• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Union county

downeydigs

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Union County, Arkansas, USA
Eldo PD & Fire and UCSO are all DMR now. Any DMR (MotoTRBO) scanner will work. RAS is enabled on the law enforcement sites.
Digital-era newb from Union County here. Haven’t owned a scanner in 10+ years. Would love a base/mobile unit (SDS200), but I’m gonna have to go with the SDS100 so I can take it back and forth from the house to the truck. Maybe one day I’ll invest in a base unit for home and a separate mobile unit for the truck. That being said, I want to make sure I can even hear anything local before I drop $650+. I’m getting conflicting info about encryption in Union County and El Dorado. I found this thread while searching for clarification. You say, “RAS is enabled on the law enforcement sites.” I’m not familiar with RAS. I also noticed that you later posted that you were actively listening to UCSO, EPD, and El Do Fire/EMS. Does “RAS is enabled” mean that UCSO and EPD are encrypted? Can you hear both dispatch and portable/mobile traffic from UCSO and EPD? Will an SDS100 with DMR upgrade be all I need?

Thanks in advance.
 

Sshaffer1

Newbie
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
3
Hi. I’m going to try to help but I am not real scanner savvy as I have mostly only listened to Union county feeds. I had the analog scanner for years. Sheriff and Fire/ambulance went digital years ago but EPD (city police) stayed analog until a few months ago. Then my scanner was useless in Union county. I did the research and bought a TRX-1. Now I can hear everything in Union county. Every now and then (rarely) there seems to be one EPD officer that transmits encrypted. I do not think there is a scanner that will work for that. That said I haven’t heard that encrypted transmission in a long time. All my Union county displays show DMR but none say RAS. Hope this helps.
 

jhsands

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
235
Location
Texarkana, Arkansas
Digital-era newb from Union County here. Haven’t owned a scanner in 10+ years. Would love a base/mobile unit (SDS200), but I’m gonna have to go with the SDS100 so I can take it back and forth from the house to the truck. Maybe one day I’ll invest in a base unit for home and a separate mobile unit for the truck. That being said, I want to make sure I can even hear anything local before I drop $650+. I’m getting conflicting info about encryption in Union County and El Dorado. I found this thread while searching for clarification. You say, “RAS is enabled on the law enforcement sites.” I’m not familiar with RAS. I also noticed that you later posted that you were actively listening to UCSO, EPD, and El Do Fire/EMS. Does “RAS is enabled” mean that UCSO and EPD are encrypted? Can you hear both dispatch and portable/mobile traffic from UCSO and EPD? Will an SDS100 with DMR upgrade be all I need?

Thanks in advance.
The SDS100 with DMR upgrade is what you need. Ignore the information about RAS.
 

downeydigs

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Union County, Arkansas, USA
Hi. I’m going to try to help but I am not real scanner savvy as I have mostly only listened to Union county feeds. I had the analog scanner for years. Sheriff and Fire/ambulance went digital years ago but EPD (city police) stayed analog until a few months ago. Then my scanner was useless in Union county. I did the research and bought a TRX-1. Now I can hear everything in Union county. Every now and then (rarely) there seems to be one EPD officer that transmits encrypted. I do not think there is a scanner that will work for that. That said I haven’t heard that encrypted transmission in a long time. All my Union county displays show DMR but none say RAS. Hope this helps.
The SDS100 with DMR upgrade is what you need. Ignore the information about RAS.
Thank you both, @Sshaffer1 and @jhsands. I went ahead with buying the SDS100, and received it today. I have updated firmware, updated the database, purchased the DMR upgrade, and have established a favorites list of local frequencies and AWIN talk groups and sites.
That being said, I have been monitoring my favorites list and have yet to hear a peep out of any AWIN group, have to go outside the house to hear UCSO DMR, and had to drive a few miles closer to town to hear El Dorado Police/Fire DMR. I’m monitoring all Union County and El Dorado frequencies, and am monitoring the AWIN Huttig and Junction City sites with UCSO, ASP Troop F, AGFC, AHP, and AFC talk groups. I don’t think there is a programming issue since I can receive UCSO and EPD/EFD by changing my location. For reference, my house is wood frame with wood siding, my elevation is 150 ft, and I am 11 miles from the nearest UCSO repeater, 10 miles from the nearest EPD repeater, 16 miles from the Junction City AWIN site, and 20 miles from the Huttig AWIN site. Hopefully you guys can provide some suggestions to help me turn my trot line weight into a scanner. Hopefully I’m not going to need an external antenna, because if that’s the case I would have rather went with the SDS200.

Thank you both, @Sshaffer1 and @jhsands. I went ahead with buying the SDS100, and received it today. I have updated firmware, updated the database, purchased the DMR upgrade, and have established a favorites list of local frequencies and AWIN talk groups and sites.
That being said, I have been monitoring my favorites list and have yet to hear a peep out of any AWIN group, have to go outside the house to hear UCSO DMR, and had to drive a few miles closer to town to hear El Dorado Police/Fire DMR. I’m monitoring all Union County and El Dorado frequencies, and am monitoring the AWIN Huttig and Junction City sites with UCSO, ASP Troop F, AGFC, AHP, and AFC talk groups. I don’t think there is a programming issue since I can receive UCSO and EPD/EFD by changing my location. For reference, my house is wood frame with wood siding, my elevation is 150 ft, and I am 11 miles from the nearest UCSO repeater, 10 miles from the nearest EPD repeater, 16 miles from the Junction City AWIN site, and 20 miles from the Huttig AWIN site. Hopefully you guys can provide some suggestions to help me turn my trot line weight into a scanner. Hopefully I’m not going to need an external antenna, because if that’s the case I would have rather went with the SDS200.
Update/Edit:
I kinda jumped the gun on some of my last post. I have found that I CAN receive UCSO and EPD/EFD from inside my home. I just can’t receive them with the scanner on the end table next to my recliner. However, I still have yet to receive any traffic on AWIN. I overheard UCSO units advising that they would be using AWIN while out of the car earlier, and later even heard them say to another unit, “I’m sure you were monitoring our AWIN traffic, but we have him in custody and are enroute to the ER.” The other unit acknowledged that he had heard the traffic on AWIN. I was scanning the whole time, and I never heard anything. Also not a peep from ASP Troop F. I’d expect something from them.
 

downeydigs

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Union County, Arkansas, USA
Thank you both, @Sshaffer1 and @jhsands. I went ahead with buying the SDS100, and received it today. I have updated firmware, updated the database, purchased the DMR upgrade, and have established a favorites list of local frequencies and AWIN talk groups and sites.
That being said, I have been monitoring my favorites list and have yet to hear a peep out of any AWIN group, have to go outside the house to hear UCSO DMR, and had to drive a few miles closer to town to hear El Dorado Police/Fire DMR. I’m monitoring all Union County and El Dorado frequencies, and am monitoring the AWIN Huttig and Junction City sites with UCSO, ASP Troop F, AGFC, AHP, and AFC talk groups. I don’t think there is a programming issue since I can receive UCSO and EPD/EFD by changing my location. For reference, my house is wood frame with wood siding, my elevation is 150 ft, and I am 11 miles from the nearest UCSO repeater, 10 miles from the nearest EPD repeater, 16 miles from the Junction City AWIN site, and 20 miles from the Huttig AWIN site. Hopefully you guys can provide some suggestions to help me turn my trot line weight into a scanner. Hopefully I’m not going to need an external antenna, because if that’s the case I would have rather went with the SDS200.



Update/Edit:
I kinda jumped the gun on some of my last post. I have found that I CAN receive UCSO and EPD/EFD from inside my home. I just can’t receive them with the scanner on the end table next to my recliner. However, I still have yet to receive any traffic on AWIN. I overheard UCSO units advising that they would be using AWIN while out of the car earlier, and later even heard them say to another unit, “I’m sure you were monitoring our AWIN traffic, but we have him in custody and are enroute to the ER.” The other unit acknowledged that he had heard the traffic on AWIN. I was scanning the whole time, and I never heard anything. Also not a peep from ASP Troop F. I’d expect something from them.
Update again...

I previously had luck receiving inside my house, but now I have not received anything for the past 3-4 hours. I have moved around inside the house, but no luck. Still not a peep from AWIN. I have gone through all of the settings multiple times, and I don’t see anything that would limit which frequencies I can receive. Should I try an aftermarket antenna? Should I exchange the SDS100 for the SDS200 mobile/base unit? Am I going to have to use an outdoor antenna? Maybe you guys can point me to troubleshooting guide for my problem, or point me to another forum that would be more appropriate for my questions/issues.

Thanks again.
 

jhsands

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
235
Location
Texarkana, Arkansas
Are you able to hear the repeaters regularly in your yard? The repeaters have good range but you may be in a hole. I can sometimes hear them in Lafayette County.

As to your AWIN issue, there has to be a radio using the X talkgroup logged onto the tower for the system to broadcast that talkgroup. The system does not have a reason to broadcast the talkgroup if no AWIN radio is on the tower to talk to. That would definitely be the case if it logs you onto the Ramsey or Camden tower.
 

03msc

RF is RF
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
2,635
Location
Arkansas
Update again...

I previously had luck receiving inside my house, but now I have not received anything for the past 3-4 hours. I have moved around inside the house, but no luck. Still not a peep from AWIN. I have gone through all of the settings multiple times, and I don’t see anything that would limit which frequencies I can receive. Should I try an aftermarket antenna? Should I exchange the SDS100 for the SDS200 mobile/base unit? Am I going to have to use an outdoor antenna? Maybe you guys can point me to troubleshooting guide for my problem, or point me to another forum that would be more appropriate for my questions/issues.

Thanks again.
And, to add to what he said...if you're showing good signal for the site but not hearing traffic it's either a programming issue (no active talkgroups programmed or the right services aren't selected) or it's as he said and you're monitoring TGs not affiliated with that site. Since we aren't sitting there with you it's hard to know...

Do you have good signal showing for AWIN the site(s) you're trying to monitor?
 

downeydigs

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Union County, Arkansas, USA
Are you able to hear the repeaters regularly in your yard? The repeaters have good range but you may be in a hole. I can sometimes hear them in Lafayette County.

As to your AWIN issue, there has to be a radio using the X talkgroup logged onto the tower for the system to broadcast that talkgroup. The system does not have a reason to broadcast the talkgroup if no AWIN radio is on the tower to talk to. That would definitely be the case if it logs you onto the Ramsey or Camden tower.
RE: DMR
I can regularly/consistently hear the UCSO, EPD, and EFD repeaters from outside in my yard. It’s very inconsistent from inside the house. I have yet to find the sweet spot inside the house. Every time I think I have found it, I end up listening to silence for hours.

And, to add to what he said...if you're showing good signal for the site but not hearing traffic it's either a programming issue (no active talkgroups programmed or the right services aren't selected) or it's as he said and you're monitoring TGs not affiliated with that site. Since we aren't sitting there with you it's hard to know...

Do you have good signal showing for AWIN the site(s) you're trying to monitor?
RE: AWIN
Based on both of you guys’ comments, I decided to start over. I reset all defaults, erased all user data, and rebuilt my favorites list. I turned on all service types, increased my location range to 50 miles (in case there is any overlap even though I’m monitoring a favorites list). I made sure to include any AWIN and Entergy site that is even remotely close to Union County, and included many more talk groups.

I used the SDS100 Analyze System function to check signal strength for the AWIN and Entergy P25 sites. I get absolutely no signal on any AWIN site from inside my house, and I get very low signal from a couple Entergy sites inside the house. From the yard, I can get very low signal and good quality on AWIN Huttig and Junction City sites (Huttig stronger than J.C.), but no signal from any other AWIN sites. I get a fair signal on some of the Entergy sites (El Dorado, Jersey, Junction City, and even Hamburg) from outside the house. I’ve been working from home today (and it’s HOT outside ...), so I haven’t had a chance to compare signal strength and amount of traffic received in my yard vs around the community or in town.
I do know that I did receive Dallas County S.O. and ASP Troop F AWIN traffic from my yard today, but I haven’t noticed anything from inside.

I know it will eventually come up if I do have to start looking at aftermarket or external antennas: I’d say that UCSO, EPD, and EFD (All 150 MHz DMR), and Union County Rural Fire (150 MHz conventional) are all my first priority for every day scanning. However, AWIN (UCSO, ASP, and AGFC) are a very close second.
 

03msc

RF is RF
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
2,635
Location
Arkansas
OK @downeydigs it sounds like we're getting somewhere. It sounds like you're just on the fringes. Obviously the only solution is for you to move closer to a site. OK, kidding. A good base antenna may be the solution you need since you're pulling stuff in from outside.
 

downeydigs

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Union County, Arkansas, USA
OK @downeydigs it sounds like we're getting somewhere. It sounds like you're just on the fringes. Obviously the only solution is for you to move closer to a site. OK, kidding. A good base antenna may be the solution you need since you're pulling stuff in from outside.
That’s what I was afraid of. Guess I’ll tell the wife and kids that we need to start packing...

I was hoping I would be fine with portable scanner and standard antenna. Now wishing I would have went with a base/mobile model. I just don’t like the look and hassle of a portable with coax plugged into the top and power cord plugged into the side. Maybe they’ll let me return/exchange this one for a SDS200 that I can make a permanent home for on the end table next to my recliner. Can you recommend a good antenna and seller that won’t break the bank? I have a unused TV antenna mast that I can attach it to.
 

slayer816

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 1, 2016
Messages
145
Location
Bastrop, Louisiana
That’s what I was afraid of. Guess I’ll tell the wife and kids that we need to start packing...

I was hoping I would be fine with portable scanner and standard antenna. Now wishing I would have went with a base/mobile model. I just don’t like the look and hassle of a portable with coax plugged into the top and power cord plugged into the side. Maybe they’ll let me return/exchange this one for a SDS200 that I can make a permanent home for on the end table next to my recliner. Can you recommend a good antenna and seller that won’t break the bank? I have a unused TV antenna mast that I can attach it to.
Remtronix 800mhz SDS100 Antenna.

Hate I haven't been monitoring this thread. The stock antenna on 700/800mhz is horrible unless you are within close ranges of sites. The Remtronix antenna does wonders and is the sole difference between me not hearing anything out here in my rural area, and choosing between which sites I want to monitor. 25 Bucks at Scanner Master, which I've purchased most of my radios and accessories. Happy with the store, even more happy with the antenna.


This one is specifically made for the SDS100 and it's connector/oring thing. It is excellent on 700/800mhz and very good 450-470mhz. If you do decide to monitor VHF, switch back to the stock antenna. I would try this one as its a portable antenna and a low price so a possible good idea before you try the base station antenna building option.
 

downeydigs

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Union County, Arkansas, USA
Remtronix 800mhz SDS100 Antenna.

Hate I haven't been monitoring this thread. The stock antenna on 700/800mhz is horrible unless you are within close ranges of sites. The Remtronix antenna does wonders and is the sole difference between me not hearing anything out here in my rural area, and choosing between which sites I want to monitor. 25 Bucks at Scanner Master, which I've purchased most of my radios and accessories. Happy with the store, even more happy with the antenna.


This one is specifically made for the SDS100 and it's connector/oring thing. It is excellent on 700/800mhz and very good 450-470mhz. If you do decide to monitor VHF, switch back to the stock antenna. I would try this one as its a portable antenna and a low price so a possible good idea before you try the base station antenna building option.
Thank you for the recommendation. I will probably try this before sinking a bunch of money into a base setup. I had a SDS200 in my cart all weekend, and even bid on a eBay auction. I was also reading up on base antennas and shopping around. Ultimately, I just couldn’t commit to it after just buying the SDS100 last week. I actually looked at the Remtronix antenna per @safetyobc recommendation on his review of the SDS100. I realize that the Remtronix antenna is tuned for 700-800 MHz, but how does it compare to the stock antenna in receiving in the 150 MHz range? 150 MHz is actually my first priority for everyday scanning, as all of my local agencies are 150 MHz conventional DMR. However, 700-800 MHz P25 is a close second priority, as most state agencies and surrounding counties in my area are on AWIN.
 

milf

Careful, I CAN hear you!
Database Admin
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Its not too shabby on VHF high, but is booya on UHF, and BOOM baby on 700/800/900 MHz. I would suggest getting a splitter and running the Remtronix for UHF and 700/800, and buy a VHF High specific one for that band.
 

slayer816

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Joined
Nov 1, 2016
Messages
145
Location
Bastrop, Louisiana
There is pretty much zero VHF high left on the public safety side here so I am unable to test the range. However, I have picked up Ashley County 150mhz DMR from inside Crossett very well so I can say that it's not any worse. I took it to New Hampshire which has alot of VHF P25 Conventional and it sounded just fine to me. Analog VHF was "okay", definatly not any worse than a stock antenna or another radio. I just can't say for sure that it would pick up VHF digital in a place where another antenna wouldn't.
 

downeydigs

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Union County, Arkansas, USA
Its not too shabby on VHF high, but is booya on UHF, and BOOM baby on 700/800/900 MHz. I would suggest getting a splitter and running the Remtronix for UHF and 700/800, and buy a VHF High specific one for that band.
There is pretty much zero VHF high left on the public safety side here so I am unable to test the range. However, I have picked up Ashley County 150mhz DMR from inside Crossett very well so I can say that it's not any worse. I took it to New Hampshire which has alot of VHF P25 Conventional and it sounded just fine to me. Analog VHF was "okay", definatly not any worse than a stock antenna or another radio. I just can't say for sure that it would pick up VHF digital in a place where another antenna wouldn't.
I ordered the Remtronix antenna as suggested. I’ll report back after I receive it and try it out for a day or two.
 

slayer816

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 1, 2016
Messages
145
Location
Bastrop, Louisiana
I ordered the Remtronix antenna as suggested. I’ll report back after I receive it and try it out for a day or two.
I just received my Diamond RH77CA to bridge the gap on VHF. It does very well on analog VHF high. I may run up to Ashley Co and see how the VHF DMR does. If the Remtronix doesn't help you with that, the RH77CA should. In theory these apparently are the two best handheld antennas that people are talking about.


Either way, the stock antenna is only good for a backup. That I AM sure about at this time.
 

slayer816

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 1, 2016
Messages
145
Location
Bastrop, Louisiana
I ordered the Remtronix antenna as suggested. I’ll report back after I receive it and try it out for a day or two.
Did some testing with the Remtronix antenna today. Picked up ACSO just across the border just fine (data wise, the channel is ENCRY). Also picked up some VHF digital in Ouachita Parish just fine. What is interesting is that I brought along my RH77CA and swapped it on the same frequencies. Remtronix is obviously better for 700/800mhz but I'm starting to think that its better for all around digital too. There's no 800 analog to test but UHF analog sounded horrible on Remtronix but sounded fantastic on the RH77CA. Same for VHF. I need to bring the little 125AT for a true test as we all know the SDS100 is not good on lower analog spectrum frequencies (on average).

Let us know how it works for you.

Side Note: I can pick up Huttig and Sunshine AWIN sites from here. I haven't heard a peep on Huttig even though the CC, Site number, ID, and the rest of the data shows that it is indeed that site. However, Sunshine is always busy. I thought of this when downydigs said he had issues picking up Huttig. I almost said "me too" but I wanted to be sure. Now I am. Is that normal? Keeping in mind I'm down in northern Morehouse and only "test monitor" AWIN from time to time.
 

milf

Careful, I CAN hear you!
Database Admin
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Messages
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Indianapolis, IN
Yes, some sites are a lot busier than others. And then there are times that a "slow" site can suddenly come alive due to special events etc, or a new user comes online that uses that site.
 
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