Spartanburg County Fire

K4RBT

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May 12, 2011
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89
As soon as it is safe to do so, I plan on moving to Spartanburg County, exact area is undecided as I will need to look for a home.
In looking at the database for the county fire, I see multiple vhf high band transmitter sites. Are they running a simulcast system, or does the dispatcher select the site on location of the fire companies?
I was working on the "simulcast distortion" for the Roanoke County P25 system when they went P25 II and a LOT of encryption. I had a nice setup for try to find a way to not spend $700.00 for a SDR scanner. I was pretty close when the lights went out for good. OH, well.
I am only interested in fire and, maybe, the med helicopters. Having worked on communications systems for various law enforcement departments, for thirty-two years, I am not going to listen to them in retirement.
 

mrat1234

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May 13, 2016
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SC
Spartanburg county fire has 1 countywide dispatch channel/frequency of 154.3100 and has 2 sites in use. All other county fire frequencies use 4 sites.
 

K4RBT

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May 12, 2011
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89
Basically, I am trying to find out which scanners I can sell so I do not have to move them. I was thinking about getting rid of all of them and getting a Unication G5, but that might be too much money to monitor one county's fire department.
But, then I would not be able to finalize the ability to listen to just one site of a simulcast system.
In checking licenses I find several fire companies licenses had expired. I guess consolidation of stations.
Research is fun. Design is even more fun. Producing a final product that meets specification is the goal of the first two.
Thanks for the information.

"I can explain it to you, but I cannot understand it for you"
 

Zsneese

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Dec 30, 2014
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Lavonia, Georgia
I am only interested in fire and, maybe, the med helicopters.
I was thinking about getting rid of all of them and getting a Unication G5, but that might be too much money to monitor one county's fire department.
But, then I would not be able to finalize the ability to listen to just one site of a simulcast system.
I monitor the Anderson County simulcast site with a G5 and it is excellent with zero distortion. AnMed Life Flight responds to my area so I listen to their dispatch TG as well as the MedTrans statewide TG. I believe Regional One is the Spartanburg Helicopter as well as GHS MedTrans. They stay very active and are very interesting to listen to. I can't speak for Spartanburg County fire but they do have TGs on the Palmetto800 system. If they operate like Anderson County, they run parallel digital and analog. It depends on the individual department if you will hear them on either but most departments in AC operate off of VHF.
 

brian

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Spartanburg County Fire Departments (there are more than 30 independent fire departments in the county) are dispatched by a consolidated county-run dispatch center. All departments are dispatched (toned out) on 154.310, and then their primary ops channel is 154.025. If there is a larger incident requiring multiple units, they switch to one of 4 tac channels for that incident. I believe Tac 1 and Tac 2 are repeated, Tac 3 and Tac 4 are simplex. Spartanburg City FD has its own Ops channel that they use, and other county departments use when providing mutual aid response into the city. Some fire departments also license their own "private" channels used for admin communications - a few are repeaters, most are simplex. They aren't used often and they generally are not used for emergency ops communications.

All channels are analog narrow-band with a CTCSS (PL) tone of 85.4. While they do use multiple transmit/receive "simulcast" sites in a voter system, this type system is not subjected to the typical "simulcast distortion" problem you so often read about on these forums. That only applies to P25 digital simulcast sites for trunked systems. This is a completely different type system used by Spartanburg County fire departments.

If you are interested in monitoring any other emergency services in Spartanburg County - Sheriff, EMS, municipal PDs, SCHP, other state agencies - then you will need a digital trunk tracking scanner. They all operate on the Palmetto 800 state-wide trunked radio system. The Spartanburg site is a 2-site simulcast system, and simulcast distortion can be an issue depending on your location. I still primarily use the PSR-500 family of P25 digital trunk-tracking scanners, and I have little issue with simulcast distortion at my location. Your mileage may vary.

A handful of county fire departments have talkgroups assigned on Palmetto 800 - they are used infrequently for admin purposes and generally not for emergency operations. There is some discussion among the county Fire Chiefs Association (the governing body for the fire service in the county) about moving to Palmetto 800 at some point in the future. I am doubtful that will happen any time soon.

Good luck with your move, and let me know if you need any additional information.
 

K4RBT

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May 12, 2011
Messages
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Thanks, the pl tone is a plus. I am familiar with voting systems. and the next step, steering. I am going to drag out my GRE/RS handheld and program the system. Right now, I am looking at Roebuck, aerial shoots look good. Also, it puts me away from most of the trunking in Spartanburg County.
With the chiefs making technical decisions, strange things can happen. I saw this in Dauphin County, PA when I worked for Motorola out of was, 1n the 80's, a COMSS.
 

brian

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Right now, I am looking at Roebuck, aerial shoots look good. Also, it puts me away from most of the trunking in Spartanburg County.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. "Away from" meaning "out of range?" One of the two transmission sites for the Spartanburg site of the Palmetto 800 system is located in Stone Station, which is very close to Roebuck.
 

K4RBT

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May 12, 2011
Messages
89
I guess my terminology is flawed. I have not been down to the area, COVID-19 and I am at risk because of respiratory problems. I have been on self imposed quarantine. since the second week of January.
Where I live now, I am under the approach to Roanoke Regional Airport. Planes are close enough to see the rivets. I am right up the hill from the Norfolk Southern main line going south west. I am in visual range of Interstate 81. Close to the Roanoke River that floods when we have a lot of rain.
I am looking to get away from these noise and mess generators. I have not found out the arrival and departure routes from Greenville. That still has to be resolved, I need a secional chart. One house I looked at on-line had nice bushes that almost hid the railroad tracks at the edge of the property. Using FEMA flood maps for the area. I am trying to find an area that is suitable along that criteria. I have a map book of Spartanburg County and use satellite imagery.
I am not looking at the Palmetto 800 except for med helicopters. Used to listen from d.c. to white light when I lived in Richmond, VA. After working for three police department's radio systems, I am burnt out on police, no worries about encryption. I am doing research on clearing up the simulcast digital "zero beat", so I will do some monitoring for that. Once that is done, just county fire. I will be doing a lot of amateur radio work, like antenna design and such. Be nice to really use my spectrum analyzer and VNA, so I would like to be near a park with wide open flat ground to test antennas.
 
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