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Thursday, 6 April 2017

Scanning Repeater Input Frequencies - Why would you do it?

In almost all cases, you should program your scanner with the output frequency of a repeater. Since this is the frequency that the repeater is using to rebroadcast all communications and as repeaters with an antenna mounted high up will have much better line of sight to mobiles and portables and cover a much larger area.

When using Close Call mode, you will mostly get hits on the input frequencies of repeaters. This I have found useful for both finding new frequencies in use and also with confirming the user of frequencies, especially on shared repeaters where multiple users are sharing the same frequency but with different CTCSS tones.

As I focus more on traffic analysis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_analysis) the content of the message becomes less important than when, where, why and who is using a given frequency. What I have done in the past few weeks is to take a group of the more active frequencies in the Launceston area and program the input frequencies in as below.

72.82500 - ABILITY (TX)
80.15000 - TECS (TX)
80.78570 - LCC (TX)
80.81250 - LCC (TX)
81.53750 - TFS (TX)
81.56250 - AMBO (TX)
157.90000 - BORAL (TX)
158.01250 - TASRAIL (TX)
158.45000 - REDLINE (TX)
158.83750 - TOXFREE (TX)
454.27500 - METRO (TX)
479.42500 - LCC QVM (TX)
479.57500 - LCC PARK (TX)
480.05000 - MARCOMNET (TX)
483.35000 - MARCOMNET (TX)

This limits the radio traffic to only what is physically close to my location. So far my results have been encouraging, a number of times I have been able to visually match what I see (such as trucks from a company who use a shared repeater) with radio traffic on the input frequencies and the matching CTCSS tones.

Over time I will continue to log these results and share them on here and my blog.

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