Trip advice and etc.

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Jay911

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Hey all,

My employer requires me to finalize vacation plans in January for the full following calendar year. For the past few years, I've made it my habit to make it a "racing vacation" where i go to a racing series weekend someplace. For 2010 I've pretty much got my heart set on going to Mount Panorama in October, with a little bit of personal vacation time for a few weeks in September prior to that.

I see the question on whether or not scanners are allowed in AU/NSW has already been answered, and I presume most of what I would want to hear (mainly Fire/EMS, outside of the racing itself) is on the GRN network. Are there any other things worth listening to for someone like me, with a fire/ambulance/rescue background? Are forestry fire crews, for example, active that time of the year, and are they on some other system or group of frequencies?

I see the Bathurst section of the DB, conventionally speaking, is empty. Is that just a lack of anyone submitting data or is literally everything worth monitoring on the GRN?

As for the race weekend, are there frequency lists for the V8s and any other support series on the weekend? Are they monitorable with a scanner (i.e. no non-standard digital or scrambling)? Are there lists sold at the track or should I get my programming done before I get there?

I do have a couple non-radio questions too. Does anyone know if my mobile phone will work in your country? I have a blackberry with a voice/data plan with a major Canadian phone company (Rogers Wireless). When I visit the USA, the phone automatically signs on to one or more US phone companies with whom I presume Rogers has an agreement with. Any idea if the same is true in AU? If not, does the concept of a "pay as you go" mobile that you just buy at a corner store and prepay for x number of minutes exist?

What about the proliferation of free or pay public wifi? Are there places I can stop and get on the net for an hour or two?

Thanks in advance :D
 

Comint

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For 2010 I've pretty much got my heart set on going to Mount Panorama in October, with a little bit of personal vacation time for a few weeks in September prior to that.
Expect to find accommodation in the Bathurst (Mt Panorama) area to be virtually non-existent that weekend, and possibly the two weeks before hand.

I see the question on whether or not scanners are allowed in AU/NSW has already been answered, and I presume most of what I would want to hear (mainly Fire/EMS, outside of the racing itself) is on the GRN network.
Maybe, maybe not. The GRN geographically only covers about a third of the State, and most of the development is going into the Sites on the Coastal Strip.

Are there any other things worth listening to for someone like me, with a fire/ambulance/rescue background? Are forestry fire crews, for example, active that time of the year, and are they on some other system or group of frequencies?
Forestry fire crews usually only look after State Forests. Bushfires (what the Americans call Wildfires) are handled by Rural Fire Brigades which, in the main, still use PMR. Police in country areas use mid-Band VHF (70 - 85 MHz).

I see the Bathurst section of the DB, conventionally speaking, is empty. Is that just a lack of anyone submitting data or is literally everything worth monitoring on the GRN?
Lack of anyone submitting data. You might find www.bathurstscan.com of some use, although it requires registration.

As for the race weekend, are there frequency lists for the V8s and any other support series on the weekend? Are they monitorable with a scanner (i.e. no non-standard digital or scrambling)?
Yes, and generally Yes.

Are there lists sold at the track or should I get my programming done before I get there?
The official site of V8 Supercars Australia - v8supercars.com.au usually post a list of each Team's frequencies.

I do have a couple non-radio questions too. Does anyone know if my mobile phone will work in your country? I have a blackberry with a voice/data plan with a major Canadian phone company (Rogers Wireless). When I visit the USA, the phone automatically signs on to one or more US phone companies with whom I presume Rogers has an agreement with. Any idea if the same is true in AU?
Probably best to ask your Provider if they have reciprocal agreements with any of the Australian providers (Optus, Telstra, Virgin, Vodaphone).

If not, does the concept of a "pay as you go" mobile that you just buy at a corner store and prepay for x number of minutes exist?
Pre-paid phones exist, although not quite in the 'buy at a corner store' context. The Australian Government is not in favour of 'throw-away' phones, so some 'identification process' is required, and I don't know how that goes for overseas visitors.

What about the proliferation of free or pay public wifi? Are there places I can stop and get on the net for an hour or two?
Most McDonalds Restaurants have free wifi (although I'm not too sure about 'an hour or two'), and there are Internet Cafes with wifi (at a cost).

--
Comint
 
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Jay911

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Bragg Creek, Alberta
Expect to find accommodation in the Bathurst (Mt Panorama) area to be virtually non-existent that weekend, and possibly the two weeks before hand.
Well, I intend to try to book as much of it ahead of time as possible. Hopefully us overseas fans get as much of a level chance at it as everyone else - I understand there's a website for registering for camping on the mountain that starts taking applications in March? :)

Maybe, maybe not. The GRN geographically only covers about a third of the State, and most of the development is going into the Sites on the Coastal Strip.
Gotcha, thanks.

Forestry fire crews usually only look after State Forests. Bushfires (what the Americans call Wildfires) are handled by Rural Fire Brigades which, in the main, still use PMR. Police in country areas use mid-Band VHF (70 - 85 MHz).
Duly noted. Evidently I have a bunch of downloading and programming to do - glad I'm asking this far ahead of time. :)

Probably best to ask your Provider if they have reciprocal agreements with any of the Australian providers (Optus, Telstra, Virgin, Vodaphone).

Pre-paid phones exist, although not quite in the 'buy at a corner store' context. The Australian Government is not in favour of 'throw-away' phones, so some 'identification process' is required, and I don't know how that goes for overseas visitors.

Most McDonalds Restaurants have free wifi (although I'm not too sure about 'an hour or two'), and there are Internet Cafes with wifi (at a cost).
Thanks for this! I did check with my provider after I posted, and it appears they have agreements with most of the major carriers. Looks like I'd get killed on the data if I turned it on, though - better make sure I switch it off beforehand. (Something like $0.03/kb vs the plan I have at home which gives me 6gb for $30/month)

Thanks again! :)
 

Comint

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Evidently I have a bunch of downloading and programming to do - glad I'm asking this far ahead of time. :)
Something to start with.
I'm sure someone else will jump in, and say which frequencies are currently used, and which are wishful thinking.

NSWGRN Frequencies - Mt Panorama Site. An awful lot of Channels for a quiet country town.

NSWFB and Forestry As the NSWFB is supposed to be on the NSWGRN in this area, I'm sure the NSWFB frequencies on this Site are just Link Freqs, and a POCSAG Pager frequency.

Race Frequencies

St John Ambulance and Rural Fire Service (RFS) frequencies. The Ambulance Service of New South Wales (ASNSW), which is supposed to be on the NSWGRN in this area, is the main EMS responder, but St Johns Ambulance (volunteers) work in conjunction with them, providing First Aid response.

(Something like $0.03/kb vs the plan I have at home which gives me 6gb for $30/month)
Yeah, I think we have the worse Rates in the World.

~~~~~~

A correction / addition to yesterdays post:-

The New South Wales Police use mid-Band VHF in country areas. The channels are between 78.1750 and 79.800 MHz. For the convenience of Metropolitan units visiting country areas, there is usually a UHF channel in the range 467.8375 to 469.4250 MHz (128 Channels). For the Race weekend, there is usually additional UHF freqs in use, some of which will be encrypted (P25 on conventional repeaters). So far, the NSW Police have managed to avoid the NSWGRN.

--
Comint
 

richardc63

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A Quiet Country Town?

Comint,

Have you ever been to Bathurst? Quiet country town indeed... it is one of the largest towns in NSW west of the Great Divide.

And your comments on the GRN are way off beam. The current NSW GRN extends west from Sydney right out through Dubbo, out to Cobar, across to Bourke & up to Lightning Ridge. Bathurst is in many ways smack in the middle of the GRN footprint, and the base site there (Mount Panorama plus adjacent sites at Mt Lambie and Mt Canobolas) are some very important sites. With the exception of the Police all other emergency services use GRN in Bathurst so start by listening to the Panorama GRN site as this accounts for most of the interesting stuff. During the race Fire, Ambulance & RFS use the ESO talkgroups fairly heavily.

Police ARE going to GRN in certain areas, but not in Bathurst YET.

Cheers,


Richard
 

Comint

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Have you ever been to Bathurst?
Yes. I have been to Bathurst, although not during Race times.

The comment I made, was in relation to the ACMA link which shows 40 channels for Mt Panorama, which seems 'over the top' for a town with a population of around 13,500 (even if it does swell to more than 30,000 at Race times). And yes, I do realise that obviously not all those channels are even installed on the Site, let alone 'in use', which is why I made the comment that "I'm sure someone else will jump in, and say which frequencies are currently used, and which are wishful thinking."

While Mt Canobolas (Orange - population 30,000+) and Mt Lambie (Lithgow - population 20,000+) only have 8 channels each. Even Dubbo (population 30,000+), with two Sites (Sappa Bulga and Buningyong Hill) only has 8 channels, or less, on each Site. So I stand by the comment I made, in the context it was written.

--
Comint
 
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richardc63

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Comint,

There aren't 40 channels at Mt Panorama- not even GPT has that many. What you might be seeing is other agencies channels licenced under Dept of Commerce (or now Dept of Services and so on...). That happens all the time- RFS, NSWFB, and SES often use channels licenced that way.

Don't trust Wiki for information on population- Bathurst's population is actually 26050, while the figure you used for Lithgow is NOT Lithgow but the City of Greater Lithgow that takes in outlying towns like Portland Wallerawang.

Richard
 

longreach

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for everyones info mt panorama only has 6 channels on its GRN site one of which is the control channel (416.125) and one backup (416.875) the other channels are 416.375,416.625, 417.125, 417.375.
it may have changed with the P25 expansion if its there yet?
cheers
Matt
 

NSWESP

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I am also hoping to head up to Mt Panorama next year with my scanners so could easily catch up and give some freqs to you. Sydney has alot of free WiFi, especially in the Apple store in the city. PM me if you want more details on the RFS and such freq wise.
 

double_arse

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Dec 20, 2009
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Sydney NSW
Hi guys & gals just new to this hobby i have a uniden 396t scanner im trying to find the talkgroup for the ambos rfs & fires can any one help
 

ausscan

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+ 1 Have a chat to Dave, he will sort you out. Also check in at AURFSCAN.com
 

vk4iy

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Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia
Hey all,

My employer requires me to finalize vacation plans in January for the full following calendar year. For the past few years, I've made it my habit to make it a "racing vacation" where i go to a racing series weekend someplace. For 2010 I've pretty much got my heart set on going to Mount Panorama in October, with a little bit of personal vacation time for a few weeks in September prior to that.

I see the question on whether or not scanners are allowed in AU/NSW has already been answered, and I presume most of what I would want to hear (mainly Fire/EMS, outside of the racing itself) is on the GRN network. Are there any other things worth listening to for someone like me, with a fire/ambulance/rescue background? Are forestry fire crews, for example, active that time of the year, and are they on some other system or group of frequencies?

I see the Bathurst section of the DB, conventionally speaking, is empty. Is that just a lack of anyone submitting data or is literally everything worth monitoring on the GRN?

As for the race weekend, are there frequency lists for the V8s and any other support series on the weekend? Are they monitorable with a scanner (i.e. no non-standard digital or scrambling)? Are there lists sold at the track or should I get my programming done before I get there?

I do have a couple non-radio questions too. Does anyone know if my mobile phone will work in your country? I have a blackberry with a voice/data plan with a major Canadian phone company (Rogers Wireless). When I visit the USA, the phone automatically signs on to one or more US phone companies with whom I presume Rogers has an agreement with. Any idea if the same is true in AU? If not, does the concept of a "pay as you go" mobile that you just buy at a corner store and prepay for x number of minutes exist?

What about the proliferation of free or pay public wifi? Are there places I can stop and get on the net for an hour or two?

Thanks in advance :D
The GRN is a motorola trunked network and easy to monitor. What sort of scanner do you have?
 

bassjunkie

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Bathurst is a great place mate, just don't let the impression you get from race weekend define how you view us - we're really not that rowdy ;)

I'll be at some pre-race events doing crowd management with the SES, and we'll be primary rescue for the weekend (police are usually tied up at mount)
 

Jay911

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Location
Bragg Creek, Alberta
I have confirmed all my plans. The trip is locked in! :D Lodging and camping on the mountain is set up, flights and car arranged.

Thanks for everyone's help with the questions I had before. I'm sure I'll be able to use it to help prepare.

Bathurst is a great place mate, just don't let the impression you get from race weekend define how you view us - we're really not that rowdy ;)
I've spent the last two years camping out at an American Le Mans Series race weekend in Ontario, Canada, where campers (despite the 11pm "quiet time" rule) were drunk and rowdy all night and doing things like launching fireworks across the track at other campers at night. I'm sure it's similar anywhere I'd go :)

I'll be at some pre-race events doing crowd management with the SES, and we'll be primary rescue for the weekend (police are usually tied up at mount)
Were you (or your team) involved with handling that tree at Forrest's Elbow during the 12-hour? I was watching that race on Ustream and that was a pretty crazy moment (and great job clearing it up quickly!).
 

bassjunkie

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I wasn't up there at the time - I was out of town that weekend, but we did attend - had council going at it from one end and us from the other. A few of our members got on international TV - that doesn't happen too often!
 
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