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HDSDcouple

The Unwanted Line
#1
I am wanting to pick a scanner so i can listen to what is going on in the rail yard. reading the other post on the railroad switching to narrow band has anyone updated equipment and also are the frequencies they are using still the same. I have for the DM&E the following

160.365
160.395
160.965
161.340

Any advice and also where to get them

thanks
 

roee

Active Member
#2
With the update to narrow band all that happens for the current channels is that instead of having 25KHz spacing, they are now 12.5KHz spacing, thus using less of the band. A typical scanner will still pick up the narrow band channel, though it might just sound a bid quieter.

If you are going to buy something new you'll want something that can handle the closer channel spacing so that when new channels pop up in the freed up space, you won't pick them up as well.
 
#3
HRO.com has all kinds of radio stuff scanners and HF recievers. Depends on what you want but you could get your Ham License (Amateur Radio Technician Liscense) and talk on 2m as well as 70 cm and ECHOLINK which connects you to the worls via computers etc. I am using an ICOM IC V8000 with a Diamond SG7500 antenna for primary listening and a Radioshack Scanner with a Mag mount 48 inch antenna. CSX runs 1 main Frequencies W out of Baltimore to Cumberland but have MOW and Police freqs as well.
 

HDSDcouple

The Unwanted Line
#7
Stopped at the shack on western ave. They had a desktop and a handheld both $100. Then they had a huge scanner for $399. It was both base and mobile. Was the size of a large cb radio. I like the handheld. Has any used or have one of those. Thanks for the help.
 
#9
Just for fyi, BNSF in the Souix Falls does have NXDN digital listed on their FCC license. As soon as the class 1 railroads have all their licenses updated and radios in service, the switch to digital will be here.

CSX in the Georgia area will be switching main line train operations to digital in the next week or 2. Once the people in charge are saticfied with the preformance, they will start switching one division at a time.

The average scanner using railfan only has about 2 good years left with their old analog scanner.

As an option, people have been buying the same digital radios the railroads are using.
Icom F3161dt, Icom F5061d, Icom F3101d, Icom F5121d, Kenwood NX-210, and the Kenwood NX-700 are the current models that can monitor conventional NXDN digital railroad.

Steven
 
#10
Steve are you aware of the "cliff effect " in over the air telecommunications ??? This is the SUDDEN DROP OFF of any telecommunications signals the signal quality gradually fades (rolls off) . In DIGITAL technology there is NO such thing as gradual roll off. Either the signal IS there or it is NOT in the DIGITIAL technology universe. I understand for example that the railroads CURRENLY only have an average ONE Dispatcher Radio tower for every 25 or 30 miles of railroad. IN order for Digital NXDN to work RELIABLY, I would expect the railroads would need to TRIPLE the amount of remote Dispatcher Radio Towers for this to work. That would be a very expensive proposition indeed !!

This looks to me as a layman like a very very very LONG , CUMBERSOME and DAUNTING process for this to remotely come close to working in the real world of railroading. I predict that if any railroad ATTEMPTS to cut over to this new technology it will have to REVERSE this action and return to ANALOG rather QUICKLY as the real world issues (roadblocks) bury them in a giant ocean of problems. I am very eager to read a lot of feedback from other inside sources on this very pivotal and vital issue for our very beloved railroads.
---- Daniel


(From Wikipedia )
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cliff_effect

In telecommunications, the (digital) cliff effect or brickwall effect describes the sudden loss of digital signal reception. Unlike analog signals, which gradually fade when signal strength decreases or electromagnetic interference or multipath increases, a digital signal provides data which is either perfect or non-existent at the receiving end. It is named for a graph (shown at right) of reception quality versus signal quality, where the digital signal "falls off a cliff" instead of having a gradual rolloff.




Just for fyi, BNSF in the Souix Falls does have NXDN digital listed on their FCC license. As soon as the class 1 railroads have all their licenses updated and radios in service, the switch to digital will be here.

CSX in the Georgia area will be switching main line train operations to digital in the next week or 2. Once the people in charge are saticfied with the preformance, they will start switching one division at a time.

The average scanner using railfan only has about 2 good years left with their old analog scanner.

As an option, people have been buying the same digital radios the railroads are using.
Icom F3161dt, Icom F5061d, Icom F3101d, Icom F5121d, Kenwood NX-210, and the Kenwood NX-700 are the current models that can monitor conventional NXDN digital railroad.

Steven
 
#11
No disrespect, but I am in the communications business, and have been working with NXDN technology since its inception.

What is your first hand expirence with NXDN, digital land mobile communications systems, or the maintainance and building of such systems?
 
#12
:D :)
I am a very interested railfan who does not see how the science of digital radio can work in the real very "rough and tumble" world environment of railroads.
I am very interested in how the railroads can overcome the technical issue of the cliff effect. Please tell us more detail about this very fascinating area of railroading !!
:) :)
 
#13
Im not sure there is enough space on the server for this fine website to go into all the details.

But one thing I learned about radio waves, they dont always follow the rules we think they are supposed to follow:)

But to give you one of my first hand expirences, I can go to my mobile NXDN radio right now any day of the week, and talk just as far and sometimes further than I can in analog wideband.
I have made countless demos for potential and new customers who have the same conclusion about digital, then are blown away by the physical proof.

Any type of digital works differently from analog, so when someone whos expirences have only been with analog, and they try to use the same techniques when working on or around a digital system, the system will work like crap, hence feeding to everyones assumptions about the lack of signal quality and range with digital.
Fortunately, some of the radio techs that I know who are working on railroad radio systems have a decent understanding of NXDN 6.25.

Now as for the cliff effect. It does exsist on digital. But not quite to the extent everyone claims. I have personally seem a mixed mode radio talk using NXDN 6.25 to another similar mobile set up using 25w. Using then the same radio set up, both radios switched to analog wide band, and didnt even break the squelch on 25w. We put both radios on 50w, and could communication, but the analog signal was covered in noise. Going back to the digital channel, it was full quieting.

In a locomotive cab there is so much noise that even though an analog signal may come through, the signal noise is so high its really hard to make out. But digital takes any signal thats left, removes all the noise, and gives you 100% audio.
The class 1 railroads have already tested NXDN on road and dispatch channels. If they werent happy with the results, they wouldnt be currently replacing good analog radios that ARE narrowband compliant with NXDN radios that are programmed and ready to operate digital.
 





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