Why so quiet in here....???

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LIScanner101

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Hello,

I live on Long Island but often wonder if I could pick up Rhode Island when I'm out on the East End. Also, I spend some time in RI during the fall run surf fishing season so in the off hours I'd love to scan the airwaves.

Unfortunately, this forum seems extremely quiet. Is everything in RI encrypted? I checked the RRDB and didn't see too many E's but maybe that info is outdated.

What is there to listen to in RI?

Thanks,
John
 

w1kne

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John,
Most of the area scanner crowd look to: Scan New England - SNE News Articles for most info. The RISCON system is great to listen to, a little difficult with a "rubber duck" on a handheld scanner. Most of the traffic is in the clear.
Only about half of RISCON traffic is in the clear actually. Unfortunately, Rhode Island is a state that loves encryption.

There are quite a few VHF fire frequencies used, you should be able to hear, and still some conventional PD stuff too.
 

SCPD

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There are still a lot of in the clear police channels on Riscon. Providence police Ch-1 dispatch,East Providence,Tiverton,Smithfield,Middletown,Coventry,Situate and the RI State Police NTH/STH all have in the clear police channels on Riscon. The cities of Cranston,Warwick and Pawtucket are not on the network but are in the clear. So tune in and enjoy while you still can. ;)
 
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MrAntiDigital

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Oh how I miss that Providence Police and Fire. I miss listening to several of the surrounding cities. The days of GREAT BUFFING are over.

Here's a quick story to bring back a little interest about the subject. The other day, I made a quick trip up to the Providence area, for the sole purpose of scanner entertainment. I have a portable GRE with an antenna for the 800 digital system on my car.

The best activity I heard was on Warwick and West Warwick Fire on high band. The only digital system I have programmed into my scanner is Providence Fire and Police. My reception of that is a garbled disaster. The days of going to Providence and listening to what I considered to be some of the best fire and police communications are over. At least for me.

I guess I should be thankful. I started visiting Providence almost on a weekly basis way back in 1975. Then Providence Fire was on 154.37 MHz and I could even pick them at my house, 50 miles away. I would also pick up the surrounding cities on my home scanner. I enjoyed listening to them more than most places in my own area.

My home scanner had programmed in it:
154.37 - Providence Fire Dispatch
151.22 - Providence Fire Ground
154.01 - Cranston Fire
154.07 - East Providence Fire
154.25 - North Providence Fire
470. ?? - Pawtucket Fire
154.175 - Johnston Fire
154.43 - West Warwick Fire
154.31 - Warwick Fire
154.28 - Intercity Fire

My portable also had (when I went to Providence)
460.10 - Providence Police Dispatch
460.20 - Providence Police Car to Car
158.97 - Intercity Police

I would listen to all the activity of the above and lock in any channel that had something going on. The dispatching was Great and sure active.

When I would go to Providence and hang out on Broad St at the Dunkin Donuts, Burger King, or McDonalds, it didn't take long for something to break and I would head out to check on the action. This digital system has brought my Rhode Island hobby to a "screeching halt". Even though I do have Providence FD/PD programed into that scanner, "It will NEVER been GREAT Again".

For those much younger than me, you really missed out on some Great scanner activity. I'm just very thankful that I was around to enjoy it before things got destroyed.

So now what do I do for scanner enjoyment. Well, I probably will still go to Rhode Island. It's a nice state. I will probably walk Roger Williams Park on nice days but I won't be carrying my scanner with me like I used to. I still enjoy listening to places like Warwick and West Warwick Fire that remain on high band. Iggy's Fish & Chips has a great meal I enjoy and summertime seeing those bikini girls is worth the trip.

Thank the Good Lord that the FDNY did not go digital. At least I can go there for some interesting scanner activity.

I will always love buffing the Providence Fire Dept. I consider them to be one of the most aggressive departments around. The Providence Police has as much activity going on as any other major city. But listening seems to be a thing of the past for me. Those days are over now. If you weren't a part of it, just take my word for it; "it was Great".

Nothing else to say. Just that I am glad to have been around for much, much better days. Days when I could spend the entire day and part of the night, listening to and chasing action in the Providence area.

Thanks for listening to me crying about my sad story. But I guess I really shouldn't complain too much. I now have a computer to tell the world how I feel. I have a cell phone to make calls now and don't have to drive around looking for a pay phone. Best of all, we have this web site and can now listen to just about any emergency service in the country, because people are willing to share their activity with us. Often though, I think I would rather go back in time.

Willy "D"
 

coolrich55

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I agree 100% with you. I miss the old days and I'm talking the early 2000's. So much more to listen to and so much simpler. I got the digital scanner and stuff now but you got to practically be in Providence if you want to hear them with a hand held. One thing I can't get over is how back then you would know what department was transmitting without having to look at the screen. Every agency had their own system and you could tell who they were just by the different sounds of their repeaters. For example Attleboro PD I thought sounded the coolest. Now pretty much they all sound the same, digital and I can't stand it lol. But oh well just got to be happy that not everyone has gone encrypted yet. But I do think someday that will all change and not for the better.
 

w1kne

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Providence PD and FD are both still in the clear, you can monitor both with a digital scanner.
 

SCPD

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Every agency had their own system and you could tell who they were just by the different sounds of their repeaters. For example Attleboro PD I thought sounded the coolest. Now pretty much they all sound the same, digital and I can't stand it lol. But oh well just got to be happy that not everyone has gone encrypted yet. But I do think someday that will all change and not for the better.
Ive been monitoring RI scanner activity for 30 years now. I used to like to listen to Pawtucket Police on their old VHF repeater back in the day. They had a distinctive digital ID tone at the end of their radio transmissions. Sorta like a bleep. It was cool.
 

MrAntiDigital

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Here's a question I ask of those who remember the days before digital scanning?

Do you like it better now OR do you think it was much better BEFORE digital scanning ? It's never going back to the way it was though. The system is bought and paid for.
 

emt161

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Yet another casualty of 9/11. The feds want everything inter-operable now (and want to make money off the other bands), so 800 is the future whether we like it or not. My suggestion would be Providence Fire Live Audio Feed if you want to listen from home. If you can't afford a mobile for the car, PFD is also available on the RadioReference app.

Does it sound the same as 154.37, no, of course not. Such is the way of things. But they're also not going to nearly as many fires anymore, so if it makes you feel any better, at least you aren't missing much?

FWIW, social media and photographers trying to use buffing as a money-making enterprise have done just as much damage to the hobby as 800Mhz, if not more. It's a sad state of affairs.
 

SCPD

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Here's a question I ask of those who remember the days before digital scanning?

Do you like it better now OR do you think it was much better BEFORE digital scanning ? It's never going back to the way it was though. The system is bought and paid for.
There are pros and cons to RISCON. Obviously the cons are the availability and use of encryption and the reduced coverage of the PROV Zone. On the other hand some of the pros are that I can now hear police and fire comms (those in the clear) from communities in the northern parts of the state and southern parts on the NTH and STH zones that I could not hear on their old VHF/UHF systems like Burriville,Little Compton,Newport and Block Island. I also think the WIDE AREA channels are a big plus. I like monitoring WIDE AREA-5 during marine rescues. The old Providence Police and Fire UHF/VHF systems had some incredible coverage back in the day. Providence Police had something like five or six channels to listen to back then with no encryption. I sure do miss that! One thing I would also like to note is that I think RIDOT going encrypted on RISCON was ridiculous! We now have covert snow plows in this state. WTF! :roll:
 
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MrAntiDigital

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Yet another casualty of 9/11. The feds want everything inter-operable now (and want to make money off the other bands), so 800 is the future whether we like it or not. My suggestion would be Providence Fire Live Audio Feed if you want to listen from home. If you can't afford a mobile for the car, PFD is also available on the RadioReference app.

Does it sound the same as 154.37, no, of course not. Such is the way of things. But they're also not going to nearly as many fires anymore, so if it makes you feel any better, at least you aren't missing much?

FWIW, social media and photographers trying to use buffing as a money-making enterprise have done just as much damage to the hobby as 800Mhz, if not more. It's a sad state of affairs.
"emt161", I was and still am a buff, but it wasn't about making money. It was about learning from one of the best fire departments in the northeast. If Providence had a fire, I'd watch them perform. The other surrounding cities also did a great job.

I buffed the FDNY during those years for the same reason. Learning from the best there is. I put that all together and tried to apply it to the department I served for 30 years. You're certainly right when you say the fires are not as many as there used to be. Absolutely. But it would be a very difficult job to say how much I was able to learn and then pass onto my Brothers and Sisters of the department. Today, a few of them have become battalion chiefs and officers themselves.

I should probably get myself a mobile radio and antenna for 800 digital. Maybe someday I will. But my brother has one in his vehicle. His reception on the Connecticut State Police (digital) is horrible. He complains all the time and listening, I can't blame him.

You're right too when you mention that Providence Fire does not sound the same digital as it did on 154.37. And let me add, neither does the Providence Police when they were on 460.10 etc.

What would have happened if Providence and the other Rhode Island cities and towns did NOT change ? Why did they have to make that move ? Why hasn't many other cities been forced to make that move ? I just don't understand that. And I guess you can pretty much tell, I am NOT a digital supporter.

Thanks for listening. My crying doesn't really matter. It's over. I just hope it doesn't continue because as they switch over, I've just been writing them off. It's not worth the hassle for me. At least the FDNY, FDNY/EMS and NYPD didn't buy into it. And true, if I want to still listen to Providence, I can, using my computer. But its not like putting in my 5 or 6 favorites, then locking one in because there is some serious activity going on.
 

SCPD

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What would have happened if Providence and the other Rhode Island cities and towns did NOT change ? Why did they have to make that move ? Why hasn't many other cities been forced to make that move ? I just don't understand that. And I guess you can pretty much tell, I am NOT a digital supporter.
The RI STATE WIDE COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK (RISCON) came about as a result of a recomendation that was layed out in a report after the station night club fire. Every public safety agency in the State of RI now have RISCON radios in their fire trucks and police cars for the purpose of interop communication to other agencies during a major event. It is up to the individual communities themselves to decide whether or not they use the system full time.
 
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MrAntiDigital

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That fire as I remember was in the City of West Warwick. Why is West Warwick still on anolog then, 154.43 MHz. It's neighbor, City of Warwick which responded to that fire is also still on anolog, 154.31 MHz. Those two cities were directly involved in that incident yet, a visit there only about two weeks ago showed me they are still using those high band frequencieses rather than digital. In fact I pick them both up at my home, 45-50 miles away on high band.
 

SCPD

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That fire as I remember was in the City of West Warwick. Why is West Warwick still on anolog then, 154.43 MHz. It's neighbor, City of Warwick which responded to that fire is also still on anolog, 154.31 MHz. Those two cities were directly involved in that incident yet, a visit there only about two weeks ago showed me they are still using those high band frequencieses rather than digital. In fact I pick them both up at my home, 45-50 miles away on high band.
As I stated above...West Warwick,Warwick and every other fire and police dept in the state of Rhode Island all have RISCON radios. That was the requirment. It is not a requirment that every dept uses the network for full time operations only that they have a radio in their police cars and fire trucks for interop communications in the event of a major incident. That was the original purpose of the network.
 
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MrAntiDigital

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As I stated above...West Warwick,Warwick and every other fire and police dept in the state of Rhode Island all have RISCON radios. That was the requirment. It is not a requirment that every dept uses the network for full time operations only that they have a radio in their police cars and fire trucks for interop communications in the event of a major incident. That was the original purpose of the network.
Thank you, I was NOT aware of that. But I believe the night of that fire, 154.28 MHz was used as a mutual aid channel. They were able to handle that incident quite well using that, considering the scope of the incident.

I think I've made my point, however. I see absolutely no reason why Rhode Island had to change to this digital system. Just the extra cost for each department to carry one of these radios is more than was necessary. As you (and everyone) can clearly tell, I am NOT in favor of these cities and towns switching over to this digital system. I thought before digital, that Rhode Island had one of the BEST Radio systems around. That mutual aid channel was used daily.

I hear people say, the reason places go to digital is because the feds require interoperability. That all started with 9/11 and the attack on America. Yet the Number 1 Target, New York City, did NOT switch over to digital radios. They tried it with the FDNY/EMS in South Brooklyn, NY and found it not a system they would be interested in using. (I wonder how many people knew that). So they didn't buy into the program. Instead all their police, fire and EMS operate on ultrahigh band (fire dept simulcasts on high band also).

I appreciate having this discussion and being allowed to express just how I feel. I am now 65 years old. I had maybe 50 years of enjoying fire/police activity on a scanner. What more could I ask for. It was a great hobby. A few of us would meet up and just hang out listening to and chasing the action. For me and several of my buddies, it was in the area of Burger King on Broad St. in Providence.

I spent $500 on a portable scanner solely for making my trips to Providence. That scanner and listening to digital has been a big disappoint for me. Just recently, New London, Ct went to digital. It was the most active department in Eastern, Ct. Now I've learned to do without it. When they used ultrahigh band, I had no problem listening. Now for me, there is no listening.

It will never be the same. I'm just glad that I've been able to enjoy it for so many years.

Thank you for listening to my story.
 
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