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The Phanton Chicago 550 repeater

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cortchubby

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Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Messages
41
Location
Chicago Illinois
Once again the phantom 462.550 GMRS repeater has mysteriously come back on the air.
A great machine with insane coverage. Except one small issue. It has a 114.8 Pl tone block that transmits a busy signal (Illegal under FCC rules for GMRS) and ID's with a call sign that does not exist.
When joliet repeater that DOES use 114.8 keys up it causes the chicago busy signal to wipe the entire channel out.
Joliet has since changed PL tones graciously without incident. The joliet repeater owner is a great guy!
The ISSUE here is we do not know who owns the repeater in Chicago and where it is located.
We SUSPECT this is a rogue machine. (Illegal) It has been suggested that a fee for use be implemented and that the Chicago machine turns OFF the 114.8 PL tone and uses the other 7 CTCSS and 2 DPLS that it has available however no one "seems to know" who the owner of this machine is. Interestingly, when this machine came back on line the deviation was very low. People made comment about this and wouldnt you know suddenly the deviation increased and we could actually talk and not have to scream into the mic to be heard. Meaning the control person does monitor the channel. It is beginning to look like Chicago has some grudge against Joliet which is a shame since we would like to develop a network using both repeaters. Anyone that "may happen to know" who owns the chicago machine please privately contact me with that information.
Its a shame to loose a great coverage machine. South Bend to Kenosha and The lakefront to past Braidwood.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
4,201
Certainly someone in Chicago or Joliet has a Doppler direction finder and can locate the physical location of this machine?

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
 

ecps92

Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2002
Messages
11,591
Location
Taxachusetts
what is the call sign you folks are hearing ?? :confused:
Once again the phantom 462.550 GMRS repeater has mysteriously come back on the air.
A great machine with insane coverage. Except one small issue. It has a 114.8 Pl tone block that transmits a busy signal (Illegal under FCC rules for GMRS) and ID's with a call sign that does not exist.
When joliet repeater that DOES use 114.8 keys up it causes the chicago busy signal to wipe the entire channel out.
Joliet has since changed PL tones graciously without incident. The joliet repeater owner is a great guy!
The ISSUE here is we do not know who owns the repeater in Chicago and where it is located.
We SUSPECT this is a rogue machine. (Illegal) It has been suggested that a fee for use be implemented and that the Chicago machine turns OFF the 114.8 PL tone and uses the other 7 CTCSS and 2 DPLS that it has available however no one "seems to know" who the owner of this machine is. Interestingly, when this machine came back on line the deviation was very low. People made comment about this and wouldnt you know suddenly the deviation increased and we could actually talk and not have to scream into the mic to be heard. Meaning the control person does monitor the channel. It is beginning to look like Chicago has some grudge against Joliet which is a shame since we would like to develop a network using both repeaters. Anyone that "may happen to know" who owns the chicago machine please privately contact me with that information.
Its a shame to loose a great coverage machine. South Bend to Kenosha and The lakefront to past Braidwood.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
4,201
Why not record traffic 24/7 and find out who is using it.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
 

amphibian

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
123
Location
Canton, Texas 75103
You could use a Baofeng radio and a tape recorder and record the traffic....

Use a tape recorder that has vox control, place the Baofeng into VOX mode and that way you don't use up a lot of wasted silent time.



Just an idea.....
 

n1das

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 17, 2003
Messages
1,488
Location
Nashua, NH
You could use a Baofeng radio and a tape recorder and record the traffic....

Use a tape recorder that has vox control, place the Baofeng into VOX mode and that way you don't use up a lot of wasted silent time.



Just an idea.....
No VOX mode on the Baofeng if you're going to simply use it as a receiver to record audio from. VOX is for transmitting with the Baofeng. How would you use VOX for receiving??

Download and use GoldWave to automatically record audio on your PC. No need to use an ancient technology analog tape recorder. www.GoldWave.com

Audio from the radio is fed into the PC's audio input. You can monitor the audio thru the PC. You can set up level activated recording and the audio is buffered so you don't miss the first part of audio that triggered the recording. The recording pre-buffer time and hang times are adjustable. The pre-buffer time is 1 second (default) and I recommend leaving it at that. Set the hang time to pause the recording a few seconds after the audio goes away. The threshold level at which recording starts (i.e., un-pauses a recording in progress) is also adjustable.

While many audio file formats are available, the .WAV file format supports cue points in the file and a cue point can be automatically inserted whenever audio triggers the recording. The default name assigned to each cue point is the PC's system date AND time. This makes cue points useful as timestamps for everything recorded.

The length of a recording can be set to "unbounded" which means the available recording time will be automatically extended as needed, up to the limit of available disk space. I've automatically recorded a week's worth of scanner activity this way and recorded many more hours of activity than I have time to listen to.

To monitor the repeater output AND the repeater input at the same time, set up GoldWave to make a stereo recording and use two receivers. Connect the audio out of one receiver to the Left channel input and connect the second receiver to the Right channel input. One receiver monitors the input and the other monitors the repeater output. With level-activated recording, the recording will be triggered by audio on either channel. With a stero recording and recording the repeater input AND output at the same time, you have both recordings lined up together and on the same time axis and with cue points as timestamps if you want.

GoldWave is among the best digital audio recording and editing audio software available, second only to the professional stuff. It has a lot of useful features that make it great for automatically recording scanner audio. Downloading GoldWave is free and is free to use however it nags you once in a while to register and buy a license for a small fee to support its development. It's nag-ware and costs $45 to buy a license and eliminate all nagging.

Good luck.
 
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FFPM571

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 11, 2003
Messages
1,268
Location
Chicago area
if this has the coverage you describe it has to be on a high rise downtown no single repeater has that kind of near 3 state coverage unless it has some height
 

N4GIX

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
1,961
Location
Hammond, IN
Once again the phantom 462.550 GMRS repeater has mysteriously come back on the air.

...Joliet has since changed PL tones graciously without incident. The joliet repeater owner is a great guy!
The ISSUE here is we do not know who owns the repeater in Chicago and where it is located.
I still had the really old PL 156.7 programmed in so had to contact Mark to get the new PL tone. He told me he needs to go out to the tower to disable 114.8 to eliminate any potential problems. I noted that using 114.8 I could key up both repeaters simultaneously yesterday afternoon, but today that repeater seems to be off-line.

I don't have a clue who else is using .550, but will keep my ears open. I agree that the Joliet machine has very excellent coverage, but with the antenna at the very top of the 500' tower, that comes as no great surprise!

I'm able to get into the Joliet machine full quieting from my base here in Hammond, IN. I also have good mobile coverage from most of NW Indiana.

NSEA on the north side of Chicago is using .650*, .675, .700, and .725 for now.

* This machine will be back on top of the Hancock building within a few months.
 

cmdrwill

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Messages
3,854
Location
So Cali
Can we move this mystery jamming repeater to 462.700MHz in Southern California? This would cure your interference problems and hopefully squash out some idiots around here.
prcguy
The Right Reverend Robert W. would not like that....
 

kenwoodgeek

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
203
Location
Wheaton, IL
Hi there, Cort!

This is Ryan, WQXZ773. We talked on Chicago and you commented on my YouTube video about this whole thing. This post has helped me to fully understand what was going on. I have been in contact with Mark the past few days, and we talked about the Chicago repeater over email. He informed me he definitely suspected the owner of the Chicago machine to be causing malicious interference by having the 114.8 PL turned on, but I didn't realize the machine itself might have been operating illegally.

But yes, when I was using it, the Chicago machine had EXCELLENT coverage. I was hitting it on my 4 watt portables from Wheaton inside my bedroom. It was just a matter of adding the 156.7 PL ( got it from a friend in the Chicago area who already knew it, somehow) to my radio to stop getting the busy tone, but at the same time my access to Joliet was blocked with the 114.8 PL causing the busy tone. And, of course, I was one of the ones who complained over the air about the deviation, and I guess the owner was listening and fixed it without saying a word.

Like I told you in the email I sent a week or so ago, I'm no longer able to access this weird Chicago repeater. It seems to have suddenly gone offline. I'm not getting the feedback beep anymore. In all honesty, although I'm extremely glad to have reconnected with Mark and all my other buddies down in Joliet, I really miss that coverage I was getting with Chicago.

I hope this mysterious user will come forward and reopen the repeater with a different frequency and play by the rules, because I really liked his machine for the few weeks it was open, after I got used to it.
 
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