Using 536 for PG County

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rdballenger

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Dec 19, 2004
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I just bought the 536 and already own a Uniden Home Patrol. The 536 is a little intimidating, but that is the case for anything with powerful capabilities. The lack of good documentation is frustrating - that is why this board is so valuable.

Does anyone have advice on receiving the PG County system? I'm getting some traffic, but not nearly as much that comes up on the web feed for PG County through Broadcastify.

I have played around with changing the band modulation from NFM to FM, and have also played around with using the manual decode level, as well as having the squelch open. I'm also using ID Search, not scan.

Any other tips for using a 536 in the Metro DC region appreciated!

Thanks in advance.

David
KU8V
 

troymail

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I just bought the 536 and already own a Uniden Home Patrol. The 536 is a little intimidating, but that is the case for anything with powerful capabilities. The lack of good documentation is frustrating - that is why this board is so valuable.

Does anyone have advice on receiving the PG County system? I'm getting some traffic, but not nearly as much that comes up on the web feed for PG County through Broadcastify.

I have played around with changing the band modulation from NFM to FM, and have also played around with using the manual decode level, as well as having the squelch open. I'm also using ID Search, not scan.

Any other tips for using a 536 in the Metro DC region appreciated!

Thanks in advance.

David
KU8V
Assuming you're in Alexandria, you *might* be on the fringe of the reception area - probably borderline between the PG North and South sites.

Couple of things to try:

1. Make sure all service types are enabled.

2. Put the north and south sites into separate QKs and enable one or the other one at a time. See what the signal strength is for each.

3. Remove all except the CC frequency for each site (774.68125 is typically the north site CC frequency - delete the others on the north site).

4. HOLD on the system and see if you hear more. I find the scanner "scans right over" some activity. HOLD on the system (or even better on a specific talkgroup) results in more activity being heard.

5. Drive into the PG coverage area and see if the reception improves. If so and it's lost when you return home, your home location is just bad for receiving the system.
 

jkahn

Very good looking Member
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Silver Spring MD
Assuming you're in Alexandria, you *might* be on the fringe of the reception area - probably borderline between the PG North and South sites. ......SNIP ......
Maybe....Maybe not. I live right off 495 and University Blvd in MoCo, and can only get a weak marginal signal from PG. (PSR800) If I am on the beltway heading East from Univ. Blvd, PG suddenly comes in gangbusters (and conversely, drops off the edge of the world going West) in-between the New Hampshire Ave and I95 exits (literally under the Riggs Road overpass).

They operate low power and must have really fine-tuned the antenna position to max out coverage within the County.

I can tell you that Clinton District comes in really well from the 8th floor of the gaylord hotel!

JK :)
 

awal

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Apr 2, 2004
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Washington DC Metro
I live in the U (Upper Marlboro - near Wise HS) and honestly - I get everything from Animal Control to the SHA to all of PGFD and PGPD.
 

Chris45

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May 26, 2004
Messages
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Assuming you're in Alexandria, you *might* be on the fringe of the reception area - probably borderline between the PG North and South sites.

Couple of things to try:

1. Make sure all service types are enabled.

2. Put the north and south sites into separate QKs and enable one or the other one at a time. See what the signal strength is for each.

3. Remove all except the CC frequency for each site (774.68125 is typically the north site CC frequency - delete the others on the north site).

4. HOLD on the system and see if you hear more. I find the scanner "scans right over" some activity. HOLD on the system (or even better on a specific talkgroup) results in more activity being heard.

5. Drive into the PG coverage area and see if the reception improves. If so and it's lost when you return home, your home location is just bad for receiving the system.
I was on the Alexandria, VA waterfront last week and did receive PG County fairly well. I noted today on higher elevation in Alexandria that I could pull a signal. I was using a BCD436HP. I believe the signal had fluctuating strength and the radio would go into a rebooting sequence. This happened more than once, even while only scanning the PG system. Also heard what sounded like a control channel. Used the PG template from the RR database.
 

Chris45

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May 26, 2004
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Rebooting of BCD436HD

Reboot sequence? Do you mean that for no reason at all, the radio would just reboot?
Yes, and I cannot explain why this happened. It only happened while monitoring PG County.

It seemed to unmute a digital signal, and the radio rebooted, just like when it is turned on and read/writes the SD.

This has happened nowhere else on other systems I monitor.


Chris
 

SentinelVT

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Dec 26, 2006
Messages
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Location
Burlington, Vermont
Just as an FYI, I just received my BCD536HP today and I am able to receive PG County's system with very high quality. I am located in Northern Laurel (Howard County), so I am most likely picking up the Patuxent tower.

I tried out the ID Searching function and actually found an unlisted talkgroup: 1145. It was being used for fire department radio traffic and sounded as though it was for training purposes, unless PG has a fire this evening.
 

Chris45

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May 26, 2004
Messages
144
PG Monitoring with BCD436HP

Reboot sequence? Do you mean that for no reason at all, the radio would just reboot?
Today I was again in Alexandria monitoring PG County from a higher elevation.

The scanner indicated a fluctuating signal strength, unmuted a channel that had a buzzing sound, and again the BCD436HP rebooted itself. This happened two times. I have concluded that maybe there is an error in the PG database from RR.Com, and/or possible it is a distance issue from the system. There is nothing wrong with the scanner as it performs flawlessly on everything else in the area.
 
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Hello,

For those that had some rebooting issues monitoring PG County, did you update the Firmware? Download the latest Firmware version for your unit, then report your experience.
 

troymail

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Supply (Lockwood Inlet area), NC
Hello,

For those that had some rebooting issues monitoring PG County, did you update the Firmware? Download the latest Firmware version for your unit, then report your experience.
FWIW - Today, I ran a test using an externally powered 436 with the current/most recent firmware - monitoring only the PG system and recording all day (~ 9+ hours). The radio didn't appear to reboot. I'm basing this on the assumption that the recordings would have stopped.
 
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