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Scanner fun in Southside VA

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#1
Taking a little post-Christmas time off, and playing with the TRX-1. This little 2-day jaunt involves testing out the NXDN upgrade to the TRX-1. So, I decided to hit Ahoskie & Roanoke Rapids, NC and then Emporia & South Hill, VA to check out some NXDN and DMR off the beaten path.

A few changes out there. Last year during the NC QSO Party Roanoke Rapids PD buzzed non-stop with DMR on 155.535. Now that freq is silent and PD is in the clear on 155.8575 [d445], which had been listed as something like 'public works'.

Same story in Emporia. 153.9725 is dead silent. However, their public works freq of 155.805 [RAN 2] is giving me some occasional encrypted NXDN. It's reading a NexEdge 4800 (trunk?). I assume it's encrypted because the radio gives me that 'busy signal' sound. The display also flickers with the '4800' thing. This did not happen with Ahoskie which was NXDN in the clear.

Finishing the trip home tomorrow and have been studying up on Mecklenburg County, which is amazingly radio-intensive for such a rural place. Their fire/rescue setup is licensed for DMR on almost everything, and I think that Clarksville & Chase City might be setting up for NXDN. Mecklenburg is an incredible puzzle because they seem to be trying to occupy single-handedly almost all of 453 MHz and a good bit of 460. Sounds like lunch at the 'Yummy Buffet' in South Hill while the scanner records stuff for later analysis.

It's been fun having some new ground to explore.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
 
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#2
For what's it worth....

Taking a little post-Christmas time off, and playing with the TRX-1. This little 2-day jaunt involves testing out the NXDN upgrade to the TRX-1. So, I decided to hit Ahoskie & Roanoke Rapids, NC and then Emporia & South Hill, VA to check out some NXDN and DMR off the beaten path.

A few changes out there. Last year during the NC QSO Party Roanoke Rapids PD buzzed non-stop with DMR on 155.535. Now that freq is silent and PD is in the clear on 155.8575 [d445], which had been listed as something like 'public works'.

Same story in Emporia. 153.9725 is dead silent. However, their public works freq of 155.805 [RAN 2] is giving me some occasional encrypted NXDN. It's reading a NexEdge 4800 (trunk?). I assume it's encrypted because the radio gives me that 'busy signal' sound. The display also flickers with the '4800' thing. This did not happen with Ahoskie which was NXDN in the clear.

Finishing the trip home tomorrow and have been studying up on Mecklenburg County, which is amazingly radio-intensive for such a rural place. Their fire/rescue setup is licensed for DMR on almost everything, and I think that Clarksville & Chase City might be setting up for NXDN. Mecklenburg is an incredible puzzle because they seem to be trying to occupy single-handedly almost all of 453 MHz and a good bit of 460. Sounds like lunch at the 'Yummy Buffet' in South Hill while the scanner records stuff for later analysis.

It's been fun having some new ground to explore.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
---------------------------
Allen,

For what it's worth......using my homemade DMR/NXDN/NEXEDGE receive configuration comprised of a modified ICOM R7000 receiver, desktop and tower mounted antennas, I can receive four NXDN/NEXEDGE transmissions from my southern direction. I cannot tell whether a transmission is NXDN or NEXEDGE. One unencrypted comm is on 464.4375 mhz., one of the three other frequencies which are on the Atlantic Communications trs Williamsburg repeater site. The main user is a medical transport service. The audio is very good quality on all four frequencies.

When a voice transmission is initiated I hear a brief very low frequency hum which occurs maybe 1/8th of a second prior to the actual comm audio. This happens on every transmission and is unique to the NXDN/NEXEDGE mode. The frequency remains silent if no voice transmission is initiated.

Regarding Emporia, I never have received any pre-cursor "hum" or indication of use on 153.9725 mhz. However, for 155.8050 mhz., Emporia Public Works, I have heard this precursor very low frequency "hum" sound almost instantly before each audio comm begins. It is an active frequency but all Public Works comms are infrequent and unfortunately encrypted.

This NXDN/NEXEDGE listening hint was provided to me several years ago by our STARS group member in Roanoke who has been monitoring the NS RR NXDN/NEXEDGE prototype testing over the past few years via his homemade DMR/NXDN/NEXEDGE receive system.

In my opinion NXDN/NEXEDGE activity in central VA is sparse compared to DMR, The two dominant two way radio installers/maintainers are Motorola affiliated hence DMR (MOTOTRBO) systems dominant. However, it appears to be the opposite in Tidewater and Southwest VA. Over the past year I have seen a few new central VA licensees for NXDN/NEXEDGE which is encouraging.

John
W4UVV
 
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#4
Intercepts on the trip back home

Brought it on home today via Brunswick, Mecklenburg, Lunenburg & Nottoway. A few things have changed. In fact, I undid all the tone squelch for this this leg of the trip, just to see what I might otherwise miss.

Lacrosse PD on normal 453.15 [136.5] and very chatty. Probably lots of Christmas traffic to pull on US58.

Mecklenburg Sheriff silent on 460.275, but most likely on new DMR freq 453.4375 cc12 sl1 tg750001. I say 'most likely' because they're encrypted. Maybe MotoTRBO 'privacy' because I hear garbled talk instead of the radio's characteristic 'busy signal' for encrypted transmissions.

South Hill PD now dispatching on 460.425 [d115]. the 97.4 CTCSS is gone.

Clarksville PD remains on 453.875 [d731] and Chase City PD still on 460.050 [100.0] despite updated licenses.

Southside Rescue Squad confirmed as DMR on 453.525, although they're also licensed for repeaters on 462.025, 463.975, and 151.145.
Primary dispatch is 453.525 cc1 ts1 tg500. On the call I heard, they asked for lifting assistance from the

Fire Dept. and station 7 was dispatched on the normal 154.31 [173.8]

However, I believe I heard the dispatcher address the fire crew on 453.525 cc1 ts2 tg510

Southside Community Hospital (I think) used a repeater on 464.850 [110.9] for internal ops

Mecklenburg fire has a slew of new UHF licenses, but I found nothing new and was band searching 453 & 460 MHz during nearly 4 hours in the county.

A favorite South Hill perch is the Yummy Buffet, located in the Days Inn. Same owners as the Eastern Buffet, a more modest spot at the western end of town. Spent an hour reading and recording. Another great spot is the WalMart on US58 because part of the parking lot is in the adjacent town of Lacrosse, which seems to have almost as many police on duty as South Hill. There has been some conflict in the past between the two depts.

Also caught while recording at the Yummy was 467.875 [d411] (undoubtedly the Harbor Freight across the street) and 467.85 [d412] which I'm beginning to suspect may be standard for Food Lion. No confirm there...just an inquiry about egg nog in stock.

Because it was Monday after a Sunday Christmas, most local gov't and many businesses were closed. Got strong DMR type buzzing on 453.1875 from a regional jail near South Hill, but the TRX didn't get it. Tried listening as NXDN, but it didn't come up again before I left Chase City.

Lunenburg County has lots of new licenses, but most traffic was Sheriff on 453.925 [d125] and Victoria F/R on 453.4875 [192.8]. Heard an EMS call on 453.775 [88.5] which appeared to be simulcast with the Victoria freq. Didn't hear it between Victoria & Burkeville so I'm thinking it may be a link.

Nottoway was mostly normal with sheriff on 151.100 [d306] and Nottoway/Crewe FD on 155.415 [d465]. No traffic at all from Norfolk Southern. (I was hearing CSX defect detectors on Christmas Day) Hit Blackstone too late for the electric train layout at Bevill's Hardware. But caught Blackstone FD doing a pager test on 154.085 [d205] so I guess the 151.4 tone is bye-bye. The town of Crewe is licensed for a new repeater on 153.725, but no joy this trip.

I was an early and enthusiastic user of CTCSS in this hobby (was trying to isolate security people on community repeaters) but that really opens the door to changes sneaking up on you. Gonna have to do some more double-checking!

2 more days of vacation...maybe it's time to hit the Mariners Museum

73/Allen (N4JRI)
 
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#7
Here is what little i have to offer to this thread:

Earlier this year I borrowed a VHF-Highband Icom IDAS portable to listen to Charlotte County's NXDN comms.

95% of what I heard on the Sheriff's repeater was secure, except for the odd occasion someone had a dumbass attack and was in [digital] unsecure mode talking to someone who was in secure mode.

(This major drawback of using encryption in AUTOSELECT mode! And the reason I always program radios for encryption FORCED ON mode, known to Moto users as "Strapped".)


Regarding Centra Southside Community Hospital, here is what I have for them...

453.00000/458.00000...FMN...RM...WPYQ700 - CENTRA SOUTHSIDE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL
451.02500/456.02500...FMN...RM...WQXQ307 - CENTRA SOUTHSIDE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL
451.50000.............FMN....M...WQXQ307 - CENTRA SOUTHSIDE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL
452.26250.............FMN....M...WQXQ307 - CENTRA SOUTHSIDE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL
457.26250.............FMN....M...WQXQ307 - CENTRA SOUTHSIDE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL

The YL will be starting to rotate over to work in Southside's ER after January 15th (from her normal position in Lynchburg). I can get her to check the frequencies for me one day, or I can do it one day when I am over there.
 
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#9
Allen,
Could 464.850 be these folks:

WPTN544
COMMUNITY MEMORIAL HEALTHCENTER
125 BUENA VISTA CIR.
SOUTH HILL, VA
MECKLENBURG County
464.85000/469.85000
Sounds good to me. I assumed it was just another in a series of evolving hospital names.

Mecklenburg is a unique place--so any frequencies, so few transmissions

73/Allen (N4JRI)
 
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#11
Lunenburg County

<snip>
Lunenburg County has lots of new licenses, but most traffic was Sheriff on 453.925 [d125] and Victoria F/R on 453.4875 [192.8]. Heard an EMS call on 453.775 [88.5] which appeared to be simulcast with the Victoria freq. Didn't hear it between Victoria & Burkeville so I'm thinking it may be a link.

<snip>

73/Allen (N4JRI)
Allen,

The attached PDF is everything I currently have on Lunenburg County.
 
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#14
I live in Nottoway. Can you tell me anything more about this repeater in Crewe?
Actually, can you tell us anything about Nottoway. Last time I was in Blackstone, the FD had changed it's squelch code. And it's really hard to catch much around Crewe & Burkeville.

A few years ago, I heard Crewe PD using 39.88 [203.5], and I seem to recall they have some other freq I never hear...maybe 156.000?. Let us know what you're hearing. Nottoway can be mighty quiet.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
 
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