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Old 04-20-2017, 10:13 AM
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Default Upcoming Norfolk Trip

Hi Guys,

I'm going to be playing in Town Point Park for NATOfest, and am trying to program my TRX-1 for fun on my free Saturday afternoon. (pay me a visit if you're down there...I'll be in the beer tent playing tenor sax with the German band 11:30-12:45)

Most PS stuff for that area seems cut and dried, but I'd love to know what you think the best sources are to get current on a few things:

1 - GCA freqs for Langley, Felker, Chambers & Oceana.
2 - Rail info. It's been a long time since I listened in to the coal piers or the Belt Line
3 - Port. Am planning to program in the myriad VPA trunks, but am wondering if there's anything else of special interest that I should tune in.

My band finishes at 12:45 and I was thinking about taking that Navy Base cruise that leaves from Nauticus.

Any mystery freqs that I should check out and report on? I'm going to have much of the scanner (outside of public safety trunks) set to log and record. (including full marine and rail bands)

Question on the DOD 14C & Orion trunks. I see that each of these have multiple distinct sites in close proximity to each other. Have already loaded them as single systems, but am thinking that even though I open my scanlist for a particular place, the scanner itself may be linking to a different site which carries none of their traffic. (have had some similar experiences with STARS)

Am thinking that two ORION sites in V.Beach might be divided along the lines of one being used for normal VB operations, and the other for the ORION-specific things. If this is true, which site should I match to which function?

Ditto for NOB vs. Little Creek vs. Oceana. Would it be better to program those sites (and the myriad other 14C users in the area) as separate systems?

Let me know what you think. Am looking forward to the trip, and always to pulling out the scanner and the binoculars. I'm primarily a trains/boats/planes guy and there's a lot to look at down there. STILL trying to figure out Norfolk Approach...

73/Allen (N4JRI)

Last edited by n4jri; 04-20-2017 at 10:17 AM..
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:17 PM
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Allen you are correct on ORION, 800 freqs are for vb pub safety, the ELMR stuff i keep all control channels programmed in as not to miss anything fd is broadcasted region wide


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Old 04-20-2017, 5:32 PM
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n4jri: Have a good time at the show. Norfolk will most likely be using 1st PCT TAC for traffic and general calls at TP park. They may also be on the ORION Norfolk talkgroups (as they are during Harborfest). I don't think there is a dedicated talkgroup for FD/EMS. I would also scan the VHF marine frequencies.....esp GC 21/22 and I think channel 83. Even better would be a search of the Marine band on your service search. Aircraft may not be using GCA but the tower freq for Chambers is 124.300 and 379.15. Helo tower 126.375 and 290.500. You are too far away to hear LAFB, Felker or Oceana and my suspicions are they will be flying from Chambers field anyway. It is my understanding that all the DOD sites are linked so you put in the control channels for all of them together and suibdivide the various bases as subfleets. There is a prior post on this in the VA forum, may have to dig back a couple of months. I grew up in Richmond. Have a safe trip. I am gonna try to go so may see you there. Good luck.

Eugene KG4AVE
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Old 04-20-2017, 5:43 PM
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Also as far as Norfolk approach is concerned....only ned to listen to 125.200 (as soon as they take off they ALL go to this Frequency, and are handed off from there). 118.9 is approach mainly. The only others in use 95% of the time for both approach and departure are 125.700 and 119.450.

Eugene KG4AVE
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Old 04-20-2017, 5:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
n4jri: Have a good time at the show. Norfolk will most likely be using 1st PCT TAC for traffic and general calls at TP park. They may also be on the ORION Norfolk talkgroups (as they are during Harborfest). I don't think there is a dedicated talkgroup for FD/EMS. I would also scan the VHF marine frequencies.....esp GC 21/22 and I think channel 83. Even better would be a search of the Marine band on your service search. Aircraft may not be using GCA but the tower freq for Chambers is 124.300 and 379.15. Helo tower 126.375 and 290.500. You are too far away to hear LAFB, Felker or Oceana and my suspicions are they will be flying from Chambers field anyway. It is my understanding that all the DOD sites are linked so you put in the control channels for all of them together and suibdivide the various bases as subfleets. There is a prior post on this in the VA forum, may have to dig back a couple of months. I grew up in Richmond. Have a safe trip. I am gonna try to go so may see you there. Good luck.

Eugene KG4AVE
Norfolk Fire uses one of the higher Tac channels for special events. I can't remember if it's Tac 7 or another one. Especially if they have DART 1 and 2 active

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Old 04-20-2017, 6:08 PM
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I wondered about that.

Eugene KG4AVE
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
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n4jri: Have a good time at the show. Norfolk will most likely be using 1st PCT TAC for traffic and general calls at TP park. They may also be on the ORION Norfolk talkgroups (as they are during Harborfest). I don't think there is a dedicated talkgroup for FD/EMS. I would also scan the VHF marine frequencies.....esp GC 21/22 and I think channel 83. Even better would be a search of the Marine band on your service search. Aircraft may not be using GCA but the tower freq for Chambers is 124.300 and 379.15. Helo tower 126.375 and 290.500. You are too far away to hear LAFB, Felker or Oceana and my suspicions are they will be flying from Chambers field anyway. It is my understanding that all the DOD sites are linked so you put in the control channels for all of them together and suibdivide the various bases as subfleets. There is a prior post on this in the VA forum, may have to dig back a couple of months. I grew up in Richmond. Have a safe trip. I am gonna try to go so may see you there. Good luck.

Eugene KG4AVE
Thanks, Eugene. I'm not going to spend my entire time at TPP, but will make up a temporary scanlist of what you've mentioned here. Was not aware of the Patrouille de France show, but have to say I'm disappointed that it's going to happen while I'm under a tent and on the job. Have found their freqs on an airshow site and will set the scanner to record.

Also thanks for the lowdown on Chambers and Norfolk approach. I took a vacation down there about 20 years ago to explore and learn the port, and so much has changed that I know of. Can't imagine how much there is that I DON'T know of...

I couldn't find the thread about the DOD ELMR, but am thinking that I'll keep the full-blast download that I've already done, and watch to see what my radio does when I'm near one site that isn't so far from another. I'm aware that they're linked, but am thinking that with P25 there isn't much simulcasting of talkgroups from site to site.

What I'll also do is program the sites as separate systems, and load all the Hampton Roads area talkgroups in each of the systems. The scanner will record them and I can see to what degree stuff from one base shows up another's site. When I visited Sugar Grove, WV a few years ago, the only TG I heard was from the Philly Navy Yard. I doubt I'll make it as far east as Oceana this trip, but should have time to compare NNB with some other sites that are located close to it,...maybe even Little Creek.

Am also thinking about coming down on Friday and staying somewhere, so I'll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on Saturday morning. Any suggestions? Have done the Super 8 in Portsmouth before, but it tends to make me a little nervous. Was thinking of looking around the Ghent area and maybe taking the light rail in to the event. My primary concern is safe parking for the minivan with a console full of radios and a screwdriver antenna. I generally prefer staying someplace where I park in front of my door.

Thanks to everyone for the info on ORION, ELMR, etc. It really helps me program the radio to maximize my options.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:43 AM
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If it were me, I'd stay at the Renaissance in Portsmouth and take the Ferry over if they are not booked. You may also try the Hilton Garden Inn in Suffolk, It's not far off the I(interstate and is far enough away that it probably wont be booked but close enough not to be a more than a 20 minute drive. Also be aware that in all probability the Eastbound tube of the Midtown tunnel will most likely be blocked so you will need to come into Norfolk from the Downtown tunnel. Here are some of the posts I described earlier:

"Since it is at NOB Norfolk, would you use their control channels or would it be a combo of all the stations serviced."

" I have all of the programmed, as its a networked system"

" Essentially it's a simulcast system now for the fire side "

Eugene KG4AVE
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Old 04-21-2017, 4:00 PM
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Thanks, I only saw the third one of those in my search. Will look up the other two pronto!

Both of those places are a little rich for my blood, but sometimes Travelocity does some cool things. It's hard to beat the location & parking of the Renaissance. Have played before down there and love that area. My normal Suffolk stay is at the Regal Inn on Pruden. Maybe I shouldn't be trying to chisel on the 20min drive!

73/Allen (N4JRI)

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Old 04-21-2017, 6:06 PM
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Default Norfolk area Rail info put on Rail forum

Hey Guys,

Don't know if any of you are rail listeners. There isn't much info in the database here, but I posted in the Rail forum what I was using in the early to mid '90's. If you can shed newer light on anything, much appreciated. If you're curious, it's on there for the taking. I wouldn't want to enter it in the database without some idea that it's still accurate. Last I really chased any trains down there was '97 at the latest.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
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Old 04-22-2017, 7:05 PM
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If there is going to be a lot of inter-agency activity best program in ORION 700 meg freqs Norfolk uses that alot for big events at TPP
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Old 04-23-2017, 5:29 AM
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i did not see if you mentioned listening to Portsmouth, but you did mention maybe staying there. DO program in the portsmouth system if you want to hear action. also newport news. you may be able to copy them from some locations. two of the best IMOP for action. portsmouth always has action, does not matter day of week or time of day. lol. i am in Hampton. PD in hampton are encrypted. virginia state police is also worthwhile to load. never heard so many reckless op calls in my life. lol.
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N5XTC View Post
i did not see if you mentioned listening to Portsmouth, but you did mention maybe staying there. DO program in the portsmouth system if you want to hear action. also newport news. you may be able to copy them from some locations. two of the best IMOP for action. portsmouth always has action, does not matter day of week or time of day. lol. i am in Hampton. PD in hampton are encrypted. virginia state police is also worthwhile to load. never heard so many reckless op calls in my life. lol.
Many thanks. I'll actually be in Portsmouth with the same band in September and do enjoy that system...particularly it's lack of LSM problems. But you may misunderstand the intent behind my inquiry. You guys have these public safety and military trunks down here nailed and there's not much that I could need that you haven't found.

I probably won't be listening to much police & fire, because my interests lie more in my environment. I'm trying to find out as much as I can about what's around Waterside, Portside & Willoughby Spit in general, and how things work with the rail, port and air environment. Like the DC area, there's so much exciting stuff to listen to that sometimes it's harder to get some of the more mundane knowledge.

I'm basically trying to up my skills at scanning what I see. Whether it's guards running around with walkie-talkies, ships making their way from CBJ into and through the port, or trains moving containers around for a ferry ride to the Eastern Shore. For me, these are puzzles that are fun to work and provide years of reward.

So, a couple more questions:

How about the trunk for Eastern Virginia Regional Communications? Richmond-area users of this are pretty much migrated elsewhere, and I see some functions duplicated here from the USN ELMR. Is it still even running? I noticed some Ft. Monroe TG's there, which could be intriguing since I'm spending the night on Willoughby Spit.

Naval Supply Center shows a SmartNet system but no TG's. Is it still used, because I think they're also listed on the ELMR?

Should I still be watching conventional freqs for Navy tugs or patrol boats? I see some of those from Portside.

How about he myriad of trunks for VPA and it's terminals? Are there any that would be worth focusing on? Are any of the listed ones defunct?

It's things like this that I want to weed through while I'm down here with a short job and hopefully some quality off-time.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
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Old 04-24-2017, 4:59 PM
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Virginia Port Authority Talkgroups

DEC HEX Mode Alpha Tag Description Tag
6673 1a11 D VPA Police 1 Police 1 Law Dispatch
6679 1a17 D VPA Police 2 Police 2 Law Tac
6680 1a18 D VPA Ops Operations

Might try these................

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Old 04-24-2017, 5:03 PM
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a lot got cut out................52.7875c 152.7425a 151.2125 152.0225 151.3775 151.3025 152.5625
159.0975 151.4375 152.1575c 152.7275
These are the STARS freq for this above.............

Also......VIT..........938.975c 937.900
001 (1) Simulcast 937.4375 937.8875 937.900 937.9375 938.400 938.425 938.450
938.4625 938.4875 938.500 938.9625 938.975 938.9875 939.000
939.400 939.4125 939.425
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Old 04-25-2017, 11:49 AM
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Thanks, Eugene. I generally hear plenty of VPA on STARS when I'm down there. What I'm curious about, though, is all those VIT/NIT/PMT trunks. Whether I can pick them up and whether there's anything worth hearing at all. Will probably just let those record in the PSR800 and see if anything pops.

I looked at the emission types for the new Newport News Shipbuilding trunk a while back, and wasn't sure if my scanner is compatible with that. Hoping for a trip over there sometime when there's a free day.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
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Old 04-25-2017, 5:39 PM
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In looking up your radio (TRX-1)...it should pick up DMR, MotoTRBO, Capacity Plus and I'm sure it will do LTR systems (Newport News Shipbuilding). There are no talk groups for any of these systems (APM, VIT, NIT) listed. Maybe because DMR, MotoTrbo, Connect Plus....etc. are fairly recent advances or there is nothing much to hear. Wouldn't hurt to load em up and see what happens. Can always delete later. The PSR800 will do LTR but will NOT do any of the DMR stuff (MotoTrbo, Connect Plus....etc.) so will be a waste of time, recording space and batteries).
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Old 04-25-2017, 6:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n4jri View Post
Thanks, Eugene. I generally hear plenty of VPA on STARS when I'm down there. What I'm curious about, though, is all those VIT/NIT/PMT trunks. Whether I can pick them up and whether there's anything worth hearing at all. Will probably just let those record in the PSR800 and see if anything pops.

I looked at the emission types for the new Newport News Shipbuilding trunk a while back, and wasn't sure if my scanner is compatible with that. Hoping for a trip over there sometime when there's a free day.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
not sure if this is what you are asking, i did not read it that carefully. i listen to the newport news shipbuilding all the time here in Hampton. the p25 system. there is always action, 24/7 it seems. just a lot of construction type commo. nothing real exciting. i also listen to all the bases around here. again, nothing exciting. the real action is newport news PD, portsmouth PD, VB PD, Norfolk PD, etc.
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Old 04-25-2017, 9:50 PM
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not sure if this is what you are asking, i did not read it that carefully. i listen to the newport news shipbuilding all the time here in Hampton. the p25 system. there is always action, 24/7 it seems. just a lot of construction type commo. nothing real exciting. i also listen to all the bases around here. again, nothing exciting. the real action is newport news PD, portsmouth PD, VB PD, Norfolk PD, etc.
I think you pretty much answered the question. Glad to hear that NN shipbuilding can be monitored. I used to keep a their fire, security, etc. from the old LTR system going when in the area.

I'm hoping to find out if there's any sort of security/safety/emergency stuff on those port trunks that would be worth focusing on if there were some kind of incident in the port. Am hoping that recording at night might bring stuff like that out. Anywhere I go, I want to know where security is talking if I can possibly find out. The idea of the mass recording is to enjoy myself while I'm down there, and analyze the mundane stuff back at home when time permits.

Looking forward to trying it out. Thanks for the help!

73/Allen (N4JRI)
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:25 AM
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Just FYI if you look into the Radio Shack thread and go to the 668 firmware thread you'll find procedures to upgrade your 668, Pro18 and 800 to WS1088 which will give you full DMR capability plus the scanners work a whole lot better and do more stuff. That would give you another to play with on DMR stuff.
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