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North Central Florida
Area Scannist's Page

06/11/2010: EMWIN EMERGENCY: Sat Downlink Freqs Under Attack By Broadband Interests. On June 4th, 2010, the FCC put out a Public Notice requesting comments to determine actual unlicensed usage of the EMWIN satellite downlink in the frequency range of 1675-1710 MHz. This is to determine the feasibility of AUCTIONING these frequencies to broadband service interests. If this happens, we would lose the EMWIN satellite downlink, and the 2+-minute leadtime in bulletins current EMWIN users enjoy over the weather radio. This would affect thousands of Emergency Management Agencies across the country, and abroad. BUT WE WERE ONLY GIVEN LESS THAN THREE WEEKS TO WRITE OUR RESPONSE COMMENTS! Responses are due on June 28th. This is unfair. We need to act fast or we could lose free EMWIN bulletins in our area. For more information on the issue and how to make your comments see the AC-EMWIN Blog Site.

02/25/2009: EMWIN Retransmissions Turned Off. Unfortunately, EMWIN Over-The-Air retransmissions have been turned off. It was done for two reasons: First, due to the AC-EMWIN Server hacking (see), and second, due to lack of use.

As for the hacking, it occurred by an individual who was once an admin but who had been banned from using the system for being too irresponsible and after causing just too many problems. We were still sending him courtesy bulletins but when the system experienced a problem one day, rather than wait for admin to be able to work on it, he hacked into the system and began perusing federally protected Personally Identifiable Information. So he committed two computer-related crimes. First, he broke into a system he had no authority to access; and second, he perused information he had no need to be looking at considering the problem that was occuring. When I complained about it to the Faculty Advisor of GARC, the FA decided that it was easier to get rid of the victim rather than deal with the criminal.

As for the actual usage of the retransmissions, we gave it a good try, but there really just wasn't that much interest in them. As well, not helping the situation was the fact that the tiny little "demodulator" units, 1" x 1" x 1/4", cost on the order of $114. That's kind of exorbitantly high. The most use we were seeing for it was for use as trick to gather 100 points during Field Day exercises. That was really about it. It saw more use in demonstration than in live field use. And so, the retransmission phase ends; but the EMWIN project continues to serve the public in other ways - in a thousand=percent more ways than was actually requested of us in the beginning.

10/03/2003: More Talkgroup Codes Added. I've been able to obtain lots more talkgroup codes for local analog and digital channels. See the GRU list here.

04/25/2003: EMWIN Data Now Being Retransmitted. Weather products are now being retransmitted over the air on 163.325 MHz at 1200 baud, 8/N/1. Products available are limited to Florida and surrounding states. More information about the Alachua County EMWIN Project is available here. We are also sending limited products (such as watches and warnings) to pagers and email to the public for free. Our products so far seem to be actually beating commercially available services. Our products also are not sent with ads, unlike many commercially available sources. At this time we are still pulling from the Internet. The only thing left to do with the project is to install the satellite dish so that we can receive the data straight off of the GOES-12 satellite. Once this occurs, Internet pulling will become the backup method, and the satellite pull will be the primary method.

02/07/2003: More Regarding EMWIN Transmitting Equipment. GARS and GARC have voted to go ahead with involvement in the project. Receiving and transmitting equipment has been obtained from John Fleming/WD4FFX, of the Fla. Division of Emergency Management in Tallahassee. Still awaiting proper lengths of coax. (Didn't have room in John's SUV for it, this trip.) Once that is obtained, we can put this thing up.

01/29/2003: EMWIN Transmitter? We may soon have an EMWIN weather bulletin TRANSMITTING system here in the county! Trying to arrange things now and make it a more "definite" thing. If we get it, we would be able to receive weather bulletins straight off of the GOES satellite, and then scannists, hams, and the public could receive them through the use of a "demodulator" ($15-$30 depending upon who you buy them from, or you can build them yourself) hooked up between the scanner and the computer, and free software available on the Internet. The advantage of this is that the data comes from directly off the GOES-8 satellite. So there are no lags and delays that are associated with the Internet. Will keep everyone posted on progress.

01/17/2003: Space Shuttle Burns Up On Reentry. ...I don't know what to say. We worked so hard...then this. Our hearts go to the families and friends of the STS-107 crew.

01/16/2003: Space Shuttle Audio on 146.910 MHz. Space Shuttle audio can now be heard on the Gator Amateur Radio Club's 146.910 MHz W4DFU amateur radio repeater. We (Jeff Capehart/W4UFL, Joe DiPietro/N2UF, Todd Sherman/KB4MHH [me]) just installed a 4-element 2-meter beam on the penthouse rooftop of Beaty Tower East - pointed at the W4YJC shuttle audio broadcast repeater located in MacClenney. As well, we hooked up a 2-meter link receiver in the repeater room on the 13th floor. This link will be active for the duration of the STS-107 mission. See the W4DFU Shuttle Link web page for more information.

01/15/2003: THE NEW UNIDEN DIGITAL SCANNERS DO WORK WITH THE GAINESVILLE/ALACHUA COUNTY AREA DIGITAL SYSTEM! More information on that here. The news sortuh made a nice birthday present for me.

[Alachua Counnty SKYWARN]

Scanning-related News
c/o Todd L. Sherman/KB4MHH
Gainesville, Alachua Co., Fla.
E-mail: kb4mhh@gars.net
Last updated: June 03, 2011.

© Copyright 1995-2011 by Todd L. Sherman. All Rights Reserved.

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