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Old 06-18-2017, 11:11 PM
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Question Catawba County question

Does anybody know anything about the Catawba County frequencies? I know they primarily use the VIPER State-Wide talkgroups now but due to some hard-to-reach areas they sometimes go to a channel called Direct-1... Now there is a Direct-1 and Direct-2 frequencies listed in the database but I'm pretty sure they aren't correct. I've driven by a fire scene with my radio on Direct-1 when they've switched and gotten nothing, I've tried it with the PL Code listed and without a PL Code. Does anybody have any insight? Thanks!

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Old 06-21-2017, 8:57 AM
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CAT DIR 1 - 769.03125 DPL 114
CAT DIR 2 - 769.00625 DPL 114

These are used when only short range communications are needed. VIPER has very good coverage throughout most of the county. Most fire departments use direct channels on "structural responses" due to unpredictable VIPER coverage inside structures (building penetration), preference of analog modulation, and simplicity of operation (direct radio to radio). It should also be noted that these frequencies are limited to 3 watts.
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerMK View Post
CAT DIR 1 - 769.03125 DPL 114
CAT DIR 2 - 769.00625 DPL 114

These are used when only short range communications are needed. VIPER has very good coverage throughout most of the county. Most fire departments use direct channels on "structural responses" due to unpredictable VIPER coverage inside structures (building penetration), preference of analog modulation, and simplicity of operation (direct radio to radio). It should also be noted that these frequencies are limited to 3 watts.
I get that, those are listed in the database already, but if I drive to a fire scene and put my scanner on those 2 channels I should receive them correct? I am not even half a block away, I've tried turning the PL off and everything. That's why I asked is it possible the frequencies changed OR if someone got it wrong and they use a total separate frequency entirely?

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Old 06-21-2017, 1:30 PM
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These frequencies are 100% correct and have not been changed since their inception. I rarely mess with scanners so I really can't help you there.
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Old 06-21-2017, 1:47 PM
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These frequencies are 100% correct and have not been changed since their inception. I rarely mess with scanners so I really can't help you there.
Yeah I'm kinda better at programming Motorola Trunked radios myself, that is second nature to me, but I will try and see if I am making any errors in my scanner, it is a new one I just got and haven't fully learned how to use it yet (Whistler TRX-2), I never thought a scanner would be more complicated to program than my XTS5000's! Not sure what I'm doing wrong or why I can't receive it. Maybe it's just that the time I drove by and sat there they didn't transmit anything on Direct-1. I appreciate your reply tho trying to help out!

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Old Yesterday, 9:31 AM
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I did have another question actually. Is there a reason that on almost every fire alarm or fire call they ask to switch to Direct-1? I understand the part of VIPER not having coverage in some areas but I'm noticing it on like every call, if there's THAT many dead spots VIPER needs to re-evaluate and install some more repeater towers! I guess I'm just used to the area I grew up in where every scene operations channel was supposed to be recorded AND repeated so all units could hear what's going on. And when I do hear them use Direct-1 for Scene Ops they are able to switch back to the monitored dispatch channel to advise updates so apparently there is VIPER coverage where they're at. Plus it's safer if something happens on a scene now you have to fiddle with the radio and switch back to a dispatch channel to request another resource. I'm just trying to understand the concept of switching to a non-repeated channel if you don't have to. This is NOT meant as disrespect to anyone, I am new here to the area so I am trying to get a grasp of how things work. it's confusing. Maybe it's the Dispatcher in me or the EMT/FF that's been on a bad call before where this situation has happened... Thanks for any input!

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Old Yesterday, 6:02 PM
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VIPER is not designed for in-building coverage and does not guarantee it in any fashion.
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Old Yesterday, 6:28 PM
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Quote:
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VIPER is not designed for in-building coverage and does not guarantee it in any fashion.
Okay, I could understand that. I didn't get it initially because any P25 system I've dealt with was okay in a regular house but multi-story bldgs had issues. I was under the impression VIPER was a very good system so I wasn't expecting issues in like a regular 1-story house fire. But I'm new to the area so I wasn't aware that there was issues even in those structures. Thanks!

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Last edited by MedicDavid78; Yesterday at 6:33 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 7:48 PM
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VIPER is designed for 95% in street coverage. Fire departments in Catawba County have the option of using a tac channel (VIPER) or a direct channel on incidents. Most utilize direct commutations for "structural" responses. Overall the county has very good VIPER coverage. Most buildings in the county have good VIPER coverage but unfortunately you don't know until you're inside. Consider that most firefighters use a radio strap or a chest pocket on their turnout coat for their radio. Then add to the fact that while fighting fire they are low to the floor and might be in a confined area inside a structure. These factors inherently place the radio in a poor location for transmitting, especially to a tower that could be miles away. Direct channels are ideal for operating in an IDLH environment. There are no busy signals, you don't have to hit a tower 10 miles away to talk to someone in the next room over, etc. The biggest con is that there is no direct communications with dispatch on a direct channel. This is why you hear command calling on the dispatch talkgroup when operations are on a direct channel. Due to the limited range of direct channels multiple incidents can take place on a single channel with no interference. It all comes down to unpredictable in-building coverage and simplicity.
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Old Yesterday, 8:21 PM
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That was perfect! I appreciate you taking the time to explain it to me, now I fully understand the process! I just moved here from a big city so there's a lot for me to get accustomed to.

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Old Yesterday, 8:29 PM
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Welcome to the area. I'm glad I could help.
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