SAVANNAH, GA – I found myself with some time to play radio today and because of the Federal Holiday, there wasn’t much military aviation traffic to be heard. After awhile, I came up with something interesting to do with the Uniden BC796D. I put it in service search and did computer logging with ID Tracker III; alternating between Marine VHF and Railroad every few hours, I wanted to see what frequencies were active in the Savannah area and just how active they are.
Here are the results for Marine VHF:
The only real surprise in this table is that I would have thought Ch. 16, the hailing and distress frequency would have had more hits. Ch. 13 by far was the busiest as would be expected from the Savannah River working channel. Vessels moving up and down the river and around the port use it for deconfliction purposes and it stays busy. Ch. 3 yielded some weak recordings, possibly from a boatyard or marina, the most clear transmission was a requesting for someone to meet at the “boat dock.” Even though the Coast Guard isn’t using Marine VHF as frequently as it used to, Ch. 21, one of their working frequencies for this area, was busy today with Auxiliary activity and a Royal Canadian Air Force CH-146 that’s visiting Hunter AAF. Ch. 18 and Ch. 19 are Commercial channels and although most of the recorded traffic was weak, I definitely heard Moran on Ch. 18, so I wonder if it is in use by Moran tugboats? Ch. 68 is used by Isle of Hope Marina and I only recorded one vessel communicating with them today. I think Ch. 69 is used by several area marinas, accounting for more traffic on it.
Here are the Railroad results:
|RAILROAD||160.245||Ch. 9 – Norfolk Southern||17|
|RAILROAD||160.275||Ch. 11 – Norfolk Southern||12|
|RAILROAD||160.320||Ch. 14 – CSX||13|
|RAILROAD||160.485||Ch. 25 – CSX Southover Yard||24|
|RAILROAD||160.590||Ch. 32 – CSX Road||131|
|RAILROAD||160.950||Ch. 56 – Norfolk Southern Road||95|
|RAILROAD||161.010||Ch. 60 – Norfolk Southern||41|
|RAILROAD||161.100||Ch. 66 – CSX JA Dispatch||46|
|RAILROAD||161.340||Ch. 82 – CSX||10|
|RAILROAD||161.370||Ch. 84 – CSX||1|
|RAILROAD||161.490||Ch. 92 – Norfolk Southern||34|
Although I’m a newbie at Railroad Monitoring, I’m not surprised by anything in this table. The CSX and Norfolk Southern road channels were the busiest followed by the CSX JA Dispatcher and yard frequencies. I think Ch. 60 and Ch. 92 may be Norfolk Southern yard frequencies but I’m not sure. Ch. 48 may be a yard frequency as well; the recorded traffic was weak but it sounded like they were giving orders and trouble with an engine was mentioned.
This was an interesting experiment and one that I’m going to keep in mind for other slow MilCom days. Doing it on Marine VHF only on a Saturday might be even more interesting, more marina type traffic might be captured and it would be fun to see what kind of recreational traffic it might find.