Central Maine Power Setup on SDS100?

gskroll

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Jun 17, 2005
Messages
82
Location
Portland, ME
I live in Portland and have had great results setting up my SDS100 to monitor Portland P25 Public Service and MSCommNet systems.

I would like to have my SDS100 ready to monitor Central Maine Power in advance of our upcoming winter season to follow the status of power outages.

I started by creating a Favorites List for CMP by Appending to the new FL from the USA.Maine.Cumberland County.Statewide.Central Maine Power data in Sentinel. I then pruned the list of sites to include only those I would like hear from Portland and Bridgton. I ran the LCN Finder on those sites but only hear one side of what seems to be a two party conversation.

That's when I looked to scan-NE.org and found some differences in sites and frequencies/LCN's within sites. I tried using those values with similar disappointment in only hearing snippets of what should have been conversations.

I am perfectly willing to utilize the Analyze and Discovery capabilities of the SDS100 but suspect that there is far less activity on the CMP system than what would be seen during a bad weather event. Maybe this is contributing to my lack of success.

Does anyone have a working set of sites/frequencies/lcn's that I can leverage? I am primarily interested in those that pertain to Portland and Bridgton.

Otherwise, can someone suggest a procedure to follow to resolve the differences in sites and frequencies per site that I am seeing between RadioReference/Sentinel and Scan-NE.org? I did find a procedure in RR that seemed to have been created before the advent of the LCN Finder capabilities in the BCDx36HP and SDSx00 scanners. I suspect there is an easier way - maybe merging together all the frequencies from both RR or Scan-NE into a "mega-site" and running LCN Finder on that? The problem there would seem to be knowing when all the valid frequencies had seen activity and determine the rest were erroneous. Also the inability to turn off the site(s) covering Bridgton when scanning from Portland and vice versa.

I did look to marksscanners.com - Easier to Read SDS-100/200 Digital Scanner Manual (in the LTR Systems section) but found only:
"The frequencies also have to be in LCN (Logical Channel Number) order or the correct 'slot' for the system to trunktrack properly.

I would greatly appreciate any help or suggestions.

Thanks!

Glenn
W1GSK



Thanks
Glenn
W1GSK
 

ecps92

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Joined
Jul 8, 2002
Messages
11,457
Location
Taxachusetts
CMP has always been an off duck for research on. AS the person who wrote the Scan New England wiki on it, that is from being a tourist and not having days to set on the channels and come up with the LCN's and sites etc. Most was built off the FCC License data and then a couple of hours here n there, while in 203 on other projects.

You are hearing one side of the conversation, likely as the Dispatcher is keying up multiple Sites, but the units are only on one site, and
likely out of your range and/or since it is a Trunk, maybe replying on a freq not in your list.

Not familiar with that specific radio I will let those folks who have one reply to you there, but best of luck and do share in the forums what you find

I live in Portland and have had great results setting up my SDS100 to monitor Portland P25 Public Service and MSCommNet systems.

I would like to have my SDS100 ready to monitor Central Maine Power in advance of our upcoming winter season to follow the status of power outages.

I started by creating a Favorites List for CMP by Appending to the new FL from the USA.Maine.Cumberland County.Statewide.Central Maine Power data in Sentinel. I then pruned the list of sites to include only those I would like hear from Portland and Bridgton. I ran the LCN Finder on those sites but only hear one side of what seems to be a two party conversation.

That's when I looked to scan-NE.org and found some differences in sites and frequencies/LCN's within sites. I tried using those values with similar disappointment in only hearing snippets of what should have been conversations.

I am perfectly willing to utilize the Analyze and Discovery capabilities of the SDS100 but suspect that there is far less activity on the CMP system than what would be seen during a bad weather event. Maybe this is contributing to my lack of success.

Does anyone have a working set of sites/frequencies/lcn's that I can leverage? I am primarily interested in those that pertain to Portland and Bridgton.

Otherwise, can someone suggest a procedure to follow to resolve the differences in sites and frequencies per site that I am seeing between RadioReference/Sentinel and Scan-NE.org? I did find a procedure in RR that seemed to have been created before the advent of the LCN Finder capabilities in the BCDx36HP and SDSx00 scanners. I suspect there is an easier way - maybe merging together all the frequencies from both RR or Scan-NE into a "mega-site" and running LCN Finder on that? The problem there would seem to be knowing when all the valid frequencies had seen activity and determine the rest were erroneous. Also the inability to turn off the site(s) covering Bridgton when scanning from Portland and vice versa.

I did look to marksscanners.com - Easier to Read SDS-100/200 Digital Scanner Manual (in the LTR Systems section) but found only:
"The frequencies also have to be in LCN (Logical Channel Number) order or the correct 'slot' for the system to trunktrack properly.

I would greatly appreciate any help or suggestions.

Thanks!

Glenn
W1GSK



Thanks
Glenn
W1GSK
 

gskroll

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
82
Location
Portland, ME
Thanks for your work in getting the data in the first place and for your quick response to my questions.

This morning I scoured the FCC database and tried to create sites that would likely be within my scanner/antenna’s “reach” (Portland, Yarmouth, Falmouth, Gray when scanning from Portland - Denmark, Sebago, Hebron when scanning from Bridgton).

I got the impression from some comment on the net that CMP might not be up to date on license renewals so I included expired licenses for those locations

I am running thru the sites using LCN Finder right now. I will see what that yields.

Thanks again for your help.

Glenn
W1GSK
 

Ubbe

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
5,106
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
If you do not manage to make it work I suggest you create a conventional system with channels set to analog/digital search and in the range 850.0125 with 25KHz steps to 860.9875 and scan that. It will take less than 10 seconds to scan after you permanently avoid channels that belongs to other systems and you will hear all conversations from that power company, if the active channel are within range.

Add those active channels as soon as you find them to the LTR system as a seperate test site and do LCN finder on them. As soon as you find out a LCN you add that to the proper site in the system and delete that frequency from the test site. You would have to "nurse" the scanner to avoid frequencies and when not at the scanner you set it to record and later go thru the findings and avoid or delete frequencies in the scanner, or in Sentinel, that you have identified.

Butel have demo versions of his programs and you can use literally any of them to create a scanlist with a 25Khz step size and a 12,5Khz offset and then copy and paste into Sentinel, if you do not have other programs like ProScan to use.

Doing it that way will make it impossible to "hide" any frequency from you that are within range to receive. Who knows, maybe you will find other system frequencies as well that are not in the database that you can report in.

When you hear a channel that has only interference or distorted sound, make a second department and move those frequencies there and test with different filter settings if you can make the interference disappear or make them sound clearer. The frequencies you are missing might be totally covered by interference.

/Ubbe
 

gskroll

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Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
82
Location
Portland, ME
Ubbe,

Thanks for your suggestions.

Is there an advantage to creating the individual frequencies between 850.0125 and 860.9875 rather than using the Custom Search capability with those frequencies defined as lower and upper limits? It looks like I could also define the 25KHz steps.

At present, I have reverted to info coming from the FCC Advanced Search. As it is a weekend and there is no severe weather event ongoing, I am finding it difficult to succeed in getting hits on all the sits/frequencies "mined" from the FCC. I will continue for a while during more active work hours and a period involving some weather "challenges". If that approach fails, I will look to an approach such as you suggest.

I do currently use Proscan (I am only scratching the surface but seem to find new capabilities each time I open it up). I had purchased a license a couple of years ago for Butel's products (I don't remember now which one(s) but I found the color schemes difficult to see - I am legally blind and have VERY limited vision. Finding a way to enforce a "dark mode" is critical to effective use of any of these products.

Glenn
W1GSK
 

Ubbe

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
5,106
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
Unidens custom search are not "intelligent" and cannot use offset so you would have to search using 12,5KHz steps, which will take twice the time to search a range as it would also search 850.025 and 850.050 and so on that are outside of the systems bandplan of 850.0125 and 850.0375 and so on.

If you set a 25KHz step size it would only search 850.025 and 850.050 and never check the actual system frequency of 850.0375

Being visual impared will make it so much more difficult using my suggestions, it's even challenging with 20/20 vision, so you should probably stick with your current method.

/Ubbe
 

gskroll

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Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
82
Location
Portland, ME
Thanks for your post.

This a view from Proscan into how I had tried to set up to monitor CMP during wind/snow/ice storm activity to hear about local failures and possibly get a handle on when they would be estimating restoration of service. I have focused only on the areas that I guessed might be involved in a response to an incident in Portland (where I live) and Bridgton (where I play).

1603045776353.png
I had set that frequency up (along with the others shown above) as part of the "Falmouth Site" derived from the licensing info at FCC.GOV.

You will notice that I have similarly set up sites for Portland, Yarmouth, and Gray (that I seem to be able to reach from Portland) and for Denmark, Sebago and Hebron (that I hope to be able to reach from Bridgton. I had reasoned that there might be some dispatching of crews to help out in adjacent zones.

It had occurred to me that, as you said, much of the communications might have moved to cellphones so this may be a largely futile attempt.

Do you think that during an ice storm, for example, when it would seem there would be much more activity and more complex coordination of crews, they might shift back to the radios for simpler dispatching?

Thanks

Glenn
W1GSK
 
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