Live Oak SCAT system???

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Sanscanman

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Morning all,

I was playing around looking for control channels this morning and came across a weak decode on 853.9125. Unitrunker shows it as site 12 channel 1 in failsoft as a SCAT system.. the PSR says the exact same thing as well. I have watched traffic in Trunker: TGIDS 628 and 2047 and I have been able to catch very brief audio so far but nothing that I can identify yet.

Has anyone else come across this recently?

FCC says this channel is still licensed to Live Oak as well as NEXTEL
and The Database says that it was LCN 10 for Live Oaks system after they rebanded.

If anyone else could see if they could catch and decode this as well I would be most interested in your results.
 

davidbond21

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About 6 or more months ago on the San Antonio/Bexar Co EDACS(Blue simulcast I think), I was hearing radio techs doing performance testing inside and out around a certain building in town. They kept switching back and forth between their digital radios(which was the part of the conversation I was hearing) and their SCAT radios(which I heard them specifically refer to them as that). They were testing all the way down into the basement of this particular building(never heard a location though).

I haven't heard anything about that since I heard those radio techs a while back, but I figured eventually we'd start seeing some SCAT sites pop up and come alive. It's surprising you found this on the Live Oak system though. When you're watching the Live Oak TRS on Unitrunker, are you seeing voice traffic coming across on LCN 10? Back when they rebanded we had a discussion going on about the system, and I think we may have concluded that LCN 10 was not being used. You might want to go look at that again, because you might be on to something here.

Also a fun little tidbit, speaking of Nextel. About a month or two prior to my over hearing the techs testing SCAT, I heard some techs(using my PSR-500) who were testing how Nextel Patches were working with the SA/Bexar county system. In fact, one tech was talking on his Nextel to the other tech who said he was actually in Comal County, using an LCRA radio to talk to him. So they definitely have some interop capability there, I just think it's funny SA still doesn't have any patches to the Live Oak system.
 

Sanscanman

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Hi David,

I just got up and turned the scanner back on and I am still able to receive the system, so now I can at least rule out skip.

I did just catch a conversation but it is scratchy and hard to make out but the Talk group that came across was 04-144. Just heard another snipet, this one was much clearer and also Talkgroup 04-144 it was a return on someone out of Seguin.

When I have watched Live Oak on unitrunker; I have not seen it populate the #10 LCN. I think I am gonna take a trip over to the Forum with my Mini and see if the signal improves.

As for no interop with San Antonio, I am sure something has to exist someplace; I have heard Bexar County Fire Alarm on Converse's Response channel and the main FD dispatch channel in the past.

Gonna run for now, I will post what I find later when I get back.
 

davidbond21

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Well, unfortunately, I haven't been able to pick up that frequency from either work (near SAT) or here at the house right now, so I can't look at it myself at the moment on Unitrunker.

As far as my interop comment went, I was mainly referring to the various TRS's we have around here. I know most of the county fire has VHF radios which gives them that ability, but as far as the PD's on the Live Oak EDACS, not so much. Or at least this is what I heard from an LOPD officer, saying that whenever they were chasing people from Live Oak into San Antonio(or vice versa), their dispatcher always had to be on the phone with the SAPD dispatcher.

I'm going to try scanning on my way to work tomorrow(I pass through Live Oak) for that frequency to see if I can pick it up at all so I can try and help you figure this out.
 

Sanscanman

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Well your going to find this rather interesting I think. At 1604 and Randolph AFB to about Kittyhawk the signal decodes at 99% on a rubber duckie or mobile external antenna. by the time you get to 1604 and Pat Booker it drops precipitously to 8 % and when your in the Forum at Chilis parking lot Straight line of site to the Live oak water tower I get 00% decode. I can hear the CC but it is VERY dirty and I hear Edacs beeps over top of it and also heard some ones FD tones very modulated on top of the CC. no matter what antenna I used it did not seems to make a difference. nor did turning on attenuation either.

I am wondering a couple things right now.. What if this is a Direction antenna to provide better coverage to Universal City or what if this is a over flow channel that was set up with the specific intention to disrupt a scanner monitoring their trunk system; I only mention the later because sometimes it seems like there are missing bit of a conversation happening.. not a lot mind you.. just tiny bits and pieces here and there. I know that sounds a little out there , but i am not sure what to make of it yet other than the fact that TGID 628 Decimal is TGID 04-144 AFS which is UC PD Dispatch, and the only traffic that I have clearly been able to monitor so far from this System.
 

donhark

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I can here it from my location in Schertz. It used to be on 868.9125 before they rebanded the system. It sounds like a fast control channel.

Donald Harkins
Schertz, TX
 

davidbond21

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Morning amnesia prevented me from remembering to monitor this on the way in to work this morning, but I'm currently running UniTrunker on the Live Oak system and it's not showing any peers so I wonder what the deal is with this.

The short range of the SCAT site doesn't surprise me that much. From my understanding of SCAT, one of it's primary applications is to extend the range of an EDACS system to areas where there is substandard coverage from the main site(s) but still a need for trunked communications, but not enough voice traffic to justify installing a multiple channel EDACS site. So I would imagine the range of this would be limited to begin with. It may not even be physically located any more at the Live Oak site.

I also want to bring something up that's a little off topic, but since you are mentioning you are only hearing UCPD, it may be salient after all. Now, I haven't really been monitoring this system all that much except for commuting to and from work, and in the past few months barely even that. I need someone to help me confirm this(plus I guess I need to start running Unitrunker to look for it as well in the logs), but the only people I've ever heard use I-Calls on this system is UCPD, and I used to hear them clearly too, but they were always made infrequently. Maybe 4-5 months ago I started seeing the occasional I-Call pop up and wouldn't hear clear voice but instead what sounds like a ProVoice transmission(sounds like fax noise) on the PSR-500. Every time since I've seen I-Call come up on that system(mind you the rare times I'm monitoring), I've heard the digital noise, and have noticed it's the same 3-4 LIDs I always see popping up, and which I've had identified as UCPD as well. I could confirm this with one of my radios, but I'm hoping a Unitrunker log will tell the same story. If anyone has some recent logs(with maybe a weeks worth of traffic) they can send me, I can run through them to see if that's the case.
 

davidbond21

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On my way home from work today, I was able to pick up this SCAT system on a narrow sliver of northbound I-35. From:

1604 to FM 1518: sporadic receive and signal decode that grew into a low but constant decode rate. 0 for a while, then 30-50% steady.

FM 1518 to FM 3009: 5 bars on the S-meter, and a constant 93-99% decode rate.

FM 3009 to Wiederstein: signal and decode rate dropped dramatically, and past Wiederstein nothing at all.
 

Sanscanman

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Saint Hedwig,TX
Yeah that sounds about right. I encountered the same kind of pattern on the way home last night after visiting in the forum. from 1604 and 35 it was nil, as I progressed west on 1604 to Kittyhawk it grew in strength dramaticly where it peaked at a steady 96 % in the HEB parking lot.

For kicks I drove over to the UC PD where it stayed nice and strong up until I turned down a side street right behind the PD and it dropped to 0%, it stayed that way until I doubled back and turned on to UC Blvd where it promptly jumped back to 96%.

I also noticed yesterday as I was coming up Topperwein from Sams that the signal was only about 25% until I hit Kittyhawk where it started to grow stronger just about the time I hit Lakeview college. I think it is safe to say that it is over at the UC PD or very close to it.

Oddly enough out here in Saint Hedwig I can pick it up in my front yard with just a rubber duckie at 99%. I think the best thing for me to do is just setup my 396 with trunker and let it run for a week or so and see what pops up. maybe that will give us a better idea as to what is going on with it. might even be interesting if we could cross reference those logs with a set from the Live oak trunk and see if any anomalies turn up
 
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