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C'ville/albemarle quality

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Jonesym20

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Jan 28, 2007
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Charlottesville/Albemarle County VA
hey, just curious if anyone in or around the c'ville area gets good quality transmissions for the areas digital network. I live just outside of town, but seem it always seems overly choppy. I try to tweak the digital setting, but when i move the setting up or down from 8 it gets even worse. I may just be in a 'hole', but thought i'd get some other feedback.

thanks
 

AWiley

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Charlottesville, VA
Re: 800 Mhz Quality

Hi, I live in Albemarle County and I get excellent coverage. However, if I am near Hydraulic Rd, E Rio Rd or Fashion Square Mall, that's a different story. Other than that, it's great! What model scanner are you using? You may need to change your squelch or digital AGC settings (as applicable). Send me a PM if you want some more help.
 

Jonesym20

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Charlottesville/Albemarle County VA
Yea, i use 996t, and live on just outside the east edge of town. I've tried tweaking it, but don't seem to get any result. The signal strength is consistantly at 3 to 4 bars. So maybe I just sit in a hole or something.
 

gcgrotz

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I've had the same problem with my '396. I tried the digital setting as high as 12 as someone suggested, it was better but not great. The new firmware didn't seem to help much with that.

Jonesym, have you monitored the VSP STARS Fork Mtn site? How about the Shen Nat Park police P25 system? In my experience those 2 have much clearer decoded audio than Albemarle and that leads me to think that there is a problem with the fact that we have a simulcast multi-site system, and there are some decoding issues maybe caused by slightly out of synch signals. It does seem to vary in some locations vs others. I've noticed on Avon Street down in the shadow of Carter's Mtn it isn't even great there. I live in Belmont near downtown and it can be pretty bad around here.

Different antennas seem to behave differently in the same place too. The stock antenna seems pretty bad on 800 to me. I use a 144/220/430 mhz HT antenna, I think it is a Comet, and it seems to work fairly well.
 

Jonesym20

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Charlottesville/Albemarle County VA
Gc-- Thanks for the input. I have noticed that VSP Stars off of Fork Mtn comes in much clearer than the C'vill/albemarle system. I haven't programmed the Nat'nl park P25 though, where can I find it? I'm moving north of town in about a month and wonder if that will have any negative or positive effects on reception for me. I may have to have you give me some details on a good antenna too. I'll look for your model around online. I'm glad i'm not the only one with reception issues.

Also when you tweak the audio to 12, is it set to "auto" or "manual" decoding? I have mine set to "auto" and am wondering if changing that will effect it.

thanks
 

gcgrotz

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The antenna is a Comet HT-224, it works a LOT better on VHF than the stock '396 antenna and it seems better on 800. (Don't seem to do much listening on UHF anymore for some reason.) Rail and Air keeps me busy on VHF. I think the main park freq is 166.900 in this area, it is pretty strong but quiet this morning. The complete list is here:

http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?aid=1594

The Albemarle system works pretty good out past Ruckersville, where are you moving to?
 

Jonesym20

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Charlottesville/Albemarle County VA
I'll be moving close to ruckersville. Just curious, what are some of the rail frequencies you follow? also do you just listen to CHO? I pick that up pretty well, but am not sure if how to follow anything for dulles down here.
 

gcgrotz

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Mostly I listen to NS on 160.950 and Buckingham Branch (ex-CSX) on 160.455, especially when I'm in town. If anything interesting is coming or going I can go see it. There is a small group of railfans that you might see around the Amtrak station, including one of the agents. There is a yahoo group for the BBRR also.

As for air, the tower on 124.500 is heard up that way, and the Potomac approach 132.850 stays busy. I usually have them on when I'm up north, sometimes I'll eat lunch in the short term lot at CHO. When I get back on my home pc (probably tomorrow) I can send you the file I have for my 396. I think it will work in the 996, or you can copy and paste.

BTW, I did hear some activity later on 166.900, good strong P25 signal here in town. It's just not real busy most of the time.
 

JESSERABBIT

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Jul 26, 2005
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Charles Town, Jefferson Co, WV
In addition to the above, you may want to try the following:

(CSX Washington Subdivision)
Orange to Charlottsville:
160.23-road channel
160.32-dispatcher
160.765-maintenance of way
161.265-pbx (Afton)-Jacksonville dispatcher
I know that this isn't related to the Albemarle TRS system, but thought it would help answer your question. Concerning the Albemarle system, When I was visiting my brother in UVA Hospital there, it came in loud and clear in a waiting room in the middle of the first floor. They may have a repeater in that building.
 

gcgrotz

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Charlottesville
Jesse:

They used to have a repeater on the parking garage across the street from the ER, you could see 2 square panel antennas. I'm not sure about the 800 system, I'll have to look around better. I have heard that UVa is looking at a "distributed antenna system" for cellular and PCS in some of their facilities, not sure where but the new arena would be a likely place. I know they won't let anybody place antennas on UVa property.

The Orange to C'ville line is operated by Buckingham Branch now and the 160.230/320 freqs are no longer active. I can sometimes hear them at home on the base antenna from the James River line. BBRR operates the old CSX line from Doswell all the way through to Clifton Forge on 160.455 and sometimes on 160.710 is heard here in the yard.

NS stays quite busy on 160.950 and has good coverage up and down the Rt 29 corridor. Sometimes they will switch to Ch2 which is 160.245 disp and 160.830 road.
 

JESSERABBIT

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Jul 26, 2005
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Charles Town, Jefferson Co, WV
gcgrotz, I am really glad that you posted those changes. I had heard BBRR switching in Cville, but didn't know they went all the way to Clifton Forge. I was aware that they had a transmitter (s) in Millboro, now it is evident why.
 

CVASSB

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Jun 18, 2006
Messages
207
Location
Fluvanna Co. Virginia
I'm having the same problem

When I was in Charlottesville on Saturday afternoon,I noticed that I wasn't recieving the 800 Mhz. Public Service digital system very well. It was droping out. I have a Austin Spectra antenna,and I reached over,and turned on a GRE preamp. That helped,but still,somethings wrong. (Was using a Pro-96)
 
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