UCAN Road Trip Reports

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bchris

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I have taken a few road trips this year to look for new (new to me) UCAN sites and to verify others. On the later trips I had a decent homemade yagi antenna so I could determine the signal directions to some extent. On all trips I used my BR330 radio. While on each trip I would gather Control Channel Frequencies and corresponding site #'s, signal strength from various locations, and sometimes the direction. I did not attempt to gather any voice frequencies. When I got home I looked up every CC frequency in the FCC database, compared with my signal strengths and locations, and determined most of the sites. In most cases it just verified what I already knew. In almost every case it was info that you guys already knew.

Trip 1 was in Febuary. I drove East on Hwy6 from Spanish Fork toward Price. I stopped at the Thistle turnoff. Teat Peak was loud and clear. I expected to get at least something from Mt Baldy, towards Indianola, but didn't. I continued toward Price until I got a good signal from Ford Ridge. I turned North to Duchesne, then West to Heber, then South down Provo Canyon, and home. At first I stopped fairly often, but toward the end it was getting late and my wife was getting pretty impatient with me. I was able to verify quite a few Control Channels and/or sites on this trip.

Trip 2 in March. I went to St. George on I-15 twice in March.

Trip 3 in March. I went West on Hwy6 from Santaquin to Eureka. Then NW to Vernon. West-ish on a gravel road over Lookout Pass and to Dugway. Now on a paved road, North through the Indian reservation to Delle. East to Grantsville, then past the SW side of the Army Depot. It was late and dark and I was trying to hurry home, so I missed the turn to Lehi and ended up back in Vernon, so I just went back through Eureka and home. Oh well, I think I made better time that way anyhow.

Trip 4a in March. I found a high point on the North end of West Mtn, just above Lincoln Beach on Utah Lake. I scanned every direction to try out my 'new' directional antenna.

Trip 4b in April. My boy had a soccer game in Highland, so 'while they were warming up' I drove up to the top of Traverse Mtn and scanned all directions. As most of you could guess, I ended up missing most of the game. I can't say if it was worth it, but I did have a great time.

Trip 5 in April. This time I was alone, so I took my time and drove 250 miles in only 10 hours. From Provo to Vivian Park, just below Sundance. I could see the Sundance tower(s) in my binoculars, but the only CC frequency was the same one used for the Heber/Park City SIMO. Continued up Provo Canyon to Wallsburg and Heber. North to Jordanelle, then Park City. I-80 to Echo Reservoir. West to Morgan, then Ogden. I went South, on the East side of Hill AFB, to Farmington. Then South on I-15 back home.

Trip 6 in May. Spanish Fork Canyon to Thistle. South to Indianola, Mt. Pleasant, Manti, and Gunnison. Then North to Levan and Nephi. North on I-15 to Home.

Trip 7a last Sunday. Had to pick up my wife @ airport, so I went an hour early. I hoped from West of the airport I could shoot North across the lake and pick up Cal Mtn and Snowville, but no luck. I thought I had found a new site, but it's ID was #1 and you guys already knew that it was Weber SIMO's backup CC.

Here are some of my observations. Most of my data agrees w/ the Database, so I guess I will just mention those of particular interest.

#1-Weber: Was using the backup CC a few days ago. I have never actually seen a backup CC used until now, so I have not even been programming them anymore. How common is this?

#6-Promontory: From my house on the bench in South Utah County, I must be at just the right angle past Point of the Mtn and Antelope Island, but I can actually Rx this signal enough to read the site # ! (I have also verified from multiple other locations.)

#12-Medicine Butte: Signal Strength of 2 bars w/ high gain antenna @ Park City & again @ Echo Res. I thought it must be mis-reading a weak Nelson Peak signal as site #12, until I looked at the FCC records, and then confirmed it on this web site. It's still hard to believe that I could read it that far away over the mountains w/o line of sight.

#41-Humpy Peak: Same comment as #12, except readings were @ Jordanelle & again @ Echo Res.

#17?-Sundance: The only Control Channel active on this site was #24, Heber/Park City SIMO. I was line of sight about a mile away. There is no doubt that the ID was #24, not #17. I never read an ID#17. Maybe a different story after rebanding..?

#23?-Quarry Mtn: Again, I did Rx a CC on 866.9375 pretty much all the way from Provo to Echo Res, but the ID was always #24. According to my map, GPS, and directional antenna, I did Rx a strong signal from the Quarry Mtn area, but it read #24, not #23. I never read an ID#23.

#23?-St. George: I checked from quite a few locations, and I never got a UCAN signal from the St. George area in March. Now I see the FCC DB has recently added a site in the area for UCAN, so I am anxiuos to try again soon.

#24-Summit County?: The DB shows #24 as Summit County on 867.9375. I have read 5 bars signal strength for site #24 on 866.9375 at numerous locations from Lincoln Beach to Wanship. I am not aware of anything on 867.9375. I am not sure if I am confused on the name as well. #24 seems to have good coverage in at least 3 counties that I know of, with Heber being more in the center of the area.

#27-Wasatch?: I did Rx site #27 on 868.9125. It was zero bars near Strawberry, peaked at 5 bars while in Daniels Canyon, then dropped back down to 3 bars or less everywhere in Heber Valley. When I checked the FCC DB, it shows a UCAN site for this freq in Daniels Canyon that I was not previously aware of. My vote is to name it UCAN#27, Daniels Canyon, CC 868.9125.

#29-Vernon Hills: I parked North of Vernon, very near the Vernon Hills site. I got Zip. I scanned several times, and drove past again several hours later. There was absolutely no Control Channel coming from Vernon Hills in the range of 850-870Mhz when I was in that area, nor have I ever detected any hint of one at any other time.

#32-Wendover Peak: I did Rx a weak signal from 2 locations for site#32 on 868.8125 on one of my trips. This is the same freq used by the Strawberry Peak CC, so I was a little surprised when it said site #32, not #21. I was hoping to get something from Ibapah while I was in this area, but I never did. And believe me, I looked hard because I can't imagine driving clear out to Ibapah just to verify one site. I was told that there isn't even a paved road all the way to the town of Ibapah, let alone near the radio tower. Any volunteers?

#33-Levan Peak: My data agrees perfectly with this DB and I have confirmed from many locations, but the CC freq of 867.4375 is not listed for that site in the FCC database. Whatup?

#34-Manti: I read site #34 from Barton Peak on 868.7750. FCC shows Barton Peak for this freq, which is indeed West of Manti, but this DB is confusing due to the name used for site #35. My vote is UCAN#34, Barton Peak, CC 868.7750.

#35-Barton Peak: Very similar situation as above. I read site #35 from Gunnison Prison on 868.7250. FCC shows Gunnison Prison for this freq, which is SOUTH-WEST of Barton Peak and on the NORTH end of Gunnison. My vote is UCAN#35, Gunnison, CC 868.7250.

FCC lists a pretty new UCAN license for Mt Baldy, near Inianola. I parked a few miles from the site, probably line of sight but the air was so dirty that day that I couldnt actually see it. There was absolutely no signal there. I guess it is not active yet. You would think they would hold off any new sites at this point until after rebanding. I guess you could say the same for the new St. George site.

FCC also shows sites in AF Canyon and Hobble Creek Canyon. I would have thought that somewhere in my travels I would have heard them, but I have not. Junior1970 mentioned that you need to be 1/3 mile into the canyon for AF, so maybe its the same for Hobble Creek. I will drive up there one day and check.

FCC also shows sites for Snowville, Powder Mtn, and Tabby Mtn. I have never heard them, nor have I seen any mention of them on this forum. Does anybody know anything about them?

Thats all I have for now. Sorry about the long post. I guess I've been saving it all up for a while. BTW, I really enjoyed all of these trips, especially the one to the North. It was a beautiful drive and I didn't worry about having to entertain anyone along the way. My friends and family are convinced I am insane. Am I in the right forum for this condition?
Mr. Heaton - I would welcome and encourage verification before changing anything in the DB. Let me know if you have any questions.
 

qlajlu

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WOW!

I am impressed! Oh, yes, you are in the right forum for this and we all wear little tin hats on occasion so you are going to fit in here very well. :D

That is a lot of information and it is going to take a little time to digest it.

Yep, theaton is the right one to ask some of these question of. In fact, he mentioned he was on a road trip this month, too, so we may not hear from him for a while so don't think you are being ignored.

Thanks, bchris! That was great.
 

Utah_Viper

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North Muskegon, MI
Well now, that's a detailed report!!

Welcome back to the forums. We really need as much help in Utah county as possible. That is a area we have only a few members so far. Will be good to start getting all that area squared away.
 

theaton

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Sorry I've been on the road for a few days. Great list, bchris. Thanks for confirming so many sites. It looks like the two corrections involve adding another cc for St. George (which I did) and that you heard an alternate cc being used as the cc on Levan Peak. So for St. George and Levan we need to determine which cc is used the most. That can be hard to tell from brief road trips. Keep up the good work!

-Tim
 

bchris

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Call Signs

I wanted to add some call sign references to my original post, but I cant see how to edit a previous post. Can someone help? Also, I am a real newbie to forums. How do you guys create those call sign links in blue? If its a big deal to explain, dont worry about it.
 

qlajlu

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bchris said:
I wanted to add some call sign references to my original post, but I cant see how to edit a previous post. Can someone help? Also, I am a real newbie to forums. How do you guys create those call sign links in blue? If its a big deal to explain, dont worry about it.
bchris, go to this page and you will find a list of all the vB codes, with examples, that we are allowed to use for doing things such as you are asking about. It is several pages long. When I first became involved in forums I printed this entire section and I still keep it next to my computer for reference.

Print this page, too. It has the codes that allow you to put "smilies" inside your posts. :lol:

To answer your question about editing your posts, they can be edited at anytime by you, but after 24 hours (I think) they cannot be accessed by anyone except a Forum Admin. loumaag is the Forum Admin for our particular forum. Forum Admins may be responsible for two or three State Forums on RR.com. A Forum Admin is not to be confused with a Db Admin such as theaton. Db Admins only do entries and corrections to the Database, not the Forum.

One word of warning: When you start a new thread and you give it a title, once you click the "Submit" button you CANNOT edit the title. Only a Forum Admin can edit a title line for a thread after the initial submission. This one has caught a couple of us off guard before. :roll:

On the left side of the second blue bar at the top of the page is a link button to FAQs. You should click on it when you have time and read through that stuff.

You can Private Message (PM) different members, too.
 
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theaton

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bchris said:
#33-Levan Peak: My data agrees perfectly with this DB and I have confirmed from many locations, but the CC freq of 867.4375 is not listed for that site in the FCC database. Whatup?
Well blow me down... I was working on my log for my March trip through southern Utah and I also logged 867.4375 as the CC for Levan. So with two witnesses I switched the Ctrl & Alt channels.

Are there any other comments on bchris' excellent list? I'll look into making some of the changes he suggested.

I was also suprised to log several new UHF sheriff repeaters in Fillmore and Beaver Counties during my trip. I guess UCAN isn't catching on everywhere.

In a week I'll be headed to Moab and look forward to more scanning there.

-Tim
 

enosjones

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bchris said:
#33-Levan Peak: My data agrees perfectly with this DB and I have confirmed from many locations, but the CC freq of 867.4375 is not listed for that site in the FCC database. Whatup?

#34-Manti: I read site #34 from Barton Peak on 868.7750. FCC shows Barton Peak for this freq, which is indeed West of Manti, but this DB is confusing due to the name used for site #35. My vote is UCAN#34, Barton Peak, CC 868.7750.

#35-Barton Peak: Very similar situation as above. I read site #35 from Gunnison Prison on 868.7250. FCC shows Gunnison Prison for this freq, which is SOUTH-WEST of Barton Peak and on the NORTH end of Gunnison. My vote is UCAN#35, Gunnison, CC 868.7250.
When i would head down that way it would only be for a couple of hours or so and maybe 1 day out of the week and not back to back. The "Manti" Site was unnamed because I didn't know to where the signal was coming from other than what the scanner was telling me site #'s and the CC's i dont recall hitting that control channel but its good someone else was able to find it.
 

enosjones

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theaton said:
In a week I'll be headed to Moab and look forward to more scanning there.

-Tim
I was on Cedar Mountain a couple of weeks ago and picked up repeater sites all the way to Abajo and Monticello area Including some off of Bald Mesa and Moab. I also picked up a strange type of CC on the 859.525-859.5375 area, but the scanner couldn't decode the site info or keep ahold of the CC it would disappear the re-appear again. I also was able to pick up the Colorado system and picked up the WACN info But i'm unsure on exactly what it is for sure but I think it was BEE07? and the CC at the time was 853.500.
 

bchris

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Thanks, enosjones.

Thank You, enosjones, for helping to build the foundation of information on which I could plan a successful road trip. Before I left home I knew what to look for, where to look, and what I expected to find. The first guy through the jungle didnt build the paved road, that came later on. Nonetheless, it took alot of hard work from the first guy(s) just to get things started. I would also like to thank theaton, glajlu, gldavis, bneilson, Utah_Viper, gadgetmikey, and I am sure many others who I do not even know of yet for all of their time and contributions to this site. Thanks Again.
 

theaton

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UCAN site updates and Quarry Mtn

I renamed the two Sanpete County sites according to the suggestion of bchris and enosjones. The FCC lists sites 34 and 35 both on Barton Peak, which always confused me. This is where an on-the-ground test is good! I also changed site 27 from Wasatch to Daniels Canyon as suggested by bchris and updated the location. The FCC also lists a 800 MHz conventional repeater at that site.

Bchris re-raised the problem of the Summit County sites. This has been discussed in several previous threads by KT7L, gldavis, Rolfman, and others, but we never resolved it. It sounds like site 23, currently listed as Quarry Mtn, no longer exists (that number now being used for St. George). I didn't know that Sundance (site 17)was a problem.

Shall I delete the Quarry Mtn site from the DB?

Are there any other adjustments that need to be made in the Summit-Wasatch County area?

-Tim
 

theaton

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Echo Canyon and Park City

I just drove down Echo Canyon into SLC and monitored the UCAN sites along the say. I heard Medicine Butte, Humpy Peak, Echo Peak, Quarry Mtn, and Parley's Canyon.

I heard several voice frequencies being used that were licensed for the sites but not listed, so I added them. All these repeaters (except Humpy Mtn) are needed to cover the bulk of I-80 between Evanston and SLC, but there were still a few blind spots.

Like several of you before, I confirmed that Quarry Mtn is site 24 using a control channel of 866.9375, so I changed the site number from 23 to 24 in the DB. I left the old Hickey Mtn and Summit County sites in the DB with question marks even though I heard nothing of them. If there are no objections I will delete them.

I'm only in SLC today then heading to Lake Powell area for a backpacking trip, then to Moab for a conference my wife is attending. I hope to get together with Enos Jones for a scanning adventure later next week.

-Tim
 

gadgetmikey

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Tim

As I understand it they took these four sites and made a Simulcast system out of them.

Sundance-Jordanelle-Wasatch Justice-Quarry
 

bchris

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Wasatch Simulcast

gadgetmikey said:
As I understand it they took these four sites and made a Simulcast system out of them.

Sundance-Jordanelle-Wasatch Justice-Quarry
Tim

This seems to be exactly what I saw as well. However, after review of the FCC licenses for these sites, I am not sure I would delete anything right now because I don't know if these will be simulcast when all the rebanding dust settles. Here is why I say that, and I DO want to know what you think....

It looks to me like UCAN has licensed separate 'sets' of freqs (regular-10year terms) for 3 of these 4 sites, and they all include both old and new band plan freqs. (Sundance WQED641 & WPQJ470), (Heber WQED624 & WPSH609), (Quarry WQED622 & WPRH433), (none for Jordanelle). Then they added 2 new band plan freqs for all 4 sites on 1 call sign (WQGQ812), and then a 'Special Temporary' 4-month permit for a common set of freqs on all 4 sites (WQHJ319).

I CAN imagine them getting all the separate licenses and then changing their mind and going simulcast, but then why get only 2 freqs on one call sign for 10 years, then all the other freqs on a separate license for only 4 months? I guess maybe since the temporary permit includes both old and new band plans, the FCC doesnt want it to be valid for too long. If that is the case I expect a new license to be issued prior to 8/11/08 that includes only new freqs and covers all 4 sites. On the other hand, there are already a bunch of licenses that include old and new band plans together and last for 10 years. Bottom line for me is that I just dont know what to expect. What does everyone think?

If it does stay simulcast (and for the time being), perhaps it should be named Wasatch Simu since there are other 'main' sites covering the Summit area, such as Summit Justice and Lewis Peak, which are obviously not part of the simulcast group we are talking about. The 4 sites in this group seem to surround the Heber or Wasatch area quite nicely, except that in my opinion trading Sundance for Strawberry Peak would make it an even better fit for that area.
 

Junior1970

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bchris said:
If it does stay simulcast (and for the time being), perhaps it should be named Wasatch Simu since there are other 'main' sites covering the Summit area, such as Summit Justice and Lewis Peak, which are obviously not part of the simulcast group we are talking about. The 4 sites in this group seem to surround the Heber or Wasatch area quite nicely, except that in my opinion trading Sundance for Strawberry Peak would make it an even better fit for that area.
It IS already called "Wasatch Simo." Visit www.ucan800.org and read the meeting minutes from last year regarding this upgrade. I don't think UCAN spent this much time and money hooking up equipment and upgrading site controllers on those sites just to do a temporary thing and unsimulast when rebanding arrives. Other than some minor changes the only thing that's going to change is the freqs in the 866-868 range will go down 15Mhz.
I have picked up the control channel past the Oldstead Dam at the mouth of Provo Canyon, all the way to Heber, East on US 40 past Jordanelle and West on I-80 to just past Parleys Summit over on the Salt Lake County side and it's strong the whole way. From my understanding there was some major coverage issues in the Summit/Wasatch county region that warranted the Simocast.
 

theaton

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Ucan

Thanks bchris and Junior1970 for the information and comments. It sounds like we need to update the DB to properly reflect the simo site(s). I take it that the simo goes by a single site number (24) and that it uses one control frequency at a time throughout? (I've never quite understood how multiple sites can use the same frequencies without some kind of interference or distortion.) The other question is what voice frequencies are used for the simo. I'm still in Moab having fun, so I'll look into this more when I get home.

Enos Jones and I got together Thursday and made a trip from Price to Duchesne and stopped on a couple hilltops to scan for frequencies. We didn't find any evidence of additional UCAN sites in the Uinta Basin area, but we heard Ford Ridge, Teat Peak, and Currant Creek in various places. We picked up lots of conventional frequencies.

-Tim
 
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