Headed to Topsail Island for a week in July. Will be bringing my Home Patrol and possibly a dual band HT. Anything special to monitor in the area? Is there much marine (boats, not The Corps) traffic in the area?
it's been a few years since i've been on topsail island - onslow county sheriff patrols the beach - depending what is going on - listening to the marines can be great. Esp if they are preparing for a mission.
Will you be on the south end or north of Surf City? Pender Co. S.O is on the Viper system down there and I believe they cover the island as well although they have a local PD. As for the dual band there are a number of repeaters down there. See this link. Wilmington amateur radio repeaters
The 444.850 / PL 88.5 is a wide coverage repeater I can hit with a handheld from Topsail on the south end easily. The 146.73 / PL 88.5 is a local repeater fairly close by. 146.82 / PL 88.5 and 147.345 / PL 88.5 are both wide coverage repeaters.
I've been going down there for more than 50 years and go back every chance I get. But then I'm only an hour and a half from there anyway.
No problem. You should still be able to hit those repeaters with no problem. As for the scanner, last report was that North Topsail Beach PD was on VHF- 155.565 I believe with some people reporting spotty reception. Check the data base here on RR for Onslow County, NC. As for marine VHF that is also active with marine broadcasts coming out of Wrightsville Beach Coastguard as well as local boat traffic.
North Topsail Beach, Onslow County: NTB Police can be heard on the VHF sheriffs dispatch channel as well as the Onslow/Jacksonville trunked radio system.
Fire in Onslow County is mostly on VHF, but some 800 crosspatching, the same with Onslow EMS. They have a conventional 800 P25 system, use the County trunked system some and that is crosspatched into the VHF EMS frequency, 155.400
On the Pender County side of things, Pender uses the NC VIPER system almost exclusively, but they still have VHF crosspatched to VIPER for fire and EMS paging. The Holly Ridge site on VIPER is very close to the island and you will catch better than 90 percent of Pender County's 800 traffic on that site, plus lots of other users as they pass through.
As far as Amateur Radio, Wilmington has a number of 2m and 70cm repeaters. You also have Jacksonville has two 2m repeaters, but getting into those on a handheld from the island is most likely not going to happen. One repeater is in Hubert at 286 feet and the other is on top of Onslow Memorial Hospital.
There is also a 70cm repeater in Hubert, 444.675 + 88.5 ENC/DEC that has handheld coverage on the island in a number of places as well as Snead's Ferry.
Enjoy your week on the beach. Below is a list of activities if you feel like exploring the area. Don't forget to take the kids to the Turtle Hospital just off the Island or stop in at Gallagher's Bar & Grill for some Irish Egg Rolls! MMMMMM Delisc
Don't forget the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base on the UHF Low OBT system. There is usually a lot of activity, especially with the 4th of July celebration. Base police (PMO), Base Fire and other users can be monitored.