Showing My Stupidity...

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K8RJW

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I'm relatively new to the Forum (and brand new to the new scanners/systems), so forgive my stupidity. I've been a public service listener for over 60 years (I don't think there was ever a time my father didn't have some sort of public service radio in the house) but the new systems are getting the best of me. I have an HP1, 436 and 536.

In the old VHF days I could hear the Ohio Turnpike from Westgate to Eastgate (great advanced weather notification). Now, not so much. I'm hearing the East some, and West very little. I have programmed in the sites of Castalia, Cuyahoga, Lincoln Park (Campbell), Neapolis, Shalersville, Wauseon and Westgate. (I don't know if I only need the closest site to me [Lincoln Park] or more than what I have) I've programmed the TGID's for OSP District 10 and District 3.

Have I gone about this all the wrong way or am I close to the right way...as opposed to the Wright way?

Thanks, Bob
(remember...forgive the stupidity!)
 

nd5y

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Wichita Falls, TX
You will only hear traffic on a particular site if user radios on the talkgroups that you want to hear are affiliated on that site.

Generally the more sites you have programmed the greater the chance you have of hearing traffic.
That is assuming the sites are close enough that you can receive them and there are radios affiliated on the talkgroups that you want to hear.

If you have a lot of sites programmed and few user radios moving around between them you could miss trasnmissions because of the delay from the scanner wasting time scanning sites that don't have traffic at that time.
 

troymail

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Supply (Lockwood Inlet area), NC
I know little about the specific activity you're trying to monitor. However, generally, the newer the trunk system and the more sites on that system, the less you're likely to hear.

Old conventional frequencies/transmitters "blasted out" or simulcast across large areas. Older trunking systems simulcast everything across all towers (my county does). Even some new digital trunking systems transmit all system activity across essentially a single jurisdiction wide simulcast site (which presents it's own set of problems). Baltimore City does this.

Newer trunk systems - particularly larger ones - are more likely to split their system into multiple "sites". In many cases, these sites are more tuned to radiate their signals "inward" over the area intended for coverage - and possibly even at lower power than the older systems. Further - these multi-site systems are far less likely to "simulcast" all talkgroups across all of their system's sites. They can if they choose to and there may be reasons for doing so. However, if you have a large system with many sites and some talkgroups are "localized" (like a town police department, etc.) and/or have no purpose to be carried across the entire system, they'll likely stay within the site where the users on that talkgroup are active (could be one site, could be multiple sites - depends upon which sites have subscriber/user radios that are active on that talkgroup. Carrying a talkgroup on all system sites when no one is listening is just wasting resources.

Bottom line is in general, the days of being able to hear everything across an entire system/jurisdiction are gradually fading into the past.
 

Nasby

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Bob,
The only MARCS sites you will receive from Boardman are Campbell, Leavittsburg (TCI) and perhaps Salem.

There's no point in programming any other sites if you are only listening in Boardman.

So just program only those three sites along with the talkgroups you want to hear.

Of course if you go mobile that's a different story.
 

K8RJW

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Boardman, OH
Showing My Stupidity...Thanks

Thanks to all. I've narrowed down the sites to just the "local" ones and it is working as before. I guess I didn't make it any worse anyway. I'll get the hang of this sooner or later cuz I know it's not going to go away...that's what everyone said about the hula hoop...and my granddaughter has one yet!

Thanks again, Bob
 

fpo701

OH DB Admin
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Akron, OH
Bob,

One thing to keep in mind is how a system like MARCS works. Say you are listening to the Campbell tower. You'll hear any traffic that is being broadcast over that tower. You'll hear your local OSP traffic.

You'll also hear all traffic on a talkgroup when someone roams into the area listening to that talkgroup. This is because the system knows that some number of users were listening to talkgroup X. So, the system sends traffic for that talkgroup to every site that has a user listening to that talkgroup.

Here's the example. Say you get a Wooster Township FD unit (Wayne County) visiting the Campbell area. He normally monitors 85 FDDISP. So, every time someone transmits over that talkgroup, MARCS will send the traffic to the Campbell site. This results in you hearing all traffic on 85 FDDISP.

Now, back to your Turnpike West question. You aren't hearing TP WEST because no one in your area is monitoring it. The most reliable place to hear both TP EAST and TP WEST would be the Cuyahoga County Simulcast site. Other nearby sites might get some of both, but the only place to reliably get both all the time is where the dispatch center is located. That's because the site the dispatch center affiliates with always has to carry the traffic for both.
 
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