10-22-2000, 11:46 AM #1Fireguy57Firehouse.com Guest
Freaky things coming over pagers????
Has anyone ever heard stations from different states being dispatched on your pager, even activating the page, or your fire sirens? I have been hearing a lot of calls from Texas over the past few weeks. So far today there has been a "Major Vehicle Accident" near 2009 Long Ranch Road and a "Major Brush Fire" For Engine Companies 16 & 10, and Engine 210. Everything they say is a Major This & Major That. We haven't had a big call in five months. I'm starting to wonder if I should move to texas....
10-22-2000, 08:57 PM #2SRVFD2Firehouse.com Guest
Oh yeah!!! The wonderful world of pagers. AT least now all we get is Massac Co. Ill. and we can understand their calls!!- when we were on lowband all we got was Spanish - we couldn't understand what their excitement was all about!! BUT in neither case did they activate our sirens, or page signals.
10-23-2000, 08:36 AM #3Bob SnyderFirehouse.com Guest
Yea, you may just have to get used to it...
I can sit in my living room and listen to Lackawanna County, PA (about 150 miles north of me) Fire & EMS dispatch. In other areas nearby, it's Baltimore, MD fire dispatch that comes through, and our County Comm Center picks up one of the New York City Borough centers (which also uses the same PL code as we do, so there's no escape). Apparently, our repeater traffic steps on Downingtown, PA's tatical traffic, but we can't hear them.
It's an ongoing problem which the FCC should address. Too many bases sharing frequencies too close together with ever-increasing power outputs and numbers of repeaters. I guess we're getting some more of the UHF spectrum allocated to emergency services in the near future, but that doesn't help much if there's no way to pay for all the equipment needed to switch over the bases and all the units in the field.
Your experience with Texas probably results from unusual weather conditions, and might only be seasonal or sporadic, so I wouldn't get too worried about it. Most likely, it will go away. If not, you can always re-tone some of your equipment so that it won't be getting tripped regularly for no reason.
10-23-2000, 01:26 PM #4FSRIZZIOFirehouse.com Guest
Sunspot activity has reaked havoc over low band frequencies for the past couple of years and will for the next decade. I get skip from NJ pretty often. Oh, the perils of technology.
Be Safe, Frank
10-23-2000, 04:40 PM #5AVF&R452Firehouse.com Guest
Bob is right, It is something that we will have to get used to. What you are experiencing is commonly called "skip"
It is caused by the reflection of radio waves off the ionosphere and back to earth.
This is affected by frequency, seasons and time of day, as well as disturbances such as sunspots. Unfortunately VHF is very succeptable to this type of problem.
The simple fact is that the radio frequency spectrum is overcrowded. RF spectrum allocation is very competitive. Everyday a new service (paging,cell phones,automatic vehicle location, to name a few) steps up to take part of the spectrum. It is simply impossible to assign each user or group of users their own unique set of frequencies.
The challenge is to find ways to use the spectrum more efficiently.
10-23-2000, 11:30 PM #6spongeFirehouse.com Guest
I once heard a chief on Long Island transmit he was responding to an alarm. The dispatcher then let him know that it was another department upstate with a similar name, he didn't need to respond. Oops.
A guy from my old company said that while crossing a bridge in Virginia to bring the truck to the Baker plant for a refurb, he picked up our dispatcher transmitting from NY.
You can also pick up some AM stations from pretty far away early in the morning or late at night.
10-24-2000, 05:34 PM #7Mike DeVuonoFirehouse.com Guest
Maybe its just a PA thing, but there is a guy in my Dept in Bucks Co who picks up TX in his truck scanner all the time. Now picking up TX in PA is some sunspot activity!!
Warminster Fire Dept.
Engine Co. 91
"There are few atheists inside a burning building."
10-25-2000, 10:59 PM #8LFD2203Firehouse.com Guest
local vol. dept used to be on low band. one morning, heard a report from "engine 10" arriving at a 40 acre corn field on fire. since engine 10 was first out on everything, caused mass panic trying to figure out how they were dispatched and enroute with no one else knowing about it. turns out, corn field was in kansas or missouri, not ky.
10-26-2000, 07:30 PM #9Dalmatian90Firehouse.com Guest
Our secondary frequency, 33.76, will light up sometimes with...SPANISH.
Now that's skip! (We've been told it Puerto Rico Department of Public Works...not sure about that though!)
10-26-2000, 09:34 PM #10EasternShoreFireFighterFirehouse.com Guest
Yes. I am scannr Buff. I have all sorts of frequency placed in my scanner. I am down on the lower eastern shore of maryland. I hear dispacthes on my county dispacth which is 46.06 and the cloese frequncy to that is in New Jersy and it happen all the time. The county to the north of me which it 33.90 I here Lancaster Co. Dispacth on it. I like to here it is something different. 46.06 my county dispach has never been set off!
10-27-2000, 02:33 AM #11xcapt21aFirehouse.com Guest
The spanish that is being transmitted over low band frequencies, such as 33.72 and 33.76, are reportedly "skips" from the fishing boats in the Carribbean Sea. I wish those boats would sink!!!!
10-27-2000, 02:57 AM #12OPIE1680Firehouse.com Guest
As a communicator from a South Eastern Michigan Ambulance company (we dispatch fire too) we recieve hundreds of departments on our towers thru out the area. One group in particular is from Harding county Ohio. They are very loud and clear up here. They will page out for an ambulance crew 7 times or more. We almost want to send a unit from here out of sympathy.(at least 3 hour drive. Our fire tower receives places as far as chicago/cleveland/northern Michigan. Gets silly in here somedays.
10-27-2000, 11:36 PM #13Fireguy57Firehouse.com Guest
The freq. it comes over is 33.8800. It happens only on the pagers, never over the scanners.
10-28-2000, 09:54 AM #14AVF&R452Firehouse.com Guest
The reason you hear the signal on the pagers but not the scanner is that the pager is optimally tuned for the given freq.(33.88mhz)
The scanner, on the other hand is designed to receive a wide range of frequencies.( from 30 to maybe as much as 1000 mhz) Therefore, the tuning is not as tight. The sensitivity of a scanner will most always be less than that of a fixed freq. receiver.
[This message has been edited by AVF&R452 (edited October 28, 2000).]
10-29-2000, 07:46 PM #15weir_33Firehouse.com Guest
I listen to the pager tests from over 100miles away and jump up and get half way to the door before the tone is over and I here the message. ALL THAT ADRENALINE AND NO WHERE TO GO! Also I here all the mutual aid calls from across the river (water skip) I have a kenwood tk250 and get better reception than some mobiles. Our local phone company is pushing Trunked mobile Radio's TMRs (900mhz), We have Two for demo,s Motorolas 3,500.00 each !
Clear sound,Unlimited range within the grid system, Heavy And Expensive.
Summerville Vol Fire Dept
Pride In Service !
10-31-2000, 09:19 AM #16AlexB892Firehouse.com Guest
A few days ago, we had some pretty thick fog here in the DC area, and I started getting all sorts of skip on my scanner. First, I was able to hear a county in MD about 150 miles away loud & clear on our 460.600 mhz channel. Also in the 153-155 mhz band I was hearing a police department from PA, and 2 other services that I couldn't identify. It was pretty interesting, before then I'd never experienced "skip."
My opinions are not necessarily those of my department. I speak only for myself.
11-01-2000, 12:15 PM #17ArmyTruckCompanyFirehouse.com Guest
There's just nothing like being an FDNY buff, living in Philadelphia, and on a summer night, laying in bed and all of a sudden, hearing: "Citywide announcing in the Bourough of Brooklyn, a Second alarm for box 403, Myrtle Avenue and Prince Street......."
Gotta LOVE IT!!!
"Loyalty above all else, except honor."
11-09-2000, 12:33 AM #18LFD2203Firehouse.com Guest
not really fire related, but a couple of years ago, just after a storm passed, my wife hit the auto program on the vcr. it stopped on ch.2, with the noon news. this puzzled her since it was 1300 hrs. watched a little longer, and discovered the station she was watching was out of texas. not too bad for rabbit ears in central kentucky. she said the reception was perfect.
11-09-2000, 09:06 AM #19JE75at48Firehouse.com Guest
[b]SOMETIMES MY TONES GO OFF, BUT THERE IS NO AUDIO THAT GETS BERY ANNOYING, YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOUR RUNNING INTO THEN.
Darn the **** hasn't hit the fan yet.
11-09-2000, 02:14 PM #20mark440Firehouse.com Guest
On my fire pager frequency 154.010 I pick up a school district in Idaho. Getting pretty good to figuring out which bus takes which student. As far as the pager going off with out any voice, do you have a cell phone in the area (3-4 feet) of the pager? If so then that is maybe what setting that off.
Keep your ears open,
If in doubt - Call us out
11-09-2000, 03:35 PM #21dousaemsFirehouse.com Guest
Fireguy57 - 33.88 is York Co. fire. I can get Lancaster AND Bucks county on it too, both scanner and pager.
The 460.600 channel used to pick up Alexandria VA and somewhere in Jersey or Delaware too. Interesting listening to other people's disptaches clear as day on your own channels.
Try this: Get on your cordless phone about 2 feet from you pager or scanner. My Bearcats pick up all kinds of interference, and I have had the pager and portable do it too. Not a 900 MHz phone, either!!
11-10-2000, 08:57 AM #22JE75at48Firehouse.com Guest
11-10-2000, 06:08 PM #23Fireguy57Firehouse.com Guest
- 33.88 is a Fire One Freq. for Sullivan Co. Pa, and also for something in southern PA. Our station 57 is 33.8800, and there is also a station 57 near Quakertown, Pa that is on that freq, I just thought that was weird.
11-12-2000, 10:06 PM #24PASCOM826Firehouse.com Guest
I'm a 911 dispatcher for a town in northern NJ. We monitor 33.86mhz, as three of our neighboring towns use it for fire/ems dispatch. However, on a good night I can hear Lake and Wayne counties in PA clear as a bell. It's pretty wild when they get good jobs going, because I hear all the action and I'm thankful I'm not the dispatcher. Or the chief for that matter, having to set up major tanker shuttles. Thank goodness for hydrants! My department uses a tactical channel that we have in common with a group on Long Island, NY. That's always fun listening on the scanner, since they always seem to be getting the good action! We also have a common frequency with FDNY, so occasionally we'll catch a progress report from a hot job!
Stay safe brothers and sisters!
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