The analog Interop freqs aren't used much when everyone is already on the same system, e.g. MPSCS. They're more likely to be used when neighboring agencies are on different and incompatible systems. In the WV panhandle, where most everyone is on SIRN, I don't remember ever hearing any traffic on them.
Being in the vortex of "Detoilet" I have to say yes I do hear a lot on interoperable channels. Heck, I simply hear a lot! Said it before.. This SDS200 is just like the x-wife and does not know how to STFU!! If only she came with a off knob too I might.. No, No.. coming back to my senses.. I wouldn't!..
Like Whiskey3JMC said.. It is where you are and what you want to try to listen to/for and if you do, in time, you will find some are simply not used and remove them...
In Indiana there is a fair amount of traffic on the 8 Tac channels. Many fire departments use them for on scene communications. Law Enforcement uses for tactical and chat. The state highway uses them for traffic control when they are flaggong.
Interop activity seems to vary significantly, depending on local capabilities and arrangements. Most locations tend to structure their comm systems to adequately meet their day-to-day requirements and interop frequencies are often needed only in extraordinary circumstances. Unfortunately, however, training in the proper use of these frequencies is often lacking (or inadequate), frequently minimizing their full potential.
Bob Grove always suggested utilizing a separate bank in your scanner to search for hidden or hole frequencies. Nowadays I would use a separate scanner with recording and logging capabilities for NIFOG and Interop from the RR Wiki.
Yes, I do. Here in northern Colorado I often hear mutual aid communications between cities with adjacent jurisdictions. Now there are also MAC (Mutual Aid Channels) as well which I guess are state-wide, but I don't recall hearing anything on those. But it would be a good idea to have those talk groups programmed should the proverbial hit the fan. I think it's safe to say that if you're hearing communications on a state-wide MAC channel then something is pretty big. Like 9/11 big.
I bought my IC-R3 back in the day from Grove Enterprises. I called them about it and I think I was talking to Judy herself. Those were the days for telephone ordering for me. Now it's all Internet. And that's chiefly why Grove Enterprises went belly up I guess due to Amazon.
Its bad enough the processors in scanners are so slow, many areas, like Las Vegas, now have to contend with really large trunked radio systems.
Trunked systems pause the scanner long enough to search through all radio sites and talkgroups. If the trunked system is huge, like the Nevada Statewide Radio System (NSRS) or Southern Nevada Area Comm Council (SNACC), each of those systems can take a full minute to scan with a BCD436HP. A lot can happen in those two minutes. Now factor in all of the casinos and resorts you might want to listen to that have gone to trunking, thats another minute or two. Want to listen to Nellis AFB? Creech and NNSS are also on that system, thats another minute.
These things add up. Im currently running 3 scanners and its no where near enough to scan Las Vegas or the neighboring communities Boulder City, Henderson, and Lake Mead.
Here in the Chicago area, the Nationwide interop frequencies are very quiet. The only channels where I've heard activity in are U-TALK/TAC. In Illinois, VLAW31 is our statewide law enforcement freq and is used by State Police to put out flash messages about DUI's, armed robberies, etc to other agencies. Several of the VFIRE frequencies are used statewide as fireground channels.