Questions About San Bernardino County Trunking

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Scolar

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Let me start by saying I am very new to scanning in general but have some experience with my BC125AT. I've been casually listening to Air traffic for a few years and have just recently gotten into listening to the local fire frequencies. I live in Riverside County and have been able to listen to everything just fine but I was looking into SB county and realized I would need to upgrade to a Digital Scanner. For anyone wondering, I have been looking at the Whistler TRX-1.

My Questions:

1. I would like to listen to most of the fire agencies in the western part of San Bernardino county including SB County Fire, CAL FIRE BDU, Redlands, etc... When I look at the Radio Reference page it does not seem like there is a lot of information for all of those frequencies. Keep in mind I have little knowledge about P25 systems and Trunking but I can't seem to find all of the SB county fire and BDU fire. It appears to me they have a dispatch channel and maybe a tac for each division for county fire and I can't find anything on CAL FIRE BDU. (BDU might be using an analogy system but all I can find is CDF BDU 1, CDF BDU 2, CDF BDU 3, and BDC V19 through the CAL FIRE radio reference page. If this is normal please let me know.)

2. I understand that Simulcast can be an issue in some areas. Is this a problem in SB and other neighboring counties? If so I have heard that I would need to get an SDS 100/200. I don't have the extra 240 dollars to spend on it. Would there be any other options?

Any help is appreciated!

Sincerely,
Martin
 

tsalmrsystemtech

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Martin: I am very familiar with SBDCO P25 Simulcast system. All you will be-able to listen to is the Fire talk-groups including Ontario Fire and Barstow fire. Also, Animal Control if you wish.

Now take this to heart and listen very closely. This system does not work well with scanners that are not equipped to handle simulcast issues. Trust me on this. I was trying to listen to The Mountain Simulcast and The West Central Simulcast system last night and it does not work with any other scanner unless it’s the SDS-100 or the 200 model. I do have a Unication G5 handheld Pager radio and its works the best so far. Hands down. But I do have the SDS-200 and it works too with no issues. My BCD996P2 radio is junk on this system. So really keep this in mind if you really want to listen to this system and the rest of the other frequencies that you are wanting to monitor.

I will tell you right now if you don’t spend the proper money at the beginning then you will have problems and you will not be happy while you are scratching your head.

Depending on where you live the main site to listen to is The Mountain Simulcast system and this site covers all of the Fire Talkgroups and everything you will be-able to listen too.

If you can give us a certain part of the county you live in then I can give you more information.

Hope this helps for you. People do not spend the money and these newer P25 Simulcast systems cause trouble on these older scanners that were not designed to handle the Simulcast sites. This is no fault to them but they are just no aware of the money needed to spend for the right radio.
 

Scolar

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Thanks, I had a feeling that the system was Simulcast but wasn't sure. If I get the SDS-100 I would be able to listen to everything that isn't encrypted correct? Not just Ontario and Barstow?

I live in Riverside County in Moreno Valley but commonly go into San Beerndiono and Redlands. I would like to hear normal fire operations and wildfire communications if they decide to use a county freq over a USFS one.
 

tsalmrsystemtech

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Yes, the SDS-100 will take care of your needs for everything that is not encrypted for you. But if you are just looking for VHF and 700/800 mhz I recommend the Unication G5. But if you are looking to scan everything then yes the SDS-100 is a great radio as well as the SDS-200. My preference is to stay away from Whistler. I am pretty sure the rest of the people here agree.

With you living in Riverside County in the Moreno Valley area you will most likely get the Mountain Simulcast system depending on your location. If not, then there are other sites within SBDCO you will def be able to pickup for sure. Hopefully this helps you out for the time being on making a good sound decision on a radio. If you are short on cash then wait until you have the extra so you can buy the right radio for you.

With what you are trying to listen to the new Uniden radios are the way to go now
 

Scolar

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Thanks for all of the information. I am glad I decided to write something before making any irrational purchases.
 

tsalmrsystemtech

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So if you click on the name if each site you will see the "Site Modulation"

If the site says its a CQPSK then its a simulcast and you will have trouble with older radios. If the site says C4FM then you will not have any trouble with older scanners and they will work just fine. Those single sites do not carry many fire talkgroups, but these sites are way out in the desert where no men live. Its just for coverage when units are in the middle of the desert for coverage
 

Eng74

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My BCD436HP and BDC536HP seem to work good on the system also. But I am not down in the valley but up in the desert. Most of the time they are on one site only. I have the SDS also and it works great too. I would spend a little extra for the SDS.
 

f40ph

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I have a BCD396XT and find it does "ok". My trick that seems to help is to NOT attach it to an external antenna and hopefully only be in "rubber duck" range of one site (when in a simulcast area). If I think I might be picking up two sites, I then try to orient it horizontally to reduce the signal input.
 

Scolar

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After all the things I have seen here and on other websites and videos, I think I will save for the SDS. It makes more sense for me to get something I know will work rather than wasting time with a non-simulcast radio.
 

tsalmrsystemtech

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Yes plus the SDS-100 and SDS-200 radios have very awesome sensitivity which you will be able to pull in long distance signals but this will require the right antenna system up on your roof high in the sky. You won't go wrong waiting and saving for the right radio. That's my opinion since I have owned many of older radios and now the newer ones on the market. My suggestion is to stay away from Whistler even if you see radios for awesome prices. Whistler is not a bad radio but Uniden is superior when it comes to scanner radios since it has true trunk-tracker technology.

You might get free DMR and NXDN with Whistler but on the flip side you won't get the better quality of build with Uniden. So good luck.
 

Kingscup

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1. I would like to listen to most of the fire agencies in the western part of San Bernardino county including SB County Fire, CAL FIRE BDU, Redlands, etc... When I look at the Radio Reference page it does not seem like there is a lot of information for all of those frequencies. Keep in mind I have little knowledge about P25 systems and Trunking but I can't seem to find all of the SB county fire and BDU fire. It appears to me they have a dispatch channel and maybe a tac for each division for county fire and I can't find anything on CAL FIRE BDU. (BDU might be using an analogy system but all I can find is CDF BDU 1, CDF BDU 2, CDF BDU 3, and BDC V19 through the CAL FIRE radio reference page. If this is normal please let me know.)
For CAL FIRE, you will have to go to the state frequency page under CAL FIRE. The cities of Highland and Yucaipa contract with CAL FIRE for fire protection. They use the BDU frequencies.
151.44500 KMA991 RM146.2 PLCDF BDU 1 Fire Dispatch West - Valley/Mountain FMN Fire Dispatch
151.32500 KNFA374 RM146.2 PLCDF BDU 2 Fire Dispatch East - Desert FMN Fire Dispatch
151.25000 WNDV385 RM146.2 PLCDF BDU 3 Fire Dispatch - Owens Valley FMN Fire Dispatch
154.32500 M167.9 PLBDC V19 Highland/Yucaipa RIC Tactical
 
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