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Messages - R4002

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I've often wondered the same thing...that, or they have a pre-determined net/time or frequency/time schedule set up.  Turn the SSB radio on channel X at this time, listen on channel Y or frequency Z at that time, etc.  Or, they simply leave their radios on whichever frequency/frequencies they use and call each other whenever they want....but since its the HF marine band, there's always the possibility of another user on that same frequency. 

If they're not using selective calling of some kind they either only turn their radios on at certain times or have very good squelch circuits!  :D


Angry Bahstads - ITU 6 MHz SSB Marine Channel 605
Lobstermen with Broken Fridges - ITU 6 MHz SSB Marine Channel 608

Both groups (on 6212 kHz USB and 6221 kHz USB) are using duplex channels for simplex purposes.  Ship transmit frequency, of course.  I wonder if the radios come pre-programmed with all the channels in duplex mode and simplex mode. 

10/11 meters / Re: 11 meters is active 0320 UTC 25 July 2019
« on: July 25, 2019, 1806 UTC »
Gotta love the "shoot out" videos on YouTube of guys in old Suburbans with a dozen alternators and massive custom built amplifiers, power output in the tens of kilowatts on CB.  Seems like most of these guys are running either a Cobra 29, a Uniden 78 or a Galaxy rig of some kind or another (generally an AM or AM/FM only radio).  Base stations will be running all sorts of things, including the famous Cobra 2000 base station or any of the various Galaxy and RCI/Ranger base stations that fit in a standard 19" rack. 

10/11 meters / Re: 11 meters is active 0320 UTC 25 July 2019
« on: July 25, 2019, 1546 UTC »
Good ol' 27.025 MHz CB channel 6 a.k.a. "The Superbowl". 

If DX is rolling in on channel 6, check channels 11 (27.085 MHz), 26 (27.265 MHz) and 28 (27.285 MHz) for other big gun AM stations and of course 27.385 LSB / Channel 38 LSB and the frequencies around it for SSB DXers. 

If 27.025 is really rolling, check the low channel AM DX frequencies (clustered around 26.915 MHz, secondaries are 26.905 MHz, 26.925 MHz, 26.885 MHz, 26.895 MHz, 26.835 MHz, 26.815 MHz, 26.775 MHz and others - 10 kHz steps).  26.715 MHz and nearby frequencies 26.705 MHz and 26.725 MHz will often also be busy with Spanish speaking big gun AM stations.  Some of them are in the USA and Puerto Rico but also various other locations in the Caribbean and Latin America (if the band is open to that part of the country). 

Propagation / Re: Sporadic E, Es Propagation
« on: July 25, 2019, 1458 UTC »
I love me some sporadic-E (Es, E-Sporadic, E-skip, among other names).  The awesome 11 meter and 10 meter band openings over the past couple months have been a lot of fun.  No VHF low band skip to note, but I imagine with a better receiver and more patience there's some stuff out there.  Unfortunately a lot of the previous VHF low band skip monitoring targets have partially or completed moved off the 29-50 MHz range.  25-30 MHz (mostly 25-28 MHz or 26-28 MHz) is still very much heavily used however. 

When the solar cycle peaks again, maybe California Highway Patrol will still be on lowband.  I remember listening to them on 42 MHz using a Radio Shack Pro-79 scanner and the factory rubber duck antenna indoors!  I could hear lots of military comms on low band (30.050 MHz, 30.300 MHz, 30.450 MHz, 31.000 MHz and several others would often boom in, it was only later that I found out that 30.45 MHz is Fort Hood Range Control primary, likely a simple 20 or 50 watt base station with a RC-292 or similar 1/4 wave ground plane antenna!).   I know Missouri Highway Patrol and several others are no longer on low band.   The NYC area cab companies, gypsy cabs, car services and similar comms would come booming in (30.6 MHz to 32 MHz, often mixing in with Spanish language chatter using the wrong frequency steps).  There are still tons of car services licensed in New York in the 30-40 MHz region. 

Sporadic-E is awesome.  When its really going, frequencies above 50 MHz / 6 meters and even the FM broadcast band can be enhanced....

Baskets does indeed indicate lobstermen, I would think.  Possibly Gloucester or maybe Portland, Maine.  6221 kHz USB is pretty close to the 6212 kHz USB frequency used by the other New English fishermen.  I have a feeling its a different group though, both 6212 USB and 6221 USB are legit 6 MHz marine frequencies. 

Other / Re: 3044 USB
« on: July 25, 2019, 1341 UTC »
Probably Portuguese or maybe you're hearing South American fishing fleets speaking a regional dialect of Spanish.  Cambio (usually sounds almost like gambio) is Spanish radio terminology for "over" or "back to you".  Cambio literally means "change".   El Mundo is "the world" but could have different meanings depending on the context.  The use of cambio indicates that whoever you were hearing were at least somewhat disciplined operators.  Unfortunately, Italian-speaking operators also use the term "cambio" (even closer to gambio pronunciation) but I'm thinking you're hearing South American fishing fleet communications.

3044 kHz is certainly within the range of fishing fleets.  In North America the Spanish and Portuguese speaking fishing fleets (and freebanders) are all over the HF spectrum. 

The 162.425 MHz frequency is interesting because it seems to mostly be used by the lower-power (300 watt) fill-in transmitters. 

I was able to catch "the usual suspects" this morning, including KHB36 on 162.550 (lots of fading up and down on that frequency, probably due to multipath, I was driving through downtown while listening).  162.400 was also up and down, but at points was full-scale and SIO 555.   162.450 MHz had two stations almost equisignal to each other, with KZZ28 still "winning" but just barely this time, the other station might have been Margaretsville WWG33.   I believe I heard WNG586 out of Henderson, NC yet again this morning on 162.500 MHz.  162.525 MHz also came in nicely, likely KJY99 again. 


Back in the day I had all of the 25KHz and wideband channels for the sats programmed into a 2006 and had much more activity than today. Most current activity, sadly, is due to asshats in Brasil and other SA nations using our sats to play cb.

Their own private space repeaters! 

Given the proliferation of open-banded 1.25 meter/222 MHz gear (and gear for similar 200 MHz ranges, i.e. the 245 MHz VHF CB band in Thailand), because of that a lot of these Chinese rigs will do 220-270 MHz or something like that after modification, and still others that do 350 MHz to 390 MHz or 350 MHz to 400 MHz.  Apparently the 245 MHz band is extremely popular (80 channels, 245.0000 MHz to 245.9875 MHz, straight 12.5 kHz channel steps) in southeast Asia.  Like India and other places, there's weird use of the 225-400 MHz band for land mobile systems in addition to military aircraft. 

India has several land mobile bands in the 338-340 MHz band (paired with 348-350 MHz, 12.5 kHz channel steps with 6.25 kHz offsets, so frequencies are 338.00625 MHz, 338.01875 MHz, 338.03125 MHz etc.), a short-range FRS or PMR446-like personal radio service from 350.225 MHz to 350.400 MHz (in 12.5 kHz steps) and an additional land mobile allocation from 367 MHz to 400 MHz. 

Japan has another FRS like personal radio service from 348.5625 MHz to 348.8000 MHz (also 12.5 kHz channel steps and 1 watt power output), and the Philippines have their Short Range Radio Service or SRRS at 325 MHz (325.0 MHz to 325.4875 MHz in 12.5 kHz steps with 2.5 watt output power limits). 

245 MHz - 246 MHz, 325 MHz - 325.5 MHz, 338-340 MHz, 348-350 MHz and 367-400 MHz (I know the 380-400 MHz is heavily used in the United States and Europe for trunking systems, TETRA and similar technologies in Europe and elsewhere, Project 25 in the USA for military use).  Altogether that's 38.5 MHz of spectrum within 225-400 MHz allocated to land mobile services.  I'm sure there are other users in other parts of the world I'm not aware of.   

Regardless, those are a lot of potential signals that UHF milsats could accidentally retransmit - not including bootleg or pirate users operating out of band using modified gear. 

Expect a lot of ground support ops to employ "cigars";
SINCGARS uses 25 kHz channels in the very high frequency (VHF) FM band, from 30.000 to 87.975 megahertz (MHz). It has single-frequency and frequency hopping modes. The frequency-hopping mode hops 111 times a second.

From what I've read on other monitors' logs and from my own VHF low band DXing and monitoring, there's a large amount of ground-to-ground tactical comms using single-frequency aka single channel or SC mode, at least in the CONUS.  The military tactical FM band is the de facto world standard for tactical military comms (even Chinese tanks exported to African militaries come with a 30.000 MHz to 79.975 MHz or 20.000 MHz to 49.975 MHz radio installed!).  Seems like the former combloc countries favor slightly lower frequencies (20-50 MHz or 26-70 MHz or similar instead of 30-88 MHz, although it appears current Russian radios do 30.000 MHz to 107.975 MHz similar ranges).   

Milair comms in my area have been heard on the usual 46.750 MHz, 46.850 MHz and 49.725 MHz frequencies.   When I was still in the Civil Air Patrol I did a SAR exercise at one of the local-ish Army bases and there were signs on base for "FM" frequencies to reach medevac, range control, etc.  I remember 38.500 MHz was one of them, along with 30.150 MHz (I believe) and 38.550 MHz.  38.500 FM was apparently the primary on base Fox Mike frequency for air-to-ground coordination.  It would seem that FH / frequency hopping mode is reserved for electronically hostile situations/locations.  Use of the frequency hopping mode in the US would at the very least require coordination of the hopset frequencies to avoid interference with civilian users of the 30-88 MHz range.   

I did some research, it appears that 38.50 MHz FM (listed as FM 38.5 A/G USE) is still in use for air-to-ground comms at Fort AP Hill, as well as 241.000 MHz AM and the usual 126.200 MHz AM VHF frequency.  Instead of calling 30-88 MHz "VHF" its referred to as "FM" since "VHF" is 108-150 MHz and "UHF" is 225-400 MHz.

On mil air antennae, have collected the bits and pieces for one of these;
Not only is it optimised for milsats it's also good for mil air in the same band.

Also milradiocomms has changed urls;

Awesome.  Do you do any milsat monitoring as well?  255.550 MHz and the other UHF SATCOM FLTSATCOM/FLEETSATCOM peskies notwithstanding, of course. 

Some more VHF DX (NOAA Weather Radio) propagation this morning.  Received while mobile at street level in downtown Richmond, VA (with all the obstructions and multipath propagation issues found in a built-up urban area)

162.550 MHz KHB36 - Manassas, VA NOAA Weather Radio powerhouse transmitter mixing in with KHB37 Norfolk, VA - heard KHB36 ID clearly twice.  For most of the time, KHB36 was clearly the winner.  Independent Hill, VA transmitter location coming in nicely

162.525 MHz KJY86 - Halifax, VA mixing in with KJY99 Accomack, VA (Eastern Shore) - heard marine forecasts (indicating KJY99's service area, also heard mention of southside Virginia and northern North Carolina locations similar to the WNG586 audio loop, strongly indicating KJY86

162.500 MHz - WNG586 -  Henderson, NC - good signal, heard forecast for locations in Virginia and North Carolina, all within WNG586's service area...possibly a second station's signal down underneath

162.475 MHz - WXK65 - Richmond, VA - local NOAA Weather Radio transmitter

162.450 MHz - KZZ28 - Covesville, VA (Charlottesville, VA) with another, unidentified station underneath it.  Similar to the station-vs-station signals heard yesterday morning on 162.45 MHz

162.425 MHz - no identifiable signals heard this morning

162.400 MHz - possibly WXM57 Heathsville, VA, although there was another station mixing in at points, heard mention of Baltimore Inner Harbor and other marine weather, I might have been heard KEC83 Baltimore, MD 162.4 MHz mixing in with WXM57. 

Two more videos uploaded this morning, showing parts of this morning's NOAA Weather Radio activity (see: https://www.youtube.com/user/R4002/videos)

All the bands!  Wow, 12140 kHz, 9485 kHz, 7430 kHz and 6115 kHz.

Tuned in at 2035 UTC on the Westminster, MD KiwiSDR on the 49 meter frequency 6115 kHz USB.  Nice wide audio, 6.5 kHz to 7 kHz ESSB hi-fi SSB signal.  Thanks for the show, Mix Radio International!  Always enjoy listening to your broadcasts. 

Peskies / Re: Fishermen 3342 Khz USB 0003 UTC 22-Jul-19
« on: July 23, 2019, 1431 UTC »
Hey cj468,

Thanks for posting this log - did the stations you heard have any sort of particular accent or other identifying characteristics?  3342 kHz / 3.342 MHz is within the 90 meter broadcasting band, but that portion (2-3 MHz, and 1.6-4 MHz) seems to be very popular with fishing fleets and trawlers, including frequencies within the 80 meter band/75 meter band.  I've read reports from UK based amateurs regarding Irish fishing fleets using frequencies in 80 meters for ship-to-ship chatter. 

Not sure what I was hearing on 162.425 MHz as far as the station's ID goes.  Odd conditions today (23 July) too.  Well, this morning anyway. 

Noted activity on 162.400 but lots of fading - likely either WXM57 or WXL42, considering the marine forecasts heard, I'm leaning more towards WXM57.  162.450 was coming in very strong at points, but didn't seem to have anything underneath it (compare to the July 17th records, where there certainly was another station underneath the usual KZZ28 station on 162.45 MHz).   Propagation today was decidedly worse than the previous days. 

My best bets for the UNID station underneath, and at points, mixing with KZZ28 are WWG33 or WNG736.  Unfortunately, when the conditions are good, KZZ28's mountaintop transmitter location means it is booming into Richmond, and at points sounding like the local WX station for Richmond (WXK65 on 162.475 MHz, which is transmitted from a tower about 5 miles ESE of downtown Richmond proper).  KZZ28's transmitter location on Mount Oliver really helps. 

I have a feeling its WWG33 fighting with KZZ28 on 162.450.  WWG33 is roughly 65-70 miles (almost due south) from my receiver, and KZZ28's transmitter is about 73 miles west-north-west from my receiver.  Looking at the KZZ28 coverage map, it would seem that the transmitter is on the eastern side of the mountain, favoring transmission towards the eastern half of Virginia. 

Then there's WZ2500 on Sand Mountain, 205 miles from my receiver (doing only 300 watts, but has elevation on their side, if tropo ducting is present)  That's a longshot but I believe I've heard it before (underneath KZZ28 yet again) when propagation to the west of my location was favorable.  162.525 MHz is likely KJY99 on Virginia's Eastern Shore, or KJY86 out of Halifax, VA (97 miles from RX site, compare that to KJY99 which is...97 miles from the RX site!).   I'm leaning towards KJY99 over KJY86 based on what was heard on 162.525.  Considering I'm equal distance from the two closest transmitters on 162.525 MHz, that makes 162.525 an interesting frequency to listen to during these early morning openings.

162.425 MHz is another wildcard.  162.425 MHz could be WZ2527 out of Fredericksburg, VA. Like WZ2500, WZ2527 is another 300 watt "filler" transmitter.  Then there's WXM72 on 162.425 (doing 1000 watts from the top of a mountain.....clocking in at just under 190 miles from receiver site).  Considering the Washington, D.C. area and Chesapeake Bay-related forecasts on 162.425, I believe its WZ2527. 

Captured two more videos - both have been uploaded to the same YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/user/R4002/videos). 

Propagation was doing something this morning, even though it wasn't as good as it has been in days past, as I could hear the mystery pager on 152.120 MHz (while in the parking deck!!!) - 152.12 MHz appears to be another local (or local-ish) pager.  All three of those, 152.12, 152.63 and 152.69 are so strong in the downtown Richmond area that they de-sense some VHF gear, including scanners, when they're transmitting.  I have the same issues on the UHF band due to the extremely dense concentration of high powered UHF systems operating in the downtown area.  The local bus/transit system (Greater Richmond Transit Company aka GRTC) operates an extremely powerful DMR trunking system on 452.825 MHz, 452.850 MHz, 453.375 MHz and 461.025 MHz.  The 452.825 MHz frequency transmits 24/7 (it's used for GPS data location tracking on the buses, in conjunction with a 4.9 GHz system). 

The 452.850/453.375/461.025 frequencies are used for digital voice and all four frequencies are transmitted from a tower on top of City Hall, 453.375 MHz is licensed for 237 watts ERP and the 452/461 MHz frequencies are licensed for 75 watts ERP.  Considering how the 452.825 MHz GRTC data signal gets into everything on UHF, I have a feeling its doing more than 75w ERP.  When I'm trying to scan the UHF business frequencies and FRS/GMRS, the DMR signal on 452.825 causes a major headache, just like the powerhouse 152 MHz pager signals on VHF. 

There are several other powerful UHF systems in the area that desense the hell out of my scanner in the downtown area (the Greater Richmond Convention Center has its own DMR trunking system, and of course Philip Morris has literally hundreds of frequencies, most of them high power repeaters on UHF, licensed to them - a mixture of digital voice with some analog stuff). 

The 452.8250 MHz DMR data signal mixes with other signals (likely when the other UHF repeaters located at the same site transmit, as anyone who has monitored a bus/transit radio system knows, there's a lot of chatter), I get intermod on the frequencies I'm trying to monitor, specifically several of the FRS frequencies (462.6250, 462.6375, 462.6500, 462.700,0 462.7125 and 462.7250 MHz are the worst hit) and several of the UHF business band/itinerant frequencies (namely 466.0375, 469.5000, 469.5500, 451.8125, 456.8125 and several other itinerants are also obliterated when 452.825's signal mixes with another UHF signal at or nearby.  It doesn't help that the local power company operates a very powerful UHF repeater network (mostly analog FM, with some isolated digital/DMR voice usage) on 451 MHz and 452 MHz.  The mixing products of these high power signals make my Pro-96 scanner very unhappy.  The attenuator does nothing.  The best spot I have for scanning the lower power FRS/GMRS/simplex business band chatter I'm trying to hear is also about 1200 feet from the City Hall roof transmission site. 

In addition to the local pagers on 152.630 MHz and 162.690 MHz, I could hear the Fork Mountain STARS Project 25 control channel on 152.7125 MHz (with the squelch open anyway).  The 152.0375 MHz signal is the local (Richmond) STARS control channel and the 152.7575 MHz signal is another local-ish STARS frequency. 

The STARS system makes extensive use of the old Part 22 paging frequencies for both P25 voice and data, but usually the control channel (152.03 MHz - 152.24 MHz and 152.51 MHz - 152.81 MHz), often with 7.5 kHz offsets (152.0375 MHz instead of 152.030 MHz, 152.7575 MHz instead of 152.750 MHz, etc) and, in the western portion of Virginia, the 161 MHz "B" (shore) marine channels 161.8000 MHz to 161.9500 MHz in 12.5 kHz steps, I believe they had to get a special authorization from the FCC to use those frequencies, and only in certain areas.  So, if you hear digital signals between 161.8 and 162 MHz, chances are you're hearing one of the western Virginia STARS sites:


Unfortunately they do re-use frequencies to a certain extent, so a Project 25 trunking scanner is needed to further narrow down which site you're hearing for sure.  The control channels are on 24/7 and make great propagation indicators.

Other / Re: 7170 LSB rap music! 2315 19 July 2019
« on: July 22, 2019, 1544 UTC »
The 7.200 MHz LSB / 7200 kHz LSB crowd might have just QSY'ed down to 7.170 MHz.  That, or somebody is just having fun (or "fun"?) on 40 meters and picked 7170 LSB for whatever reason.

I say if you're willing to transmit music within 40 meters, why not play music on 43 meters?  Different mindsets at work, I suppose. 

8210 kHz USB 8.210 MHz USB, ITU 8 MHz marine channel 806 (ship transmit frequency).  Yes, this is a legit marine frequency.  Spanish language chatter, general laid-back CB-like talk.  At least two OMs talking, heard mention of la pez.  At 2102 UTC, a third station tried to break into the QSO...with the usual "HOLA HOLA HOLA!" - now the other stations are letting him into the net.  Nice conditions on 8 MHz this afternoon.

Via Westminster, MD KiwiSDR.

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