Sacramento Fire Tac Channels Not Working?

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kilwar

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For at least a couple of months I haven't been hearing anything from the Fire Tac channels. Like right now there's a grass fire on Dias Ave and it's supposed to be on Tac B6 but I'm not hearing anything at all, which I used to hear. I'm not hearing it on my personal scanner or on the Broadcastify channel, which I also used to hear. Just curious if something has changed?
 

mcjones2013

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I'm going to assume you are not monitoring the P25 digital radio system?
 

gmclam

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There's a lot of possibilities. For Metro Fire B6, make sure you're monitoring TG 47664 if on an analog system. Typically, you'd only get that group on a county city site (whereas, for example, A1 can be heard on either the county or city system).

Next, the county is moving to the P25 system. If all radios are only affiliated with that system, that's where you need to monitor. Tac B6 is TG 2979 there.
 
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mcjones2013

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All fire agencies in Sacramento County, with the exception of a handful of radios from each department, have transitioned to the P25 digital radio system.

For the most part, this means that voice traffic will not go out over the SmartZone analog radio system, unless there's an analog subscriber radio listening to the talk group in question as well.

The Broadcastify feed is listening to the SmartZone version of those talk groups, so it too is missing digital-only voice traffic (because an analog subscriber radio is not listening to the talk group in question).
 

kilwar

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Thank you both for the replies! I thought I was monitoring the P25 system but I must not be. So it sounds like I need to reprogram the scanner in some way. I'm using a PRO 651. Thanks again!
 

kilwar

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Thanks for the info gmclam. Unfortunately I'm not very versed in any of this. I'm used to the old scanners from the 1990's. I was able to set up the newer scanners from the "easier to read" online manual but that was a few years ago so I've forgotten how since then. I'll have to refresh my memory with another deep dive into it.
 

SacScanner

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If you’ve got the money, Home Patrol-2 indicates it’s P25 Phase II capable. And no programming, just enter your zip code.
 

kilwar

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If you’ve got the money, Home Patrol-2 indicates it’s P25 Phase II capable. And no programming, just enter your zip code.
I've been looking at that scanner and also the Uniden SDS100. I'm just not sure which one would be better for P25 systems in Sacramento. The two scanners I have now PRO 668 and PRO 651 both don't work as well with P25 as I'd like, and I'd like to find a scanner that gets stable reception for my Broadcastify feed. I'm open to suggestions/recomendations.
 

sacscan

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I've been looking at that scanner and also the Uniden SDS100. I'm just not sure which one would be better for P25 systems in Sacramento. The two scanners I have now PRO 668 and PRO 651 both don't work as well with P25 as I'd like, and I'd like to find a scanner that gets stable reception for my Broadcastify feed. I'm open to suggestions/recomendations.
I would go for the SDS100. kgowen4444 has a HomePatrol 2 and a SDS100, and the SDS is by far the best of the two. It almost never misses a transmission. I have the original HomePatrol and a BCD436HP, and on those and kgowen4444's scanners I got better results by programming all of them from scratch (not using the zip code/database feature) and only programming law enforcement dispatch channels (on the HomePatrol) and all the fire dispatch/tac channels (on the BCD436HP). By doing that and keeping the number of programmed channels lower I was able to reduce the number of missed transmissions.

When I first got my HomePatrol or BCD436HP (I forgot which, sorry) I tried programming all the law enforcement tac channels in addition to the dispatch ones, and I got a warning message that scanning speed may be affected by having too many channels programmed.
 

kilwar

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I would go for the SDS100. kgowen4444 has a HomePatrol 2 and a SDS100, and the SDS is by far the best of the two. It almost never misses a transmission. I have the original HomePatrol and a BCD436HP, and on those and kgowen4444's scanners I got better results by programming all of them from scratch (not using the zip code/database feature) and only programming law enforcement dispatch channels (on the HomePatrol) and all the fire dispatch/tac channels (on the BCD436HP). By doing that and keeping the number of programmed channels lower I was able to reduce the number of missed transmissions.

When I first got my HomePatrol or BCD436HP (I forgot which, sorry) I tried programming all the law enforcement tac channels in addition to the dispatch ones, and I got a warning message that scanning speed may be affected by having too many channels programmed.
Thanks for the info! Sounds like the SDS100 will be the one I go with. Hopefully it works well when connected to the computer. For some reason the PRO 651 doesn't sound right when I connect it to the Broadcastify feed, but the PRO 668 sounds fine (other than both not receiving P25 systems well).
 

scannerboy02

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Thanks for the info! Sounds like the SDS100 will be the one I go with. Hopefully it works well when connected to the computer. For some reason the PRO 651 doesn't sound right when I connect it to the Broadcastify feed, but the PRO 668 sounds fine (other than both not receiving P25 systems well).
If you are planning to dedicate the scanner to a feed you may want to get the SDS200 desktop. It has data/audio outputs that will work better for your feed.
 

gmclam

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If you're planning to stream something from the Sacramento P25 system, I'd consider an SDR solution. Certainly cheaper.
 

kilwar

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Thanks for the suggestions @scannerboy02 and @gmclam

@scannerboy02 I like the portability of handheld scanners but I'll definitely consider the SDS200 for the feed.

@gmclam I'm not sure if I have enough tech skills to get a SDR working properly without getting an unhealthy level of frustration, but I do like the price point much better. I think I read somewhere on this forum that someone was using 4 of them. Would more than one be necessary or would one be enough for my needs?
 

scannerboy02

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Thanks for the suggestions @scannerboy02 and @gmclam

@scannerboy02 I like the portability of handheld scanners but I'll definitely consider the SDS200 for the feed.

@gmclam I'm not sure if I have enough tech skills to get a SDR working properly without getting an unhealthy level of frustration, but I do like the price point much better. I think I read somewhere on this forum that someone was using 4 of them. Would more than one be necessary or would one be enough for my needs?
I most certainly understand the tech skills issue, I was in the same boat when I started playing with SDR's. It took a lot of trial and error on my first setup but I eventually figured it out, I do still run into problems from time to time.

As for the dongles, I run 4 on my setups but the actual number you will need depends on the amount of frequency spectrum you need to cover and the number of channels (talkgroups) you want to receive at the same time.

The SRRCS uses ~3MHz of spectrum (851.0-854.0) and each of the RTL SDR's will cover ~2.4MHz of spectrum so you would probably be able to get away with two or maybe 3 if you want to have some wiggle room. The number of talkgroups you will receive per dongle is somewhat dependant on how powerful your computer is. The more talkgroups you can spread between the dongles the better it will work. If you only want to receive a small handful of talkgroups you could probably do it with 2 dongles minimum.
 

kilwar

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I most certainly understand the tech skills issue, I was in the same boat when I started playing with SDR's. It took a lot of trial and error on my first setup but I eventually figured it out, I do still run into problems from time to time.

As for the dongles, I run 4 on my setups but the actual number you will need depends on the amount of frequency spectrum you need to cover and the number of channels (talkgroups) you want to receive at the same time.

The SRRCS uses ~3MHz of spectrum (851.0-854.0) and each of the RTL SDR's will cover ~2.4MHz of spectrum so you would probably be able to get away with two or maybe 3 if you want to have some wiggle room. The number of talkgroups you will receive per dongle is somewhat dependant on how powerful your computer is. The more talkgroups you can spread between the dongles the better it will work. If you only want to receive a small handful of talkgroups you could probably do it with 2 dongles minimum.
Really great info, thanks! Since the price is nice I might see if I can figure it out.
 

SacScanner

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For the Sacramento Regional Fire & EMS feed, SDS200 on the way along with a Barix Instreamer. Hoping to have it back up by this weekend if everything arrives on time.
DARTSac, listening to your feed, there seems to be a lot hum and/or background noise. Is this from your new SDS200 or the Barix? So how’s the Uniden doing on the problems of simulcast ?
 
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