WISCOMM Programming

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KeithBogut

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I live just south of Stillwater and I'm trying to listen to Wisconsin public safety on they're WISCOMM P25 system. According to RR, I should be in range of the Baldwin control frequency 139.2125 but I've never heard a single transmission. I do have a system/site/group set up in my BCD325P2 that I think should work, as it's based on similar programming for Washington county groups that are successful.

I do hear Hudson on conventional frequency 155.5800, loud and clear, but only the police/sheriff.

Can anyone suggest some ways to troubleshoot this problem?
 

ofd8001

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Have you programmed the Baldwin site as part of the ARMER system or have you created a whole new WISCOM system?

I'd be inclined to program WISCOM as its own thing.

After doing so, I'd probably set the scanner to do ID Search, at least until I confirm I'm receiving things as I should.
 

KeithBogut

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I do have it programmed as a separate system. I will set it to ID Search instead of Scan. Thanks.
 

JASII

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This should probably be moved to the Wisconsin area. I did a bit of WISCOMM listening earlier this winter. Selecting ID Search is solid advice. What you might find, unless things have changed drastically since I tried it, was that there are few agencies using it near Minnesota.

You should hear Talkgroup 151 Wisconsin State Patrol Northwest 1 - Eau Claire Post.

Go to Post # 8 on the below thread.
http://forums.radioreference.com/wisconsin-radio-discussion-forum/340968-programming-unication-g5-vhf-800-mhz-trip-through-wisconsin.html
 

KeithBogut

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I posted to the MN forum because I thought I'd have better luck talking with other MN residents that might have had the same problem. It could just be a question of distance, as Baldwin is a ways away, in which case the range graphic on RR might not be accurate. I will program the Eau Clair SP TG. The boundaries of the various groups is difficult to interpret. Thanks for your reply.
 

peewee007

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I live just south of Stillwater and I'm trying to listen to Wisconsin public safety on they're WISCOMM P25 system. According to RR, I should be in range of the Baldwin control frequency 139.2125 but I've never heard a single transmission. I do have a system/site/group set up in my BCD325P2 that I think should work, as it's based on similar programming for Washington county groups that are successful.

I do hear Hudson on conventional frequency 155.5800, loud and clear, but only the police/sheriff.

Can anyone suggest some ways to troubleshoot this problem?
Try the frequency of 152.0225 for St Croix/Baldwin site - 152.2175 for Polk/Dresser - 139.6125 Pierce
 

KeithBogut

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I had 152.0225 programmed already. I'm more than 20 miles from Polk/Dresser and Pierce counties, so I don't think that will be productive, but I'll try it.
 

ofd8001

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The RR database gives a range of 30 miles, so you might get lucky. It would not be wrong to cast a pretty wide net when it comes to initial programming. If you add a couple of sites that are out of range, the adverse impact is minimal on scanning.

Once you get a better handle on what can and can't be received, you can refine your programming.
 

wogggieee

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Are you getting any kind of control channel or anything like that and just not voice transmissions or are you not getting any signal at all? If the answer is the latter I'd try getting in your car and driving towards baldwin to see if starts working. I'd bet its simply a distance issue.
 

KeithBogut

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I don't understand what you mean by getting any kind of control channel, but not voice. I don't get any signals on any frequency related to WISCOM. I think you're right about the distance issue.
 

ofd8001

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On a trunked system, if you are receiving the control channel, you should see some bars in the upper right hand corner. Those indicate an in-coming signal. You may not hear voice because there are no active transmissions. Still that will confirm you have the correct frequencies programmed and you are in range.
 

sfd119

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I can pick up sites with an external antenna mounted on my truck that are 20-30 miles away.
 

KeithBogut

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I know the bars you describe, but don't see any. I've considered getting a better antenna (I use the stock rubber duck that came with my BCD325P2) but haven't been able to figure out what to buy.
 

JASII

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...I've considered getting a better antenna (I use the stock rubber duck that came with my BCD325P2) but haven't been able to figure out what to buy.
There is your answer right there. I also have a BCD325P2. It is a nice little scanner, but the OEM antenna is very underwhelming, to say the least. I recently resurrected my Diamond RH77CA. I am not going to say it is the only antenna out there, because it isn't. But it is a great antenna for my needs.

At the risk of possibly pointing out the obvious, you might even want to consider a nice mobile antenna for use inside. Some use a pizza pan for a ground plane. A mobile antenna inside might just accomplish what you want to do.

Diamond® Antenna ~ RH77CA HT/Scanner Antenna
 

KeithBogut

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Thanks JASII, I've read on RR that using a "good" antenna on ARMER can create problems by receiving transmissions from multiple towers. Is this really a problem? A 15" antenna seems like a monster to deal with. I've seen adds for a variety of antennas, but I have no idea how to judge quality (I'm really new at all this). Can you point me to any sites that explain how to choose one?

I really appreciate your help.
 

ofd8001

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Having a "good" antenna could be a "bad" thing for a simulcast system, such as what you have in Washington County. Whether it will actually will be depends where you are with respect to the various towers. (A "good" antenna would be a roof top or attic mounted antenna.)

A number of folks (including me) have had pretty good results with the Radio Shack 800 antenna https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-800mhz-scanner-antenna

The downside of the Radio Shack antenna is that it is geared toward 800 MHz frequencies. That's fine if all you are listening to is ARMER, but with you trying to pull in WISCOM on VHF it may work against you.

So the RH 77 may be better, despite its length, because it is more of an "all band" antenna.

If you do get this antenna and find you start getting "garble", you can set the attenuator on for the Washington simulcast site in your scanner's programming.
 
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