Report of noise on feed

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flythunderbird

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All,

Last night, I received a report of excessive noise on one of my feeds, and I'm stumped as to what the cause might be. Here's the relevant feed:

Parkersburg and Vienna Public Safety, WV State Police

This feed has a mix of analog and digital, including P25 trunking, on it.

One of the listeners sent me the following:

there is a really bad static and grumbling noise for the Parkersburg PD and it covers up the audio. It is so loud I have to turn the app off.....

In further conversation with the listener today, I asked her when she heard it. She replied:

I hear it all the time. It will scan and stop on Parkersburg PD. And static on it.

She said that she listens to the feed on her smartphone using Gordon's app, and she said that a friend listening to it on his desktop computer hears the same thing. She added that her ex-husband, who is a former amateur operator, said it sounds like intermod on the Parkersburg Police frequency.

I listened to the feed on both my PC and my smartphone and heard no such noise. I've also listened to the same frequencies on a standalone scanner and have not noticed any noise.

I went back through the audio archives last night, and I was not able to find any instances of the noise. I plan to go through today's archives and see if I can find something.

I'd chalk it up to interference on her phone, except her friend is hearing the same thing. I'm tempted to ask her to try a different app to see if she still gets it. I do plan to reset the scanner to factory defaults after work today and reload everything - I doubt it will fix anything, but it's worth a try.

The "grumbling noise" makes me think P25 motorboating, but it doesn't make sense that the scanner would stop on Parkersburg PD because the Parkersburg PD is not a P25 system. Further, I look at the scanner's display and it IS scanning - it stops only when it picks up a radio transmission.

The feed PC has been up and running for nine months straight without a reboot, so I may reboot that as well. I may swap out the antenna, too.

I have anywhere from 35 to 100 listeners on the feed at any one time, and this is the only noise complaint I've received. The listener has been very willing to respond to my questions about it, too.

The only thing I can come up with is that there's an issue somewhere between the Broadcastify servers and the listener's phone/PC, something along the network path. But again, I don't seem to have that problem.

Thoughts? Opinions? This feed has been up for over two years, and this is the first complaint I've received. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, as I work hard to provide a high-quality feed ...
 

drayd48

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Nov 4, 2012
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Statesville NC
All,

Last night, I received a report of excessive noise on one of my feeds, and I'm stumped as to what the cause might be. Here's the relevant feed:

Parkersburg and Vienna Public Safety, WV State Police

This feed has a mix of analog and digital, including P25 trunking, on it.

One of the listeners sent me the following:

there is a really bad static and grumbling noise for the Parkersburg PD and it covers up the audio. It is so loud I have to turn the app off.....

In further conversation with the listener today, I asked her when she heard it. She replied:

I hear it all the time. It will scan and stop on Parkersburg PD. And static on it.

She said that she listens to the feed on her smartphone using Gordon's app, and she said that a friend listening to it on his desktop computer hears the same thing. She added that her ex-husband, who is a former amateur operator, said it sounds like intermod on the Parkersburg Police frequency.

I listened to the feed on both my PC and my smartphone and heard no such noise. I've also listened to the same frequencies on a standalone scanner and have not noticed any noise.

I went back through the audio archives last night, and I was not able to find any instances of the noise. I plan to go through today's archives and see if I can find something.

I'd chalk it up to interference on her phone, except her friend is hearing the same thing. I'm tempted to ask her to try a different app to see if she still gets it. I do plan to reset the scanner to factory defaults after work today and reload everything - I doubt it will fix anything, but it's worth a try.

The "grumbling noise" makes me think P25 motorboating, but it doesn't make sense that the scanner would stop on Parkersburg PD because the Parkersburg PD is not a P25 system. Further, I look at the scanner's display and it IS scanning - it stops only when it picks up a radio transmission.

The feed PC has been up and running for nine months straight without a reboot, so I may reboot that as well. I may swap out the antenna, too.

I have anywhere from 35 to 100 listeners on the feed at any one time, and this is the only noise complaint I've received. The listener has been very willing to respond to my questions about it, too.

The only thing I can come up with is that there's an issue somewhere between the Broadcastify servers and the listener's phone/PC, something along the network path. But again, I don't seem to have that problem.

Thoughts? Opinions? This feed has been up for over two years, and this is the first complaint I've received. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, as I work hard to provide a high-quality feed ...
Looking at your feed notes, I see that the PD channel is conventional. Could the squelch be set wrong on the scanner? I used a pro-197 on my feed until just recently and when I turned the audio up too loud on the scanner, it would distort when it went through the cable and you could not understand a word that was said. Make sure that your audio cable is hooked into the external speaker jack and not the headphone jack and check your squelch, scanner volume, and any interference you might be getting.
 

flythunderbird

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Looking at your feed notes, I see that the PD channel is conventional. Could the squelch be set wrong on the scanner? I used a pro-197 on my feed until just recently and when I turned the audio up too loud on the scanner, it would distort when it went through the cable and you could not understand a word that was said. Make sure that your audio cable is hooked into the external speaker jack and not the headphone jack and check your squelch, scanner volume, and any interference you might be getting.
The squelch seems to be OK, as it is scanning everything and only stopping on a received signal. The squelch has not been changed in several months. Parkersburg Police does use a PL tone, but I'd think that if a PL tone was the problem, I'd be able to hear it either on the standalone scanner or over a feed app ... I'm not hearing any noise, digital or otherwise, on the scanner or over the app. This is what has me stumped.

The scanner audio signal is fed into a dbx 166xs compressor (for audio leveling) and then a Behringer USB audio interface, which is connected to the feed computer. The audio level seems to be OK; it is typically at -12db to -16db going into the computer and shows no signs of hitting 0db.

For what it's worth, the scanner runs off of an Alinco DC power supply and not a wall-wart.

I may swap out the interface when I reset the scanner to see if that fixes the problem.
 
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flythunderbird

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For those who may be interested, here's what I did and it seemed to help:

1. A global reset on the scanner was performed.

2. The CTCSS/PL tone for the frequency in question was removed, and the scanner settings/scanlists were reloaded.

3. The squelch setting on the scanner was bumped up a bit.

4. The compressor settings were adjusted to allow more audio through (I think this was the biggest factor).

The user stated that she could hear it better, although it was still somewhat scratchy. I have noticed in the past that the signal for this particular frequency tends to degrade in wet weather, which we have had for nearly two days. Even the dispatchers have been asking cars on patrol to repeat transmissions due to scratchy signals.

I have plans to install an outdoor antenna on a 25' mast this summer, which should make quite an improvement. I'm currently using a 1/4-wave ground plane antenna indoors; the ground plane works, but it isn't the greatest.


- Glenn
 
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