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Old 05-05-2013, 5:40 PM
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Default MSP for the I-95 traveler

I'll be traveling through Maryland via I-95 from DC to DE, and wanted to go ahead and program in some talkgroups to keep me company down the highway, but I think the radio situation on the Maryland State Police has me a bit flummoxed. I was hoping from you scanner listeners you can clue me in on what I should be looking out for through MD. I'll be traveling on a PSR-800.

In a nutshell (from what I gather) Maryland State Police typically communicates on each counties local trunked radio system (the exception being Barrack M-JFK on FiRST) and if that should fail or for preference, can transmit out on their respective low band analog frequencies.

Traveling on I-95, should I only be interested in action on JFK barracks, or do the other Barracks work the I-95 freeway as well? If other barracks are patrolling I-95, are they still on the local county TRS, or on low-band, or both?

Any hits on the vehicle repeaters?
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Old 05-05-2013, 5:54 PM
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JFK is on F.I.R.S.T.. Most other MSP is on low band but have Talk Groups on local TRS.. Check the database and the wiki..
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Old 05-05-2013, 5:55 PM
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When they are on TRS, vehicle repeaters are silent..
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Old 05-05-2013, 5:56 PM
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MSP Forrestville and MSP College Park are on the Prince George trunked system
MSP Waterloo is on the Howard County trunked system
Then you're in the MdTA territory I believe which is on Maryland FiRST
Not sure about the Northeast Barrack at this point --
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:55 AM
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Northeast barrack is irrelevant- all I95 patrols northeast of baltimore are M (JFK) units.. and as you said, everything in baltimore is MdTA, pretty universally FMT units.
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Old 05-06-2013, 6:09 AM
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Just as an alternate, you could monitor MSP M on low band.

They operate a low band repeater on 39.2400 PL 127.3hz.

I live in Delaware and I listen to them this channel.

Mike
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:58 AM
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Only issue with that is if you don't have a big antenna, you're not gonna get that.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpcain View Post
Only issue with that is if you don't have a big antenna, you're not gonna get that.
This looks like a job for my Laird CB150/450 dual band. 36". Either this or the Larsen tri-band.

I wonder what antenna portfolio MSP uses on their cars. Anyone know?
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:04 PM
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Don't forget MSP Glen Burnie which is pretty active, in analog mode, on the Anne Arundel trunk.

I've seen so many antennas on MSP vehicles that I wonder who put them in. The cruisers, at least, have what appears to be a 8 foot CB-like antenna (which could be cut for 39 Mhz pretty easily) -and I've seen some cruisers with a little 18 inch stick (likely for the portables) and 4 antennas in a square (I'm told that's for LoJack tracking). I have also seen cell phone like antennas (they're pretty broad banded, pretty good for 800 Mhz trunking, too) on a few vehicles.

And I though some of us hams have a lot of antennas on our cars...Mike
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:17 PM
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Hmmmmm.... On my maps, I95 doesn't run through Anne Arundel....

(Sorry Mike... I had to say it.....)
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Old 05-06-2013, 1:34 PM
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No but I've seen MSP Glen Burnie cars on I-95 where it skims the County. Probably in transit from one point to another....

I ride it every day, so it's not hard to see

(Sri Troy I just had to say it....) :.>> Mike
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:37 AM
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Yeah the 4 in a square is the LoJack RDF system.
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Old 05-07-2013, 7:21 PM
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Watch for the speed traps near Rising Sun!
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Old 05-08-2013, 8:28 AM
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Thanks for everyone's help so far. I'm in the process of finalizing my scanlist for Maryland.

MSP Radio Zone A (Low-band statewide)
MSP Radio Zone B (Low-band statewide)
MSP Statewide (All Call)
MSP PG-Forestville (Low-band and Prince George TRS)
MSP PG-College Park (Low-band and Prince George TRS)
MSP MG-Rockville (Low-band and Montgomery Co TRS)
MSP AA-Glen Burnie (Low-band and Anne Arundel TRS)
MSP Howard-Waterloo (Low-band and Howard Co TRS)
MSP Harford-BelAir (Low-band and Harford Co TRS)
MSP Baltimore-Golden Ring (Low-band)
MSP Cecil-NorthEast (Low-band)
MSP JFK (Low-band and FiRST)
MSP VR/CPS (Vehicle Repeaters-Common Public Safety)

I couldn't find a trunked system with talk groups for Golden Ring or NorthEast. Are these units just analog?

I'm surprised that theres only usually about three frequencies per barracks (1 analog, 2 trunked). Are these usually chatty or do they use their MDTs alot?

I guess i'm surprised as the Virginia State Police usually has about 15 per division, and North Carolina about 10 per Troop. But the non-dispatch frequencies are usually silent unless their running a speed mission (i.e. guy on bridge clocks you, other guy in car comes for you).
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:19 AM
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Barrack R is VHF only, yes. F might have talkgroups on the Cecil system, I don't know, but nobody here really seems to, because Cecil has an unmonitorable VHF EDACS system.

MSP is generally fairly quiet, and their VHF-low is hard to pick up if you're not specifically tuned for it or near the transmission source. In most places they have little need of extra channels, and it's hard when they're limited to that small 39mhz band.

BTW I'd suggest adding in MdTA FMT detachment- they patrol I95 inside Baltimore County and City and are much more active than any MSP barrack except maybe M- constant traffic stops, etc.
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Old 05-08-2013, 3:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redhatnick View Post
I'm surprised that theres only usually about three frequencies per barracks (1 analog, 2 trunked). Are these usually chatty or do they use their MDTs alot?

I guess i'm surprised as the Virginia State Police usually has about 15 per division, and North Carolina about 10 per Troop. But the non-dispatch frequencies are usually silent unless their running a speed mission (i.e. guy on bridge clocks you, other guy in car comes for you).
Barrack M (I-95 north of the Baltimore tunnels to the DE line) routinely uses other talkgroups (beyond just their dispatch TG) on the MD FiRST system. Others on FiRST are now using several alternate TGs on the system as well now that they have the ability to do so. That's the nice thing about the trunked systems - they can have/add as many TGs as they want (to a degree) without going out and acquiring more frequencies.

Additionally, I came across a MSP Trooper meeting notes document online via Google recently and there was a note in there that once the MD FiRST system is fully up and running (several years away), MSP plans to move to "regional" dispatching (I take that to mean a single dispatcher for multiple Counties/larger areas on a single talkgroup). With the legacy low band frequencies and County TRS limitations, that's not really a current option.

I suspect when this "regional" thing happens, each "region" will have many more talkgroups to serve the region for specific purposes similar to what you've seen in VA and NC. We'll see.
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Old 05-08-2013, 6:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpcain View Post
<snip>

MSP is generally fairly quiet, and their VHF-low is hard to pick up if you're not specifically tuned for it or near the transmission source. In most places they have little need of extra channels, and it's hard when they're limited to that small 39mhz band.
</snip>
It has much to do with the antenna you're using on the mobile, frankly. I've heard College Park units while on the DC beltway near Bowie, and on more than one occasion heard Baltimore county units near Laurel (scratchy, but they were there). I'm using an Austin Spectra that I cut down for 39 Mhz - pretty decent for a 2 foot antenna. You can only push that so far, though. Yeah, they're not very chatty, that's for sure.

A duckie is almost worthless on 39 Mhz inside a vehicle anyway - more like a wet noodle than anything else. Get something on the car, and you'll do much better

Mike
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Old 05-08-2013, 7:51 PM
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Convenient timing for this discussion. I'll be heading to Balamer in June for the IAFC hazmat conference. Will be the first time I have been down there with a scanner in years. I'll need to brush up on things for MD.

This thread is quite helpful.
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Old 05-08-2013, 9:09 PM
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I would keep the old Barracks M loband freq along with the SHA repeater freq (151.04) in your scanner, just in case FiRST decides to have a brain fxxx, or the trooper is out of range. At least on the Eastern Shore, I understand it's not uncommon for the troopers there to come up on their old VHF channel if they can't get on the Consortium system. I wouldn't doubt that there's a similar procedure here.

Mike
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Old 05-08-2013, 9:32 PM
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; U; en-US) Gecko/20081217 Vision-Browser/8.1 301x200 LG VN530)

FWIW, if I were driving through, I'd put the MSP conventional low and highband channels in one scanlist, and the various trunked systems into their own scanlists. Keep the conventional list on at all times, and turn on/off the others as I pass through.
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