth to plot the exact compass direction from my residence to the tower.
 

mszabo2000

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Rootstown, Oh
To verify you're hearing the Rootstown site, program the active control channel for this site into your scanner as a conventional channel (like you would for a VHF/UHF channel) with carrier squelch. If in range, you should hear the data stream. You can then adjust your antenna for best reception. You may need to try all listed CC's to determine which is active. 773.73125c 773.15625a
 
Joined
Dec 18, 2012
Messages
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Location
Portage County, Ohio
Try moving the antenna direction a little. You may be getting a signal from another tower in the same direction or interference off of a cell tower.

I use Google Earth to plot the exact compass direction from my residence to the tower.
That's kinda the idea I had, but I wasn't sure if I was doing it correctly. It was suggested to me to use Google Maps to measure the distance between the house and the tower then kinda followed that line with the compass on the iphone to get a round the bout direction. I'm sure there's a better way lol.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Portage County, Ohio
To verify you're hearing the Rootstown site, program the active control channel for this site into your scanner as a conventional channel (like you would for a VHF/UHF channel) with carrier squelch. If in range, you should hear the data stream. You can then adjust your antenna for best reception. You may need to try all listed CC's to determine which is active. 773.73125c 773.15625a
I was able to setup as suggested, and by data stream I assume you mean the static that's almost constant on the control channel. I tried to dial in a bit more but I don't believe it did too much. I did have the alternate programmed in and was able to hear occasional traffic, it was still pretty garbled most of the time.
 

mszabo2000

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Oct 25, 2011
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Rootstown, Oh
Sorry to hear that didn't help much. What's the gain of your yagi and how long is your LMR400 run? You're about 12 miles from the site and a path profile from the site to downtown Deerfield doesn't show any land masses that would cause you not to hear the site. Just wonder if your antenna is not working correctly.
 
Joined
Dec 18, 2012
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Location
Portage County, Ohio
Sorry to hear that didn't help much. What's the gain of your yagi and how long is your LMR400 run? You're about 12 miles from the site and a path profile from the site to downtown Deerfield doesn't show any land masses that would cause you not to hear the site. Just wonder if your antenna is not working correctly.
My cable run is only 25 feet, so I kinda ruled that out already. I'm starting to think as you suggested that it is a problem with the antenna. It's got a 14dbi gain.

But thank you guys again for all the suggestions, I really do appreciate it.
 
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