Broadcastify vs phase 1 scanner for HRM

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2e0wes

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Hi guys, is there much more Fire and EMS to be heard on a scanner than what there is on broadcastify in the HRM?
I know it has to be phase 1 scanner, just wondering if it's worth the investment?

Thanks.
73 Steve.
 

jonwienke

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Broadcastify limits what can be streamed, and you're at the mercy of the feed provider. Getting your own scanner is almost always better.
 

hfxChris

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HRM fire uses a mix of talkgroups on the P25 trunked radio system, and regular analog VHF transmitters for paging (alerting) stations and volunteers. There's a VHF paging transmitter located in Shubenacadie, I believe to cover the station in Dutch Settlement, and with the way their paging system works most (but not all) of the pages go out on all transmitters. I have a feeling that's the transmitter that the 'central NS' feed on broadcastify is scanning, so they're getting most of the pages for HRM.

The problem though is when units get on scene, an 'ops' talkgroup on the trunked system is assigned for on-scene command. Trunked radio is kind of like cell phone technology; the radios 'connect' to a nearby tower (site). So if there's an incident in downtown Halifax and a discrete 'ops' talkgroup is assigned to it, their radios are all going to connect to a site covering downtown Halifax, and the feed on broadcastify will likely lose them.
 

west5alpha

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That explains why some active fire scenes etc are not heard on the broadcastify scanner feed , makes sense now
 

NRGST

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So If I'm in Sackville listening to the trunked system from the Sackville tower, does the local Sackville tower rebroadcast the stuff that isn't being transmitted locally (IE within range of my receiver) or will I only receive the radios within range of me?

If it doesn't rebroadcast stuff what's the best setup for two SDR's to get the most traffic? Should one be on the trunk with SDRtrunk and the other scanning the VHF freq's on SDR#, or should I do something else?
 

west5alpha

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This evening for example , haven't heard any fire comms at all from the house fire in Bedford
 

hfxChris

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So If I'm in Sackville listening to the trunked system from the Sackville tower, does the local Sackville tower rebroadcast the stuff that isn't being transmitted locally (IE within range of my receiver) or will I only receive the radios within range of me?

If it doesn't rebroadcast stuff what's the best setup for two SDR's to get the most traffic? Should one be on the trunk with SDRtrunk and the other scanning the VHF freq's on SDR#, or should I do something else?
I think the easiest way to explain trunked radio would be an example. You're scanning the Sackville site. Let's say there's a fire in Cole Harbour, and HRM fire assigns the 'ops 2' talkgroup for the fire. The site with the best coverage in Cole Harbour is most likely the Preston site. Everybody on-scene in Cole Harbour switches their radios to ops 2, and lets say everyone's radio affiliates with ('attaches to' if that makes sense) the Preston site. If every radio on ops 2 is affiliated with the Preston site, that's the only site you'll hear ops 2 on.

Now let's say the district chief responsible for the Dartmouth and Sackville areas happens to be out in Sackville at the moment. He switches his radio over to ops 2 so he can monitor, and at that point you'll hear ops 2 on the Sackville site (in addition to Preston). But if he turns his radio off, or switches to a different talkgroup, or goes out of range of the Sackville site, then you'll stop hearing it.

Hopefully that helps understand how trunking works. You're only going to hear a certain talkgroup on a certain site, if there is at least one radio that is affiliated with that site and monitoring that talkgroup.

As for your second question, I think it's always a good idea to at least monitor the VHF paging frequencies, since that's just about always going to be the initial call-out. You don't need to monitor all of the frequencies listed in the database, where you're at you would only need to monitor 151.4 and 152.18 and you should hear everything in HRM.
 

west5alpha

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It blows when listening to the online scanner feed. More than one occasion no comms were heard on fires in Halifax or Dartmouth. Even here in our apt building in Darmouth for a smoke condition. Nothing heard
 

2e0wes

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From the Halifax Dartmouth area, is it possible to pull in the Regional Police of Truro or Kentville? The R/R database says they're not encrypted (subject to a good antenna). Or are they too far out?
 

hfxChris

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Not normally, no. To be able to reliably hear them you would need to be within scanning range of the TMR towers that cover Truro or Kentville, and from here that's not possible. You might occasionally hear them if somebody with one of their radios is traveling within the city and has their radio turned on, then that talkgroup would be heard on the local TMR tower their radio is affiliated with. But that's pretty rare.
 

NRGST

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Thanks Chris, that's how I imagined it worked but you made it much more clear in my head. Many Thanks!
 
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