New at listening--need help

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RUSS6586

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I want to listen to fire dispatch along the Texas 35 corridor I am in Waco and would like to reach from travis to collin county--I am trying to figure out how to listen to all fire channels at the same time or have them fed to my CPU---does anyone have any ideas on how to do this

thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

SCPD

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Welcome - Always check the database Texas Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference it will have better answers and available quicker than a human reply. Click the County on the Flash map and start scrolling, The Texas Database has Mclennan, Bell and all the IH-35 corridor covered pretty well. Just FYI if your wanting to hear DPS you will need a P25 Digital scanner which retail at around $399.00 and up. PRO-106 39,000-Channel Digital Handheld Scanner - RadioShack.com Try running a stereo cable from your mic jack on the scanner to your mic jack or line in on your sound card and listening through your Audio software. Welcome to the forums.
 
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hiegtx

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I want to listen to fire dispatch along the Texas 35 corridor I am in Waco and would like to reach from travis to collin county--I am trying to figure out how to listen to all fire channels at the same time or have them fed to my CPU---does anyone have any ideas on how to do this

thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Russ,
Let's see if maybe we can clarify what you're trying to do here.

If you want to be able to monitor just about anything that happens, along the I-35 corridor, whether that be fire only, fire and/or PD, TX DPS, or any other combination, as you took a drive from Collin County to Travis County, then MaxTracker's suggestion of a digital scanner is what you'd need.

However, if what you are really referring to is sitting in one place, at home perhaps, and listening to all fire dispatch channels along that path, via your computer, then that's not very likely to happen. Here's why:

Go to the live audio link for Texas.
Take a look at the map. The counties shaded in blue are those where someone has a live audio feed covering one or more agencies in that county. You'll see that the I-35 corridor, Collin County to Austin/Travis, and beyond, is well covered. However, most of the feeds cover both fire & law enforcement usage. In only a couple of cases, such as this Dallas Fire Rescue feed, is one directed only toward the fire side exclusively, and just one department.

You would have to link to multiple feeds at the same time, and you would have no control over what you were hearing other than volume, or disconnecting. No way to isolate to a specific channel or talkgroup, nor hold on an active incident, unless that was being done by the feed provider (out of your control or influence). Also, with more than one going, I imagine that the "collision" of multiple conversations coming out of your speakers would be counter productive.

Using the feeds you can, of course, listen to any of the individual counties at any time. There's also a dedicated Fort Worth FD feed, and I also see one for Austin Fire listed with Travis County.

If you had something different in mind, then perhaps give us a few more details to point you in the right direction.
 

RUSS6586

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Scan

THANK YOU FOR YOUR Replies!!!

I am trying to get just the fire feeds from the corridor. It sounds like it is going to be difficult through the website. I have a little scanner for Waco and just want to expand out

Just thinking out loud since being new to this but is there a scanner strong enough to catch these areas for fire only or is there a way to capture all of these on CPU

Thanks again for your help
 

redhelmet13

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A scanner is as good as it's antenna and a few other factors (nearby strong intermod etc). You need an antenna with gain. Imagine a drinking straw versus a 2" attack line used by FD's. More water goes through the 2 inch than the straw. this is how you should think about it. A good antenna will pull in more signal than a rubber ducky handhled antenna. Your coax cable is an important part of the puzzle. it needs to be low loss, not the cheap RG58 stuff if you intend to run over 50 feet.
 
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texasemt13

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Another huge part is the power output of the desired signal. If McLennan County Fire is only pushing 75W output, you can't expect to hear them, even with the best antenna and the best run of coax, if you're too far away.

Russ, certain antennas can offer "gain" (signal pulling strength if you will) and some can even offer more gain in certain directions, see a Wikipedia article of those Yagi antennas here. While they offer gain in one direction, it will have a null/void/deadspot at exactly 180 degrees from the direction of gain, so it isn't a universal antenna (which is kind of what the little rubber duckie antenna that comes stock on handheld scanners is, a universal one without much "focus" on any band).
 
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