Delaware County, PA lots of questions

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phillydjdan

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I am most likely going to be moving to southeast Delco this summer. I have the RR database and Joe Cardani's Philly Scanner Guide as my reference (both very good tools), but I have a few questions these items don't answer. I'm hoping someone is willing to PM or email me tbat has intimate knowledge of the area and can answer all my questions (only to avoid a big long thread of questions and answers).

One pf my first deals with fire dispatch. Which companies do not get dispatched on the low band (and UHF) channel? Who has thier own dispatch channel? Is the list of companies dispatched on low band any different than those dispatched on UHF? Also, is the alpha paging channel for all companies or are there exclusions?

Second relates to police channels. I know what the sector, mutual and simplex channels are used for, but can anyone shed some light on what the misc channels are used for, such as the various tactical and ops channels.

Any help would be appreciated, as I am really into having the most knowledge I can on the area I live in.
 

phillydjdan

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Oh, and I noticed a couple police channels are digital. Do any agevcies have P25 radios and do they use any of these digital channels?
 

Septa3371CSX1

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In terms of Fire Dispatch for Delco - all companies are dispatched on 46.48 (and simulcast on 508.2375 / 203.5) with the exception of companies 15, 20, 26, 36, 37, 74, and non-municipal departments (79, 90, etc). 15 (Radnor) is dispatched on 33.90 / 136.5 for fire and EMS (BLS and ALS). The Upper Darby Companies (20, 26, 36, 37, & 74) are dispatched on 154.415.

As far as the UHF dispatch channel, reception is hit and miss unless you're in the western part of the county as that is where it is broadcast from (the tower at the prison to be specific). It simply simulcasts the traffic on 46.48. Also 46.48 is not simulcast like most dispatch channels are - each company is on one or two towers and only those towers are used to broadcast those calls.

As far as the police side goes, some departments have a private channel they use for chit-chat. As far as the county level TAC channels go 501.225 is a countywide repeater that can be analog or digital. I've only ever caught it in digital mode and it sounded like OEM. 508.4375 / 151.4 is Command and can be used by police, fire, and EMS. It is not used by fire and EMS very often but it will be used to broadcast police BOLO's and is also used as a tertiary channel for each sector in the event priority has been requested on both the sector and mutual channels.

In terms of P25, I know Marcus Hook's private channel is encrypted. M6 can be analog or digital but 95% of the time it is analog - only a few 79 units and one or two dispatchers ever use it in P25 mode.
 

phillydjdan

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Thanks for the reply. It seems Delco does the same thing Bucks does with the selectable towers on dispatch. You know, the UHF dispatch actually comes in pretty well in Northeast Philly, believe it or not. I'd listen more if I didn't have a transmitter in Mercer County using DMR (it doubles with Delco and sounds horrible).

So basically the digital was not fully (or even partially) implemented by the sounds of it. Now I just have to nail down all the private channels.

I have P25 radios in UHF and 800 MHz, NXDN radios in VHF and UHF and MotoTRBO radios in VHF and UHF. I'd like to have them programmed as comprehesively as possible.

My Bucks Co programming is pretty well complete. I have everything down the the hospital security, school buses, and mall security channels. Ya never know when you'll need to flip to them if something is happening!
 

soberbyker

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I don't listen to fireboard too often but for the police I can offer you this:

These towns I've heard on non county channels.

Lansdowne ... 481.4125
Darby Boro ... 462.2500 (I also hear another distant department on this every now and then)
Yeadon ... 463.2125
Ridley ... 506.3125
Springfield ... 500.6125
Marple ... 453.2250

In the case of Ridley, Marple, and Springfield they use their old dispatch channels before they went with the county. I hear a few departments go to their car to car channels and unless they are close by I can't pick them up. Ridley uses the non county channel a lot.

I'm in the Lansdowne/Upper Darby area and use a Pro-197 with a magnetic mobile antenna hooked up on a window sill on the eastern facing side of my house and as such I also pick up Philly PD fairly well. With this set up, the western part of DELCO doesn't come in as well. Sectors 4,5,6, & 7 are clear as a bell, 2 is spotty and I rarely pick up sector 1.
 

phillydjdan

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Thanks for the info, Sober. Good stuff! I started listening to Sector 5 (the area we intend on moving to), and I did hear Ridley switch to "Ridley" channel, which I assumed was their old dispatch channel. I know from my experience with Bucks County that having those alternate channels in the scan list can be very beneficial.

Now the question will be can I still pickup Philly from that area with a rooftop yagi antenna? If anyone lives in the Sector 5 area and can give me a signal report that would be awesome. I do know that I can get the Delaware State system, so that will also be a new experience as well.
 

HM1529

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Thanks for the info, Sober. Good stuff! I started listening to Sector 5 (the area we intend on moving to), and I did hear Ridley switch to "Ridley" channel, which I assumed was their old dispatch channel. I know from my experience with Bucks County that having those alternate channels in the scan list can be very beneficial.

Now the question will be can I still pickup Philly from that area with a rooftop yagi antenna? If anyone lives in the Sector 5 area and can give me a signal report that would be awesome. I do know that I can get the Delaware State system, so that will also be a new experience as well.

You should have no problems picking up Philly in and around the Sector 5 area with an outdoor antenna.
 

phillydjdan

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Awesome, thank you.
 

Septa3371CSX1

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Lansdowne hasn't used 481.4125 in quite some time. They currently use the fire company's private channel (464.9375) with a 115 DPL as their talk around. 481.4125 I've caught being used by William Penn School District at the high school as a security / admin channel with a 413 DPL. There is no license showing for that frequency.

Prospect Park (33 on Sector 5) I believe has an alternate channel that is licensed to their town watch. I have to try to locate that frequency and plug it in and see if it works when I'm down that way. Aldan (43 on Sector 4) also uses their town watch channel as a talk around however I cannot figure out the frequency no matter what I try. I can't find a license for it and I've also come up empty when I'm in Aldan and hear one officer tell another to switch up and I get nothing on signal stalker (even right by 43-90).

It is funny you should mention receiving the UHF dispatch channel in NE Philly. I remember being able to pick that up at Drexel when I went there. As I stated that is a very tricky channel to pick up. I used to always pick up Monroe Township, Gloucester County's public works department on that frequency. Haven't heard them using that in a while though so I'm not sure if they still use it or not.
 

phillydjdan

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Is it possible then that the UHF dispatch reception issues could be due to co-channel interference? I know where I am the DMR repeater in Mercer County knocks it right out mid-dispatch at times.

I was not aware of Aldan having a town watch channel. My fiance lived there when we first met and I monitored those channels, but never knew of a private channel. They do, however, use Charlie a LOT. I've caught a few interesting conversations on that channel lol.

Is it me or does Sector 5 seem awefully quiet? I hear the ocassional this or that, but for it's proximity to 95 and Chester, it seems like not a whole lot goes on. Is it possible they dispatch using MDTs and not by radio? It just seems odd, unless all the criminals just know not to come into Ridley (they have a reputation for be militant from what I've heard lol).
 

soberbyker

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Lansdowne hasn't used 481.4125 in quite some time. They currently use the fire company's private channel (464.9375) with a 115 DPL as their talk around. 481.4125 I've caught being used by William Penn School District at the high school as a security / admin channel with a 413 DPL. There is no license showing for that frequency.

~snip~
I have both of those frequencies programmed into my scanner and I've heard private Lansdowne PD conversations, although not often, just couldn't remember which of the two it was.

One other note speaking of "switch up" when you hear Upper Darby (79) say it they just go to M6.
 

soberbyker

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Is it possible then that the UHF dispatch reception issues could be due to co-channel interference? I know where I am the DMR repeater in Mercer County knocks it right out mid-dispatch at times.

I was not aware of Aldan having a town watch channel. My fiance lived there when we first met and I monitored those channels, but never knew of a private channel. They do, however, use Charlie a LOT. I've caught a few interesting conversations on that channel lol.

Is it me or does Sector 5 seem awefully quiet? I hear the ocassional this or that, but for it's proximity to 95 and Chester, it seems like not a whole lot goes on. Is it possible they dispatch using MDTs and not by radio? It just seems odd, unless all the criminals just know not to come into Ridley (they have a reputation for be militant from what I've heard lol).
From where I am sector 6 followed by sector 4 are the most active in southeastern DELCO. For it's location sector 5 does seem very quiet.
 

phillydjdan

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Yeah, now that I think of it, I remember Alden units saying "switch up" and then hearing them on either M4 or Charlie. What's the deal with Chester City? They have Sector 3 and a tactical channel, but I don't see a Mutual 3. Am I blind, or what? I would think with their degree of criminal activity they would have more than 3 channels to use.

Does the county (or any agencies have any channels they use for covert operations?

Can someone explain the set of fire channels in Eddystone? Do they operate on any of those channels during emergency incidents or are they basically non-essential channels? It sounds like they have the dispatch channel setup to alert when they are toned out on the county dispatch channel, is that correct? I'm having trouble figuring out why a small borough would need 5 more channels than the county offers them lol.

Does Haverford still use either of their fire channels (low band or UHF?)
 

captaincab

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haverford is dispatched and operate off of the county radio system for pd and fire however there old pd channel is used as a talk around channel. eddystone fire uses the county system but has a private channel i do not monitor it so not sure of the frequency. chester pd uses the tactical channel instead of a mutual channel like all the other county departments have. upper darby twp fire is dispatched on the county channel a vhf channel i am unsure of and also their dispatches rebroadcast on their fire ops channel fire 10 which is part of the county system radnor twp station 15 is also dispatched on the county system as well as the county cad system so they may use the frequencies listed before but they also do use the county dispatch channel. sector 5 is defintley quite compared to the big 3 sector 4 6 and 3 lol. all the private fire companies like boeing peco etc can use the county system if and when needed and do have county capable radios and identifers in there system. the sherrifff court house channel can be a good listen during the day the constables also use it at night. also hospital security at crozer chester medical center can be a good listen on a busy night in chester.
 

captaincab

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also all record checks are done via mdt or the county clean channel which is a good listen as for bolo broadcasts they are done over every police sector channel and the clean channel atleast every hour sometimes more often. if needed i can provide you a link to the delaware county fire radio manual.
 

phillydjdan

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Sure, link away! It'll make for an interesting read later. Oh, I'm sure Crozer is a real treat when those walk-in shooting victims show up!
 

CommJunkie

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Eddystone Fire used to be dispatched by Ridley Township, on their Channel 1 of 460.6250. This was their primary dispatch and ops channel, completely separate from the Ridley and County systems, but if they went out of town they used the County system.

They also had channels specifically for Marine operations (something they do very little of nowadays), chief talkaround, member talkaround, and PD talk around. Two of their channels are/were shared with other companies. The "12th District" Channel is 460.5125 which is shared by the 12th Fire District (see the wiki for that), and they had a shared channel they nicknamed "T-Band", which is 506.4875 with various PLs. I think they had about 8 or 10 channels all told. (Their old chief was a radio nut)

Now, since moving over to the County system and the chief no longer the same person, their channel useage has dwindled significantly. 460.6250 is rebroadcasted by Eddystone Fire Co. off an alerter set for their tones on 46.48. You will hear internal communications on this channel, but all response and ops are on Fire 7 on the County system. TBH, there's not much interesting stuff going on on those channels anymore for me to justify the space in the scanner.
 

CommJunkie

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Also, for Haverford, the Fire Ops channel is now just a private channel and the 46.22 channel is set up to rebroadcast Fire 4 so the members can put that in their Minitors and hear the ops on it.

Yes, the County has 2 or 3 encrypted channels for ERT and such, but they are not published. Can't hear them anyway.

Sector 3 Tactical is M-3. No idea why it's listed this way on the database. They do have a private channel, but the frequency escapes me at the moment. I want to say it's 453.xxx but I'm not sure.
 

phillydjdan

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So does 46.22 also serve as Haverford's dispatch also, or is that now handled by County on 46.42? If so, Ill know not to put that one in my dispatch radio. If you could clarify for me the list of frequencies that pager tones are transmitted on. We're talking 46.42, the County UHF channel, 33.9 for Radnor, 154.415 for Upper Darby...?
 
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