Town Of Hull

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Hullonian

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For the past month or so the town of Hull PD and FD appear to be using a very low power transmitter and/or poor antenna placement. This and a combination of narrowbanding and poor audio quality (background noise) have made these services very difficult to monitor. I also hear a great deal of audio clipping and distortion from the base stations. (Police and Fire) I also notice that Hingham Police audio clips when they speak to close to the mikes even though their signal is still fine. I get these results on all my radios and I was wondering if I am the only one seeing this?
 

Junior08

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There is a regional dispatch center set to open soon in Hingham that may or may not be a factor in this, with radios and communications equipment being switched over? I think Hull is a part of the new dispatch center? For more check the link below.


Hingham 911 dispatch center
 

Hullonian

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Town of Hull

Hopefully this has something to do with the problems. I hope they get a tower up for the antennas at the new location. It still does not explain the poor audio quality on the radios as they are using them now. I know that narrowbanding usually means lower audio, but it sounds like the modulation levels are all set wrong. Time will tell.
 

Junior08

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Try posting this in the scannewengland forums, you may get a better explanation.
 

N1BHH

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Actually the repeaters for both Fire and Police are located in the same place, the top of Prospect Avenue and have a commanding view of the town. I have no problem hearing them in Weymouth or when mobile around the area. Yes there is a bit of AGC action on the fire dispatch side, which could be a mismatch of impedance, but haven't heard any problems with the police.
 

Hullonian

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Hi. Thanks for your explanation. Prospect Avenue is only about a mile+ from my house and on top of Strawberry Hill. I have several receivers both base, mobile, and handheld (I have lost count over the past 45 years) and at times I don't even receive them. Several other people have also called me to find out what the problem is. We are all having the same reception problems. It seems the repeater isn't even in the town. If the signal is that strong in Weymouth then maybe the repeater is on the wrong side and is being blocked by the hill?
 

gordon115

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From my location in Chelsea, I'm getting decent signal strength on Hull FD usually 4 or 5 of 5 bars but there are definitely some audio quality issues. From here the audio quality sounds similar to what I hear on a lot of VOIP telephone systems, are they using VOIP rather than telephone or fiber lines?

Gordon
 

Hullonian

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I'm not sure how they connect. I would guess telephone lines. Not sure if it's copper or fiber. I can actually see the new antenna from my attic window at less than a mile away on a hill that overlooks the whole town. But I'm still not convinced that that's the one they are using yet. With the new dispatch center being moved to Hingham, I thing some things have been set up on a temporary basis. I get fantastic reception from departments all the way to Marshfield and Plymouth so I know it's not my radio equipment. They may just be running very low power at this time.
 

N1BHH

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Hull Fire and Police are using the exact same site on Prospect Avenue. It could very well be that which I stated earlier, an impedance mismatch. Some communications quality microphones work excellent with VOIP type systems and some don't, that is why you are hearing some rough sounding audio from Fire Alarm as the microphone gain may be just a touch too high and there may be a hundred ohms difference between what the microphone and the transmit audio mixer want to see.

It could also be within the dispatchers control panel. Once all the kinks are worked out and once the regional 911 center gets going there should be some improvement all around. One of the big holdups in getting VOIP systems online has always been ownership versus renting the lines and I think it may all be fiber, although some microwave systems seem to work out pretty good.
 

creeperjeep

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Both Hull PD and FD are using the same transmitter locations. X2
The sites are at Town Hall and FT Revere. There is an additional receiver site at Strawberry Hill.
There is no copper, only microwave. Well, the dispatch console is copper...
I agree the FD console audio is too hot, but it is a quick fix and only temporary due to the regional dispatch change.
There is going to be a redundant fiber link from the TH to Fort Revere, soon.

PD and FD use the same infrastructure but PD is RF dispatch at the moment.

There was recently a GPS error that caused the transmitters to drift a little. This can cause reduced signal in the overlap area. I assume you live mid town (A- Street area)? Hullonian.
 

Hullonian

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Town of Hull

Great posting Creeperjeep. Yes I live in mid-town. I knew there was an explanation for the poor reception. I wonder what the transmitter power is? (25 Watts ?) Also wonder what the audio will sound like after the dispatch center is in use? I can actually see the antenna on Prospect Ave. (Strawberry Hill) and knew they couldn't be transmitting from that one. The signal in my area is very weak and breaks up often. Audio is mostly garbeled and sometimes clipped when they get up on the mike. Hingham dispatch has the same peak clipping problem but their audio sounds OK. Fire Transmitter in Hull is much worse than Police. That also explains why people outside of Hull are receiving better than me. Those transmitter locations would be better for reception in Weymouth or the North Shore area as other people have mentioned. Thanks very much for your posting and I hope you keep us old-timers up to date.
 

Hullonian

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Town of Hull

Does anyone know when will the centralized dispatch for Hull and Hingham be finally and completely in use and also when the radio problems will be finally cured. This seems to be an extremely slow process. Hopefully this will take care of the weak RF signals and poor audio quality on several of the repeaters? Thanks


Martin/K1FWC
 
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