psr 500 poor reception

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paul1

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I originally got my psr500 on 2/20/08 at that time it seemed to be working verry well. I have been scanning for 25 yrs. or better so i am no novice. I have manually programed conv. freq's , Digital freq's and trunked freq's and for a while the radio worked flawllessly for some time . However since i began downloading the new firmware's and acquiring the arc500 software and programming from the rr database the radio seems to be in att. mode, because my old por 94 is picking up frequencies when my psr500 is silent. I have reset the radio to factory settings numerous times but it dosent help . i really am at my witts end . dose anyone have any info that might help with my reception priblems . I am listening to Ohio co in west va. belmont co. in ohio and jefferson co. in ohio and marshall co. in west va. i am using the arc500 software to load the scanner now but it does not help . can anyone offer some help please . thanks Paul1. ps i live in bethelehem wv. a suburb of wheeling west va and my residence is some 600 feet above the ohio river so my reception has always been good with any scanner.
 

ChuckinSC

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You might want to make sure that the attenuation isn't on. I accidently hit the attenuation button on my PSR500 awhile back and reception went way down. I thought something was wrong with my RS800 antenna. And.... then I saw it! Turned off the attenuation and everything was back to being great. Maybe that's the problem, maybe not. -)
 

lowboy654

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You might want to make sure that the attenuation isn't on. I accidently hit the attenuation button on my PSR500 awhile back and reception went way down. I thought something was wrong with my RS800 antenna. And.... then I saw it! Turned off the attenuation and everything was back to being great. Maybe that's the problem, maybe not. -)
This would be my best guess to.
 

hoser147

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If it has nothing to do with the attn. which I also would try first, check your antenna make sure it is not loose at the bnc or in the top of the radio where the bnc is mounted to the top of the radio would be the second choice, turn on your local weather while you are messing with it so you can tell if there is a difference. Good Luck Hoser
 

Scanpal

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Reduced sensitivity

Paul1 , you are not by yourself. I purchased my 500 in December 2007. Great radio , was very sensitive , with very good reception on the 800mhz edacs systems and the motorola systems that I monitor. After installing the first couple of updates I noticed a decrease in sensitivity. I had not been using any type of software at the time, so I know that software use was not a factor. I have not performed , nor do I have the capability to perform any type of scientific analysis to verify anything. I hope that GRE is taking a look at the situation. They have been great, and are greatly appreciated. If the reduction in sensitivity appears to have resulted from the installations of 1 or more firmware updates, perhaps the sensitivity can be restored via firmware update(s).
 
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Firmware changing sensitivity? Seems unlikely. If it did, rolling back the firmware would solve the issue.

I have only heard a few people say the firmware caused negative effects, and so many that loved it, something doesn't add up, but of course anything is possible.

Much more likely, is that new transmitter, such as a new cell tower, came online nearby. I have seen firsthand that a nearby cell site can make the 500 go dead in the 800 band (my 396 did the same thing), for the most part. I found it interesting that only CERTAIN cell sites caused this to happen, most didn't. I have not the slightest idea as to why this would be. I know sprint uses a much higher frequency, but there are a ton of Verizon and other CDMA towers around, and they didn't cause it, just a select few.


A nearby transmitter in any band could in theory cause issues in that band. Just a thought.
 
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paul1

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psr500 poor reception

thank you all for the suggestions. I had previously solved the loose screw a long time ago with nail polish wen i tightened it . the poor reception and late activation of 800 freq's are still a problem with my psr and not with my pro 94 ,so the addition of new cell sights dont seem to be the cause. I frequiently take my scanner to work with me at a local steel mill 12 miles away from home as i have always . even my old pro 52 worked while i was at work but the psr500 remains silent except for the mill frequency. and the local digital freq's for belmont county where my mill is located dont work untill i get within 5 miles from home. all these locations are directly north up the ohio river from my home. thanks for the input ile keep trying because inspite of these problems i am not a quitter and i think this is the best d-- radio i have ever had. thanks again Paul1
 

hypersight

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For the people who have had sensitivity issues after upgrading to a newer firmware, have you tried reverting back to the original firmware to see if there is any difference? I'm kind of curious if the sensitivty is "restored" after a revert in firmware.
 

thewenk

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For the people who have had sensitivity issues after upgrading to a newer firmware, have you tried reverting back to the original firmware to see if there is any difference? I'm kind of curious if the sensitivty is "restored" after a revert in firmware.
Well I for one did have some sensitivity degradation on a P25 700 MHz system after DSP 1.0. Current versions of the firmware are somewhat better but still not as good as DSP 1.0. HOWEVER, I NEVER HAD LOSS OF SENSITIVITY ON STRONG SIGNALS AS APPEARS TO BE THE CASE HERE-ONLY ON WEAK SIGNALS. And I never had any major loss of sensitivity due to firmware updates. I am currently using all the latest firmware.

Quoting from my post of 2/21/08 in this thread:
http://www.radioreference.com/forums/showthread.php?t=97113
These updates still have not totally fixed my previous problem with the DSP updates not receiving P25, 700MHz, distant transmitter sites very well (Not as well as DSP 1.0). Using CPU 1.2 and DSP 1.2, the 500 still misses some, but not all transmissions, that the 996 receives on my one distant site. The decode rate is still highly variable (30%-85%) and when it drops too low it misses some transmissions. DSP 1.2 does seem to be better than DSP 1.1, but not as good as DSP 1.0 on this issue.

Since the instructions say not to use older DSP versions with CPU 1.2, I haven't decided if all the other fixes in 1.2 outweigh the varable decode rate problem. Maybe the other fixes will outweigh missing some transmissions - - time will tell I guess. Other than that one issue everything works great.


I would suggest rolling back the firmware to the beginning and reinstall each firmware update and check for any changes after each update.

Dave
 

Scanpal

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Reduction of sensitivity

Well I for one did have some sensitivity degradation on a P25 700 MHz system after DSP 1.0. Current versions of the firmware are somewhat better but still not as good as DSP 1.0. HOWEVER, I NEVER HAD LOSS OF SENSITIVITY ON STRONG SIGNALS AS APPEARS TO BE THE CASE HERE-ONLY ON WEAK SIGNALS. And I never had any major loss of sensitivity due to firmware updates. I am currently using all the latest firmware.]

I am not really interested in reflashing the firmware. I am not so sure that it is a safe practice. My situation seems similar to that of "TheWenk", I have not noticed any "great loss" of sensitivity, it is still far more sensitive than the 396 which I owned for about two years. But, I did experience a noticeable reduction in signal strength. I just found it interesting to see someone else point out the same issue that I suspected, though Paul1's case sounds more severe than mine. Thanks to everyone for giving the situation some thought. I am not very technically inclined. If the folks at GRE are aware that the possibility exist for firmware updates to affect the radio's sensitivity, perhaps they can give it a look. For what I am experiencing, it is not worth giving up the cool features that GRE has provided, by reverting back to a previous firmware version.
 

thewenk

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Well I for one did have some sensitivity degradation on a P25 700 MHz system after DSP 1.0. Current versions of the firmware are somewhat better but still not as good as DSP 1.0. HOWEVER, I NEVER HAD LOSS OF SENSITIVITY ON STRONG SIGNALS AS APPEARS TO BE THE CASE HERE-ONLY ON WEAK SIGNALS. And I never had any major loss of sensitivity due to firmware updates. I am currently using all the latest firmware.]

I am not really interested in reflashing the firmware. I am not so sure that it is a safe practice. My situation seems similar to that of "TheWenk", I have not noticed any "great loss" of sensitivity, it is still far more sensitive than the 396 which I owned for about two years. But, I did experience a noticeable reduction in signal strength. I just found it interesting to see someone else point out the same issue that I suspected, though Paul1's case sounds more severe than mine. Thanks to everyone for giving the situation some thought. I am not very technically inclined. If the folks at GRE are aware that the possibility exist for firmware updates to affect the radio's sensitivity, perhaps they can give it a look. For what I am experiencing, it is not worth giving up the cool features that GRE has provided, by reverting back to a previous firmware version.
A few more comments for what they're worth:
1- I've reloaded the old firmware and then loaded the new firmware many times while investigating this problem and I think it is essentially impossible to damage the 500 by doing this. GRE's release notes support the fact that you can't damage the scanner doing this.

2- I believe that GRE was/is aware of the P25 sensitivity problem and I believe they truly made an attempt to address this issue back in the days of the DSP 1.1 & 1.2 upgrades. Some of the notes for these upgrades specifically address improving P25 sensitivity. But I suspect that there was a compromise at that time where other "fixes" to the firmware, that were applicable to a larger user base, may have had some negative effect on the less widespread sensitivity problem I was having.

3- I like my PSR-500 a lot, but it still today will not receive as well on weak P25 700 MHz signals as my BC996T for the system I monitor. Only DSP 1.0 was as good as my 996. Recent DSP and CPU updates may have improved sensitivity slightly.

Dave
 
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paul1

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psr500 poor reception

I did not intend to start an insurrection within the psr community . I have submitted a ticket with gre and they are getting back to me on repair or replacement. however at work today i had the psr500 laying on its side with the weather channel on and the signal dropped off siginificantly so while in that position with the radio on its side with the antenna facing left. i tried to check the antenna for proper fit and discovered that the bnc connector is loose internally . Its not the screw because it is tight. i now believe that this is my problem. thanks guys for the fruitful comments and i do agree that this is still the best radio ever.PAUL1
 

ChuckinSC

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Paul, please keep us informed on the outcome - whether its the BNC connector, or whatever it turns out to be. Thanks.
 

jgorman21

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PSR 500 Poor Reception

Hello all,

I too have had issues in the past month or so with my reception going downhill - especially on the VHF Hi band. I tightened the screw, it's not a firmware issue. I have read that this "deafness" can be a trait of GRE Scanners. Although, I've had a Pro-95 for years (I think that's GRE too if I recall correctly?) that still performs nicely. In fact, I put that next to the PSR and and old, old Bearcat and they both blew away the PSR for receive quality and clarity.

GRE is sending me an RMA to send the scanner back.

Of all the radios I've had, this is the strangest problem I have encountered. Most of my radios were Bearcats - perhaps I should have stayed there?

All of this being said, I still thin that when it performs properly, it is a great radio!
 

paul1

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Psr500 Poor Reception

OK FELLOW SCAN HEADS THANKS FOR YOUR INTREST. TODAY WED. 8/6/08 I RECEIVED CONFORMATION THAT GRE HAS RECEIVED DELIVERY OF MY PSR 500 VIA UPS ACCORDING TO MY TRACKING NUMBER , IT ARRIVED ABOUT 10 AM CA.TIME TODAY . i AM UNSURE ABOUT HOW THEY WILL CONTACT ME REGARDING THE OUTCOME OF MY SCANNER RECEPTION PROBLEMS. PROBABLY BY E MAIL I HOPE SO I CAN BE WATCHING FOR THE RETURN DELIVERY AND CAN BEGIN SERIOUS SCANNING AGAIN, I REALLY MISS IT .FROM ALL THE POSTS THAT I HAVE BEEN READING THEY APPEAR TO BE PRETTY DILIGENT ABOUT KEEPING US HAPPY ,AND THATS ALWAYS GOOD BUSINESS! I PRAY THE OUTCOME OF MY PROBLEM CAN BE RESOLVED TO OUR MUTUAL SATISFACTION. AND I AM SURE IT WILL . I KEEP U ALL POSTED AS SOON AS I KNOW , AND THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR INTREST. PAUL1
 

hypersight

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Im sure GRE will take care of you. Thanks for the update......will stay tuned.
 
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How did that antenna fit? Mine was so loose it was disgusting, and I ditched that piece of *&$%!


I wonder if yours was flopping around like mine did...

Having the center conductor pin moving around all the time can't be a good thing for the little tab in the socket...

You probably should ask for one of the new revised duck antennas too, while it is there...they did address the issue from what I understand.

I hate to say it, but the PSR-500 is a damn good....cheaply made scanner.

So a defect seems very possible. It reminds me of a mustang I sold recently. Blazing fast and cheap, but with tons of strange defects and warranty issues.

So far I have had the loose antenna, a creeky case that makes noises when you push on certain parts of the side, as well as my hatred of the cheap and vulnerable belt clip.

The funny thing is that I will have to say despite all these things it is the best portable scanner made to date. Of course the 600 has none of these issues and is the best scanner ever made, period (IMHO). The moment I get home the 500 is put away and the 600 goes on for at home use with much better sound and reception (due in large part to rooftop antenna farm & motorola external speaker).
 
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