Newbie Thread - State of PA Frequencies - Philly Area

FoleyF

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Hello all, I just pulled out my Radio Shack Pro-106 Digital Scanner which I haven't used for 10 years or so and had a few questions. I've been reading through the forums and some of you folks are very experienced in scanning......I'm not an absolute beginner but pretty close to it. I did order the cable for my scanner and then downloaded the ARC500 software for programming. I also paid the fee to Radio Reference so I could populate the frequencies into my scanner. Everything is surprisingly working perfect and I can populate the scanner with frequencies, both conventional and Trunked.

I have some basic questions and would like your opinion on the best way to set up the scanner for PA listening. I'm in King of Prussia, so about 17 miles west of Philadelphia. I was going to start a new thread for each county as covering this metro area in one thread would probably be overwhelming!

So starting with the State frequencies, where would you recommend that I start? Can the PA State Police be monitored? I'm getting some action on the conventional Turnpike Authority channel near me (Highspire I believe), but for the most part nothing.

Please provide me and the rest of the newebies with some advice on where to start for PA frequencies. I will wait a little bit and post a newbie thread for the county of Philadelphia and some of the surrounding counties (Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, etc.)

Thanks!
 

wscranston

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SP are fully encrypted. Most (all?) PS in Montgomery County is on a Motorola TRS which you should be able to pick up. [Edit: it's a rebanded system so you might need to update your scanner to handle that] Most (all?) PS in Chester and Bucks Counties are on a P25 Phase 2 system which you will not be able to receive with your scanner. You'll probably have problems picking up Philly from KoP with a handheld. When I'm down there I can't get anything from near Norristown.
 
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radio3353

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In December, Montgomery County is scheduled to switch to their new Phase II system so your PRO-106 will not work on that anymore. Police will also be encrypted. I am afraid your 106 is rapidly becoming obsolete for public safety monitoring.
 

Whiskey3JMC

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Regarding the City of Philadelphia TRS, you'll be unable to pick this up from KOP. 800mhz simply doesn't propagate as far out as VHF/UHF. You won't be able to get any sort of pick up on it until you hit 76 east around Gladwyne/Belmont area. Same goes for Bucks & Chesco, very little shot of picking up that far outside the intended coverage area. I'd also suggest having a read at the wiki entry regarding simulcast distortion of which most of the P25-Phase-II radio systems around here suffer tremendously (Bucks, Berks, Chester, soon to be Montco as mentioned above). Also if you take a look at the "mode" column in any given trunked system, anything designated as Mode "TE" or "DE" is entirely encrypted. meaning you can't monitor it at all with a scanner. "Te" and "De" with lowercase e's indicate partial encryption (usually enabled upon demand) With all that said, you may not have the best of luck monitoring anything non-analog around here with a Pro-106.
 

FoleyF

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Thanks so much for your kind replies. Would I be better off purchasing a Uniden SDS100 Scanner? I'm primarily interested in MontCo which I get crystal clear right now. But as you mentioned they are getting a new system in a couple of months. I can't pick up ChesCo with my Pro 106 either but I believe that I could with a SDS100 Scanner.....please confirm. DelCo is silent at my location in KOP, but maybe if I was a little closer I could pick them up with what I have. How about the PA State Police or any State agencies.....From what I've read they cannot be picked up with a scanner. Thanks again!
 

maus92

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Thanks so much for your kind replies. Would I be better off purchasing a Uniden SDS100 Scanner? I'm primarily interested in MontCo which I get crystal clear right now. But as you mentioned they are getting a new system in a couple of months. I can't pick up ChesCo with my Pro 106 either but I believe that I could with a SDS100 Scanner.....please confirm. DelCo is silent at my location in KOP, but maybe if I was a little closer I could pick them up with what I have. How about the PA State Police or any State agencies.....From what I've read they cannot be picked up with a scanner. Thanks again!
Yes, that's one of the 3 or 4 choices.
 

trap5858

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One of the SDS scanners would give you the most versatility. State police are a no go with any scanner. Delaware county might still be a stretch from. K of P, I am approximately 20 miles north of Philly and can pick up city radio traffic in a few sweet spots in the area. I would think in your area if you were close to the river you might have a corridor for radio waves as I have a friend here in Bucks county who lives close to the Delaware river and picks up Philly with no problem. Location location location and elevation.
 

Whiskey3JMC

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Delaware county might still be a stretch from. K of P,
I'm in West Norriton, other side of the river from KOP. I can pick up most of Delco with external antennas mounted above my roofline (Minus PD Sector 3 and Fire-7). From an SDS100 with telescopic, I only have a reliable pick up on PD Sectors 1, 2 & 7, Fire 3, 4 & 5. Not every sector is broadcast on every tower
 

trentbob

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One of the SDS scanners would give you the most versatility. State police are a no go with any scanner. Delaware county might still be a stretch from. K of P, I am approximately 20 miles north of Philly and can pick up city radio traffic in a few sweet spots in the area. I would think in your area if you were close to the river you might have a corridor for radio waves as I have a friend here in Bucks county who lives close to the Delaware river and picks up Philly with no problem. Location location location and elevation.
Yep Herb, Philly comes banging in here in Bristol Boro right near the river on the SDSs. If you go on the other side of the Burlington-Bristol Bridge at the Neshaminy State Park you actually can see the silhouette of the city very small in the distance on a clear day.

If I go to the other side of Route 13 up around Haines Road or Edgely Road I get nothing, I get it on the Motorola apx but not on the scanners in that location. Makes sense.
 
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