ICE MotoTRBO TRS Decoding Project

A forum for discussion of the many trunked radio systems in and around our listening area.
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wb1hbu
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#126 Post by wb1hbu » 23 Jul 2016 20:19

Hello,

Color Code 0 would tend to make it a Comtronics site. ICE on 900 MHz uses Color Code 1 through 15 based on the site number. Site 16 cycles back to Color Code 1.

I was in Boston near South Station, so I checked out Site 23 located near the BCEC in South Boston. I get a strong signal with no antenna near the FCC license location, a round brick tower with antennas. I noticed AAA - Avon Base (28) and Logan Express - Framingham (46) were active on the site.

73 Eric

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JFR
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#127 Post by JFR » 24 Jul 2016 11:28

Is this the smoke stack? If so, it has an interesting history.

-JR

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wb1hbu
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#128 Post by wb1hbu » 24 Jul 2016 15:32

Hello,

Yes, that looks like it. There is an interesting 3D effect in Google Earth if you drag the image around the tower.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/42%C2 ... -71.049247

73 Eric

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garys
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#129 Post by garys » 25 Jul 2016 15:24

Someone updated Site 32 as Sudbury, but that doesn't make a lot of sense since Site 6 has been previously identified as Sudbury. I've copied Site 6 when I'm in the area and it is has a very strong signal.

Next time I'm up there, I'll listen to Site 32, but the last time I was in the area and listened, I didn't hear anything on it.

Very curious.
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W1KNE
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#130 Post by W1KNE » 25 Jul 2016 15:48

garys wrote:Someone updated Site 32 as Sudbury, but that doesn't make a lot of sense since Site 6 has been previously identified as Sudbury. I've copied Site 6 when I'm in the area and it is has a very strong signal.

Next time I'm up there, I'll listen to Site 32, but the last time I was in the area and listened, I didn't hear anything on it.

Very curious.
I did, because I got a Close Call hit on one of the frequencies licensed to ICE on Nobscott Hill in Sudbury. Didn't hear any traffic, because this was a few weeks back before I had the DMR upgrade, so all I heard was DMR "noise". I was within 2 miles of the site when I got the CC hit. I have to find the paperwork, as to which frequency it was.
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#131 Post by W1KNE » 25 Jul 2016 15:56

Gary, I found my notes
I wrote: "CC Hit 937.6 Rte 20 and Crossing Plaza".

I was going through my notes for confirmations today, and noted we had 937.600 as an UNID site 32 , which matches Radio Reference (which was labelled as Sudbury). So based on RR/FCC License , I put 2+2 and came up with Sudbury.

Edit: I note that RR has Site 6 as Farmington, NH.

This will require some investigating.
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#132 Post by garys » 25 Jul 2016 16:33

Are you sure it wasn't Framingham? I found a Nobscot Road in Sudbury, but the only Nobscot Hill was in Framingham off of Route 9. I just don't see there being two sites in Sudbury.
W1KNE wrote:I did, because I got a Close Call hit on one of the frequencies licensed to ICE on Nobscott Hill in Sudbury. Didn't hear any traffic, because this was a few weeks back before I had the DMR upgrade, so all I heard was DMR "noise". I was within 2 miles of the site when I got the CC hit. I have to find the paperwork, as to which frequency it was.
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#133 Post by W1KNE » 25 Jul 2016 17:56

So I guess the peak is in Framingham, but the hill crosses over the Sudbury Line.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobscot_H ... and_MA.jpg is an image of the hill.

It is 4 miles north of Route 9. The towers all sit off of Brimstone Lane, which comes in from Sudbury and crosses over into Framingham.

I would agree with you, based on this, that the site should be relabeled as Framingham.

(RadioReference after checking again, has it as "Sudbury/Framingham")
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#134 Post by garys » 25 Jul 2016 19:27

Maybe Site 6, which we think of as being in Sudbury, is further north. Next time I get out that way, time permitting, I'll drive out Route 27 towards Maynard and see how much signal I get from Site 6 and then towards Route 9 and see how much signal I get from Site 32.

As we've been finding out lately with the Comtronics system, a lot of our original site information is guesswork and might be incorrect.

Interestingly, they don't list a Sudbury or Framingham tower site on their website. Which probably means that they are leasing space on other companies towers as well as using some of the ones they own.
W1KNE wrote:So I guess the peak is in Framingham, but the hill crosses over the Sudbury Line.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobscot_H ... and_MA.jpg is an image of the hill.

It is 4 miles north of Route 9. The towers all sit off of Brimstone Lane, which comes in from Sudbury and crosses over into Framingham.

I would agree with you, based on this, that the site should be relabeled as Framingham.

(RadioReference after checking again, has it as "Sudbury/Framingham")
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#135 Post by garys » 08 Aug 2016 16:48

I got to Sudbury today and can confirm that Site 6 is on that site. I got up Brimstone Lane as far as the "No Trespassing" signs and the signal was full quieting with no antenna on my set up. I started tracking the system from Nine Acre Corner (NAC) on the Sudbury/Concord line to see if Site 6 was stronger up there. There are a couple of towers that might have trunk sites on them in that area. Signal was readable, but only with an antenna on. As I drove down Route 27 to Route 20 through Sudbury the Site 6 signal got much stronger until I hit Brimstone Lane where it was off the scale.

At NAC, Site 32 was readable, but not as strong as Site 6. When I tested again at Shoppers World on Route 9, Site 32 was very weak even with a Larson tri band mag mount, which Site 6 was clearly readable.

Based on that, I still think that Site 32 is north or northwest of Boston.

I think leaving Site 6 as Sudbury is fine as it's right on the line between the two. I think Site 32 might have to go back on the unknown site list.

Personally, I'm not impressed with the RRDB data for this system. I think what we have developed here over the past couple of years is much more accurate and reliable.

W1KNE wrote:So I guess the peak is in Framingham, but the hill crosses over the Sudbury Line.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobscot_H ... and_MA.jpg is an image of the hill.

It is 4 miles north of Route 9. The towers all sit off of Brimstone Lane, which comes in from Sudbury and crosses over into Framingham.

I would agree with you, based on this, that the site should be relabeled as Framingham.

(RadioReference after checking again, has it as "Sudbury/Framingham")
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#136 Post by W1KNE » 08 Aug 2016 20:54

garys wrote: Personally, I'm not impressed with the RRDB data for this system. I think what we have developed here over the past couple of years is much more accurate and reliable.
You're 100% correct. It actually was worse before I got into it. I cleaned up a lot of information that was clearly incorrect on it. If the sites are wrong, I will fix it.
I've scanned through a lot of the data over there to try to keep it accurate as well. It's important to have accurate data on both sites.
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#137 Post by N1ZZN » 08 Aug 2016 20:55

Not that it matters, but the ham repeaters that are on Nobscott are referred to as being in Framingham. The company I work for has a paging TX up there too, and we've always called it that too... I've never checked to see where the town line actually lies. Maybe it's just always been called Framingham because that's the bigger, more recognizable town.
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#138 Post by garys » 08 Aug 2016 21:08

I'm ambivalent since it's only 551' from the tower site to the Sudbury line. It appears that until recently, the only access to the area was from Sudbury.
N1ZZN wrote:Not that it matters, but the ham repeaters that are on Nobscott are referred to as being in Framingham. The company I work for has a paging TX up there too, and we've always called it that too... I've never checked to see where the town line actually lies. Maybe it's just always been called Framingham because that's the bigger, more recognizable town.
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ICE MotoTRBO TRS Decoding Project

#139 Post by JFR » 16 Aug 2016 18:36

We called our site "Framingham Nobscott" with access via the street in Sudbury. (Brimstone St or something). The line is indeed just to the north of the tower.

-JR

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#140 Post by JFR » 16 Aug 2016 18:43

garys wrote:I think what we have developed here over the past couple of years is much more accurate and reliable.
I believe this is true for just about every system (RRDB vs SNE). The amount of on the ground/air investigation done by SNE members is amazing. The RRDB has gotten much better. I don't not want to take away anything from those moderators. The direct download to programming software feature helps initial scanner programming for new users, too.

-JR

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#141 Post by garys » 16 Aug 2016 19:37

The RRDB is good for people visiting areas with which they are not familiar. I've used it several times to build "profiles" for trips to various parts of the country. The download feature into various programming software is very nice. It's not 100%, but it's no doubt better than trying to develop the whole thing from scratch. For areas I'm in all the time, I build my own because it makes sense to put the time into the research.

I've visited or searched for local scanning sites like SNE and they are few and far between. We have a very dedicated user base here and the Wiki shows the results.
JFR wrote:I believe this is true for just about every system (RRDB vs SNE). The amount of on the ground/air investigation done by SNE members is amazing. The RRDB has gotten much better. I don't not want to take away anything from those moderators. The direct download to programming software feature helps initial scanner programming for new users, too.

-JR
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#142 Post by garys » 16 Aug 2016 19:38

Maybe for the Wiki, we can call it "Framingham/Sudbury".
JFR wrote:We called our site "Framingham Nobscott" with access via the street in Sudbury. (Brimstone St or something). The line is indeed just to the north of the tower.

-JR
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#143 Post by jmarcel66 » 23 Jul 2017 08:41

Hi All,

Came across what appears to be Site 37 in the ICE Trbo system. Frequency was 937.425 with a Color Code of 7. I was picking it up from my folks place in Merrimack, NH which is an awesome spot for reception. I was getting ICE sites from Quincy to Central Mass, so I'm not sure the location. I did an FCC search (which isn't always accurate) and found Rutland and Orleans, MA. I picked Rutland for the Wiki and have it in for now.

Thanks,
John
John Marcel
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Concord, NH Fire Alarm

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#144 Post by ecps92 » 23 Jul 2017 09:45

Looking at the Wiki - the ICE TRBO goes up in CC Order... and Rutland should, be, if all the planets align CC 7
Maybe Central Mass can confirm
jmarcel66 wrote:Hi All,

Came across what appears to be Site 37 in the ICE Trbo system. Frequency was 937.425 with a Color Code of 7. I was picking it up from my folks place in Merrimack, NH which is an awesome spot for reception. I was getting ICE sites from Quincy to Central Mass, so I'm not sure the location. I did an FCC search (which isn't always accurate) and found Rutland and Orleans, MA. I picked Rutland for the Wiki and have it in for now.

Thanks,
John
Bill Dunn N1KUG
Cruise Ship Frequencies
http://scanmaritime.com

"The tougher it is to find a frequency, the more it makes me want to work to find it. - I've learned to use the SEARCH Button"

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#145 Post by garys » 23 Jul 2017 10:45

That's what John said.
ecps92 wrote:Looking at the Wiki - the ICE TRBO goes up in CC Order... and Rutland should, be, if all the planets align CC 7
Maybe Central Mass can confirm
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#146 Post by garys » 07 Aug 2017 21:41

I was playing around with my SDR-DSD+ set up tonight and for some reason site 32 was coming in very strongly. I looked at the Wiki page and the location is given as "Sudbury". This doesn't make a lot of sense as Site 6 is Sudbury on Nobscot Hill. Actually, it's right on the line of Sudbury and Framingham and is technically in Framingham, but that's not part of this discussion.

As we know the FCC data doesn't always match the actual frequency use, so I started to look at the individual frequencies in the FCC database to see if there were any hints. As best as I can tell from the FCC information this site is actually in Middleton, MA If you dig into the FCC filings there is a contour map that shows a site in Middleton near Danvers with a large footprint. The call sign is WQAB713 if anyone wants to look at the data.

I don't get up that way very often and I don't know how long I'll be able to hear the site. Over the weekend, I was able to receive Exeter, RI for a bit, but that's gone now so I don't know if I'll hear this tomorrow or not.

Maybe someone up there can verify the site location. The site is off of Route 62 in an industrial area. The lat/long information places the tower on the grounds of the Essex County House of Corrections, but a look at Google Maps doesn't show a tower in the satellite view.

That's all I know, so far.
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#147 Post by garys » 19 Sep 2017 22:28

A couple of sites have added frequencies.

Quincy added 939.150 LCN 17 OTA 17/18. Wiki has been updated.

Site 22 Boston now has added two frequencies, but I don't know what they are yet.
Site 23 South Boston now has also added two frequencies. I have a couple of possibilities and will try to confirm them.

Has anyone figured out where Site 22 actually is? That might make it easier to track down the frequencies.
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Re: ICE MotoTRBO TRS Decoding Project

#148 Post by garys » 18 Mar 2018 10:17

I've noticed that Site 2 (Quincy) has a "missing" frequency. OTA Channels 13/14 are shown as 935.4000, however when watching the site on DSD+ nothing happens when either of those channels are selected for voice use. FMP24 synthesizes that frequency, but there is no activity on it. All of the other channels work as expected, so it's not a configuration issue with on my computer.

I don't know how long this has been going on, nor do I know if it's an issue with the transmitter on that specific frequency or if the frequency has changed for some reason. I've been searching to determine if the frequency has changed, but so far haven't found anything.

If someone else with DSD+ is interested in taking a look at the site, it might help figure this out.

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Re: ICE MotoTRBO TRS Decoding Project

#149 Post by garys » 22 Mar 2018 22:46

I went to East Milton Square this afternoon and set up my SDR/DSD+ rig. 935.4000 is on the air, but with greatly reduce power. Seems to be some sort of problem with the transmitter for that particular frequency.

I wonder how long it will take before it gets fixed?

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Re: ICE MotoTRBO TRS Decoding Project

#150 Post by jmarcel66 » 27 Apr 2018 23:01

Site 38 appears active in NH on 935.4625 with the Control Channel in service at the moment. Strong signal in North Concord (Penacook), NH and may be in Northfield atop Highland Mountain. It is showing Site 38 with Color Code of 8.

John Marcel,
Penacook, NH
K1FDD/WPXA902

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