York County Fire (Help with SDS100)

thomasp942

Newbie
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
3
Hello. I'm still a n00b, I've only had my SDS100 scanner for about 3 weeks but I'm picking things up quickly. I bought the scanner with the desire to listen to Hanover Area Fire & Rescue 79 as well as those stations immediately surrouding like West Manheim, Gettysburg, New Oxford, etc. I have the Sentinel software which I have used to create a York PA favorite list and I have deleted or avoided just about everything except Dynamic Patch, Fire, and the C/N/S/W Simulcast. I also have police, ems, and hospital service types off. My issue is that I still always seem to miss the initial dispatches for 79. I tried setting up an alert tone in the SDS100 for the Fire-Dispatch channel and the tone worked for other York County stations but not 79, it I would also seem to miss the first 2 seconds or so of the dispatch with the alert tone on. Back in the day when I was a kid departments had tones and everything seemed so much simpler. I pick up Adams County dispatches great, but they still use tones. I can also pick up Carroll County and Fredrick County in Maryland so I don't think signal reception is my issue. I get full bars on Signal Strength and Decode Quality.

I'm looking for any advise or suggestions on how to improve reception on initial York county FD dispatches.

My current setup:
-Uniden SDS100 scanner with latest firmware and database
-Bingfu HF VHF UHF 20MHz - 1300MHz magnetic antenna
-Antenna is mounted to a large metal plate on my deck (about 2 stories high)
-Cable Experts RG-8X Coax Cable (50ft)
-Ancable Lightning Arrestor/Surge Protector
-Uxcell RG58 BNC Coax Cable (25ft)

Thanks
 

W3DMV

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
614
Location
Gettysburg, Pa
I don’t think York County has had any 2 tone alert paging since
the new system was installed. Alert paging is now digital
on a dedicated UHF channel. There are several York Co guys
on here who can provide the details.
 

tvengr

Active Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
3,145
Location
Baltimore County, MD
Here is a York County Fire West file for you to try. It uses only the West site. Save the attached zipped file to your computer and extract. Go to the File tab in Sentinel and click on Import from hpe file (Favorites List). Click on New Favorites List. Name it York Co Fire W and click on OK. Highlight the extracted file (York Co Fire W.hpe) and click on Open. It will appear as a favorites list in Sentinel.
 

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thomasp942

Newbie
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
3
Here is a York County Fire West file for you to try. It uses only the West site. Save the attached zipped file to your computer and extract. Go to the File tab in Sentinel and click on Import from hpe file (Favorites List). Click on New Favorites List. Name it York Co Fire W and click on OK. Highlight the extracted file (York Co Fire W.hpe) and click on Open. It will appear as a favorites list in Sentinel.
Thank you. I loaded it in Sentinel and to my SDS100 but I'm getting "Nothing to Scan" error.
 

u2brent

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 17, 2010
Messages
2,274
Location
KRWDPAXKRS1
Based on your first post, It sounds like you had the programming correct, But I would avoid the C N S Sites and only have West enabled, which should be the strongest signal in your area.. Having the other more distant sites active could be slowing down the scanner causing delays in reception.. Of course if you travel to those other areas of the county with scanner in hand you have to enable those sites again.. The towers for the west site can be viewed in this link..
The RR DB shows a range on all the sites that cover the entire county, This is incorrect. Each Site only covers the area that it's name implies.. North York County/South York County/Central York County/West York County coverage.

North Site Towers.

South Site Towers. (You probably get a signal from these as well, But West is likely best for Hanover)

Central Site Towers. (also covers the Eastern Side of the county)

RR DB shows the same range on every site.. This is a shot of the central site range from RR, But every site shows the same range circle..
1605720351779.png
Each site should have a range that is smaller and more specific to that area of the county that the name and FCC data implies..
Also increasing the System Hold Time may improve reception..
 
Last edited:

thomasp942

Newbie
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
3
In the profile, is Custom 1 service type enabled and Download and Monitor both On for the favorites list?
I had custom 1 service type off. It's working now. Thanks again and thanks everyone else for your replies as well. Last time I had a scanner (probably very early teens) it was a Bearcat 5 Scanner so things are a little different now.
 
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