Orange County TRS

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SCPD

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Can anyone tell me if the fire agencies have now gone digital on the OC TRS? I have a Radio Shack PRO-97 analog trunking scanner which has picked up the fire agencies just fine until very recently. Now I get nothing over the unit. This afternoon I turned on the Radio Reference on-line scanner, which I know is a digital receiver because I've heard RED channel on it. The fire agencies over the on-line scanner came through clear, but nothing came over my scanner.

My scanner receives everything else clearly, including other trunked systems, L.A. County Sheriff and Fire, aircraft broadcasts, etc., so I assume there's nothing mechanically wrong with it. Either the fire broadcasts have gone digital, or they've changed frequencies or tunking codes, etc.

If anyone knows anything, I'd appreciate a shout out.

Dave
KA6TJF
 

Markb

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Hi Dave,

All fire agencies are still analog. I would make sure you have both control channels programmed in. I would make sure you can hear a control channel for starters and we can work from there....


Mark
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My Uncle use to be the Sheriff Inspector in Orange County. I think that was his title anyway not sure
I want to say the late 80's or early 90's not to sure.
 

SCPD

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Mark, thanks. I went ahead and initalized the scanner, meaning I put it back to the original factory settings. Then I re-entered all of the OC TRS frequencies including the control frequencies. This did the trick. I'm now picking up OCFA, Metronet North and Central, Brea, the MED channels, etc.

Funny thing, but it seemed to be the Motrola based system that I suddenly couldn't pick up. I was still receiving LTR based systems. I originally programmed the frequencies two and a half years ago and had no problems. Then about a week and a half ago I started receiving only certain agencies until this past weekend when it stopped receiving everything.

If this happens again I'll take my unit to my local Radio Shack and have them check it out.

Dave
KA6TJF
 

Jurassic69

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So what exactly is the RED channel and why is it good to listen to? I am in the OC at times and would love an excuse to turn on the scanner.
 

RadioDaze

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Red Channel is about the only Orange County law enforcement channel that is NOT encrypted (although it IS digital, i.e., P25) and it's also where you will hear pursuits, crime broadcasts (such as "be on the lookout for..."), stops of suspicious vehicles (where a unit will ask for a backup) and other calls like that. After being able to listen to all of Orange County's city police departments and Sheriff's Department communications since about 1985 when I moved here, and losing it around 10 years ago due to encryption, it's the only way I can get my kicks. (Along with the Orange County fire departments, OC Lifeguards, California Highway Patrol, LAPD, LA Country Fire, LA Sheriffs, etc.)
 

Mick

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There is a small amount of city police & county sheriff activity which can be heard in Orange County. There are Pink channels that are analog for communicating between police & fire or other agencies. The Tan channels also for interop comms are analog. The Red channel for countywide crime broadcasts & pursuits is digital and in the clear, and sometimes linked with 39.46 CLEMARS. County Sheriff Search & Rescue has an analog channel, 460.525. The Highway Patrol, State Universities (except Cal State Fullerton), and State Parks Police are all in the clear. Police helicopters using TG 6736 & low band (45.30) are dispatched and in the clear. State DOJ, County Sheriff's, PD's and numerous federal law agencies use VHF high band (ie 156.075, 155.445, 154.68) & 860 MHz channels (866.0125, 866.5125, 867.0125, 867.5125, & 868.0125) for surveillances on a daily basis in Or. Co.

So there's enough to hear, just the lack of primary dispatch channels making a catastrophic dent in a scanner enthusiasts hobby.

Red Channel is about the only Orange County law enforcement channel that is NOT encrypted (although it IS digital, i.e., P25) and it's also where you will hear pursuits, crime broadcasts (such as "be on the lookout for..."), stops of suspicious vehicles (where a unit will ask for a backup) and other calls like that
 

SCPD

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Mick, that is "kick ass" information. I mainly use my scanner to listen to aircraft/tower conversations at airports and only occassionally listen to the analog fire broadcasts. I'll definitely plug in your suggested frequencies. Thanks for sharing.

Dave
KA6TJF

P.S. Are the 800 MHz frequencies you mentioned analog or digital?
 

Mick

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Thanks! They 860 MHz frqs are all analog, and I think always with ctcss 156.7.

Mick, that is "kick ass" information. I mainly use my scanner to listen to aircraft/tower conversations at airports and only occasionally listen to the analog fire broadcasts. I'll definitely plug in your suggested frequencies. Thanks for sharing.

Dave
KA6TJF

P.S. Are the 800 MHz frequencies you mentioned analog or digital?
 

SCPD

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There is a small amount of city police & county sheriff activity which can be heard in Orange County. There are Pink channels that are analog for communicating between police & fire or other agencies. The Tan channels also for interop comms are analog. The Red channel for countywide crime broadcasts & pursuits is digital and in the clear, and sometimes linked with 39.46 CLEMARS. County Sheriff Search & Rescue has an analog channel, 460.525. The Highway Patrol, State Universities (except Cal State Fullerton), and State Parks Police are all in the clear. Police helicopters using TG 6736 & low band (45.30) are dispatched and in the clear. State DOJ, County Sheriff's, PD's and numerous federal law agencies use VHF high band (ie 156.075, 155.445, 154.68) & 860 MHz channels (866.0125, 866.5125, 867.0125, 867.5125, & 868.0125) for surveillances on a daily basis in Or. Co.

So there's enough to hear, just the lack of primary dispatch channels making a catastrophic dent in a scanner enthusiasts hobby.
The last few days I have been hearing activity on 154.68 and 867.0125. I won't go into the details, because that's probably illegal, but suffice to say it sounded like drug activity. Frankly, I can't believe that these law enforcement agencies are still broadcasting in the clear. I know most criminals are dumber than dirt (otherwise, they'd have regular jobs) but, honestly, all these guys need is a scanner and a cursory review of the RR message board and they'd easily figure out that the cops are following them. I could almost make an argument for encryption after what I've heard.

And this leads me to another rant. The L.A. Times this week ran a front page story that basically said the 40-year-long "war on drugs" has been an abject failure. After listening to all the fixed wing aircraft and ground units eating up taxpayer dollars following these drug dealers around So Cal, I can make the argument that its time to spend our limited resources more wisely and simply legalize drug use. Dispense drugs through government channels, tax the hell out the sales, and use all of the revenue generated for treatment programs. And use the money we now spend on narcotics interdiction on schools, potholes, etc. It seems we've got more pressing problems than chasing down and jailing junkies and their dealers.

It may sound simplistic, but guys like Al Capone didn't hit the big time until the U.S. banned alcohol sales in 1919. And all the gangsters from the 1930's suddenly went away when prohibition was repealed in 1936. You can't outlaw vice. So regulate it and tax it and take away the gang members' means of support.

Dave
KA6TJF
 
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