Uniden 996xt

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w5wht

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Houston Texas
I have phase 1 simulcast system programed in the scanner and it picks some but not all the time. I have a outside antenna hooked to it and still.
It get the County,Ems, city Fire but not the others. Just short of resetting and reprogramming . it has the 107. firmware up date and it has not helped abit.

Any ideas?


TIA
 

ka3aaa

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a little more information will be needed to help you out like what system and what exactly are you trying to listen to.
 

hiegtx

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I have phase 1 simulcast system programed in the scanner and it picks some but not all the time. I have a outside antenna hooked to it and still.
It get the County,Ems, city Fire but not the others. Just short of resetting and reprogramming . it has the 107. firmware up date and it has not helped abit.

Any ideas?


TIA
Most everything in the Houston/Harris County metro area, including adjoining counties, is on TxWARN. Many of the sites are indeed simulcast. As eaf1956 noted, the 996XT is not the best choice for simulcast. What specific part of the area, and which sites and agencies are you trying to receive? While some of the Houston dispatch frequencies are broadcasts as P25 Phase I, they are also used in Phase II mode, as are most of the other talkgroups for Houston.
 

ofd8001

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As counter-intuitive as it may seem, the trick to getting the best simulcast decode is to worsen the incoming signal. What is happening, usually, is that your scanner is bombarded with signals from two (or more) towers and they are a tad out of sync.

What you want is to go with a poorer antenna or a directional antenna so you are getting just one site. You can even try disconnecting the antenna completely. The best decode I got on our local simulcast system is when I had a bad antenna cable. Of course all the other stuff was out the window.

You can usually confirm simulcast distortion by bringing the radio within 1/4 mile of a site and see if you get clear decode.
 

tvengr

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If you still have a problem after eliminating the other sites, try disconnecting the outside antenna and use only the stock antenna on the scanner.
 

cg

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I read it that he says he is getting certain agencies but not others. Simulcast issues are not talkgroup dependent, they will not allow "County, EMS and city fire and not the others".
It get the County,Ems, city Fire but not the others.
As was mentioned above, Phase 1 vs Phase 2 talkgroups might be the issue. Programming, lockouts, encryption, affiliations will also affect what is heard.

chris
 

hiegtx

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I read it that he says he is getting certain agencies but not others. Simulcast issues are not talkgroup dependent, they will not allow "County, EMS and city fire and not the others".


As was mentioned above, Phase 1 vs Phase 2 talkgroups might be the issue. Programming, lockouts, encryption, affiliations will also affect what is heard.

chris
Certain City of Houston talkgroups are carried on the Houston Government Services Simulcast in Phase I mode. This same radio traffic is also carried, using P25 Phase II talkgroups, on one or more of the Houston Public Safety Simulcast sites. These sites are all on the TxWARN regional system used in the Harris County metro area. You can see more details on this Wiki page:

If the OP is listening to Houston Public Safety (PD & FD), using his 996XT, he would be using the talkgroups specified on the linked Wiki page. Depending on which site (or sites) he is monitoring, there are a number of smaller cities and agencies carried on specific sites of TxWARN.
 

w5wht

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The system is Harris County Central system. And Houston simulcast system. .South Houston and Mutual A 1-2
Took off the outside antenna put the stock on. Nothing not even The state.
 

hiegtx

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The system is Harris County Central system. And Houston simulcast system. .South Houston and Mutual A 1-2
Took off the outside antenna put the stock on. Nothing not even The state.
As has been mentioned several times, the biggest drawback for reception in your area is simulcast. If you have not already done so, read the Simulcast Distortion page in the Wiki for a more complete explanation. Unless you are extremely lucky in your location (which, it seems, is not the case based on your comments), the only thing you can do is try to use a directional antenna to focus reception to only one transmitter site. But doing that limits what you can receive that are carried on different sites. It's not something that can be corrected via programming. In a few isolated cases, you might improve your results by either using attenuation, or by using less of an antenna. Doing that night require using a paperclip for an antenna, or no antenna at all. But, again, that may also affect other agencies that you might also want to monitor.

South Houston is on Site 1-52, Harris County Central Simulcast. You can see a map with the simulcast tower locations here:

As far as Houston Public Safety itself goes, it also has a group of simulcast locations, and it's sites, I believe, only carry P25 Phase II traffic, which your scanner cannot receive. The limited number of Houston Public Safety talkgroups that are P25 Phase I are carried on the Houston General Government Services Simulcast, site 3-005, as was noted above in post 11. A map of that site's tower location can be seen here.

Your only really effective way to improve results would be to consider acquiring one of the Unication pagers, or a scanner in Uniden's SDS series.
 

ofd8001

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Once again, are you able to go on a road trip and get the scanner close (as in 1/4) to a transmitter/site? If you do and get clear reception there, that will confirm it is a simulcast issue.

If it is a simulcast issue and you have tried all the other "fixes" listed above, plainly speaking, you are S.O.L. The 996XT scanners are lousy when it comes to simulcast decode - I know because I literally have one at my finger tips I am re-programming. I cannot decode anything that is present on my "home" county simulcast sites, but the next county over, is crystal clear because it is not simulcast. This is the nature of simulcast.
 

hiegtx

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dont have that kind of money to through away on them.
For listening from home, you might check into using one of the SDR dongles, and software, to receive what you want. Not a workable "portable" solution, but you could hear what you want using that approach. There are a number of Wiki articles, online videos, and other resources to help.
 

slayer816

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Don't forget about the Classifieds. There are plenty of listeners out there that would buy that unit. Also a good place to browse for a preowned newer model.
 
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