Washtenaw Co. MPSCS Simulcast

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scannerman5000

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Hello,

I was having quite a bit of difficulty with monitoring ANYTHING in Washtewaw Co. (A.A/Ypsi Twp. area) yesterday.

I had my Pro-106 set to the "Washtenaw Simulcast" tower, and it was nothing but garbled all throughout. I checked the control channel, and was getting 97% signal, but audibly was a static nightmare.

I searched for different CC's and found one, but it was not helpful at all.

Anyone have any suggestions on what to do in my settings to rectify the situation?
 

diskmonger

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There is not a scanner on the market that decodes P25 simulcast correctly. Hopefully one of the scanner makers addresses this problem with their next radio.
 

Ronaldski

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My experience with many people using Unidens, radio shacks(gre & whistler) in midland, saginaw simulcast areas with 4 towers. Additionally with peoples experiences nationwide in the forums in dealing with simulcast issues.

Agreed on comments above as no scanner is as good as what is actually used in the field of course. Even then occasionally you'll hear 911 personnel saying they can't understand what is said at times.

Well anyway, it to me is a slam dunk, the Unidens actually work in simulcast areas, whereas the people in my areas most report little or no reception with pro 651,652, ws1040,1065's and the other whistlers. Older Pro 106, 197 people weren't having a problem, short of garbled audio.
I even turned on the attenuater, less antenna etc. just don't work in many areas. Now some areas they do but must be in areas not getting signals from too many towers. The whistlers are good at pulling in all signals it can - a 'hot' front end. Although there comes a point to where they get too much signal and can't handle it.

Uniden uses firmware that helped reception in situations like this and most users in the forums say the 436HP, 536HP's do the best in simulcast areas.

I'm not a 'fanboy' of Unidens just conveying my experiences with all these models.

Here is a forum thread with a video link a fellow made who bought the high end TRX 1 scanner and lives in Saginaw's four tower simulcast system and also reported no reception. Now he took the high road and did get an expensive G4 pager that fire personnel use now. Initially its working ok but the G4 is inducing to the TRX to pickup from being close together.
https://forums.radioreference.com/g...-trx-1-vs-unication-g4-video-mini-review.html

Also I was requested to program your county newspapers Uniden 996XT a few months ago, comment was :)...
"Man you are a lifesaver!!!! Everyone is super happy our scanner works again. Thanks!"

So clearly even the less expensive desktop 996XT (discontinued) works fine there, the 996P2(phase 2) is now current. The portable 325P2(phase 2) is the portable version of that. Then also the homepatrol 1(phase 1) & 2(phase 2) also work well.
 

W2GLD

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I'll chime in here as well as an owner of both the Uniden BCD436HP, BCD536HP, and the Whistler TRX-1 and TRX-2 models... While the Uniden's seem to handle the simulcast systems okay for the most part, they're not flawless as other have already illustrated; however, with regards to the Whistler TRX series of scanners, they can in-fact be configured to monitor the simulcast systems quite nicely; especially the Washtenaw County system as I have direct experience with this one. Also, the TRX series scanners blow away the Uniden's when it comes to VHF/UHF reception and DMR decoding, and as a bonus, you even get NXDN along with it at no additional costs. Now, I will say that I have been a diehard Uniden guy for over 20 years, but with their latest BCD436/536 shenanigans, these will be the last Uniden's I'll ever own as they seem unable to correct the shortcomings of these scanners and more importantly, they (Uniden), after 3 years, still haven't completed features that were originally suppose to be includes with these scanners. So Uniden treats all of us a beta testers and then charges for additional features; whereas Whistler, be it they also treat us a somewhat of a beta customer, they've at least continued to deliver advanced features, software patches, etc and they've decide not to charge their customers additional monies to take advantage of these enhancements.

With all that sad, back to you topic. For the simulcast operation to work, make sure you've done the following:
  1. Program ONLY the control channels for the simulcast system!
  2. Use a quailty antenna such as the 800MHz Radio Shack or better yet, Whistler sells an 800MHz antenna option on their website; well worth it!
  3. Then play with the DSP settings where you wish to listen. Default use to be 64, now it's 100; I personally find that 16 is about right for Washtenaw County where I am located; but your mileage may vary.

One of the really nice features with the Whistler scanners (formally GRE/Radio Shack) is the ability to customize allot of the settings for varies facets of the radio. Give it some time and play around and I think you'll be quite surprised at how good the MPSCS system and Washtenaw County Simulcast system sounds on the Whistler. Another thing is to map out the tower locations and then pinpoint your location on the same map; if you are equally in the middle of two of their sites, you may or may not need the attenuator function turned on. Also, only monitor the simulcast site, don't have it scanning other sites along with it as there's no need if you only wish to hear Washtenaw County and are in the county. Hope this helps and we look forward to hearing a report back from you on your progress; in my opinion, the best scanner on the market right now is the Whistler TRX-1/TRX-2; that being said, the Unication pagers are nice receivers as well, I have one; but they're not a scanner and do not operate like a scanner; but they track the system fairly well, but remember, it's still a public-safety pager, so don't expect it to work like a scanner; and finally, nothing beats a Motorola radio on the system, but, as a user of the system, even these have issues from time to time depending on the RSSI of the site at your location.
 

Ronaldski

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Just an idea is all, if you both are willing, W2GLD and-or scannerman5000 exchange PM's to get together in some way and see what you can do to help him out?
 

opps2016

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Unication receiver can be programmed and will function similar to a scanner. In fact it out performs any scanner when programmed properly. The amount of talk groups that you can listen to is limited.
 

diskmonger

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I own primary Whistler scanners, but also had a Uniden 436 & 536. While the Unidens appear to receive simulcast better initially, I found they were just missing transmissions completely. When it did hear traffic it sounded ok.

The first simulcast site came online in Michigan what, 15 years ago or more? The scanner makes have no excuse, they just don't feel it's important enough to address.

I agree with the comment on the Unications, I own a G5 and they were able to figure it out no problem.
 

krokus

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My PSR-500 did okay with the Washtenaw system, which has the same basic internals as the Pro-106, but not great. The G4 I carry does better, and the two TRX-2 that I recently installed into our stations does well. (I need to make a few tweaks to them, but they are more than adequate out of the box.)

Sometimes, limiting the signal received can help, with a simulcast situation.

Sent via Tapatalk
 

jaspence

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Washtenaw Simulcast

I have a Pro-106 and a PSR-800 (soon to be upgraded). I have very little problem with either, and I realize that my location gets most of the credit. My 800 works well even when used mobile, but the age of the 106 circuitry starts to show in mobile use.
 

W2GLD

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Unication receiver can be programmed and will function similar to a scanner. In fact it out performs any scanner when programmed properly. The amount of talk groups that you can listen to is limited.
I didn't say it couldn't be a scanner, I just said it doesn't function quite the same as a scanner, so basically don't expect it to have the same feature set as a scanner.
 
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opps2016

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I never said you did, I only made a general statement.



I didn't say it couldn't be a scanner, I just said it doesn't function quite the same as a scanner, so basically don't expect it to have the same feature set as a scanner.
 
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