RCC DMR Multiple Sites trs: VDOT Talkgroup?

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W4UVV

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Last weekend I upgraded my Uniden 536 for the DMR mode only and using ARC536PRO software with the (VC) Virtual Control option. VC can log each new different talkgroup separately and later log info on a hit to that same talkgroup with additional info such as logged frequency/hits,date/time stamp, NAC, etc. Both my scanner and software are performing fine on all DMR systems I've created to date with all such sites showing very good reception.

Presently, I am monitoring the Buttner Holdings/RCC licensees winnings trs. They hold multiple 454-445 mhz.related FCC licenses as the winners of multiple FCC 454-455 mhz frequencies auctioned a few years for this geographical area. This Connector Plus 4 site trs is the result.

One of the new talkgroups monitored was TG# 138. I monitored about 30 minutes and concluded it was a contractor interstate sector maintainer. After checking the charts, now I don't think so. Comms heard included "message board", "fill pot hole on 295 exit", milepost references i.e., "10.17, 26", "Shockley Bridge exit", "Belvedere exit", etc.

I had forgotten who were the VDOT maintenance contractors for what where. Over time VDOT cancelled and reissued contracts. Hopefully, I located what reflects the present accurate representation of the interstate maintainers. "TAMS" (Turnkey Asset Maintenance Services) link:

Here is the link and pdf file:

http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2014/oct/pres/Presentation_Agenda_Item_4.pdf

Although dated as of 2014, it appeared each contract had a 2 year renewal option. If that was true then every maintainer contract, if renewed, should had expired in 2016. But also a second renewed date contract could continue into 2017 or perhaps there were subsequent separate contracts issued. If anyone has any later dated interstate maintenance contractor TAMS info or similar charts please reply to this thread and post them with a source link.

If the "Richmond North" section of the "VDOT Managed Interstate Segments is correct then TG# 138 appears to be: VDOT interstate sector maintainer for the Richmond North area districts interstates and roads.

My Lesson Learned Again: Don't always accept my first "gut" leap of logic as being correct without some proof from a trusted or valid source.

John
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Ghstwolf62

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Do I read this right that DBI is on these DMR 454-455 channels? I know I hear VSP calling for DBI to respond to stuff out this way all the time but never actually pick them up on anything even when VSP says they are on site.

I checked the name you put up for the license holder and found a bunch of frequencies for them but nothing listed in those ranges. Callsigns for FCC FRN: 0004643466 (Buttner Holdings LLC)

Is there somewhere else to check or under something else. They do have a lot though including a bunch of 220mhz stuff.
 

W4UVV

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454 mhz. licenses

FYI finding 454 mhz. licenses in the deep recesses of the FCC website was the biggest frustration I ever experienced when researching. As I expected, by trial and error, mostly error, I frequently ended up "mousetrapped" and not where I wanted to be and had to start over. It took me two days drilling down until finally locating the correct FCC 454 mhz. frequency segment auction listings for Virginia.

The problem was licenses for this frequency range were not classified as a "regular" new or modified license. They were special. Each auction was conducted by state by geographical areas in small frequency range segments. For example, Virginia geographical areas were NOVA to Winchester and Fredericksburg; Central VA south to the state line and west to Roanoke and north to Staunton and Tidewater/Peninsula. I don't recall any licensees west of Roanoke.

For examples, each frequency segment range was auctioned, i.e., "454.0125-454.0375 mhz" then "454.0500-454.0625 mhz" continuing in 125khz increments to the end of 454 mhz. Each frequency segment may be under the same license callsign for multiple frequency segment ranges or each frequency segment range may have a different license callsign.

Buttner Holdiings and RCC Richmond were a joint venture auction bidder and were the winning bidder for 100% of Central VA and a few frequency segment ranges in NOVA and none for Tidewater/Peninsula. That's why this DMR Connect Plus 12 frequency 4 site trs is one of two Richmond area DMR trs which resulted from them winning multiple 454 mhz. frequency segment range licenses.

Common sense dictates when licensed the winning license's callsign(s) would appear in the master FCC frequency database as appropriate to the state in which it was licensed. Well, it certain is but these are special licenses not accessible when using a general or advanced database menu search as you recently discovered.

If you don't know the correct callsign forget it or try to find it. To locate it you must access the FCC website, drill down and locate the frequency auction license/winning bidders area by state and callsign. I did this frustration over 2 years ago and don't remember the detailed steps to access those listings since I logged the callsigns and frequency segment ranges and moved on. I made one exception for ease of editing and formatting each aforementioned trs in my frequency database. I used the only one callsign per trs which contained the most number of trs frequencies.

Below is the result entering "WPVE734" for a Richmond frequency segment Buttner callsign:

ULS License - Part 22 VHF/UHF Paging (excluding 931MHz) License - WPVE734 - Buttner Holdings, LLC

Notice the license is "CP" for paging because this frequency range originally rarely was used for paging. In order to confirm all the aforementioned 454 mhz. frequency auctioned licenses, you have to drill down to the frequency segment auction section and select "Virginia".

From my frequency database here are the callsigns for Buttner Holdings for Roanoke only and Roanoke and Staunton. Staunton probably will have a standalone DMR trs which you might be able to receive:

WPVE735, 36, 38 = Roanoke only
WPVF262, 64, 66 = Roanoke only
WPVE740, 41 = Roanoke only
WPZG869 = Roanoke and Staunton

Hope this helps.

John
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W4UVV

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454 mhz. Staunton | DBI Va. Road Contractor |TME

Thanks for the info John, it helps a great deal, I'll have to run discovery on them and see if anything pops up.
----------
Ok...a few comments.....Buttner Holdings WPZG869 license specifies that one or more frequencies configured within that the segment range (454.5625-454.5875 mhz) was to be used in the Staunton VA-WV market area. More frequencies from other Buttner Holdings licenses for this market area only will be used most likely for a DMR trs.

It's a long shot but if you hear any activity on 454 mhz. the odds are it is a Buttner Holdings multiple frequency segment ranges trs operation.

Regarding DBI, as you know, it is a large nationwide road maintenance operation and just got larger. In addition to whatever DBI services are being provided in your area, it also is the replacement managing contractor for the I895 toll road connector overpass from Chesterfield Co. to I295. The previously Australian based managing contractor over estimated significantly the daily traffic volume lost money and now is gone. The actual daily traffic volume was much less.

Last week on January 11, 2017, DBI bought TME, presently a major VA interstate segment maintainer contractor. Now DBI and ICA are the two major VA interstate maintainers.

TME in the Petersburg area and ICA in the Roanoke area years ago were users on area community repeaters. TME has several licenses for their SW operations. Possibly some DBI and ICA comms now are via some cellular phone option.

John
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Ghstwolf62

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Okay thanks. I've added all the Buttner freqs into their own system for scanning.

I'll try to find DBI and TME in the database for their freqs.
 

W4UVV

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DBI and TME licenses

Okay thanks. I've added all the Buttner freqs into their own system for scanning.
-----------------------

I doubt you find anything for DBI or TME as standalone active licenses. Years ago TME had a vhf repeater I believe on 158 mhz. located on Big Walker Mtn.in Smyth Co. for covering the I81 SW area to Bristol. A low vhf frequency possibly in the 47 mhz. range was used for simplex comms on the secondary roads in and around mountainous Patrick, Carroll, Grayson and Washington counties. However, I think that license now has expired. As I mentioned maybe some cellular comm option is being used by both. A few years ago I asked a TME crew member working on I95 at Petersburg what radio comms they were using. Previously TME had been a user on an area 463 mhz. community repeater. He said he didn't have a radio. He used his cellphone.

John
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Ghstwolf62

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Yes you're probably right about the cell thing especially if they have something like direct connect which mimics a radio system. (or whatever they call it now)

They're probably not the only ones who do that either. I often wonder about Dom Va Power who I've never heard on a radio on any of their freqs even though they get called out all the time and I've seen them working. Cell phones would certainly explain it.

I've even heard VDOT is using cellular for things. During the weather a couple of weeks ago the snow plows were talking back and forth on the 45 and 47 mhz freqs and saying some of the plows were being dispatched and coordinated via cell phone.

I know I've heard requests over police and fire for them to respond and nothing over the VDOT freqs at all yet they show up. And I've never heard VDOT on STARS either except 5069, 5070 and 5080 which is safety patrols not regular VDOT.
 

W4UVV

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Va. Power, VDOT and other radio system users

Yes you're probably right about the cell thing especially if they have something like direct connect which mimics a radio system. (or whatever they call it now)

They're probably not the only ones who do that either. I often wonder about Dom Va Power who I've never heard on a radio on any of their freqs even though they get called out all the time and I've seen them working. Cell phones would certainly explain it.

I've even heard VDOT is using cellular for things. During the weather a couple of weeks ago the snow plows were talking back and forth on the 45 and 47 mhz freqs and saying some of the plows were being dispatched and coordinated via cell phone.

I know I've heard requests over police and fire for them to respond and nothing over the VDOT freqs at all yet they show up. And I've never heard VDOT on STARS either except 5069, 5070 and 5080 which is safety patrols not regular VDOT.
-----------------------

I haven't heard Va. Power comms on the vhf high frequencies for the past 7-10 years. The only Va. Power comms I now hear are from their power plant in Chesterfield Co. which involve checking different meters and logistic comms.

The trucks I've seen have vhf 1/4 wave antennas and I assume have radios installed. Va. Power maintains their FCC licenses and does not let them expire. Possibly their various vhf radio license configurations are contingency comms resources.

VDOT licenses are managed by VITA who also is good at ensuring VDOT and other state agency FCC licenses don't expire.

I concluded a few years ago that a number of former vhf radio users were communicating by cellular voice and/or text messages. As I thought then and you referenced there is too much activity occurring 24/7 for it not to be sourced to some other reason(s).

John
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W4UVV

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Va. Power Richmond District

Dominion Power still uses their UHF frequencies still here in Tidewater. Pretty often actually, everyday ops.
I just spot checked the Richmond District uhf 451 mhz. frequencies. Va. Power is active now on 451.1250 and 451.4750 mhz. transmitting bursts of DATA streams. I'll monitor the other Va. Power uhf frequencies and see if any voice comms happen. Tnx.

John
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Ghstwolf62

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That may be my problem. The freqs out here are VHF Low and those are all I have in my scanner. I'll have to fix that and see if something else pops up that way.

Don't ask me why I didn't think of that before but.........
 

KF4ZTO

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Like VDOT, Dominion Virginia Power's frequencies (at least from my monitoring standpoint/capabilities) are silent unless something is happening. 451.375, 451.425 and 451.525 were all active last time serious storms rolled through Richmond and knocked out power. The 451.525 repeater has a wicked 60Hz hum on it too, but the users either don't care or don't hear it. Seems like most Dominion trucks have UHF antennas on them, but only some have VHF low band antennas (usually mounted on the fender of the truck, or on the "Back Rack" with the amber strobe light, GPS antenna and UHF or VHF/UHF antenna suite). Seems like a lot of them just have the 3/8" ball mount and spring for the low band whip installed with the whip removed (makes sense to me). Maybe a poster living in the western parts of Virginia can comment as Dominion's use of 48 MHz for base-mobile communications out there. In a major emergency, I can see them using 48 MHz in addition to their other systems (primarily the 451 MHz UHF repeater networks).

VDOT is a hodgepodge of a bunch of different things. They're on STARS, their contractors use all sorts of systems, and they have their massive VHF lowband 45/47 MHz system. The VHF low system is basically dead until it snows. STARS seems to be more active with roadside assistance traffic and I imagine a lot of what a lot of us aren't hearing is on cellular or the Radio Communications of Virginia 454 MHz DMR/TRBO system, as W4UVV mentioned.

I can tell you that, at least around Richmond, most of the VDOT motorist assistance trucks have a half dozen antennas on them. It seems like the norm is a magnetic mount VHF-high band antenna (often with a black base and black whip) on the roof, a UHF antenna (explains the traffic on the RCC 454 MHz system), and a base-loaded VHF low band antenna mounted on the fender. Logic would dictate that the VHF high antenna is for STARS, the VHF low antenna is for the 45/47 MHz system, and the UHF antenna is for most of the day-to-day communications.

I've noticed several of these trucks with variations to this though. Some don't have the VHF low band antenna, others have a CB antenna next to the VHF high band antenna, and still others have a CB antenna and a scanner antenna next to the VHF high band antenna (and the UHF antenna).

A common setup seems to involve a fiberglass CB whip mounted behind the cab, no doubt to listen to CB channel 19. The scanner antenna is self-explanatory. With a UHF DMR system and STARS, its no wonder the VHF low band system stays quiet most of the time. The plows and other trucks seem to be equipped with only low band gear, or low band gear + CB equipment, which explains why the 45/47 MHz system comes alive before/during winter weather.
 

reconrider8

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As for VA power down here in Carolina rarely have I ever heard much traffic on low band. Once I did hear some traffic when something was going on then we had a bad thunderstorm a year or so ago and I heard low band simplex traffic all over the area. I will hear some traffic from the cogen plant and occasionally from the dam here in roanoke rapids
 

LeSueurC

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Here in Hampton Roads it's a different story, I hear Dominion Power regularly on their UHF. VDOT is seldom on STARS, very active on lowland especially the SSP's

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

Ghstwolf62

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Funny our SSPs are all on STARS out this way and nothing on low band. 5069, 5070 and 5280. I hear the first two all the time here and the third all the time as well when I head down to Roanoke.
 

W4UVV

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TG 138 confirmed as VDOT Richmond North District

Last weekend I upgraded my Uniden 536 for the DMR mode only and using ARC536PRO software with the (VC) Virtual Control option. VC can log each new different talkgroup separately and later log info on a hit to that same talkgroup with additional info such as logged frequency/hits,date/time stamp, NAC, etc. Both my scanner and software are performing fine on all DMR systems I've created to date with all such sites showing very good reception.

Presently, I am monitoring the Buttner Holdings/RCC licensees winnings trs. They hold multiple 454-445 mhz.related FCC licenses as the winners of multiple FCC 454-455 mhz frequencies auctioned a few years for this geographical area. This Connector Plus 4 site trs is the result.

One of the new talkgroups monitored was TG# 138. I monitored about 30 minutes and concluded it was a contractor interstate sector maintainer. After checking the charts, now I don't think so. Comms heard included "message board", "fill pot hole on 295 exit", milepost references i.e., "10.17, 26", "Shockley Bridge exit", "Belvedere exit", etc.

I had forgotten who were the VDOT maintenance contractors for what where. Over time VDOT cancelled and reissued contracts. Hopefully, I located what reflects the present accurate representation of the interstate maintainers. "TAMS" (Turnkey Asset Maintenance Services) link:

Here is the link and pdf file:

http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2014/oct/pres/Presentation_Agenda_Item_4.pdf

Although dated as of 2014, it appeared each contract had a 2 year renewal option. If that was true then every maintainer contract, if renewed, should had expired in 2016. But also a second renewed date contract could continue into 2017 or perhaps there were subsequent separate contracts issued. If anyone has any later dated interstate maintenance contractor TAMS info or similar charts please reply to this thread and post them with a source link.

If the "Richmond North" section of the "VDOT Managed Interstate Segments is correct then TG# 138 appears to be: VDOT interstate sector maintainer for the Richmond North area districts interstates and roads.

My Lesson Learned Again: Don't always accept my first "gut" leap of logic as being correct without some proof from a trusted or valid source.

John
W4UVV
------------------------

I confirmed TG 138 on the Richmond RCC DMR Connect Plus trs as the VDOT Richmond North District managed Interstates segments and local roads maintenance.

John
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Ghstwolf62

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Well I was out in Richmond for the Frostfest and put a search in on discovery.

Thought I'd found it but it turned out to be Radio Comms of VA which was in the database. Lots of tow stuff and no DOT :(

So I was SOL on that.

Did have fun at the hamfest though and brought 3 scanners with me to listen with.
 

W4UVV

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454 mhz. activity

Well I was out in Richmond for the Frostfest and put a search in on discovery.

Thought I'd found it but it turned out to be Radio Comms of VA which was in the database. Lots of tow stuff and no DOT :(

So I was SOL on that.

Did have fun at the hamfest though and brought 3 scanners with me to listen with.
---------------------

I don't know what "it" specifically was you were looking for. As I previously posted Buttner Holdings/RCC "own" the central VA 454 mhz. comm activity which is via their DMR Connect Plus multi-site trs. Their fourth site is in Tappahannock Co. and originally had the Lancaster Co. School System (mainly buses) as a user. But it no longer is a client. Only Essex Concrete Delivery occasionally is heard. The remaining sites are Richmond, Chesterfield and Petersburg.

Next to VCU one of the most active users is TG 129 which is the AAA Battery & Towing Service in Rockville. It is somewhat amazing the amount of problems people have with bad vehicle batteries. It is not unusual also to hear them in the evenings and on weekends. If you had monitored long enough you would have heard a few comms of the two weekend VCU shuttle buses.

Did you seriously expect to hear any VDOT Richmond North District road maintenance TG 138 activity on a Saturday? You know better than to expect that to happen. The only VDOT related 24/7 comms will be on STARS Richmond Division 1 area motor assistance contractor TG 5030 Tac 4 usually patrolling on I95/I64.

I probably should have gone and taken two excess 2 RS HTX 202, ICOM IC-H16 HT and an ICOM BC-30 battery charger in case someone was interested in a deal or whatever.

Glad it was a good trip and the Afton Mountain weather Gods were pleased.

John
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Ghstwolf62

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I didn't know what to expect. I get stuff on STARS out here on weekends and sometimes pick up stuff on the VHF lo side if weather is bad. Figured I'd try and didn't have much to lose so did.

I did hear those shuttles and the towing along with Amelia ambulance. I just didn't realize at first that it was a listed system. Its not listed as Buttner in the DB so was searching. I ended up figuring that out though.

The way I read your posts was that Buttner held non-specific freqs in the 454-455 range therefore you'd need to search to find them. My mistake.
 
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