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Railroad/Railfan Monitoring Forum This is the place to discuss monitoring railroad communications.

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Old 07-01-2013, 2:47 AM
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Default Defect Detectors Kentucky

I live in Louisville Kentucky and there are Norfolk Southern and CSX tracks near me, I have all of the NS and CSX frequencies programmed in on my scanner and can hear the CSX detectors sometimes but the with the NS detectors I have never heard a detector. I have confirmed with a railroad employee my moms friend that the Detectors broadcast on NS 160.95 Road channel 056056 and have programmed that into my scanner and still nothing. Can someone please help me on this. Thanks!
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Old 07-01-2013, 4:05 AM
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They may transmit data instead of voice
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Old 07-01-2013, 7:03 AM
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You could be just out of range. I have one for the local railroad here that is around 5 miles away and I can not hear it. I believe they are low power transmit and do not go very far.
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Old 07-01-2013, 7:52 AM
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They are low profile transmitters. Their intent is to be heard by the head end of the train and not heard by the train either ahead of or following. I don't know their specs but I would be surprised if they generate more than 100-200 milliwatts of RF power. The antennas for the CSX detectors in NW Ohio are mounted on the roof of the hut that houses the equipment.
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Old 07-01-2013, 8:17 AM
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what kind of antenna/radio are you using also?
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Old 07-01-2013, 8:54 AM
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I am in South Lexington and can hear the NS detector located at the Brannon Road crossing in Northern Jessamine County. The typical message is an automated voice on 160.95 and goes like this....

"Norfolk Southern, Milepost Eight Seven Dot Eight, No Defects".

A few seconds later, it repeats this message.

If it detects a problem, tones go off and it give a message stating what axle(s) are defective, etc.

I am about 3 miles from the Brannon Road detector using an old Bearcat BC-200 handheld scanner with the stock rubber duck antenna. I can also hear more distant detectors (20 miles noth and south of me) when connected to my two meter ham antenna which is located 60 feet up my tower.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reconrider8 View Post
what kind of antenna/radio are you using also?
I am using a Uniden BC125AT with the stock rubber duck antenna. But I am fairly certain there is a detector by my house because next to the tracks there is a box that looks like a detector box and a antenna is mounted on a utility pole next to it, but I don't know if it is a detector box.
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Old 07-01-2013, 3:04 PM
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Might wanna get a better antenna
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Old 07-01-2013, 3:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reconrider8 View Post
Might wanna get a better antenna
I am going to get a antenna tuned for the rail band.
But does anyone know if the detectors for NS are using data and are silent in my area?
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Old 07-01-2013, 5:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by computerdude5566 View Post
I am going to get a antenna tuned for the rail band.
But does anyone know if the detectors for NS are using data and are silent in my area?
The NS detectors I hear are voice, with the message KR4BD mentions above. Not as much data as the CSX detectors. I am less than a mile from both lines detectors and get them on my base with an outdoor antenna as well as a handheld in the backyard using a rubber duck.
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Old 07-01-2013, 8:02 PM
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Probably a function of your antenna, transmitter power and distance as mentioned above. Without knowing how much (or little) listening you do, be aware there are some detectors (in some areas) that talk only on defect. May or may not be a factor as well. Can you hear trains/dispatcher on the frequency you mentioned?
John
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Old 07-02-2013, 7:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrensicPic View Post
Probably a function of your antenna, transmitter power and distance as mentioned above. Without knowing how much (or little) listening you do, be aware there are some detectors (in some areas) that talk only on defect. May or may not be a factor as well. Can you hear trains/dispatcher on the frequency you mentioned?
John
Yes I can hear the Train and have confirmed the detectors come across that frequency by a railroad employee. I guess I may be to far to hear them.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:04 AM
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Many BNSF and UP detectors are talk on defect only (there area few in the Memphis area on BNSF that talk regardless), but generally all NS and CSX detectors talk for every passing train.

Typical range is maybe 1-20 miles depending on the location of the detector, your location and equipment, etc. Most detectors use a simple 1/4 wave whip, running at about 10 watts. There is a BNSF detector about 10 miles away (talk on defect) that someone apparently left the volume turned up on the radio inside. When I'm taking pictures near that detector, I can hear everything on the road channel coming from the equipment bungalow.
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Old 07-03-2013, 8:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by computerdude5566 View Post
I am using a Uniden BC125AT with the stock rubber duck antenna. But I am fairly certain there is a detector by my house because next to the tracks there is a box that looks like a detector box and a antenna is mounted on a utility pole next to it, but I don't know if it is a detector box.
This could also be a dragging equipment detector and will only talk upon activation.
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Old 07-04-2013, 1:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eng3ineer View Post
This could also be a dragging equipment detector and will only talk upon activation.
I do believe it may be talk on defect only because every time the train is close to my house and goes by that box I mentioned earlier there is a beep on the road channel different that the Dispatcher Tone-up
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Old 07-05-2013, 7:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by computerdude5566 View Post
I do believe it may be talk on defect only because every time the train is close to my house and goes by that box I mentioned earlier there is a beep on the road channel different that the Dispatcher Tone-up
That would be my first thought as well. We have mixture of them around here do to bridges over rivers. So i've had chance to hear High Wide, Dragging Equipment and Hot Box. Then throw in some will
talk on defect only others talk after the train has passed (KCS). then on (UP) they start talk as soon as first set wheel passes over and talks with results after last car passes.

On edit: Another thing you might look into is ditching the scanner and going with Ham Radio like KENWOOD
TH-K20A or a YAESU FT-250 or FT-270 both can be had for around 150 bucks and pick up 100 time better than any scanner i've ever owned. I went with a FT-250 years ago and was best move ever made for listen to railroad. I didn't set up any ham stuff left that alone just programmed the ARR channel in and started listening. On the FT-270 your able to set banks of channels were the FT-250 you can't.

Jason

Last edited by Eng3ineer; 07-05-2013 at 7:51 PM..
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Old 07-05-2013, 8:15 PM
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Also I recommend the ICOM f3161 but its a bit more expensive then those radios
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