RWC Simulcast A Best Sites

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jpolich7

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I am trying to add RWC Simulcast A to my scanners after a couple years of successfully monitoring Simulcast H from near Hayden and Chaparral Roads with 5 bars and solid audio on PRO-197's and a BCD996XT.

However, when I turn my Larsen YA5740W yagi antenna father west to aim toward the closest RWC site at 52nd Street and Thomas, I get only one or two bars and no transmissions. (No luck with other antennas, from rubber ducky to discone on the roof.)

Has anyone had better luck with this site or with other sites listed as carrying Simulcast A? Thanks in advance for any suggestions, and sorry to add to the threads on simulcast woes.
 

rwier

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I am trying to add RWC Simulcast A to my scanners after a couple years of successfully monitoring Simulcast H from near Hayden and Chaparral Roads with 5 bars and solid audio on PRO-197's and a BCD996XT.

However, when I turn my Larsen YA5740W yagi antenna father west to aim toward the closest RWC site at 52nd Street and Thomas, I get only one or two bars and no transmissions. (No luck with other antennas, from rubber ducky to discone on the roof.)

Has anyone had better luck with this site or with other sites listed as carrying Simulcast A? Thanks in advance for any suggestions, and sorry to add to the threads on simulcast woes.
I've never seen multiple "sites" for Simulcast A. Where do you find location information other than that shown at: Simulcast A: Phoenix PD and City Services Site Details (Regional Wireless Cooperative (RWC)) ?
 

rwier

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Phoenix805

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I've never seen multiple "sites" for Simulcast A. Where do you find location information other than that shown at: Simulcast A: Phoenix PD and City Services Site Details (Regional Wireless Cooperative (RWC)) ?
Not sure what you're asking Rob. Did you click on the individual licenses shown on this page? Each license link brings up a location for the antenna associated with simulcast A, 12 different sites.

Everyone is complaining about A reception, I used to get good signals from ASU West (43 Ave & Thunderbird), but not any more. I suspect they lowered the power when they re-banded, but that's only a guess. I also believe all the sites listed have 'small' towers, I think most of the antennas were shown to be about 30' high. Low power + low antenna height = lousy reception unless you're real close.

Just my 2 cents.
 

rwier

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Not sure what you're asking Rob. Did you click on the individual licenses shown on this page? Each license link brings up a location for the antenna associated with simulcast A, 12 different sites.

Everyone is complaining about A reception, I used to get good signals from ASU West (43 Ave & Thunderbird), but not any more. I suspect they lowered the power when they re-banded, but that's only a guess. I also believe all the sites listed have 'small' towers, I think most of the antennas were shown to be about 30' high. Low power + low antenna height = lousy reception unless you're real close.

Just my 2 cents.
Never did click on those. That answers my question. Thanks!!!
 

rwier

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..... I suspect they lowered the power when they re-banded ..... Just my 2 cents.
I have been using the analysis features (red, yellow, and green graphs) of the HP-1 (E) for many years. For the last several years, my results from home (I-17 and Greenway) as to the RWC Site A have been steady at 9.0-9.5 strength and 100% quality. Today, due to this thread, I checked all my connections and retested.

Today, I see 7.5-8.5 strength and 95% quality. I doubt anyone, including myself, would ascribe any such accuracy to the HP-1(E), but it is the first variance I have seen in strength and quality in at least 3 years and maybe 5 years.

If these results are true (not likely) this would represent a 10%-15% drop in perceived signal strength of the RWC multi-site Simulcast A system. However, today's differing results probably do preclude a larger deterioration of the Simulcast A transmission strength and quality.

Just for comic relief, lol.
 

jpolich7

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Great to have data to inform the discussion!

Ironic that I can hear every routine Phoenix Public Works conversation from South Mountain, but each urgent police and fire transmission is competing with itself from numerous sites. P25 has created a profitable industry for radio manufacturers and software engineers trying to solve all the problems inherent in their own design. When you total the huge number of separate frequencies used in a trunked system like the RWC, you have to wonder if it would have been better to allocate those same frequencies among public safety users using existing VHF and UHF narrow band FM technology. We'll never know if that would have been more efficient and safer for first responders.
 

rwier

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........ We'll never know if that would have been more efficient and safer for first responders.
I believe the Phoenix FD (which is really a multi-city valley-wide Fire Department) still uses analog radios inside burning buildings. They seem to have decided which is the most reliable, or maybe they just don't want sensitive fire ground transmissions going out to all ears.
 

riccom

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I believe the Phoenix FD (which is really a multi-city valley-wide Fire Department) still uses analog radios inside burning buildings. They seem to have decided which is the most reliable, or maybe they just don't want sensitive fire ground transmissions going out to all ears.
they did a test and the p25 in a fireground setting was not good for them, lost signle and noise was causing the radio to go garbled, so they kept the vhf system for mutual aid and better reliable communications
here is a link for you all to read
https://blog.tcomeng.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/phoenixfireradioreport.pdf
 

Phoenix805

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they did a test and the p25 in a fireground setting was not good for them, lost signle and noise was causing the radio to go garbled, so they kept the vhf system for mutual aid and better reliable communications
here is a link for you all to read
https://blog.tcomeng.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/phoenixfireradioreport.pdf
Years ago the feds basically mandated that all first responders migrate to digital trunked systems mostly based on the interoperability aspect. (The sad part is that there still isn't a lot of that because of all the different types of systems.) Phoenix FD had a good system and wasn't convinced this would help but HAD to do something because of the federal requirements. So they spent a few years researching the pros and cons by reading every report they could get their hands on, and also doing hands-on testing with real equipment. The bottom line was basically what they have today. Yes, they could use the new system and it would work to a large extent, but there were way too many scenarios, where the new system would be a liability, and quite likely a deadly liability instead of a life saving asset.

Phoenix did not use a repeater system. Dispatch had a polling system with about a dozen receiver stations around town, and a poller would choose the strongest most reliable signal and feed that to the dispatcher. Since repeaters weren't used, everyone was on one frequency instead of transmitting on A and receiving on B. The biggest advantage of that was that if you were in a burning building and needed help, chances are the dispatcher could still hear you and even if he couldn't, anyone nearby including other firefighters and the chief on scene could always hear you and help was available.

You can't do that on a trunked system. If you're in a burning building, especially one with a lot of metal, if you can't hit the nearest tower, you're in trouble. No one, including the guy in the next room will hear you. If you have a problem, you might end up dead.

So they continue to use the analog system for fireground activities, and use the trunked system for most everything else.
 

riccom

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Years ago the feds basically mandated that all first responders migrate to digital trunked systems mostly based on the interoperability aspect. (The sad part is that there still isn't a lot of that because of all the different types of systems.) Phoenix FD had a good system and wasn't convinced this would help but HAD to do something because of the federal requirements. So they spent a few years researching the pros and cons by reading every report they could get their hands on, and also doing hands-on testing with real equipment. The bottom line was basically what they have today. Yes, they could use the new system and it would work to a large extent, but there were way too many scenarios, where the new system would be a liability, and quite likely a deadly liability instead of a life saving asset.

Phoenix did not use a repeater system. Dispatch had a polling system with about a dozen receiver stations around town, and a poller would choose the strongest most reliable signal and feed that to the dispatcher. Since repeaters weren't used, everyone was on one frequency instead of transmitting on A and receiving on B. The biggest advantage of that was that if you were in a burning building and needed help, chances are the dispatcher could still hear you and even if he couldn't, anyone nearby including other firefighters and the chief on scene could always hear you and help was available.

You can't do that on a trunked system. If you're in a burning building, especially one with a lot of metal, if you can't hit the nearest tower, you're in trouble. No one, including the guy in the next room will hear you. If you have a problem, you might end up dead.

So they continue to use the analog system for fireground activities, and use the trunked system for most everything else.
My dad was a dispatcher for Phoenix fire for a few years in the 70's and early 80's, and i let him listen to the new digital system, he said it sounded like crap, and was not happy with how it worked.
 

jpolich7

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On interop and mutual aid, beginning at least in the 1960's there were frequencies licensed and designated locally and nationally for this but many agencies did not invest in the second transceiver or the multi-channel radios necessary to use them.

You'll still find some of these "legacy" channels. They go by different names in different parts of the country, but you may recognize them as Fire Emergency Radio Network 154.28 MHz and National Emergency Police Frequency 155.475 MHz.
 

Phoenix805

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On interop and mutual aid, beginning at least in the 1960's there were frequencies licensed and designated locally and nationally for this but many agencies did not invest in the second transceiver or the multi-channel radios necessary to use them.

You'll still find some of these "legacy" channels. They go by different names in different parts of the country, but you may recognize them as Fire Emergency Radio Network 154.28 MHz and National Emergency Police Frequency 155.475 MHz.
As far back as I can remember, 154.280 was always known as the Mutual Aid frequency for valley fire departments. I think they still have it in their radios as A4 (it used to be channel 4 in their old radios), but I don't know how often it's used or even if it's ever used any more with the valley basically lumped together. I had to look up 155.475. I have it down as the Arizona AIRS - VHF frequency, and as Air Evac's Inter Agency frequency. (The freq didn't ring any bells, I had to look it up on my lists.)
 

KB7MIB

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154.280, or A-deck 4, is still used for LZ operations when landing Air Evac or other medical helicopters by Phoenix Regional member departments and districts.

154.280 is also known as V-FIRE 21, and is one of six VHF frequencies set aside for fire department interoperability (mutual-aid) use.

Otherwise, pretty much every fire department in the Valley has the capability to come up on every other fire departments frequencies, if they're not already a part of one of the regional dispatch centers based around the Phoenix, Mesa or Rural-Metro alarm rooms.

155.475 is known nationally as V-LAW 31. In Arizona it is VAIRS 1 through 5 (repeater capable) and VAIRS-D (simplex). Different CTCSS (PL) tones access different repeaters, and each county in the state is assigned one of the tones.

John
Peoria
 
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