Where is Berrien County?

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vortex360

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I live just 5 miles south of Berrien County, Michigan yet I never hear them. I get in the P25 out of Jones but I never hear anything from Berrien.
 

mtindor

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I live just 5 miles south of Berrien County, Michigan yet I never hear them. I get in the P25 out of Jones but I never hear anything from Berrien.
I'm not from MI - but since the MPSCS is not a simulcast system that i can see, you probably are going to need to program in every site that is within earshot of you to be able to cover all of the county. For instance, in my county in Ohio there are least 5 sites that I need to program in to be sure to hear all county traffic on our statewide system. You'll likely have to do the same . So you'll need to decide what other site(s) besides "Jones" that you can hear and which are in/bordering your county and add those sites.

That assumes that the agencies you are wanting to listen to are even on the MPSCS.

Also, if you are running in closed mode (where you have specific TGIDs programmed in but no wildcard ... i.e. running in closed mode), then you'll want to either make sure and add the additional talkgroups or run in wildcard/open mode. It might pay to do that once in a while anyway, even if you do have the applicable TGIDs programmed in, just to see if you're missing anything else interesting.

Mike
 

mtindor

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For instance, if you want to be able to hear all the traffic on the statewide system that is in Berrien County, you'd need (at least):

304 sumnerville
305 coloma
306 sawyer
338 grand beach

Then, add to that any sites that are bordering Berrien Co (because radios may affiliate with a site outside of the county if the units are closer to those towers at the time).

For reference - check the RRDB - http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=100

If you can't hear any of the sites physically in Berrien Co, it is unlikely that you will hear much of the Berrien Co traffic that is on the MPSCS.

Mike
 

k8tmk

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I live in Stevensville in Berrien County (near St. Joseph) and get all three towers that serve the county very well. These are Sumnerville, Sawyer, and Coloma. I have never been able to get Grand Beach, even when I was in nearby New Buffalo.

Randy
 

vortex360

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For instance, if you want to be able to hear all the traffic on the statewide system that is in Berrien County, you'd need (at least):

304 sumnerville
305 coloma
306 sawyer
338 grand beach

Then, add to that any sites that are bordering Berrien Co (because radios may affiliate with a site outside of the county if the units are closer to those towers at the time).

For reference - check the RRDB - http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=100

If you can't hear any of the sites physically in Berrien Co, it is unlikely that you will hear much of the Berrien Co traffic that is on the MPSCS.

Mike
Thanks for the replies. I have those 4 programmed in perfectly like you list. The strange thing is I am sitting here listening to Van Buren County out of the Jones area. No bars on the signal strength meter are even registering yet it is coming in so crystal clear it is amazing. I also hear Cass County, St Joseph County and Michigan State Police traffic. It is nice to listen to. I heard Sumnerville coming in very faint also. In the meantime I'm amazed to monitor Van Buren County and will keep my ears open for any kind of Berrien County radio traffic. It'd be interesting to see how the 996 performs on the road.

Tee
 

mtindor

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Thanks for the replies. I have those 4 programmed in perfectly like you list. The strange thing is I am sitting here listening to Van Buren County out of the Jones area. No bars on the signal strength meter are even registering yet it is coming in so crystal clear it is amazing. I also hear Cass County, St Joseph County and Michigan State Police traffic. It is nice to listen to. I heard Sumnerville coming in very faint also. In the meantime I'm amazed to monitor Van Buren County and will keep my ears open for any kind of Berrien County radio traffic. It'd be interesting to see how the 996 performs on the road.

Tee
Tee,

Program the control channels in conventionally and listen to the ones that are red/blue in the database - see if you actually "hear" the control channel data on any of those sites. If not, it may be that you are just too far away - Maybe they are lower power because they have many of them to cover the area and do not need high power. Unfortunately I do not know a thing about this system.

Also, make sure the attenuator on the 996 is turned off globally (and on the systems, if that is an option - i forget).

Also, if you are using the stock antenna that came with the 996, it is my experience as well as many others that the stock antennas on any of the scanners don't perform nearly as well as the Radio Shack 800 Mhz scanner antenna. You might want to consider getting one. Of course, the one I'm referring to is a ducky and you'd need a BNC elbow to connect it up to the 996 or else the antenna would just stick out horizontally. Personally, I think the RS 800 Mhz antenna is well worth its cost. It can be found on the radioshack.com website or in a local radio shack if you are so inclined. Of course, i tell you this only in case you find that the quality of the signal on the Berrien Co sites are not good enough to receive/decode them. And of course, even the RS 800 Mhz may not help a bit, depending on how weak the sigs are.

Anyway, I think that's about all I can offer. You may want to dialog with k8tmk since he may know more about what to expect of signals, etc.

mike
 

jimsokol

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SW Michigan
I am in Berrien County near where k8tmk is. I am able to get all four towers (including grand beach) in the county, plus a few others from here with an outside antenna, and two or three without. When mobile, I am able to receive the grand beach tower in the new buffalo area. I wouldn't count on receiving it too far away from there.

You mentioned you are 5 miles south of Berrien county. Some thoughts on your problems receiving:
- Although the Sumnerville tower may be closer, the characteristics of the tower may not allow the signal to reach far into Indiana directly to the south, so. You are "off to the side of the Jones tower, since it is in eastern Cass county. It is also possible you are in a bad spot for receiving this tower good enough to monitor much of anything
- You will seldom hear Berrien county on the Jones tower because it won't be that often that any Berrien county radios affiliate to it because of its location
- I also echo the advice on trying an 800 mhz antenna to see if it helps. Many of the stock antennas aren't good performers on 800.
 
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