Savannah, GA to Clarkesville, GA Road Trip Scanning Report; 5/6 March 2018

Clarkesville, GA – On Monday and Tuesday I had to make a trip up to Clarkesville, GA for work; it’s an almost five-hour drive from Savannah, so it was good to have the radios in the car to keep me company on the way up. My route of travel was I-16 westbound from Savannah to US 1 in Swainsboro to SR 17 in Wrens to overnight in Lavonia and the to Clarkesville via SR17 on Tuesday morning. The trip home on Tuesday evening was a reverse of the trip up. The route took me through an area along SR 17 that featured a lot of public safety DMR trunking systems as well as some NXDN systems, so it was a great opportunity to get some more experience with DMR and listen to some NXDN traffic for the first time. During the trip, I used a Uniden Home Patrol 2, a Uniden BCD436HP, a Whistler TRX-1, and a Yaesu FT-8800 transceiver.

The Whistler TRX-1 definitely outperformed the Uniden BCD436HP on DMR, especially when all of the DMR TRS parameters were unknown. Although I haven’t been particularly pleased with the TRX-1 on 700/800 MHz P25 trunking, I was definitely pleased with its VHF DMR and NXDN performance during this trip. The audio from both DMR and NXDN was crisp, clear, and perfectly readable.

 

Amateur Radio

With the exception of one 70cm repeater, all of the repeaters I heard active during the trip were 2 Meter repeaters. It seemed that throughout the trip I was within the range of at least one repeater at all times. In hindsight, as well as I was hearing public safety traffic from the South Carolina counties bordering Georgia, I probably should have programmed in some repeaters from the South Carolina side of the Georgia/South Carolina border; the next time I make this trip I plan on doing so.

146.790 (CSQ) – Swainsboro (Emanuel Co)
147.000 (PL 156.7) – Twin City (Emanuel Co)
145.190 (PL 71.9) – Appling (Columbia Co)
147.120 (CSQ) – Wrens (Jefferson Co)
146.625 (CSQ) – Elberton (Elbert Co)
146.835 (CSQ) – Thomson (McDuffie Co)
146.715 (PL 100.0) – Lavonia (Franklin Co)
145.250 (PL 71.9) – Toccoa (Stephens Co)
147.330 (PL 127.3) – Toccoa (Stephens Co)
442.500 (PL 88.5) – Toccoa (Stephens Co)
147.180 (CSQ) – Baldwin (Banks/Habersham Co)

 

Public Safety

If you’re going to travel up SR 17 through east Georgia and/or northeast Georgia and want to monitor public safety communications along the way, you’ll want to use a DMR capable scanner or you may miss a considerable amount of traffic. Although some counties simulcast primary dispatch for Fire/EMS communications on an analog frequency, far more traffic is on the DMR and in some instances NXDN systems in Banks, Habersham, Jefferson, Lincoln, McDuffie (encrypted), Stephens (encrypted) Washington, and White (encrypted except for Dispatch) counties

Local Conventional/Single Frequency TRS
154.3250 (PL 146.2) – Banks County FD Dispatch
154.0100 (PL 173.8) – Burke County FD/EMS Dispatch
154.2200 (PL 179.9) – Elbert County FD Dispatch
154.3700 (PL 167.9) – Franklin County FD Dispatch
155.3100 (PL 186.2) – Habersham FD Dispatch (Simulcast with DMR TRS)
154.2350 (PL 156.7) – Habersham EMS Dispatch (Simulcast with DMR TRS)
156.1650 (PL 97.4) – Clarkesville FD Dispatch (Habersham Co)
154.2950 (PL 218.1) – Madison County EMS Dispatch
154.3850 (PL 103.5) – Madison County FD Dispatch
151.4075 (NXDN) – McDuffie County FD; enc
154.4300 (PL 146.2) – Rabun County FD Dispatch
155.2050 (PL 100.0) – Rabun EMS/Rabun Hospital
155.6625 (PL 192.8) – Rabun County 911
154.2500 (PL 85.4) – Stephens County FD Dispatch
155.715 (CSQ) – White County FD Dispatch (simulcast with NXDN)
152.5325 (NXDN CC 15, TG 154600, SL 1) – White Co FD Dispatch South; enc/unenc
152.5475 (NXDN CC 15, TG 154600, SL 1) – White Co FD Dispatch North; enc/unenc
154.4450 (PL 210.7) – Wilkes County FD Dispatch
154.0100 (PL 179.9) – Abbeville County FD FD 1 (SC)
153.9500 (PL 151.4) – Anderson County FD Dispatch (SC)
155.5650 (D 464) – Anderson City FD Dispatch (Anderson Co, SC)
156.1950 (PL 162.2) – Belton FD (Anderson Co, SC)
158.8050 (D 464) – Honea Path FD (Anderson Co, SC)
154.1300 (PL 103.5) – Oconee County FD Dispatch (SC)
150.8050 (PL 103.5) – Oconee County FD Tac (SC)
453.4000 (PL 136.5) – Jackson County FD Dispatch (NC)

State Conventional
159.1200 (PL 127.3) – Georgia Forestry District 1 Repeater

Banks County NXDN TRS
TG 80 – Banks County Fire/EMS Dispatch

Bulloch TRS
TG 2224 – Statesboro FD Dispatch

Habersham County DMR TRS
TG 100 – unknown
TG 152 – unknown
TG 180 – unknown
TG 300 – Fire/EMS Dispatch
TG 602 – unknown
TG 604 – School Bus Dispatch

Jefferson County DMR TRS
TG 109 – Jefferson County FD Dispatch
TG 115 – Public Works?
TG 116 – Public Works?

Washington County DMR TRS
TG 42 – unknown
TG 700 – unknown

Palmetto 25 (Richmond County, GA)
TG 55242 – Richmond County FD Tac 2

North Carolina VIPER TRS
TG 52109 – NC Wildlife Resources District 9

 

FedCom

For those interested in FedCom monitoring, there are a number of agencies in east and northeast Georgia to listen to. East Georgia offers some opportunities with from the US Army Corps of Engineers at Strom Thurmond Lake and the Department of Energy from the Savannah River Site TRS.  Northeast Georgia offers opportunities from the National Park Service at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the US Forestry Service at several National Forests.

Conventional FedCom
169.5500 ($4C5) – NPS, Great Smoky Mountains Natl Park, Clingman’s Dome
170.8375 ($4C5) – NPS, Great Smoky Mountains Natl Park, Fry Mountain
173.5375 ($100) – USACE, Strom Thurmond Lake
171.5500 (PL 103.5) – USFS, Nantahala Natl Forest Zone 2 East

Savannah River Site TRS
TG 48240 – Savannah River Site FD
TG 48592 – unknown
TG 48624 – unknown
TG 49072 – unknown
TG 49392 – unknown (enc)
TG 50032 – unknown

 

Aviation/MilCom

I didn’t hear nearly as much MilCom traveling through east and northeast Georgia as I normally do in coastal Georgia, but you do have great signals on the Bulldog MOA in East Georgia as you’re practically underneath the MOA in some areas. I was hoping to get some signals on the Fort Gordon sites of the US Army TRS, but it wasn’t to be, I never heard a bit of it. On the other hand, I was within easy range of Augusta Regional Airport and Fort Gordon related aircraft that were using it. You’re also within the range of Shaw AFB, McEntire JNGB, and Charleston AFB during parts of the trip.

If you’re interested in civilian aviation, you’re in great luck as you’ll be on the east and northeast sides of Atlanta’s airspace, making it an extremely target rich environment. As far as the airports along the route go, all of them with the exception of Augusta Regional use Unicom frequencies, although Athens does have an approach/departure frequency before aircraft switch to its airport’s Unicom frequency.

339.500 – VMFA-115 Tac 1
225.675 – VMFA-115 Tac 2
258.900 – VMFA(AW)-224 Tac 2
349.225 – VMFAT-501 Tac 2
341.825 – VMFAT-501 Tac 3
354.325 – MAG-31, VMFT-401 Air-to-Air
361.800 – MAG-31, VMFT-401 Air-to-Air

318.100 – Columbia, SC Approach/Departure
141.900 – 55th FS Air-to-Air

318.100 – Columbia, SC Approach/Departure
298.300 – 169th FW Ops
141.825 – 169th FW V14

132.475 – Athens Approach/Departure
122.950 – Unicom; Athens

118.700 – Augusta Regional Tower
119.150 – Augusta Approach/Departure
126.800 – Augusta Approach/Departure

119.300 – Charleston Approach/Departure
120.700 – Charleston Approach/Departure

124.200 – Atlanta Approach/Departure, Warner Robins/Macon
293.525 – 116th/461st ACW “PEACHTREE Ops”

122.700 – Unicom; Cornelia/Washington/Wrens/Oconee
122.800 – Unicom; Toccoa/Jefferson/Thomson/Elberton
122.900 – Unicom; Canon/Waynesboro/Louisville/Millen
123.000 – Unicom; Sandersville
123.075 – Unicom; Gainesville
123.600 – Unicom; Anderson, SC

119.375 – ZTL Macon High
120.425 – ZTL Georgia High
120.450 – ZTL Tiroe Low
121.350 – ZTL Logen Low
123.950 – ZTL Sinca Low
124.325 – ZTL Clark Hill Ultra High
124.375 – ZTL Lanier High
124.425 – ZTL Charlotte High
124.875 – ZTL Allatoona Ultra High
125.025 – ZTL High Rock Ultra High
125.575 – ZTL LaGrange High
125.625 – ZTL Spartanburg High
125.825 – ZTL Hampton Ultra High
126.425 – ZTL Dublin High
126.675 – ZTL Crossville High
128.100 – ZTL Augusta Low
129.925 – ZTL Burne High
132.050 – ZTL Dalas Low
132.625 – ZTL Shine Low
132.975 – ZTL Pulaski High
133.100 – ZTL Departure North
133.150 – ZTL Locas Low
133.175 – ZTL Rocket High
133.600 – ZTL Hinch Mountain Low
134.075 – ZTL Blue Ridge Ultra High
134.500 – ZTL South Departure Low
134.550 – ZTL Moped Low
134.800 – ZTL Commerce Ultra Low
135.350 – ZTL Unarm Low
263.125 – ZTL Unarm Low
269.100 – ZTL Spartanburg High
269.175 – ZTL Burne High
269.625 – ZTL Sinca Low
291.750 – ZTL High Rock Ultra High
296.600 – ZTL Lawtey Ultra High
322.325 – ZTL Augusta Low
353.925 – ZTL Lanier High
360.750 – ZTL South Departure Low

343.750 – Bulldog MOA

284.500 – SEALORD North Primary
349.800 – W-137 Discrete
376.900 – W-137 Discrete

364.200 – NORAD AICC

324.600 – AR-207

 

If it wouldn’t have been such a quick trip, 600 miles over two days, it would have been a wonderful road trip, but as it was it wasn’t all that bad. Getting to see the mountains was quite the departure from the normal coast scenes of coastal Georgia. While in northeast Georgia, I took the opportunity to visit both the Currahee Museum in Toccoa and Tugaloo State Park between Toccoa and Lavonia; I’ll have a post up about that later. I definitely want to get back up to northeast Georgia and spend some more time, so it’s been added to my vacation to-do-list.

 

 

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