Unable to pick up any signal

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optize

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I have a BCD396XT

Trying to pick up TOPAZ Regional Wireless Cooperative (TRWC) Trunking System, Mesa, Arizona - Scanner Frequencies, connecting to the Mesa Simulcast Frequencies and monitoring the Gilbert Police talkgroups.

The problem I'm having is I'm receiving no signal at all, even if I stand outside. I have the radioshack 800mhz antenna, which makes me think that's not going to work.

Can someone confirm if the radioshack 800mhz antenna works for this type of trunked system?

I'm like 2 miles from them, so I should be getting near perfect signal. The scanner just says 'Finding CtrlChan' over and over, with no signal.
 

kb8rvp

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I am thinging the same thing you either have the wrong Freq's or you are to far away or maybe you have a cell phone tower to close that is overloading the receiver in the radio. And maybe last but not lease you may need to adjust the P25 adjust mode for your system... Also what firmware version are you using?

As for the antenna the Radio Shack antenna should be fine for that system.

I am adding an update. Did you notice the comment at the top of they page for that system?

Latest News Update Posted on 2010-04-24 18:48:57

Site 001/Thompson Peak combined with Site 302/Thompson Peak, which uses 700 and 800 mhz frequencies as part of this site. Site 001/151 E 6th St was removed as it contained conventional nationwide ICall and ITac frequencies not part of the TRS. Site 301 changed to Mesa SImulcast.

I see the word simulcast which is harder to pick up and your scanner may or may not work better with the newest firmware from Uniden on simulcast. Again you may need to play with the hidden P25 adjust settings.

Mike
 
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optize

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I am thinging the same thing you either have the wrong Freq's or you are to far away or maybe you have a cell phone tower to close that is overloading the receiver in the radio. And maybe last but not lease you may need to adjust the P25 adjust mode for your system... Also what firmware version are you using?

As for the antenna the Radio Shack antenna should be fine for that system.

Mike
Thanks for the help. I had it auto-imported from ARC-XT PRO which uses the data from RadioReference so I don't think the frequencies are the issue.

Running 1.10.00 firmware.

I'll try taking it on a drive and see if I can pick it up somewhere else. Just odd that I can't get any reception at all. I can get other agencies, not this one which is why I thought it was an antenna issue.
 

SCPD

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Can you hold on the system and see if you hear the control channel?if you cant,then that is why.
Try this make a custom search of the range your system is in ,set the scanner for CONTROL CH.= ON
See if that system shows up it will display the name of the system once it finds it ,then HOLD on that system.See if you pick anything up.
 

ofd8001

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One of the things I've noticed with my 396XT on our local simulcast system is that if I'm in the footprint of two (or more sites), I'm having trouble decoding the audio. This manifests itself either in garbled audio or not audio at all.

You can try the following:

Set the attenuator on for the site(s).

Remove the antenna from the scanner (it doesn't make sense, but if I'm the right place I hear my local system better without an antenna).

Take the scanner real close to one of the sites (such as a half mile away) so your scanner isn't affected by other sites. You should hear the system, if frequencies and talkgroups are programmed correctly. If you hear the system, that confirms you are a victim of simulcast distortion.

Tinkering around with the P25 Adjust Mode and P25 Adjust Level (it's trial and error to see what combination works best for your system, where you are). This may yield some improvement.
 

JamesO

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I'm like 2 miles from them, so I should be getting near perfect signal. The scanner just says 'Finding CtrlChan' over and over, with no signal.
My 396XT does not like to be within about 1/2-1 mile of a cell site. There is a cone of silence that causes the front end to desence and to block out any reception of configured public safety systems.

So assuming it is not a programming problem, then drive around with the scanner and see what happens.

If programming is good, then at some location 2-3 miles from where you are not, likely the scanner will acquire the control channel.

Also make sure the Global Attenuator is not enabled and make sure you can receive a NOAA Weather broadcast so you can verify that the receive is working.
 

phask

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My 396XT does not like to be within about 1/2-1 mile of a cell site. There is a cone of silence that causes the front end to desence and to block out any reception of configured public safety systems.
I've never really noticed an issue from cell towers. I live about 1500 ' from one 200' from another and a 3rd is less than a mile.

Constantly monitor 2 Mot p25 systems - an 800 and a 700 mhz system.

Using a discone at 35' on 1 and a stubby on the other.
 

JamesO

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I've never really noticed an issue from cell towers. I live about 1500 ' from one 200' from another and a 3rd is less than a mile.

Constantly monitor 2 Mot p25 systems - an 800 and a 700 mhz system.

Using a discone at 35' on 1 and a stubby on the other.
Lots and lots of variables.

Depends on what is being transmitted/frequencies/modulation/level of activity, EIRP, antenna pattern and a lot of other factors.

Also depends on how well sites are set up and managed, could be an intermod nightmare if the tweaker cowboys set up the equipment and have no idea how monitor the output of a combiner for decent level balancing and make sure the system/site is not transmitting broad band noise.

So some sites may be more of a problem than others.
 

scannermanner1

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I personally don't think cell towers are the problem I live about a thousand feet away from a cell tower and have no problems at all.... I would recommend checking the frequencies or what you could do is scan through the 800 megahertz Public Safety band and see what you pick up !!!
 

desert-cheetah

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The 800mgh antenna shouldn't be a problem. I have one on both of my scanners and pick up Topaz RWC pretty well from the Salt River Reservation where I work and north Tempe where I live. It could be a problem with the frequencies. If you've programmed too many towers, it will overload the scanner because it won't know what tower to pick it up from, from what I've been told and have experienced. I generally stick with Thompson Peak and South Scottsdale. I've also been told by a guy at Ham Radio Outlet that cell phone towers can wreak havoc on scanner reception. They've never gotten good reception on Home Patrol and there's a cell tower across the street. I'm not anywhere near any cell towers either at work or home, but I still have a problem with reception because of the size of the building I work in. WiFi and cell service often don't work inside.
 

optize

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Yeah, something's up. I drove all around the city, I picked up reception for about 20 seconds about a mile outside of my house, 4 bars, and then it went away and couldn't get any other signal anywhere. Not even at the same spot I originally got it on.

Good times.
 

optize

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I re-programmed it again and now I get 4-5 bars and can hear it everywhere.

Very odd.

Thanks for everyone's help.
 
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