Going to Washingston DC

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tdenfuny

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I might be going to down town Washington DC soon and I am thinking about bringing my BCD396xt.

(1) From the RadioReference database I can see a lot of different things to listen to, so I am wondering what some good/interesting frequencies might be to listen to.

Any suggestions?

(2) Are there any legal problems using a radio scanner in DC? (From what I understand one always has to be careful with DC about legal questions.)
 
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ab3a

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I'm not aware of any such laws in Maryland or DC. There may be laws about the use of a scanner in the furtherance of a crime in Virginia. However, I am just an engineer, not a lawyer.

That said, don't advertise your scanner. Listen quietly. Do not discuss what you hear openly. Why? Because many cops mistakenly believe they have a right to privacy on the airwaves. Do not try to cite chapter and verse of the law to them. It does not work.

If you have a ham radio license, take a paper copy with you. It may help to make your case to a cop who may not understand what he or she is looking at, but does understand federal certificates.

Please understand, there are many things a police officer needs to know and understand about the job. This is not one of the higher priorities in their training. Don't fault them for not understanding the nuances of the law here. It is baffling and confusing even to those of us who need to understand it most.
 

ka3jjz

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Are you coming from the North, tdenfuny? Precisely where are you (county/state is fine)? Mike
 

ka3jjz

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If you can give some idea of your route, we can plan a basic 'radio map' for you.

For example, if you are coming in through Maryland (and using I-70), you will go through Garrett, Washngton, Frederick and Howard counties, then as you approach Baltimore city, you may need to go through the Ft.McHenry tunnel, then through Anne Arundel, Howard (again) and Prince George's counties before you get to DC.

Most of this route is monitorable on your 396XT, except for the bridges and tunnels (many of which are now on a Phase 2 statewide system), and Prince George's county (which is also Phase 2).

The State Police are on VHF lo band, but are echoed on several of the county trunk systems. A good mobile antenna is a must...

Mike
 

ResQguy

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If you can give some idea of your route, we can plan a basic 'radio map' for you.

For example, if you are coming in through Maryland (and using I-70), you will go through Garrett, Washngton, Frederick and Howard counties, then as you approach Baltimore city, you may need to go through the Ft.McHenry tunnel, then through Anne Arundel, Howard (again) and Prince George's counties before you get to DC.

Mike
Or, you could take exit I-70E onto I-270S in Frederick to I-495 and cut 2 hours off your drive...
 

n5ims

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One other thing you should remember is that you have a scanner, not a radio. A radio must be programmed for each and everything it receives. A scanner can scan (note the name similarity) and can pick up signals that are not necessarily pre-programmed in. While the RR database is a great reference, it isn't 100%. By all means, prepare for what you want to monitor using the RR database. It's definitely the first step in monitoring both where you live and where you may be visiting.

Learn your scanner's scan modes, how to use them, and which mode works best for various types of systems. This will allow you the opportunity to hear stuff that may not be in the RR database (either because the signals are weak (e.g. handheld to handheld) or not yet discovered and submitted (like many federal systems that may generally be encrypted, but are clear at times due to interop use or user error). There's also the chance that a system may not be in the RR database due to a court order demanding it be removed (a very small chance, but still possible, especially with federal systems that can have a federal court issue an order that includes not announcing or discussing the removal).

By both programming the desired systems based on the RR database and scanning the desired ranges (especially the federal frequency ranges in the DC area!) you maximize your chances of hearing something fun!
 

W8RMH

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Or, you could take exit I-70E onto I-270S in Frederick to I-495 and cut 2 hours off your drive...
I'm headed to Arlington Cemetery from Ohio this weekend as well, using the route above. I'm curious though why one would go through Baltimore en route to Washington from Ohio.

Any other traffic tips, construction, detours, etc? I will be using a Garmin even though they aren't perfect. Using my HP-2 as well.
 

ResQguy

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Yes. Don't drive south in the am or north in the pm rush hours.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

bailly2

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695 west in maryland is a parking lot, at least during rush hours. it will be another hour of driving time if headed that way. 136.275 isn't encrypted, its federal air to air. alot of good info from the capital hill monitors.
 
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