Below we discuss some odd issues we get involved with that others, including specialists in said trades were unable to remedy for the clients. While not experts in every system we encounter a lot that with a good basic knowledge of electronics from low voltage DC, home AC wiring, three phase commercial plus radio communications installation and repair to aircraft instrument systems to land, ship, aircraft and weather radar we can quite often look at a device have never seen which has had multiple repair companies abandon, take some time to research the system then with our huge collection of meters. oscilloscopes, function generators, spectrum analyzers, tri-field meters including all of these and more with the ability to monitor a device for long periods and "catch" an event when it happens. That is what we see as the biggest issues with some electrical gremlins is the devices will be working when tech arrives, tech passes it then leaves, a day or week later it faults but by time tech returns it has corrected itself. Few techs can pull a half dozen Fluke NIST Certified calibrated logging meters, attach them to input side from the grid, power supply, emergency power side of system and then other specific meters to the device. We have pulled up on a jobsite before daylight, attached a dozen meters to a device and sat till after midnight waiting for that little blip on a single circuit to tell us what the issue may be.


Uniden Scanner Bank Uniden Scanner Bank Wiring Mess Scanner Antennas Scanner Antennas

   The above photos are blurry and from our initial survey of job. They belong to a company that cleans up fire, water and crime scene damages and mess. The scanners were attached to recorders and each monitored the fire frequencies in areas they did majority of work. They would have people listen daily to traffic while reviewing recordings from previous night and every call where reports of actual fires department having to extinguish or EMT/paramedics reported shooting victims, recovering dead body of someone who had passed days or weeks before. They immediately send salesmen to those addresses to offer services to fix whatever the damage was and bill insurance company direct. As APCO 25 came along they tried to keep up with Uniden BCD996T and Uniden BCD996XT P1 protocol then Motorola X2-TDMA and P II protocols were FCC approved confusing their system. They did not need to hear both sides of a conversation from dispatch to field just enough for an address and extent of damage to know if worth sending a sales representative.

     We looked at this mess and explained needed to raise the antenna mast another thirty feet to keep surrounding buildings from shading signals and give more range to some territory wanted to expand into. Also a third wide band discone scanner antenna needed to be added and all wiring/feed line replaces with new line that was not showing cracks and splits in sheath, had lower loss to get cleaner signal to scanners, the main switching panel cleaned up with better patch cables and at least a half dozen new scanners added that covered Motorola X2-TDMA and P II APCO protocols as many of the departments just dropped instantly from their monitoring had upgraded beyond P1 APCO. They were fine with this till I told them to continue getting enough traffic we needed a couple of fast computers running a piece of "hacker" software designed to crack all versions of P 25 to date so their pile of old scanners could just be tethered to new computer instead of replaced if the department they monitored upgraded past P1. Their I.T department lost their minds. I said we could protect their computer system by separating the scanner bank and computers that recorded the traffic from their business computers so if one was compromised the other was not.

   About a year after these photos were taken were called back, installed new antenna mast raising antennas 35 feet while adding a third antenna, Diamond D300N. We replaced the pencil size Radio Shack feed line with Times Microwave LMR 400 which dropped loss of signal in the wire between antennas and scanners by over 70% basically increasing signal strength by 2/3 really lighting up some which were no longer hearing municipalities that had moved their antennas or reduced strength as FCC wants all users to transmit the minimum signal strength needed to do their jobs.  First we added a half dozen Uniden BCD996P2's which with their full range of Project 25 protocol abilities and USB port for easy connection to almost any computer these were installed as a separate stand alone system to listen to their most important municipalities and ability for their I.T. guys to reprogram without any special training.  We added a computer on Linux Umberto operating system running a software package called OP25 for scanning Project 25 signals and ran about a half dozen of the older scanners to it and then a second computer that just recorded, named scanner recording was from, time stamped and stored the audio for techs to revise as monitored next days traffic. That was in 2013 and have not heard back from them except when we asked if o.k. to use photos of their new system and were told no as believe they do not want competitors to see how easily they can track surrounding fire and police calls for ability to get their salespeople on scheme first to offer up a bid to get the mess cleaned up. If need the ability to scan a wide variety of frequencies and record traffic for later dissemination we can help.







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