SDS 200 for DaneCom

rcpwisc

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Madison, Wis.
Hello friends - Thinking of a SDS 200 purchase to finally be able to listen reliably to DaneCom. It's been a frustrating experience to say the least. I have an old Grecom PSR-600, and on occasion, I'll hear some stuff depending on time of day and cloud cover. I also have a BC536HP, and it won't touch any of the DaneCom frequencies, regardless of what antenna I use or where I place it. Curious if there are any WI forum members who were struggling with DaneCom like I was and are now using the SDS200. Do you find reception better?

Thanks for everyone's help.
 

gootch

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Feb 8, 2003
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Sun Prairie Wisconsin
I also had a 536 and I could listen to DaneCom but I had simulcast issues and at times was not a good experience. My SDS200 was a night and day change for the better. You say the 536 wont touch any of the DaneCom Freqs hard to say if the SDS200 would. To be clear my 536 did work with DaneCom its just the SDS200 is much better. Thats been my experience. Andy
 

rcpwisc

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I'm beginning to think I'm an anomaly. For grins, I took both my GRE-600 and my 536HP to a friend's house in Sun Prairie. The GRE picked up quite a few freqs here and there, but the 536 was silent. I was beginning to think I didn't download the system correctly from Sentinel, but it's in there, and all the freqs are in as well. I wonder if I"m in a dead zone. I might give the 200 a try to see if there's any change. It's beyond strange.
 

rcpwisc

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Yes to both. I did try the full database scan, and I have all of the service types enabled. Still get zilchka. I fear that I'm in a "dead zone" where I reside in Madison. I guess time will tell ... if the 200 won't touch it either, I'll have my answer.
 

tp3244

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Oct 21, 2017
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Just thought I'd chime in - Unication G5 owner here, works great on Danecom. No talkgroup hold but can make up for that with knob positions. Have not found a dead spot yet other than if I'm directly behind a steel door at my home in a certain position it loses lock on the system - otherwise I can drive wherever and it just works in all of Dane County... and beyond. Works great for Madison Public Safety P25 system too.

Edit: Keep in mind your '536 is simply the wrong tool for the job. Danecom is a simulcast system with multiple antennas broadcasting the same thing at the same time. The problem is likely not that you aren't getting signal, it's that your radio can't handle the same signal from multiple towers coming in at the same time. i.e. you aren't in a "dead zone", but rather a "too many signals at once" zone. The electronics inside your '536 simply weren't designed for it. The Unication G5 and SDS100/200's were.
 

sgtmatt

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Jan 14, 2007
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Platteville Wi
Just curious does anyone use a GRE X2 for dane com picking one up sometime soon and was curious if anyone has had any luck with them
 

Dewboy50

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Jul 19, 2015
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I also have a G5 in Sun Prairie, works great with Madison and Danecom. I have an old Pro106 scanner that actually picks up Danecom where I live but not Madison. The 106 is just in a sweet spot because it's not very reliable anywhere else, the G5 never gives me problems anywhere.
 

sgtmatt

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Jan 14, 2007
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Platteville Wi
I'm wondering more about the Stoughton area, may be moving there within a year or two, I know DCSO also runs on WISCOM for some stuff, More interested in DCSO comms then some of the firegrounds.
 

kc9jmd

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I'm currently torn between the SDS100 and G5 ... The main issue, for me, with the G5, is that it requires a PC to program - I can do this, but it isn't convenient and I want to be able to program as needed and if traveling. That said, I really only want to hear DaneCom, so I'd be willing to sacrifice ease of programming for good audio ... Any thoughts?
 

rcpwisc

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Well ... my SDS200 arrived today. Plugged it in, hooked up the antenna ... ANNNNNNNNNND ... NOTHING! Madison P25 was coming through OK, but DaneCom continued to be silent. I futzed with it for almost an hour, and I finally decided to disconnect the antenna I was using and hook up the antenna that came with the scanner. As soon as I did that, the scanner came alive! I was hearing all kinds of stuff I never heard before ... it was the darn antenna! :rolleyes::rolleyes:

For grins, I hooked it up to the 596, but DaneCom was still pretty much silent, although it tried a few times to try and bring a transmission through.

Here I thought I had a really good antenna, but I guess it turns out that I didn't! Is there a better antenna that you would recommend using, or is the stock antenna pretty good? I'm hearing a ton of stuff now.

So far tonight, I've heard traffic from Fitchburg, Oregon, Middleton and Sun Prairie. I'm also hearing Iowa County on WISCOM quite a bit.

I've noticed that the volume levels are kinda wacky depending on the channel. Some are really quiet and some (like Dane County paging) are super loud. Probably not much can be done about that.

I'm just thrilled that I'm hearing so much more ... very excited!
 

WX4JCW

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All Over USA
I'm currently torn between the SDS100 and G5 ... The main issue, for me, with the G5, is that it requires a PC to program - I can do this, but it isn't convenient and I want to be able to program as needed and if traveling. That said, I really only want to hear DaneCom, so I'd be willing to sacrifice ease of programming for good audio ... Any thoughts?
ive had both, not really a huge difference in the audio, Unication has no talkgroup hold either
 

Gasman315

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Aug 9, 2003
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Wis
Well ... my SDS200 arrived today. Plugged it in, hooked up the antenna ... ANNNNNNNNNND ... NOTHING! Madison P25 was coming through OK, but DaneCom continued to be silent. I futzed with it for almost an hour, and I finally decided to disconnect the antenna I was using and hook up the antenna that came with the scanner. As soon as I did that, the scanner came alive! I was hearing all kinds of stuff I never heard before ... it was the darn antenna! :rolleyes::rolleyes:

For grins, I hooked it up to the 596, but DaneCom was still pretty much silent, although it tried a few times to try and bring a transmission through.

Here I thought I had a really good antenna, but I guess it turns out that I didn't! Is there a better antenna that you would recommend using, or is the stock antenna pretty good? I'm hearing a ton of stuff now.

So far tonight, I've heard traffic from Fitchburg, Oregon, Middleton and Sun Prairie. I'm also hearing Iowa County on WISCOM quite a bit.

I've noticed that the volume levels are kinda wacky depending on the channel. Some are really quiet and some (like Dane County paging) are super loud. Probably not much can be done about that.

I'm just thrilled that I'm hearing so much more ... very excited!
 

rcpwisc

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Madison, Wis.
It was an omnidirectional antenna ... I had it sitting at the top of the window. I had to have several converters in order to get the cable into the scanner. I wonder if that had something to do with it?
 

bruce50

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Apr 11, 2014
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stoughton wisconsin
I'm wondering more about the Stoughton area, may be moving there within a year or two, I know DCSO also runs on WISCOM for some stuff, More interested in DCSO comms then some of the firegrounds.
I live in Stoughton and have the sds100. Works great here and picks up the county frequencies very nicely!
 

k9tsu

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Mar 17, 2012
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Monroe
Also have the SDS200 at home and also in the truck. No Danecom issues on either.
 
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