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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-20-2012, 11:40 AM
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Default FDNY Frequencies

Can anyone advise if the frequencies listed on this site are accurate for the FDNY? I am specifically looking for the frequencies for Staten Island, New York and Citywide (inclusive of EMS). The reason I ask is because I programmed the frequency listed for Staten Island fire and all I hear is QUEENS fire traffic. Advice / assistance will be greatly appreciated - thanks in advance!
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:25 PM
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are you sure you dont hear the bronx? when I worked in staten island for the NPS, FDNY dispatch for staten island was shared with the bronx on VHF. 154.19000 pl186.2 PL. If you only want to hear FDNY staten island only you need to program the UHF channle 482.04375 PL151.4 PL
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Old 03-20-2012, 1:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireted View Post
are you sure you dont hear the bronx? when I worked in staten island for the NPS, FDNY dispatch for staten island was shared with the bronx on VHF. 154.19000 pl186.2 PL. If you only want to hear FDNY staten island only you need to program the UHF channle 482.04375 PL151.4 PL
Hi. Thanks for your reply. Two things: 1) I constantly notice a "PL" reference for each frequency - my scanner (Uniden Bearcat BC248CLT) only allows 7 digits to program in a frequency - do I need to incorporate each "PL" reference to monitor a given frequency? 2) I have the "Staten Island" fire frequency programmed in (per the chart on this website) and all I hear is the QUEENS fire dispatcher - definitely QUEENS all the time. Once in a blue moon, I hear a low volume Staten Island fire dispatcher. Is Staten Island "sharing" with Queens? It would seem so and I guess because Staten Island is not that busy?? The other fire frequencies programmed in like Citywide Fire - I am not sure if I have the correct frequency programmed (VHF? or UHF?) - again, I used the given chart on this website but I have not heard activity on it. Am I missing something in all of this???
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Old 03-20-2012, 1:25 PM
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A PL tone is used to restrict your receiption to only signals that have that specific tone. Two examples to help explain.

First, your scanner is programmed for a frequency of 154.0 and a PL of 106.0 (assuming all signals are strong enough for you to pick up well). A signal is transmitted on 154.0 using a tone of 106.0 and you'll pick it up. A signal is transmitted on 154.0 using a tone of 102.7 and you won't hear it on your scanner. A signal is transmitted on 154.0 using no tone and you won't hear it on your scanner.

Second, your scanner is programmed for a frequency of 154.0 and no PL is programmed in (assuming all signals are strong enough for you to pick up well). A signal is transmitted on 154.0 using a tone of 106.0 and you'll pick it up. A signal is transmitted on 154.0 using a tone of 102.7 and you'll pick it up. A signal is transmitted on 154.0 using no tone and you'll pick it up.

As you can see by my examples, it's often better to not program a PL tone into your scanner. That said, if you only want to pick up a specific group on a shared frequency and each group use different PL tones, you may want to program in the PL so you get only that one group and not all of the others.
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Old 03-20-2012, 2:05 PM
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Hello, I hope I can shed some light on this problem for you

The FDNY has recently completed a conversion from the old channel spacing to the FCC Rebanding compliant channel spacing. So in theory the FDNY is running 4 radio systems at the same time right now. 2 Fire dispatch system, VHF and the new UHF and 2 EMS Dispatch Systems UHF old and the new UHF. The scanner you have mentioned is not capable of listening to either of the two new system as they are 6.25 KHz spaced channels and that scanner will only allow you to enter up to 12.5 KHz channels. Essentially that scanner will only allow you to enter 4 digits after the decimal point, the new systems require a 5th digit after the decimal in the frequency. However your scanner is still capable of listening to the 2 old sytems until they are taken out of service which is an unknown date at this time. Your scanner however cannot decode PL tones so you can only enter the frequency at hand, meaning your scanner will pick up any transmission on that frequency whether its FDNY or not. On the EMS system because of its size and the limited number of frequencies available, they tend to use the same frequency more than once in the system and just change the PL tone that is used. So a commercial radio would be able to tell the difference between the two but a scanner like yours is not capable of filtering out the specific transmission.

With that said if you want to try and listen to the Staten Island sepcific frequencies you would program your scanner to listen on :

FDNY Fire Dispatch (Staten Island) - 154.1900 MHz
FDNY Fire Dispatch (Citywide) - 153.4300 MHZ
FDNY EMS Dispatch (Staten Island) - 484.4875 - NO LONGER IN OPERATION
FDNY EMS Dispatch (Citywide) - 478.0125 - NO LONGER IN OPERATION

Basically in New York City to listen to the FDNY either Fire Supression or EMS you will need a scanner capable of recieving frequencies of 6.25 KHz Spacing and prefferably one that also does PL Tone Decoding.

Hope this Helps
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Old 03-20-2012, 3:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdnyradio View Post
Hello, I hope I can shed some light on this problem for you

The FDNY has recently completed a conversion from the old channel spacing to the FCC Rebanding compliant channel spacing. So in theory the FDNY is running 4 radio systems at the same time right now. 2 Fire dispatch system, VHF and the new UHF and 2 EMS Dispatch Systems UHF old and the new UHF. The scanner you have mentioned is not capable of listening to either of the two new system as they are 6.25 KHz spaced channels and that scanner will only allow you to enter up to 12.5 KHz channels. Essentially that scanner will only allow you to enter 4 digits after the decimal point, the new systems require a 5th digit after the decimal in the frequency. However your scanner is still capable of listening to the 2 old sytems until they are taken out of service which is an unknown date at this time. Your scanner however cannot decode PL tones so you can only enter the frequency at hand, meaning your scanner will pick up any transmission on that frequency whether its FDNY or not. On the EMS system because of its size and the limited number of frequencies available, they tend to use the same frequency more than once in the system and just change the PL tone that is used. So a commercial radio would be able to tell the difference between the two but a scanner like yours is not capable of filtering out the specific transmission.

With that said if you want to try and listen to the Staten Island sepcific frequencies you would program your scanner to listen on :

FDNY Fire Dispatch (Staten Island) - 154.1900 MHz
FDNY Fire Dispatch (Citywide) - 153.4300 MHZ
FDNY EMS Dispatch (Staten Island) - 484.4875 - NO LONGER IN OPERATION
FDNY EMS Dispatch (Citywide) - 478.0125 - NO LONGER IN OPERATION

Basically in New York City to listen to the FDNY either Fire Supression or EMS you will need a scanner capable of recieving frequencies of 6.25 KHz Spacing and prefferably one that also does PL Tone Decoding.

Hope this Helps
Thanks for all the great information, I kind of suspected that I am a little "behind the times" with my current scanner. One other thing I noticed with my scanner is that on SOME of the frequencies posted on the chart this site displays, when I enter it, the scanner changes the last 4 digits to something other than what I entered. What is that all about? Also, I have attempted to monitor the CW1NY frequency (461.2250) and it is always SILENT to me but others claim they hear transmissions - why would that be?? Also, is Staten Island sharing with Queens? The frequency I have programmed in for SI fire now has Queens fire traffic on it just about all the time - seems they never stop talking. As for SI, only once in a while do you hear a peep from them.
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Old 03-20-2012, 3:34 PM
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What exact frequency is your scanner displaying when you try to program SI fire?

Have you tried listening to 154.190 instead of the new UHF frequency? The VHF and UHF frequencies are simulcast, so you won't miss anything if you listen to VHF.
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Old 03-20-2012, 4:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chauffeur6 View Post
What exact frequency is your scanner displaying when you try to program SI fire?

Have you tried listening to 154.190 instead of the new UHF frequency? The VHF and UHF frequencies are simulcast, so you won't miss anything if you listen to VHF.
Thanks for your reply. I'll post when I get home and verify!
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Old 03-20-2012, 9:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chauffeur6 View Post
What exact frequency is your scanner displaying when you try to program SI fire?

Have you tried listening to 154.190 instead of the new UHF frequency? The VHF and UHF frequencies are simulcast, so you won't miss anything if you listen to VHF.
Hi. OK, at home now, here is an example of a frequency change:

I program this in (per the frequency chart listed on this website):

482.04375 WQFH238 BM 151.4 PL SI UHF Disp Staten Island UHF Dispatch FMN Fire Dispatch

My scanner CHANGES the frequency to 482.0375 (which seems to been QUEENS fire, with an occasional peep from Staten Island fire). Any ideas?????
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:27 PM
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Its probably because your scanner doesn't accept the extra digit. Most older scanners only accept 4 decimal places.
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Old 03-21-2012, 3:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitebeat View Post
Hi. OK, at home now, here is an example of a frequency change:

I program this in (per the frequency chart listed on this website):

482.04375 WQFH238 BM 151.4 PL SI UHF Disp Staten Island UHF Dispatch FMN Fire Dispatch

My scanner CHANGES the frequency to 482.0375 (which seems to been QUEENS fire, with an occasional peep from Staten Island fire). Any ideas?????
In technical terms, your scanner will only accept 12.5 kHz stepping in the UHF band. The FDNY UHF frequencies are 6.25 kHz stepping.

What this means is that you'll only be able to program 482.0375 or 482.0500, not 482.04375, which will not be close enough to the actual frequency for you to hear SI properly. You're going to have the same problem with the EMS frequencies.

I'm afraid you're going to need a new scanner if you want to listen to FDNY UHF frequencies. In the meanwhile, you can listen to SI fire on 154.190 (you may hear the Bronx also depending on your exact location, they share that frequency).
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:22 AM
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Great! Thanks for all of the very GOOD information. Can anyone recommend a good scanner that is "on par" with all of the current changes yet is fairly easy to use, without a degree in computer science, and that can function with an indoor antenna since outdoor antenna mounting is NOT an option??
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:34 AM
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What's your budget?

There are a number of newer model scanners that will fit the bill, depending on how much you can afford to spend, and what you want to listen to. If your primary interest is listening to analog simplex stuff in and around NYC, there are some really nice models for $150 or less.

The GRE PSR-310 (handheld) and PSR-410 (base/mobile) are the best bang for the buck as far as analog scanners go these days. They are both very new models (introduced last year) and will handle analog without any trouble. They will also handle analog trunking for Motorola, EDACS and LTR systems. The only difference between the 310 and 410 is the form factor, so if you have any interest in having a scanner you can use in the home as well as taking with you when you go out, the 310 is the better choice.

Below that you have some of the more budget oriented scanners like the new Uniden BC125AT handheld which does not feature trunking, but is a good performer on analog frequencies.
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:43 AM
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Hello again! Budget is NOT an issue but I would prefer a "tabletop" i.e. "desk" unit if possible, to monitor the "basics" - Police, Fire and EMS in my borough (Staten Island) and perhaps Citywide Police and Fire, along with possibly one or more of the "groups" that have set up shop locally i.e. CW1NY (461.2250). I will not be monitoring anything while out of the house!!
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:55 AM
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I live in Tottenville and even though my Pro 163, 164 and 106 accepts the 6.25 spacing SI FD UHF still gets washed out by adjacent channel interference. I put the attenuator on and it helps a little. Maybe because DoITT has a site 1 mile from me?

As a derail, anyone know why SI EMS on the new freq sounds so bad?

Last edited by N2SCV; 03-21-2012 at 10:56 AM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:07 AM
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I notice that too - EMS is very LOW and fades in and out. As for SI FD - I hear them on the Queens frequency (482.0375) which my scanner INSISTS on programming despite what I type in on the keyboard, however, SI FD either rarely broadcasts or I am just missing them because all I hear ALL the time is QUEENS traffic!?
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:31 AM
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Program in 482.0500 for FD. See if it makes any difference.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:40 AM
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Regarding scanners, it seems the GRE PSR-410 is a favorite; will that accommodate MY needs i.e. monitoring Police, Fire, EMS for Staten Island as well as Citywide activity (for the same entities)??
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Old 03-21-2012, 1:14 PM
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The PSR-410 is a good scanner, I have one of them myself. It will handle pretty much everything except for digital (P25 conventional and trunking).

One thing I would caution with any GRE or GRE-built Radio Shack model (GRE builds almost all of Radio Shack's scanners) is that they are prone to "overload" from strong signals in RF rich environments. That may or may not be an issue depending on where you are in SI. Uniden models typically do not suffer from this phenomenon. The Uniden alternative to the PSR-410 would be the BCT15X, which is a bit more expensive at around $225, but is a very solid, capable unit. I own the handheld version of the BCT15X, which is the BC346XT, and I absolutely love it. The performance is fantastic. If I had to choose between the two scanners I own, the GRE or the Uniden, I would take the Uniden hands down.

It's also worth noting that, while the BCT15X is $75 more than the PSR-410, it also comes with the programming cable in the box (albeit it requires a serial port, it's not a USB cable, but you can pick up a $10 serial to USB adapter for it) and the software to program the Uniden (FreeScan) is 100% free and it's quality software. With the GRE you would need to purchase the programming cable ($30-$35) as well as software ($25-$35) as there is no free GRE software. The Uniden covers more frequencies than the GRE, and it also has a lot more memory.

Just some food for thought. Whatever you decide on will be a huge step up from what you have now.
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Old 03-21-2012, 2:33 PM
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Chauff:

WOW! Lots to think about. I was reading on here and on YouTube about comparisons between the GRE PSR-410 & Uniden BCT15X and it sames THOSE posting prefer the PSR-410 over the Uniden! I guess to each, their own. Among other things, they cited things like appearance and sensitivity as being slightly better on the PSR-410, than the Uniden. Apparently there is a lot of "like" on the PSR because of its multi-colored flashing LED light! Also of interest, is the fact that the PSR-410 is "out of stock" everywhere, with "production" delays cited as the cause, with no date given as to when it will be back in stock. I am sure since it is built in China, that it is not a personnel shortage issue LOL! I did also notice that the GRE gives you just the scanner, with software and cabling extra - might be a deal breaker with going with the Uniden instead. I have the "old betsy" Uniden Bearcat BC248CLT currently and I like it, sounds great, easy to use, etc. BUT of course, it is sadly outdated, so I am kinda forced to upgrade.
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