PSR 800 Signal Fading?

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zburns

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Santa got me this scanner and it's my first real digital scanner, so I'm not sure what I expect to hear. Can you tell me if the following is normal?

I live about 11-12 miles south from a P25 county (Lucas County Public Safety) and I get a consistent 4-5 bars on the scanner and the "T" will flash (and also DG comes in) while receiving transmissions. Sometimes there's no loss in the digital voice transmitted signal, other times it's pretty unintelligible. I've used the antenna that came with it and also a Diamond RH77CA also - no real difference.

Doing research on the site I'm practically flanked by this systems 800Mhz towers to the west and north (about 5-7 miles between them and me)....I guess I wouldn't expect to have a problem receiving any transmissions.

Is this normal? Is the only real way to improve the signal something like an 800Mhz Yagi pointed to one of those towers? I'm in an antenna restricted location - so trying to keep it stealth.

Thanks for the insight.

Zack
 

zburns

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I tried that and it seems to make it a little worse - From 5 bars to 4 bars, and more noticeable "skip" or cut-out. I'm going to literally take it to the center of downtown Toledo to see if it behaves the same.

It could be just me. I'm just so used to 20+ years of analog. I can deal with "fading", but dropping bits just doesn't make me happy - I'm a computer guy - missing bits makes me crazy!
 

zburns

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Oh, and a question on the squelch. Does that behave the same as with analog? I've got it about 9:00-10:00 position per the manual, but even turning it down to 7:00 all the way doesn't seem to make a difference on digital talk groups. Is that the case?

If not, I see some gain/DSP settings in the advanced menu - would adjusting those make a difference. Since the signal meter is a constant 4-5 bars I would expect a very good signal - something's getting dropped somewhere - and it's not a priority channel or skywarn problem either.

Zack
 
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zburns said:
Oh, and a question on the squelch. Does that behave the same as with analog? I've got it about 9:00-10:00 position per the manual, but even turning it down to 7:00 all the way doesn't seem to make a difference on digital talk groups. Is that the case?

If not, I see some gain/DSP settings in the advanced menu - would adjusting those make a difference. Since the signal meter is a constant 4-5 bars I would expect a very good signal - something's getting dropped somewhere - and it's not a priority channel or skywarn problem either.

Zack
I monitor the local PD here which uses digital. Adjusting the squelch doesn't really do anything.
 

RoninJoliet

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Just a note on your problem, thats the "pain" of digital systems-dropouts!!...I have four antennas on my tower, just when i think i have the IL Digital Starcom 700/800 system tower sites down fairly well things change....Every day seems to affect the coverage on some towers , seems like weather may be one of them....I have used "ATT" at times and adjusted squelch which helped today but not tomorrow....In the menu there is "Super Track" on or off, try that??....
 

zburns

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Ronin - Roger That. It does seem like weather is a factor...

I did take it and drive around with it in the Toledo area doing some errands - works about the same, maybe a little better, but no different than what I experience at home outside the county - tried both an antenna in the truck, outside the truck and even without an antenna. I was surprised to see it picked up WITHOUT an antenna - so my guess it's just the way digital is. Sometimes you just get dropped packets.

I just can't believe that public safety is dealing with that (are they?).....No wonder it takes the police over an hour to show up to some dispatches! :)

What is "Super Track" - I couldn't find that anywhere - in the docs, in the radio, or in the software. Hints on what that might do?
 

policefreak

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its not just an 800 thing...

I have similar problems with my psr-800 on burlington county, nj t-band 500 mhz system. Its all p-25 transmissions and some channels come in with only one signal bar and others with 3-4 bars don't come in. There are birdies in the 506 region which is part of the problem, but otuer times I don't know what it is. I have a uniden BCD396xt that picks up the system quite well where it picks it up. My 800 receives the system in more locations because it'll decode the control channel better, but I have monitored both radios from the same location and most of the time the 396 is a better radio. If I am pulling in something in very far, I need the 800 just to get it in.
 

Tracker

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Miami, fl.
My Motorola trunked 800 was cuttin in n out constantly with the OEM rubber ducky n I bought the Radio Shack 800 MHz antenna n it made a good difference ....I won't say it was day n night difference, BUT pretty close to it for $20, it was Very well worth it.........to me.
 
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