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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-01-2007, 12:15 AM
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Default Close Call in NYC ?

Hello everyone. First of all, I'm new to scanning and to this outstanding forum.
I live in Brooklyn and do some freelance photography on a side. I decided to buy a scanner so it will help me to be aware if anything is going on.
I've been lurking here for a month or two, bought a scanner ( I ended up with BR330T ), and I must tell you guys : scanning is a disease and I definitely caught it. ;0)
OK, that was the intro and here's my problem:

Situation 1.
I was monitoring my local precinct while driving to work (I know) and heard that some incident is going on three blocks from where I was, so I drove there and there were two police cars , one ambulance and a couple of guys already handcuffed. Cops and medics were talking on their radios. I turned Close Call on on both scanners (I also had a Pro-97 at that time) and they didn't have ANY single hit.
I checked Wiki and did some search about Close Call and I still don't understand: is this because NYC is the "high RF noise area" and the signal is not much above RF noise level?
If this is true, does it mean that Close Call feature in NYC isn't that worthwhile?
I'm asking this because I was thinking of getting a Pro-96 but decided to sacrifice digital to Close Call since there is not that much digital in NYC. Guess I was wrong.

Situation 2.
At my work I put side-by-side Pro-97 and br330t with Close Call on. I work in very busy commercial area. Pro-97 was getting hits time after time mostly from local car services, while br330t was dead quiet for hours.
I started worrying that the Close Call in my br330t simply doesn't work, so I did some testing at home. I used my old RS walkie-talkie and - wow- br330t got hit instantly while Pro-97 took some time (a couple of sec.)
Could someone, please, explain that ?

I understand that this is probably "peanuts" for experts here, but for newbees like me this could be very important.

Thanks a lot,
Alex.
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Old 04-01-2007, 10:55 AM
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Default Check your settings

Quote:
Originally Posted by krass66
Situation 1.
I was monitoring my local precinct while driving to work (I know) and heard that some incident is going on three blocks from where I was, so I drove there and there were two police cars , one ambulance and a couple of guys already handcuffed. Cops and medics were talking on their radios. I turned Close Call on on both scanners (I also had a Pro-97 at that time) and they didn't have ANY single hit.
I checked Wiki and did some search about Close Call and I still don't understand: is this because NYC is the "high RF noise area" and the signal is not much above RF noise level?
If this is true, does it mean that Close Call feature in NYC isn't that worthwhile?
I'm asking this because I was thinking of getting a Pro-96 but decided to sacrifice digital to Close Call since there is not that much digital in NYC. Guess I was wrong.
RF noise has nothing to do with it when you are so close you can see the units talking on their radios. Did you have the close call set to only stalk the UHF-T band? Or was the scanner busy looking through the VHF low, UHF military air, or some other band while they were talking?

Not much digital in New York? Hmm...

Quote:
Originally Posted by krass66
Situation 2.
At my work I put side-by-side Pro-97 and br330t with Close Call on. I work in very busy commercial area. Pro-97 was getting hits time after time mostly from local car services, while br330t was dead quiet for hours.
I started worrying that the Close Call in my br330t simply doesn't work, so I did some testing at home. I used my old RS walkie-talkie and - wow- br330t got hit instantly while Pro-97 took some time (a couple of sec.)
Could someone, please, explain that ?
Again, what frequency bands were active at the time the scanner was stalking? All? Some?

SCANdal
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Old 04-01-2007, 12:23 PM
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Thanks for reply, SCANdal !

I had VHF low and Air off on the br330 and groups 4,5,6 and 7 ON in the pro-97.
What I still don't understand: even when I have all bands ON in br330t Close Call, it picks up my walkie almost as soon as I push the mike button and doesn't pick up anything else, while pro-97 picks up a lot of stuff in Signal Stalker - from car services to SI precincts.

In the situation where I see units talking (PD, Fire, EMS) what freqs do I have to keep ON ?

Due to digital in NYC - Yes , going thru the database I saw a lot of digital in NY, but, Police, Fire and EMS are still analog.
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Old 04-01-2007, 10:18 PM
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The Signal Stalker is MUCH more sensitive than Close Call - there are many threads about this.
There is almost no digital in NYC unless you want to listen to the air train! There is some Federal, but it is not too interesting, and the closest local is Yonkers.
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Old 04-02-2007, 9:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krass66
In the situation where I see units talking (PD, Fire, EMS) what freqs do I have to keep ON ?
If you're refering to NYPD, FDNY, and FDNY*EMS...in order in your PRO-97...

470.000 - 512.000, Group 6
406.000 - 470.000, Group 5
137.000 - 174.000, Group 2

SCANdal
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Old 04-04-2007, 1:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCANdal
If you're refering to NYPD, FDNY, and FDNY*EMS...in order in your PRO-97...

470.000 - 512.000, Group 6
406.000 - 470.000, Group 5
137.000 - 174.000, Group 2

SCANdal
Thanks. I also had Group 4 ON , but there are mostly car services. It's fun sometimes.

After everyone's replies and much more thorough search in the forum things are much more clear now.
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Old 04-04-2007, 7:48 AM
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Default close call feature

I've had the same problem in NYC using my Uniden. The close-call feature works great in NJ! However, in NYC it's a different story. Yes, I was able to capture a few signals. However, I saw an MTA officer speaking into his radio practically right next to me and my scanner didn't pick it up. I had the scanner set to receive close call signals from ALL bands. It must have something to do with the tall buildings affecting the radio signals reaching the scanner properly, in other words, affecting the scanner's sensativity. I'll talk about the signals I DID get in another posting.

Ben
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Old 04-04-2007, 10:39 AM
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Smile a few close call frequencies recently picked up

Now that I have a couple of spare minutes, I'm going to post a few frequencies I was able to receive using the close call feature on my Uniden Scanner:

486.3625 - I heard this being used near the WTC area. Sounded like FD activity (they were on Park Place), however I believe they have a simplex channel on 486.2625, but not on 3625???

453.4125 - listed as a DOITT frequency in the FCC database, however I picked it up right outside the Court House and it became drastically weaker as I moved further away from the area. Perhaps this frequency is used as simplex by some of the security guards at the Court House??

154.570 - Central Park Zoo (main frequency used)
154.600 - Central Park Zoo (secondary frequency used, they called it Ch. 3)
They did not seem to be using that 153 MHz frequency listed in radio reference.

161.565 - E train Operator
481.4875 - picked it up standing right outside the WTC path train station. They are listed in the FCC database as Lans Service Corp. (whoever that is) with an output frequency of 478.4875.

On the Staten Island Ferry:
Picked up 467.875 briefly (could've been anyone), 156.950 (main frequency being used by the Ferry crew), 156.800 USCG (NYC base), 145.230 (Brooklyn Ham Repeater heard very strong), and 155.235 (strong signal captured outside ferry terminal that sounded like security or PD)??

If anyone can fill in some of the gaps, that would be great!
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Old 04-04-2007, 1:54 PM
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I have setup a closecall "hit log" on my website.

http://www.bergenscanner.com/closecall.shtml

This isn't just for Bergen County but everyewhere I take my BC246T. I have hits from places like Las Vegas, Tennessee, Lake George NY and North Carolina, to name a few. Closecall is especially helpful when you go to special events. You never know what you'll pick up!! Maybe there should be a new forum simply called "closee call hits"?
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Old 04-04-2007, 8:05 PM
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On a related note, I have started bandsweep lists to document everything that can be heard from my location on every frequency where I can receive a signal. It has to be redone every time I move because station coverage varies with location, terrain, etc. I use one 8.5" x 14" sheet of lined paper for every megahertz so there is plenty of space for listings.

Once the list has at least an indication of every active frequency, with or without a specific identification, any new channel use is easy to detect. This works best when you have a scanner that is capable of finding and displaying CTCSS/DCS/LTR.
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Old 04-05-2007, 7:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N2ZGE
155.235 (strong signal captured outside ferry terminal that sounded like security or PD)??

If anyone can fill in some of the gaps, that would be great!
Dave,

Excellent point regarding PLs - that would certainly help narrow down possible users...

...On that note - based on where you were, Ben, I'd bet that Jersey City Medical Center's "HudCen" (PL 146.2) is what you heard - they are the EMS dispatchers for Jersey City and parts of the surrounding area. They're right across the Bay. Nice hit, by the way, re: CP Zoo.

SCANdal
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Last edited by SCANdal; 04-05-2007 at 7:45 AM..
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