Is scanning getting...kinda boring?

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raisindot

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Don't get me wrong. I've been scanning on and off for more than 20 years, since I got my first 10-channel Bearcat computerized scanner in the 1980's. Today, I have a GRE PSR500, which in terms of being able to hear just about everything--trunking, P25, military, air--is great.

Problem is--most of the "talk" seems a lot less interesting today. Perhaps it's because cell phones have taken over from radios as the primary means of field communicatins, but "back then" I remember police calls being a lot more exciting--you could hear tactical conversations going on at busts, car chases, apprehensions in progress, and what not.

Today, all I seem to hear is cops going "Ocean Frank," being given assignments and directions by dispatchers, or reporting that they're coming back to base. I rarely hear actual conversations from the field. Indeed, the most interesting things I hear these days are business calls, where you get a far more colorful cast of characters (and locker room language and antics).

Do you find this is true or not true in your area? Is there still true excitement to be heard on scanning?

Suzie in Boston
 

steveh552

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In my area we still get it all, atleast in my city and county. I do not have a scanner capable of monitoring the state or any other stuff, so for that I have no response. Alot of dispatches are done using mobile data terminals, those same devices allows officers, atleast in some areas to run plates and warrant checks. Some of the good stuff is encrypted and we cant rule out Nextel use as well.
 

ecps92

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Could just be the DEPT's your listening to.

Boston Fire, Boston EMS, Boston area Police Dept's all are typically busy.
Your not gonna have the excitement of the War Protest days everyday, but
there is plenty to hear. Many Dept's have Chase policies so the days of a
Good Hi-Speed Pursuit are limited.

Don't get me wrong. I've been scanning on and off for more than 20 years, since I got my first 10-channel Bearcat computerized scanner in the 1980's. Today, I have a GRE PSR500, which in terms of being able to hear just about everything--trunking, P25, military, air--is great.

Problem is--most of the "talk" seems a lot less interesting today. Perhaps it's because cell phones have taken over from radios as the primary means of field communicatins, but "back then" I remember police calls being a lot more exciting--you could hear tactical conversations going on at busts, car chases, apprehensions in progress, and what not.

Today, all I seem to hear is cops going "Ocean Frank," being given assignments and directions by dispatchers, or reporting that they're coming back to base. I rarely hear actual conversations from the field. Indeed, the most interesting things I hear these days are business calls, where you get a far more colorful cast of characters (and locker room language and antics).

Do you find this is true or not true in your area? Is there still true excitement to be heard on scanning?

Suzie in Boston
 

Steveradio

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Guess we are in a good area, most departments in my area still use in the clear VHF repeater frequencies for operations and numerous different simplex frequencies for DUI check points, special operations and almost anything else. Don't get me wrong, A lot of the information you used to hear has gone like the city VICE is now pro digital but city police still in the clear.

Check your MDT for a message is a normal transmission any more but most of the time police officers end up asking clarification or not even having the MDT turned on yet or going over to private frequencies to discuss the call yet. Kind of funny sometimes most common "Do you understand that message?" most of the time reply is "Negative."

I know in due time we will be seeing changes but for now things are still very in the clear, just got to know when & where to listen.

Steve


Don't get me wrong. I've been scanning on and off for more than 20 years, since I got my first 10-channel Bearcat computerized scanner in the 1980's. Today, I have a GRE PSR500, which in terms of being able to hear just about everything--trunking, P25, military, air--is great.

Problem is--most of the "talk" seems a lot less interesting today. Perhaps it's because cell phones have taken over from radios as the primary means of field communicatins, but "back then" I remember police calls being a lot more exciting--you could hear tactical conversations going on at busts, car chases, apprehensions in progress, and what not.

Today, all I seem to hear is cops going "Ocean Frank," being given assignments and directions by dispatchers, or reporting that they're coming back to base. I rarely hear actual conversations from the field. Indeed, the most interesting things I hear these days are business calls, where you get a far more colorful cast of characters (and locker room language and antics).

Do you find this is true or not true in your area? Is there still true excitement to be heard on scanning?

Suzie in Boston
 

CrabbyMilton

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As a 28 year scanner nut, I can candidly say that it's give and take. You just have to focus on what interests you. If you are unable to monitor a specific department due to whatever reason, there are still ANY number of things that may not be exciting but funny as can be.
 

n1das

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Problem is--most of the "talk" seems a lot less interesting today. Perhaps it's because cell phones have taken over from radios as the primary means of field communicatins, but "back then" I remember police calls being a lot more exciting--you could hear tactical conversations going on at busts, car chases, apprehensions in progress, and what not.

Today, all I seem to hear is cops going "Ocean Frank," being given assignments and directions by dispatchers, or reporting that they're coming back to base. I rarely hear actual conversations from the field. Indeed, the most interesting things I hear these days are business calls, where you get a far more colorful cast of characters (and locker room language and antics).
Scanning getting boring? NEVER! Never will either! There's always something new and interesting to listen to. If you're getting bored, it's time to change what you're listening to, maybe explore listening to some other public safety agencies and other radio services previously overlooked.

At home I listen to Nashua NH's 800MHz TRS but I've also got other scanners listening to the UHF GMRS/FRS and VHF MURS channels. I also keep an ear on the UHF business "bubble pack" channels because you never know what you're going to hear on those channels, licensed or otherwise.

I've sometimes wondered about Boston PD and where all the chatter went to. I recall listening back in the 80's where the BPD channels were chattering constantly and there was always lots of action to hear. Lately they seem to be almost dead except for spurts of activity and it's mostly routine stuff. A lot of chatter has probably gone to MDTs, cell phones, and NEXTELs. BPD is still fully on their 460 MHz UHF channels, IIRC. They recently made a switch from CTCSS/PL to DCS/DPL to help deal with some interference problems but the chatter is still nowhere near as much as I recall hearing 20 years ago. I don't think the crime rate in Boston has dropped enough to account for the drop in radio chatter heard.
 

elk2370bruce

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Most towns in the area, the county,and state can be monitored (thankfully). There are the usual days of boring routine but my interet has not waned these many decades. Luckily, I am also close enough to NYC to get most of their action. When things are quiet, the amateur bands pick up the slack nicely.
 
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No freakin' way. Sure I miss car to car and detective and tactical stuff I used to hear in the old VHF days of PPD, but there is plenty to hear, actually more than ever now that repeaters are used. You now hear both sides of most calls instead of only one side most of the time.

I understand that secure channels and MDT's and cell phones keep the listener from hearing the more intimate details of some things. But, around here when things get busy on a Friday night for instance, and you have one got call after the other, robberies, shootings, barricades, knifings, home invasions, kidnappings, you can't just put it all out over an MDT. Many officers may be away from their MDT (very likely), and unmarked units and motorcycle units don't have them at all. Helicopters need hot calls to come over the radio too as they are usually quite busy.

Just last night there was a shooting and the boss on the ground wanted to switch to a secure channel. The helicopter guy (these guys are respected by the other cops) said NEGATIVE on that, we are too busy up here to do what we are doing and keep switching channels all the time, keep it where it is. You could hear that he was a bit sick of the way the supervisors always try to get traffic switched to secure channels so the media can't listen in. Many times when a hot call like a shooting / barricade unfolds quickly you have many different types of units responding and preparing and it is not practical to switch to a secure channel so easily. It could cause someone to get hurt or miss important information, and obviously this isn't the place for MDT work.

In a big city with lots of hot calls during active times the MDT and secure channels just can't replace all the clear channels in use in departments where most standard traffic channels are clear.

On top of this, MOST agencies in the Phoenix Metro Area hardly use encryption at all unless they are dealing with a narc operation where scanners are suspected to be in use. If you look around you probably will find more things than you can shake a stick at.
 
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hogwmn

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Akron not bored at all , I hear 2 car chase today,and under cover drug cop watch a place your city mit be bored move to akron you getting bored
 

kb2vxa

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Well Suzie if you think it's boring in Baastin you should live around here. This is one of the lowest crime rate areas of the country so it's 90% routine stuff over a couple hundred channels in two counties. Once in a while it gets interesting like last night a call went out about a gunman on a train, turned out it was a girlfriend-boyfriend dispute with no action at all besides half a dozen very excited cops. Lousy anticlimax!

There was this very interesting FBI investigation I followed for months during which 40,000kg of cocaine passed through my hands but that was a long time ago in a galaxy far away. NO! I wasn't a dope smuggler, it was shipped via UPS. LOL and I kid thee not!
 

slicerwizard

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Do you find this is true or not true in your area? Is there still true excitement to be heard on scanning?
Listening to 3C08 at 4am this Sunday morning was the real deal.

The before picture: http://home.ica.net/~phoenix/wap/Misc/Murray Road Explosion Scene.JPG

And after: http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/476694

What you can't see in that second photo is that the cemetary to the west (visible in the first photo) now looks like a war zone; dozens of headstones destroyed and huge chunks of charred steel everywhere.

Between police and fire, easily 300+ PS workers involved, many who put their lives on the line in the hot zone, not knowing if two huge propane tanks would wipe out the entire neighbourhood. The tension in their comms during the first couple of hours was palpable.

The screenshots in posts 15 and 16 give an idea of how big the response was:
http://www.radioreference.com/forums/showthread.php?t=113784

One resident's story: http://www.thestar.com/article/475972


We get other goods days - lots of mayhem spread throughout the year.
 

texasemt13

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Boring- oh hell no

In the past MONTH I've heard:
DEA in a vehicle pursuit (in which the assailant threw $100,000 out the car onto a busy highway),
DEA surveillance ops watching targets and
USMS doing a human smuggling bust
Not too mention the daily CBP chatter about 10-20 illegals running through the bushes.

Oh yeah, and the normal PD/SO vehicle pursuits and FD/EMS responses

Though I would argue that anything intercepted couldn't be THAT boring-

Hearing anything is better than hearing nothing....
 

chrismol1

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How dare thou shall say a word of thee about scanning boring on a forum like this
 

jm_460

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I've been scanning for not very long (since 98') and the police frequencies got boring after a while. This is all I hear, "Mary, Adam, Tom, red toyota, one occupant". In fact, it got so boring, that I went "scanner-less" for about two years. One day, I was invited by a previous co-worker, who is now a firefighter, to go on a ride along with their Fire Dept. Man, why did I not pay much attention to fire/EMS frequencies? I got so hooked, that I even went as far as taking an EMT class. I live along a heavily travelled highway, and cars are always over-turning, colliding into trees, and what not. All I gotta do is switch to the Fire Tactical frequency, and I get front row seats to all the action. Ohh man, it's awesome when they dispatch air rescue. I can recall our local fire dept. once blocking highway traffic to allow the air rescue chopper to land. I tuned into the air-to-ground frequency, and wow..it was so cool, it gave me the chills! Now, I have programmed all the local EMS, local, state, and tactical fire frequencies. I live about 20min away from a medium-sized city, and they've been getting a lot of gang-related murders/violence this year. That one is a good police frequency to tune into. I still have law enforcement systems progammed, but most of the time, I have the them blocked out.
 
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Patch42

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I see pluses and minuses. The in-car computers mean I hear a LOT less running of license plates and drivers licenses. Talk about boring! That stuff is almost completely gone.

Just today I heard some action where the PD had two robbery suspects surrounded. Over the weekend I heard some activity surrounding a missing person case that's been all over the news. I frequently hear surveillance activity and various task force operations. Listening to a task force on hooker patrol is always loads of fun. Just a few weeks ago I heard one apparently looking for bicycle thieves at 2am.

OTOH, one of the major local police forces just went digital/encrypted, so they're completely off the radar now. It's only a matter of time before most of the others follow suit. Maybe I'm just happy to hear whatever I can now, before it all disappears.
 

texasemt13

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I can recall our local fire dept. once blocking highway traffic to allow the air rescue chopper to land. I tuned into the air-to-ground frequency, and wow..it was so cool, it gave me the chills!
I was cruising home from work one day and heard a wreck dispatched over the scanner about a mile from my house. Knowing it takes EMS 15 minutes to get on scene I responded and we landed 2 helicopters in the middle of the road that day! You're right- damn cool listening....
 

WX4JCW

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To Me Listening to PD is boring 90% of the time, I don't need to know when Officer Joe is going to Dunkin Donuts, Foot Pursuits and Car Chases are Better.

I am an EMT and retired Fire Dispatcher, These Comms are Much More interesting.

Traveling across the country I like Listening to Different Agencies (Unless i am in the boonies)

Los Angeles is my Favorite and I do Listen to LAPD
 

SCPD

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I don't think it is boring one bit! Here is Morris County there is always something interesting going on. Most interesting one I heard was the one in Boonton when the guy chrashed into the school and tried to kill himself!! Wow!! That was interesting hereing all the police transmitimons!
 
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