Trying to put it all together in Albany

IC518

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2023
Messages
27
Location
Capital District, NY
Good day to all!
So, I have extensively searched The Database and other resources but still seem to be out of the loop in certain ways. The SDS100 with the Remtronix antenna is great here in CSquare, but I am trying to get the big picture that my apparent lack of radio knowledge is hindering me from. So, I have some questions that hopefully I can get some help with here.
1. I am trying to hear the NYSP, but I am confused on how their radios are working here in Troop G. Are all dispatch/unit transmissions on the P25, or are the analogs still used to some extent? They have, like, five antennas on their cars. I hear plenty of 4G/X out of the Capitol on the P25, but not much else. Where am I not catching them?
2. I know that Troy PD and Schenectady PD are encrypted, but what of the Rensselaer County SO and Schenectady County SO?
3. What marine channels are used in the Port of Albany?
4. What rail channels do CSXT and Amtrak use here in the Albany area?
5. Why has the reception on Colonie fire pagers (154.385) and Mohawk company channels degraded?
6. In Rensselaer County, the analogs and legacy 800 channels seem to get more than the RENSCO P25. Am I missing something there?
7. Is there any good websites/books that can increase my knowledge in a simple way? Scanning has changed since 1999 for sure.

I appreciate any and all advice on these subjects. I have searched the database and done my due diligence, but things are apparently going over my head somewhere and you guys know way more than I do.

Thanks!
 

DaveNF2G

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 8, 2023
Messages
225
Location
Cohoes, NY
1. VHF is still used for COMSEC dispatching, but each zone also operates on the local trunked systems for dispatch by the area 9-1-1 centers.
2. All police in Schenectady County are encrypted. Colonie PD is encrypted, as is the Watervliet Arsenal PD. Except for the TAC talkgroups, everybody else is still in the clear. Troy PD is encrypted on the city's P25 system, but still in the clear on the EDACS site.
3. I would monitor 16, 13 and 9. There could be others.
4. That info is in the RRDB. CP Rail and Pan Am also operate in the area, and there is a small railroad within the Port of Albany.
5. I haven't experienced that issue.
6. I'm not aware of any legacy or analog 800 MHz channels. The analog and conventional digital channels in Rensselaer County are VHF and UHF, which would have more range than 800.
7. The Forums contain a lot of past discussions that can be very enlightening. Also check the RRWiki and search YouTube for relevant videos.

Caveat: Not every posting or video is accurate.
 

IC518

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2023
Messages
27
Location
Capital District, NY
Good morning, Dave!

The NYSP thing just seems sort of quiet for me, but I will pay attention to the VHF and see what develops. I know about Schenectady PD and Colonie PD being encrypted, but the Troy EDACS is news to me! I'll have to get the upgrade there. Copy that for the Port, I just didn't know where to begin on that stuff. I looked at the trains on the RRDB and it confused me. I have the CP Rail stuff programmed, but I'll have to check out Pan Am and the small one in the Port. As for the Colonie pagers and Mohawk, maybe I'm doing something wrong on that end. But I haven't messed with anything in the SDS100 because I don't understand any of that stuff despite watching lots of YT on it. As for the RENSCO stuff, I misused the term legacy when I meant everything outside of their P25 over there. But I'll search the Forums and wiki for further info.

Thanks, Dave! Have a great day and know that any/all advice you give is appreciated!
 

sallen07

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
1,184
Location
Rochester, NY
Good morning, Dave!

I'll have to get the upgrade there.
I may be totally misunderstanding you but if you are referring to the ProVoice paid upgrade you will not need it. Pretty sure all of the TGs on the EDACS system are analog.
 

vikingegfd

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 20, 2011
Messages
126
Location
upstate NY
Here are some entries from my proscan history for marine and rail fregs in Albany.
Note the radios at the Rensselaer train station are down by the river so they are hard to pick up.
Same problem with the port radio traffic.
156.4250 Ch. 68 Non-Comme Marine freqs
156.8000 16 - Hailing / C Marine freqs
160.5900 CSXT34 Castl RAIL Capl Dist
160.8000 CSXT46 Mohaw RAIL Capl Dist
160.8600 CSXT50 LkShr Rd RAIL Capl Dist
160.8900 CSXT52 Mohaw RAIL Capl Dist
160.9200 NYLE54 Road RAIL other
161.1000 CPR66 Coloni RAIL Capl Dist
161.2950 NYSW79 Road RAIL Capl Dist
 

k2hz

Member
Database Admin
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
1,845
Location
Rochester, NY
Here are some entries from my proscan history for marine and rail fregs in Albany.
Note the radios at the Rensselaer train station are down by the river so they are hard to pick up.
Same problem with the port radio traffic.
156.4250 Ch. 68 Non-Comme Marine freqs
156.8000 16 - Hailing / C Marine freqs
160.5900 CSXT34 Castl RAIL Capl Dist
160.8000 CSXT46 Mohaw RAIL Capl Dist
160.8600 CSXT50 LkShr Rd RAIL Capl Dist
160.8900 CSXT52 Mohaw RAIL Capl Dist
160.9200 NYLE54 Road RAIL other
161.1000 CPR66 Coloni RAIL Capl Dist
161.2950 NYSW79 Road RAIL Capl Dist
Your frequencies are right but your labels are wrong for 160.860 and 160.920. NYLE and LkShr are both in Erie County. In the Albany area these are both CSX Selkirk Yard and are listed as such in the RRDB.

160.860 BMCSQCSXT50 YMEast End - Hump - Top End YardmastersFMNRailroad
160.920 BMCSQCSXT54 HumpHump ControllerFMNRailroad

I believe the "Hump" designations are no longer accurate since the Hump was supposed to be converted to flat switching in 2018. The frequencies are probably still used for Yardmaster and switching operations. Submissions confirming current use would be appreciated.
 

kb2hpw

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
79
Location
Upstate NY
NYSP: 155.445 (COMSEC to Car), 154.680 (Car to COMSEC), 154.665 (Car to Car), all old school analog. I'm outside of Troy area, hear Dispatch activity often on .445, and units on the mobile freqs. I have more than 1 scanner (don't we all?) with modest antennas (discone in attic, and a 2m/440 dual band ham antenna for another scanner). I can follow the duplex comms fairly well. Now I mostly listen to Rensco P25 system, and many Troop G units are on patrol with County cars, so they get dispatched/comms there. I suspect other county Sheriff comms are similar. But those 3 analog freqs are always active in the 518. (BTW - NYSP helicopter will use car-to-car too for ground contact in some events).
 

DaveNF2G

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 8, 2023
Messages
225
Location
Cohoes, NY
Just to add to what HPW said, the helicopter can be heard sometimes on 155.370, the old statewide intersystem channel.
 

IC518

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2023
Messages
27
Location
Capital District, NY
Here are some entries from my proscan history for marine and rail fregs in Albany.
Note the radios at the Rensselaer train station are down by the river so they are hard to pick up.
Same problem with the port radio traffic.
156.4250 Ch. 68 Non-Comme Marine freqs
156.8000 16 - Hailing / C Marine freqs
160.5900 CSXT34 Castl RAIL Capl Dist
160.8000 CSXT46 Mohaw RAIL Capl Dist
160.8600 CSXT50 LkShr Rd RAIL Capl Dist
160.8900 CSXT52 Mohaw RAIL Capl Dist
160.9200 NYLE54 Road RAIL other
161.1000 CPR66 Coloni RAIL Capl Dist
161.2950 NYSW79 Road RAIL Capl Dist
Thanks!
 

IC518

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2023
Messages
27
Location
Capital District, NY
NYSP: 155.445 (COMSEC to Car), 154.680 (Car to COMSEC), 154.665 (Car to Car), all old school analog. I'm outside of Troy area, hear Dispatch activity often on .445, and units on the mobile freqs. I have more than 1 scanner (don't we all?) with modest antennas (discone in attic, and a 2m/440 dual band ham antenna for another scanner). I can follow the duplex comms fairly well. Now I mostly listen to Rensco P25 system, and many Troop G units are on patrol with County cars, so they get dispatched/comms there. I suspect other county Sheriff comms are similar. But those 3 analog freqs are always active in the 518. (BTW - NYSP helicopter will use car-to-car too for ground contact in some events).
I just always seem to miss half the convo when it comes to NYSP and RENSCO Sheriff's are unheard of on my scanner. But I want to really configure lists on this new SDS100 that I have and get things right.
I am just west of the ESP.
 

k2hz

Member
Database Admin
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
1,845
Location
Rochester, NY
I just always seem to miss half the convo when it comes to NYSP and RENSCO Sheriff's are unheard of on my scanner. But I want to really configure lists on this new SDS100 that I have and get things right.
I am just west of the ESP.
Since VHF NYSP mobiles are simplex, unless you have a good outdoor antenna, you will only hear units in your immediate vicinity. If you are using a Remtronix 800MHz antenna on a handheld scanner, performance is degraded on VHF so RENSCO may be out of range and you could probably only hear NYSP mobiles less than 1 mile away. VHF Rail reception will also be marginal.

The regular SDS100 antenna works well on VHF compared to the Remtronix which is better for 450 and 700/800.

For accurate info a on area Rail channels see:
 
Last edited:

IC518

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2023
Messages
27
Location
Capital District, NY
I have the Remtronix tri-band on the SDS, as I thought it would be the smarter move than the 800MHz option, I can hear Troy Fire fine and the East Greenbush PD pretty well with the RENSCO fire pagers here and there. Again, I just want to optimize what I have where I am located.
Thank you k2hz!
 

IC518

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2023
Messages
27
Location
Capital District, NY
It's been officially designed NYLAW1 for a full decade now.
I have been monitoring this as well as the P25 Air/Ground frequency and hear periodic traffic from the NYSP helo. I have to program more interop channels, as I have heard Albany Fire landing Lifenet at Collins Circle at UAlbany on that. The trouble there is that school buses seem to use the interop as well, namely South Colonie TRANSCOM, but I feel like I can get around that with the Service Options.
 

IC518

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2023
Messages
27
Location
Capital District, NY
Since VHF NYSP mobiles are simplex, unless you have a good outdoor antenna, you will only hear units in your immediate vicinity. If you are using a Remtronix 800MHz antenna on a handheld scanner, performance is degraded on VHF so RENSCO may be out of range and you could probably only hear NYSP mobiles less than 1 mile away. VHF Rail reception will also be marginal.

The regular SDS100 antenna works well on VHF compared to the Remtronix which is better for 450 and 700/800.

For accurate info a on area Rail channels see:
Additionally, Broadcastify has the Metro25 in Albany on the Corning Tower. So we can copy the MTA here in Albany?
 

k2hz

Member
Database Admin
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
1,845
Location
Rochester, NY
Additionally, Broadcastify has the Metro25 in Albany on the Corning Tower. So we can copy the MTA here in Albany?
Like any trunked system, activity on any particular TG on a Site depends on if there is a subscriber unit to that TG currently affiliated with that Site.
 

IC518

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2023
Messages
27
Location
Capital District, NY
Like any trunked system, activity on any particular TG on a Site depends on if there is a subscriber unit to that TG currently affiliated with that Site.
So, NYS probably listens in on the MTA for whatever reason and therefor can copy them here in Albany because they have the correct equipment to do it?
 

k2hz

Member
Database Admin
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
1,845
Location
Rochester, NY
So, NYS probably listens in on the MTA for whatever reason and therefor can copy them here in Albany because they have the correct equipment to do it?
It would depend on if a MTA unit is in the area and on the system at the time on a particular TG. Multi-site trunked systems only carry traffic for TGs with an active subscriber on the Site.

See this Thread for info about this system:
 
Top