• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Listen before you leap

Joined
Apr 28, 2016
Messages
311
Location
Nankin Township, Michigan
#1
I just read a thread where someone bought some good money on a digital radio. And lo and behold the repeaters listed in the directory for that mode are deader than last year's birds nest. So I've said this before, but want to repeat it again:

Before you buy a radio for one of the modes, thinking it would be good because the directory shows repeaters for that mode in your area, STOP.
First program the repeaters listed into a plain ol' analog scanner, and see if anyone is actually using the repeaters listed. Does the squelch open up long enough so you can ascertain there are actually conversations going on. When you do find a repeater that opens the squelch on your plain ol' analog scanner for good lengths of time (not just long enough for someone throwing their call out to dead air), then go buy the radio of your choice in that digital mode.

Don't think seeing repeaters listed means they are being used, or are even on the air. Anyone can get a repeater allocation. Here in Detroit, we have a repeater that hasn't been on the air in 10 years, but the guy keeps renewing the allocation. He may never actually put a machine up.
 

KK4JUG

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Dec 13, 2014
Messages
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GA, AL, TX, OK, KS, AR, NC, or MI
#2
You're right, Golay. RepeaterBook and others have lots of repeaters listed but I've found that probably less than half are operable.

I travel a lot and one of the things I do is program repeater frequencies (2m & .70m) that are within about 20 miles of my routes into my radio. I'll (try to) "check in" as a mobile but more than half the time, I never hear the repeater. I guess it could be because the repeater is down or they've changed PL tones or frequencies. Whatever the reason, I get zilch most of the time.

On a side note, the radio is an FT-8900. I usually keep one side on simplex VHF just in case.
 

alcahuete

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Jul 24, 2015
Messages
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Antelope Acres, California
#3
The great thing about most digital repeaters is that they are normally linked. So it really doesn't matter what happens locally. Of course if you're just looking for local, that might not be your cup of tea.
 

Hit_Factor

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Mar 6, 2010
Messages
637
Location
Saint Joseph, MI
#4
I have given up on the trash in repeaterbook and similar databases.

I found that googling up the frequency coordinators report for the state gives reliable information.

The only drawback is the format of the data. It's unlikely to be directly imported into any programming software.

73, K8HIT
Icom: IC-7300, IC-PW1, ID-5100A, ID-51A Plus 2, IC-R30, Hytera PD782G, Kenwood TH-D74, Uniden SDS100, DVMega, SDRplay RSPduo
 

KK4JUG

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GA, AL, TX, OK, KS, AR, NC, or MI
#11
That was an exercise in futility.

The GA frequency coordinator has no web site. I was referred to the Southeastern Repeater Assn. (SERA). I registered and logged in and found no useful information. They discuss interference, band plans, etc., but there's nothing to show actual repeaters in operation or even licensed.
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
83
Location
Columbus, Ohio
#12
I concur with the OP. We have at least 3 D-Star, one P25, a few DMR (linked) repeaters and a Fusion system. By far the most traffic is on the Fusion machine. DMR is already mostly dead and D-Star is almost never heard here. I have never heard a signal on the P25 machine. We have a 1292 analog repeater and I am the only voice up there. It's been in operation for many years too. Yes, listen if you have the chance or find the local clubs and ask.

Sean
 

Hit_Factor

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Messages
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Saint Joseph, MI
#14
That was an exercise in futility.

The GA frequency coordinator has no web site. I was referred to the Southeastern Repeater Assn. (SERA). I registered and logged in and found no useful information. They discuss interference, band plans, etc., but there's nothing to show actual repeaters in operation or even licensed.
GA info is there, go to ucs, put in location of interest and miles.

The list of repeaters is then displayed.

The site is very unusual.

73, K8HIT
Icom: IC-7300, IC-PW1, ID-5100A, ID-51A Plus 2, IC-R30, Hytera PD782G, Kenwood TH-D74, Uniden SDS100, DVMega, SDRplay RSPduo
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2016
Messages
311
Location
Nankin Township, Michigan
#18
I just Google up frequency coordinators (state of interest).

This is Michigan's Michigan Area Repeater Council

73, K8HIT
Icom: IC-7300, IC-PW1, ID-5100A, ID-51A Plus 2, IC-R30, Hytera PD782G, Kenwood TH-D74, Uniden SDS100, DVMega, SDRplay RSPduo
Doggone, Hit Man.
I'm a little taken back that you call a coordinator's listing a good source as to what's actually active. Maybe in your neck of the woods.
But here in Wayne County, a good 10% of the repeaters listed in the MARC are not on the air.
 

Hit_Factor

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#19
Doggone, Hit Man.
I'm a little taken back that you call a coordinator's listing a good source as to what's actually active. Maybe in your neck of the woods.
But here in Wayne County, a good 10% of the repeaters listed in the MARC are not on the air.
I realize I offered up exactly the source you were complaining about. But, 10% inactive is far better than repeaterbook.

Here in Berrien County it's spot on.

73, K8HIT
Icom: IC-7300, IC-PW1, ID-5100A, ID-51A Plus 2, IC-R30, Hytera PD782G, Kenwood TH-D74, Uniden SDS100, DVMega, SDRplay RSPduo
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
83
Location
Columbus, Ohio
#20
... here in Wayne County, a good 10% of the repeaters listed in the MARC are not on the air.
The trouble we have, and I hear this is similar in a lot of places, we have dozens listed but they have almost Zero usage. I can "ping" most of them but there are never any voices on them. These repeaters should, in my opinion, vacate the bandwidth. There is a good reason to stay up even without usage however. In an emergency, better to have a lot of quiet repeaters become available than the one or two get overloaded.

Sean
 
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