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Mahwah EMS Call heard over Lodi 33.860

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Dispatrick

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It's exactly what the title says, The other night I heard Mahwah EMS over Lodi Fire Dispatch 33.860, no PL. tones and everything, was able to confirm it by the address. this is twice now I've heard it. Could this be interference between Mahwah's dispatch center and the nearby county center?

Edit: I live in a neighboring town to Lodi.
 

radiomanNJ1

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Here we go why nothing can get done in NJ. Interference? Dispatch centers do not cause interference.

It's exactly what the title says, The other night I heard Mahwah EMS over Lodi Fire Dispatch 33.860, no PL. tones and everything, was able to confirm it by the address. this is twice now I've heard it. Could this be interference between Mahwah's dispatch center and the nearby county center?

Edit: I live in a neighboring town to Lodi.
 

jvdet

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Does Mahwah FD still have 33.86? maybe it still is active for remaining pagers? and he heard it direct from Mahwah;
 

902

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No one town "owns" 33.86 MHz.

Mahwah used to dispatch everything on 33.86 before they switched to UHF in the 90s. I worked on some of their equipment maybe 31 years ago. Same thing with a bunch of northern, western and east Bergen towns. I still have an old red Plectron with tubes in it on 33.86 from when I was on the fire department.

On the occasions I go back home, I've noticed that some of them have left a "hard patch" between their new frequency and 33.86. That's not just for tones and announcement, but for unit traffic, too. And, none of them seem to be listening to low band. That dumps all this unrelated traffic out in one place, on top of each other. The result makes an otherwise good frequency just about unusable.
 

jaymatt1978

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Mahwah still does have 33.8600 BUT it's only because they still may have lowband pagers to tone out the volunteers. The call is toned out over UHF (460.1625) and lowband but only supposed to use UHF channels (or VHF channels for mutual aid) for fireground operations. What's happpening is I think the dispatcher is forgetting to "unpatch" the frequencies. On that note Mahwah is the ONLY town that has this kind of patch, so as far as making the frequency unusable, I don't think it's a big deal. All the other towns on 33.8600 have moved off a long time ago
 
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mikemey

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33.86 is a relic of the early 1990s. A number of the Northwest Bergen County FDs (Ramsey, Mahwah, Allendale, Saddle River, Upper Saddle River, and maybe Waldwick for a time) dispatched off 33.86. They all started moving off in the mid '90s. And one of the reasons they all moved off was because Lodi FD would constantly interfere with dispatches, etc, because their desk personnel wouldn't bother to monitor before hitting the tones. It wasn't the main reason (Coverage, parts for pagers, etc) but it contributed.

Mahwah was later to that party, but I know when they rolled out 460.1625 they had some pager issues and were simulcasting. I thought they had finally worked those out, but I could be wrong. Plus, with the recent changes to Mahwah EMS, they may have to temporarily use 33.86. But that's just me speculating. I used to have contacts in Ramsey and Mahwah who might be able to tell me the answer, but they have all moved from the area (As have I.)

Hope this helps. Tell Lodi to get with the program and use modern dispatching equipment. lol
 

mshumeyk

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In the 1970's, 33.86 had what would now be called an unbelievable number of fire departments utilizing it. In addition to towns on the Route 17 corridor from Saddle River to Mahwah, other central Bergen towns on the frequency besides Lodi were Fair Lawn, East Paterson (now Elmwood Park), and Garfield East Bergen towns on 33.86 included Englewood Cliffs, Fort Lee, Leonia, Palisades Park, Fairview and Cliffside Park. With my brother's Plectron attached to a roof antenna we also often received Westchester County, Pennsylvania dispatch as well as Pike County, Pennsylvania. Occasional skip would bring in even more traffic from the Midwest.
 

mikemey

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Back when the NW Bergen County PD's used 37.08, when I dispatched for one of the local PDs, we used to pick up Washington County, Ark during the summer. It was bad, to the point where we'd be stepping all over each other.
 

902

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Back when the NW Bergen County PD's used 37.08, when I dispatched for one of the local PDs, we used to pick up Washington County, Ark during the summer. It was bad, to the point where we'd be stepping all over each other.
There were a number of departments across the country using the 37 MHz frequencies up till maybe 22 years ago. Many of the statewide low band networks went to 800 MHz or other frequency bands. I was listening to some Mississippi sheriffs once on I think the frequency Bergen County OEM tried to implement (37.40). I thought I was hearing Sheriff J.W. Pepper from Live and Let Die - "What are you, some kinda doomsday machine?" LOL!
 

902

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Historical Bergen County Community Call Signs for 33.86

I was able to locate a source of 1975/1976 historic data for public safety radio in NJ. Here are some call signs and agencies on 33.86 (and if they weren't exactly on 33.86, where they were back then). I hope some people find it nostalgic and interesting, if for anything, what your town might have used back in the day. The 2x4 call signs are mobile-only licenses. Any 3x2 licenses are base station only licenses. The 3x3 call signs are regular base and mobiles. I haven't heard some of these call signs in decades because they were allowed to expire.

KBI777 - Ridgefield (primarily on 33.88)
KCP610 - Fort Lee (also 154.445)
KC4590 - Ramsey
KED411 - Cliffside Park (also 154.445)
KED736 - Fair Lawn
KED944 - East Paterson (now Elmwood Park... because...)
KEE846 - Palisades Park
KEE869 - Upper Saddle River
KEF825 - Edgewater
KEF954 - Mahwah
KEG721 - Ramsey
KEH513 - Saddle River
KFG921 - Ramsey
KJB888 - Bergen County (at the academy)
KJE929 - Mahwah
KJE944 - Allendale
KJF782 - Lodi
KJR450 - Saddle Brook
KK3551 - Mahwah
KK6450 - Teaneck (Box 54)
KTJ537 - Fairview
KVR963 - Englewood Cliffs
KYC206 - Paramus (primarily 33.44)

Surprisingly, Leonia was on 33.66 as KRE355. I don't remember, was it a typo, or were they really not on 33.86?

I had to have an external antenna to hear many of the stations, and the 4 channel Radio Shack crystal controlled hand held scanner had an image from TV Channel 2. It couldn't hear anything but noise on 33.86. I had to get a Bearcat SPH/L hand held. A short time later, I got a Bearcat 210 and used a Starduster CB antenna cut to 33.86 with an Ameco preamp.

A very popular low band police channel at the time was 37.26. But there was a lot of high band use, too.

The East Bergen towns were pretty much all off 33.86 by 1979 when 154.355 came into play. Fort Lee pulled the antennas off their tower in 1986. Edgewater and Cliffside Park continued to use the frequency for a while. Cliffside was finally taken down in 1995 to make room for the 500 MHz antennas for PD and FD.
 

mikemey

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I just looked on the FCC site, Ramsey isn't licensed on KEG721 anymore, but was using KEG722, and is still licensed on it for 33.86, along with 154.175 and 154.280.

ULS License - Public Safety Pool, Conventional License - KEG722 - RAMSEY, BOROUGH OF - Frequencies Summary

USR is still licensed for 33.86 (KEE869). Allendale still has KGE944 for 33.86 as well.

I'm betting most of them have kept the license for 33.86 active if only for back up or mutual aid purposes.

Edit: Oh a whim I checked KGE929 for Mahwah - Its expired. http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/license.jsp?licKey=1180400
 
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902

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I just looked on the FCC site,
That's right, Mike. You're not going to find some of these in ULS today. Either the communities let their licenses expire and ended up with a KN, WN, WP, or WQ call sign, or they just abandoned the license. This is a historic snapshot of what was on 33.86 in Bergen County about 38 years ago.

The police landscape for low band is very interesting, too.

Sadly, there was an artificial, market-driven demise to the frequency band. You only make money once on low band, that's when you sell the equipment. Service and replacement are relatively minor costs on products that were designed to last for decades, like Motracs and MASTR PRO radios. You make money over and over again on infrastructure-dependent products that constantly require firmware updates and tweaks because of "support" requirements.
 

mikemey

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LOL sorry, your Elmwood Park/East Paterson comment has me giggling.

The West Paterson/Woodland Park stuff is so similar. Tho I can't really blame them for not wanting to be associated with the cesspool that is Paterson....

As for low-band equipment, yeah, they don't build the equipment like that anymore. The old low-band stuff could survive a nuclear blast, while radios today look like they're gonna break if you look at 'em hard, and are so complicated to use. We didn't call the low-band "portables" wheel chocks for nothing. lol
 

902

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LOL sorry, your Elmwood Park/East Paterson comment has me giggling.

The West Paterson/Woodland Park stuff is so similar. Tho I can't really blame them for not wanting to be associated with the cesspool that is Paterson....

As for low-band equipment, yeah, they don't build the equipment like that anymore. The old low-band stuff could survive a nuclear blast, while radios today look like they're gonna break if you look at 'em hard, and are so complicated to use. We didn't call the low-band "portables" wheel chocks for nothing. lol
LOL, yeah, they didn't have to change the gold leafing on the fire trucks :lol:.

Just for fun I checked on 37.08 for some old call signs from 1975/1976. It looks like a B&C client sheet. I guess you guys listened in carrier squelch (like we did on 33.86).
KEC846 - Ho Ho Kus (long expired - now WPBI871)
KEE458 - Waldwick (with 37.26 and 453.7875)
KEJ810 - Saddle River (with 37.1, 37.38, and 453.6875)
KEJ811 - Allendale (now with 159.33 and 460.125 - and an application for 1 VHF repeater on 158.7975/151.1975)
KFD603 - Mahwah (long expired)
KH5926 - Mahwah's mobiles (long expired)
KLO484 - Upper Saddle River (now with 453.55 on it)

And today there is also KEB440 - Wyckoff, KL0484 (with a zero, not a letter O - holy official typo!), KNIJ657 - Mahwah, and WQN785 - Ramsey.

Somewhere in storage I have to have some old Motrac and MASTR-PRO base stations just waiting for me to dust them off. If I plug them in, I'm afraid the electric meter will gyroscope off the wall.
 
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