Portland reception

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mattdc123

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Hi, im using a pro-197 with the radioshack 800mhz antenna, currently living in the Orchards area of Vancouver. I've been trying to get Portland PD, but whenever i get a signal it flutters, its choppy, and the signal strength goes from 5 bars to 2 bars within seconds. I've tried using the attenuator but that just seems to make the signal strength worse.Any Ideas, am i just too far away from the tower. Also i just have the control channel in the simulcast backbone inputted into the scanner.


Matt
 

Gezelle007

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Since the system is Simulcast, it's probably because you are in an overlap area or are too far away. That would explain the rapid signal strength changes. Try opening the squelch a little bit. I have the same problem when monitoring the Washington County 800 system at times.
 

mattdc123

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So today I got back, inputted a few more of the control frequencies, and now i'm getting no trunked signals at all. The T does not pop up one time, however i am still getting the clark county public safety system nicely. Whats up with this?



Matt
 

Gezelle007

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Nvm I figured it out, however it still sounds like crap. lol



Matt
Yeah, I'm guessing it's just your location. Make sure you have all of the "Simulcast Backbone" frequencies programmed in your scanner. Also, since you said you live in the Orchards area, you may want to put the "Biddle Butte" frequencies in as well. And leave all the other ones out.
 

DickH

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So today I got back, inputted a few more of the control frequencies, and now i'm getting no trunked signals at all. The T does not pop up one time, however i am still getting the clark county public safety system nicely. Whats up with this?
Matt
Don't bother with any of the Intellirepeater sites. You will only hear units affiliated to those sites. You need only the 4 control channels in the simulcast system.
As suggested, you are probably in a marginal area. Try this. Put it in manual and set it on the active control channel. 859.4625, then move the scanner around - SLOWLY - until you get a strong signal. Try left, right, up, down, other rooms, etc. until you find the best spot.
After all that if you still can't get a good signal, you will need to get a Yagi antenna.
 

mattdc123

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Thx for all the help guys, but it seems that i'm just too far away, I might look into getting one of those antennas.



Matt
 

Rom-Rom

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Matt-

I live off Burton road, and have been listening to BOEC & CRESA (currently with a 346XT) for the past 15 years or so. I've noticed recently that my BOEC reception has degraded-- signal strength fluctuations, spotty audio, etc. Since my reception used to be nearly as good from BOEC as it is from CRESA, I'm wondering if something's up.

(There are a few dead areas in town, though: I was waiting for my daughter at Cascade Middle School a week or so ago and I couldn't get any signals from BOEC whatsoever-- very odd).

73,

-Scott, KD7KIP
 

DickH

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Thx for all the help guys, but it seems that i'm just too far away, I might look into getting one of those antennas. Matt
I found a couple of Yagis. The first one is designed specifically for the 800MHz band, but it seems to be high quality and probably expensive.

SINCLAIR 1-800-263-3275
http://www.sinctech.com/catalog/resources/pdf/SY406-SF1SNM(ABK)-DI.pdf

This Radio Shack Yagi is for the UHF TV band, but it should help your reception. It is an SKU #15-2161 and has to be special ordered. Most RS stores will have no idea of what you are talking about or how to order it. Be insistant and have them ask the district manager if they don't know.
 

jeremym70

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Thx for all the help guys, but it seems that i'm just too far away, I might look into getting one of those antennas.



Matt
Matt,
I believe I have a few yagis in my garage, I will look for them this weekend. If you are interested maybe we can come up with a reasonable deal for you? I owe the first one I find to Dann.

My guess is that you are too near a cell/Nextel site that is desensing your scanner. A yagi aimed away from the site should help clean it up
Jeremy
 

mattdc123

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Thanks for the offer, but Its not even worth it. Im only up here a few days a week, and my other location has about 5 frequencies in the area. If i was up here more often, I might look into buying one from you.



Matt
 
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BOEC simulcast Reception

You said you were living in the Orchards area, and I can tell you that you are (in reference to Portland) located behind a rather large hill (escarpment, actually as it extends from Grand Ave. downtown Vanc. to Camas) and the ridgeline is approx along Mill Plain.

I am a bit confused about your antenna. Have you attached a Rat Shack 800 MHz duck to the back of the radio? I haven't heard of any other external outside antennas other than the ground plane and discone. I believe either would be unity gain on any freq. Therefore I suspect that most of these guys are on the right track in saying that only with an antenna, as high as you can mount it will your reception improve. I am mistified by the gentleman living along Burton however who had trouble getting BOEC from Cascade MS as it is on 18th up on the hill from where he lives (albeit on the back/down side of the grade of the hill).

I live on 7th St., near 162nd Ave, and get really fuzzy reception of CRESA in my car on a Uniden 996XT. I have always suspected it was (as Jeremy indicated) a decensing of the RX because of my proximity of both Prune Hill and Livingston. Never thought of a NEXTEL site. Even I have problems (at certain times) getting BOEC, but usually can on even a handheld with a very short 800 MHz duck on it. But again, I'm up on the hill. In my car I can get VHF sites 50 miles away full quieting, but have issues with 800, especially "picket fencing". Naturally, this area is surrounded by cell sites and who knows any more which ones are NEXTEL. Their antennas used to be easier to spot.

I think geography is playing havoc with your reception and even a ground plane would improve if up high. I have built several using mobile 800 MHz whips and NMO ground plane kits that you can usually find floating around. Heck I built one around leftover Antenna Specialist parts and a solid aluminum disk using a 3 db mobile whip. Worked great! If you can get a yagi, they are the best, I just haven't found one inexpensive enough at a ham show. Grab one of those and get it up high, experiment with sites. They are on the right track with the antenna, but be aware of your location in relation to the topography.
 

icom1020

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My 197 is desensed around cell sites, toggling the ATT button may help but not always. It seems to be the design of the receivers front end being overly sensitive. Driving 205 from SR500 to Padden Parkway hits a few cell towers which knocks out the BOEC sites but CRESA still works ok but I still hear the desense. My 396xt is a little better at avoiding this. Maybe the correct notch/band pass low,high,stop filter might work but I have never used one of these.

Notch Filers - Eliminate or notch out a specific frequency.

Low Pass Filters - Pass all frequencies lower than a certain cut off frequency (Fc).

High Pass Filters - Pass all frequencies higher than a certain cut off frequency (Fc).

Band Pass Filters - Are combinations of a high pass & a low pass filter which pass all frequencies
between two frequencies.

Band Stop Filters - Are a combination of high & low pass filters to stop a range of frequencies while passing all others.

Hardware:Filters - WPASCANNER
 
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