• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Can't hear Olds Fire Dept. anymore

Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
9
#1
Hello I am new to this site I have been listening to scanners for many a year and this year our local fire department has switched over to the new digital system and of course can’t be picked up by our current scanner. I know nothing about the digital scanners what would be the best scanner to get to pick up their new signal?
 

Jay911

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
9,080
Location
Bragg Creek, Alberta
#2
Hi there,

First question, to potentially save you some $: What's your current scanner?

It may just be that you simply need to program the new system into your scanner.

Olds (and all the other Mountain View County FDs) are on the new AFRRCS network - I was listening to Carstairs and Didsbury working on Highway 2 this morning during the flurries.

If your current scanner supports P25 digital and 700 MHz frequencies, you can program AFRRCS.

If you do need to update to a new radio, there are a bunch that will work, both in the new and used markets.

Uniden
SDS200
SDS100
BCD536HP
BCD436HP
BCD996P2
BCD325P2
HomePatrol-2
HomePatrol-1
BCD996XT
BCD396XT

Whistler
TRX-2
TRX-1
WS1040
WS1065

GRE
PSR-600
PSR-500
PSR-800

This is far from a complete list, I'm sure there are others. Like I said, you need a radio that will do digital trunking on 700 MHz.
 

Jay911

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
9,080
Location
Bragg Creek, Alberta
#4
Unfortunately that one doesn't have the technology needed to hear AFRRCS. The lowest-cost new scanner you can probably find to fit the bill is the BCD996P2 (if you're looking for a base station similar to the 345CRS). That or the Whistler WS1065 - the Whistler is a bit cheaper than the Uniden but also doesn't have exactly the same feature set. If you end up wanting to listen to more stuff and travel around with it, the Whistler may not be what you're looking for.

Expect to pay $350-$450 for those models. If you look at the top of the line ones available right now, you'll come close to tickling the $1000 range.
 

Jay911

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
9,080
Location
Bragg Creek, Alberta
#6
Handhelds are pretty much the same deal as the base/mobile options. The equivalent of the 996P2 is the 325P2, and the Whistler WS1040 is the handheld version of the 1065 - again, limited features compared to the Uniden models.
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
9
#7
In your opinion, will the Uniden BCD325P2 work with the new AFRRCS network?

Another question, will this scanner pick up the regular channels for the RCMP etc.?
 

Jay911

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
9,080
Location
Bragg Creek, Alberta
#8
The 325P2 will work great with AFRRCS.

IF the RCMP channels were going to continue existing more than a month or two, yes this radio would pick them up fine too. However the RCMP in your area and mine will be migrating over to AFRRCS very quickly, within a couple of months, and will be 100% encrypted, so we won't be able to hear them at all any more, sadly.

If you have other things you listen to, with your CRS, though, the 325P2 will hear it.
 

Mars_P25

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 24, 2013
Messages
102
#10
For Olds Fire, use talkgroup 66 on AFRRCS. Red Deer 911 dispatched them to an MVC around 7:13 p.m. this evening on that TG. It's not in the database yet. In the clear, no encryption.

Audio sample here: Vocaroo | Voice message

I should add, I monitored the dispatch via the Red Deer 2 site. I believe the dispatcher was coming in via RF, so anyone looking to reliably monitor Olds FD can rely on RD2 going forward. Obviously whatever site Olds FD affiliates to will also work.
 

Jay911

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
9,080
Location
Bragg Creek, Alberta
#11
Olds is part of Mountain View County. TGs 61 thru 76 were used by Cremona Fire some time ago, with A6 being referred to as Dispatch on the air. Nowadays it sounds like the whole county is on that channel. Not sure what 61 thru 65 and 67 thru 76 are used for - don't recall if I've heard them recently.

I've also seen TGs 80, 81, and 85 used or affiliated to by Mountain View radios. Also, 4611, 4615, and 4624 were used recently. I heard 4624 referred to as A7, and 85 referred to as G5.

I can hear them from my part of the world fairly often, but figuring out their channel layout seems to be a challenge.
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
9
#13
I'm still waiting on my financial department to decide whether to purchase a handheld scanner but I've only heard the Olds fire department once on Friday when they were communicating with the RCMP, I can verify for sure that we have not heard from any of our local fire departments that includes Olds Didsbury Carstairs Cermona and Sundre. I am still currently hearing Olds and Didsbury RCMP but I have heard them talking about going for training on the new radios and with the last vehicle to be transferred over to the new radio will happen on Sunday. I also understood that they are changing the call signs for the vehicles for example A16 car becoming OL100 and OL200. And similar situation for Didsbury having the same type of callsign.
It would make sense that Olds Didsbury Carstairs Cermona and sundre be in the same talk group as Mountain View County I believe has paid for the radios for those detachments.
 

harryshute

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
1,561
Location
Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA
#14
I'm still waiting on my financial department to decide whether to purchase a handheld scanner but I've only heard the Olds fire department once on Friday when they were communicating with the RCMP, I can verify for sure that we have not heard from any of our local fire departments that includes Olds Didsbury Carstairs Cermona and Sundre. I am still currently hearing Olds and Didsbury RCMP but I have heard them talking about going for training on the new radios and with the last vehicle to be transferred over to the new radio will happen on Sunday. I also understood that they are changing the call signs for the vehicles for example A16 car becoming Ol100 and Ol200. And similar situation for Didsbury having the same type of callsign.
It would make sense that Olds Didsbury Carstairs Cermona and sundre be in the same talk group as Mountain View County I believe has paid for the radios for those detachments.
I believe the OL100 series replace the Alpha identifiers and the OL200 series replace the Bravo identifiers.
 

Mars_P25

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 24, 2013
Messages
102
#16
Cremona FD also on TG 66. This isn't news for some of you already in-the-know, but good info. I've now labeled it in my radio as "Mountain View Co. FD" as it pretty much encompasses the entire county.

Reception of 66 via the Red Deer 2 site has also been 100% reliable. RD911 is their dispatch and they're definitely using an RF radio (RID 9990) to handle comms to/from agencies on that talkgroup. However, there was an emergency button activation (mistake) the other day, and one of the 5xxxxxx RDES 911 dispatchers came up. Likely the RDES comm. centre lieutenant (supervisor). That also likely means talkgroup patches can occur, via the console.

On Monday, they also tested out the totally ghetto sounding "backup dispatch" method, where someone called in via telephone and it was patched over the talkgroup. It sounded absolutely terrible with all kinds of feedback. Likely installed by the Red Deer Bearcom affiliate, who has very little experience with these types of things. Zero attention given to balancing audio levels/AGC, etc.

For those of you listening for action on #2 (going north from Olds), here's the other FD's you should add to your scan list. These are repeater outputs:

Bowden: 159.585000, PL 151.4 (NARROWBAND 2.5 kHz)
Innisfail: 154.725000, PL 123.0 (5 kHz)
Penhold: 153.845000, PL 82.5 (5 kHz)

Bowden's VHF repeater is on-demand patched via a UHF backbone back to RDES 911. The UHF backbone is patched to RDES 911 when a call is paged out, and during the incident until it's concluded. Other on-demand FDs in Red Deer Co. on the backbone are Delburne, Elnora and Spruceview. You can monitor the UHF backbone on 454.0375, PL 123.0. It gets out very well; fringe to almost Airdrie. The UHF backbone is probably the best frequency to monitor, unless all you have is VHF (2M rig?) for RX.
 

Mars_P25

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 24, 2013
Messages
102
#19
With so many departments on 66 do they go to another channel for Fireground? Or could they still be using the old system for that?
I'm too far away to confirm any VHF FG stuff, but it seems they do respond on 66 as well. Just now for example, Sundre FD was cancelled (via live dispatch) as the location of the call was not in their area.

The other day, there was a major incident involving a truck from that county. The crew's call for help was voiced on the TG, and all responding units talked to them on there.

66 is just as busy, if not busier, than RDES Red Deer Dispatch talkgroup.
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
9
#20
Since my original post not sure what may have changed in the scanning world but what is the best handheld scanner is not going to break the bank to get that I can pick up the fire department.
 
Top