Petersburg

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Stick0413

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I have heard that Petersburg is considering or has a plan to go to a digital trunking system (Mot Type II from what I have heard.) Have heard three things. One is that they will do a system of their own. Second is join the Eastern Virginia Regional Communications System (Hopewell and three millitary bases.) Third is they might join the Richmond, Chesterfield, Henrico, Colonial Heights system. All of those have pros and cons. One thing I do think they need to do no matter what is to have the capibility to link all of the systems for mutual aid, etc.
 

Stick0413

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Thanks for the info. Now its time to see how smart they are and see if they make it compatible with the EVRCS and the RHCRPSS systems. I would say it would be best to do both because I know that Petersburg will have to work with Hopewell from time to time and Hopewell will work with Petersburg. Same thing goes for Chesterfield/Colonial Heights and Petersburg.
 

W4UVV

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...and Prince George Co.

Stick0413 said:
Thanks for the info. Now its time to see how smart they are and see if they make it compatible with the EVRCS and the RHCRPSS systems. I would say it would be best to do both because I know that Petersburg will have to work with Hopewell from time to time and Hopewell will work with Petersburg. Same thing goes for Chesterfield/Colonial Heights and Petersburg.

Too bad that will never happen other than by teletype, SIRS or telephone. Prince George Co. choose not to install a digital trs but instead a $4 +\- million UHF analog non-trunked radio system. The current Petersburg PD/FD/RS UHF analog 460 mhz. repeaters are located on Johnston Road. The city antenna system resides free of charge as a condition in part of the original tower installation approval process for a commercial cell and paging operation. I doubt Petersburg would be invited to join the central Va. Regional System or as another user on the Hopewell/Ft. Lee 400/800 mhz. dual controller trs. Since it currently has a rent free tower location that would argue for a stand alone 800 mhz. trs option. The 800 mhz. frequencies aren't new. They have been licensed to Petersburg for some years.
 

trainman111

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So does Petersburg actually use the 800Mhz. system? I don't see anything on RR about it...Anyone know of any talkgroups or the freqs. that are actually in use (if they even use this system).
 

W4UVV

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trainman111 said:
So does Petersburg actually use the 800Mhz. system? I don't see anything on RR about it...Anyone know of any talkgroups or the freqs. that are actually in use (if they even use this system).
No, they still use 460.3750 mhz., which replaced 460.2500 mhz. a year or more ago as the primary dispatch. 460.4750 mhz. is used mostly for unit to unit comms or special dispatcher to unit comms. I haven't heard any comms on 460.2500 mhz. in a long time. Since the city has been licensed for some years for these 800 mhz. frequencies and no application for any construction permit or other "show cause" action to the FCC appears to have happened, I am surprised the FCC has not cancelled their license for absence of any system implementation action(s).
 

NA991

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Actually if you drive down I95 to the city of Petersburg you will notice a new 300ft+ tower constructed for the city on the side of the interstate in the Brenco/ BI Chemical area. There is also a new tower somewhere on the eastern side of town near the Pepsi plant. Motorola is supposed to be installing a new 800 system for the city and new dispatch center, I don't know when its supposed to be on the air but the tower/antenna work on I95 appears to be completed.
 

NA991

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Yes, they are supposed to be a p25 digital simulcast system from what I have heard. It is supposed to be one of the latest greatest systems Motorola has now, new digital stations(not quantars)-supposedly.
 

trainman111

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They will still be monitorable by scanner right? Its not like NYS Open-Sky system (I'm glad I left before they started that system up)....I hope.


Nick
 

W4UVV

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maybe

NA991 said:
Actually if you drive down I95 to the city of Petersburg you will notice a new 300ft+ tower constructed for the city on the side of the interstate in the Brenco/ BI Chemical area. There is also a new tower somewhere on the eastern side of town near the Pepsi plant. Motorola is supposed to be installing a new 800 system for the city and new dispatch center, I don't know when its supposed to be on the air but the tower/antenna work on I95 appears to be completed.
So far the only antennas I've seen on the I95 tower are cell/PCS. The city may have gotten another free tower location(s). I doubt the tower is 300 ft. as that would require FAA coordination and tower lights which I haven't seen. I suspect it is 190 ft. I'll take a closer look the next time I pass near it.
 

gcgrotz

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W4UVV said:
No, they still use 460.3750 mhz., which replaced 460.2500 mhz. a year or more ago as the primary dispatch. 460.4750 mhz. is used mostly for unit to unit comms or special dispatcher to unit comms. I haven't heard any comms on 460.2500 mhz. in a long time. Since the city has been licensed for some years for these 800 mhz. frequencies and no application for any construction permit or other "show cause" action to the FCC appears to have happened, I am surprised the FCC has not cancelled their license for absence of any system implementation action(s).
I'd be willing to bet that 460.250 would work a whole lot better in Petersburg now that Albemarle County is on 800. That was the PD F1 channel on Carter's Mountain.

The County/City TRS system here is simulcast. It seems to sound more "garbagey" than the P25 systems using single sites like VSP in Richmond and the Shanandoah Nat Park up here. They sound very clean compared to Albemarle. I suspect there may be some digital distortion introduced by multipathing and slightly out of phase signals. Spending a few months monitoring has indicated better decode in some ares than others.

I used to work on a low band paging transmitter on the tower at the Pepsi plant. That thing trashed TV's for 2 miles around!
 

W4UVV

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Carter Mtn. RF takes its toll

gcgrotz said:
I'd be willing to bet that 460.250 would work a whole lot better in Petersburg now that Albemarle County is on 800. That was the PD F1 channel on Carter's Mountain.

The County/City TRS system here is simulcast. It seems to sound more "garbagey" than the P25 systems using single sites like VSP in Richmond and the Shanandoah Nat Park up here. They sound very clean compared to Albemarle. I suspect there may be some digital distortion introduced by multipathing and slightly out of phase signals. Spending a few months monitoring has indicated better decode in some ares than others.

I used to work on a low band paging transmitter on the tower at the Pepsi plant. That thing trashed TV's for 2 miles around!
You've been soaking up too much of that Carter Mtn. multi-path RF bouncing around..ha..ha. That zillon channel Carter Mtn. 2 ghz. MMDS stuff will eventually kill you if the other RF doesn't. Actually, that is not funny. I used to work at WCYB-TV, Ch. 5 in Bristol, Va., and the guys who worked at the transmitter site on Holston Mtn. were continually bombarded with high RF levels from AM, FM, commerical vhf/uhf and microwave transmitters. 45 years ago I knew that was not a good place to linger and I didn't. These guys worked on site 24/7 4 days on and 3 off. On one occasion I visited the site one took a flourescent light and touched the security fence and the light lit. I really got scared and couldn't wait to leave. A few months later a plane crashed within 300 ft. of the transmitter building and the guys inside the building never heard the crash because of the equipment noise. I visited one of them about 10 years ago when he was dying of lukemia. He firmly believed his disease was caused by being exposed so long to the high RF levels. I think he was right.

Both Charlottesville and Petersburg were on different pls and I don't ever recall any "foreigners" getting into the Petersburg repeater input but same frequency operation conflicts is a possiblity.

Why is the CV airport only a talkgroup on the Albermarle Co. trs? The airport is licensed for an 800 mhz. trs that probably would be funded by Homeland Security monies.

For some big taxpayer bucks Motorola probably could clean up that "garbagey" multi-path out of phase trs audio.
 

W4UVV

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Looks like it

vern23882 said:
http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/AsrSearch/asrRegistration.jsp?regKey=2650749

Here's a link to the I 95 tower registration, antennas on this look the same as the towers that were put up in Chesterfield for their TRS.

Vern
KE4MAO

You're correct Vern. Being installed so close to I95 and seeing new pcs towers pop up occasionally around the area I assumed it was another one. Reading the FCC application it sure looks like that's what it's for. Maybe PB will be on an 800 mhz. trs by the end of the year. If PB is smart they will rent some lower tower space to one of the pcs operators. Now and then I even see pcs antennas on top of Va. Power transmission towers. The I95 tower location also would be excellent for that application.
 

gcgrotz

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W4UVV said:
You've been soaking up too much of that Carter Mtn. multi-path RF bouncing around..ha..ha. That zillon channel Carter Mtn. 2 ghz. MMDS stuff will eventually kill you if the other RF doesn't.

.....

Why is the CV airport only a talkgroup on the Albermarle Co. trs? The airport is licensed for an 800 mhz. trs that probably would be funded by Homeland Security monies.

For some big taxpayer bucks Motorola probably could clean up that "garbagey" multi-path out of phase trs audio.
I know the people with the 2Ghz stuff. It is a lot of rf, about a dozen 50w xmtrs on each antenna. It is being phased out and the spectrum used for wireless DSL. We had an RF exposure study done up there and there is a spot on the ground between the 2 GHz and Ch29 (with their 5 megawatts ERP) where you just want to keep on driving!

What scared me was Poor Mtn in Roanoke. 100kw FM array with the last bay about 30 ft off the ground. 5 or 6 TV and the same # of FM towers. Many paging transmitters too. My AM car radio would go crazy with video buzz when I drove past it. We have learned so much more about RF exposure now. I have signs on rooftop sites showing the danger zones.

As far as the CHO talkgroup, it surprised me. The busiest user is the FBO with fuel orders going back and forth. Should they really be on a public safety system? The airport pd uses it too, all 3 or 4 of them. They used to be on 156.000. I guess they are on the trs to have interop with the county. That place isn't big enough for their own trs.

Lastly, I know what you mean about paying Motorola more money but I don't think it is really a problem with their users just my '396. I'm still tweaking the decode levels but can't find a magic number since it varies so much as you travel around.
 

W4UVV

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Rf

gcgrotz said:
I know the people with the 2Ghz stuff. It is a lot of rf, about a dozen 50w xmtrs on each antenna. It is being phased out and the spectrum used for wireless DSL. We had an RF exposure study done up there and there is a spot on the ground between the 2 GHz and Ch29 (with their 5 megawatts ERP) where you just want to keep on driving!

What scared me was Poor Mtn in Roanoke. 100kw FM array with the last bay about 30 ft off the ground. 5 or 6 TV and the same # of FM towers. Many paging transmitters too. My AM car radio would go crazy with video buzz when I drove past it. We have learned so much more about RF exposure now. I have signs on rooftop sites showing the danger zones.

As far as the CHO talkgroup, it surprised me. The busiest user is the FBO with fuel orders going back and forth. Should they really be on a public safety system? The airport pd uses it too, all 3 or 4 of them. They used to be on 156.000. I guess they are on the trs to have interop with the county. That place isn't big enough for their own trs.

Lastly, I know what you mean about paying Motorola more money but I don't think it is really a problem with their users just my '396. I'm still tweaking the decode levels but can't find a magic number since it varies so much as you travel around.
When the CV MMDS operation began they had envisoned customer markets as far as Fluvanna Co. I don't know how that worked out.

After September 11, 2001 a number of airports received Homeland Security money to install 800 mhz. trs whether they needed them or not. CV airport has been licensed for an 800 mhz. trs for some time. I'm a little surprised that they don't have one operational yet.

I have a 996T and my testing has shown that a user manual selection of "7" instead of the factory default setting of "8" has a lower BER. There is also a software upgrade to improve the audio performance of the 396T. I think I got the upgrade info on a 396T forum post. I installed it on my 996T but couldn't tell any difference. If you think you have reception problems now, wait until you attempt to monitor STARS and discover you occasionally miss partial or complete comms. The reason is STARS is a state of the art multi-packet trs and current digital scanners don't process the control channel data correctly in a timely manner. (See RR Uniden 996T forum for more details). Radio Shack digital scanners have the same reception problem. I've heard rumors Fork Mountain might be the next site to become operational. If so you should receive it good in CV.
 

W4UVV

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A closer look

W4UVV said:
You're correct Vern. Being installed so close to I95 and seeing new pcs towers pop up occasionally around the area I assumed it was another one. Reading the FCC application it sure looks like that's what it's for. Maybe PB will be on an 800 mhz. trs by the end of the year. If PB is smart they will rent some lower tower space to one of the pcs operators. Now and then I even see pcs antennas on top of Va. Power transmission towers. The I95 tower location also would be excellent for that application.

Yesterday on I95 I had an opportunity to take a closer look at the Petersburg 800 mhz. southern TRS tower. I saw only a red blinking light installed at the top. I would have thought that strobe lights also would have been used. It definitely is up 300 ft. and appears to have a 2 ghz. ptp parabolic reflector mounted between the 100-200 ft. level pointed towards possibly HQ downtown. If so that should be an interesting situation as police HQ is located in a relatively low location in Petersburg and there is no tower there. The present dispatch link for their 460 mhz. operations are by radio to the Johnston Road tower. I cannot envision a microwave ptp link from the I95 tower to downtown HQ. However, I can envision a ptp microwave link to the Johnston Road tower. The next time I am in that area I will see if a similar ptp microwave parabolic reflector is mounted in the SE direction of I95. I suspect the 800 mhz. TRS HQ dispatch will be a similar radio link to the Johnston Road tower and then relayed to the other tower sites.

What struck me as curious is the highest mounted repeater antenna, typically the receive antennna, favors north and the lower one favors due west. Possibly the idea is to afford better mobile reception from the Rt. 460 area from the east and compromise on the repeater output side. Normally both antennas are mounted in the same direction.

The I95 tower is an excellent platform for renting antenna space to a cell or PCS carrier. I am surprised that such antennas aren't already installed especially PCS which requires more tower sites for seamless coverage.
 

Stick0413

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I programed the frequencies in my Pro-96 just to goof around. If I manually stop on either 854.96250 or 586.48750 I am getting digital noise. No system ID or anything yet. Just wondering are these going to be the control channels or what. Nothing else on the other channels.
 

W4UVV

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Finally Some Possible TRS Action

W4UVV said:
Yesterday on I95 I had an opportunity to take a closer look at the Petersburg 800 mhz. southern TRS tower. I saw only a red blinking light installed at the top. I would have thought that strobe lights also would have been used. It definitely is up 300 ft. and appears to have a 2 ghz. ptp parabolic reflector mounted between the 100-200 ft. level pointed towards possibly HQ downtown. If so that should be an interesting situation as police HQ is located in a relatively low location in Petersburg and there is no tower there. The present dispatch link for their 460 mhz. operations are by radio to the Johnston Road tower. I cannot envision a microwave ptp link from the I95 tower to downtown HQ. However, I can envision a ptp microwave link to the Johnston Road tower. The next time I am in that area I will see if a similar ptp microwave parabolic reflector is mounted in the SE direction of I95. I suspect the 800 mhz. TRS HQ dispatch will be a similar radio link to the Johnston Road tower and then relayed to the other tower sites.

What struck me as curious is the highest mounted repeater antenna, typically the receive antennna, favors north and the lower one favors due west. Possibly the idea is to afford better mobile reception from the Rt. 460 area from the east and compromise on the repeater output side. Normally both antennas are mounted in the same direction.

The I95 tower is an excellent platform for renting antenna space to a cell or PCS carrier. I am surprised that such antennas aren't already installed especially PCS which requires more tower sites for seamless coverage.

Finally it appears that something is happening with the Petersburg 800 mhz. TRS. The 854.9875 mhz. possible P25 transmission maxes both my 796D and 996T signal strength indicators. I am assuming this transmission is from the I95 tower. The only other licensee for this frequency is Albemarle Co. and it isn't them. The 856.4875 mhz. transmission is a data signal, probably P25 but not presently iding as such, only "DAT" and "NFM" displaying. It is 90-100% full strength here and I suspect this transmission is from the Johnston Road tower. The other main licensee for this frequency is Spotsylvania Co. and I'm too far away to hear them here. I have programed both receivers for the TRS and see what develops.
 
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