STARS and Fauquier County Newb

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DogT

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Fauquier, VA
Hi. New 996XT owner here and it's a handfull. Got the RR freqs for STARS and Fauquier County, only got the towers in my view, Apple Orchard (5 bars), Dumfries (5 bars), Fairfax (2 bars), Fork Mt (5 bars), Mt WX (5 bars), Arlington (?), Hogback (5 bars), Independent (5 bars). Set up custom searches for what I want. Got plenty of questions, but I'll keep it short to start. Biggest thing is it appears that Fauquier has a different radio system than the State. Simulcast as I understand and I've been hearing things on the Fauquier list. Big question is when the 996 stops on a Fauquier freq/TG there's no indication of the frequency or anything, just an ID. Wondering if I should limit my searches to just one freq since it's simulcast, not that I'm real clear on the simulcast thing. I notice that if I scan from 850 to 852 I get plenty of things in P25 (Fauquier stuff) that I do not hear while using the Fauquier RR list. It's like the frequencies are different than what's in the RR list????

I've locked out plenty of TGs in the State and County systems too.

I'm using a 2M/70cm Larsen antenna on my chimney roof at about 700' amsl, and it seems to be working pretty good even at 800, but plan on trying some different things when it warms up.

Another thing, Freescan seems a bit flakey sometimes, usual? Is there something better, especially for computer control?

Dave
N3DT in Hume
 

W4UVV

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Nov 9, 2002
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Prince George, Virginia--Central Va.
Maybe it is encrypted

Hi. New 996XT owner here and it's a handfull. Got the RR freqs for STARS and Fauquier County, only got the towers in my view, Apple Orchard (5 bars), Dumfries (5 bars), Fairfax (2 bars), Fork Mt (5 bars), Mt WX (5 bars), Arlington (?), Hogback (5 bars), Independent (5 bars). Set up custom searches for what I want. Got plenty of questions, but I'll keep it short to start. Biggest thing is it appears that Fauquier has a different radio system than the State. Simulcast as I understand and I've been hearing things on the Fauquier list. Big question is when the 996 stops on a Fauquier freq/TG there's no indication of the frequency or anything, just an ID. Wondering if I should limit my searches to just one freq since it's simulcast, not that I'm real clear on the simulcast thing. I notice that if I scan from 850 to 852 I get plenty of things in P25 (Fauquier stuff) that I do not hear while using the Fauquier RR list. It's like the frequencies are different than what's in the RR list????

I've locked out plenty of TGs in the State and County systems too.

I'm using a 2M/70cm Larsen antenna on my chimney roof at about 700' amsl, and it seems to be working pretty good even at 800, but plan on trying some different things when it warms up.

Another thing, Freescan seems a bit flakey sometimes, usual? Is there something better, especially for computer control?

Dave
N3DT in Hume
Possibly the transmission is encrypted. Uniden thankfully suppresses encrypted audio. GRE does not.

John
 

brownlab

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Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
708
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Washington DC, Alexandria/Fairfax County /Loudoun
Hi. New 996XT owner here and it's a handfull. Got the RR freqs for STARS and Fauquier County, only got the towers in my view, Apple Orchard (5 bars), Dumfries (5 bars), Fairfax (2 bars), Fork Mt (5 bars), Mt WX (5 bars), Arlington (?), Hogback (5 bars), Independent (5 bars). Set up custom searches for what I want. Got plenty of questions, but I'll keep it short to start. Biggest thing is it appears that Fauquier has a different radio system than the State. Simulcast as I understand and I've been hearing things on the Fauquier list. Big question is when the 996 stops on a Fauquier freq/TG there's no indication of the frequency or anything, just an ID. Wondering if I should limit my searches to just one freq since it's simulcast, not that I'm real clear on the simulcast thing. I notice that if I scan from 850 to 852 I get plenty of things in P25 (Fauquier stuff) that I do not hear while using the Fauquier RR list. It's like the frequencies are different than what's in the RR list????

I've locked out plenty of TGs in the State and County systems too.

I'm using a 2M/70cm Larsen antenna on my chimney roof at about 700' amsl, and it seems to be working pretty good even at 800, but plan on trying some different things when it warms up.

Another thing, Freescan seems a bit flakey sometimes, usual? Is there something better, especially for computer control?

Dave
N3DT in Hume
The 996XT is a very good scanner and works very well with STARS and Fauquier County. Little is encrypted. However the 996XT is somewhat difficult to program correctly without using something like Freescan (that is what I use) or the other programing software. I would not blow off Freescan just yet. STARS and Fauquier/Culpeper are different since STARS is VHF digital where Fauquier is an 800 mz system. STARS has many sites to choose from and in your case, I would use the Mt Weather site (if you are in Hume). Mt Weather will cover the VSP for Division 2 (Culpepper) and 7 (Fairfax-Northern Virginia). For Fauquier you should get but the Fauquier and Culpepper sites. If you continue to have trouble with Freescan, sent me a PM at ntrlsol@aol.com and I will send you a Freescan file which you should be able to open and program you scanner with. Let me know.

Jeff
 

DogT

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Location
Fauquier, VA
I've been using Freescan to log and record what I do hear and it seems to work OK but it always seems to want to change the recording from analog mix to mike. I did download the RR files for this area, programmed the 996XT and it seems to be working fine as far as I know. There was a lot more in RR than what came in the radio.

So with STARS, do all the different locations re-transmit the same thing, so I should just limit my location to just one instead of continually scanning through them all? They are nearly all the same strength, 5 bars.

What I do notice about Freescan is sometimes it makes the XP computer act a bit funny, like the curser gets real slow and I have to restart, plus sometimes when I program the 996, things seem to not always work right but resetting things works.

One big question, since I've got Fauquier and STARS in the radio, how do I switch from one to the other or both without reprogramming the radio and locking out what I don't want to hear? I haven't set up any of the quick keys yet.

Dave
 

freqhopping

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Jan 5, 2004
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Lo Co VA/ FM19
You're not receiving the Apple Orchard site. It uses the same control channel as Hogback Mt. Look at the site IDs.

Fork Mt is the best site. I routinely hear Divisions 1,2,3 and 7, though mostly 2 and 7. You won't hear 1 or 3 on Mt Weather or the others.


You need to set quick keys. Very easily done manually. Just set Fauquier as #1, one or more STARS sites as #2 for a start.
 

DogT

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Feb 7, 2014
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Location
Fauquier, VA
Yes, the rssi is best for Fork Mt. I have a good shot at it from my location, probably LOS. So I should lock out the other sites and just listen to Fork?

So if I set Fauquier as 1 and Stars as 2 I can use the quick keys to turn them on and off right there even though everything is enabled in the overall scheme? I'll try.

So where are the other 'systems' coming from? I also get 'systems' Virginia STARS and Virginia Statewid as well as the other sites.
 

DogT

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Fauquier, VA
Got it, I'm only using Fork Mt now and have quick keys set up 1 for Fauquier and 2 for STARS and Virginia Statewide, ID Search.
 

dsj3

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Jan 20, 2013
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Northern Virginia
Town of Warrenton Public Works

I monitor Fauquier County also. Anyone had any luck finding Town of Warrenton Public Works? I've found three frequencies: 153.800 which was their old frequency, 153.995 and 158.9025. No traffic on those frequencies though. I've heard some type of traffic on 495.5125 but that might be VDOT as they were outside town limits. Nothing listed on with latest digital lineup on Radio Reference.
 

DogT

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Location
Fauquier, VA
I haven't been listening to the analog channels lately, so I can't speak to that. But perhaps the Public Works is now on the 'County Services' group in the P25 system? I've heard the 'Parks' talk groups, but nothing else. I hear the SO, PD, FD for Warrenton Fauquier and Rap. Once in a while I hear SIRS, and lots of School busses except when it snows.

Anyhow in general I think I've gotten it working. I disabled the Culpeper TGs and system because it's weak here, I also put every STARS site on its own QK, so I can turn them on and off at will. I tend to listen to FX and Independent Hill or Fork Mt and Mount WX.

I've pretty much determined that I can hear Fork Mt, Mt Wx Independent Hill, Fairfax and Hogback in order of strength. Don't know why Hogback is so weak because I should be in line of sight and it's only maybe 15 miles away, unless I'm shaded by the mountain somehow. I noticed the same with the Postal Inspector UHF transmitter too which is at the same site, but it's been encrypted since maybe 04. I don't know why Fork is so strong, it's not real close to me but I'm probably line of site to me.

Dave
 

dsj3

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Nope, it is not on any of the Fauquier digital lineup and I don't hear anything on the analog channels. This is quite a mystery.
 

DogT

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Fauquier, VA
I just heard Fauq LF 2 which I don't know what it means but they were talking about salt in Catlett.
 

dtscho

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I monitor Fauquier County also. Anyone had any luck finding Town of Warrenton Public Works? I've found three frequencies: 153.800 which was their old frequency, 153.995 and 158.9025. No traffic on those frequencies though. I've heard some type of traffic on 495.5125 but that might be VDOT as they were outside town limits. Nothing listed on with latest digital lineup on Radio Reference.
The 495.5125 frequency is from this trunked system. The people you're hearing on it are probably contractors, not VDOT.

Prince William Communication (Warrenton) Trunking System, Warrenton, Virginia - Scanner Frequencies

Dave
 

tglendye

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Virginia
... I disabled the Culpeper TGs and system because it's weak here, I also put every STARS site on its own QK, so I can turn them on and off at will. I tend to listen to FX and Independent Hill or Fork Mt and Mount WX.

I've pretty much determined that I can hear Fork Mt, Mt Wx Independent Hill, Fairfax and Hogback in order of strength. Don't know why Hogback is so weak because I should be in line of sight and it's only maybe 15 miles away, unless I'm shaded by the mountain somehow. I noticed the same with the Postal Inspector UHF transmitter too which is at the same site, but it's been encrypted since maybe 04. I don't know why Fork is so strong, it's not real close to me but I'm probably line of site to me.

Dave
I think you find when listening to VHF digital P25 trunked systems that the transmission is either really great or poor/ non-existent. To me, it seems if the CC signal is just a shade off, it messes everything with a scanner up. If it is a portable scanner, moving the antenna slightly or locating the scanner to another area sometimes does help.

I am curious about you locking out Culpeper TG's. Fauquier is in Culpeper's Division, isn't it? Can you scan Fork Mt. and listen to Culpeper? Fork Mt. is not close to me, either but I am usually able to get it pretty close from southwest Rockingham County. It's an awesome site!
 

DogT

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Location
Fauquier, VA
I've locked out the Culpeper SO and PD which is on the Fauq/Rap/Cul county system, not the STARS Cul state police. Yes, I hear VSP Cul mostly from Fork Mt. Once in a while the DGIF and DOC and some Tac.

I'm using the 996XT with an outside UHF/VHF antenna and I've got 2 outside antennas and I use the one that works best. I'm going to put up one of those vertical OCD when it warms up to see how that works, but in general, I hear what I want, plenty strong.
 

dsj3

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Jan 20, 2013
Messages
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Location
Northern Virginia
Town of Warrenton Public Works

LF 2 is Fauquier Land Fill. Town is VERY busy doing snow removal but can't locate radio traffic. Analog frequencies listed are quiet. One has an occasional birdie. I figured that UHF was probably a contractor and it was outside the town limits.
 
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