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Old 02-15-2013, 8:04 AM
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Default Augusta Metro Area

Hello,
Before I realized there was a GA-Specific forum, I posted a thread (see link below) on the Augusta Metro area. If someone can just explain how the frequencies are being transmitted I'd appreciate it. When I searched the RR Frequency Database, the Palmetto 800 frequencies didn't show. The RR list seems to be out of date. I did find the Palmetto 800 frequencies on RR, but they didn't show under the standard database search tool..........or rather perhaps I didnt interpret it correctly.

I have a BC95xlt so I am assuming my "listening" is going to be limited.

Thanks

chaz

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Old 02-15-2013, 8:51 PM
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I'm not familiar with your scanner but if you want to monitor Richmond Co., GA, you'll need a trunk tracking scanner. There are a few sheriffs talk groups that are P25 digital but the majority are analog.
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Old 02-15-2013, 9:11 PM
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Default Augusta Metro Area

Which talk groups are digital?


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Old 02-15-2013, 9:45 PM
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Glad to see you made it here, Chaznsc My suggestion is to get either a Pro-106, or 396XT for monitoring the area. Either will do for the analog/digital scanning for the Richmond county area. The 95 will just not work on the trunking systems.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:51 AM
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I guess I will dump the 95 and move onto a different hobby, I can't afford either of these units. Thanks for clarifying things for me.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:48 PM
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Don't be so quick to give up.

You should definitely look for a trunk-tracking scanner to be able to monitor most Public Safety communications in the Augusta-Richmond Co and Aiken County area. But it looks like you'll have pretty good luck with an analog trunk-tracker and even one that doesn't support rebanding.

From my view of the Palmetto 800 system, the vast majority of talkgroups used by Augusta-Richmond Co agencies are analog. Likewise, quite a few of Aiken County's talkgroups are also analog. It looks like Aiken Co EMS and North Augusta are digital now, but Aiken City DPS might be conventional. Maybe someone that monitors that system regularly can confirm those facts for you. SCHP is analog, as is GSP (conventional).

Better than that, though, is the fact that the sites in Augusta (site 5), North Augusta (site 6), Blythe (site 7) and McBean (site 25) all use frequencies in the 854-861MHz range. This means that rebanding is not an issue for these sites. The only site affected by rebanding in this area is the Aiken site (site 8). I would assume that Aiken Co SD talkgroups are likely heard on the North Augusta site if you're in range of it.

I think you could get some satisfaction out of any old analog trunktracker, and you can find those pretty inexpensively (say less than $100). You won't hear everything, and it's unknown how long these agencies will remain on analog talkgroups. But I would be confident in saying that 18-24 months is a reasonable expectation. By that time, maybe you could afford a digital scanner.

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Old 02-16-2013, 3:39 PM
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What exactly is rebanding? What your opinion of the Pro-106 scanners?

Last edited by Chaznsc; 02-16-2013 at 3:45 PM..
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Old 02-16-2013, 4:10 PM
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Rebanding is a recent change to Motorola trunked radio systems that operate in the 800MHz band. Those that were licensed to use frequencies in the 866-869MHz band are required to shift those frequencies down 15MHz to 851-854MHz. At the same time, the way those channels are represented on the trunked radio data stream changed, which has rendered a lot of the older trunktracking radios useless for monitoring rebanded systems. There are tons of information about rebanding on this site - in the wiki and in the forums.

I have a PRO-106 and I think it's the best scanner I've ever owned. If you can afford it, it would be a great choice for a scanner in your area.
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Old 03-07-2013, 1:13 PM
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Default Rebanding

Hope this is no not to stupid of a question.But what happens if the small towns can not afford to upgrade to the expensive radio systems?Are they left in the cold with nothing or do they keep using what they have.Or are they stuck owing for eternity.
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Old 03-07-2013, 1:23 PM
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I use a pro 433 which is a older unit but you can still find them i think i got mine on ebay for 40.00. Works good for everything but Columbia Co.Maybe a 800 is in the works when save up for it.
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Old 03-07-2013, 1:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kg4ley View Post
Hope this is no not to stupid of a question.But what happens if the small towns can not afford to upgrade to the expensive radio systems?Are they left in the cold with nothing or do they keep using what they have.Or are they stuck owing for eternity.
Sometimes they stay with what they've got. Other times they make cuts to other areas in the budget like furloughing or cutting positions to be able to scrounge up enough money. And yes, they do make cuts to first responders.
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Old 03-07-2013, 1:37 PM
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This may be out of the forum,but in the early 80's i was a dispatcher with the old Augusta PD.There was nothing like sitting in front of that big Motorola Console with three channels,2 phone lines, and we did cross scanning with Aiken county,we had a scanner with there freq and they had one with ours and thats how we talked.Back then no fancy computers to log calls we used time cards and a time clock,those were the days.
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Old 03-07-2013, 2:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kg4ley View Post
Hope this is no not to stupid of a question.But what happens if the small towns can not afford to upgrade to the expensive radio systems?Are they left in the cold with nothing or do they keep using what they have.Or are they stuck owing for eternity.
In the case of rebanding, the agencies themselves were not supposed to incur any direct expenses related to the change unless they opted to make additional changes simultaneously with rebanding. Sprint/Nextel has (in theory) payed all the bills for the change because it's the Nextel system causing the interference and creating the need for the change. They paid for new radios (when required), new infrastructure when required, programming, management costs, software upgrades, etc.

This is different from the narrowbanding change in the VHF/UHF range, where licensees bear the cost for the ugprades. Many agencies have chosen to deploy new radio systems as part of the narrowbanding process, which has accellerated the (unneccessary) adoption of digital radio systems like DMR (MotoTRBO is one example).

In the case of Augusta Co SD and EMS, they're part of the Palmetto 800 consortium along with many other agencies. They likely incurred little to no cost due to rebanding. I'm not sure what their costs for narrowbanding the Co Fire Department and City radios were. Many smaller agencies might find it easier to budget for monthly service fees to an organization like Palmetto 800 for radios and be free from supporting their own radio systems rather than face large incremental upgrade costs.
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Old 03-07-2013, 4:59 PM
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ALL Richmond County, GA services are on the Palmetto 800 system, with the exception of the landfill, and no cost was incurred by the citizens of the county when Palmetto 800 re-banded. We pay a monthly subscriber fee, per radio ID, and Palmetto 800 takes care of everything.... similar to your cell phone provider.
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Old 12-16-2013, 8:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian View Post
Don't be so quick to give up.

You should definitely look for a trunk-tracking scanner to be able to monitor most Public Safety communications in the Augusta-Richmond Co and Aiken County area. But it looks like you'll have pretty good luck with an analog trunk-tracker and even one that doesn't support rebanding.

From my view of the Palmetto 800 system, the vast majority of talkgroups used by Augusta-Richmond Co agencies are analog. Likewise, quite a few of Aiken County's talkgroups are also analog. It looks like Aiken Co EMS and North Augusta are digital now, but Aiken City DPS might be conventional. Maybe someone that monitors that system regularly can confirm those facts for you. SCHP is analog, as is GSP (conventional).

Better than that, though, is the fact that the sites in Augusta (site 5), North Augusta (site 6), Blythe (site 7) and McBean (site 25) all use frequencies in the 854-861MHz range. This means that rebanding is not an issue for these sites. The only site affected by rebanding in this area is the Aiken site (site 8). I would assume that Aiken Co SD talkgroups are likely heard on the North Augusta site if you're in range of it.

I think you could get some satisfaction out of any old analog trunktracker, and you can find those pretty inexpensively (say less than $100). You won't hear everything, and it's unknown how long these agencies will remain on analog talkgroups. But I would be confident in saying that 18-24 months is a reasonable expectation. By that time, maybe you could afford a digital scanner.

Contact me directly for more information.

Brian
I hate to resurrect an old thread but its mine so I will ....... How can you determine which groups are now digital?
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Old 12-17-2013, 7:23 AM
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Well, you can look in the database, at the Palmetto 800 listing, and look at the MODE column. And "A" means analog, "D" means digital, and "E" means encrypyted.

Keep in mind that the database is only as accurate as the information that other listeners submit to it. So it's certainly possible that some talkgroups listed as analog are really digital (a more likely mistake), and digital might really be analog (a less likely mistake). There haven't be substantial updates to the Augusta area database listings in quite a while, and things in the radio world tend to change, so it is definitely a possibility that the data listed is not 100% accurate.

If you have a trunk-tracking scanner, then you can listen and make a determination. If your scanner is analog only, then you'll hear a static-type sound when a digital talkgroup is active. If you purchased a digital scanner, the radio should automatically decode the digital audio and allow you to hear it. Digital audio has a distinct sound, and the display should also indicate a digital signal. If it's encrypted, you'll hear static and garble noise regardless of which scanner you're using.
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