Cal-fire question

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I am monitoring cdf and can't pick up their tac channels am I doing something wrong or didn't program the right. All I hear is the Incident command talking on the main channel. Please help if you know what I am doing wrong.
 

mcjones2013

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I am monitoring cdf and can't pick up their tac channels am I doing something wrong or didn't program the right. All I hear is the Incident command talking on the main channel. Please help if you know what I am doing wrong.
CDF TAC channels are not repeated, meaning that you must be within a few miles or even less to be able to hear the incident clearly.
 

norcalscan

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What county are you in that you're trying to monitor? As mcjones said, tactical traffic is simplex (non-repeated) traffic. That means you need to be within range of those radios. On the valley floor with a handheld antenna at equal elevation it might be no more than a few miles away. But if one of you has an elevation advantage (you on valley floor and fire in foothills, or vice versa, you'll have a better chance hearing them beyond the 1-2 miles, upwards of 5-20 miles even with conditions. (and remember mobile radios are pumping out much higher power than handhelds, so at range, you might only hear resources using the mobile radio.) An example of a very ideal situation, with an outdoor base antenna 30ft up on the valley floor, I can hear firefighters on handhelds if they are line-of-sight to me on elevated ridges and slopes 45-60 miles depending on their elevation.

But that's the easy answer. There could be some technical/programming issues too which we won't know unless we know more about your situation and setup. If you think you're in range, then check to see if you have the proper 192.8 tone/ctcss programmed (or don't use any tone).
 

gmclam

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I was picking up coms from the fire up the hill yesterday from Fair Oaks, but I have an outdoor antenna. Your location (altitude), what your antenna can "see" and and external outdoor antenna are key for reception.
 
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