Scanner reception

starb10

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
10
Location
Branchland , WV
I have a SDS200, Rg-58 cable 50 foot, with a discone , omni directional, with no vertical on it, approximately 24 foot in air. My yard is in a holler front side thin trees all other sides thick tall trees. the hilltops are about 80 foot higher than my yard plus about 20 foot of treetops. I have tried every combination of scanner settings probably known to mankind, i have update radio and uploaded from here my counties freq's.

i am only receiving county next to me broadcasts, i have received zero hits on any fire, ems or LE broadcasts in my own county. The county is on the P25 Phase 1 / 2 system. But i'm always receiving the sheriffs broadcasts from county next to me.

I can receive over head air band all day long, and the nearby county next to me when they are near, so the unit and antenna are working.

I have called sheriff, state police, other sheriff, etc etc no one knows, I can only assume or do you assume that either they have antenna problem , a power problem, or aa top secret change public dont know about?


Im lost. Thanks

Brian
 

BushDoctor

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
102
Location
Strasburg, Va
I have a SDS200, Rg-58 cable 50 foot, with a discone , omni directional, with no vertical on it, approximately 24 foot in air. My yard is in a holler front side thin trees all other sides thick tall trees. the hilltops are about 80 foot higher than my yard plus about 20 foot of treetops. I have tried every combination of scanner settings probably known to mankind, i have update radio and uploaded from here my counties freq's.

i am only receiving county next to me broadcasts, i have received zero hits on any fire, ems or LE broadcasts in my own county. The county is on the P25 Phase 1 / 2 system. But i'm always receiving the sheriffs broadcasts from county next to me.

I can receive over head air band all day long, and the nearby county next to me when they are near, so the unit and antenna are working.

I have called sheriff, state police, other sheriff, etc etc no one knows, I can only assume or do you assume that either they have antenna problem , a power problem, or aa top secret change public dont know about?


Im lost. Thanks

Brian
First get rid of discone and put up at least a ground plane for the freq u are trying to listen to or a gain antenna if possible. Feed it with rg-213 or at least RG-6 even in present situation this is min standards. Make sure your antenna is as high as possible and away from foilage. my last location was 330 feet above sea level but i was down from crest of hill maybe 40 feet but with a 40 foot tower on 6 meters i waas able to tale with a mobile 25 miles away on 52.525 using a dip;lomat 6 antenna with 25 watts and the mobile was same with just a 57 inch whip with a 6 inch spring If u are trying to receive high band comparable tange would be maybe 14 miles if 460 range maybe 11 miles and 800 5 to 6 miles. In my new location 780 above seal level where i am in the open my receive range north on high band is almost 100 miles main difference mainly due to uinobstructed height. my 460.000 range south is 75 miles high band west 15 miles due to mointain and east high band 85 miles. Your present situation is compounded by the discone as well as loss in coax so at the very least get rg-213 or rg-6 to stop loss in coax at 50 feet the higher in freq u go the more loss I hope this helps i am 81 years old but spent many years working for Motorola on ppublic safety as well as gove and military 2 way radio systems and i tried to suggest changes u can make unless u know a local motorola shop we always had lots of removed antennas and hardline we would share with fellow hams as well as friends. It was a shame all the things we had to junk that we removed from towers and other repeater sites no longer used as police and fire headed up to what we called the microwave zone at 800
 

fredva

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 19, 2007
Messages
1,430
Location
Virginia/West Virginia
When your scanner receives transmissions from the next county, check the display to see which tower site it is picking up. It's possible that you are receiving that site but not one used by your county. It looks to me like the Ferrellsburg/Harts tower might be your best bet to receive Lincoln County transmissions. While the SIRN P25 system is a statewide system, local county talkgroups are only broadcast on certain towers.

If you are receiving a tower in the next county but not your own, the next step might be to lock out all the towers in your programming except for the ones in Lincoln County, and see if you can get a signal from those towers.
 

starb10

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
10
Location
Branchland , WV
When your scanner receives transmissions from the next county, check the display to see which tower site it is picking up. It's possible that you are receiving that site but not one used by your county. It looks to me like the Ferrellsburg/Harts tower might be your best bet to receive Lincoln County transmissions. While the SIRN P25 system is a statewide system, local county talkgroups are only broadcast on certain towers.

If you are receiving a tower in the next county but not your own, the next step might be to lock out all the towers in your programming except for the ones in Lincoln County, and see if you can get a signal from those towers.
If i am understanding right, i did enter only lincoln county frequencies and tried near and far distance, i also tried just state police and no signal except a occasional tone alert like before a EMS would talk sort of. but only once and thats it. Nothing ever on my county , but Bone county comes in fairly regular

I got some LMR 400 cable coming 50 foot, but i cant figure out why boone is coming in to lincoln and no wayne county traffic, seems weird to me, almost seems as tho antenna placement or towers is not up to par in lincoln.

I appreciate feedback, just a beginner here, but little by little i learn some.
 

starb10

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
10
Location
Branchland , WV
First get rid of discone and put up at least a ground plane for the freq u are trying to listen to or a gain antenna if possible. Feed it with rg-213 or at least RG-6 even in present situation this is min standards. Make sure your antenna is as high as possible and away from foilage. my last location was 330 feet above sea level but i was down from crest of hill maybe 40 feet but with a 40 foot tower on 6 meters i waas able to tale with a mobile 25 miles away on 52.525 using a dip;lomat 6 antenna with 25 watts and the mobile was same with just a 57 inch whip with a 6 inch spring If u are trying to receive high band comparable tange would be maybe 14 miles if 460 range maybe 11 miles and 800 5 to 6 miles. In my new location 780 above seal level where i am in the open my receive range north on high band is almost 100 miles main difference mainly due to uinobstructed height. my 460.000 range south is 75 miles high band west 15 miles due to mointain and east high band 85 miles. Your present situation is compounded by the discone as well as loss in coax so at the very least get rg-213 or rg-6 to stop loss in coax at 50 feet the higher in freq u go the more loss I hope this helps i am 81 years old but spent many years working for Motorola on ppublic safety as well as gove and military 2 way radio systems and i tried to suggest changes u can make unless u know a local motorola shop we always had lots of removed antennas and hardline we would share with fellow hams as well as friends. It was a shame all the things we had to junk that we removed from towers and other repeater sites no longer used as police and fire headed up to what we called the microwave zone at 800

thanks I am trying to stay with a omni directional to pick up all types of transmission bands. My local folks are in 150 mHz range onP25 phase I o think. I am going to upgrade from RG58 to LMR 400 50 foot piece on cable for starters.

later on i can try higher antenna height outside too , waiting for funds for a mast

Im just lost on why i get airplanes and adjoining county and not my own county, my radio is programmed and capable of their systems
 

fredva

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 19, 2007
Messages
1,430
Location
Virginia/West Virginia
If i am understanding right, i did enter only lincoln county frequencies
My local folks are in 150 mHz range onP25 phase I o think.
These statements make me think you might not actually be listening to the P25 digital system. The P25 system that Lincoln and other counties use in WV is UHF, not VHF. And programming the P25 system requires dealing with talkgroups, not just frequencies.

Take a look at this page: West Virginia Statewide Interoperability Radio Network (SIRN) Trunking System, Statewide, West Virginia - Scanner Frequencies Notice the tower sites near the top, and scroll down to see the Lincoln County talkgroups. Did you download anything like that when you programmed your scanner? Or did you only get the legacy frequencies from this page: West Virginia Statewide Interoperability Radio Network (SIRN) Trunking System, Statewide, West Virginia - Scanner Frequencies

Also, let us know what model of scanner you are using. Sometimes that info is helpful when troubleshooting a problem.
 

starb10

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
10
Location
Branchland , WV
These statements make me think you might not actually be listening to the P25 digital system. The P25 system that Lincoln and other counties use in WV is UHF, not VHF. And programming the P25 system requires dealing with talkgroups, not just frequencies.

Take a look at this page: West Virginia Statewide Interoperability Radio Network (SIRN) Trunking System, Statewide, West Virginia - Scanner Frequencies Notice the tower sites near the top, and scroll down to see the Lincoln County talkgroups. Did you download anything like that when you programmed your scanner? Or did you only get the legacy frequencies from this page: West Virginia Statewide Interoperability Radio Network (SIRN) Trunking System, Statewide, West Virginia - Scanner Frequencies

Also, let us know what model of scanner you are using. Sometimes that info is helpful when troubleshooting a problem.
I am using the SDS200 Uniden Bearcat Scanner , I used sentinel [software] radioreference to upload selected freqs to scanner of course after a firmware update for new radio. these freqs consisted of conventional and trunking. I cannot remember exactly the details just when it came time to select, i selected and uploaded and was done using the micro usb cable provided

so if the software does not automatically or by default do what you was describing then maybe that is it. I did select some talk groups but not much.

not to sound like a broken record still dumbfinds me that county to my east is picking up but not my own... some like boone county sheriff , i am closer to wayne county but no traffic there and zero on lincoln as we are speaking about

One last note, my discone outdoor antenna is the one in the photo without a vertical is it supposed to have a vertical
 

Attachments

Last edited:

fredva

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 19, 2007
Messages
1,430
Location
Virginia/West Virginia
A couple of possibilities: You can either post (or send me) an exported hpe file with the Favorites List containing Lincoln County's programming so I can take a look at it, or when I get a chance, I'll create a new Favorites List with Lincoln County programming and provide it to you. hpe files can be imported and exported in the File menu of Sentinel.
 

starb10

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
10
Location
Branchland , WV
A couple of possibilities: You can either post (or send me) an exported hpe file with the Favorites List containing Lincoln County's programming so I can take a look at it, or when I get a chance, I'll create a new Favorites List with Lincoln County programming and provide it to you. hpe files can be imported and exported in the File menu of Sentinel.
Thanks Fredva,
This website states does not recognize file extension , i didnt see a way to email you member to member , i got the file ready [hpe]

we can swap info at my email : starb10@zoominternet.net
 
Last edited:

fredva

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 19, 2007
Messages
1,430
Location
Virginia/West Virginia
Thanks Fredva,
This website states does not recognize file extension , i didnt see a way to email you member to member , i got the file ready [hpe]

we can swap info at my email : starb10@zoominternet.net
Are you able to put the hpe file into a zip file and post/send it that way? If not, I will send you an email. Here is an example where somebody posted a zipped hpe in a thread: BCD436HP: - Not picking up my county
 

Ubbe

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
3,406
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
The service type selections that filters out different talkgroups are in the profile and not part of the hpe file. When trouble shooting, always enable all service types and disable location control so that everything in the favorite lists are scanned.

Try manually entering the control channels frequency by doing CHANNEL+frequency+Enter and then scroll down from Edit Name to Set Audio Type and set that to analog only and then hit the System button and they will be saved to a quick save favorite list. Go to the meny and Set Scan Selection and Select Lists to Monitor and only enable that Quick Save Favorite List and hit System again. Now hit Channel and scroll thru the different frequencies and check that you actually can hear anything. If there's no reception then you are not gonna hear any digital conversations from that site that the control frequency belongs to. The control channels could have changed to another frequency on a site so you could add every channel in a site and then listen if you hear any data buzz on the frequencies.

Analog channels are easier to check. Push the SYSTEM button and wait 2 sec until the HOLD icon are lit on the display. Then hit the SYSTEM button again and the a systems name will be highlighted on the display for 2 sec. During the time it is highlighted you can use the rotary dial to move between systems. When you stop scrolling it will turn off the highligt after 2 sec. Use the DEPT button in the same way. Push the CHANNE button to turn on hold and then scroll thru the channels and check reception. Turn down squelch level to 0 to hear any weak signals that normally are too weak to be used but would indicate to you that those channels are out of range and you'll need to improve reception by a better coax, antenna, or hight or an amplifier.

When it relates to SDS100/200 scanners then different filter settings for sites and departments could improve the reception a lot and even external FM broadcast trap filters or 150MHz pager filters might help depending of how strong those type of signals are in your area. It's probably easier to test different filter selections on frequencies that you have in the Quick Save list when they are analog so that you hear how "clean" the signal are. But you could always change the audio type to digital for the digital channels and then look at the noise and rssi levels on the display to get the lowest noise and highest rssi when testing out different filter settings.


/Ubbe
 

starb10

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
10
Location
Branchland , WV
The service type selections that filters out different talkgroups are in the profile and not part of the hpe file. When trouble shooting, always enable all service types and disable location control so that everything in the favorite lists are scanned.

Try manually entering the control channels frequency by doing CHANNEL+frequency+Enter and then scroll down from Edit Name to Set Audio Type and set that to analog only and then hit the System button and they will be saved to a quick save favorite list. Go to the meny and Set Scan Selection and Select Lists to Monitor and only enable that Quick Save Favorite List and hit System again. Now hit Channel and scroll thru the different frequencies and check that you actually can hear anything. If there's no reception then you are not gonna hear any digital conversations from that site that the control frequency belongs to. The control channels could have changed to another frequency on a site so you could add every channel in a site and then listen if you hear any data buzz on the frequencies.

Analog channels are easier to check. Push the SYSTEM button and wait 2 sec until the HOLD icon are lit on the display. Then hit the SYSTEM button again and the a systems name will be highlighted on the display for 2 sec. During the time it is highlighted you can use the rotary dial to move between systems. When you stop scrolling it will turn off the highligt after 2 sec. Use the DEPT button in the same way. Push the CHANNE button to turn on hold and then scroll thru the channels and check reception. Turn down squelch level to 0 to hear any weak signals that normally are too weak to be used but would indicate to you that those channels are out of range and you'll need to improve reception by a better coax, antenna, or hight or an amplifier.

When it relates to SDS100/200 scanners then different filter settings for sites and departments could improve the reception a lot and even external FM broadcast trap filters or 150MHz pager filters might help depending of how strong those type of signals are in your area. It's probably easier to test different filter selections on frequencies that you have in the Quick Save list when they are analog so that you hear how "clean" the signal are. But you could always change the audio type to digital for the digital channels and then look at the noise and rssi levels on the display to get the lowest noise and highest rssi when testing out different filter settings.


/Ubbe
thanks, it looks like i tried the 2 things you have mentioned with no luck. i tried manually entering, and then scanning only frew range, i also tried the dept, system and channel, i tried with and without attenuator, i tried with global settings an ot global settings etc, pretty much evbery single menu item in the radio i have tried.

what dumbfounds me is the wayne county comes up every time, bu my county does not.

so either our EMS, LE, and FIRe have weak radios, or bad antenna , or they changed something and didnt tell someone. I downloaded the freqs from this site.

I tried talking on phone to local Sheriff, then 911 center, then state police and no one knows anything, they are actually pretty ignorant to be honest. their kind of like we have radios with antenna s and thats all we know.

I got a high grade coax cable coming , and will try the radio after i install the upgraded cable, i am n rg58 now , i went all out and got the LMR-400 , 50 foot section of cable.

did you see above the antenna i got, mine is on left , the one on right has a vertical , is that necessary to have a vertical or no? I do not have a vertical on my discone antenna
 

Ubbe

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
3,406
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
did you see above the antenna i got, mine is on left , the one on right has a vertical , is that necessary to have a vertical or no? I do not have a vertical on my discone antenna
The vertical element are only for low-vhf in the 40-50MHz range.

It would be interesting to know if you listen to the control channel frequency in analog only mode with squelch at zero, if you can hear any faint signalling, then the reception are not good enough, or if it is a strong datsignal which then indicates some programming problems.

/Ubbe
 

ofd8001

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
6,295
Location
Louisville, KY
On the zip file - once you created that HPE file, then use your Windows Explorer to locate it. Right mouse click on file name, go to Send To Compressed (zipped) folder. A new file is created with .zip as the extension. It is that file you need to attach.

If this was me, I'd probably scan the full database, use a Range of about 5 and see what happens. This is casting a pretty wide scanning net for diagnostic purposes. If possible, I'd also load the scanner in my car and go to about a 1/2 mile of the Lincoln county tower, which the database shows to be Sumerco - Summit or perhaps Ferrellsburg - Harts and see what happens. If you get good signal, hearing everything you want to, that is indicative of a location problem rather than programming problem.

You are down in a hole, which is a bad thing for scanning. You've tried to overcome this with an outside antenna, but the question is "Is this enough?" The adjacent county may be better "aimed" at you, where your home county is blocked by "stuff".

The next question, are the folks you want to monitor really chatty on the radio? Sometimes they may use alternate means because they don't want to be monitored. That goes to my next point. You may not be getting "good" answers because this topic may be so technical and those to whom you spoke just don't have the savvy to explain. Or, they just don't want folks listening in, so they dodge the answer.
 

starb10

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
10
Location
Branchland , WV
The vertical element are only for low-vhf in the 40-50MHz range.

It would be interesting to know if you listen to the control channel frequency in analog only mode with squelch at zero, if you can hear any faint signalling, then the reception are not good enough, or if it is a strong datsignal which then indicates some programming problems.

/Ubbe
Ahhh ok, i wasnt sure where the vertical picked up at, i dont think i listenm that low of frequency or band. SO i dont really need the vertical.

I did listen to the channel only but i did not go thru all the freq's without squelch on, so i could try that ,
 

starb10

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
10
Location
Branchland , WV
On the zip file - once you created that HPE file, then use your Windows Explorer to locate it. Right mouse click on file name, go to Send To Compressed (zipped) folder. A new file is created with .zip as the extension. It is that file you need to attach.

If this was me, I'd probably scan the full database, use a Range of about 5 and see what happens. This is casting a pretty wide scanning net for diagnostic purposes. If possible, I'd also load the scanner in my car and go to about a 1/2 mile of the Lincoln county tower, which the database shows to be Sumerco - Summit or perhaps Ferrellsburg - Harts and see what happens. If you get good signal, hearing everything you want to, that is indicative of a location problem rather than programming problem.

You are down in a hole, which is a bad thing for scanning. You've tried to overcome this with an outside antenna, but the question is "Is this enough?" The adjacent county may be better "aimed" at you, where your home county is blocked by "stuff".

The next question, are the folks you want to monitor really chatty on the radio? Sometimes they may use alternate means because they don't want to be monitored. That goes to my next point. You may not be getting "good" answers because this topic may be so technical and those to whom you spoke just don't have the savvy to explain. Or, they just don't want folks listening in, so they dodge the answer.
Thanks for the zip tip, crap i didnt know it was part of windows menu option. I will have to eventually load this up and get in vehicle to go check it. I am trying to upgrade the antenna cable up form RG 58 to possibly LMR 400 so there will be no doubt of loss.

Yea its hard to tell with LE's , I try to reassure them I am just a beginner hobbyist
 

starb10

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
10
Location
Branchland , WV
I wanted to take this time to thank everyone for weighing in with ideas, advice, and tips, i have some work to do to figure it out, one by one i will get it figured out , thank you all

and may you all have good days and nights of listening

:)
 
Top