Scanner Wars in Upstate

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LarrySC

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Monday the 17th I'll deliver to WSPA in Spbg 15 PRO-2096's for their mobile units just programmed for this area. This is in addition to the chopper, the chopper office, the bureaus and central assignment desk. About 3 weeks ago Fox Carolina just got their 8 PRO-2096's and 3 96's for mobile installation. Looks like they are getting ready to do battle. The SPOT news stories should be abundant. Best Regards to all, Larry
 

Newshound

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None of the photographers will listen anyway. Where I work, we have 25 units with either 796's, 296's or 396's and only a handful of photographers know how to use them. The others couldn't care less. They rely on the assignment desk for any spot news. I suspect that most of the guys at WSPA are the same way.
 

LarrySC

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Yes, I understand. The sta had me go by Chopper office and check on a problem and as always somebody pushes the wrong buttons. Most of what they use are 780's and 796's. Thats why I had them get 2096's. Easier to operate. I made list of banks and what areas covered. They didnt even post it in Chopper. The 4 units on desk, I posted the list on the scanners. The bigest issue I have with Media is the engineers. They seem to have no knowledge of two-way communications. In years past all engineers came out of the early ham radio ranks. Plenty of hands-on radio communications. I supply commerical antennas of special spec's for certain scannners. You should see some of the installations. They dont have a clue. It would take a half hour just to list all the stupid things I've found them doing. Best Regards, Larry
 

Thayne

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That's why I quit messing with media types except for old guys that I know. The new ones drive you nuts for all the reasons you said.
Ditto the 2096 being simpler to operate, but I have one guy that has erased his V-scanners 5 times. Then they want you to help them for free because you got paid once about 6 months ago.
 

LarrySC

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I got that problem with Clear Ch Radio. 5 local stations. Stream 3 BC scanners with BC software to studio 100 miles away. Person there watches the 3 scanners on a computer monitor and does local LIVE traffic reports from 100 miles away and streams it back to here. If they have problem they want to call me rather than Chief Eng. Their problems always are with the stream.
 

Newshound

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This has been my hobby since I was about 10 years old, so my employer was very happy to see me coming. I handle all the scanners for my office and mobile units. Our engineers are great with video & audio, but radio communications are not their specialty.
I do have one engineer who is good a woodworking, so he designed a cabinet that works well for our assignment desk. I will try to post pictures when I can.
 

kg4pbd

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Speaking of the news media, on WBT you can often hear the fire alert tone going off in the background during the afternoon traffic reports. They must listen b/c I've heard accidents dispatched and 30 seconds later it's being reported.
 

Newshound

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I don't know about WBT, but most of the radio stations in the Charlotte and surrounding areas use Metro Traffic. They have an office in South Charlotte, near the Park Road Shopping Center, and are on top of a ten story building. I was over there about a year or so ago, programming some of their radios. My company uses them, and my boss loaned me out. They use mainly Bearcat 895's, but most of the Charlotte area is still analog, so it works out well for them. They have several traffic reporters who do reports for radio & TV stations all over the area. I think they handle some of the other markets in the NC/SC area. The scanners sit right at the main control board, so you can hear them in the background when the reporters are live. They used to have a person sitting in the media room at the CMPD headquarters, watching the dispatch computer for accidents, but now that information is available in real time on the web. It is pretty interesting how they put it all together.
 

LarrySC

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I do Metro Networks/Skywatch Traffic. They have 3- 2067's for Hwy Patrol. 1-Greenville 1-Anderson 1- Spartanburg. 1- 2067 for Spartanburg Co 800 on a Yagi. Several others older dedicated to just a few freqs. 1- PRO-96 for Greenville 800 Digital. Clear Channel dropped Skywatch and stream their own scanners to Charlotte to monitor and stream reports back to 5 Greenville stations. I did a custom PGM for the HWY Patrol units. Each 2067 is PGM'ed with the first three [3] banks on the same tower. ID's for each bank is one ID only. 1- is dispatch, 2- is car to car and 3- is SHEP TRUCK. This way if they want to turn off the Shep Truck or car to car they dont have to do anything extra---just push #2 or #3. Larry
 

jeffmulter

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Chuck "Roads" Nealy is the principal person behind the WBT and WBTV traffic reports. He and the other reporters use a studio in a two-story building near the corner of Tyvola and South Blvd. Look for the Monitor 5094 antenna on the roof.

Chuck also has a package delivery business, so the traffic information helps his drivers, while the drivers suppliment his traffic information ... a win-win situation.

MetroNetworks in Charlotte has handled traffic reports for some of the radio stations outside Charlotte in the past, but I'm not sure if they still do. They also offer a news package to radio stations.

Back a few years ago, Metro did handle the traffic reports for WBT. Remember "Jeff Pilot."

Newshound - I hope you removed some of the non-productive frequencies Metro had in their scanners at one time. I visited there a few years ago, and looked through what was programmed in the scanners. There were some input frequencies and channels that are no longer in use that I would have locked out / removed, if asked.

In the past, Metro's private repeater channel was the place to listen to some of Charlotte's professional radio talent when they were really being themselves.

Some of Charlotte's beloved names - Tom Desio, Calvin, Chuck Booser, to name a few - would work the morning or afternoon drivetime for Metro to suppliment their income. They would sometimes seem to forget that they were still talking over the airwaves, and the conversation could be quite entertaining and personal.

I remember one busy traffic afternoon, and Metro had two reporters cruising the roadways around Charlotte. One of the reporters was Tom Desio, and he started into a comedy routine about basketball, and have me laughing the entire ride back to Lancaster County.

Jeff Multer
 

Newshound

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Jeff,

Metro's scanners were messy to say the least. I took out several local talkgroups that kept them from hearing the important stuff. I haven't been over there in over a year, so I don't know what they have done since then.

Bob
 

qball

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The majority of their trunking scanners were completely reprogrammed about 10 months ago.....they rarely listen to anything conventional. Most of their radios will have to be replaced to accomodate rebanding and the York County and Charlotte digital systems.
 
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