Mall Cruising 1: Colonial Heights

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n4jri

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After putting a big project to bed, I took some time this afternoon to give the TRX-1 a good field trial. Colonial Heights is a pretty target-rich environment around Southpark Mall, so I decided to head down there and see just what I could do with this new radio if it were the only one on me. Needless to say, I made much use of the recording feature.

Have noticed very little unique with malls these days. Most traffic is on certain splinter freqs that come pre-installed in low-power Motorola handhelds. I keep these programmed in a couple of banks, and have found that they're generally more productive than band searches...even though you still need that band search to really be sure. Here are some items:

461.175r Mall repeater is now DMR, and almost no traffic. CC1, SL1, TG1 carries a little traffic, but I thought I heard security traffic (distinguished only by its use of '10-41') on CC1, SL2, TG2. Never saw a guard in the mall, but did see an exterior patrol.

J.C. Penney is licensing a set of 5 freqs all over the area. Have found them using 467.225 [d365] at Southpark, Virginia Center, Regency, and maybe Short Pump as some sort of cash register net. No hint of shoplifter hunting. At Southpark, there are loud morse ID's on 461.5875 and 466.9625 as WQFA592...which comes back to Pennys in Colonial Heights. No squelch coding on the morse ID's. Maybe there's some sort of data action going on, too.

467 MHz is crowded. Lots of young female manager types giving sales-related pep talks. Here's what I found in that area:
467.850 [d251] - very likely Toys R Us
467.850 [d532] - very likely Michaels @ Southgate Square
467.850 [71.9] - couldn't identify
467.875 [67.0] - gotta be Books a Million (no signage as 'BAM' so far)
467.875 [100.0] - Strong near the Food Court, but no ID
467.900 [d632] - mention of blankets
467.900 [d174] - can't ID
467.900 [85.4] - can't ID
467.900 [d074] - too distant...Old Navy?
467.925 [d743] - presuming Victoria's Secret, this is standard for them
467.925 [d506] - Best Buy, of course

464.55 [67.0] may have more than one user. Much traffic seemed to point to Dicks Sporting Goods. I also hear an automated voice calling for assistance at a 'lodge desk' and at various numbered 'sitting rooms'(?). A retirement home, maybe? Have noted similar transmissions near Virginia Center Commons on 461.0625 [67.0]. Southpark has a number of businesses in common with VCC, so ....

464.825 [100.0] Regency Cinema - same as at Virginia Center Commons

More random unknowns:
469.5625 [67.0] - can't ID
461.0375 [67.0] - can't ID ... mention of 'pre-workout powder'
463.3375 DMR CC2, SL1, TG1 - Sabra (makers of hummus) has a plant near Walthall
154.570 [CSQ] - talk about members & membership desk - Sams Club?
154.600 [CSQ] - possibly Wal-Mart
462.725 [136.5] - something 'handles pretty good'
467.7625 [d065] - directing someone to 'electrical' this is standard for Home Depot
467.750 [d115] - Target at Dimmock Sq
467.775 [d072] - Target at Dimmock Sq

Was also watching the Federal Correctional Center P25 system. Noted TG's 1, 7, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 40, 59 & 60. Most traffic on 31 & 32.

One TG I wasn't aware of on the Fort Lee system. TG 311 has the mobile side encrypted.

Interesting action with Dinwiddie Fire/Rescue on 154.4375 [$1FA]. A brief hit and a dispatch (tone-out) showed a TG 4095 and radio ID 5. A general conversation later on the same freq showed TG 1 and RID 43295. I'm very intrigued to see different talkgroups on this freq considering the nature of its use.

Overall, the TRX-1 did a great job on its own. Recordings are stamped with date, time, squelch, talkgroup, and sometimes radio ID info. With some proper setup, it's not hard to just walk around with the radio in my pocket, letting it soak up signals, and recover the audio at my convenience. TRX-1 is hardly the nimble searching machine that the PSR500 still is, but it hides easily and requires less real-time attention.

On the other hand, not much exciting to listen to at the malls these days--at least the malls *I* go to. Lots of radio traffic, but mostly peppy sales girls giving motivation in sing-song voices. Not much conversation between camera ops & floor walkers. With all the RFID tech out there, there may not be much need for store detectives except at higher end spots like Short Pump & Stony Point. Nonetheless, lots of fun checking the radio's reception & retention, and the usual thrill of the hunt.

Will have some info on Regency & Virginia Center shortly.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
 

ecps92

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Nice Mall work. :D

From your list, Yes - both of those are Common for JC Penny and Toys R-US
Common Standard Department Store Channels - Scan New England Wiki

After putting a big project to bed, I took some time this afternoon to give the TRX-1 a good field trial. Colonial Heights is a pretty target-rich environment around Southpark Mall, so I decided to head down there and see just what I could do with this new radio if it were the only one on me. Needless to say, I made much use of the recording feature.

Have noticed very little unique with malls these days. Most traffic is on certain splinter freqs that come pre-installed in low-power Motorola handhelds. I keep these programmed in a couple of banks, and have found that they're generally more productive than band searches...even though you still need that band search to really be sure. Here are some items:

461.175r Mall repeater is now DMR, and almost no traffic. CC1, SL1, TG1 carries a little traffic, but I thought I heard security traffic (distinguished only by its use of '10-41') on CC1, SL2, TG2. Never saw a guard in the mall, but did see an exterior patrol.

J.C. Penney is licensing a set of 5 freqs all over the area. Have found them using 467.225 [d365] at Southpark, Virginia Center, Regency, and maybe Short Pump as some sort of cash register net. No hint of shoplifter hunting. At Southpark, there are loud morse ID's on 461.5875 and 466.9625 as WQFA592...which comes back to Pennys in Colonial Heights. No squelch coding on the morse ID's. Maybe there's some sort of data action going on, too.

467 MHz is crowded. Lots of young female manager types giving sales-related pep talks. Here's what I found in that area:
467.850 [d251] - very likely Toys R Us
467.850 [d532] - very likely Michaels @ Southgate Square
467.850 [71.9] - couldn't identify
467.875 [67.0] - gotta be Books a Million (no signage as 'BAM' so far)
467.875 [100.0] - Strong near the Food Court, but no ID
467.900 [d632] - mention of blankets
467.900 [d174] - can't ID
467.900 [85.4] - can't ID
467.900 [d074] - too distant...Old Navy?
467.925 [d743] - presuming Victoria's Secret, this is standard for them
467.925 [d506] - Best Buy, of course

464.55 [67.0] may have more than one user. Much traffic seemed to point to Dicks Sporting Goods. I also hear an automated voice calling for assistance at a 'lodge desk' and at various numbered 'sitting rooms'(?). A retirement home, maybe? Have noted similar transmissions near Virginia Center Commons on 461.0625 [67.0]. Southpark has a number of businesses in common with VCC, so ....

464.825 [100.0] Regency Cinema - same as at Virginia Center Commons

More random unknowns:
469.5625 [67.0] - can't ID
461.0375 [67.0] - can't ID ... mention of 'pre-workout powder'
463.3375 DMR CC2, SL1, TG1 - Sabra (makers of hummus) has a plant near Walthall
154.570 [CSQ] - talk about members & membership desk - Sams Club?
154.600 [CSQ] - possibly Wal-Mart
462.725 [136.5] - something 'handles pretty good'
467.7625 [d065] - directing someone to 'electrical' this is standard for Home Depot
467.750 [d115] - Target at Dimmock Sq
467.775 [d072] - Target at Dimmock Sq

Was also watching the Federal Correctional Center P25 system. Noted TG's 1, 7, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 40, 59 & 60. Most traffic on 31 & 32.

One TG I wasn't aware of on the Fort Lee system. TG 311 has the mobile side encrypted.

Interesting action with Dinwiddie Fire/Rescue on 154.4375 [$1FA]. A brief hit and a dispatch (tone-out) showed a TG 4095 and radio ID 5. A general conversation later on the same freq showed TG 1 and RID 43295. I'm very intrigued to see different talkgroups on this freq considering the nature of its use.

Overall, the TRX-1 did a great job on its own. Recordings are stamped with date, time, squelch, talkgroup, and sometimes radio ID info. With some proper setup, it's not hard to just walk around with the radio in my pocket, letting it soak up signals, and recover the audio at my convenience. TRX-1 is hardly the nimble searching machine that the PSR500 still is, but it hides easily and requires less real-time attention.

On the other hand, not much exciting to listen to at the malls these days--at least the malls *I* go to. Lots of radio traffic, but mostly peppy sales girls giving motivation in sing-song voices. Not much conversation between camera ops & floor walkers. With all the RFID tech out there, there may not be much need for store detectives except at higher end spots like Short Pump & Stony Point. Nonetheless, lots of fun checking the radio's reception & retention, and the usual thrill of the hunt.

Will have some info on Regency & Virginia Center shortly.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
 

W4UVV

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Prince George, Virginia--Central Va.
Southpark Mall frequencies

Tnx. for the post. Checking my database I noticed some of the users ided also were licensed for other common uhf frequencies, i.e., Sears, J. C. Penny, Toys R Us, etc. for Southpark Mall which "muddies the waters" even attempting a guess.

Regarding 464.5500 mhz. (67.0), my guess it is the Hilton Garden Inn which is relatively new compared to the original mall configuration of businesses. It is located close to the old Circuit City building.

As to Ft. Lee TG 311, it is the Ft. Lee Security mobiles. The dispatch is unencrypted but all mobiles are encrypted.

I go to Southpark monthly for shopping and should also take my 396XT and 536 to monitor for a couple of hours before buying essential foods such as FatBoy ice cream sandwiches.

As you inferred there are short comms often on the old 154.5700 and 154.6000 mhz. and probably also on 462/467 mhz. low power frequencies and difficult to isolate them, even with the antenna disconnected.

John
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n4jri

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You can use your state search page, linked below, to research those frequencies and company names.

Virginia Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

Those frequencies with multiple PL tones could be the same users, they just use the PLs to create different channels.
Store licensing is always interesting. A local license search produced scores of frequencies for Sears and Dillards--pretty much all the freqs you'd find in a low-level Motorola handheld and many more. Yet none active.

Then there's Penneys, with 5 specific freqs licensed to specific locations in the Richmond area, and nothing on two of them but morse ID's.

I almost never find the practice of one user having different PL's on the same frequency in this area of pursuit. However, the schools here in Hanover County do exactly that--mostly with the same frequency standard countywide. One PL for admin, and one for Bus Duty. Not sure that they're aware of the shared freq. Most secondary schools (their high schools and middle schools are co-located for bus sharing) are getting off the 'standard' freq as fast as they can.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
 

n4jri

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Mall Cruising 2: Virginia Center Commons

Had to take in a dead Sears battery Saturday, which means a long wait at Sears Auto Center while they try to charge it. So, DEFINITELY bring along the scanner & some earbuds and go to watch Rogue One with a notepad handy. This was my old mall methodology. Watch a movie in the theatre while searching various bands and noting the hits. Then program in the hits, and go shopping.

New added step: Enjoy the movie, take laptop to the food court, and download audio from the TRX-1 which functions as a search log that writes a lot faster than I can. THEN go shopping.

463.600 - Old security freq & phone interconnect appears to be gone.
464.475 [146.2] - Mall security, housekeeping & phone interconnect -- all in one very sparsely used package.
462.7625 [85.4] - definitely clothing. David Schoenberger has this as Victoria's Secret
467.850 [173.8] - Charlotte Russe - "beauty dept.," "wall of fantasy"
467.850 [d351] - DS has as Burlington Coat. Heard registers 11 & 12 mentioned
467.850 [d532] - confirmed as Michael's ...thanks to exasperated worker
463.9125 [100.0] - can't ID, sparse and distant
467.225 [d365] - JC Penney!
461.0625 [67.0] - automated voice calling personnel to 'lodge desk' or numbered 'sitting rooms' Retirement home, or maybe Hilton Garden Inn? Signal stronger north of mall
467.925 [d506] - Best Buy, of course
467.900 [d131] - weak...Office Max?
464.825 [100.0] - Regency Cinema -- Rogue One on almost every screen
467.750 [d115] - Target 1
467.775 [d072] - Target 2

Kinda sad, this mall. Used to have lots of security, and the anchor store camera operators had their own unit numbers on the main mall freq. I discovered this about 24 years ago when walking around with headphones on, and found myself the subject of mall-wide surveillance. Store camera ops announced my location and entry/exit, while mall guards followed at such a distance that I was able to come up behind one. The Radio Shack apparently thought I took the headphones from their store. Went back to the store to confront them in front of police with my headphones which were not the model they were missing. (although I had purchased mine from...Radio Shack!)

Had never seen this much integration at a mall, although a friend who worked in Sears security at Regency told me that the camera ops monitored the other anchor stores on a scanner. Much has changed in 20+ years.

Final step: Return to Sears Auto for free replacement battery.

On Friday's I work across the street from Regency Square. More on that in a day or so.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
 

kc4jgc

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Virginia Beach, VA
Regarding 464.5500 mhz. (67.0), my guess it is the Hilton Garden Inn which is relatively new compared to the original mall configuration of businesses. It is located close to the old Circuit City building.

John
W4UVV
Allen & John,

I've found that this freq & CTCSS is pretty much a catchall. I can't tell you how many times this comes up on a FRS search on my Pro-106. Every truck stop with comms uses this freq and tone. Every commercial district seems to have at least one store/business using this.

My guess is that this is labeled as "channel 1 tone 1"; unless someone hears traffic, the business goes with this freq/CTCSS out of the box.
 

W4UVV

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Messages
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Location
Prince George, Virginia--Central Va.
Va. Center Commons Frequencies

Had to take in a dead Sears battery Saturday, which means a long wait at Sears Auto Center while they try to charge it. So, DEFINITELY bring along the scanner & some earbuds and go to watch Rogue One with a notepad handy. This was my old mall methodology. Watch a movie in the theatre while searching various bands and noting the hits. Then program in the hits, and go shopping.

New added step: Enjoy the movie, take laptop to the food court, and download audio from the TRX-1 which functions as a search log that writes a lot faster than I can. THEN go shopping.

463.600 - Old security freq & phone interconnect appears to be gone.
464.475 [146.2] - Mall security, housekeeping & phone interconnect -- all in one very sparsely used package.
462.7625 [85.4] - definitely clothing. David Schoenberger has this as Victoria's Secret
467.850 [173.8] - Charlotte Russe - "beauty dept.," "wall of fantasy"
467.850 [d351] - DS has as Burlington Coat. Heard registers 11 & 12 mentioned
467.850 [d532] - confirmed as Michael's ...thanks to exasperated worker
463.9125 [100.0] - can't ID, sparse and distant
467.225 [d365] - JC Penney!
461.0625 [67.0] - automated voice calling personnel to 'lodge desk' or numbered 'sitting rooms' Retirement home, or maybe Hilton Garden Inn? Signal stronger north of mall
467.925 [d506] - Best Buy, of course
467.900 [d131] - weak...Office Max?
464.825 [100.0] - Regency Cinema -- Rogue One on almost every screen
467.750 [d115] - Target 1
467.775 [d072] - Target 2

Kinda sad, this mall. Used to have lots of security, and the anchor store camera operators had their own unit numbers on the main mall freq. I discovered this about 24 years ago when walking around with headphones on, and found myself the subject of mall-wide surveillance. Store camera ops announced my location and entry/exit, while mall guards followed at such a distance that I was able to come up behind one. The Radio Shack apparently thought I took the headphones from their store. Went back to the store to confront them in front of police with my headphones which were not the model they were missing. (although I had purchased mine from...Radio Shack!)

Had never seen this much integration at a mall, although a friend who worked in Sears security at Regency told me that the camera ops monitored the other anchor stores on a scanner. Much has changed in 20+ years.

Final step: Return to Sears Auto for free replacement battery.

On Friday's I work across the street from Regency Square. More on that in a day or so.

73/Allen (N4JRI)

---------------------

461.0625 mhz. (67.0) definitely is the Lakewood Manor Baptist Home in Richmond.

John
W4UVV
 

W4UVV

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464.5000 and 464.5500 mhz.

Allen & John,

I've found that this freq & CTCSS is pretty much a catchall. I can't tell you how many times this comes up on a FRS search on my Pro-106. Every truck stop with comms uses this freq and tone. Every commercial district seems to have at least one store/business using this.

My guess is that this is labeled as "channel 1 tone 1"; unless someone hears traffic, the business goes with this freq/CTCSS out of the box.
----------------------------

These two uhf Itinerant frequencies are the equivalent of the old 154.5700 and 154.6000 mhz. frequencies as far as usage. I don't know for sure but I suspect the newer uhf model HTs have user PL selection capability.

Presently I list 706 licensed/unlicensed users for 464.5000 mhz. and 225 licensed/unlicensed users for 464.5500 mhz. Increasingly if 464.5500 mhz. simplex is licensed often 469.5500 mhz. also is licensed.

What is bizarre to me is with all the other choices of uhf frequencies available for licensing, some frequency coordinator thought it was a good idea for the MCV Building Security in Richmond to use 464.5500 mhz. pl 156.7 as a repeater operation. Not to be outdone another frequency coordinator decided 464.5500 mhz. also was a great frequency for the Northern Va. Community Colleges group (NVCC) for repeater operations using the NXDN/NEXEDGE emission mode.

These certainly are not itinerant operations. I could not locate license for MCV Building Security but
the NVCC operations are licensed.

If you do not do separate searches for the FRS 462 mhz. and 467 mhz. ranges but do a global 462-468 mhz. range search, expect to get hits on whatever frequencies are between the 462 and 468 mhz. range.

John
W4UVV
 

n4jri

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I find several situations--including Colonial Heights, where 464.55 [67.0] has more than one user within a distance of a mile or less. Have heard it used for seating ops in a number of restaurants.

Regarding Lakewood Manor, I recently found them using 463.7875 [d025]. Have found 461.0625 silent in that area. However it's very active around Va Center. Variations in signal strength north and south of the mall, some to indicate that it's localized near Mall's immediate north. I believe that there are at least two major retirement communities within a stone's throw of the mall.

Also, found 461.0625 [67.0] in use tonight for some sort of construction ops in the vicinity of the Altria Landmark Theatre.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
 

pinballwiz86

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Thank you for the fun read guys!

I also enjoy taking my scanner to the mall. But, I don't have one that can "record" so I use a portable digital recorder to record audio. Maybe next year I will spring for a BCD436HP or a Whistler. Or maybe a new scanner model. Here's hoping!
 

ecps92

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My experience has been 67.0 is the pre-programmed, right out of the box Tone for many of the Bubble-Pack Business Radios. (Not just FRS/GMRS)

I've got a Kenwood right in front of me, never programmed/changed and
Ch.01 464.5500 67.0
Ch.02 467.9250 67.0

Allen & John,

I've found that this freq & CTCSS is pretty much a catchall. I can't tell you how many times this comes up on a FRS search on my Pro-106. Every truck stop with comms uses this freq and tone. Every commercial district seems to have at least one store/business using this.

My guess is that this is labeled as "channel 1 tone 1"; unless someone hears traffic, the business goes with this freq/CTCSS out of the box.
 

ecps92

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Messages
10,570
Location
Taxachusetts
Freq Coordination ??
Not on the Itinerant Channels / Pairs

PL Tones are chosen by the Radio Shop, Tech or Owner of the License, there is No, Never Has, Never will, coordination of Tones. Most Shops will reach out and find out what a neighboring owner might have, but there is no DB, other than what we as Scannists find/report.

As far as unlicensed, probably true, but hard to search for those Itinerants as there is no Lat/Lon, the license is likely in the HQ Town, or home town...

----------------------------

These two uhf Itinerant frequencies are the equivalent of the old 154.5700 and 154.6000 mhz. frequencies as far as usage. I don't know for sure but I suspect the newer uhf model HTs have user PL selection capability.

Presently I list 706 licensed/unlicensed users for 464.5000 mhz. and 225 licensed/unlicensed users for 464.5500 mhz. Increasingly if 464.5500 mhz. simplex is licensed often 469.5500 mhz. also is licensed.

What is bizarre to me is with all the other choices of uhf frequencies available for licensing, some frequency coordinator thought it was a good idea for the MCV Building Security in Richmond to use 464.5500 mhz. pl 156.7 as a repeater operation. Not to be outdone another frequency coordinator decided 464.5500 mhz. also was a great frequency for the Northern Va. Community Colleges group (NVCC) for repeater operations using the NXDN/NEXEDGE emission mode.

These certainly are not itinerant operations. I could not locate license for MCV Building Security but
the NVCC operations are licensed.

If you do not do separate searches for the FRS 462 mhz. and 467 mhz. ranges but do a global 462-468 mhz. range search, expect to get hits on whatever frequencies are between the 462 and 468 mhz. range.

John
W4UVV
 
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