Scanning South Jersey with the PSR-800

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policefreak

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Jan 5, 2007
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Berlin, NJ
Is anyone in the southern New Jersey area have this radio? If so how does the sensitivity stack up against say...the HP-1, or the PSR 500/Pro 106? How is programming it using the database for you listeners in Burlington County or monitoring the NJSP where there are lots of new talkgroups always coming up? (Though they did clean up the database fantastically for Burlington!) How is the sensitivity of the PSR 800 for you fringe listeners out there in Gloucester, Burlington, Southern Camden, etc trying to pull in Philly and Montco and Bucks and other distant digital signals with the RS 800 antenna? Can it receive distant control channels ok? Alright, how sensitive is it even on analog stuff? And overall how easy do you think it is to use to monitor our area? How about traveling with it and monitoring different stuff along the way (like taking a trip up to the poconos.)?
The reason I ask this is because well, first of all I'm not all that familiar with the GRE models, though I'm definitely doing my homework. I'm looking at the PSR 800 for the fact that Camden County's new P-25 X2 system is going up. They have a similar system in Maryland and the 800 seems to be picking the system up. I also happen to be in the unique situation where I am right on the very fringe of receiving a lot of systems. If you draw a line at my house anything NW of it and you'll be able to receive those Philly, Montco, and Bucks systems. Anything SE of that line...nada, just Camco. (And we are just 1.5 miles from the Burlington county line) My 396xt does ok, but has lots of trouble picking up Philly. Some say the 800 does better than older models on distant channels, others, not so. For our area want to see what you think. I will invest in a better 800 antenna eventually when I have access to an attic or a roof. Open to any input you have.
 

wnjl

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Jan 12, 2004
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Tabernacle, NJ
I live in Florence in Burlington County and have been using the PSR-800 since February. I like it a lot. I think overall it might be ever so slightly more sensitive than the PSR-500, but where it really shines to me is on the Burlco system with the simulcast sites. On the 500 I always had some intermittent motorboating trouble with talkgroups off the North system...on the 800 it noticeably minimizes the motorboating. I'd guess that would probably be the same case for all of the simulcast sites for Burlco (NW, W, NE), but I generally only monitor off the North and North-Central sites. The 800 also acquires the RadioIDs on the Burlco system much more reliably, to the point where I'd say 90% of the time when a Florence unit transmits on P-4, the corresponding ID alert I have for them works.

I had self-programmed my PSR-500 with the talkgroups from the Burlco system from info off phillyscanner.net, and I just copied that over to the 800 in its software. For NJSP, I imported the talkgroups from the database, and I think everything seems to be covered with that info.

For fringe reception, I can hear the Philly system a little better here with the RS800 antenna than on the PSR-500, but I still can't get it too reliably. I'm just too far northeast. Bucks I have no problem with obviously being right across the river, and Montco is pretty reliable as well. I think it's a sensitive radio...on the 2nd floor of my house by windows I will occasionally hear analog UHF T-Band channels from the NYPD pop in, which I did not notice as much of with the 500. Overall I do not think it will perform reception miracles, but it's certainly not deaf either.

The main complaint people seem to have on the 800 is the loss of some of the functions the 500 has...direct entry of a frequency, some of the keypad functions, etc. I do miss those, but to me the performance of the scanner outweighs those minuses. I recommend it.
 

w2xq

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Jul 13, 2004
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Burlington County, NJ
Being in Berlin and not hearing Burlington County decently is probably due to the terrain. South Jersey isn't flat, despite what outsiders say. There are a series of ridges running NW-SE through Camden and Burlington counties. Look at the elevations of Pine Hill, Arneys Mount. Google Earth will draw a line that shows terrain changes between points. Draw lines from your location at 45 degrees intervals around the compass. I thing you'll find it very illuminating.
 

ampulman

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Aug 18, 2006
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South Jersey
Being in Berlin and not hearing Burlington County decently is probably due to the terrain. South Jersey isn't flat, despite what outsiders say. There are a series of ridges running NW-SE through Camden and Burlington counties. Look at the elevations of Pine Hill, Arneys Mount. Google Earth will draw a line that shows terrain changes between points. Draw lines from your location at 45 degrees intervals around the compass. I thing you'll find it very illuminating.
I use Google Earth and use the line function to obtain bearings to transmitters.

Regarding the 'terrain' function, could you elaborate how this works. Maybe I just haven't noticed this while drawing lines.
Thanks.

Amp
 

policefreak

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Jan 5, 2007
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Berlin, NJ
TRSundstrom, yes I can hear Burlington County (West system is choppy on my XT with between 2-4 bars of reception and Northwest system is more consistent audio but in many places on my location system wont come in) but less than a mile down the road I cannot hear any Burlington County systems...and like you said I believe that is because they are down a big hill and on the other side of big woods. My location is surrounded by trees on three sides (West, North, and South) and is probably in a low point but when we get heavy rains there is no flooding so can't really be that low. I'm looking at the 800 for the practicality of monitoring the Phase II systems in my area, the added features that my XT (which is a great radio) doesn't have, the ability to have another reliable digital radio going at the same time, and to see if the sensitivity stacks up against the XT, the HP-1 and the PSR 500/600 and I am sure we have other monitors on here who are on the fringe of reception.
Wnjl, that's interesting you have that problem on the North System because that's the same problem I had on the west system with my 396T. It even cuts out while on driving on Rt 73 in Evesham. So I just use the Northwest system when I can which is the same thing as the North Central system for you. And that's great that Montgomery comes in so good there because whenever I'm in florence, it's kind of starting to fade on my XT..thats using the RS 800 antenna. Philly, I'm probably only looking to monitor when I'm traveling through Mount Laurel or somewhere else closer to Philly. Because from my location with a 396xt I can barely pick up the CC. When I do tt will lock onto the voice channels but there will be no audio. I can't imagine the PSR 800 will drastically improve that. :>l
 
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