Fernandina Beach, FL – Yesterday I took a day trip down to Fernandina Beach, Florida to visit Fort Clinch State Park. Another purpose of the trip was to do some monitoring of the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay and Naval Station Mayport areas. The first part of the trip was visiting Fort Clinch in the morning, followed by driving down to have lunch at the Sandollar Restaurant near the St. John’s River Ferry for lunch. My parents rode along to visit a friend in the area, so I let the Uniden HP2 and Whistler TRX-1 in the mobile station do the bulk of the radio monitoring work.
Five amateur radio repeaters were active throughout the day as we visited Fort Clinch State Park, Fernandina Beach, and the Naval Station Mayport area. 147.000+ (PL 127.3), a wide coverage repeater sites in Callahan with multiple voting receiver sites and 442.900+ (PL 127.3) in Yulee, part of the Florida Statewide Amateur Radio Network, provided the best coverage throughout the area we visited.
147.195+ (PL 118.8) – W6EMA, Kingsland, GA
147.000- (PL 127.3) – W4NAS, Callahan, FL
442.900+ (PL 127.3) – KC5LPA, Yulee, FL*
146.700- (PL 127.3) – W4IZ, Jacksonville, FL
146.955- (PL 131.8) – AA4QI, Jacksonville, FL
*Indicates the repeater is part of the Florida Statewide Amateur Radio Network
Public Safety-wise, most of the activity in Nassau County and Duval County are on P25 systems: the Nassau County Phase I trunked system and the Jacksonville First Coast Phase I trunked system. Both counties do, however, simulcast initial dispatches on conventional analog frequencies. The Forestry services in both Georgia and Florida use analog conventional VHF repeaters as do the Fort Clinch and Little Talbot State Parks in Florida. I didn’t hear Fort Clinch on any of the frequencies listed for it at RadioReference, but I did find them on a different VHF repeater than the one listed.
Public Safety Conventional
155.8800 (PL 118.8) – Camden County Fire Dispatch
155.9250 (PL 156.7) – Nassau County Fire/Rescue Dispatch
460.5750 (PL 146.2) – Jacksonville Fire/Rescue Dispatch
154.2200 (PL 156.7) – Jacksonville Beach FD Dispatch
159.1200 (DCS 054) – Georgia Forestry D5 Repeater
151.0100 (PL 103.5) – Little Talbot State Park Repeater
159.2400 (PL 97.4) – Florida Forest Service Field Unit 7
159.4425 (PL 151.4) – Fort Clinch State Park Repeater
Nassau County P25 TRS
TG 1001 – Nassau County Fire/Rescue A1 Dispatch
TG 1002 – Nassau County Fire/Rescue A2 FG-1
Jacksonville First Coast P25 TRS
TG 149 – Jacksonville Fire/Rescue Patch
TG 1085 – Jacksonville Fire/Rescue A1 Main
TG 1087 – Jacksonville Fire/Rescue A2 Dispatch
As far as FedCom goes, from Camden County and Nassau County, I could hear the Okefenokee NWR East repeater quite well, especially during the morning. The Coast Guard was very active on both of the Sector Jacksonville frequencies, CG 111 and CG 409, but unfortunately, all of it was encrypted. There was some analog activity from the USCG on Marine VHF Ch. 81, but not very much that I could hear.
164.6250 (PL 103.5) – Okefenokee NWR East
157.0750 – Marine VHF Ch. 81
162.3250 ($293) – CG 111, Sector Jacksonville (encrypted)
412.9750 ($293) – CG 409, Sector Jacksonville Air Ops (encrypted)
The primary focus of the day’s radio monitoring was NSB Kings Bay and NS Mayport. Both bases utilize the Department of Defense P25 Phase II trunked system for their land mobile communications. NS Mayport is also home to McDonald Field, which is home to four MH-60R squadrons, including one of the Navy’s MH-60R fleet replacement squadrons, HSM-40. A number of the aircraft were active during the day as AIRWOLF ##. During lunch at the Sandollar, I could watch the MH-60Rs doing pattern work just across the St. John’s River at McDonald Field. While we at lunch, the HP-2 happened to log some audio that identified a talkgroup on the Department of Defense TRS as an HSM-40 talkgroup; while reviewing the logs and audio, I heard one of the MH-60Rs pass a report on their Base frequency which was then relayed to another station over talkgroup 28318. During the morning while we were visiting the fort, the HP-2 also logged some unidentified activity on two Marine VHF frequencies that sounded like possible H-60 air-to-surface communications. During the trip down I-95, F-35Bs from VMFAT-501 and F-16CMs from the 169th FW were training at Townsend Range in McIntosh County, GA and you could even hear some of the activity from Fernandina Beach. F-35Bs from VMFAT-501 were also active off of the coast training in the W-137 Special Use Area.
Department of Defense TRS
TG 28059 – NSB Kings Bay unknown (encrypted)
TG 28065 – NSB Kings Bay unknown (encrypted)
TG 28081 – NSB Kings Bay unknown (encrypted)
TG 28082 – NSB Kings Bay unknown (encrypted)
TG 28087 – NSB Kings Bay unknown (encrypted/unencrypted)
TG 28146 – NAS Jacksonville Fire Dispatch
TG 28178 – NS Mayport or NAS Jacksonville FD?
TG 28318 – HSM-40
TG 28264 – NS Mayport Tower
TG 28267 – unknown
TG 28318 – unknown
TG 28344 – unknown
TG 28346 – unknown
TG 28527 – Alarm Technicians?
TG 28551 – NS Kings Bay VTG HVAC
TG 28557 – Regional Fire Dispatch Southeast 1
TG 28585 – unknown
TG 28589 – unknown
TG 28591 – unknown
TG 28593 – unknown
TG 28603 – unknown
TG 28614 – RDC Fire Tac 2
TG 29411 – NAS Pensacola/NAS Whiting Crash/Fire Dispatch
Air Traffic Control
118.750/239.300 – NS Mayport Tower
118.300/340.200 – Jacksonville IAP Tower
126.100 – Cecil Field Tower
284.600 – Jacksonville Approach/Departure
254.325 – Jacksonville ARTCC Taylor Low
269.025 – Jacksonville ARTCC Waycross Low
269.250 – Jacksonville ARTCC Ocala Low
277.400 – Jacksonville ARTCC Brunswick Low
282.200 – Jacksonville ARTCC Jekyll Low
307.250 – Jacksonville ARTCC St. Augustine Low/High
250.900 – HSM-40 Base
264.350 – HSM-46 Base
310.200 – NAS Jacksonville Base Ops
306.000 – VP-30 Base
228.400 – Townsend Range
289.200 – Pinecastle Range Ops
267.500 – SEALORD South Primary
284.500 – SEALORD North Primary
349.800 – W-137 Discrete
376.900 – W-137 Discrete
326.700 – VMFAT-501 Tac 1
349.225 – VMFAT-501 Tac 2
140.125 – 169th FW V15
156.425 – Marine VHF Ch. 68; USN H-60 Air-to-Surface comms?
156.725 – Marine VHF Ch. 74; USN H-60 Air-to-Surface comms?
150.5625 (PL 151.4) – Civil Air Patrol
The Sandollar Restaurant was an excellent choice for lunch. I chose the Seafood Alfredo, which is fettuccine alfredo with shrimp, scallops, and blue crab and thoroughly enjoyed it. There were no complaints from my parents about their fried shrimp and grilled shrimp and scallops either. While you eat, you have a beautiful view of the St. John’s River. You can watch the boats and ships go by as well as watch aircraft come and go from NS Mayport, which is right across the river. If you find yourself in the area at at lunch or supper time, you can’t go wrong stopping in for a bite.