Tri-Cities Scanner Frequencies
January 2011 Newsletter

Listen to the live scanner at:
http://live.scannerfood.com

  • STARS Fully Operational
  • VHF Log Periodic Plans
  • Feed Certification
  • Feed Stats
  • Smyth County Woes
  • RF Availability Mapping
  • FCC Recent Licenses Updated

 

Well Since the last newsletter, we've found new frequencies...
Here's a sample of what's new....
Output Input Tone Name State County
151.1300 159.0150 192.8 Alleghany Co EMS Repeater NC Alleghany
152.4425 157.7025 218.1 Utlity Trailer Repeater Glade Spring VA Washington
157.2250   N190 VA Stars MO (Digital P25) VA Virginia
159.6300   74.4 TME Interstate Service Repeater VA Wythe
451.6000   131.8 THP Repeater Input- Fall Branch TN Tennessee

Major updates soon (weather permitting)

Check out the Radio PhoneBook (link at bottom) for more.


Virginia STARS is fully operational

Virginia’s statewide digital radio system is now operational statewide; while the late 2010 build-out deadline was met, operational readiness did slide into early 2011. Sources indicate that there are still some minor issues to resolve, however the Virginia State Police has announced internally that the system is fully operational from Lee County to Appomattox. The new digital P25 System encompasses at least 20 separate state agencies and has the ability to link users statewide and patch local government’s conventional land mobile radio systems.

Since the state has already shown that encryption is a ready and simple option, we have practiced a “supply on demand” for frequency and talk-group information. While this does seem to contradict our historical sense of publishing any and everything, we feel the months of research and collaboration should not be wasted by the information being posted across the internet by others. We also would like to point out that the frequency, site, talkgroup, user, and other information about the STAR’s network is exempted from the FIOA. Additionally, with the use of VHF marine band waivers many of the frequencies used inland, especially in the southwestern Virginia counties, are not available by a simple FCC database search. Therefore in respect of collaborative efforts, to respect the FIOA exclusions, and preserve the accuracy of such data, large scale details of the new STARS system will not be made public.

While other sources claim to have the details of the network in other parts of the state, large voids of erroneous information and mismatched control channel data make monitoring somewhat difficult. It is also our hope that by limiting the dissemination of the information will discourage the use of encryption by state agencies. The department of Game and Inland Fisheries has been using full encryption since the radios were first installed; we hope that routine communications will one day become open again.. Unfortunately, some operations other than game and forest officers are encrypted too and most likely will remain that way. The state advised users initially that their communications could be monitored, however the facilitation of such would require much more expensive scanners and to be effective, detailed frequency information. With the help of the internet getting that detailed information can only take a few minutes. Do you think if state officals discovered this information out in the open they would do anything? When pressing a button labeled “secure” can solve the problem in a couple seconds….

Finally, we surveyed our usual viewers, subscribers, even local retailers, asking about the interest of Digital Scanning in Southwest Virginia, we were disappointed to discover that the interest and sales of digital scanners were almost non-existent!

We hope that you understand our reasoning and if you’re up to purchasing a digital scanner know that our [you and us] collaborative efforts can give us both years of enjoyable listening. For individuals, our non disclosure has been due to our research group agreements, please do not let this jeopardize our relationships regarding future frequency / information sharing.

Let us know what you’re hearing and we’ll make sure we're on the same page.
Drop us a line and well supply you with the necessary programming information for your local area or venture. While we are not
currently physically programming scanners, we will point you in the right direction with the information you need.

scannerfood@gmail.com

Log Periodic Antenna Plans

We've taken on the winter blues with another antenna project, this time for a VHF log periodic antenna.
After learning that log periodics are based a concept of
fractals, we decided to look at purchasing our own.
After seeing prices in the $150-$300 for very simple antennas (some range up to several thousand) we decided to make our own.

Materials List

Material Quantity Length/ detail
1/4'' Brass Rods 8 36"
1/4'' Brass Rod 1 42"
Wooden Rod/Dowel 1 3'
Panel Mount RF Connector 1 PL259 / N
Machine Screws 2 For RF Connector
Nuts 2 For RF Connector
Lock Nuts 2 For RF Connector
U -Bolt 1 Fits Mast
Gorilla Glue - -
50 Ohm Coax Stub - 3'
Dimensions
Element Length'' Length(m)
Element 0 41  5/16 41.33
Element 1 38  1/16 38.07
Element 2 35  1/16 35.03
Element 3 32  1/4 32.28
Element 4 29  3/4 29.72
Element 5 27  3/8 27.36
Element 6 25  3/16 25.19
Element 7 23  3/16 23.18
Spacing Length" Length(m)
Element 0 4  1/8 4.13
Element 1 3 13/16 3.81
Element 2 3  1/2 3.5
Element 3 3  1/4 3.22
Element 4 2 15/16 2.95
Element 5 2  3/4 2.75
Element 6 2  1/2 2.51
Element 7 2  5/16 2.32

Technical Data
Type Log Periodic
Gain 6~ dBm
Lowest Frequency 150.00 MHz
Highest Frequency 186.47 MHz
Overall Length 22 5/16"
Angle 21.600
Tau 0.9208
Sigma 0.0500

Element 1 is made of 2 of the 36'' rods cut to size (each side), 42" required for longest (only single) element (0), unless phased.
All rods are cut in half, glued to the boom separated from either side.
Phasing wires are necessary as described below, from the feedpoint to the last element.

Feedpoint is fed by a section of coaxial cable to make the connector point more practical. Brass rods compared to other materials are easy to solder and widely available. Purchasing online is less expensive that that available at your local hardware store in most cases.

RadioReference.com Feed Notice

Both the Wide Area and Washington County, VA feeds have been certified with
RadioReference.com's terms of service update.

What does this mean?
Our feed was made compliant in early 2010, there have been no changes to our feeds.
Based on careful consideration, our feed content is inline with a national standard of "what's acceptable" to broadcast.

What Frequencies Changed in 2010?
School Bus, Medcom, and Military (Holston Army ammo Plant) frequencies were excluded from the feeds.


Feed Stats courtesy of radioreference.com

Spikes in listeners on 1/20 for the Wide Area Feed at 4:45 PM
Washington County feed on 1/28 at 7:01 AM

Wide Area
Min 3
Max 73
Washington County
Min 0
Max 30

For select recordings see the Media Section.


Wide Area Feed


Washington County, VA


Smyth County Radio Issues

Smyth County, VA has continued to experience issues with 155.835. Per reception it appears the PA stage (Power Amplifier) of the repeater is intermittently failing. Reception of Two Way Radio Inc doing test counts
confirms there is a known problem, the issue has improved some but is sporadic in nature. Reception reports closer to the repeater are not affected as bad further adding evidence to the PA failure theory.
We'll keep you posted, so far the other new county frequencies are doing great from our monitoring perspective.


Cloud RF

Cloud RF is a freeware/pay per use service that maps static radio path availability based on aural map data including line of sight based on terrain and affects of signal curvature based on frequency as well as power output / dBmV levels. Living in the mountains we have great potential for this free resource as even at the lesser distances (freeware) when mapped, will show the effects of line of sight. These effects are typically useful elsewhere over longer distances (paid) where terrain is not a factor.

ENJOY!

http://www.cloudrf.com

It uses SPLAT! (Signal Path Loss and Terrain Analysis Tool) supported by SRTM2 elevation data from NASA. This server generates images displaying path loss in decibels which are overlaid on Google Maps. The process takes from between 5 seconds for a 5km radius prediction to 25 seconds for the larger 15km variants.

Check out their Android App from your smart phone! Search "Cloud RF"


Recommended Reading
Two- Way Radios and Scanners
for Dummies

ISBN: 978-0764595820

Perfect for anyone new to the hobby and an excellent refresher for us that have become a little rusty. This is the most up to date publication that effectively covers multiple radio services available.

I have been mentoring someone new to the scanner hobby and provided a little reinforcement. If you're wanting to test your skills, here are some sample tests I quickly drew up to make the subject matter a little more intensive.

Chapters 1-6 Test
Chapters 7-9 Test
Chapters 10-12 Test
Chapters 13-14 Test
Chapter 15 Test
Chapter 16-17 Test
Chapter 18 Test (Feb 2011)

Answers to chapters 1-6 HERE
Answers to chapters 7-9 HERE
Answers to chapters 10-12 HERE
Answers to chapters 13-14 HERE
Answers to chapter 15 HERE
Answers to chapter 16-17 HERE

Answers to follow in each new newsletter

 
Recent FCC Licenses UPDATED!
These are yet to be confirmed as active, however its not a bad idea to go ahead and program them in if live near their respective service areas. They have been hand picked from hundreds of new licenses.     FB - Base
MO- Mobile / Portable Use
MOI- Interconnected Mobile
FB2 - Repeater
FB2C - Repeater with interconnect
FB6C - Shared Repeater
FX1- Link to Repeater
FXO - Fixed Transmitter

You can search for FCC
licenses on the
Research page.

NEW
  1. Moores Snack Foods ( c/o Snack Alliance - Maker of delicious Terry's Potato Chips) acquired a new license for handheld radios for use in and around the plant.
  2. The Department of Mines and Minerals renewed their UHF repeater, this frequency is seldom used and may have been renewed as an administrative option to reserve the frequency pairs for future use or re-allocation.
  3. Clintwood, Coeburn, and Hawkins County... have new water telemetry frequencies, also known as SCADA.
  4. In Russell County, Belfast Fire Department renewed an ancient fixed base license and the county has obtained yet another license for a repeater on Big A Mtn. Russell County's Emergency Services director, Jess Powers has been featured in several news articles for recent achievements regarding preparedness in the county.
  5. In Abingdon, Virginia HighlandsCommunity College has a new license for a UHF repeater on campus. This is designated for campus security/PD use. We are still waiting for first monitor to occur, but suspect it may already be active based on recent radio checks.
County State Agency Callsign Frequency Type Note
Bristol VA Moores Snack Foods WQNG240 451.3625 MO Plant Handhelds
Bristol VA Moores Snack Foods WQNG240 451.4125 MO Plant Handhelds
Bristol VA Moores Snack Foods WQNG240 451.7375 MO Plant Handhelds
Bristol VA Moores Snack Foods WQNG240 452.1625 MO Plant Handhelds
Russell VA DMME KNHU770 453.4250 FB2   Big A Repeater
Wise VA DMME KNHU770 453.4250 FB2   High Knob Repeater
Wise VA DMME KNHU770 453.4250 FB2   Pennington Gap Repeater
Grayson VA DMME KNHU770 453.4250 FB2   Whitetop Repeater
Wise VA DMME KNHU770 453.4250 FB   Oakwood
Wise VA DMME KNHU770 453.4250 FB   Big Stone Gap
VA VA DMME KNHU770 453.4250 MO   Statewide
Russell VA DMME KNHU770 453.6500 FB2   Big A Repeater
Wise VA DMME KNHU770 453.6500 FB2   High Knob Repeater
Wise VA DMME KNHU770 453.6500 FB2   Pennington Gap Repeater
Grayson VA DMME KNHU770 453.6500 FB2   Whitetop Repeater
Buchanan VA DMME KNHU770 453.6500 FB   Oakwood
Wise VA DMME KNHU770 453.6500 FB   Big Stone Gap
VA VA DMME KNHU770 453.6500 MO   Statewide
Buchanan VA DMME KNHU770 458.4250 FX1   Oakwood
Wise VA DMME KNHU770 458.4250 FX1   Big Stone Gap
VA VA DMME KNHU770 458.4250 MO   Statewide
Buchanan VA DMME KNHU770 458.6500 FX1   Oakwood
Wise VA DMME KNHU770 458.6500 FX1   Big Stone Gap
VA VA DMME KNHU770 458.6500 MO   Statewide
Dickenson VA Clintwood WQNF293   173.2500 FXO SCADA
Dickenson VA Clintwood WQNC460 173.2500 FXO SCADA
Dickenson VA Clintwood WQNF291 463.6125 FXO SCADA
Russell VA Belfast/Rosedale FD WNFD423 154.1300 FB/MO Fire Dept
Russell VA County Repeater WQND462 159.1275 FB2   #Unknown Use
Russell VA County Repeater Input WQND462 156.1125 FX1   #Unknown Use
Smyth VA Town Base WNFK870 45.1200 FB/MO Renewal
Wise VA Coeburn WQNC470 153.0800 FXO SCADA
Washington VA VHCC College WQMY287 453.6125 FB2   Campus Police Repeater
Washington VA VHCC College WQMY287 458.6125 FB2   Campus Police Input
Hawkins TN 1st Utility District WQMR785 173.2038 FXO SCADA
   


        Download the Radio Phonebook (Updated January 30 2011)

Stats / Last Months Stats

Frequency Pairs / Singles: 1947 up from 1890 (Clean-up)
Unit Numbers: 3273- up from 3231

General Area Covered

         


Other Month's Newsletters

Scannerfood.com HomePage


Here's what we're working on...

"Wired Road" Local LTE
Voceras
Key Fob Frequencies
NarrowBanding Mandate
Android Scanner Apps



That's it for now, Happy Scanning!


We want to hear from you!
Drop us an email at
kf4uel@yahoo.com



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