Day one - Cayuga Fleetnet Tower

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altonj

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So my two dongles arrived today... with SDRSharp and the RR database I found the control channel for the Cayuga tower and played with the ppm until it seemed centred on the signal. Shut that down and started Unitrunker with one dongle on the control channel and one trying to follow conversations. Unitrunker reported the CC as having a health of 100% even though I'm only using the stock antenna.

There seemed to be a lot of Hamilton traffic on that tower, especially healthcare related. And, at times, some traffic would show up stating it was "P1 FDMA" voice. It came through as garble.

Is this normal for this tower or did I manage to pick up some completely different tower?
 

EJB

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So my two dongles arrived today... with SDRSharp and the RR database I found the control channel for the Cayuga tower and played with the ppm until it seemed centred on the signal. Shut that down and started Unitrunker with one dongle on the control channel and one trying to follow conversations. Unitrunker reported the CC as having a health of 100% even though I'm only using the stock antenna.

There seemed to be a lot of Hamilton traffic on that tower, especially healthcare related. And, at times, some traffic would show up stating it was "P1 FDMA" voice. It came through as garble.

Is this normal for this tower or did I manage to pick up some completely different tower?
Cayuga:

It has pretty good coverage to the NE, I normally pick it up as well as Brantford from my home base in Aldershot, Burlington.

You will hear the following on this tower: The Brant Haldimand Norfolk patch, Norfolk TG, Sometimes the Burlington/Niagara patch, Sometimes the Niagara CACC talkgroups, usually the Hamilton City E and Tac4 for patches to Hamilton city hospitals and always the Hamilton Simcoe talkgroup.

Sometimes the MTO for events transmitted on the Niagara and Burlington talkgroups.
 

altonj

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Thanks.

Now have the loop of Unitrunker - VAC - DSD+ going as well as upgrading my membership here and downloading the site data. Picked up a fair bit of Burlington OPP yesterday and much of what you noted above.
 

EJB

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Niagara and Burlington talkgroup is generally active on this tower, Niagara cars that are close enough to the tower can affiliate with Cayuga. And when the MTO Enforcement units are patched with Burl and Niag there will be even more activity to listen to.

Do you have the ability to run Trunk 88 or as a last resort Unitrunker? That way you can see who is active and never miss a voice comm. Do you have a scanner that is capable of listening to digital and analogue transmissions? I am not really at all into what you are doing with DSD or on the equipment you are using to allow you to monitor voice comms, it has always been about monitoring for me.

Cayuga is generally a busy enough tower, close enough to Hamilton to have all the CACC's voice comms and close enough to the Niagara regions OPP cars to allow anything on the patch. Brantford is busier and Hamilton-Charlton even more so. Fonthill is an interesting tower, I used to be able to hear Halton Ems units affiliate on this tower. When I travel to Toronto on the QEW Fonthill is usually the tower that my scanner is able to 'hear' from the Skyway and across the Burlington and Oakville area of the Q.

Its like the sprawl of the GTA, there really is no area of the Golden Horseshoe from east of Oshawa to Niagara Falls where you are not going to be able to monitor fleetnet, I have been able to monitor Skylawn and Fonthill as well as Charlton, Woodlawn and even Primrose with a decent antenna in the city of Toronto proper, from Diamond or Watson rubber ducky antennas to actual mag mount antennas designed for Fleetnet.
 

altonj

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I have Unitrunker setup with one radio sitting on the CC for Cayuga and the other bouncing around to follow the voice comms - when it encounters digital voice it sends that to DSD+ for voice decoding. I've seen a lot of London Comm Centre on that tower, Niagara North and South, City East, Burlington OPP, Haldimand OPP including Six Nations. Sparked it up tonight and it would decode the CC nicely for about 10 minutes then drop off to nothing - will look at it later.

I don't have a scanner that I could use to compare signals. The only other functional 'radio' I have is a Grundig Satellit 750 but it's of no use on the higher frequencies.

I'm still working off the stock antenna's which, from what I've read, are virtually useless. I'm able to hear the Cayuga tower but not Brantford. If I spend time in SDR# sniffing around 141.705 (if memory serves) and I can get the waterfall to show what looks like a hint of a signal but not even enough on audio to suggest anything is there.

Spent a little time with Trunk 88 without much success. From what I've read it's no longer being maintained so I didn't put too much effort into it. Are you suggesting it might be an area worthy of more effort?

Some reasonable antennas are on my shopping list - along with trying to build some.
 

EJB

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I have Unitrunker setup with one radio sitting on the CC for Cayuga and the other bouncing around to follow the voice comms - when it encounters digital voice it sends that to DSD+ for voice decoding. I've seen a lot of London Comm Centre on that tower, Niagara North and South, City East, Burlington OPP, Haldimand OPP including Six Nations. Sparked it up tonight and it would decode the CC nicely for about 10 minutes then drop off to nothing - will look at it later.

I don't have a scanner that I could use to compare signals. The only other functional 'radio' I have is a Grundig Satellit 750 but it's of no use on the higher frequencies.

I'm still working off the stock antenna's which, from what I've read, are virtually useless. I'm able to hear the Cayuga tower but not Brantford. If I spend time in SDR# sniffing around 141.705 (if memory serves) and I can get the waterfall to show what looks like a hint of a signal but not even enough on audio to suggest anything is there.

Spent a little time with Trunk 88 without much success. From what I've read it's no longer being maintained so I didn't put too much effort into it. Are you suggesting it might be an area worthy of more effort?

Some reasonable antennas are on my shopping list - along with trying to build some.

I am biased, I think that Trunk 88 is much better to really get to how a Fleetnet system works. Uni Trunker makes it look cheap. That said Uni Trunker can work on the P25 systems if you ever messed around with that, it does a good job there.

Try to see if you could get Simcoe's tower, I think 142.725
 

altonj

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Caledonia, Ontario Canada
Good memory... not able to pick up the Simcoe Tower.

So far the only system I've been watching is Fleetnet on the Cayuga tower. Not even sure what P25 systems I might be able to hear at this location with these antenna.

Spent a little more time with Trunk88... found how to give it the CC frequency and was amazed how it did the rest of the tuning itself. Lots of data in there. Managed to import the RR Talkgroup info into it as well.
 

altonj

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My apologies. I've read so much stuff over the past few months trying to get up to speed that I don't recall. I've come to think it's a memory leak on my part and that what I read was for some other trunk decoding app. Or perhaps someone wrote it due to the trunk88.com domain being expired.

After EJB mentioned a preference for Trunk88 I thought I'd give it 'another' try. After starting the program I couldn't recall having seen the application before.

Shall I edit that comment out from my previous post?
 
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