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3King

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I have been scanning through a few DOT frequencies in my county, Cowlitz County and this last snow storm we had I heard a lot of traffic on Clark County 854.3375 and South West Radio 858.2125 and a little on 856.2125. My first question is, does anyone know who dispatches for the dot detachment out of Kelso on those channels? And also those frequencies have what sounds like an open squelch on every channel. I have my squelch set properly,it doesn't sound like that on any of my other local agencies,does any one have a possible idea for why those channels/frequencies may be like that? I have been around scanners for a few years and these are the only ones that have this in my local area.
 

icom1020

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It is a LTR multi-net system which is obscure enough for scanner manufacturers to not develop this into anything that is traditional in trunking. The open noise you hear is the 'status' channel, similar to a control channel. The others are voice, lockout the status channels and scan the voice channels. However, you will need to go back to the locked-out status channels to still monitor some of the traffic. Southwest region is dispatched out of Vancouver.
 

code3kid

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I believe DOT is dispatched from it's respective region HQ. For example I live in Wenatchee and Wenatchee is the headquarters for the North Central region and is where the communication center is located. Therefore if you're in Cowlitz county, you're in the southwest DOT region which should be dispatched by Vancouver HQ. DOT is currently running on an old school EF Johnson LTR MultiNet system. There are no scanners that are capable of trunk tracking individual talkgroup. But you can monitor voice traffic on the "status channels" and "voice channels" those channels that sound like open squelch are "status channels" which are basically the "control channels" like you would find on another trunked system. Unlike other trunked systems, the majority of traffic is carried on the "status channel" aka "control channel" basically when voice traffic is carried on the usual "status channel" the "control channel" function of the "status channel" (sub audible data that sounds like open squelch) is moved to the next highest channel (voice channel) at the site for the duration on the traffic, in order to control other radios and handle voice traffic on other talkgroups, then reverts back to the primary "status channel" after traffic has ceased.

The pain in the *** about monitoring MultiNet systems is that you have to be dedicated to listening to it on any particular radio, due to the fact that the "status channel" is constantly transmitting and where you're going to hear the vast majority of traffic.
 

3King

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Thank for the replies guys. I just had to give myself a quick slap on the noggin I completely forgot about the status channel and voice channel stuff haha. I was aware that they r an LTR multinet system. I was scan searching with my PSR 500, I feel stupid for forgetting about that ha.
 
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Another Possibility

Some time back I noted that several VHF frequencies were being licensed by WSDOT not as mobile (typically HH Flagging, etc) but as bases. These have been used for years in mountain passes as a way for WSP to monitor (talk to?) WSDOT. We have a great guy who posts the licenses weekly on one of the yahoo groups.
I put all of these into my mobile scanner and low and behold got traffic out of the Columbia River Gorge on one of them. They were clearly talking road conditions and so forth. A few days ago they were taking a couple good sized chainsaws to cut up downed trees on SR14. You might want to look up licenses in your area to Washington, State of; State of Washington; Washington State Dept. of Transportation; etc and put them into a radio. Scan them all for traffic (although some might be as I found other licensees, such as Oregon) and you can hear WSDOT traffic without dealing with the problems of the trunk.
 
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