Tri-Cities Scanner Frequencies
May 2009 Newsletter

Listen to the live scanner at:

  • Radio Pirates are actual Pirates
  • Got Water?
  • Weather Alert Radios

Well Since the last newsletter, we've found a lot of new frequencies...
Here's a sample of what's new....
Output Input Tone Name
155.4900 158.9700 77.0 Madison County NC Sheriffs Office
155.1000 158.9400 151.4 Madison County NC VFDS/ EMS
151.1450 154.8900 d072 Mountain City PD  
861.2875     Mt Folks SMR - Big A Mtn
862.2875     Mt Folks SMR - Big A Mtn
863.2875     Mt Folks SMR - Big A Mtn
864.2875     Mt Folks SMR - Big A Mtn
865.2875     Mt Folks SMR - Big A Mtn
865.2875     Mt Folks SMR - Big A Mtn
155.8950 153.9500 d205 Pike County KY Waste Management
457.5125   71.9 Starbucks - Johnson City, TN
155.0250   100.0 TEMA Short, Bays, English Mtn
154.5050   206.5 Watauga Med Center "Call Box"
158.7750 153.8000 141.3 Appalachian State Unv. Maint.

That's just a couple, check out the Radio Phonebook (Link at the end of newsletter)

Pirates using Satcom  
Below is an interesting story I found online today....

There had been previous mention on the BBS's and email reflectors...
(yes these things still exist, and are great for the lesser spoken topics) anyways....
Pirates off Somalia had been using the same satellites to
communicate back to the United Kingdom to their "mission control" brokers.
This support group to the pirates provided them with support to intercept
which container ship had "goods" and which had nothing but coat hangers.
Ultra High Frequency Follow On (UFO) Ch sets 6 & 7 - Pirate Favorites
258.350 258.450 258.550 258.650
265.250 265.350 265.450 265.550
Easily heard daily here in the Tri-Cities

This website gives an unsurpassed resource of satcom satellite frequencies.

FLTSATCOM  coverage  areas
Search 243-269 MHz

U.S.Navy Satellites Hijacked
(no author online article)

May 17, 2009: Brazil and the U.S. have been arresting people who have been illegally using obsolete, but still functioning, U.S. Navy FLTSATCOM communications satellites. The FLTSATCOM (Fleet Satellite Communications System) were eight communications satellites launched between 1978-89. Two of the launches failed, and FLTSATCOM was replaced by the UFO in the 1990s. Although the FLTSATCOM birds were built to last for seven years, two of them are still operational twenty years later.

As the navy stopped using FLTSATCOM in the late 1990s (shifting over to the more efficient UFO satellites), ham radio users in Brazil discovered that the FLTSATCOM satellites had no security on them. If you knew the frequency and had a satellite dish, you could send a signal to the FLTSATCOM satellite, that would then automatically be rebroadcast by the satellite over a wide area below. While the navy sent encrypted messages (which sound like static, for anyone picking it up below on ham radio gear), the Brazilians found that they could simply use FLTSATCOM to communicate over a wide area (the interior of the country) that lacked telephones. FLTSATCOM birds had multiple transponders, making several simultaneous conversations possible. There was no security because, back in the 1970s,the remote possibility  of homemade satellite dishes using FLTSATCOM, did not seem to warrant the additional hassle of adding passwords to transmit from the satellites.

Hijacking FLTSATCOM transponders did not happen in the U.S., or most other countries, because illegal users could easily be found by the police, arrested and punished. One Brazilian migrant in the United States used a FLTSATCOM satellite, was caught, and fined $20,000. But in Brazil, for years, the government ignored the illegal FLTSATCOM users, and the U.S. Navy didn't notice it because they were rarely using the FLTSATCOM birds, as the newer (and more powerful) UFO satellites were preferred. But eventually, the U.S. Navy did find out. Since the two FLTSATCOM satellites still operational are still U.S. government property, and their communications capabilities, no matter how limited, were considered available for emergencies, the U.S. asked Brazil to enforce laws about illegal satellite use. The publicity from this will probably cause ham radio (and electronics) enthusiasts in many countries to risk a visit from the Space Police, and try communicating via one of the FLTSATCOM birds.

If you're searching the above frequency ranges be sure to set your scanner to AM, vs FM.
Also be advised some of the lower-end scanners do not cover these frequencies.


Integrated Flood Observing and Warning System

Individual rain gauges transmit data signals on 169.500
Repeaters are located atop Whitetop Mtn, High Knob, Big A Mtn, Holston Mtn,
they relay the data streams from the gauges to other sites on the backbone frequency. Below is a listing of local sites and repeaters; previously the three repeaters with the 170.225 MHz input would be used to conduct radio checks back to the Virginia EOC, in Richmond, VA. These weekly checks would poll county EOC's and strategic points such as the National Weather Service offices in Blacksburg, VA and Morristown, TN as well as state police posts, etc.

Output Voice Input Tone Name
171.0250 170.2250 210.7 IFLOWS Big-A
170.3250     IFLOWS Data Backbone
171.0875 170.2250 173.8 IFLOWS High Knob
171.1250 170.2250 210.7 IFLOWS Whitetop
171.8500     IFLOWS Whitetop Data

It would'nt hurt to keep an ear on these...

Area water department frequencies may only be "valve"able if the waters off, however having them handy can save ya "loads" of inconvenience if your about to start the laundry. Treat these like the Power Company, details of the break as soon as theres a problem, then silence, then details of the restoral. Non-Payment Disconnects can also be heard as we enter the first summer of this recession.
Output Input Tone Name
156.2400 154.0250 100.0 Buchanan Co PSA
155.3100 158.7900 141.3 Kingsport City Works
453.1000 458.1000   Kingsport City Water Dept
153.6050   114.8 Mountain City PSA
158.7600 153.8750   Mt Carmel TN Water Hawkins Co
451.6500 456.6500 146.2 Russell Co Water & Sewer
155.8350     Smyth Co PSA
154.1000   d116 Tazewell County PSA
153.6800   192.8 Unicoi County TN PSA
154.1000   d503 UnknownWater Company email me    
451.2312     Johnson City PSA  Telemetry
453.8375 458.8375 d114 Scott Co PSA
453.7500 458.7500 136.5 Wise County PSA
46.5600   77.0 Washington County, VA PSA

Carter County, TN
TG 3984 on the Tri-Cities Communications Trunked System


Weather Alert Radio Frequencies / SAME codes
SAME weather alert radios allow custom county or city codes to be programmed
into the receiver. Once a National Weather Service product has been issued with
the corresponding FIPS, or SAME code the receiver's squelch is opened and the
alert is heard. Most models include an additional siren or loud tone to accompany
the alert. It is important on the models that do not automatically find the correct frequency,
to program the frequency that corresponds to your county. This is because the weather
service offices do not necessarily broadcast products for your county or city on every
frequency thats within range of your listening location. Many models allow multiple counties
to be programmed, and may automatically scan all available frequencies and then only sound
if any alert is issued. SAME alert radios are specifically designed to discriminate the alert
at the county or city level. It is important that you understand the operation and function of
your weather alert radio, including the limitations mentioned above.
Since many people may use this service to protect life and property I
present this entire article as educational use only.

FIPS codes and frequencies for other counties can be found here


County FIPS NWS Transmitter City Frequency Callsign
Bristol (city) 51520 Bristol, TN 162.5500 WXK47
Buchanan 51027 Gilbert, WV 162.4750 WXM75
Buchanan 51027 Pikeville, KY 162.4000 WWG69
Dickenson 51051 Gilbert, WV 162.4750 WXM75
Dickenson 51051 Pikeville, KY 162.4000 WWG69
Grayson 51077 Mount Jefferson, NC 162.5000 WNG588
Grayson 51077 Winston-Salem, NC 162.4000 WXL42
Lee 51105 Bristol, TN 162.5500 WXK47
Norton (city) 51720 Bristol, TN 162.5500 WXK47
Russell 51167 Bristol, TN 162.5500 WXK47
Smyth 51173 Bristol, TN 162.5500 WXK47
Tazewell 51185 Beckley, WV 162.5500 WXM71
Tazewell 51185 Hinton, WV 162.4250 WXM72
Washington 51191 Bristol, TN 162.5500 WXK47
Washington 51191 Mount Jefferson, NC 162.5000 WNG588
Wise 51195 Bristol, TN 162.5500 WXK47
Wise 51195 Pikeville, KY 162.4000 WWG69

General Area Covered

Download the Radio Phonebook (Updated May 18, 2009)

Stats / Last Months Stats

Frequencies:1135 up from 1102
Unit Numbers:2460 up from 2196

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

New LTR Trunked Systems
(Still working!! Freqs now confirmed)
VA Hospital (In the works)

Live scanner updates complete, pictures soon.

That's it for now, Happy Scanning!

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