If you are using a radio shack scanner, you can get too much
signal and the radio cant handle that. Reduce the signal,
the radio off the outdoor antenna, put on the included antenna.
Turn on the attenuator example
2) Do a test, when its getting something or a good one - NOAA
weather, push slightly
in on the antenna connector, if the signal improves, you have
hopefully just a cracked solder joint. Fix is to open the scanner up
and remelt the solder. Portables take more abuse and
in my opinion the BNC connector - the push in and twist type, is more
prone to that than the SMA connector - the screw on type - newer
unidens use this.
The other possible thing is after many years the two little connections
you see on the antenna connector if you remove the
antenna may have separated,
more prone to that if you remove-install the antenna a lot. Try as much
I can, no easy fix on the separated connectors. I replaced the
3) Adjust the squelch as you may have accidentally
made the radio less sensitive by applying a higher squelch.
This only applies to non digital frequencies, digital frequencies
4) Check to see if you have accidentally turned
on the attenuator - ATTEN on Home patrols or the global attenuator -
Global is for Radio
shack radios, letters GA appears on the display
5) If you listen to Saginaw/Midland/Genesee/Flint/Lapeer
They are simulcast systems and many others have commented to me as well
That is, multiple towers transmit the same frequency signal, so the
radio gets confused on the strong-weak signals picking up from multiple
There are several tweaks I set to minimize any garbling of audio for
Unidens, Radio Shacks and GRE brand which I utilize.
Lower the antenna so to try and get only one tower.
Honestly there are no perfect settings to 100% alleviate garbled
Four towers putting out the same frequency and the audio gets garbled.
Uniden put out a firmware update for models
Patrol, and the 996XT
that went a long way
to help make these systems
now ! :) All the newer Unden models have this
Simulcast distortion examples - First
and Second one
Apply any firmware updates.
6) Reposition the radio, even sideways
7) If you have another antenna, try that.
8) Accidentally locked out frequencies?
9) Does it work while just outside the house? Possibly your in a weak
signal area and the higher digital 800 frequencies don't go through
walls as well,
that does even include tree leaves.
10) If not a good signal, are you using the all band stock
antenna? If so, the Radio
Shack 800 MHz antenna
does dramatically increase the signal for
MHz - the digital band as I can attest on my radios. Be advised due to
being an 800 MHz antenna, it
lower the reception especially in the
150's and airplane
band. It may also make the simulcast garbling worse mentioned in
it will likely pull in another tower or so.
11) Take a qtip with isopropyl alcohol and remove the antenna on the
radio and swab the antenna all around the silver ground connector
where the antenna connects. * If you try this, DON'T apply
connector as you don't want to spread the contacts apart !
It did help a lot for me and several others, the connectors, mainly the
ground contacts can get quite dirty and limit the reception.
If your within say a 1/2 mile or less of a cellphone tower, it can
ruin reception on digital big time. You would have to get a directional
pointed towards the 911 tower or more than likely you'll
need to get a filter
13) Make sure if you have pushed the antenna in and give it a twist
otherwise the antenna is not connected to the radio.
Some Uniden radios with antennas that just screw on, be sure those are fully seated and screwed in fully.
1) Why did my 911 services switch to
digital? Generally its because of the narrow banding mandate of January
Many decided to just switch to
MPSCS digital to have the interoperability with other agencies.
2) Will digital scanners receive non digital (analog) frequencies? Yes
3) Can I just upgrade my existing analog radio?
No. There is no circuitry
inside the analog scanners to decode the digital transmissions, You'll
need to get a digital scanner.
4) Will my scanner work on digital?
A) If it can't get the 800 MHz frequencies - it wont decode 911 digital.
B) If you paid less than $250 brand new - It wont decode 911 digital.
C) If you paid at least $250 brand new and it says trunktracker IV or
P25, it will decode 911 digital.
D) If your radio models are any of these, it will decode 911 digital;
Radio Shack Pro 96, 2096, 197, 106, 18, 651, 652, 668
Uniden 296D, 796D,
396T, 996T, 396XT,
996XT, Home Patrol 1 & 2,
325P2, 436HP, 536HP
Whistler WS1040, WS1065, WS1080, WS1088,
WS1095, WS1098, TRX-1, TRX-2
GRE PSR 500, GRE PSR 600, GRE PSR 800
E) Check these two links to find out if yours can do so, check to see
if it says it can do P25, if it can, it will decode 911 digital.
Radio Shack: http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Radio_Shack_Scanners
F) One guarantee I will have for you is that the digitals are a MAJOR
change over the analog scanners to program.
Assuming you get one, you'll see that and it will
be 'very confusing' on how to program them.