Saratoga County Public Safety Project 25 Phase I (From RR)

vannossc

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I just loaded this on my 436 expecting to hear something. Dead quiet? I'm in the county, decent antenna. Is this system defunct or operational?

Just coming back into listening from other hobbies and this was a curious thing...


Scott
N2ZYI
 
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snorkle

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I just loaded this on my 436 expecting to hear something. Dead quiet? I'm in the county, decent antenna. Is this system defunct or operational?

Just coming back into listening from other hobbies and this was a curious thing...


Scott
N2ZYI
Its operational. I live in vail mills and I get them loud and clear just using a paper clip for an antenna. I use a pro-106 scanner.
John
wb2gye
 

IAmSixNine

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Make sure your service types are selected for what you want to monitor. Example, Law dispatch, fire dispatch, ems dispatch.
 

vannossc

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Yep. All service type on that are in that system on. I did a firmware and full database update too. Analog Saratoga system works fine. I'm in Burnt Hills...should be no issue. I have a 800 mhz yagi in the basement I may prop up see what happens.

I donlt think I need to adjust any other settings as it comes from RR, right?
 
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k2hz

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The scanner should be showing "DAT" at the bottom of the screen if it is decoding the Control Channel. If not, go to "Analyze" on the Main Menu. Then, just press to enter at Input System Name and it will fill in the name. Then Select Site if more than one site appears press to enter again and it should be running the Analysis screen showing Strength, Quality and Activity. That will show if you are at least receiving a signal from the system. "Q" is more important that "S" since the signal may be strong but quality too poor to decode if there is bad multipath interference at your location.
 

vannossc

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I found that Yagi but it's a 918-4 Astron. Close so I'm going to try it.

I have an ancient multi-band antenna on the roof with 12m of RG-8X. Works great for analog stuff but now thinking anything >UHF that thing is useless and I wonder if any signal is getting into my radio.

I'm running the analyze with the standard Uniden antenna, radio in north facing window. Not a peep so far. I'm wondering if I have a deaf unit.
 
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gralston73

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Trying to monitor the Saratoga County P25 system with a scanner is frustrating at best. Reception problems have been reported ever since the system went live a few years ago. I live just over the border in to Washington County. My BCD996XT is connected to a discone @ 35 ft. There are times when I can decode the control channel and monitor the system just fine with the S-meter at full strength...other times it's like a switch was turned off and the control channel disappears.
 

tvsteve

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I'm located in Ballston Lake. The only scanner that will work reliably on this system is the Uniden SDS100/200. Others I have tried just can't cut it on this simulcast network.
 

vannossc

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I'll tie this thread off with this...I sat in the Clifton Park mall parking lot scanning, analyzing. Seemed to work fine. Defect here is I don't live in Clifton Park (although I seem to drop my wife off at the mall quite a bit). TVSteve has the solution that I've been leaning towards.

First, I'm off to another forum to redo my antenna. Thinking Tram 1411 & LMR400 cable (finally).

P25Saratoga.jpg
 

10-75

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I lived in Mechanicville for a few years and the coverage of the system was horrible. I was unable to monitor it at all.... In talking with some local firefighters they said the system is pretty bad and not reliable as there are a lot of dead spots...
 

chrismol1

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Mechanicville always a hole of its own. As far as I know the towers for that area are the old radar site in Stillwater and the clifton park site off 146 by Manheim auto. even the pd had issues on vhf, but thats another thing a lot was resolved with the installation of a repeater on the senior apartments a few years ago
 

KF2I

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I recently set up a stream for Saratoga County Fire/EMS only (Saratoga County P25) using a $20 SDR dongle, LNA and a 12 element 800MHz yagi pointing at the closest tower site. I'm getting near 100% decode all of the time at this point. It's not impossible to do, but from my experience even with an SDS-100, you either have to be in the right spot to get a good decode or have a good antenna setup.

At my house I wasn't able to get anything on the SDS-100 even outside without a yagi hooked up and pointed at a tower site. Switching to the SDR dongle and a large 12 element yagi on the roof everything is great. That being said, driving down the road from my place into Clifton park further I would get 100% decode no problem with an SDS-100.
 

tvsteve

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At my house I wasn't able to get anything on the SDS-100 even outside without a yagi hooked up and pointed at a tower site. Switching to the SDR dongle and a large 12 element yagi on the roof everything is great. That being said, driving down the road from my place into Clifton park further I would get 100% decode no problem with an SDS-100.
I'm a mile north of your QTH and I get Saratoga County P25 in the basement with a duck. I'm willing to pass by and see
if you might have a radio problem.
Steve-N2PTJ
 

KF2I

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I'm not sure what the issue is aside from the aluminum siding and location in the country knolls style homes lol... The yagi on the RTLSDR v3 dongle works 100% for the Saratoga County system however. Just need to figure out why my NESDR SMArt isn't doing well with the system. That being said aside from absolutely awful cell phone reception I do not have trouble with any of my other radios, ham/shortwave/hf or otherwise.
 

tvsteve

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I'm not sure what the issue is aside from the aluminum siding and location in the country knolls style homes lol... The yagi on the RTLSDR v3 dongle works 100% for the Saratoga County system however. Just need to figure out why my NESDR SMArt isn't doing well with the system. That being said aside from absolutely awful cell phone reception I do not have trouble with any of my other radios, ham/shortwave/hf or otherwise.
I drove by your QTH and my SDS100 picks up fine.
 

John_S

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Sorry to kick this old thread back in, but I've been seriously thinking about reviving my scanning interest here in Saratoga Springs, and looking at some hardware. But before jumping back into this, I'm wondering if any of the issues mentioned in the thread have been improved? I'm not so crazy about having to throw down that much money for an SDR radio...been looking at BCD996P2 or Home Patrol. I'm in a 3rd floor apartment in town, and even an outdoor antenna would only be a few feet away if needed. Thanks in advance.
 

bob550

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No scanner will make up for design shortcomings in the system you're trying to monitor. That said, I would have to believe that, given time, Saratoga County will make the necessary improvements to their 800MHz hardware, if that's the issue. Given the variability of Simulcast reception for most areas, you may or may not have trouble with either of the scanners you mention. It's all about your location and your proximity to the transmitters. In any event, whoever you purchase from should have a generous return policy that lets you thoroughly test reception at your home without risk. Here's a map of transmitting sites for the South Simulcast, which appears to be your best choice. If your apartment is closer to one tower, you may not have trouble with a non-SDR scanner. Also keep in mind that reception is variable depending on season. Foliage on trees will attenuate 800MHz signals. Simulcast distortion may not be revealed until the leaves drop in the Fall.
 

k2hz

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No scanner will make up for design shortcomings in the system you're trying to monitor. That said, I would have to believe that, given time, Saratoga County will make the necessary improvements to their 800MHz hardware, if that's the issue.
The "design shortcomings" are in analog based scanners that can not properly handle digital signals, not in the P25 systems. There is no "improvement" to the P25 system that can compensate for poorly designed scanners. Yes, if a tower happens to be build very close to you it can mitigate, but not eliminate, the scanner reception problem but that is not a reasonable expectation.

Why do you believe Saratoga County has to make "necessary improvements" to their system?
 
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