Why do I hear so much static on FDNY Frequencies?

wfiedelman

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2008
Messages
17
Thanks for the suggestion. I created a "virtual" attenuator by moving my indoor antenna away from the window, which weakens signal strength considerably. When I do this I lose some adjacent channel interference (for example analog 470.81250 spilling over to 470.83750 with the squelch set low) but no reduction in the spillover onto analog 482.10625 from adjacent digital frequencies.
 

ansky

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
1,180
Location
NJ
This system was built for the personal in field with real radios not scanners, so it makes sense why its troublesome on scanners.
I would agree with that statement. Over the last 10+ years I have tried at least 5 different scanners for FDNY UHF and none of them have performed well. I wish they would have left the VHF simulcast on.
 

MStep

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
1,356
Location
New York City
It's been years since the changeover, but the old VHF frequencies were absolutely the best. If I am reading the Radio Reference database correctly, the current output power of the frequencies that I looked at for FDNY dispatch is 55 watts. I know the old VHF frequencies were in the 250 watt output range.

UHF tends to be a bit more "spotty", so having the right antenna, at the right height, is also important. How I do miss the good ole days!
 

MStep

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
1,356
Location
New York City
Thanks for the suggestion. I'm surrounded by high-rise buildings and don't know which from which direction the FDNY Manhattan dispatch signal may be coming, so this probably wouldn't help me and could impair reception on other frequencies I listen to. The really interesting FDNY comms are on the Fireground frequency, but these get out only a few blocks (at most 1/4 of a mile) here in Manhattan. Probably easier to just go outside and take a look. One of the very few benefits of living in NYC!
Can't say for sure, but offhand, I recall that FDNY Manhattan dispatch transmissions come out of a tower at the Long Island City repair shop.

As far as those fireground frequencies, if you are not already aware, for major alarms, those fireground transmissions are simulcast over the FDNY's trunked radio system. So no matter where the "job" is, you should be able to monitor fireground traffic.
 

GTR8000

NY/NJ Database Guy
Database Admin
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
10,082
Location
BEE00
If I am reading the Radio Reference database correctly, the current output power of the frequencies that I looked at for FDNY dispatch is 55 watts. I know the old VHF frequencies were in the 250 watt output range.
Apples and oranges. The VHF transmitters were one per borough, so they needed a higher output to have greater reach. The UHF transmitters are simulcast, and can thus cover the same footprint within city limits using a fraction of the power at each transmitter site.

As far as those fireground frequencies, if you are not already aware, for major alarms, those fireground transmissions are simulcast over the FDNY's trunked radio system. So no matter where the "job" is, you should be able to monitor fireground traffic.
Enjoy it while it lasts, because when FDNY completes the migration to the P25 system, those Division talkgroups are likely to be strapped secure (ENC), as has already been observed in some testing.
 

MStep

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
1,356
Location
New York City
Apples and oranges. The VHF transmitters were one per borough, so they needed a higher output to have greater reach. The UHF transmitters are simulcast, and can thus cover the same footprint within city limits using a fraction of the power at each transmitter site.


Enjoy it while it lasts, because when FDNY completes the migration to the P25 system, those Division talkgroups are likely to be strapped secure (ENC), as has already been observed in some testing.
Knowing the pace the FDNY operates at, I'm not too worried. I know they got "bit" once with digital, nevertheless wfiedelman, while it's available, enjoy it.
 

GTR8000

NY/NJ Database Guy
Database Admin
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
10,082
Location
BEE00
Knowing the pace the FDNY operates at, I'm not too worried. I know they got "bit" once with digital,
It's already in transition. DoITT wants to shut down the analog SmartZone systems ASAP and get everyone over to the ASTRO 25 system. Note that we're talking about rebroadcasting the analog fireground on the digital P25 trunked system, not a change in modulation from analog to digital on the actual fireground channels.
 

k2hz

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
956
Location
Rochester, NY
Encryption of a rebroadcast of non-encrypted analog fireground communications would seem to violate the basic COMSEC tenet of never transmit anything encrypted which has been or will be sent in the clear. If that happens, the encryption system is considered to be compromised.
 

pro106import

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
1,614
Location
Milford, Ct. perched high above Long Island Sound
Knowing the pace the FDNY operates at, I'm not too worried. I know they got "bit" once with digital, nevertheless wfiedelman, while it's available, enjoy it.
Unfortunately it is happening as we speak. I am listening to Division 13 fireground with a worker on the analog UHF smartzone system, talkgroup 4592 in the clear, and at the same time, encrypted on the new DOITT P25 sites 30 & 60, talkgroup 12643. Why they have to encrypt these is beyond my understanding, but that is for another QSO. It won't be long now. :(:mad:
 

MStep

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
1,356
Location
New York City
Unfortunately it is happening as we speak. I am listening to Division 13 fireground with a worker on the analog UHF smartzone system, talkgroup 4592 in the clear, and at the same time, encrypted on the new DOITT P25 sites 30 & 60, talkgroup 12643. Why they have to encrypt these is beyond my understanding, but that is for another QSO. It won't be long now. :(:mad:
And beyond my understanding as well, except perhaps for Fire Marshal and Commissioner frequencies. You can see my past comments about
Fire Department encryption here:


But to get back to the original topic of this thread, and the comments that my comparison of the 250 watt VHF and 55 UHF, simculcast notwithstanding, yes, it is comparing apples to oranges; that was exactly my point--- we are talking about 2 different systems. For whatever reason, as has been mentioned by some in this thread, the high-powered VHF modes were much more "scanner-enthuiast friendly" then the current 55 watt systems. But time and "progress" moves forward.
 
Last edited:

ansky

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
1,180
Location
NJ
Enjoy it while it lasts, because when FDNY completes the migration to the P25 system, those Division talkgroups are likely to be strapped secure (ENC), as has already been observed in some testing.
Are they moving dispatch to P25 also? And if so, is that expected to be encrypted?
 

Citywide173

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
1,940
Location
Attleboro, MA
Thank you! I guess that's that. I don't plan to buy a professional receiver.
I know you don't plan on it, but I'm using an Icom F80 that has FDNY/NYPD receive only for when I am down there and it works great. They are relatively cheap and I'd be happy to program it fyou if you ever did get one.

 

jtsjc1

Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2005
Messages
17
Location
nj
I know you don't plan on it, but I'm using an Icom F80 that has FDNY/NYPD receive only for when I am down there and it works great. They are relatively cheap and I'd be happy to program it fyou if you ever did get one.

I bought a HT1250LS+ from those guys. Radio is great I use it for receive only FDNY UHF freqs. I paid about $125.
 

MXROFF

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
8
Location
11201
Thank you! I guess that's that. I don't plan to buy a professional receiver. As a historical note, I had a college friend many years ago whose father was an injured-on-the-job FDNY assigned to Brooklyn Fire Headquarters as a dispatcher. He'd let me in to observe when he was on duty. By today's digital standards it was primitive (for example, ticker-tape spewing out alarm numbers when someone pulled a street box), but the VHF radio on 154.37 was crystal clear. And it was always interesting to hear the back-and-forth when the mixer was "Off."
I had a Sonar high band scanner model 25XX which had 10 channels. I think I had the following 6 FDNY crystals in it according to CRB.

154.19 Bronx/Richmond
154.37 Brooklyn
154.25 Manhattan
154.4 Queens
154.43 Citywide
153.83 Fireground

Not sure if the frequencies are right.
 

wfiedelman

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2008
Messages
17
My first fire radio was a Hallicrafters S-95 Civic Patrol, a tunable VHF high receiver. The FDNY frequencies you listed were all within 1 mm of each other on the dial (see: Civic Patrol S-95 Amateur-R Hallicrafters, The; Chicago, IL), but there was no drift and the signals were always loud and clear. Manhattan NYPD North and South frequencies were in the 155 mHz range and much more difficult to tune without drift for some reason.
 

MXROFF

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
8
Location
11201
Good question. I know FDNY citywide on 154.43 MHz was the catch all frequency for pretty much everything including Manhattan since the Manhattan desk controlled Citywide from it's telegraph station in Central Park. I remember seeing it while passing through on one of the East West Transverse roads. I miss the massive Super-Pumper and it's companion rig the Super-Tender stationed at Tillery Street in Brooklyn. I also miss the engines and trucks with the firemen holding onto those subway like handles on the back and the ladder trucks with the tillermen bringing up the rear. I also remember the times the firemen would block traffic while the trucks would back into the firehouses and every driver respected them. When the Q sirens had motors and the trucks had bells.

All those moments will be lost in time. Roy Batty...Blade Runner 1982
 
Top