Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Close Call Hit - Penny Royal Launceston

Today while out and about driving on the bridge that links Riverside to the CBD, I got a Close Call hit on UHF CB Channel 1 (476.425MHz). This is very close to the Penny Royal complex, when the audio of "Can you open the gold mine" I knew this is what it was being used for, based on the information in the links below.

As this was logged on my UBC72XLT scanner, I don't know if a CTCSS tone is in use or not.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Christmas Scanning / New Aerial

Our Christmas was very nice, spending time with family and friends. Our two year old got spoilt by everybody and I for one ate way too much food...

I "officially" got my new scanner (Uniden UBC126AT) from my wife, which I have been using for the last few months and a few other gifts. I had this running in "Close Call Temporary Store" mode most of the day in the car while at our families and friends, it didn't log anything of note.

A couple of weeks ago I found my old UHF CB whip which is mounted on a 3M pole up the side of our garage. I had left it there when I had removed it about six months ago at the time that I moved my radios from the garage and in to the house. I had a bit of a look and found a spot I could mount the UHF CB whip and bracket on our BBQ areas roof, which backs on to the wall where my radio desk is inside. I spoke to my wife and agreed to this being mounted. Late this afternoon I had some spare time and the weather was not too hot so I spent an hour or so mounting this to the roof of the BBQ area and running the cable in to the house behind my radio desk. My quick test after installing it shows much improved signal levels compared to the standard aerial on my UBC126AT. Over the next few days I hope to have a chance to give this a good try, my hope being that I will be able to hear a couple of signals which are not quite receivable at the moment from my home.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Radio Magazines

A great run down on some radio related magazines, I used to read a number of these.

Close Calling LED Signs

Around six weeks ago, I was driving along Wellington Street in Launceston when I stopped at the traffic lights near the Westbury Road turn off. I had my Uniden UBC126AT scanner with me, running in close call mode.

I got a close call hit on 162.500MHz which is the repeater output frequency for Boral on Mt Arthur. This was "open carrier". I thought this was a little strange as I was over 22km from where this repeater is located (see the map below)

I thought it might have been a driver using this in simplex mode, but I have never heard them do this before. A couple of weeks later I was again driving in this area and again had a close call hit on this same frequency, 162.500MHz. This I found very strange. 

Last week I was driving past Queechy High School when I again got a close call hit on 162.500MHz, this really puzzled me. I parked my car and got out, by following the signal strength I was able to locate the source of the signal to this LED sign.

On my drive home I drove along Wellington Street and got another close call hit on this frequency, looking around I spotted this sign.

It seems that these LED signs radiate a open carrier signal on 162.500MHz. Range is up to 25 metres.

Funny Scanner Logging - Redline Coaches

On Saturday I was having a bit of a scan around the bands, Redline Coaches on 163.050MHz became active.

A driver asked for base to have a roll of duct tape ready when he arrived at the depot to fix the front of his bus. He would not say over the air what had happened.  A few drivers gave him a bit of a ribbing over the air about it.

Friday, 16 December 2016

CBD Close Call Hits - 16/12/2016

Today my wife and I went in to the city to do our Christmas shopping. I took along my backpack and in this I had my Uniden UBC126AT radio scanner running in "Close Call Temporary Store Mode". This logs any close call hits in to a special 10 channel memory bank as they are found, this allows them to be reviewed later (but before the power is turned off as this special 10 channel memory bank is cleared when the power is turned off). This mode is very useful for "up close" monitoring when you don't want to have your radio scanner on show, have it running in your bag or on your belt and check the results later on.

Logged hits for the Launceston CBD in the four hours were:
146.400MHz - VK7RAA 2 Metre Repeater. Input frequency.
158.450MHz - Redline Buses (CTCSS tone logged). Input frequency for 163.050MHz on Abels Hill.
411.1875MHz - Tasmania Fire Service UHF handheld (CTCSS tone logged). Launceston 1.2?
412.3625MHz - Tasmania Fire Service UHF handheld (CTCSS tone logged). Rocherlea 1.1
474.375MHz - Launceston City Council (CTCSS tone logged). Parking Services
476.800MHz - UHF CB Channel 16. Best and Less staff. I heard this one alert me, so I sat outside the store and had a quick listen to confirm the usage of it.

Overall I was more than impressed with how well this mode worked. I can see myself making more use of this in the future.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Radio Scanning Desk - December 2016

For the last couple of years, my radio scanning has mostly been focused on portable operation. I have recently been able to setup a desk at home which I am now using for radio scanning. I have a small netbook which runs the Scan125 Control Program which I used for remote control / logging of my UBC126AT scanner. I often set this up for logging while I am busy doing other things or out, I can then return later and review these loggings which I use to help confirm active frequencies.

Below are some photos of my set up. From left to right we have.
- Uniden UH-042XR handheld UHF CB. I use this for scanning our UHF CB band and also while on road trips.
- HP 10" netbook. This is used for logging, research and frequency management / programming.
- Uniden UBC126AT. This is my main scanner and when I am not using out of the house, it lives here connected to my netbook for logging active frequencies.
- Uniden UBC72XLT. This is my backup scanner which is mostly used for monitoring some of my more active frequencies and also in close call mode.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Launceston Tip Radio Usage

Today I took two loads of rubbish to the Launceston Refuse Centre (tip). I had my Uniden UBC126AT with me in close call auto store mode. I knew from a previous visit that they use UHF CB channel 18 for day to day operations.

While waiting in line to be weighed before entering, I got my first close call hit on UHF CB channel 18 (476.8500MHz), this was a staff member asking a front end loader driver to compact down some waste in one of the bins. 

When I was directed to one of the bins to unload, I left UBC126AT in the car, when I returned to exit I got a hit on 80.8125MHz which is the repeater input for 78.3125MHz, this is the main Launceston City Council frequency for the city area, this is located on Freelands Lookout. This was asking for the gate to be opened.

As I drove closer to the entry / exit point I noticed three aerials on the roof (see photos below):
One is a VHF mid-band aerial which is for 78.3125MHz
One is a UHF aerial, this would be for UHF CB channel 18.
The middle aerial looks to be a VHF / UHF TV aerial, this is pointing towards the Broadcast Site Juliana St West Launceston.

The use of the VHF mid-band frequency is not something I was aware of and I will update my notes to reflect this.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Holiday Scanning - East Coast and Hobart

We have just returned from a bit of a family holiday, down the East Coast and in Hobart. While this was a family holiday and this was my focus, I did manage to fit in some scanning time.

St Helens: I logged the following frequencies in use, this was a mix of searching the bands plus the use of close call.
79.4625MHz - Forestry Tasmania
79.500MHz - Forestry Tasmania
79.650MHz - Tasmania Fire Service
123.8MHz - Air Traffic Control 
129.5MHz - QANTAS
130.125MHz - Jetstar
130.225MHz - Jetstar
130.350MHz - Virgin
156.425MHz - MARINE
156.6MHz - MARINE
156.8MHz - MARINE
Various UHF CB channels, a few of these were logged via the Close Call auto store mode.

Hobart: This has a bit more variety of frequencies and I made good use of the Close Call auto store mode which I left running while we were doing various things including in the car as we were driving around.
78.4125MHz - Ambulance
78.9125MHz - Ambulance
79.0375MHz - Tasmania Fire Service
118.1MHz - Hobart Tower
123.8MHz - Air Traffic Control 
125.55MHz - Air Traffic Control
129.5MHz - QANTAS
130.125MHz - Jetstar
130.225MHz - Jetstar
130.350MHz - Virgin
162.6MHz - TASRAIL
163.925MHz - REDLINE Buses
165.15MHz - O'Driscol Coaches
464.175MHz - Metro Buses
Various UHF CB channels, a few of these were logged via the Close Call auto store mode, being used for traffic control at road works sites.
I also logged a few frequencies in the 466/467MHz band with constant data, I suspect these are being used at Risdon Prison, one was found via Close Call when driving past.

Loggings on 469.7MHz

I have recently been hearing some signals on 469.7MHz in the Launceston area. This is a "rental" frequency which is licensed to many different users. We used this frequency for our radio fox hunts a few years ago.

Signals have been logged at various times of the day in the Launceston CBD area, Summerhill and Mowbray. The contents of the signal makes me suspect this might be used for NBN rollout work or something along those lines with talk about cable lengths, tools required and most recently, some talk about back fill needs and when sections will be done. Another frequency worth keeping an ear out for.