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Unable to Hear FDNY

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strange_bru

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Toms River - NJ
Hi All - For many years I had enjoyed listening to the 5 bouroughs. I live in Toms River, NJ. Really not that far from NYC as the crow flies. It appears that since they have changed over to UHF that I have lost the ability to monitor them. I don't receive anything over the VHF side either. I have an external discone antenna that is about 12' off of the ground. I Have the following scanners: Unidens 245 H/H, 250D H/H, 780 XLT, 785 D, Home Patrol 1, and a GRE PSR 500 H/H. Despite my best efforts in programing all of them I am unable to hear any traffic. With the changeover did they cut power to a more localized area? Am I doing something in programing that is affecting this? Or am I just plain out of luck?

Just as an aside I have a friend that lives in Cranford NJ, which is not far from the city at all - He has a PSR 500 and can't recieve transmissions either.

I/we would greatly appreciate any light you can shed on this issue.

Thank You....
 

GTR8000

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Have you ruled out a problem with your coax and/or the discone? Have you noticed any other frequencies you used to be able to hear, but are having trouble with recently? Either fairly local signals that aren't coming in as strong as they once did, or distant signals that are now gone? It only takes a little bit of water or moisture entering the antenna or coax to wreak havoc with the entire setup.

Have you tried the HomePatrol and PSR-500 outside with their stock antennas? Radio waves travel further over water, and since the city is not that far up the coastline, you may pick something up depending on how close to the shore you are.

And finally, try monitoring each frequency individually without a PL programmed, and with the squelch right at the threshold. Generally speaking, I've found that the Queens VHF transmitter on 154.400 seems to carry the furthest south and west, followed by Brooklyn, SI, Bronx then Manhattan. I expect that if you have no luck hearing any of the VHF transmitters, you probably won't have much luck hearing the UHF transmitters.
 

strange_bru

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Location
Toms River - NJ
Thank You Sir - The antenna is brand new - not to say that it couldn't be deffective. I am going to get new coax - there is the potential for damage during recent home modifications. I will try your other suggestions and I greatly appreciate you swift response ...
 

pro106import

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Hi All - For many years I had enjoyed listening to the 5 bouroughs. I live in Toms River, NJ. Really not that far from NYC as the crow flies. It appears that since they have changed over to UHF that I have lost the ability to monitor them. I don't receive anything over the VHF side either. I have an external discone antenna that is about 12' off of the ground. I Have the following scanners: Unidens 245 H/H, 250D H/H, 780 XLT, 785 D, Home Patrol 1, and a GRE PSR 500 H/H. Despite my best efforts in programing all of them I am unable to hear any traffic. With the changeover did they cut power to a more localized area? Am I doing something in programing that is affecting this? Or am I just plain out of luck?

Just as an aside I have a friend that lives in Cranford NJ, which is not far from the city at all - He has a PSR 500 and can't recieve transmissions either.

I/we would greatly appreciate any light you can shed on this issue.

Thank You....
I live in Ct. between Bridgeport and New Haven. I am in a pretty good spot- on the shore 800 feet from Long Island Sound and up about 130 feet above sea level. I can receive just about every NYC precinct in the 476-477 area with my discone, and about half of them on my hand held scanner with just a gain rubber duck inside the house. I get SOD on a wet noodle as they say. I still can receive NYFD on VHF as I type. I can receive just about all of the trunked systems in NYC also with no problem. BUT, when it comes to the new FDNY UHF freqs, I also have problems on normal days. The signals fade up and down almost as if I am in a mobile. I also have problems with the new UHF DOITT system. Same symptoms. So it's not just you. N2NOV once said that they have several transmitters throughout the city so they do not need the high power as some of the other agencies. That makes a lot of sense. But I still can't understand how I can hear say NYPD Zone 1 in Manhattan twice as good as Manhattan FD on UHF. You would think a precinct wouldn't need much power either because they only cover a small area.
Bob
 

Rudy3145

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As far as being able to hear NYPD and not FDNY could be alot of factors. Where the transmitter is located, how much power and height it's putting out. What type of antenna their using and what gain. And the freq could be a clear one, or getting alot of interference from other stations. Got to remember. Those radios are designed to cover a specific area, they're not designed to cover/reach Conneticut. The fact that you can hear them is not usual, but it's a bonus. Some stations carry further, mostly due to height. Alot of times the weather will play into it.
 
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strange_bru

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Jan 11, 2010
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Location
Toms River - NJ
Further my issue. I have tried several of the recommendations to virtually no avail with the exception minimal noise on 154.4000. I did purchase new coax but due to weather (high winds) I didn't change it out yet. But I have a few additional questions - when I mounted the discone I put it on a 8' fiberglass antenna extension from an old boat. This was to facilitate the use of a ratchet mount to lower the antenna when necessary. So the questions are does the fiberglass mast have a negative impact on reception? Should I try adding a section of metal mast? Would grounding the coax to now defunct conduit provide a better ground plane?

As usual I am open to any and all sugestons to try to resolve my problem.

Thank You advance for your assistance

B_Dub
 

Rudy3145

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New York
I would have to say no, being that di-pole antennas are made out of fiberglass enclosures
 

N2SCV

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Above ground
Staten Island is still using VHF; I live near E 151 & L 76 and hear them on the input of 154.070 still. However, It does sound like 154.190 has very low power since they started simulcasting on UHF. Sometimes I don't hear the dispatcher at all.
 

W2PMX

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Oct 29, 2011
Messages
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Location
Fayetteville NC
when I mounted the discone I put it on a 8' fiberglass antenna extension from an old boat. This was to facilitate the use of a ratchet mount to lower the antenna when necessary. So the questions are does the fiberglass mast have a negative impact on reception?
No, the discone has its own groundplane, so the mount material is irrelevant.

As far as the UHF transmitter, that's pretty much line of sight (800 is even more so). The line of sight from a 12 foot high antenna is about 4.2 miles. Add the transmitting antenna's line of sight and you have your expected range - but even if FDNY's antenna is 150 feet up (that's something like the height of the Queens tower), that only adds 15 miles to the range.

If someone built a tall building between you and the FDNY antenna, you'd have a problem. (I live around 50 miles east of the 154.4 site, but there's a range of hills in the way. The only way I can get any signal from them at all is to aim my 13db Yagi at them, and they're still almost in the noise.)
 

ansky

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Dec 27, 2005
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NYC Metro
I monitor FDNY Manhattan and noticed that recently they don't seem to be broadcasting on 154.25 VHF anymore, or at least not as much as they used to. I do hear Brooklyn and Queens on VHF though.
 
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tbendick

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Nyc
all FDNY VHF dispatch channels are still in use 100% all of the time.

Its an issue on your end. Listen to the Manhattan feed its VHF if they are talking and you don't hear anything then its your radio
 

strange_bru

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2010
Messages
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Location
Toms River - NJ
Thank You ALL for your assistance - I'm going to shoot for getting the antenna up onto peak of the house - last resort - - I'll let you know - Thanks again !!!
 
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