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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 01-25-2013, 7:39 PM
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They drive TME truckes or SKW trucks are they contractor vehicles now including Spivey Rentals traffic division truck. SSP drive VDOT or now Elizabeth River Crossing Service trucks(only at the tunnels they deal with) but mostly VDOT
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 01-25-2013, 7:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainman111 View Post
Is the contractor driving VDOT marked vehicles or their own? All of the SSP vehicles I see have VDOT markings.
Yes, they have VDOT logos on the doors and wear VDOT marked high-vis uniforms. However, they have private license plates unlike the actual VDOT trucks with state govt. plates.

They're with the URS Corporation, BTW. I installed about half the LTR radios myself so I've gotten quite used to them. They also have lowband radios though.

ETA: This is for the Richmond area, of course.
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Last edited by KG4INW; 01-25-2013 at 7:42 PM.. Reason: added info
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 01-26-2013, 6:48 AM
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Exclamation VDOT contractor

Quote:
Originally Posted by trainman111 View Post
Is the contractor driving VDOT marked vehicles or their own? All of the SSP vehicles I see have VDOT markings.
They ate a contractor working for VDOT, however, they drive VDOT vehicles with VDOT markings and wear the safety yellow vests.
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Old 01-26-2013, 7:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richrowl View Post
They ate a contractor working for VDOT
I assume you mean "are".

I have several of the VDOT lowband frequencies programmed into my PRO-18, but all I've heard from listening for a few hours over the last couple of days in the Fredericksburg-King George area were a couple of guys talking about "leaving the yard" and "where are you headed?" Thursday night, I took out the PL tones given in the database, but never heard anything after that. There has been a fair amount of traffic on the public safety channels, which could have prevented me from hearing some VDOT transmissions. But still, it's been pretty quiet. I have a telescoping antenna on my handheld, not an external antenna.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 01-26-2013, 9:35 AM
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Hi fred, there wasn't as much snow north of Richmond, sort of reverse what we often see. 47.22 King William had a fair amount of traffic late afternoon/early evening when I was in the Richmond area. 47.40 on the Spotsy tower gets our real well but didn't hear much, maybe there wasn't much snow. That is quite easily heard and sometimes very active. 47.04 at Edge Hill/King George gets out but there aren't many vehicles on that site.

If you only have an indoor antenna pulled up on the portable you won't hear too much anyway on VDOT freqs.
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Old 01-26-2013, 9:44 AM
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TME has their own frequencies which are TRBO in the 159mhz band and 43mhz, they use a 159.840rx 152.900tx
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 01-26-2013, 9:57 AM
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I was thinking of posting this when driving to central VA yesterday evening after reading some of the comments above.

It cannot be overstated how critical it is that to hear low band signals you need an antenna designed for low band. Otherwise you will hear a fraction of what is passing through your area. A quarter wave length for those frequencies is about 5 feet long. If people try to listen to lowband on a portable radio with a rubber duckie or short antenna you won't hear anything but extremely local and overpowering signals. If you can extend your antenna up to 18 inches or so you will hear slightly better.

An outdoor antenna such as a discone with a low band element extending to the top will provide results you probably would not believe if all you have ever experienced is a portable radio with short antenna.

The VDOT low band repeaters are either on mountain tops, state police towers, a few leased towers like Spots and South Boston at nearly 500 feet, and a few cell towers at 195 feet which cover a small county or half of a county, like eastern Hanover on 47.12 from Atlee cell tower. The HR TOC used to trip another 47.30 repeater 150 miles away on the skyline drive on a regular basis. With a good antenna low band travels a long, long way, there is nothing else like it in public safety.

The problem with low band for public safety is the need for a long antenna and ground plane. Bad installations on vehicles cut the range way down. Low band portables on 7 1/2 inch antennas wound to be resonant are nearly worthless, although that same portable with 5 watts hooked to a base station ground plane antenna can talk out 10 miles or hit a repeater 20 miles away. Portable to portable with OEM 7 1/2 antennas have difficulty communicating 1 mile.

If you don't have a good +/-50 MHz antenna you will miss 75% of what's possible ( a 6 meter ham antenna will hear it quite well ). That may explain a lot of the comments. The other pertinent observation is that VDOT frequencies are pretty quiet until there is a weather event, but yesterday afternoon from Bristol to Southampton there were 1000s of transmissions off repeater towers.

The exception is the 47.30 repeater at HR (Driver) which is quite busy everyday, especially rush hours extending into early evening. Culpeper VDOT offices use the 47.34 repeater quite often, on a good weather day that is one you can still hear active sometimes. With an outdoor antenna you can hear that repeater off Hogback mountain from 522 at West Virginia to New Kent and down I 81 south of Staunton. If you are listening on a portable antenna you probably are not aware it exists.

Low band is a different animal and like HF you cannot fool mother nature with a random short piece of wire.

Last edited by billsblots; 01-26-2013 at 10:12 AM..
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 01-26-2013, 10:18 AM
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with that comment ^^^ being said what s a good low band antenna for a car? and what mounting option would you use mag mount or trunk lip?
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 01-26-2013, 2:44 PM
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I've always liked the trunk lip mounts over the mag mounts because they look more permanent. For lowband I have used 2 w/ good success. The first being a 1/4 wave VHF-low antenna and the second and Austin Spectra antenna. Both are NMO mounts. A quick eBay search shows the 1/4 wave NMO VHF low's are going for less than $20. The problem w/ using the 1/4 wave on a scanner is it pretty much kills the activity on other bands.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trks...at=0&_from=R40
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 01-26-2013, 4:35 PM
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i have an austin spectra already but on my 106 idk how to get it to scan the 47 bands w/o it being on like stalker mode
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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 01-27-2013, 10:37 AM
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I have a mobile antenna cut to 47 MHz. Yesterday, Saturday, Rumford / King William was still cleaning up the Friday snow and their Rumford 47.22 repeater could be heard, quite well to full quieting, in my vehicle even south of Richmond on I-95. There was a little simplex action on 47.28 and 47.24, and a few transmissions on Culpeper / Hogback mountain 47.34.

My experience is that using a low band antenna will decrement the VHF/UHF signals some, but not as much as a VHF/UHF antenna misses low band signals. A low band 47 MHz mobile with tuning coil is still a little long, but manageable.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 01-27-2013, 10:44 AM
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I should note, if not often mentioned, that the VDOT talk-in frequencies are in the 45.30 - 45.98 MHz range, and are nearly impossible to catch, if for some reason one wanted to.
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Old 01-28-2013, 7:54 AM
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At one time I had the small radio shack base loaded CB whip, I don't have the model # but it had the small black coil about 3-4 inches long and 3/4 inch diameter at the base. I found that if I shorted the coil it would resonate around 50 MHZ, giving me a cheap dual-band antenna. It has a 3/8" mount. If you want the best, use a full sized CB whip w/hd spring and cut it down.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 02-04-2013, 9:28 PM
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Found 'em. My scan list had only the VDOT simplex freqs (with tones). Programmed in the repeaters and now hear much more traffic. Not a lot but more than I had heard before reprogramming.
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Old 02-05-2013, 6:50 AM
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Default VDOT repeater sites

Billsblots:

Thanks for all of your info on the VDOT radio system. Do you have a listing of the repeater sites with freqs?

Thanks

Randy Buxton

(ps I sent a PM, but posted here just in case the PM wasn't checked.)
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 03-03-2013, 8:10 AM
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In my quest to figure out the VDOT repeater system I've pored over the FCC records to create a map of the repeater sites (link below.) I am definitely not sure that this is a complete list. In reading the records it seems there are a few callsign licenses that will expire soon (FWIW.) And the newly assigned callsigns seem to indicate the majority of the repeaters on the map.

Please, any corrections additions please let me know. Eventually I would like to create a map that is District specific showing the radio sites (call, freq, channel ID, PL) and offices within each district. This will take some doing with the help from those on this site.

Thanks!

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid...25853,4.938354
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