Category Archives: HAM Radio

Articles that pertain to HAM Radio such as HF operation, contests, new equipment, etc.

Pro 96 Scanning on the new Linn County System

Well the Linn County system has come online, and despite what I had originally thought, this scanner CAN be used to receive the new Linn County P25 system (CRPD, CRFD, etc)!

There are a few gotcha’s that are explained in depth on Radio Reference:

These basically boil down to: update your scanner DSP to 1.4 and don’t expect to hear everything.

That said, I’ve created an updated Arc96 file ready for you to upload to your Pro92/Pro2096

–> Download Cedar Rapids P25 March 2014 Here <–

Google Doc that explains the talkgroups within the banks available here.

Bank 0: Linn Area Law Enforcement (CRPD, Linn, Marion)
Bank 1: Linn Area Fire (CRFD, Linn, Marion)
Bank 2: Johnson County All (JoCo, ICPD)
Bank 3: RACOM South CR
Bank 4: RACOM North CR
Bank 5: FRS/GMRS
Bank 6: Air & Rail
Bank 7: HAM Radio
Bank 8: OPEN
Bank 9: IP&L Line Crew

Updated Pro 96 Pro 2096 Cedar Rapids Police Scanner Config

It’s been 3 years since I last posted an updated Pro 96/2096 scanner file for the Linn County metro area.

There has not been a significant number of changes in public service scanning in Linn County in that time. However, I have revamped my scanner programming to cover a new approach in scanning.

I am posting a new version (version 3) of my scanner file today.  This is a Arc96 Binary formatted file which can be programmed with the application Arc96 and a data cable.

I have removed much of the business banks and expanded public service banks, to offer a more fine tuned approach to scanning. During busy periods, it may be desired to listen to only police or only fire / ambulance. In this new programming table, that is possible.

*** Download CR Pro 96 Scanner November 2013 (v3) HERE ***

One final note, we are in the end days of digital scanning in Cedar Rapids with the Pro 96.  This radio is not compatible with the new Linn County system coming online which will eventually replace the Motorola system used by Cedar Rapids.

Here is the new bank chart:

0. CR Police (Trunk Group 0) [Motorola] 
1. CR Fire (Trunk Group 0) Ambulance (Trunk Group 1) [Motorola] 
2. Linn Police / Fire / EMA 
3. RACOM South CR [EDACS] 
4. RACOM North CR [EDACS] 
6. Air & Rail 
7. HAM Radio 
8. CR City (Trunk Group 0) 5 Seasons Transportation (Trunk Group 1) [Motorola] 
9. Iowa Power and Light Line Crew (Trunk Group 0) [Motorola]

WKQX (87.7) Chicago in Coralville

Noticed something strange today while on my way back from lunch — must be the strange weather, but WKQX from Chicago was nice and clear in Coralville today.

[youtube width=375 height=500]uaAH4qeGpQU[/youtube]

This is one of a very few FM radio stations that broadcast at 87.7MHz.  It can do this because technically it’s not a radio station, but a low power TV station.

So, it’s surprising to hear a station from Chicago in Eastern Iowa — especially so if it’s a low power station.

FCC Coverage WKQX
Wikipedia WKQX

Followup with 5BTV

Well it has been over 4 months since I installed the 5BTV antenna here at home.  I have logged over 200 contacts to North America, Europe, and Africa with this antenna.  I have contested with the antenna and cleared pileups on the second try (routinely) running only 100W.  Let me say, this update is well overdue.  My opinions on this antenna have done nothing but improve with some minor work done by this operator.

First of all, let me stress that this is an antenna you should be putting thought in to.  It’s not a simple dipole antenna you can set up in a day and use.  You need to plan out your radials well in advance.  If you opt to do like I do, you can use a trenching shovel to bury them easy.  What I did was make a long groove in the yard with the trenching shovel.  Just push the earth apart in to a V shape.  Then, run along with the wire and something plastic to push it down in the V.  Finally, walk along the sides of the V to push it back together.

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