St Mary's Phase 2 Issues

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scottymcneill8657

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Hi- I'm having issues and wanted to know if anyone else is having similar issues or have ideas on how to fix this. I have the new Uniden Phase 2 TDMA desktop scanner and I am trying to receive St Mary's but I get nothing at all- at home and even when I am within 3 miles of the Leonardtown tower. I have it in as a X2-TDMA sytem- uniden's software puts it in as a standard P25. All talkgroups entered in correctly along with Freqs- I know this because Prince Georges has the same system and I pick them up fine. Ideas? Issues? I have all of the encrypted talkgroups locked out but I hear nothing at all.
 

emtLarmy15

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Leave as p25... X2 is motorolas version of phase 2 before the standard was finalized... The scanner will properly decode if left as p25 wheather phase 1 or phase 2


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troymail

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Hi- I'm having issues and wanted to know if anyone else is having similar issues or have ideas on how to fix this. I have the new Uniden Phase 2 TDMA desktop scanner and I am trying to receive St Mary's but I get nothing at all- at home and even when I am within 3 miles of the Leonardtown tower. I have it in as a X2-TDMA sytem- uniden's software puts it in as a standard P25. All talkgroups entered in correctly along with Freqs- I know this because Prince Georges has the same system and I pick them up fine. Ideas? Issues? I have all of the encrypted talkgroups locked out but I hear nothing at all.
PG started as X2-TDMA but switched to P25 Phase 2 TDMA a few months ago.

St. Mary's was never X2-TDMA - just P25.

I believe the St. Mary's system is designed to be "P25 Phase 2 compliant" meaning at some point they will go to TDMA (Phase 2). However, from what I recall, when it came on line in August, it was functioning as Phase 1 (FDMA) and you should have been able to receive it using any current/standard digital scanner.

Have you ever listened to this system before (the x36)? If so, on what model scanner?

If you are using a Uniden 436 or 536, you should be able to load the St. Mary's system in from the library and it should just work - no special settings required. The only possible "tweak" I would probably do is to remove all but the active control channel frequency from the programming (but that is really just an option to optimize reception).

Keep in mind that much of the system - sheriff, local police, state police, etc. are all encrypted. You should be able to hear fire and some other government and transportation talkgroups - assuming they haven't gone full bore on the encryption.

Funny - I've been curious to take the drive down there and see how well the 536 works - just haven't made it down there yet. My PSR500 and PSR800 worked on the system back in August but not very well unless I was stationary in a "good spot" (very similar to other P25 systems with digital simulcast issues).
 

scottymcneill8657

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I get full bars for st mary's- funny thing is PG comes in loud and clear. I was using a Pro-107 and a uniden 396xlt before hand- I've never gotten st mary's to work since they switched over.
 

emtLarmy15

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Did you understand what we all said above? St Mary's is not not ever was X2... The new scanners don't discriminate between phase 1 or 2 p25 systems. Most phase 2 systems have radios that are phase 1 as well so the scanner seamlessly goes between both. So put st Mary's back as p25 and it might start working!


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troymail

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Did some testing on the St Mary's system this afternoon. The 536 starting receiving the system on Route 2/4 just south of Huntingtown (high school?). Faded heading across Route 231 but receiving fairly well while sitting at Wawa just south of Charolotte Hall Road. A bit choppy at times but not too bad.

Prince George seems to come in better here than St Mary's does....
 
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ka3jjz

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With what antenna, Troy? You can't expect any scanner to perform well inside a metal box...Mike
 

hwyman3

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They have been working out the bugs in the system, and it's getting better. We'll see what happens once they get the remaining towers installed.
 

troymail

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With what antenna, Troy? You can't expect any scanner to perform well inside a metal box...Mike
Why did you assume the antenna was inside?

Actually, it was using a RS 800 Mhz duck mount a mag mounted BNC base on the roof of my truck....

BTW - my report was mostly helping Scotty (the original poster) who was saying has wasn't able to receive the St Mary's system on his BCD536HP. Not sure if he has overcome his issue but the 536 seems to receive the system - at least, as well as can be expected.

I was also receiving the system on my PSR800 and PSR500 (a slight bit worse reception than the 536 - both inside the truck with ducks on top).
 

itchy243mhz

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As mentioned the LE broadcasts are encrypted. So the question I have is there anything worthwhile to listen to in St Mary's?
 

ka3jjz

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To answer your question look here....(links are always blue)

St. Mary's County, Maryland (MD) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

Be sure to look at the entire page.

Not to go too OT here, but you will have FiRST (I don't think their site(s) are up yet) and the Pax River Naval station (be sure to look at the wiki when you view that site - there's a fair amount of freqs there that are old, but at least some should still be good). If you're close to the water, maritime monitoring is a possibility. I suspect you would need to be close to Pax River to hear their Joint Nat Capitol Region site, but that's another possibility (with the right radio, of course)

To hear FiRST you would need a PSR-800, Uniden BCD436HP or BCD536HP

If you have questions about any of these feel free to start a new thread.

Mike
 

maus92

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I get full bars for st mary's- funny thing is PG comes in loud and clear. I was using a Pro-107 and a uniden 396xlt before hand- I've never gotten st mary's to work since they switched over.
I was down in Lexington Park for lunch today at a pit beef joint I frequent occasionally, and took the opportunity to monitor St. Mary's County system using stock programming (i.e. no tweaks.) It sounded very good to excellent on my 436 sitting in the center console cup holder using a unity gain 850Mhz rubber antenna attached directly to the radio.
 

maus92

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Why did you assume the antenna was inside?

Actually, it was using a RS 800 Mhz duck mount a mag mounted BNC base on the roof of my truck....

BTW - my report was mostly helping Scotty (the original poster) who was saying has wasn't able to receive the St Mary's system on his BCD536HP. Not sure if he has overcome his issue but the 536 seems to receive the system - at least, as well as can be expected.

I was also receiving the system on my PSR800 and PSR500 (a slight bit worse reception than the 536 - both inside the truck with ducks on top).
I'm assuming that SMC's new Harris P25 system is a simulcast system. The issue with these systems seems to be receiving out of phase / ill timed signals from the various tower sites. Would not a better strategy be to use an "on frequency" unity gain antenna rather than a gain antenna, or even one inside the vehicle versus an external mount to minimize reception from distant sites? The reason why I bring this up is many seem to feel that having an external antenna on a vehicle is preferred because the vehicle's body interferes with reception. I have found that my vehicle's body is not an issue with just about every simulcast system I monitor - and perhaps it even helps....
 
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