Switched from HT-100 Radio to RadioShack pro668

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Lincoln12

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Hi Everyone,
I'm brand new to this site, and brand new to scanning.
I previously bought a Motorola HT1000 Police radio online.
I paid the person I purchased it from to turn off the mic, and program several local agencies I wanted to listen to.
I paid a retired Police communications tech to program just a few channels in my scanner.
Middletown, OH is very secretive with their frequencit's, but I managed to get my hands on them.
Can anyone give me a step-by-step on how to program them?
I'm also having trouble hearing all Radio traffick. I will hear all of dispatch, but the officer's portable is really spotty. Is there a new antenna I should purchase.
I know I've asked alot of questions, I'm just really excited to get back to scanning since Butler County Ohio switched to an 800 trunked system.

Thanks so much in advance for any questions you can help with.
 

sparklehorse

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I'm not familiar with your area at all, but looking at the RR database it appears your city and county police use the Ohio MARCS P25 trunked radio system. You would need to have this system programmed correctly into your scanner with one or more of the transmitter sites near you enabled. The talk groups for Middletown police are listed on the database page for this system, so they are not secret. However some of them are encrypted, which means you will not be able to monitor those channels with any scanner.

Do you know if the MARCS system is programmed into your radio, and is it being tracked? Perhaps you just need to get the correct talk groups entered into a scan list.

We are talking about the Pro-668, correct? And someone programmed it for you, but it's not working to your satisfaction? Just want to be sure I understand the problem.

.
 
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Lincoln12

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Thanks for your reply. Yes I do have a RadioShack pro-668, I also have Ohio Marcs programmed into it. The only frequencies I could find on this site were the old ones before Butler County Ohio switch to 800 megahertz. I would like to know how many repeaters my radio is programmed to, that may explain why I am getting broken radio traffic. As far as the scrambled codes I have those too I just don't know how or if I can program them into my scanner.
 

sparklehorse

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Thanks for your reply. Yes I do have a RadioShack pro-668, I also have Ohio Marcs programmed into it. The only frequencies I could find on this site were the old ones before Butler County Ohio switch to 800 megahertz. I would like to know how many repeaters my radio is programmed to, that may explain why I am getting broken radio traffic. As far as the scrambled codes I have those too I just don't know how or if I can program them into my scanner.
Maybe you're not looking in the right place. Here is the Radioreference page for Ohio MARCS:

Ohio MARCS-IP: Multi-Agency Radio Communications (P25) Trunking System, Various, Ohio - Scanner Frequencies

Scroll down nearly to the bottom of the System Frequencies section and you will see the 14 frequencies used by the Butler County site, which I believe is the correct site for your area. You need to have that site enabled for your MARCS system, and have the Middletown Police talkgroups programmed into a scan list. I don't know what you mean by "scrambled codes". If your police dept. are using encryption there is no way to make any consumer scanner decrypt their signal. Maybe you mean you have an encryption key for your Motorola HT. If that is the case, and you are not authorized to have said key, then you are breaking the law by using the radio to decode their encrypted communications. Their dispatch channel is not indicated as encrypted in the database, so you should be able to monitor that channel OK.

.
 

Lincoln12

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I definitely have Marcs programed in my scanner.
My scanner screen reads as follows.

(Signal) T GA
Middletown PD
TGRP
09-8L Main
Ohio MARCS-IP: M

I hear a ton of traffic. But I still have broken Radio transmissions.
 

sparklehorse

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I definitely have Marcs programed in my scanner.
My scanner screen reads as follows.

(Signal) T GA
Middletown PD
TGRP
09-8L Main
Ohio MARCS-IP: M

I hear a ton of traffic. But I still have broken Radio transmissions.
Alright, that sounds like it's probably programmed correctly. Drilling down a bit farther into the database I see the Butler County site is simulcast:

Butler County Site Details (Ohio MARCS-IP: Multi-Agency Radio Communications (P25))

That means there are a number of different transmitter sites spread out across your area, all of which are transmitting the same signal(s) simultaneously. The goal of course is to provide good radio coverage for the area, and for the users of the system it undoubtedly does. Their mult-thousand dollar radios are designed to process those signals correctly, your multi-hundred dollar radio unfortunately is not. All current consumer grade scanners can have difficulty, sometimes extreme difficulty, handling the multiple signals arriving at the receiver at slightly different times. It's often referred to as Linear Simulcast Distortion, or Multi-path Distortion, or LSM distortion (LSM=Linear Simulcast Modulation). Google those and you will find a wealth of information on the topic, including some creative solutions to the problem. Meanwhile, yes, a different antenna may help. Many, including me have found great improvement using a Yagi type antenna, usually pointed toward the nearest tower. Also devising something called a Cantenna using a paint can has been effective for some. But sometimes just using a paper clip in place of an antenna has helped, or turning on attenuation, or just moving your radio to a different spot in your house may help. It could be that simulcast distortion is not the cause of your problem, but I think it is a very likely suspect and worth your time to do some research on it, and try a few of the things I've mentioned.

.
 
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sparklehorse

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Looking at your last post again, I'm noticing that TGA is displayed on your screen. That means Global Attenuation is enabled. Go into your menu and disable that. You should see a change in decode quality immediately. It could be better or worse, it's impossible to say without trying.

.
 

Lincoln12

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Thank you so much for all that information. As a novice scanner it is very much appreciated. This may be a completely ignorant idea but would turning off the amount of transmitters the radio is receiving help? Or can that even be done via computer?

Sent from Lincoln12 mobile device Device
 

sparklehorse

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Yes, if by transmitters you mean transmitter sites, you absolutely can disable all the other sites in that system so you are scanning only the Butler Count site. Not sure that is going to solve your problem though.
.
 
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