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Messages - R4002

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Peskies / Portuguese Chatter 6750 kHz LSB 2255 UTC 27 Jan 2020
« on: January 27, 2020, 2258 UTC »
Hearing some Portuguese OMs yakking away on 6750 kHz, LSB mode.  Several other 6.6 MHz and 6.7 MHz frequencies are active (looking at the waterfall on the Westminster, MD KiwiSDR). 

6727.6 kHz USB is also active right now (2257 UTC) with Spanish language.  Might be closer to 6727.7 kHz USB.  Typical freebander type QSO

10/11 meters / Re: 11 meter private comms?
« on: January 26, 2020, 1706 UTC »
Lots of the newer-generation Chinese 11m rigs come with CTCSS standard.  As mentioned, it provides zero actual privacy. 

Your best bets are using a voice inversion scrambler (as mentioned), or using digital voice on 11m (26-28 MHz), VHF low band (30-50 MHz, but be careful what frequency you use in low band) or 66-88 MHz.  I would caution against using certain bands within 66-88 MHz.  Your best bets are probably 72-73 MHz and 74-74.9 MHz.  Avoid 74.9 MHz - 75.1 MHz. 

On 11 meters you could use AM or FM voice on the zeros.  11 meter export rigs default to 10 kHz steps (26.775 MHz, 26.785 MHz, 26.795 MHz, 27.455 MHz, 27.465 MHz, etc.) - going -5 kHz to the 26.770 MHz, 27.500 MHz, 27.650 MHz, etc. frequencies would reduce casual interception.    I would avoid the popular 11m frequencies 26.285 MHz 26.555 MHz, 26.565 MHz, 26.585 MHz, 26.715 MHz, 26.725 MHz, 26.735 MHz, 26.775 MHz, 26.905 MHz, 26.915 MHz, 27.425 MHz, 27.475 MHz, 27.555 MHz and 27.635 MHz. 

It is important to remember that 27.430 MHz, 27.450 MHz, 27.470 MHz and 27.490 MHz are actually land mobile FM business frequencies.  There are only a few businesses who still use those channels, but they are out there.  Most of them do use CTCSS/PL tones.   29.710 MHz, 29.730 MHz, 29.750 MHz, 29.770 MHz and 29.790 MHz are also allocated as business frequencies, and they are used in some areas. 

As far as VHF low band goes, avoid the military/government only bands.  The VHF business bands are relatively safe, but do a search for local licenses on your prospective frequency.  The standard channel steps are 20 kHz (30.56 MHz, 30.58 MHz, 30.60 MHz, etc.) The business bands are:

30.560 MHz - 31.980 MHz
33.100 MHz - 33.400 MHz
35.020 MHz - 35.980 MHz
37.440 MHz - 37.880 MHz
42.960 MHz - 44.600 MHz
47.440 MHz - 49.580 MHz

Your safest bets are the itinerant frequencies and the 49 MHz Part 15 frequencies, which are allocated for users to use anywhere in the USA (as opposed to most licenses, which only authorize use of a specific frequency within a specific area). 

The low band VHF itinerants are:

27.490 MHz
35.040 MHz
43.040 MHz

The frequencies in-between are used by public safety and military/government users.  The military technically may use any frequency between 30.000 and 87.975 MHz.   

The following bands are military/government only:

30.000 MHz - 30.550 MHz
32.000 MHz - 33.000 MHz
34.000 MHz - 35.000 MHz
36.000 MHz - 37.000 MHz
38.000 MHz - 39.000 MHz
40.000 MHz - 42.000 MHz
46.600 MHz - 47.000 MHz
49.600 MHz - 50.000 MHz

The 49.82 MHz to 49.98 MHz band is also used by Part 15 devices and is also a great place to "hide" with high power low band radios.  The standard channels are:

49.830 MHz
49.845 MHz
49.860 MHz
49.875 MHz
49.890 MHz

The 49 MHz frequencies are largely abandoned for baby monitors/cordless phones/wireless intercoms in favor of the 1.9 MHz DECT band and the 900 MHz/2.4 GHz/5.0 GHz/5.8 GHz bands.    There are some holdouts, however. 

If you go the low band route, I recommend programming those five 49 MHz channels in, if only for short-range comms.  There are preppers who include the 49 MHz channels in their handheld low band radios for short-range portable to portable communications.  I have a set of Maxon PC-50 Part 15 portable radios that operate on the 49 MHz channels for very short range communications.  There are situations where extra range is a bigger liability than advantage.  Think "low probability of intercept".  Same goes for the 100mw CB handhelds.   

If you want to go the legit route, consider getting a Part 90 Land Mobile (Business Radio) license for one/several of the 27 MHz/29 MHz business frequencies and/or VHF low band business frequencies.  VHF low band use is few and far between in many parts of the country and clear frequencies are often easy to find.   There are militia groups that have gone this route. 

Regardless of what you decide to do - do extensive monitoring of any prospective frequency.   This includes 11 meter frequencies, low band and yes, the 66-88 MHz VHF mid band.   

Considering the sheer number of people with radios (Motorola FRS gear and Baofengs for everyone), there was little to intentional jamming or QRM noted. 

The radio nets were pretty straightforward for the most part...which is actually reassuring.  Keep it simple.  Virginia is pretty heavily armed in general.  I’m part of that “unorganized militia” as well.  Radio gear cached with ammo and medical supplies.

On another note, there were a LOT of CB antennas to be seen on the various militia trucks too.  I did a very small amount of listening on 11m and only heard locals chatting away on their usual channels.  I imagine that at least a fair amount of the CB gear is at least capable of operating above/below the legal 40 CB channels.

Virginia House Radio continues going strong as of this morning. 

Logged yesterday and a couple days before that as well.  I've noticed that, in the morning when there's propagation enhancement - there's QRM from two distant stations on the same 107.7 MHz FM frequency.  The main one seemed to be the WTOP (WTOP-FM 103.5 FM) simulcast transmitter WWWT-FM 107.7 FM doing 29 kW ERP 646 feet HAAT out of Manassas, VA.  WWWT-FM is 86 miles straight line distance from downtown Richmond.   

WWWT-FM seems to mix in with WMOV-FM 107.7 FM out of Norfolk, VA (15 kW ERP 427 feet HAAT).  WMOV is 80 miles straight line distance from Richmond. 

The 107.7 MHz FM frequency is also bracketed by two equally busy FM frequencies, 107.9 MHz and 107.5 MHz.  I often hear multiple stations on both frequencies, with WBQK on 107.9 MHz often being the winner for that frequency.   

There was a translator station for WLES-AM on 107.9 MHz - W300DK doing only 45w ERP - but that translator has since gone quiet, WLES apparently then switched a different translator on 97.7 MHz - W249CI out of Belwood, VA (doing 240w ERP). 

The Richmond metro FM band is now full of these translators and repeaters...some of them repeating local AM stations (for example, WRVA 1140 kHz AM - the city's powerhouse 50kW AM station - is also repeated on 96.1 MHz FM with W241AP (145w ERP 837 feet HAAT) even though WRVA's AM signal is strong enough to be heard under a bridge with poor local noise conditions.    WXGI on 950 kHz AM - one of the city's two local AM sports talk stations has no less than three translators - WTPS-AM in Petersburg on 1240 kHz, W258DC in Richmond on 95.5 MHz and W274PX on 102.7 MHz in Petersburg. 

WRNL on 910 AM, the other local AM sports station, now also has a Richmond-based FM translator (on 105.1 MHz). 

It seems like 107.7 was basically Virginia House Radio's only option when it came to even sort of clear frequencies. 

They're certainly using it though. 

VHF/UHF Logs, including satellites and radiosondes / Re: UHF mil air
« on: January 24, 2020, 1355 UTC »
One of these days I am finally going to hear some UHF mil air traffic...  ;D

With your discone it shouldn't be too much of a problem.  :D

Also: any VHF low band/mid band FM mil air traffic and VHF AM mil air (including the 137-144 MHz and 148-150.775 MHz band).  142.125 MHz AM, 49.725 MHz FM and several others are in use in my area by the Virginia Air National Guard - I know there's heavy UHF air band activity the closer you get to Norfolk, etc. 

I feel like you should be able to hear the D.C. area comms, at least some of them from higher-altitude aircraft. 

FRS/GMRS is quite useful.  It's nice to have a GMRS license (I have one as well) to transmit higher power on the simplex freqs or use repeaters if needbe.  Sometimes UHF is better than VHF (read: MURS) for portable-to-portable communications. 

January 20th, 2020 Lobby Day downtown Richmond Virginia.  Thousands of militia users arrived.  Did some monitoring of their various radio nets (or "nets" - some were a lot more professional/military-sounding than others.  Also including some public safety radio traffic heard.

The vast majority of traffic was heard on the MURS channels and the FRS/GMRS frequencies.  Many nets appeared to be carrier squelch, with different users transmitting various PL (CTCSS) tones but leaving their radios in carrier squelch or open receive mode.  Lots of actual FRS radios were heard, in addition to folks obviously using Baofeng UV-5R, UV-82 and similar radios on the MURS, FRS and VHF/UHF business band frequencies.  The Baofeng radios have a distinctive "roger beep" that many folks apparently decided to leave switched on. 

Use of the channel 3 system was noted (MURS 3 - 151.9400 MHz / FRS 3 - 462.6125 MHz) as a calling/general meetup frequency), but FRS 1 462.5625 MHz was also very heavily used. 

Militia Nets:

Frequency   Tone   Remarks   
151.5050   CSQ   Militia net (portables, various tones)   
151.6250      DMR (strong digital voice traffic on frequency causing QRM to the various users)   
151.6250   CSQ   Militia net (CSQ), with QRM from DMR and other nets on frequency   
151.6250   79.7 PL   Militia net (possibly tone protected net)   
151.6250   100.0 PL   Tone protected militia net    
151.6250   114.8 PL   Tone protected militia net    
151.6250   136.5 PL   Construction?  Likely unrelated traffic, mixing with other traffic on frequency   
151.6250   156.7 PL   Tone protected militia net    
151.6250   167.9 PL   Possibly Crane Master (licensed user)   
151.6250   179.9 PL   Tone protected militia net    
151.7000   CSQ   Militia net, various tactical callsigns heard (no CTCSS or DCS tones)   
151.7600   CSQ   Militia net with radio checks, various CTCSS tones (100.0 PL, 88.5 PL, 77.0 PL, etc.) heard in the same net   
151.8050   CSQ   Single militia net heard here, tactical callsigns (portables) "Longshot" and other callsigns   (one station was TXing 77.0 Hz PL)
151.8200   CSQ   Multiple nets heard, various CTCSS tones   
151.8200   CSQ   "Virginia militia" "net 1" "MURS 1"    
151.8200   77.0 PL   Possibly CSQ net user transmitting PL tone   
151.8200   88.5 PL   Possibly CSQ net user transmitting PL tone   
151.8200   100.0 PL   Tone protected milita net (Baofeng roger beep heard)   
151.8200   107.2 PL   Militia net   
151.8200   162.2 PL   Tone protected milita net   
151.8200   192.8 PL   Voice inversion noted   
151.8800   CSQ   Multiple nets heard, various CTCSS tones   
151.8800   100.0 PL   Tone protected net heard with 100.0 Hz PL   
151.8800   156.7 PL   Simplex repeater    
151.8800   167.9 PL   Tone protected net heard with 167.9 Hz PL   
151.8800   192.8 PL   Talking about parking (likely related to event)   
151.9400   CSQ   Multiple nets heard, various CTCSS tones   
151.9400   74.4 PL   Possibly CSQ net user transmitting PL tone   
151.9400   77.0 PL   Possibly CSQ net user transmitting PL tone   
151.9400   114.8 PL   Possibly CSQ net user transmitting PL tone   
151.9400   123.0 PL   Possibly CSQ net user transmitting PL tone   
151.9400   173.8 PL   Militia net, possibly CSQ net user transmitting PL tone   
151.9550   77.0 PL   Militia net, possibly CSQ, tactical callsigns heard   
151.9550   88.5 PL   Militia net    
154.5275   100.0 PL   Militia net, possibly tone-protected   
154.5275   136.5 PL   Construction?  Likely unrelated traffic    
154.5400   67.0 PL   Portables (weak)   
154.5700   CSQ   Multiple nets heard, various CTCSS tones (CSQ net, users transmitting differnet tones)   
154.5700   77.0 PL   Likely CSQ net user transmitting PL tone   
154.5700   88.5 PL   Likely CSQ net user transmitting PL tone   
154.5700   100.0 PL   Likely CSQ net user transmitting PL tone   
154.5700   156.7 PL   Likely CSQ net user transmitting PL tone   
154.5700   162.2 PL   Tone protected net heard with 162.2 Hz PL   
154.6000   CSQ   Multiple nets heard, various CTCSS tones (CSQ net, users transmitting differnet tones)   
154.6000   88.5 PL   Carrier heard with sound effects and people talking in background   
154.6000   136.5 PL   Militia net   
154.6000   162.2 PL   Militia net, mobile to mobile chatter (strong signals)   
154.6000   627 DPL   Tone protected net heard with 627 DCS/627 DPL   
462.1250   69.3 PL   Militia net (tone protected, likely Baofeng BF-888 radios)   
462.5500   CSQ   Various nets heard here   
462.5500   67.0 PL   Militia net (tone protected FRS radios)   
462.5500   110.9 PL   Militia net (tone protected FRS radios)   
462.5500   127.3 PL   Militia net (tone protected FRS radios)   
462.5625   67.0 PL   Various tactical callsigns heard, including DCE-11, XZ-11, NCW-13, NCW-14 - net control appeared to be XZ-11   
462.5625   67.0 PL   "Group 4" "meeting location" (with FRS roger beeps)   
462.5625  74.4 PL      Heard mention of "free parking" (with Motorola FRS roger beeps)
462.5625   77.0 PL   Different net heard, mixing with numerous stations on freq   
462.5625   156.7 PL   Separate net heard, multiple stations   
462.5750   CSQ   Militia net    
462.5750   67.0 PL   Militia net (portables with FRS roger beeps)   
462.5750   131.8 PL   Militia net (portables with FRS roger beeps)   
462.5875   67.0 PL   Militia net (portables with FRS roger beeps)   
462.5875   71.9 PL   "Pennsylvania" "copy that" "bring it back to Cary St."    
462.5875   77.0 PL   Militia net   
462.5875   100.0 PL   Militia net   
462.5875   127.3 PL   Militia net   
462.5875   131.8 PL   Militia net   
462.5875   141.3 PL   Militia net   
462.5875   233.6 PL   Militia net   
462.5875   250.3 PL   Militia net (portables with FRS roger beeps)   
462.6000   67.0 PL   Militia net (portables with FRS roger beeps)   
462.6000   136.5 PL   Militia net    
462.6125   74.4 PL   Militia net (portables)   
462.6125   127.3 PL   Militia net (portables)   
462.6125   141.3 PL   Militia net (portables)   
462.6250   CSQ   Militia net (portables with Baofeng roger beep)   
462.6250   110.9 PL   Militia net (portables with Baofeng roger beep)   
462.6250   127.3 PL   Militia net (portables)   
462.6375   CSQ   Various nets heard   
462.6375   77.0 PL   "Virginia" heard, possible Virginia milita freq   
462.6375   131.8 PL   Militia net (portables)   
462.6375   156.7 PL   Militia net (FRS radios, tone protected)   
462.6500   71.9 PL   Militia net (portables)   
462.6500   123.0 PL   Militia net (portables)   
462.6625   67.0 PL   Weak UNID traffic heard   
462.6625   71.9 PL   Talking about "Broad Street"    
462.6750   CSQ   Militia net (portables)   
462.6875   CSQ   Coordinating meeting locations, mobiles/portables   
462.6875   82.5 PL   Militia net (portables)   
462.6875   91.5 PL   Militia net (portables)   
462.6875   100.0 PL   Militia net (portables with FRS roger beeps)   
462.7000   CSQ   Militia net   
462.7000   71.9 PL   Possibly a TX tone only member of the CSQ net on frequency   
462.7000   100.0 PL   FRS call tone heard    
462.7000   136.5 PL   "Floyd" "copy that" "radio check" (portables)   
462.7125   CSQ   "Virginia 10th" "team 1" "channel check" radio checks   
462.7125   85.4 PL   Militia net   
462.7125   94.8 PL   Militia net    
462.7125   97.4 PL   Militia net (FRS radios, tone protected)   
462.7125   167.9 PL   Militia net    
462.7125   225 DPL   Militia net (FRS radios, tone protected)   
462.7250   CSQ   Militia net (portables with Motorola FRS roger beep)   
462.7250   67.0 PL   Militia net (Baofeng UV-5R roger beeps)   
462.7250   136.5 PL   Militia net (portables)   
462.7250   141.3 PL   Militia net (portables)   
462.7250   754 DPL   Militia net (FRS radios, tone protected)   
462.7625   026 DPL   Likely TV or camera crew (simplex)   
462.8875   565 DPL   Camera crew/TV crew coordinating camera shots, etc.     
462.9125   177.3 PL   Coordinating parking, etc. (portables, simplex)   
462.9125   703 DPL   Camera crew/TV crew   
464.5500   88.5 PL   Militia net (portables)   
464.5500   100.0 PL   Militia net (portables)   
467.5625   CSQ   Militia net (portables)   
467.5625   82.5 PL   Militia net (portables)   
467.5625   85.4 PL   Militia net (portables)   
467.5875   CSQ   Militia net (portables)   
467.5875   82.5 PL   Militia net (FRS radios, tone protected)   
467.6125   85.4 PL   Militia net (portables)   
467.6125   107.2 PL   Militia net (portables)   
467.6375   67.0 PL   Militia net (FRS radios, tone protected)   
467.6375   97.4 PL   Portables (weak)   
467.6625   69.3 PL   Militia net (portables)   
467.6625   123.0 PL   Militia net (portables)   
467.6875   82.5 PL   Militia net (portables)   
467.6875   192.8 PL   Militia net (portables)   
467.7125   192.8 PL   Militia net (portables)   
467.7125   250.3 PL   Militia net (FRS radios, tone protected)   
467.9250   123.0 PL   Unknown if related to event, possibly news media?   
467.9250   196.6 PL   Unknown if related to event, possibly news media?   
469.5000   69.3 PL   Militia net (portables)   
469.5625   155 DPL   Unknown if militia users or TV crew/media    
469.9500   203.5 PL   Militia net (portables)   
469.9500   210.7 PL   Militia net (portables)   


  39.5400 MHz [CSQ]  - Virginia State Police car-to-car chatter "barrier" "command post" (statewide interop frequency - SIRS)
154.6650 MHz [CSQ] - Virginia State Police car-to-car and air-to-ground (old statewide "TAC" car to car channel)
155.8950 MHz [91.5 Hz PL] - Virginia Department of Emergency Management analog/backup EOC repeater - radio checks
852.5125 MHz [156.7 Hz PL] - 8TAC93D Interoperabilty - simplex
853.0125 MHz [156.7 Hz PL] - 8TAC94 Interoperability - repeater - patched to statewide VHF P25 trunking system

853.0125 MHz [156.7 PL] was patched to the Virginia STARS VHF Project 25 trunking system talkgroup "RIC 3" (Richmond 3) - identified as "Unified Command".  Several other STARS talkgroups were active as well as special event/interop talkgroups on the Richmond metro area 800 MHz trunking system.    852.5125 MHz [156.7 PL] was also used for unit-to-unit communications (portable to portable)

Virginia House Radio pirate FM station Richmond VA 107.7 FM 107.7 MHz

I know I haven’t posted about this FM station in a while....but I was tuning around the FM band this afternoon and figured I see if Virginia House Radio was still on the air.  They certainly are!  SIO 444 to 555.  Good signal on the Toyota car AM/FM radio with the fender-mounted 1/4 wave FM broadcast antenna. 

Heard what sounded like a live church broadcast, complete with technical hiccups, people chattering in the background, etc..  I listened between 1530 and 1545 or 1550 local time.  Downtown Richmond, Virginia 107.7 MHz FM. 

Heard during a sporadic-E opening. 


Radio is an older-generation Superstar 3900 (aka Superstar 3900 MK1) made in Taiwan with the EPT3600-11Z board and the antenna is a Wilson Little Wil magnetic mount mobile antenna...

10/11 meters / Re: Thanks R4002 & Chris!
« on: December 31, 2019, 1414 UTC »
Glad to have you on the board!

11m has had some nice sporadic-E openings over the past few weeks.  I managed to work some DX on 27.385 MHz LSB channel 38 LSB 27385 LSB last week with a barefoot Superstar 3900 doing about 15w PEP on SSB with a cheap mag mount mobile antenna.  Noted some activity on the lower channels as well, namely 26705 AM and 26715 AM.  26915 AM and the other American low band CB freeband freqs had some chatter on them as well. 

6900 LSB is the “home channel” or “home frequency” for a lot of the 43 metros guys apparently.  I liken it to 27665 or 27695 on 11 meters.  Some of the stations on US based, others are in Mexico and other parts of Latin America.  They seem to love 5 kHz steps up and down from 6900 kHz as their window or calling frequency.

Peskies / Re: Angry Bahstads 6870 USB 1627 UTC 30 Oct 2019
« on: December 31, 2019, 1407 UTC »
Are they still using 6212 kHz USB or have they switched to 6870 kHz USB?  Or....are they still using the different frequencies at different times method...?

Also: whistle into the microphone selcall

Coming in nicely this morning at 0650 local time on 107.7 FM.

Military (Magnavox) PRC-68A or B are good 49MHz radios if you can find them. Last pair I had went to eBay a decade ago. They put out about 1 watt on fresh batteries.

Czech Army Military RF-10 radio sets are all over eBay for about $100-$150.

The other surprisingly impressive 49MHz radios are the old style baby monitor base stations. Some of those could be tuned up to a half watt or so and with an outdoor antenna, could be received well over a mile away with a Realistic talkie.

The old style baby monitors are still in use around me (at least to some degree).  One of them appears to be either putting out more than the legal amount of power or is just in a really good location/running a really good antenna.  It does about 1/3 of a mile or so on 49.830 MHz. 

I'm taking a look at the RF-10 manpack radio sets on eBay now.  Pretty decent specs, reminds of me of the PRC-8/9/10 series.  1 watt TX power 44.000 MHz to 53.975 MHz.  49.850 MHz/49.875 MHz lol

Tuned in at 1126 local time to hear several seconds of dead air followed by full ID - Virginia House Radio Richmond Virginny at 1127 local.  SIO 444 to SIO 555.

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