Spoornet Radio frequencies

Details of movements for train spotters and photographers.
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Justin Miles
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Location: George, South Africa
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Spoornet Radio frequencies

Post by Justin Miles »

Found these freq years ago thought they might be of interest, as it helps to know exactly when a train
is leaving a particular station.
Used a modified FM radio to pick them up nowadays a radio scanner is far easier.
  • 143.08 Mhz - Voorbaai to Oudtshoorn (Oudtshoorn radio control)
Cannot remember the Voorbaai to Worcester radio control and
Oudtshoorn to Uitenhage (not sure if Uitehage is the boundary)
One was 143.18 and the other was 142.9?? Mhz
Regards
Justin Miles
Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe,Mossel Bay,Spotted Eagle Owl
http://www.midafricam.co.za
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Kevin Wilson-Smith
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Re: Spoornet Radio frequencies

Post by Kevin Wilson-Smith »

Anyone know any others?
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Dylan Knott
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Re: Spoornet Radio frequencies

Post by Dylan Knott »

Down here in the Helderberg areas they use Trunking radios, which are difficult to scan.
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Steve Appleton
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Re: Spoornet Radio frequencies

Post by Steve Appleton »

I have a feeling that TFR radios are much more difficult to crack these days due to the trunk radio technology. The old fixed-frequency network no longer exists so far as I am aware.
Not only that, most fixed-frequency walkie-talkies use narrow-band (narrow deviation) FM. This is difficult to receive on a simple modified domestic FM radio which uses wide-band FM. As a consequence, even if you were able to alter the receiver's frequency range (and many modern FM receivers use digital synthesiser frequency selection, not the old fashioned coils and capacitors that could be changed), the signal would come in very weak with lots of noise. Accurate frequency stability is a requirement (no drift), something cheaper domestic receivers are not good at. Reception distance would be poor. Plus there would be little discrimination against the close-by, neigbouring channels: NBFM channels are extremely close together by domestic FM standards.
Trunk radio uses frequencies that are selected out of a pool by the system, seemingly at random. The system selects an available frequency for a requested radio session out of a bunch of available frequencies, relinquishing it back to the pool after use. That means that you would not know in advance what frequency any particular transmission would be on. I am not sure if TFR is there yet, but the newest systems are totally digital and encrypted. Some also use spread-spectrum modulation techniques. This means that, like the new SAPS radio system and the cellphone network, they cannot be read, even if you knew all the frequencies.
"To train or not to train, that is the question"
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Dylan Knott
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Re: Spoornet Radio frequencies

Post by Dylan Knott »

Correct, our rescue radios are TETRA Trunking and its impossible to scan.
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Steve Appleton
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Re: Spoornet Radio frequencies

Post by Steve Appleton »

Thanks Dylan. To elaborate, from Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TETRA
TErrestrial Trunked RAdio[1] (TETRA) (formerly known as Trans European Trunked RAdio) is a specialist Professional Mobile Radio [2] and two-way transceiver (colloquially known as a walkie talkie) specification. TETRA was specifically designed for use by government agencies, emergency services, (police forces, fire departments, ambulance), rail transportation staff, transport services and the military.

TETRA is an ETSI standard, first version published 1995. TETRA is endorsed by the European Radio Communications Committee (ERC) and mandated for use in Europe.
In addition to voice and dispatch services, the TETRA system supports several types of data communication. Status messages and short data services (SDS) are provided over the system's main control channel, while Packet Data or Circuit switched data communication uses specifically assigned traffic channels.

All traffic is normally encrypted. TETRA provides both over the air encryption and end-to-end encryption.
"To train or not to train, that is the question"
Justin Miles
Posts: 31
Joined: 02 Jan 2009, 01:02
Location: George, South Africa
Contact:

Re: Spoornet Radio frequencies

Post by Justin Miles »

Justin Miles wrote:Found these freq years ago thought they might be of interest, as it helps to know exactly when a train
is leaving a particular station.
Used a modified FM radio to pick them up nowadays a radio scanner is far easier.
  • 143.08 Mhz - Voorbaai to Oudtshoorn (Oudtshoorn radio control)
Cannot remember the Voorbaai to Worcester radio control and
Oudtshoorn to Uitenhage (not sure if Uitehage is the boundary)
One was 143.18 and the other was 142.9?? Mhz
UPDATE: Oudtshoorn Control is now closed so this area connects to Worcester for all radio comms
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