On Sunday and Monday, I took a road trip to the South Carolina Lowcountry near Charleston to learn more about the Colonial history of Lowcountry South Carolina and visit three Colonial historic sites: Drayton Hall, Colonial Dorchester, and Middleton Place. Drayton Hall is an 18th Century plantation along the Ashley River in Charleston County; it’s plantation house, a National Historic Landmark, is the only one along the Ashley River to survive the American Revolution and the Civil War intact. The Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site near Summerville is the site of the late 17th Century/18th Century Colonial town of Dorchester; abandoned after the American Revolution, the remains of a fort and powder magazine, a church, and a cemetery still exist on the site. Middleton Place is another Colonial plantation; it, too, is a National Historic Landmark and home to the oldest landscaped gardens in the United States. I’ll eventually have posts written about each site and will link to them from here.
During the Colonial Lowcountry Road Trip, I listened to Aviation, Military, and Public Safety radio communications and monitored Charleston area Amateur Radio VHF/UHF activity while traveling and from the hotel I stayed in. Sundays and Mondays generally aren’t very active MilCom days, and the last two days proved no different. Charleston area (Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, and Dorchester counties) public safety, as always, was very busy. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a lot of Amateur Radio activity on either day; I didn’t even hear much activity during Monday’s morning commute time.
This was my first road trip with the AnyTone AT-D578UVIII Plus installed in KF4LMT Mobile (I also used the Anytone AT-D878UVII Plus from the hotel). It worked quite well even though the only DMR activity I heard on the SC HEART DMR Network was a QSO that I had with Rodger, N5CSA on Sunday afternoon. Almost everything else I heard was repeater IDs. Outside Anyway, here are the repeaters I heard active while in the Charleston area:
145.4100- (PL 123.0) - Seabrook Island 146.7600- (PL 123.0) - Charleston 146.7900- (PL 123.0) - Charleston (USS Yorktown) 146.9400- (PL 123.0) - Knightsville 146.9850- (PL 123.0) - Summerville 147.1050+ (PL 123.0) - Charleston 441.5750+ (PL 123.0) - Charleston 443.0375+ (CC1) - Charleston Downtown (DMR) 444.3750+ (PL 100.0) - Charleston 444.7750+ (PL 123.0) - Charleston
While mobile, I monitored Aviation/MilCom and Public Safety using KF4LMT Mobile’s Uniden HomePatrol 2 and Whistler TRX-2. From the hotel room I was staying in, I used a Whistler TRX-1, Uniden BC125AT, and two BCD436HPs as well as a RadarBox Micro for Mode-S/ADS-B. The hotel I stayed in was the Comfort Inn and Suites near I-26 and I-526 in North Charleston; near Charleston IAP/Joint Base Charleston, aircraft spotters may be interested in the location because one of the approach paths to the airport goes almost right over the hotel. I’m having trouble getting Google maps to embed, so here’s a link to a map of the hotel’s location.
Most of what I listened to Aviation and MilCom-wise during the road trip was from Joint Base Charleston (which is comprised of the Air Force and Air Force Reserve base at Charleston IAP and Naval Support Activity Charleston). There was plenty of VHF Airband and UHF MilAir band traffic to listen to in addition to the USAF (57C) TRS in use at the base. Additionally, I could her aircraft from MCAS Beaufort and Shaw AFB working in the Bulldog MOA, W-136/137, and W-161/177. While at the hotel and when close to the airport, I could also listen to the DMR TRS in use by Boeing facility at Charleston IAP. Note: The USAF (57C) TRS uses a mix of encrypted and unencrypted communications.
125.125/292.125/123.700/269.125 - Beaufort App/Dep 326.700 - VMFAT-501 Tac 1 126.000/239.000 - Joint Base Charleston Tower 120.700/306.925/379.925/119.300 - Charleston TRACON 134.100/349.400 - "PALMETTO OPS" USAF (57C) TRS (Joint Base Charleston site) TG 751 - Joint Base Charleston FD Dispatch; enc/unenc TG 752 - JB Charleston FD Tac 1?; enc/unenc TG 753 - JB Charleston FD Tac 2?; enc/unenc TG 834 - 437th/315th AW; enc TG 836 - 437th/315th AW MOC 1; enc/unenc TG 837 - 437th/315th AW MOC 2; enc/unenc TG 841 - Joint Base Charleston Unknown; unenc TG 910 - Joint Base Charelston Unknown; enc TG 950 - Joint Base Charleston Unknown (FD?); enc/unenc TG 967 - Joint Base Charleston Unknown; enc TG 986 - Patch to Charleston County FD Dispatch USAF (57C) TRS (NSA Charleston site) TG 751 - Joint Base Charleston FD Dispatch; enc/unenc TG 753 - JB Charleston FD Tac 2?; enc/unenc TG 884 - Joint Base Charleston Unknown; enc TG 920 - Naval Nuclear Power Training Center; unenc TG 950 - Joint Base Charleston Unknown (FD?); unenc Boeing Charleston DMR TRS 461.950 - LCN 1 461.375 - LCN 2 461.700 - LCN 3 461.825 - LCN 4 TG 19 - Boeing Charleston FD Dispatch TG 29 - Boeing Charleston Security TG 200 - Unknown 273.700 - 77th FS Ops "GAMBLER OPS" 314.100 - 77th FS Air-to-Air 320.525 - 79th FS Ops "TIGER OPS" 276.150 - 79th FS Air-to-Air 343.750 - Bulldog MOA Discrete 120.950/284.500 - SEALORD (W-137/138) North Primary 376.900 - W-137 Discrete 127.725/228.750 - DOUBLESHOT (W-161/177) Primary 258.400 - DOUBLESHOT Discrete 279.725 - DOUBLESHOT Discrete 311.000 - USAF CP 281.550/124.075 - Jacksonville Center Summerville High 285.650/126.125 - Jacksonville Center Statesboro High 290.350/132.425 - Jacksonville Center Hunter Ultra High 317.550/134.375 - Jacksonville Center Charleston Low 319.200/127.875 - Jacksonville Center Aiken High 363.200/132.925 - Jacksonville Center Allendale/Savannah Low 370.950/133.625 - Jacksonville Center Georgetown High
All of the South Carolina counties you travel through from Savannah to Charleston use the Palmetto 800 P25 TRS, so for the most part you only have one radio system to worry about. The South Carolina Forestry Commission still uses VHF for their communications, so it helps to program in the repeaters along and near your route of travel (especially around this time of year). Note: if you’re interested in listening to a wide variety of communications, it helps to use a separate scanner for the Palmetto 800 system in Charleston; the Charleston and surrounding sites are VERY busy.
Palmetto 800 TRS TG 11 - SC Regional Government 6 TG 516 - Beaufort County FD Admin TG 534 - Sheldon FD Ops 1 (Beaufort Co) TG 550 - Hilton Head Island Fire/Rescue Dispatch TG 552 - Hilton Head Island Fire/Rescue Tac 1 TG 704 - Beaufort County FD Dispatch 1 TG 1040 - Berkeley County FD/EMS Dispatch TG 1045 - Berkeley County FD/EMS Tac 4 TG 1078 - Berkeley County FD/EMS Ops TG 1399 - Goose Creek FD Fireground 1 (Berkeley Co) TG 1413 - Hanahan FD (Berkeley Co) TG 1426 - Dorchester County FD Incident 5 TG 1567 - Awendaw FD Ops (Charleston Co) TG 1577 - Charleston County FD Rescue Talk TG 1628 - Charleston County Incident 7 TG 1631 - Charleston County Incident 10 TG 1721 - Mt Pleasant FD Ops (Charleston Co) TG 1765 - Lincolnville Fire/Rescue (Charleston Co) TG 1771 - St Paul FD Ops (Charleston Co) TG 1805 - North Charleston FD Ops (Charleston Co) TG 1851 - Isle of Palms FD Ops (Charleston County) TG 1901 - Folly Beach Public Safety Night (Charleston Co) TG 2030 - Charleston FD 1 Ops TG 2049 - Johns Island/St Johns FD Ops (Charleston Co) TG 2051 - Charleston County FD/EMS Dispatch TG 2056 - Charleston County Incident 3 TG 2057 - Charleston County Incident 4 TG 2063 - Charleston County Incident 6 TG 2066 - Charleston County FDs Ops A TG 2962 - Walterboro FD Dispatch (Colleton Co) TG 4112 - Dorchester County Tac 4 TG 4165 - Dorchester County FD Dispatch TG 4166 - Dorchester County FD Incident 1 TG 4360 - Summerville FD Ops 1 (Dorchester Co) TG 4365 - Summerville FD Dispatch (Dorchester Co) TG 4368 - Summerville FD Ops 9 (Dorchester Co) TG 6541 - Jasper County FD Dispatch TG 6542 - Jasper Co FD Tac 1 TG 6543 - Jasper County FD Tac 2 TG 10606 - SC EMD Lowcountry TG 20010 - SC Call TG 28609 - SC LifeNet (Medevac Helicopter) TG 32065 - Hampton County FD 159.4050 (DCS 155) - SC Forestry Cottageville 159.4500 (DCS 114) - SC Forestry Beaufort
In addition to Aviation/MilCom and Public Safety communications, I could also hear the South Carolina Aquarium and Charleston Pilots from North Charleston. Surprisingly, I could easily hear two of the South Carolina repeaters from North Charleston even though I was approximately 8 miles from the Aquarium. I could also hear Charleston Pilots working incoming vessels on Marine VHF Channel 14 from North Charleston.
156.7000 - Marine VHF Ch 14; Charleston Pilots 156.3500 - Marine VHF Ch 7; Charleston Harbor Tugs 451.6250 (DCS 245) - South Carolina Aquarium Guest Services 452.8750 (DCS 245) - South Carolina Aquarium Aquarists/Vets?
Food goes well with both travel and radio and on this road trip, I had two great meals. On Sunday afternoon, I had an amazing BBQ lunch at the Swig & Swine in Summerville and on Monday, I had a great lunch at the Middleton Place Restaurant.
At the Swig & Swine, I had a two meat plate, pulled pork and homemade sausage, with cole slaw and macaroni and cheese. The pork was tender and moist and absolutely delicious with both their Sweet Red and Vinegar based sauces. The homemade sausage was outstanding, especially with their Carolina Mustard sauce. The homemade macaroni and cheese was terrific and the simple cole slaw was perfect. The homemade pickles on the side are worth a mention as well – they’re amazing. I’m having trouble getting Google maps to embed, so here’s a link to a map of Swig & Swine’s location.
On Monday, while at Middleton Place, I had lunch at the Middleton Place Restaurant. It’s a good thing that they have a restaurant on site because I spent four hours there and could have stayed longer had it not been time to get back to Savannah. The menu changes seasonally, and one the current items on the menu is shrimp and grits in Tasso gravy. Rich and savory, it was outstanding – I wish the photo I took of it could have captured the aroma! It’s worth mentioning that as much as possible, the restaurant uses vegetables and ingredients from the on-site farm (and the shrimp were local South Carolina caught). It’s expensive, but the taste was worth it. I’m having trouble getting Google maps to embed, so here’s a link to the restaurant’s location.
The Colonial Lowcountry Road Trip was a great one. I learned a lot at all three sites and with Spring just beginning, the gardens at both Drayton Hall and Middleton Place were beautiful. The weather was beautiful as well, with clear sunny skies and temperatures just around 70 degrees. You couldn’t have picked two better days to be outdoors.