Montco VHF Paging

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jjimenez01

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Has anyone noticed Montco fired up the VHF East paging channel, 158.950 on Tuesday afternoon? At this time they are sending POCSAG data, possibly for testing purposes. Any ideas what this may be used for in the future? The signal is strongest in the East and breaks up some what in the West.

JJ
 

cdavisjr

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JJ,

I once read a recommendation for Montco to move in the direction of all fire and ems to be paged on only 2 frequencies, licensed for use on every tower in the county for reception, and to have a county run 800 repeater per region with the other "old" high band frequencies. It's obvious that minus Lower Merion all fire seems to be moving to .355. We might see fire on .355 and all ems on .955 or a split down the middle of all fire/ems west and all fire/ems east. That's a wait and see thing, plus I don't know about the county repeater issue. I always have to look to Chester County for what I think Montco is trying to do. Chester does fire and ems together, set up 800 repeaters with other old high band channels that with their setup don't interfear with their 800 system and with their signal I hear when I'm down the shore. There are some things I would like to see Montco do but like I said a lot of things right now are still wait and see. Hope this helps.
 
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HM1529

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I caught traffic earlier this week. I didn't know they were planning alpha paging on the freq. Have not had a chance to decode anything.
 

jjimenez01

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Ben,

I know the ambulance association is moving forward with VHF paging for EMS. But last I heard from the President, it was to be shared with the fire companies on 158.355. Perhaps there is another plan in place. I also have not had a chance to decode any information. But the data coincides with EMS and Fire dispatches being put out throughout the county.

JJ
 

kruser

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Question - I know that decoding paging signals is illegal but what about a situation such as you are talking about. A local fire department using POCSAG for their own use. Is that also considered illegal under the ECPA rules?
 

kruser

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It is not illegal to monitor paging IF it is being done by a public safety agency. That rule only applies to private common carriers. Try using PDW for your needs at Paging Decoders PDW / PocFlex
That was what I was wondering. I've used PDW before as a tool in troubleshoothing our in house POCSAG system. It works great for finding coverage issues plus it helped me find an encoder issue once with one of the transmitter units.

I was just more curious as to how the rule applied for monitoring say an EMS agency that may use it to transmit patient names and other personal data at time of dispatch. If maybe that became a grey area.
 
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