BCDx36HP: Simulcast Issues - Hardware or Software?

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Jimco

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There's a lot to love about the BCD436HP, but the simulcast issues with it frustrate me. In comparing it with a radio that does a great job of dealing with these issues, I discovered that even when the 436 seems to be doing a great job (no garbled speech or cutting out of transmissions), it will sometimes completely miss entire transmissions. In other words, while the 436 is great for most things, it's terrible for many P25 simulcast systems.

My question is this: Is this problem due to consumer-grade hardware in the radio, or is it something that Uniden could eventually address in firmware? I'm thinking it's the former in an effort to keep price down, but I don't know enough about the technical aspects of this to know for sure. I've read https://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Simulcast_digital_distortion, but it doesn't really describe the situation clearly enough to know.

Thanks!

Jim
 

eorange

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My guess consumer design vs. professional design:

Unication goal = solid performance for professionals.

Uniden goal = everything for everyone (display, keypad, RR database, UHF, VHF, P25, and on and on and on). Some great, some good, but nothing perfect. In which case, RF performance is sacrificed.
 

Jimco

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My guess consumer design vs. professional design:

Unication goal = solid performance for professionals.

Uniden goal = everything for everyone (display, keypad, RR database, UHF, VHF, P25, and on and on and on). Some great, some good, but nothing perfect. In which case, RF performance is sacrificed.
I'm guessing you're right, but I hope we're wrong. Since so many of us are listening to P25 simulcast systems, there are a ton of Uniden customers who buy the x36HP scanner and then find that they can't reliably monitor what they want to hear.

The real goal of my post is to find out if Uniden might eventually be able to iterate on P25 performance to the point where it's acceptable.
 

Drumbum

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While I know nothing about what would be a fix for this as I have compared my 436 to a Harris P7200 monitoring the same system, the 436 missed WAY more than thought, to me,(just thinking out loud) would be to reject any signal decode from a site with a different NAC and site # when the squelch is broken by a programmed site,, It must be way more complicated because both uniden and whistler scanners suffer from it,, I'm just going to get a EBay real radio and solve my issue but they are around $400 and you have to know someone or know how to program it, fortunately I do

Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
 

troymail

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The real goal of my post is to find out if Uniden might eventually be able to iterate on P25 performance to the point where it's acceptable.
Pretty much anything is "possible" ... with enough time and money ... costs which of course will be "passed on" to the customer...
 
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W8RMH

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cpetraglia

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This is all about the hardware. Totally different front end design and much higher quality processor. If you can afford a professional radio, the difference is night and day. I picked up two Relm KNG series radios and never use my many scanners any more. There will always be tweaks, directional antennas and the like. It will never sound like a professional radio unless your real close to a transmitter tower and then you may still have issues. P25 simulcast has been around more than ten years. If you read through a lot of threads, you'll see how the scanner makers always dance around this issue. A Unication pager is the best you can get at a reasonable price. Great LSM reception.
 

Jimco

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This is all about the hardware. Totally different front end design and much higher quality processor. If you can afford a professional radio, the difference is night and day. P25 simulcast has been around more than ten years. If you read through a lot of threads, you'll see how the scanner makers always dance around this issue. A Unication pager is the best you can get at a reasonable price. Great LSM reception.
I suspect you're right, and I absolutely agree about the Unication pagers. I've had a G5 for three days and I'm very happy with it, including battery life that's crazy good.

The folks I feel really sorry for are those who don't know about simulcast issues and buy a X36HP scanner to monitor one of these systems. They get the radio and find out that it really stinks. You see it over and over in these forums. Shoot, I was one of those people several months ago. I struggled like crazy to listen to my local system on my 436. I honestly wish Uniden would be up front with people about this issue so that they would know before they drop hundreds of dollars.
 

ButchGone

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I suppose mileage varies.
The most recent update works very well for me. There have been previous updates that gave small, incremental improvements to P25 decoding, but I notice the greatest improvement with my 436 after this latest update. Simulcast phase 1/2 is what I exclusively monitor. Don't listen to DMR, yet. If enough folks like the latest version for DMR I may give it a try.
BG..
 

pfd461

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Why doesn't Uniden do a firmware update for the HP 2? I'm reading here where they did for the 436 and it had helped with the P25 phase 2. What had Uniden just wrote off the HP2.
 

Drumbum

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Didn't help my 436hp with simulcast,, my 396T still decodes better and both are bad on simulcast

Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
 
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While I know nothing about what would be a fix for this as I have compared my 436 to a Harris P7200 monitoring the same system, the 436 missed WAY more than thought, to me,(just thinking out loud) would be to reject any signal decode from a site with a different NAC and site # when the squelch is broken by a programmed site,, It must be way more complicated because both uniden and whistler scanners suffer from it,, I'm just going to get a EBay real radio and solve my issue but they are around $400 and you have to know someone or know how to program it, fortunately I do
But the problem is, you need a file called a system key to program commercial radios with a trunking system. The Relm radios can be programmed for receive only without needing a system key, but they're very expensive. Motorolas are hard to program to not affiliate. And if you try to ask on here for help with this, everyone is real MEAN and your thread gets closed.

You often see posts about people saying they use a commercial radio to monitor with. But godforbid should you try to learn how to do this and NO ONE will tell you.
 

jonwienke

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Why doesn't Uniden do a firmware update for the HP 2? I'm reading here where they did for the 436 and it had helped with the P25 phase 2. What had Uniden just wrote off the HP2.
Uniden started the latest round of firmware updates with the x36 line. Now they are updating the P2 line. It is reasonable to expect the HomePatrol scanners will be next.
 

marksmith

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Why doesn't Uniden do a firmware update for the HP 2? I'm reading here where they did for the 436 and it had helped with the P25 phase 2. What had Uniden just wrote off the HP2.
I frankly think the HP2 does an equal or better job on p25 audio, even phase 2, than the 536/436.

None of them are great on simulcast, but under favorable simulcast situations, HP2 seems to do about the same as 536/436.

In other words, the firmware changes on the 536/436 I believe are more focused on DMR than p25 improvement. Unless/until they go to DMR for HP2. I would not expect much.

I will scrutinize any HP2 firmware updates closely and save backup of current firmware file before upgrading, as my HP2 radios have been working great.

536/436/ws1095/996p2/996xt/325p2/396xt/psr800/396t/HP-1/HP-2 & others
 

goodmore

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Simulcast

I have the TRX 1 AND 2 after owning the 536 and the 436. The Whistler radios do a better job for me. Let me just clarify better. The Uniden scanners when encountering distortion would just drop the signal and proceed to scan almost like the transmission stopped. The Whistler scanners hang in there and never drop the transmission. It may become distorted for a second, but if the transmission continues it clears up.


Things I notice:

The antenna on my TRX 1 makes a difference. I have a Watson that I bought to pull in weak signals. Simulcast distortion is much worse than with the stock.

All scanner have a problem with Simulcast distortion. As someone else said the hidden truth from the manufacturers.

Having both the portable and base units from Whistler I can report the both miss signals. Miss transmissions all together.
 

diskmonger

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I have the TRX 1 AND 2 after owning the 536 and the 436. The Whistler radios do a better job for me. Let me just clarify better. The Uniden scanners when encountering distortion would just drop the signal and proceed to scan almost like the transmission stopped. The Whistler scanners hang in there and never drop the transmission. It may become distorted for a second, but if the transmission continues it clears up.


Things I notice:

The antenna on my TRX 1 makes a difference. I have a Watson that I bought to pull in weak signals. Simulcast distortion is much worse than with the stock.

All scanner have a problem with Simulcast distortion. As someone else said the hidden truth from the manufacturers.

Having both the portable and base units from Whistler I can report the both miss signals. Miss transmissions all together.
Having also owned both, I couldn't agree with you more. The Uniden's just simply skip over the transmissions. If someone only owned a Uniden and didn't have anything else to compare it to in a real time scanning situation they just assume the Uniden is decoding great.
 

TDR-94

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But the problem is, you need a file called a system key to program commercial radios with a trunking system. The Relm radios can be programmed for receive only without needing a system key, but they're very expensive. Motorolas are hard to program to not affiliate. And if you try to ask on here for help with this, everyone is real MEAN and your thread gets closed.

You often see posts about people saying they use a commercial radio to monitor with. But godforbid should you try to learn how to do this and NO ONE will tell you.
Your username probably doesn't help and asking how to extract encryption keys from a radio,certainly put up some red flags.

Just saying...
 
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