Hopkinsville/Christian County LTR Passport system

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ncr_dave

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I've been monitoring Hopkinsville/Christian County Public Safety nearly 40 years, since crystal scanner days.
They are now looking into an LTR Passport system. Does this mean my longtime hobby is coming to an end?
I understand that no scanners are available to consumers that monitor the new system. There must be lots of people in the same boat. Anyone have any information?
 

RandyB

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I wouldn't say your hobby is coming to an end. It certainly will become more challenging though.

The same happened in Clarksville / Montgomery County about 5 years ago. More recently, every county in Northwest Middle Tennessee has switched or will be switching to LTR Passport trunking as well. It'll be interesting to see how Hopkinsville / Christian County makes the switch. The recently posted update in the database regarding Christian County's new system says that the original plans for an MPT-1327 system have been scrapped and indicates that Hopkinsville / Christian County is leaning toward a more mutual aid-friendly system. This is certainly great planning, if it is indeed the case. The ability to communicate with other agencies is essential in large scale disasters.

Interestingly, Palco Communications maintains Christian County's VHF system. Greer Communications has been largely responsible for the build-out of the Tennessee Homeland Security District 7 system. I suppose that doesn't necessarily mean that Greer will be contracted to do the same for Christian County, however. But, unlike Greer, Palco is a Motorola dealer. I'm unsure what implications, if any, that will have on the design and construction of this system.

Perhaps an LTR Passport-capable scanner will become available soon. It wasn't too long ago that folks in Nashville had thought their scanner-monitoring days were over when Nashville switched from VHF to an 800 MHz Motorola digital radio system. However, soon after the switch, Uniden released the BC250D digital-capable scanner. The likelihood of Uniden or the other scanner manufacturing companies releasing an LTR Passport-capable scanner are slim, at least in the near future. But, in the mean time there are tricks that will allow you to monitor the new system. I'd recommend searching for some of the older posts and threads on the Tennessee Homeland Security District 7 radio system and scanner monitoring in Montgomery County, TN. Some of those post go into quite a bit of detail as to how to go about monitoring the system.

In short--the way the passport system works is that each user (whether fire, sheriff, or PD) will access the "home frequency" first. However, if that frequency is busy, their radio traffic will be shifted to an alternate frequency. Usually, the best practice for monitoring Passport is to listen to the home frequency. You'll hear a variety of radio traffic and unfortunately won't be able to separate agencies.

To know what you'll likely be up against, you could give it a try by monitoring Montgomery County's system. You should be able to monitor it from your location, although the signal may be weak. 453.3375 MHz is the home frequency for Montgomery County's system.

As the switch-over date nears for Hopkinsville / Christian County, jump on these forums. We can give you more information on monitoring and some of the tricks we've learned in our attempts to monitor the Tennessee system.
 

ncr_dave

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Thanks for the help! I will try to give a listen to Clarksville. I am about 3 miles northwest of Hopkinsville and use a Radio Shack outdoor antenna, indoors. I tried to get Clarksville a few years ago and thought I was too far away to receive the signal. At the moment my scanner (Radio Shack PRO-2052) is acting up. The internal speaker gets very quiet. Up until now I've been able to tap the case and get the volume to return, but now it seems permanent. It sounds like a loose connection, but even with all the screws removed, the case wont budge. I spent 45 years repairing computers and all sorts of electronic equipment - you'd think I could get the case off this scanner.

Thanks again!
 
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Have they already changed their minds on what system to install?? Last I heard, Christian County was going from conventional VHF to a UHF MPT trunking system (Kenwood). Of course that has been a while too.
 

ncr_dave

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The first I heard about any change was in the paper on July 9. According to that article "fiscal court approved a motion to renew a contract with PALCO Enterprises. The company is finishing a new digital trunk radio station for the county, scheduled to be completed in four weeks.....the system will use technology to connect towers from four sites around the county covering most of Christian County and portions of outlying counties...". After that I started researching it myself and found here on RadioReference.com a page saying that as of July 1, 2008, plans for the MPT-1327 trunked system have been scrapped. Then it goes on to say...Christian County is now looking at LTR Passport for this public safety system. It also says that the system is planned to tie into the TN Homeland Security District 7 system.

I guess we can wait and see.
 

RandyB

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That's interesting. The information here on Radioreference is older than the information in the article you read. It makes me wonder if the decision had been made to NOT renew Palco Enterprises's contract and instead scrap the original plans and go with LTR Passport, then perhaps someone changed of mine and decided to go ahead and renew Palco's contract. What's even more interesting is the article says that scheduled completion will be in four weeks. If that's the case, construction has been ongoing for some time. Like you said, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
 

unitcharlie

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The "new" freqs for WQDP576 appeared in my quasi-regular ULS search and I posted them in the Unidentified Freqs Thread (#198) on 04 July asking if anyone in the area has plugged them in to see what they revealed.... I wonder if Christian Co./Hopkinsville might plug into Fort Campbell's TRS the way some of the communities around Fort Knox have done....
 

ncr_dave

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I will check out those frequencies soon. As soon as I can get the back light replaced in my 2052. My poor old eyes need all the help possible, especially when keying in those numbers!
 

RandyB

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At the moment my scanner (Radio Shack PRO-2052) is acting up. The internal speaker gets very quiet. Up until now I've been able to tap the case and get the volume to return, but now it seems permanent. Thanks again!
I had a similar problem with my Uniden BC895XLT. It got worse and worse and I finally had to replace it. The timing was good because the new BC780XLT's had just came out, so I snatched one of those up.

Sounds like your 2052 has seen better days!

Unitcharlie, I'm just out of range where I'm at now, but next time I'm in Clarksville I'll try those frequencies.
 

unitcharlie

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I haven't been down that way since 2003.... don't get that way much since hanging up the boots.... but I had all those freqs programmed and never heard a peep.... wonder how the affiliation with Tennessee is going to impact the HB 226 Compliance.....
 
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I know someone who has stuff on going with Palco... I'll shoot some questions his way and see what he knows. Maybe we can shed some light on the possible MPT-1327 to LTR Passport system change. Will get back with everyone as soon as I hear something.

Taken from Christian County Fiscal Court Meeting minutes from April 08, 2008 (viewable at http://www.christiancounty.org/pdffiles/minutes080408.pdf)
Approve Change Order to Trunked Radio System

..... ordered to approve Fiscal Court Funding of the Trunked Radio System upgrade to a DIGITAL STATUS ......
 
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KD4YGG

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The Saga Continues...

A contact I have down in the area states that the system will NOT be an LTR Passport system.

It will utilize Kenwood's new proprietary NEXEDGE digital format.
Looks like the days of scanning in Christian County may be coming to a close...



http://www.scribd.com/doc/1139696/Kenwood-NEXEGDE-Digital-LMR-UHFVHF-Portables?ga_related_doc=1

http://www.scribd.com/doc/2056913/Kenwood-NEXEDGE-Digital-LMR-System-Ovrview?ga_related_doc=1

http://www.scribd.com/doc/1139635/Kenwood-NEXEDGE-Digital-LMR-Overview
 
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A contact I have down in the area states that the system will NOT be an LTR Passport system.

It will utilize Kenwood's new proprietary NEXEDGE digital format.
Looks like the days of scanning in Christian County may be coming to a close...
My contact confirmed this morning that this will be a Kenwood NEXEDGE system. The system should be up and running within a few more weeks.

Prices I have seen for this system are lower than those of a P25 or any other digital system. Portables can be purchased for around $900 to $1,000 (due to purchase of battery, antenna and charger seperately) each and the mobiles around $750 to $900 (mic, cord and bracket included).
 
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RandyB

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Sounds like Hopkinsville police are on Christian County's frequency (155.115 MHz) this afternoon. 154.785 (HPD's primary frequency) is quiet. I wonder if this may be related to the switchover to the new TRS, or if it's due to a problem with the 154.785 repeater.

UPDATE: They've switched back to the city frequency.
 
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KD4YGG

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Have been told by a source in the area that the system is online and operational.

Unsure if system is being used or still undergoing final testing...
 

catbird

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Hopkinsville / Christian County

Have been told by a source in the area that the system is online and operational.

Unsure if system is being used or still undergoing final testing...
Still hearing traffic on 155.1150 (156.7) for Christian County Sheriff and 154.7850 (123.0) for Hoptown Police as of 1:15am 10/15/08.

Richard
 

RandyB

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Hearing two control channels from Clarksville now. The strongest is 453.225, which shows to be on the Oak Grove site. The second is 453.875 which shows to be the "Hopkinsville South" site.

They sound just like the "Kenwood Nexedge" control channel sample file on KD9UKD's site. http://www.kb9ukd.com/digital/

I didn't hear any other traffic, digital bursts, etc. during the brief time I was in range and able to monitor this afternoon.
 
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