Unication G5 & BaltCo 800

Status
Not open for further replies.

doctordave

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
Messages
1,561
Thought I'd make note of testing results with my newly acquired G5 (purchased via ScannerMaster) in the Hunt Valley <--> Towson corridor, on the BaltCo 800 system. It decodes quite nicely - even in areas known to consistently be terribly problematic (multi-path distortion) for consumer-grade scanners. I'm extremely pleased. There are plenty of ongoing performance discussions over on the Unication forum - but I wanted to comment here, since so many of our MD folks are battling LSM-decoding issues and may be happy to learn of a new solution - albeit a pricey one. I'll also do some testing in nearby jurisdictions.
 

maus92

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 23, 2004
Messages
3,205
Location
Annapolis
Thought I'd make note of testing results with my newly acquired G5 (purchased via ScannerMaster) in the Hunt Valley <--> Towson corridor, on the BaltCo 800 system. It decodes quite nicely - even in areas known to consistently be terribly problematic (multi-path distortion) for consumer-grade scanners. I'm extremely pleased. There are plenty of ongoing performance discussions over on the Unication forum - but I wanted to comment here, since so many of our MD folks are battling LSM-decoding issues and may be happy to learn of a new solution - albeit a pricey one. I'll also do some testing in nearby jurisdictions.
That would be an interesting experiment.

What systems are having the distortion issues? Baltimore County and Baltimore City are two that I've heard about. I'm wondering if the new systems in Montgomery County and Anne Arundel County will also experience similar issues. I am not experiencing multi-path distortion on the state's 700 system from where I live, or on the road - maybe I'm lucky - or maybe the configuration / design is better optimized, IDK.
 

troymail

Silent Key
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
9,977
Location
Supply (Lockwood Inlet area), NC
I'm sure Dave will reply at some point.

What systems are having the distortion issues? Baltimore County and Baltimore City are two that I've heard about.
Absolutely.

I'm wondering if the new systems in Montgomery County and Anne Arundel County will also experience similar issues.
I'm sure they will when the time comes.

I am not experiencing multi-path distortion on the state's 700 system from where I live, or on the road - maybe I'm lucky - or maybe the configuration / design is better optimized, IDK.
You're very lucky then - but I'm also a little uncertain that this is 100% true unless you have a real (Motorola/Harris, etc.) P25 radio. I'm not doubting your belief - just wonder what you're not hearing but think you are...
 

maus92

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 23, 2004
Messages
3,205
Location
Annapolis
You're very lucky then - but I'm also a little uncertain that this is 100% true unless you have a real (Motorola/Harris, etc.) P25 radio. I'm not doubting your belief - just wonder what you're not hearing but think you are...

There are known unknowns (and unknown unknowns) when listening on the move. But I *think* I hear everything, and that perception is really the only thing that matters to me. It doesn't *seem* like I'm missing traffic (other than when the radio inconveniently resumes scanning) However I caught some traffic on TG 7716 on Friday afternoon that I could only hear the dispatcher's side on the conversation, which seemed weird - not sure what was causing that.

Anyway, I purposely use either no gain, wide band, or "improper" antennas to deemphasize distant towers - I'm pretty sure that the only tower site I can receive at home is at the Annapolis National Guard Armory. I can also correlate voice reception on a scanner with TGs decoded with Unitrunker V2 using a Realtek dongle and a separate antenna, or sometimes the same antenna (note that the dongle is able to decode more distant sites than my Uniden or Grecom scanners.)
 
Last edited:

doctordave

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
Messages
1,561
At my home in Baltimore County, multi-path for Baltimore County 800 varies from bad to awful - I have a 536 with a ducky and a GRE PSR-600 attached to an inside yagi.......and about 85% of the time, at least one radio has a decent copy. Sometimes better....sometimes worse. I've maximally optimized those two rigs, after countless hours of testing various inside antennas, room shielding, radio attenuation, etc.

The Unication decodes Balt Co 800 flawlessly in my house/neighborhood. Very impressive. For this advantage, it was totally worth it. When I drove from Baltimore City back home (Northwest of Lutherville), traveling up Falls Road, the Unication didn't start copying (monitoring Balt Co 800) until I crossed over Cold Spring.....and it was varying from copying to being "out of range" until I got right upon the southwest corner of Lutherville. The radio was in the center cup holder of my SUV and I'm just using the stock 3/4" 700/800 ducky. Will do some more field testing tonight on Balt Co 800 - and I'm going to order a higher gain SMA 800 ducky to try as well. Will also test a few other systems (Balt City 800, AACO800, Harford800) as well. The company is reportedly working on firmware to allow for P25P2 operation....we shall see.
 

doctordave

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
Messages
1,561
I'm also eager to test this device, while located straight across the Bay, in an Eastern Shore coastal area - where BaltCo800 signal is actually booming, but multi-path distortion is extremely bad.
 

doctordave

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
Messages
1,561
So......very interesting update. When I first programmed the radio via software, I selected "site trunking" and tossed in the South system CCs for BaltCo800. Worked like a champ at my house / neighborhood - but signal strength was often around 3 bars. Findings (performance) down in / near Balt City were as previously noted. I happened to watch a webinar produced by the company - and they suggest not activating site trunking, but do not offer an explanation. I just added Balt City 800 data and de-selected site trunking for all systems. Wow. In the Hunt Valley and Timonium areas, Balt City 800 is coming in booming loud, Balt Co 800 South is perfect and, surprisingly, the BaltCo 800 north towers are coming in perfectly / 5 bars. Not sure of the mechanism associated with site trunking vs not using it.....will do some research. I suspect that my repeat testing tomorrow for BCo800 reception inside the City will turn out much differently. Will try AACO 800 on this device, as well. Very encouraging development. Instructional info from the company is rather basic at present - so there is much to learn regarding the full set of features / capabilities (you'll quickly appreciate this while flipping through the Unication forum threads).
 

maus92

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 23, 2004
Messages
3,205
Location
Annapolis
I'll probably buy it when they publish P25P2 firmware since this is most likely going to be the standard for AA and Montgomery Counties (and already with PG.) Very interesting testing though. I'm curious what it can do with the current AACo system which I can always receive, but the analog audio quality is scratchy and sometimes surprisingly poor, and the phase 1 police can get a little warbly.
 

doctordave

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
Messages
1,561
Everything I've read suggests that analog trunked systems cannot be monitored on the G5....and just for verification, I programmed in the AACO system - and got an "out of range" bonk, while sitting on high ground (a place where Unidens can easily copy AACO). It appears that traditional Type II M digital trunked systems are also not monitorable.
 
Last edited:

policefreak

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2007
Messages
1,653
Location
Berlin, NJ
Everything I've read suggests that analog trunked systems cannot be monitored on the G5....and just for verification, I programmed in the AACO system - and got an "out of range" bonk, while sitting on high ground (a place where Unidens can easily copy AACO). It appears that traditional Type II M digital trunked systems are also not monitorable.
That is correct. Very interesting finds!
 

boatbod

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 3, 2007
Messages
1,791
Location
Talbot Co, MD
If the G5 ever gets it's promised p25 phase 2 upgrade I'll be all over it just as long as it can dual watch between vhf paging tones and monitoring FiRST tac channels.
 

doctordave

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
Messages
1,561
I did updated testing in Baltimore today. Excellent results. The BaltCo 800 system pegged 5 bars and sounded very clear during a test drive from the Harbor all the way to Hunt Valley. The City 800 system was also well decoded for the duration of the trip. Very pleased with the results.
 

doctordave

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
Messages
1,561
If the G5 ever gets it's promised p25 phase 2 upgrade I'll be all over it just as long as it can dual watch between vhf paging tones and monitoring FiRST tac channels.

I'm really hoping the P2 firmware upgrade materializes. That would be simply fantastic.
 

SafetyGuy

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Apr 13, 2004
Messages
34
Location
Linthicum, MD
Thanks Doctor Dave! After reading your test of the G5 purchased it last week and Works like a champ on Baltimore City here is Arbutus. Where I live is an RF hole because I am down in a valley. Have the Uniden BCD436hp and receiving the city was always hit and miss. I now hear them down in my basement. Sure hope they come up with a firmware upgrade so you can hold a talk group. You are right a bit pricy to listen to one system.
 

maus92

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 23, 2004
Messages
3,205
Location
Annapolis
Brings up the question why Uniden or Whisler cannot seem to make a receiver that performs as well as the Unication. The will be an expanding market, at least in the metro / high density areas.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top