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Monitoring socal Edison

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Dougr

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May 4, 2006
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51
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Orange County CA.
I would like to monitor Southern California Edison (SCE). SCE use Motorola II system. I have found all the frequencies and group ID’s. My question is do I need to enter all the frequencies in different counties into the scanner to listen to all talk groups or do I just inter the frequencies that are close to me that use a repeater that my scanner can reach. Also is there any thing on the net to learn how to program Motorola II system only in a pro 97
 

codyshell

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Joined
Dec 25, 2005
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56
Location
Tennessee
uhh, i think they moved to the state specific forum because it was in the moto forum. if you need to find it, just click in the moto forum, or in the calif. forum.
-cody
 

SCPD

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Feb 24, 2001
Messages
65,126
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Virginia
Dougr said:
I would like to monitor Southern California Edison (SCE). SCE use Motorola II system. I have found all the frequencies and group ID’s. My question is do I need to enter all the frequencies in different counties into the scanner to listen to all talk groups or do I just inter the frequencies that are close to me that use a repeater that my scanner can reach. Also is there any thing on the net to learn how to program Motorola II system only in a pro 97
Program only the repeaters that are close to you. Take a look at the SCE information in the RR database to get the control channels for each mountaintop site. Program those in and if you hear something that sounds like a microphone under the wing of a large prop plane then you should be able to program in all the frequencies for that repeater and track the system. There is a very good list of talkgroups in the database. Program in as many as you can as quite often a local talkgroup will be patched with a distant talkgroup that you may not think you could receive locally. You may hear the talkgroup for Barstow operations being used to contact all troublemen in the north part of SCE's service area and the local one will not have any activity.

As you listen more and start to have questions let me know. I listen to this system quite frequently, mostly in the winter, and can hear activity from everywhere north of the San Gaberiel, San Bernardino, and Santa Monica Mountains. Your first question will probably concern what the heck a "DOC" (pronounced "dock") is? It is a Distribution Operations Center. There are four of them: Eastern in San Bernardino, Northern in Ventura, Western I belive at the SCE headquarters, and Southern in Dominquez Hills. Each DOC can operate the entire SCE electric distibution system over the entire SCE service area, which goes all the way up to Visallia in the north, over to Nevada state line on I-15, and south to the San Diego county line.

I also have a Internet site I can give you which explains many of the terms you hear on the radio, such as an "R and R", and what open and closed mean. Just the opposite of what you may be thinking.

Anyway, have fun listening to them and when you have some questions just yell.
 

brandon

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Dec 19, 2002
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SoCal
Thx for the info on SCE. We are a SCE customer and have had plenty of power outages. 3 on Saturday due to lightning and 2 today from I guess hot WX. I'm definitely going to plug in their system for the next power outage :)
 

Dougr

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May 4, 2006
Messages
51
Location
Orange County CA.
Do I need only to program the control frequencies in the Motorola II system? Or do I need to program all of the frequencies. I have a pro 97
 

SCPD

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Feb 24, 2001
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Virginia
On page 65, near the top, in the PRO-97 manual it says you only need the control channel for Motorola trunked systems. The SCE system is a Motorola Smart Zone or Smartnet as Radio Shack is calling it in the manual. This is a great feature as you can program many control channels from several different repeater sites into one bank in the scanner. When you are mobile or are not sure which repeater site will work best in a particular area, the radio will automatically select the best signal and use it to start tracking.

The SCE radios actually switch from one repeater site to another, and can do it several times, during the period a radio is transmitting or receiving depending on which site is being received the best. The PRO-97 will not do this. If it is using a particular control channel corresponding to a particular repeater site and you drive into a weak signal area for that site, it will continue to track and the reception will become marginal. Once the signal is lost entirely it will scan the control channels and pick the best signal once again. When I find a signal deteriorating during a reception I just hit the scan button again, and the radio then finds the best signal using another control channel and then the reception is improved.

For this and any other scanning, it is best to be acquainted with where the repeaters are located. If you dont understand the list in the database for SCE I can help as I've researched where each of the repeater sites is located. Some of them like Strawberry Peak and Box Springs are relatively easy to locate if you have computer mapping software like Topo USA from Deloirme. You just type in the name of the repeater site in a search and it is located for you, that is, if the name of the topographic feature is on their map. Others take a little bit more detective work usiing methods such as the USGS topo map software for each state or by typing the name into a Google search. If you get stuck on any name for the SCE system, let me know.
 

Cressida81

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Feb 2, 2005
Messages
154
Location
Rowlett, TX
I wish i had thought to put the Edison freqs in my scanner before this last saturday. Our power went out at 8pm and wasn't restored until late tuesday night. We lost everything in our fridge/freezer. We didn't think to use an ice chest until it was too late. Edison wouldn't give us any kind of ETA. I would like to have been able to listen to them while waiting to reassure myself that they were indeed working...
When they came on tuesday they took a 2.5 hour lunch break! it was maddening.
 

SCPD

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Feb 24, 2001
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Location
Virginia
Cressida81 said:
I wish i had thought to put the Edison freqs in my scanner before this last saturday. Our power went out at 8pm and wasn't restored until late tuesday night. We lost everything in our fridge/freezer. We didn't think to use an ice chest until it was too late. Edison wouldn't give us any kind of ETA. I would like to have been able to listen to them while waiting to reassure myself that they were indeed working...
When they came on tuesday they took a 2.5 hour lunch break! it was maddening.
Listening to SCE is not straight forward. You need to know the number of the SCE district you are in and the name of the circuit you are served by. The traffic volume in the greater LA basin is quite high and you will hear traffic from all over Edison's service area which runs from the south Orange County boundary to Visalia. To find out the name of the circuit you are on, take a walk along the power line you are fed by to the junction of the next power line. Sometimes you can get lucky and see a name like "Crestline" and a 12K or 33K labeled right on a pole near the junction of two lines, with a similar name on the other power line or circuit. The circuit you are on will be referred to on the radio as "the Crestline 33KV" for example. The names can get pretty interesting and living in a ski resort and fishing community we have the "Sitzmark 33K", the "Slalom 12KV, and the "Trout 33KV" among similar. You then have to perk your ears up when you hear your circuit mentioned. Normally residential service drops are on 12 KV lines and those 12 KV circuits are fed by 33 KV circuits from substations. Those 33 KV lines normally are fed by a substation. You need to know the name of each and following the power line near your home on foot and some careful listening will get you those names. Once you have them and the power goes out you can often hear the troublmen (even the women are called this and they drive large trucks with overheard baskets on them) talking about what they are finding. They are dispatched by the DOC's and work with their substation on the specific procedures used to find the trouble and get the circuit energized again. You can find the names and talk groups of the subs under "transmission talk groups" in the database. I believe this name is in error as the subs are part of the distribution organization of SCE and transmission is actually the organization that operates the very large and very tall very high voltage (sometimes 500 KV) that feeds the distribution system from the sources of the power. That part of the organization is, I believe, called "generation."

The Edison system is really neat to listen to as a SmartZone system over such a wide area is operated in very interesting ways. Trying to figure it out is half the fun. The other half is being able to tell the neighbors what is happening and giving them an estimate of when the power will come back on, which is something the sub needs to tell the DOC so that when they answer the flurry of phone calls about an outage, some rough estimate can be given. Many of your neighbors, if they know of your scanning hobby, will think of it as nerdy and esoteric, until the lights go out and you tell them what is going on. Then, for a few hours or days, you are the smartest and most useful person in the neighborhood. You are nerdy and esoteric within a month, however, until the next major incident they want to know about and then the cycle starts all over again. Wives often have the same perception as your neighbors.
 
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