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dtownral
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its more about me not wanting to spend the money for equipment than the difficulty of the test. i'm confident that i could pass the exam.

6/4/2013 7:19:37 AM

TenaciousC
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Fair enough. I'd say take the Skywarn courses (free) and worry about maybe getting a license and equipment later. You can get an handheld device pretty cheap, but KE4ZNR would be a better person to tell you about those options.

You can go ahead and start listening to the weekly Skywarn net tonight. It starts at 9:15. Go here: http://www.broadcastify.com/listen/ctid/1978 and scroll down to Central Carolina Skywarn - 146.880MHz.

6/4/2013 10:16:38 AM

OmarBadu
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bttt

1/27/2014 10:13:07 PM

ben94gt
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i work in the DOT operations center. im one of the IMAP dispatchers and ill be on from 2-10pm tomorrow. IMAP is probably going to be running later than normal with the winter weather. i dont know if your scanners are broken into zones for viper, but were on zone 31 channel 2 for main dispatching. channel 5 is our ops channel, and 3, however we usually only use 3 for divison 3 (wilmington) imap. channel 2 is labeled tmc im wake on our radios and channel 5 is im to im wake. if you hear p203, thats the incident management engineer, he doesnt run often so if he does its pretty serious. p204 is the morning shift supervisor and p205 is the afternoon shift supervisor. all the other guys are rank and file drivers. my operator id is p294, but when dispatching we just go by stoc. anyway, im anticipating tomorrow will be pretty busy so you will probably hear me a lot if you tune in.

1/28/2014 1:41:48 AM

KE4ZNR
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^ I am sure I have heard you from my offices in Durham as I keep one radio parked on the
Durham Camden Ave VIPER which picks up the DOT IMAP TGs.

As far as Winter Weather comms I have gotten the following info from a reliable source:

Quote :
"DOT is deploying an IMAP team specially assigned to work I-95 tomorrow. Have been assigned Statewide Events Analog Bravo 1 (912 DEC/039 HEX).

NCNG will provide 2 Humvees on station at the Rocky Mount and Sanford Armories NLT 1300 28 JAN. They will monitor VIPER ALPHA 2 (816 DEC/033 HEX) and VIPER ALPHA 3 (848 DEC/035 HEX) respectively for state assignments. "


I would advise keeping all of the Statewide Event Talkgroups in your scanlist.

I have to be here at the radio shop until we close at 4pm today as we Radio System Engineers are considered "Essential" employees like Public Safety.

At least I have the Snowpocalypse radio command post set up for both here and home

1/28/2014 9:48:25 AM

KE4ZNR
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Couple more pics:
Radio Row here at work:




And a look at the system monitoring software we use: Zonewatch on the Left and Trunk88
on the right. Both show realtime system activity just in different formats:



[Edited on January 28, 2014 at 10:58 AM. Reason : fix]

1/28/2014 10:56:28 AM

Master_Yoda
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Anyone know what the fun at the airport was tonight? They called a level 1 alarm on a plane coming in, but didnt say why and cleared it as soon as it landed.

1/29/2014 7:23:05 PM

ben94gt
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yea we pulled 2 imap drivers from triad, metrolina, and triangle to run i-95. they are going to run through 2pm tomorrow. i wasnt involved with dispatching them, i just did the triangle area, but the guy doing the i-95 dispatch was at the desk beside me.

as for the rdu call, they said they had a plane coming in with no landing gear and no steering. i never heard anything else about it after that first request though.

1/29/2014 8:24:00 PM

KE4ZNR
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So there are some big changes coming to Central NC Communications over the next year or so...
--City of Durham is upgrading their system from a Motorola 4.1 platform to a Motorola 7.13 fully P25 digital voice platform. To accomplish this some interesting steps will be taken. Durham has 21 total channels on its trunked radio system along with 3 conventional freqs that will be added to the existing channels to give Durham a total of 24 total channels. Once infrastructure is in place the Durham Communications Maintenance Division (aka Radio Shop) will split these 24 channels into 2 systems of 12 channels each. One of the 2 systems will be the 7.13 P25 Public Safety System. The other radio system will be the legacy 4.1 system which will be kept online for Public Works users. The two systems will be linked via a Motorola SmartX device that allows cross system communication.
Once Public Works has been able to acquire enough P25 radios then at some point in the next year the legacy system will be converted to P25 to match the existing P25 Public Safety system.
--Town of Cary is in the process of upgrading its ancient analog only trunked radio system from a one site system to a 3 site P25 system.
--Wake County has decided to "disconnect" from the State of NC VIPER System over the next couple of years and instead will partner with Cary in a Cary/Wake County Partnership. This will mean big changes considering the amount of Wake County users that will have to have radio reprogramming done down the road.
--Johnston County will be moving from their ancient mixed analog/Provoice EDACS system to a P25 system. This should happen by early 2015.
The next couple of years will bring major changes in the public safety communications structure here in Central NC.

1/31/2014 1:05:56 PM

Master_Yoda
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Be real interested to watch this...

I suspect mass chaos for anything State Troopers have to do with Raleigh, ie any NCSU/Canes events and the fair.

With "Wake" is that just EMS/Fire/SO? or including Raleigh and municipalities?

1/31/2014 3:16:34 PM

KE4ZNR
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^It is all Wake County users..which includes Raleigh, LE East communities like Zebulon, Knightdale, Wendell, and other cities like Garner, Hollysprings, etc.

Like I said this will be a big shake up...Wake County owns the towers that the Simulcast system runs off of in Wake County so this could, in theory, create big gaps in VIPER coverage that the SHP will have to find ways around...they might have to work out a co-location agreement with Wake County or find new places for towers....
Like I said the next 12-18 months will be VERY interesting as far as communications here in Central NC.

1/31/2014 5:40:35 PM

ben94gt
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i dont pretend to know exactly how viper works, i just use it haha. anyway, at work our dispatch computers pick up durham, wake so and the like. the handhelds we can use however do not have durham or wake so. the only triange le we can pick up is rpd and morrisville pd for some reason; yet i can talk to buncombe and haywood county imap and listen to any shp troop in the state.

2/1/2014 4:25:12 AM

Str8BacardiL
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I passed the ham radio test last weekend. Waiting for my license.

2/4/2014 6:00:40 PM

ben94gt
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were running I-95 imap again, at least through thursday.

2/11/2014 11:06:51 PM

Bobby Light
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I've probably asked this before, but curious to know everyone's thoughts.

Homepatrol 1 or GRE PSR 800? (or similar model?)

If you had to pick only 1 to use while at home and while traveling, which would you get?

I like the display and GPS/ZIP search of the HP 1, but like the size/portability of the GRE. Also I hear that the audio is way better on the GRE.

2/16/2014 1:13:09 PM

Str8BacardiL
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I saw something about a homepatrol handheld and mobile unit on unidens website coming soon.

http://www.uniden.com/scanners/icat/scanners_b2c
The top two.

2/16/2014 6:47:57 PM

KE4ZNR
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@Bobby Light:
I think I can speak on your questions considering that I have helped bring Unidens last
5 scanners to market
A few things to consider:
--Biggest question is what do you want to monitor? And does your scanner need to be a base/mobile or handheld? Those are the big questions.
--GRE PSR 800: GRE went out of business last fall. Whistler bought up the I.P. including rights to all previous GRE scanners. Whistler plans on bringing out past GRE scanners plus future models.
What does this mean for the PSR 800? Folks are still trying to find out if Whistler will retroactively support a scanner they did not make long term.
Having used one I think the PSR 800 is a great little scanner with a few drawbacks. Biggest drawback to me is not having a full keypad. The scanlist way of how systems are stored into memory is less intuitive than the Uniden Dynamic Memory. And the software used to program & update the PSR 800 is a little clunky. Other than that the PSR 800 is a decent enough radio.
--Uniden HomePatrol HP-1: The HP-1 was the 1st in the "HomePatrol" line for Uniden which now also includes the newly released BCD436HP handheld and BCD536HP Base/Mobile.
Here is a quick video from 3 years ago showing my HP-1 monitoring the Wake Simulcast part of VIPER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdNBI9UWpNE
I love my HP-1 and use it as my primary two way radio audio recording device. For those that may not be aware the HP-1 uses an onboard Micro SD card to store the update-able nationwide database and also to hold user initiated recording sessions. With the tap of a button I can easily initiate a recording session if I hear something exciting starting to happen. Example: while it was snowing last Wednesday evening Holly Springs & Apex PDs were involved with a pursuit of an intoxicated subject. I hit the record button as soon as it start to happen and got this recording:
http://youtu.be/ThCdrZMlGQ0

If you have any specific questions about either model let me know. Also if you want to see what a HP-1 looks like/sounds like (or the BCD436HP/BCD536HP) let me know as I usually try to make a weekend trip up to RDU Airport General Aviation bldg and can meet you up there one weekend and let you have a hands on experience with any of the radios.

Marshall @KE4ZNR

2/17/2014 12:26:01 PM

Str8BacardiL
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you just sold me on a homepatrol-1

I tried to listen to all the audio from when my house got broken in to on radio reference but there was too much going on and you could not make anyone out. Would have been better to record it.

2/17/2014 2:11:29 PM

KE4ZNR
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^ Before you buy one catch up with me one weekend up at RDU.
Just let me know in advance and I will bring mine with me.
Another Note about the HP-1:
It comes in 2 flavors:
--The "straight out of the box" HP-1 which will allow you to receive and record audio no problem.
--There is also the "Extreme Upgrade". What do you get with the Extreme upgrade?
Here are all of the advanced features:
http://info.uniden.com/twiki/bin/view/HomePatrol/HomePatrolExtreme
Basically you get advanced system monitoring/detection tools like:
Current Activity Screen--->

Band Scope--->

Trunked System Discovery--->

And other features at the above link. My general rule of thumb is: Unless you are a hardcore radio geek that will use the advanced features from day 1 then buy the HP-1 "stock" and you can always buy the "Extreme Upgrade" down the road.

2/17/2014 2:57:41 PM

Bobby Light
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Definitely looking for a handheld unit I can take around with me and put in the car for trips if I want.

Now, I'm torn between the HP-1 and the BCD436HP

Mainly just want to listen to local public safety/highway patrol. Aviation/Rail would be hella cool, but not a necessity.

Basically, I just want something to listen to Wake/Durham/surrounding areas. Something fairly easy to use, but nice/powerful enough to not regret it during a SHTF situation.

2/17/2014 3:15:56 PM

KE4ZNR
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The 436HP is the handheld that has all of the HP-1 features in a handheld form factor.
Here is a youtube video showing the 436HP scanning Durham County Sheriff digital voice Talkgroups
on the City of Durham radio system: http://youtu.be/xYYLGS_w0nY

The 436HP will also have the "Extreme upgrade" featureset found in the HP-1 included at no additional cost.

The big addition to the BCD436HP/BCD536HP scanners was the inclusion of P25 Phase 2 TDMA reception. In the central NC area this is not a crucial thing to be able to receive at this time because the only P25 Phase 2 TDMA system on the air is Pitt County. Believe me I know as I had to drive to that area and back many times over the last few months putting both radios through the paces of that system. All other systems in this area (VIPER, Durham, Cary, RDU, etc) are upgrading to P25 Phase 1 FDMA. Phase 2 TDMA is not even on the radar for systems in the central NC area any time soon.

2/17/2014 3:28:31 PM

Bobby Light
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The 436HP is definitely SEXY! Gotta decide if the smaller form factor is worth the extra $175-200 pricetag.

I'll likely never become a supergeek (no offense!) and use all the features of any radio I get. I just like the added reassurance that it's there if I need/want it. Not sure it's worth the extra $$ though.

May end up going with a used HP-1 for ~$300-350 and be happy

[Edited on February 17, 2014 at 3:50 PM. Reason : .]

2/17/2014 3:44:51 PM

KE4ZNR
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^ No offense taken. After acquiring 30+ scanners & shortwave radios over the years I deserve the title of Radio Geek.

Like I said before you plunk down the hard earned money catch up with me one weekend at RDU.
You can see how any of the above listed units work on various radio systems as you can pick up Durham, Wake and the RDU radio systems as well as hear how VHF/UHF aircraft sound on the radios.

Here's the HP-1 and other radios up at G.A....took this pic a couple of years ago:

2/17/2014 9:13:35 PM

Master_Yoda
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ben94gt WTF happened on I40 Westbound on the east side of Raleigh this morning? 6 car pileup or more.

2/18/2014 8:53:12 PM

KE4ZNR
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From Around 9Am:

Inc: 29B8 :
Map: 076M
Add: I 40, EB / S SAUNDERS ST
Loc: EXIT 298 SAUNDERS ST
Apt:
CS:
Unt: EMS8,
TG:
Cty: RA
Comm: **ACCIDENT VEHICLE/INJURIES**
. : EXIT 298 SAUNDERS ST
28YO B/M LEFT SHOULDER PAIN

2/19/2014 11:53:22 AM

Bobby Light
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I'm seriously racking my brain trying to decide which unit to get. I really REALLY want the top of the line, just for ease of use, size, newness, ability, etc, but I know I dont need all the features.

And I could get a Pro 96 for like $150 I just wish it was a bit smaller/lighter.


On the topic of antennas, which would you recommend for a Pro 96, BCD396xt, or 436HP?

[Edited on February 19, 2014 at 12:18 PM. Reason : .]

2/19/2014 12:17:41 PM

Master_Yoda
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^^ Wasnt that. This was just before the 40/440 split. Definitely was multi car (I counted 6 but I think was more).

2/19/2014 3:21:11 PM

Bobby Light
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I think I've settled on the BCD396XT, unless there's a compelling reason not to. Monitoring Durham PD, fire, etc. Highway patrol, whatever else is cool to listen to in the area. Aviation would be sweet as well. Would love to meet up one weekend at the airport to check out some of your toys, KE4ZNR.

2/19/2014 7:47:13 PM

KE4ZNR
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^The BCD396XT is a great little radio. It is compact yet has the features you are
looking for. Mine is sitting up here at work as I type this. Here is a size comparison
with the BCD396XT on the left, the BCD436HP in the middle and my Moto XTS 5000
on the right:


As long as the weather is decent tomorrow (Saturday) I should be making a trip to RDU G.A sometime
around lunch or a little after. Feel free to stop by as I should have the radios with me.
Email me at KE4ZNR-at-radioreference.com if you do plan on stopping by and we can coordinate
from there.

2/21/2014 8:35:01 AM

Bobby Light
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Literally just clicked purchase on an ebay auction for a 396xt. $380 for the unit, 2 antennas, gps receiver, adapters, Serial>USB adapter, car charger, wall charger, etc. Seemed like a good deal since I've watched the last several auctions for JUST the unit go for $350+.

2/21/2014 9:28:34 AM

Str8BacardiL
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Listening to SKywarn on 146.88

2/21/2014 9:57:23 AM

KE4ZNR
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^^Let me know when you get it and we will help you get it programmed
for the Triangle...in the mean time you can download FreeScan and get used to
the layout:
https://sites.google.com/site/sixspotsoftware/products/freescan
Freescan gives you the ability to program all aspects of the scanner.

2/21/2014 11:42:42 AM

KE4ZNR
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^^I would tune in myself but I have to concentrate on the Durham Radio System
until the severe WX passes by

2/21/2014 11:43:41 AM

dtownral
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transcript of skywarn:

Dumb People: uh... its uh... raining hard here in uh.... somewhere vague.. raining hard. It's coming to you... uh... in Raleigh.. in uh... some amount of time.
Skywarn lady: sir this is the skywarn system, please provide a location and rainfall amount. please only use this frequency for reports.

just repeat that a bunch of times and you're caught up on skywarn.

2/21/2014 12:06:17 PM

Str8BacardiL
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I tried to report my minuscule amount of hail on the front of the storm but I don't think she could hear me. My radio must be programmed wrong.

2/22/2014 1:00:36 PM

ben94gt
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im not sure what was going on that morning. i never work the morning shift. i do know that one of those days earlier this week they were repainting the lane markings in the fotify zone so 440 was down to one lane. that caused a lot of backup.

2/23/2014 3:22:12 AM

Str8BacardiL
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chris christie ordered a "traffic study"

2/23/2014 10:42:59 AM

KE4ZNR
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Remember Wednesday 2-12 when it was snowing like hell?
Holly Springs PD & Apex PD decided to pursue a drunk driver that evening.
Made for some interesting monitoring....
http://youtu.be/ThCdrZMlGQ0

2/23/2014 4:57:47 PM

Bobby Light
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Annnnnnd, I'm up and running! Had my headphones on all morning listening to:

1 - DURHAM COUNTY LAW
2 - DURHAM COUNTY FIRE/EMS
3 - WAKE COUNTY LAW
4 - WAKE COUNTY FIRE/EMS
5 - CHATHAM COUNTY
6 - STATE AGENCIES (Highway Patrol, Alcohol Bev, etc.)
7 - "NEW VIPER (this is the newer Viper system, only in limited use by a few agencies)"...Is this the same VIPER that our HP uses? or is this something new?

The guy I bought it from preprogrammed the above quick key's....I'll mess with it some tonight to figure out how to program it myself.

What else is fun to listen to? I think next i'll add some of the KRDU frequencies from here:
http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?aid=3766



Oh yeah, need to add Skywarn!! \/


[Edited on February 26, 2014 at 10:43 AM. Reason : .]

2/26/2014 10:24:09 AM

wdprice3
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I love skywarn, but you guys are correct. The majority of people calling in reports on the net are utterly stupid. I just can't understand what's so hard about following the proper protocol.

2/26/2014 10:38:03 AM

KE4ZNR
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^ @Bobby Light:
A few notes:
--Make sure you are always scanning Wake Event/Chase 10 which is TGID 34368. If there
is any big multi-agency situation happening like a pursuit that is the TG all units involved will
be using.
--Raleigh PD is using a form of dispatching known as "Split District Dispatching".
Awhile back I wrote up a "Raleigh PD Monitoring Guide" which can be found here:
http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Raleigh_NC_Police_Monitoring_Guide
--Right click and save this file:
http://www.qsl.net/ke4znr/RDU396XT/RDU396XT.996
That is a Freescan file with RDU Airport Frequencies. Just need to upload it to your radio.
--Let me know if you have any other questions about comms you are hearing.
Unless something major changes I should be back up at RDU Airport General Aviation
in a couple days on Saturday. Feel free to stop by if you have any other questions.
Marshall @KE4ZNR

2/27/2014 8:24:47 AM

Bobby Light
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Thanks for the advice! I might actually be free this saturday, so I might actually be able to make it out. What time do you typically go?

2/27/2014 8:39:58 AM

KE4ZNR
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^Anytime from around noon on I should be there....
Last weekend when I was up there Grant Hill made an appearance:
http://flic.kr/s/aHsjT7f6JV
If you have not been up there before here is a youtube video
showing where the G.A. Building is located:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6S64s06jCwc
On the weekends you can park in any available parking space out front.

[Edited on February 27, 2014 at 10:17 AM. Reason : doh]

2/27/2014 10:17:12 AM

KE4ZNR
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Still planning to be up at RDU Airport G.A. tomorrow from around noon/lunchtime on.

Will have radios with me as well.

2/28/2014 11:53:41 AM

Master_Yoda
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Anyone know if theres any channels on this supposed plane crash in nash county? Im looking at several nash LE channels and the SHP net for that area and have nothing.

2/28/2014 9:40:11 PM

Bobby Light
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Wife's got a few things I need to finish up this morning on my "honeydo" list, but I'll try to be out at KRDU by 2 at the latest.

[Edited on March 1, 2014 at 10:30 AM. Reason : ,]

3/1/2014 10:24:42 AM

KE4ZNR
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^ Great to catch up with Bobby Light at RDU yesterday. Lots of good radio discussion.
I just hope I did not overwhelm you.
I have sent you an email with some info.
Hope to catch you and the misses out at RDU again sometime!

3/2/2014 5:57:26 PM

Bobby Light
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Oh, definitely consider me overwhelmed

But it was lots of good info, and I've just gotta learn it one bit at a time. Thanks again for taking the time to break it all down. I'll definitely be out there at RDU regularly. Awesome spot for just hanging out...the planes/helis are icing on the cake.

3/2/2014 10:08:01 PM

Str8BacardiL
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The S. Wake Repeater says its 25 degrees at 1200 feet.

Brrrrr

3/4/2014 11:26:54 PM

KE4ZNR
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^ I really have to give you a shout out on one of the local repeaters soon.

3/6/2014 9:24:22 AM

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