Cades Cove Monitoring

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gsquared18

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I drive through Cades Cove all the time and have always wanted to listen to the park ranger communications. I'm just getting back into listening after a couple years and previously owned the BC 346XT. I know they've gone digital but are they encrypted too? I'm looking into the Uniden 396XT but if they are off the grid, I'll just get another 346XT since everything else in the Knoxville area is analog for now.

Thanks...
 

CORN

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Is that part of the Smokey Mountains? Or at least patrolled by their Rangers? If so I don't think any of the GSMNP repeaters have gone encrypted, YET.
 

n4yek

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The 396XT will do you fine, just use they following link and scroll down to the National Park section and use the freqs that are listed. All frequencies except the ops and local freqs are linked together so what you hear on one freq you will hear on the others. There is some encryption, but mainly from the law enforcement rangers running tag information. All other communication is in the clear.
Federal Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference
 

gsquared18

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Problem in Cades Cove

I took my 396XT out to Cades Cove today and tried scanning with the GSMNP system I loaded from ARC-XT / RadioReference database. I wasn't hearing anything and thought it was just a quite day. A few minutes later there were two rangers up ahead doing seat belt checks. I could see them using their radios but the scanner wasn't picking up anything. So I switched to Close Call and found their frequency right away.

Have I missed something in the settings for this system? I know how to use ARC-XT software to program my radio and have other systems that work fine so what am I missing? I checked the frequencies in the system against the ones I found today and two were the same (one was not in the system I downloaded from ARC). Is there some default option I need to check or un-check?

The only thing I see that might be the problem is that the "System Type" box shows it as "conventional" yet it's really P25 isn't it? Should I try and change it to P25 Standard in that option box?
 
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trumpetman

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Out of curiosity, what were the frequencies you logged today?

I just downloaded all the federal listings for TN and everything checks out fine...not sure what your issue could be.
 

n4yek

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The only thing I see that might be the problem is that the "System Type" box shows it as "conventional" yet it's really P25 isn't it? Should I try and change it to P25 Standard in that option box?
The repeaters utilize both analog and digital voice so if you program it as a digital only reception, you could possibly miss traffic. Analog is used very little though, mainly when outside agencies such as Lifestar Air Medical Helicopter talks to them.

It is possible the NAC was different and that was keeping you from hearing them. I have my 396T programmed as conventional frequencies so I would say the XT model would be the same.
Just curious as to the frequency you say you got on close call you said wasn't in the database. Please post that one so it can be updated.

Danny
 

gsquared18

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Here are the two frequencies that CC found and that are in the GSMNP Federal system:
166.8750
167.1500

Here is the one I don't see in the list:
166.3500

Can you explain NAC? I don't know what that is.

Can you check the following default ARC settings when I created the Federal System:

System Name: Federal
System Type: Conventional
Number Tag: NONE
Quick Key: 5 (I chose that)
Start Up Key: None

System Settings:
Delay Time: 2 secs
Hold Time: 0
Analog AGC On (not checked)
Lockout (not checked)
Digital AGC On (not checked)
Protect (not checked)
P25 Wait Time: 400
Record Output (996XT): All On
 
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n4yek

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Here are the two frequencies that CC found and that are in the GSMNP Federal system:
166.8750
167.1500
These are both simplex frequencies and are listed in the database.
Here is the one I don't see in the list:
166.3500
It is actually there, you just have to have the list show the input frequencies. That option is towards the top of the listing.
Can you explain NAC? I don't know what that is.
The Network Access Code or NAC is a feature of Project 25 digital radios similar to CTCSS or DCS for analog radios.
Can you check the following default ARC settings when I created the Federal System:

System Name: Federal
System Type: Conventional
Number Tag: NONE
Quick Key: 5 (I chose that)
Start Up Key: None

System Settings:
Delay Time: 2 secs
Hold Time: 0
Analog AGC On (not checked)
Lockout (not checked)
Digital AGC On (not checked)
Protect (not checked)
P25 Wait Time: 400
Record Output (996XT): All On
While I don't use ARC software, nothing in the list would make me think anything is wrong.
 

gsquared18

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I'm still having trouble hearing anything on the Federal National Parks - Great Smoky Mountains P25 system. The site profile was created for my new BCD396XT right from ARC program and I have not tweaked it in any way. I went up there again this weekend and it was silent the whole day. Once I did a manual search in the 164-173Mhz range, I found activity. The frequencies it found displayed "P25" on it. Is there anybody else having trouble with this system. Every other digital system in my area comes in perfect.
 

gsquared18

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DDan cured the problem. He noticed that my NAC's were wrong. Below is his fix to cure it. So if you use ARC which grabs systems from Radio Reference database, it's wrong. They have the NAC's as "45" and it should be "4C5"

Now I can see it. Yes the NACs are 45. They should be 4C5.
 

WB3GRC

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I am rather new to scanning and the actual terminology used here... I live very close to Cades Cove, and take my wife there weekly.. I was wondering if there are any frequencies, and what they might be, that I can pick up with my 2 meter and 440 mobile as well as my handheld dual banders.. I notice that everything listed here is rather old information.. I have tried all the frequencies that are listed through this forum, and nothing seems to work.. I also have a Radio shack pro 2052 that I have taken along in the car and had that on scan, but have found nothing.. I came across a " ranger " one day , and asked him what frequency his H/T uses, and he was quite arrogant, simply saying " none of your business "... I do get some audio at 171.165, but it is digital..sounds like " packet "..with just quick bursts.. thats the only frequency listed where I hear anything.. So, is there a frequency, or frequencies that will allow me to receive FM through my 2 meter/440 gear ?? thank you..
 

W4EMS

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Park Rangers are all digital so without a P25 capable scanner you will not be able to monitor them. Ranger probably does not know the frequency but the days of asking and getting that type information are gone especially with law enforcement.
 

WB3GRC

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Thank you so much..now, will a pro 2052 be capable of this p25 thing.. I have to read up on this, as I know very little about scanning and trunking. I guess I need to find a good piece of software, too..what is out there for the 2052 ?.. I do a lot of digital on my ham radios, making my own interfaces for the psk and jt65 stuff.. but never ventured into the scanner stuff.. thanks
 

n4yek

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The Pro2052 is not capable of decoding P25 by itself. You can add a discriminator tap to it and use DSDPlus which is free to download and use and it will decode P25 pretty well using your computer.
 

WB3GRC

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Cades Cove

The Pro2052 is not capable of decoding P25 by itself. You can add a discriminator tap to it and use DSDPlus which is free to download and use and it will decode P25 pretty well using your computer.
Thank you Danny.. looked you up on qrz...also love F-1 .. was at every race when held at Indy.. always had 8 penthouse tickets..loved it.. also.. I live right across the street from John Wilkinson..who is still at Tentec..
Is there a good scanner software for the old 2052, to get started with, or should I move on to a newer model scanner, and what do you suggest.. thanks...monitor 146.55 daily
 

n4yek

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Thank you Danny.. looked you up on qrz...also love F-1 .. was at every race when held at Indy.. always had 8 penthouse tickets..loved it.. also.. I live right across the street from John Wilkinson..who is still at Tentec..
Is there a good scanner software for the old 2052, to get started with, or should I move on to a newer model scanner, and what do you suggest.. thanks...monitor 146.55 daily
Great, another F1 fan. You don't find too many in this area. As for Penthouse tickets at an F1 race....drool.... :)

I never met John, my tenure ended back in 1998 with Ten Tec. I just hope the company can continue to stand on its own, being sold three times in less than a year doesn't make for good news in my opinion.

I would suggest a newer scanner if you are wanting to monitor P25, especially if you are wanting something you can take with you.
Good new units would include:
(listing easily programmable P25 Phase II scanners, newest on the market)
Uniden HP-2
Uniden BCD436hp (handheld)
Uniden BCD536HP (Mobile/Base)
Whistler WS 1080 (Handheld)
Whistler WS 1095 (Mobile/Base)
All are good scanners and can be programmed just by inputting your zip code as the entire frequency database is stored on a an 'SD' card inside the scanner. The database can be easily updated and contain most everything you would ever want to monitor.
 
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