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Pro96: Horrible P25 Audio Quality?

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fog

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I was enticed by the sale at RadioShack, and picked up a Pro96 today. This is my first APCO-25 scanner.

It picks up analog signals just fine, but the quality of digital voice is absolutely terrible. It sounds like a combination of aircraft radio and someone talking underwater. Sometimes, presumably when I have a bad signal, it sounds more like someone's hitting fast-forward on a tape recorder: not only do I only get bits and pieces, but there's all sorts of high-pitched noises sounding kind of like hiccups.

I'm guessing that most of this is just the signal breaking down, and much of the data being lost. But even on strong, local signals, the audio quality is poor, with the underwater sounds, along with random high-pitched pops. What I'm wondering, since I'm so new to digital voice--is this what P25 sounds like, or is my radio defective? Analog voice sounds great.
 

Bucko

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Weak signal will make digital chop or cut in and out but the audio quality of apco 25 on my 96 is better than Conv FM. So it sounds like you may have a problem there. The only Apco 25 in my area is the MARCS system and Pburg PD so that is all I have for experience...
 

Bucko

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There maybe one more thing, you maybe hearing an encrypted signal by way the sound you are describing....
 
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kc7vtr

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I've been paying more attention to my Pro-96 when the Phoenix PD audio goes wacky. I've noticed that sometimes the receive mode flickers between "DG" and "MO". Other times the receiving lightning bolt flickers.
 

InlandAZ

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It's just one of the jhe joys of digital scanning - when it's good it's good, when it's bad it draws wind (sucks) - :)
 

MacombMonitor

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What is the CPU version on your radio? You can check it by pressing the number 3 key when the scanner displays when the Welcome... screen. It sounds like you may have an early version of the firmware.
 

kc7vtr

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Not sure who you're asking. In my case CPU is 1.3 and DSP 1.2. This happens at various points in my house using the stock rubber duck and the RS 800 MHz antenna. It also happens while driving and using a mag mount scanner antenna.
 

E-Man

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It sound like encryption, I am hearing it right now, actually I think I have been hearing alot more of it lately. :(
 

bassmkenk2508

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I notice with my Pro-96 that AGC (Automatic Gain Control) can increase the fuzzy background noise in digital transmissions when on. When AGC is turned off it seems to reduce the noise. But this may depend on the system and environments users are in, possibly.

(Toggle on and off by pressing "FUNC, MAN".)

But if it is off you lose, the advantage of AGC.
 

tonsoffun

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Bucko said:
There maybe one more thing, you maybe hearing and encrypted signal by way the sound you are describing....
If your not sure if its encrypted, check on the display top right it should say ENC if I remember correctly?
Take care
 

E-Man

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I didnt notice the ENC, I think DG was displayed in my case.

S621
867.21250
03048

I searched the database (MI MPSCS) but could not find ID?
 

icp957

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kc7vtr said:
I've been paying more attention to my Pro-96 when the Phoenix PD audio goes wacky. I've noticed that sometimes the receive mode flickers between "DG" and "MO". Other times the receiving lightning bolt flickers.
If you live somewhere that you should be getting strong reception from the system, which is most places in the city, your problem is probably another signal that's splattering on top of the one you want to listen to. This is a problem on all current digital scanners but it's the least of a problem on the Pro-96 and Pro-2096. The flickering you described is exactly what happened to me when another signal on an adjacent frequency was interfering with what I wanted to listen to. On the Phoenix system some channels are spaced very close together and when both are going at the same time the scanner can't pick up either one. The actual PD radios don't have that problem but that's because they cost $5000+ and our scanners only cost $500.

And to answer another message on here, as far as I know only the Uniden scanners show ENC for encrypted.
 

scanlist

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The OP bought a PRO-96 scanner. PRO-96 does NOT display "ENC" on encrypted transmissions. Only Uniden scanners display "ENC".

Phil.
 

Shackman

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E-Man said:
I didnt notice the ENC, I think DG was displayed in my case.

S621
867.21250
03048

I searched the database (MI MPSCS) but could not find ID?
Correct me if I am wrong please, but I believe that is Manistee County Law enforcement. The database shows 3048 and also shows that it is encrypted.
 

jeffrey420

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fog said:
I was enticed by the sale at RadioShack, and picked up a Pro96 today. This is my first APCO-25 scanner.

It picks up analog signals just fine, but the quality of digital voice is absolutely terrible. It sounds like a combination of aircraft radio and someone talking underwater. Sometimes, presumably when I have a bad signal, it sounds more like someone's hitting fast-forward on a tape recorder: not only do I only get bits and pieces, but there's all sorts of high-pitched noises sounding kind of like hiccups.

I'm guessing that most of this is just the signal breaking down, and much of the data being lost. But even on strong, local signals, the audio quality is poor, with the underwater sounds, along with random high-pitched pops. What I'm wondering, since I'm so new to digital voice--is this what P25 sounds like, or is my radio defective? Analog voice sounds great.

The fast forward sound of a tape recorder is the encrypted signal.

The under water sound is the AGP.

The cutting in and out is weak signal.
 

E-Man

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Shackman, you are Correct, I didnt see it the first time around, thank you. Time to reprogram
 
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scnnr

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tonsoffun said:
I've notice the ENC numerous times unfortunetly.
:confused:Tonsoffun, I have had my pro 96 since they first came over 3 years ago along with a pro 2096 and have never ever seen ENC in the corner of my scanners. The only thing that happens if one of the units accidently talks ( forgets to set his radio on encryption mode) and there is a response by one of the other units with encryption enabled I will hear the munchkin sounding encrption garble.

Are you sure you don't mean a Uniden model. They will show ENC on the display.
 

scnnr

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I should add if it is a 3600 baud mixed mode system that you are monitoring your scanner will not stop on encrypted tg's unless my previous post applies. Not sure about the 9600 baud systems, but I believe I have read that it will stop on encrypted transmissions on those systems.

Oh and one other thing, try turning off your AGC, it may make all the difference to your listening. For the Digital non encrypted TG'S that is.
 
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