Shenandoah Nat'l Park

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tglendye

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I heard some traffic on 166.900 the other day (Thursday?). A park ranger was talking to another individual identified as "Ridgerunner". The ranger said they made contact w/ "Moonlighter".... anyone have any ideas who Moonlighter and Ridgerunner are? I was thinking a spotlighter for "Moonlighter", and maybe a helicopter for Ridgerunner.

A few minutes later I heard 740 (communications) advise all Protection units to switch to encrypted. That's the 1st time I've heard encryption in use on the SNP channel.
 

KC0QNB

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Interesting why do we need encryption for park rangers, unless there were not real park rangers and DEA agents.
 

ResQguy

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Interesting why do we need encryption for park rangers, unless there were not real park rangers and DEA agents.
Because the poachers have scanners too, and the wildlife in the SNP are very docile and will walk right up to you. They deserve a fighting chance to get the bad guys.
 

wfrd140

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Ridgerunner

"Ridgerunner" has been the Appalachian trail monitor for years and has full access to SNP radio channels. Unless something has changed my guess would be that moonlighter is either the same position on night shift or an additional position. The AT is not as safe as it used to be.
 

tglendye

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Ah, great... thanks for the information.

Yes, poaching has been a real problem in SNP... I am glad they take it seriously and counter the problem.
 

gcgrotz

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Wow! I didn't even hear encryption when the Pres visited. In fact, when he landed, they were told to maintain radio silence.

Good info guys!
 

tglendye

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Wow! I didn't even hear encryption when the Pres visited. In fact, when he landed, they were told to maintain radio silence.

Good info guys!
I was surprised too. I don't know what they had going on up there that day.
 

LEH

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I think we'd better start getting used to encryption. That's the way our "government of the people" is heading. Hide everything from the 'people'.

The NPS here in the Colonial Triangle use it occasionally on their P25 system. Not much wildlife to poach on the Colonial Parkway, but they were checking fishing licenses the other day.
 

md_p97

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I drove down to the Northern Part (Lurray/Edinburg) of Shen Nat Park this past weekend. Though I did hear minimal comms in the open on 166.9000, everything in the 171.0000 and above ranges were encrypted. Very disappointing.
 
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tglendye

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Funny (well, actually not so funny), I logged in to post about the encryption as well. I have been noticing it regularly for the past week or so. It seems sometimes the communications center is in the clear, while the rangers are encrypted. I heard an injury and a disabled vehicle where the rangers were encrypted and 740 (communications) was in the clear. Not events that I would expect encryption to be used. But then again I'm just a taxpayer.

166.9 and the 170xxx repeaters seem to be linked... but I am not 100% positive. I receive 166.9 well, as well as 2 or 3 repeaters in the 170's. They were (of course) encrypted at the same time.
 
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PJH

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With the Motorola radios, the field units can be slaved to automatically encypt without user intervention.

On some radios, depending on how the radio is programmed for the buttons/switches/softkeys, it can be very easy to switch to an encrypted mode without the user knowing it. Its much more common not to notice when operating in the P25 mode, as the voice quaility is the same, unlike analog encryption.

My local NPS has DES-XL/DES-OFB/AES-256 boards in their XTS5k's, but no keys are loaded in. Yellowstone has a hybrid analog/digital system and they use 16 differerent encyption keys...but they also support other federal agencies as well as state/local areas.
 

W4UVV

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Funny (well, actually not so funny), I logged in to post about the encryption as well. I have been noticing it regularly for the past week or so. It seems sometimes the communications center is in the clear, while the rangers are encrypted. I heard an injury and a disabled vehicle where the rangers were encrypted and 740 (communications) was in the clear. Not events that I would expect encryption to be used. But then again I'm just a taxpayer.

166.9 and the 170xxx repeaters seem to be linked... but I am not 100% positive. I receive 166.9 well, as well as 2 or 3 repeaters in the 170's. They were (of course) encrypted at the same time.
They are linked and as best I can determine and simulcast 166.9000 mhz. most of the time. Maint. tends to favor 173.6750 mhz. I thought by now somebody in NOVA would have ided the location of the three additional relay sites in the SNP installed a year or so ago. I am guessing one site to be on Fork Mountain in Madison Co. but no one has confirmed it.
 

md_p97

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For those who have L/O Shen Nat Park

While traveling into Wva via the Winchester / Staunton areas on saturday morning, and then coming back through Monday afternoon I heard comms in the clear on 173.675 for an hour or so each time.

So this makes me wonder, if in fact, what initially sounds like encryption, could not instead be comms too far off to be decoded by the scanner, and thus what is heard is garbled.

I say this because I monitor Catoctin Park up near emmitsburg, md. When I am down near work, in DC, all transmissions I receive sound like they are encrypted. But when I get back closer to Frederick, Md, They come through just fine.
 

mike_s104

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While traveling into Wva via the Winchester / Staunton areas on saturday morning, and then coming back through Monday afternoon I heard comms in the clear on 173.675 for an hour or so each time.

So this makes me wonder, if in fact, what initially sounds like encryption, could not instead be comms too far off to be decoded by the scanner, and thus what is heard is garbled.

I say this because I monitor Catoctin Park up near emmitsburg, md. When I am down near work, in DC, all transmissions I receive sound like they are encrypted. But when I get back closer to Frederick, Md, They come through just fine.
I think this is the case as well. I haven't heard any encryption yet either.
 

tglendye

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I get an excellent signal from their repeater. Maybe their units switch to simplex from time to time and the signal isn't strong enough for my radio and appears to be encrypted... but I'm fairly certain they are running part-time encryption.
 

1075

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I actually logged on to try and find out what is going on with SNP, something is definitely affecting my ability to pick them up on my 396. I can usually pick them up from my home in southern Carroll County MD. I took a trip down I-81 in August and noticed that some of the transmissions would start off OK but when they started speaking, the transmission would drop off. This has continued since I returned home. This seems to happen with mobile units more often than with the base.

The encrypted channels on Howard County MD fire (the arson unit) behave differently. The 396 stops on the channel, but absolutely no audio is heard. With SNP the transmission sounds like a weak digital signal.

I'm puzzled.
 
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