FREQUENCY and EQUIPMENT NEWS
Information is unofficial, and Denver Radio is not affiliated in any way with the agencies listed.
Photos and logos are for illustration only.
For a weekly discussion of scanning and other radio monitoring information, listen to the Rocky Mountain Monitoring Net, Sundays at 8:00 pm, on amateur radio repeater 147.225 MHz.
DTRS is the Colorado State Digital Trunking Radio System
TG-Talk Group on trunked radio system
LCN-Logical Channel Number on an EDACS trunk system
HRO-Ham Radio Outlet (303 745-7373)
Updated 07 August 2016
8-7 Lakewood Police have begun encryption. More research is being done to determine how this will affect monitoring, based on the extent of encryption, but this is not good news for taxpayers.
7-15 The City of Aurora has shut down the old EDACS system. Everything is now on the new P25 Phase 2 digital system. Aurora Police are now fully encrypted on this system, and cannot be monitored.
Aurora Fire, and Public Works, are in the clear and monitorable.
This new system requires one of the newer scanners to monitor. For a list of these scanners, see the Denver RadioSCANNER BUYER'S GUIDE.
7-11 The Aurora Police cross-patch has been disabled on the old EDACS system. This means APD is only on the new P25 Phase 2, fully encrypted, and not monitorable. The only thing remaining on the EDACS system seems to be interoperability/mutual aid channels such as Metronet and Green 1.
All other city functions such as Fire Department, Public Works, etc., are monitorable on the new P25 Phase 2 system. Only the newer scanners will receive Phase 2; for more information on these scanners see the Denver Radio Scanner Buyer's Guide
An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about the Aurora trunk system is at Aurora's New P25 System.
6-30 A new web page is now available for searching for DMR (Digital Mobile Radio, sometimes referred to as MotoTRBO), P25 Phase 1 conventional, and NXDN frequencies.
The data can also be imported into several popular scanner programming software packages, or a spreadsheet. It draws from the FCC database to find licensees who are authorized to use the mode you select.
This doesn't mean they are using that mode, but they are licensed for it, and may or may not be using it. The info is free at this site.
Thanks to Jason Pulliam for recognizing the need, and stepping up to the plate.
6-20 At this point, most of Aurora's radio traffic has moved to the new P25 Phase 2 trunk system. Virtually all users are on the new system. There is still some traffic that is temporarily cross-patched from P25 to EDACS, but only Police dispatch primary channels, some Police TAC, Fire dispatch (not TAC), and interoperability channels. It will probably not be long until the EDACS system is shut down, and everything is on P25. If you want to continue hearing Aurora (minus APD), you'll need one of the newer scanners, programmed with the new system, listed on the Denver Radio Scanner Buyer's Guide. These new scanners will receive Phase 2, Phase 1, and all earlier modes as well.
See the Denver Radio Phase 2 page for more information.
5-23 Aurora is moving more of their operations onto the new P25 Phase 2 trunk system. Most of the traffic is cross-patched and simulcast on the current EDACS system, but this could change at any time. As previously indicated, all police talkgroups have been encrypted on the new system (for transparency?!), except for the Network First and interoperability channels.
Many of the new talkgroups have been identified and posted on RadioReference.
Remember that the system is almost entirely P25 Phase 2, which requires a recent model scanner with Phase 2 capability. See the Denver Radio Phase 2 page for more information. For the models which will receive Phase 2 (and Phase 1 and all earlier modes), see the Denver Radio Scanner Buyer's Guide.
5-17 Uniden and Whistler have announced they will be providing the capability to monitor DMR radio systems in the near future!
DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) includes such varieties asMotoTRBO™ Capacity Plus, MotoTRBO™ Connect Plus, and MotoTRBO™ Linked Cap Plus systems, Hytera XPT, and possibly NXDN.
Uniden will be providing an optional $50 firmware upgrade for the BCD-436 and 536 models only; date to be announced. You can purchase the upgrade now at this discounted price, and download it when it is released.
Whistler will be introducing two new models with this capability, plus free firmware upgrades for 4 of their current models. The new models will begin shipping in late June.
4-21 Aurora has been moving more and more users onto their new P25 digital system the past 10 days. At this time the traffic is entirely Public Works, but talk groups have been designated for police and fire use as well.
Unfortunately, it appears that police talk groups will be encrypted and not monitorable!
In addition, the usage so far has been entirely P25 Phase 2, which only a few current scanners receive. To see an explanation of Phase 2, and which scanners can receive this new system, see Denver Radio's Phase 2 information page.
The new P25 system is using some of the 20 frequencies which had been dedicated to the EDACS trunk system. This EDACS system is still in use (for now), but will probably be shut down in the near future, with all 20 frequencies dedicated to the P25 system.
4-15 Wheat Ridge has contracted with West Metro Fire to provide fire protection for their district, and this morning West Metro Fire Protection District took over for Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District, using the Wheat Ridge fire stations (and apparatus?). West Metro now has stations 1 to 17 to cover Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, and Edgewater. A detailed rundown on the station numbering, and what apparatus is housed in each station is on RadioReference.
2-10-16 Broomfield has switched their radios from the Colorado State DTRS to use the FRCC (Front Range Communications Consortium) system. The talkgroup ID's (TGID's) have stayed the same, but you will need to change the frequencies in your programming to the FRCC frequencies (or Denver Radio can make this change for you).
The details on this change are at Radio Reference. This link will take you to the Radio Reference database, which has the site frequencies and TGID's.
December 2015 - Several eastern Adams/Arapahoe county fire departments have switched to Metcom dispatch. The departments involved are Byers, Sable-Altura, and Bennett. These are the DTRS talkgroups so far:
39 = East Metcom Dispatch (EM Disp) Initial tone-out
40 = East Metcom Dispatch (EM Ops-1) Primary operations channel
4121 = East Metcom Ops-2 (EM Ops-2) Secondary operations channel
4148 = East Metcom Ops-3 (EM Ops-3) Alternate operations channel
4149 = East Metcom Ops-4?
4150 = East Metcom Ops-5?
These talkgroups are known to affiliate on 108 - Lookout Mtn, and 105 - Mt Thorodin DTRS sites
Red Northeast - Mutual Aid Channel; Sable and East Metcom are frequently on with Denver Fire and South Adams Fire during dual jurisdictional calls.
12-4-15 The Uniden firmware upgrade which allows reception of EDACS ProVoice on the BCD-436HP and BCD-536HP is now available. The cost is $50 per radio. You'll need to make sure your scanner is registered with Uniden at http://my.uniden.com/. Have your scanner ready to read off the information requested on the registration. Then click on the right column, "Purchase ProVoice Key". You can then give the site your credit card info, etc.
More discussion of the upgrade is at RadioReference.
The 2015 Parade of Lights will again be downtown, Friday December 4 at 8 pm, and Saturday December 5 at 6 pm. If you attend, you'll want to dress warmly. A map and more information are available at the link above.
Amateur radio operators can volunteer by calling Jim Dallin KDØNT at 303 369-8489.
Frequencies used in the past for parade coordination are listed below:
All frequencies are simplex, except those shown as 'repeater'
11-24 Uniden has announced they will release a firmware upgrade for the x36 series scanners (BCD-436HP and BCD-536HP) to allow reception of EDACS ProVoice systems! The upgrade is scheduled for release in December, and will cost $50. This will be the first time any scanner has been able to receive ProVoice.
More information is on RadioReference.com
A video of a scanner running this upgrade is on YouTube, and it seems to do very well.
Denver and Aurora both use EDACS systems with some ProVoice talkgroups. PV talkgroups could not be monitored in the past without using a computer and special software and hardware.
10-17 The city of Thornton is hiring dispatchers. You can attend their 9-1-1 Dispatch Recruitment Open House Wednesday, October 21, 6 to 8 pm, at the Thornton Police Department, 9551 Civic Center Drive.
Salary is $37,117 to $58,645.
Map to Thornton PD open house
Contact info: City of Thornton Human Resources, 303 538-7245
3-9 Uniden has announced an upgraded version of their workhorse 996 base/mobile scanner
; the BCD-996P2
, which is
compatible with the
newer APCO P25 Phase 2 modulation mode. (right)
In addition, Uniden has an upgraded version of their Home Patrol, the Home Patrol 2.
This radio seems to be similar to the original HP, with the addition of Phase 2 capability. (left)
This is important because the newer radio systems in the metro Denver area are Phase 2 capable, although only Arvada has actually implemented Phase 2. It's quite possible the other systems will soon implement Phase 2 for several reasons: it prevents most scanners from receiving their systems, and it doubles the number of potential trunking talk groups their system could carry.
These newer systems include Lakewood (including West Metro Fire and Wheat Ridge), Westminster, Arvada, FRCC (which serves Adams and Weld counties), the new Denver P25 system (now in testing mode), and probably any new Aurora system.
The BCD996P2 appears to have the same capacity (25,000 channels) and features of the previous BCD-996XT.
The only other scanners with Phase 2 capability are the new Uniden BCD-436HP and BCD-536HP, plus the GRE PSR-800/PRO-668, now being sold by Whistler and Radio Shack.
The BCD996P2 is available from Ham Radio Outlet
, 303 745-7373, for $449.95, and should be available in a few days. The HP2 is $489.95 from HRO through March (free shipping on either).
3-3 Arvada PD has begun encryption of their talkgroups on their current P25 radio system. At 1002 hours, dispatch directed all officers to switch to the new channels on their radios. These new channels are P25 Phase 2, and encrypted. Still in the clear and monitorable are Arvada Fire Department, Animal Control, and Streets. We can only hope that pressure on police administrators and city officials can reverse this action to hide the department from the public (who pays for the radio system and operation of the police department).
3-2 Radio Shack now has the PRO-651 handheld digital scanner on sale
, which is $160 off
regular price! Of course, this may have something to do with closing so many stores as part of their Chapter 11 bankruptcy
. Perhaps they have more scanners than they need, to supply the reduced number of stores that will remain open. Their website did not indicate how long this sale will last.
Radio Shack stores might match the website price; it doesn't hurt to ask. If not, RS will ship it to you free if you order from the website.
The PRO-651 is the Radio Shack house-branded version of the Whistler
WS-1040 (which, incidentally, RS is also selling under the Whistler name for $599). Both the PRO-651 and the WS-1040 are Whistler versions of the former GRE PSR-500. Whistler bought the rights to produce the scanners formerly made by GRE when GRE stopped scanner production.
Now is the time to get one if you want to get a good deal.
11-14 Upcoming scheduled fire dispatch changes:
12-1 Englewood Fire will move to the Metcom system, probably dispatched on Metcom 1, with their existing DTRS TG's (talk groups) converted to Metcom Ops channels.
12-10 Sable-Altura and Bennett will move to the Metcom system, probably dispatched on a new Metcom Rural Dispatch TG, plus each with their own Ops channel and another undetermined TG.
9-21 Radio Shack
is now selling their house-branded versions of the Whistler scanners, which replace the
PRO-106 and PRO-197 made by GRE.
They appear to be the same radio, dressed in Whistler colors. Pricing is currently $399.95 for the PRO-651 handheld and PRO-652 base/mobile. These radios are also available through Radio Shack with the Whistler brand name markings, for $100 more. The original Uniden Home Patrol HP-1 is on sale for $429.99 through October 11.
has begun distribution of 5 scanners, which are apparently their versi
ons of the former GRE scanners; so far there are Whistler versions of the
- PSR-500/was Radio Shack PRO-106 (Whistler WS-1040);
- PSR-600/was RS PRO-197 (WS-1065); and
- PSR-800 (WS-1080)
- plus 2 analog scanners.
There seems to be no way to get parts or accessories yet.
There has been some hope they may soon produce the long-promised but never-produced PSR-900
mobile version of the PSR-800
. Time will tell.
this year. No repeaters were heard; all frequencies were simplex, so you'll need to be within a few blocks of the event, near Colfax & Broadway, to monitor them.
Also used once in a while was the Denver Public Safety Police TAC-6 talkgroup, but it was not the primary law enforcement channel, as it is at many events.
The event is every Labor Day weekend, Friday through Monday.
8-28 I went to the State Fair again this year, and was able to re-verify a number of frequencies on-site, listed below:
- 452.275 Security repeater (pretty busy)
- 469.0375 Maintenance (simplex)
- 469.2625 Shuttles (simplex)
- 469.3125 Ticket sales (simplex)
- MAC-12 (DTRS 4011) Law enforcement
The Goat Hill DTRS site seemed to be the best (CC 774.66875). This talkgroup will probably only be monitorable from some of the sites in the Pueblo area, due to the way the state DTRS operates.
Of course, as with most events, there's a lot more going on than you realize.
The 2014 fair runs August 22 to September 1. Fair information is at www.coloradostatefair.com.
8-18 Westminster Police, and Estes Park Police are now encrypted, and cannot be monitored with any scanner.
This situation is being discussed on RadioReference.com. Look for the Westminster
and Estes Park
discussions at these links.
Several other areas in the state have also decided to conceal their operations from the public (which pays for these systems and departments), including:
- Fort Collins,
- Fremont County,
- Garfield County,
- San Miguel County, and
- Montrose PD.
- See the Denver Radio map.
Monitoring an encrypted system would require purchase of a commercial two-way radio for $1000 or more, plus programming the encryption key into the radio, which would require the permission and information from the department to be monitored. This is quite unlikely to be granted.
5-9 The new Uniden BCD-436HP and BCD-536HP are now in stock at Ham Radio Outlet
in Denver, 8300 E Iliff Ave, phone 303 745-7373. If you've been waiting for an opportunity to get one, now is your chance.
4-10 You can now program your BCD-436HP or BCD-536HP for the radio systems in Metro Denver in
less than 2 minutes! Denver Radio
has a micro SD card ready to plug into your scanner. This lets you turn any Denver metro radio system on or off, in any combination by just pushing 3 keys. The cost is just $75 postpaid, and you can have yours in just a few days. Information is at our Accessories page
2-4 The new BCD-436HP and BCD-536HP (below) are now arriving in stores, but are in short supply. If you want one, you may want to reserve one. Ham Radio Outlet
is taking reservations now. You put down a refundable $35 deposit, and they will notify you when yours is ready.
BCD-536HP $599.95 MSRP BCD-436HP $499.95 MSRP
11-16 Uniden has announced two new scanners to replace their current BCD-396XT and BCD-996XT. The new scanners are the BCD-436HP handheld, and the BCD-536HP base/mobile.
These radios have the technology and features which were developed for the Uniden HP-1 Home Patrol, but now in a new form factor.
The new scanners should be available in January 2014.
The YouTube video from Uniden is available here.
BCD436HP is the first scanner to incorporate the HomePatrol-1's ease of use in a traditional handheld scanner. Simply enter your zip code, and the BCD436HP will quickly select and scan channels in your local area. Here is a quick rundown of the BCD436HP's major features:
A 4 Gigabyte microSD card holds the entire USA and Canada database of radio systems, plus leaves room for hundreds of hours of audio recording
Programmable Alert LED lets you set a specific color to alert you when a channel becomes active.
TrunkTracker V with support for APCO Project 25 Phase I and Phase II, X2-TDMA, Motorola, EDACS, and LTR Trunked Radio Systems
Quick Key access to 100 Favorites Lists, 100 Systems per Favorites List, and 100 Departments per System.
Discovery Modes help you find new channels on trunked systems and frequency ranges.
Analysis Modes include Band Scope, RF Power Plot, Trunked System Analysis, and EDACS/LTR LCN Finder.
Flexible Easy Channel Selection using Zip Code or GPS and Service Types — just pick the kinds of channels you want to hear and tell the BCD436HP where you are and let it do the rest.
Easy Scan Control using the dedicated System, Department and Channel Hold buttons.
Complete Front-Panel Programmability — create custom Favorites Lists either using systems from the main database as a starting point or program your systems from scratch.
Temporary Avoid lets you quickly silence unwanted systems, departments, or channels while allowing you to restore them by cycling power.
Backlight-on-Squelch option allows the backlight to remain on during an entire transmission.
Date/Time indication on display with time stamping for recordings.
Trunked and Conventional Channel Priority with Priority Do-Not-Disturb
Close Call® RF Capture with Do-Not-Disturb automatically tunes the scanner to nearby transmissions without interrupting reception in progress.
NOAA Weather Alert with SAME decoding
Two-Tone Paging with up to 32 tone slots
Flexible Scanning — scan from any combination of the main database and Favorites Lists
Included Sentinel Software makes database and firmware updates simple. Also allows you to create, edit, and manage your Favorites Lists.
USB PC Connectivity
Serial GPS input for location-based scanning using the Uniden GC-GPSK or other compatible GPS receiver.
3 AA battery operation provides up to 8 hours of operation. (BCD-436HP)
SMA-type antenna (BCD-436HP)
192 x 160-Pixel Dot-Matrix Display
Side-actuated Function and Menu controls (BCD-436HP)
Backlit Display and Keypad
Rotating Belt Clip (BCD-436HP)
Rugged construction with Rubber Side and Bottom Impact areas to improve impact resistance (BCD-436HP)
Printed manual in the box with online updates.
The BCD536HP adds WiFi connectivity, allowing you to listen to and control your scanner using your smartphone or tablet...from anywhere in your home, vehicle, or around the world; wherever you have internet access
Available January, 2014
Here are the videos produced by Uniden to show you the features of these new radios:
The publisher of Monitoring Times, Bob Grove, has announced that he and his wife will be retiring, and the issue with the cover date of December 2013 (now on the street) will be the last published issue. The magazine has been published for 33 years, and has been a leader in supplying scanner and shortwave monitoring information. Some of the current staff members of MT will probably be collaborating to produce a similar online magazine. Watch here for more information. If you have a subscription which extends beyond December, there is information on their website on how to get a refund if you wish.
7-14 Denver Police have redrawn their district and precinct boundaries, and revised their callsign structure. A map of the new district and precinct boundaries is available here.
The city has six districts, (plus DIA and Traffic), each with its own district station, and each district has multiple precincts, each of which will now be covered by several patrol cars. Prior to this revision, each precinct would normally have just one car. Of course, this does not increase the number of officers/cars, just their distribution.
Along with the revised boundaries is a new structure for radio callsigns. In general:
The first digit of a police callsign indicates the district the unit is assigned to.
The second digit indicates both the sector in the district, and the shift the officer is working.
The third digit completes the callsign. This complete callsign designates the precinct.
6-11 The Black Forest fire,Colorado's most destructive wildfire, has drawn national attention.
As of 6-16 at 1900, these are some of the details, from InciWeb:
|Estimated Containment Date||Thursday June 20th, 2013 approx. 12:00 AM|
Structures destroyed: 473
Cost so far: $5.2 million
Monitoring frequency resources are listed below:
National Interagency Fire Cache frequencies, used by firefighters whenever a fire 'goes federal', as this fire has. Only a few of these frequencies are repeated, specifically those with R, indicating repeater, or RM, indicating repeater and mobile, in the Type column. The rest are simplex, with limited range of a few miles at best, unless you are in a position above the operating area.
State of Colorado DTRS, look for the El Paso County talkgroups, and the sites at the bottom of the site list, with Zone 4 in the left column. One or more of these sites may be in range from the Denver metro area, depending on your location.
Interagency talkgroups MAC-11 and MAC-10 have also been quite active. The Chevron site will probably carry these MAC talkgroups. Other sites may also work.
The InciWeb site provides detailed information on this fire, and others nationwide.
The following conventional frequencies are also worth monitoring:
168.725 repeater, Pike National Forest radio system (NFM)
168.65 simplex, Flight Following (NFM)
168.625 Air Guard (NFM)
123.975 Air tanker bases for Jeffco and Pueblo (AM)
169.2 Air-to-ground (NFM)
121.075 Air-to-air (AM)
122.925 Tankers (AM)
124.375 ? (AM)
123.125 ? (AM)
5-1 A Preliminary Incident Analysis (PIA) of the Aurora Theater Shooting has been released by the Aurora Fire Department, and is available here. This is the first official analysis of the incident that has been released to the public, and should offer some insight, especially for mass casualty shooting incidents in the future. A gag order placed by the presiding judge is still in effect, and will limit what is released, but this report is a good starting point.
The Colorado State Patrol has changed some of the Front Range district number assignments (and callsigns), including eliminating District 6, which covered Jefferson County, Boulder County, and Gilpin County.
The official new district map is shown here:
Precise boundaries for the new troop areas within these districts, and talk group ID's for those troop areas, are still pending. This change primarily affects District 1, and also slightly modifies the boundaries of District 3 and District 2 which adjoin the modified District 1.
Most of the talk groups previously used for the areas which changed are still in use, with quite a bit of cross-patching. Some of this patching may be primarily to consolidate several troops into one dispatch position, so one dispatcher can handle multiple troop areas.
For comparison, this map shows
the old districts and troops:
An updated troop and talk group map, created by Denver Radio with the information that has been gathered so far, is available here.
Beginning April 8th, the Manitou Springs city fire (currently on TG 4831) and police (currently on TG 4834) dispatch will be dispatched by El Paso County S.O. dispatchers on the EPSO talk groups. They may still retain use of their group of 5 or so talk groups for admin type comms.
Other small police departments in El Paso County that are already dispatched by EPSO are Monument PD (M call signs), Green Mountain Falls Marshals (G), Palmer Lake Marshals (P), Calhan PD (C), and PPCC PD (U call signs).
It looks like MSPD's call signs on the EPSO Sheriff's talk groups will be 5H## ("5 Henry" and then a 2 digit number for the patrol area and unit). Does anyone else on the discussion board monitor El Paso County Sheriff?
MSFD's call signs should be 10XX (the 1000 series) on the EPSO Red fire dispatch talk group (4770). They should be sayng their call signs like, "Ten-10" or "Ten-60" meaning one of their tenders or tankers for example and "Ten-01" for one of their chief/senior leadership types.
Crystal Park VFD (east of Manitou Springs) was also being dispatched on the MSFD talk group but will also now go to EPSO Red tomorrow and use the 9XX call signs. Here is the Crystal Park VFD webpage: Crystal Park Volunteer Fire Department (CPVFD)
3-29 Fort Collins Police Services announced they will be encrypting all routine radio traffic Tuesday, April 2, so the public can’t listen in with smartphone apps or scanners. They have reluctantly provided a single-channel receiver to the Fort Collins Coloradoan to monitor some of their communications, but the chief is concerned that citizens are able to listen to their radio system, and thus get an idea of the efficiency and operations of the police who represent them.
Loveland has also indicated they would like to encrypt their communications.
2-5 The city of Westminster plans to spend $2.38 million this year to replace its public safety radio system, plus almost another $1 million to replace their radios.
The Westminster City Council has approved a $1.9 million contract with Cassidian Communications, provider of the city’s E-911 phone system, for the backbone of an all-digital P25 radio system. Consoles will be purchased from a separate vendor, along with radio towers, for a total of $2.38 million.
Russ Bowers, the city’s public safety communications administrator, said they hope to go live with the new system by the end of 2013.
The contract, however, does not include the replacement of the city’s 760 portable and mobile radios, at an estimated cost of $996,200.
The transition will also mark the end of a 20-year partnership with the City of Arvada to operate a joint EDACS trunked radio system. Arvada officials notified Westminster in December that they would be moving in an independent direction.
Source: Your Hub
DENVER PUBLIC SAFETY TRUNK (monitorable from most of Metro Denver)
Police Event 1 05-061 (police ops outside the venue, inside is on conventional)
Police Event 2 05-062 (traffic ops in the venue area)
Fire Event 1 07-004 (almost all fire operations on-site)
DENVER PUBLIC WORKS TRUNK (monitorable from most of metro Denver, channel numbers are unofficial)
NWSS 2T-Maintenance 10-111
NWSS 3T-Engineering 10-112
NWSS 4T Janitors 10-113
NWSS 5T-Coliseum 10-114
NWSS 6T-Parking 10-115
NWSS 7T-Police? 10-116
NWSS 8T-Parking 10-117
2012 CONVENTIONAL FREQUENCIES (monitorable about 5-10 miles from the event)
Parking operations 463.6875R
Command Center - Police 462.425R
Shuttle Buses 451.8875R
Updated 2013 conventional frequencies, based on actual on-site monitoring
(new communications vendor this year)
Shuttle Buses 452.0625R
Parking operations 452.6875R
Livestock area 452.425
1-8 More communications center consolidation?
Mission Critical Communications has entered into a $78,625 contract to examine communication centers run by Wheat Ridge, Lakewood, Arvada FD & PD, Golden, West Metro, Evergreen and Jefferson County.
Everyone agrees we don't need 10 PSAP's (Public Safety Answering Point, receiving point for 911 calls) in Jefferson County but the decision is not clear if they only need one or two.
Report from the consulting group is expected in April.
/Jim Richardson/Mountain News Net
1-1-2013 VHF and UHF channels must be narrowbanded
The FCC's deadline to convert all commercial and public safety radio systems between 150 MHz and 470 MHz to Narrowband on January 1, 2013 is here. This means that radio systems which were permitted to modulate their signals up to 25 Kilohertz (kHz) wide are required to reduce their modulation to 12.5 kHz. This will permit twice as many signals in the same amount of frequency space.
For you as a listener, this means you should change the modulation mode in your programming to NFM (Narrow Frequency Modulation). If you do not make that change, or your radio does not have that mode, the audio of the signal you are receiving will sound 'weak', as if the user is not speaking loudly enough, and you will need to turn up the volume to hear that system well. Narrowbanding will reduce the coverage of the transmitter involved by approximately 3dB. This is roughly a 50% reduction in apparent strength, but your reception may or may not be worse. If you do not make this change, you will not 'lose' that system, you just won't hear it quite as clearly. Many systems have already switched to narrowband, and you may not even be aware of it.
11-20 Edgewater voters decided on November 6 to transfer their fire protection to the Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District. On January 1, 2013, Wheat Ridge will assume responsibility for fire and rescue services in Edgewater. See also the article below dated 8-1.
A newspaper article discussing this change is here.
11-3 Fort Collins police are planning to encrypt at least some of their DTRS radio channels in the near future, according to an article in the Fort Collins Coloradoan. The excerpt below from the article gives an overview of the issue, apparently triggered by someone on a bus playing a scanner feed on his smartphone for other passengers.
The discussion of this development is on RadioReference.
The public’s ability to listen to taxpayer-funded police communications will soon be a rarity. As Fort Collins Police Services switches to encrypted radios over the coming months, messages like the one Medina overheard are likely to start being communicated outside public purview.
Fort Collins Police Chief John Hutto said the gas station robbery is an example of why the public shouldn’t be able to tune in to the police radio stream. For Medina and his fellow listeners, the red light turned green, and their bus continued on its route. But Hutto said other curious listeners might have been drawn into a potentially dangerous situation.
“We want people out of the area,” he said, adding that “all sorts of people” were showing up at the robbery scene when there was an “armed guy in the area.”
Within the next two years, public listeners will hear less of Fort Collins police radio traffic. New equipment allows police to encrypt transmissions in an attempt to protect citizens’ private information — and the security of police operations — at no added cost to taxpayers, Hutto said.
A new radio system going online in a couple months has for the first time made it easy to choose who gets to listen to the emergency transmissions. His department hasn’t yet decided how many channels will be encrypted, and Hutto said he will balance “transparency with what I consider practical operational needs.”
GRE US Personnel Attempt Restart of GRE Business. Same Customer Service, Warranty and Repair Remains
By Wayne Wilson, former Executive VP GRE
Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 16, 2012 – In early October, all US GRE Sales and Development team were advised by GRE-Japan that scanner manufacturing was shut down; nearly all GRE personnel in Asia and USA were dismissed. Since that time, the US Team has been working to rebuild the company and get back into production.
Personnel remain at the US office in Belmont, CA, 650-591-1400, charged with the responsibility to sell off all remaining scanner inventory and continue scanner customer service and repair, including warranty repair. It is intended that this office will remain open even once scanner inventory is depleted; this office also distributes the Alinco Amateur Radio product line.
Wayne Wilson, former VP, said, “We know the rumors are out there about GRE and the recent release of a free P25-Phase II (TDMA) firmware update for our PSR-800 last Friday, Oct 12th caused more confusion as scanner advocates asked themselves if GRE was still here or really gone? We were told gone, but we have launched a heroic effort to obtain rights to continue the same products as well as develop new scanners – essentially pick up where it was dropped.”
GRE thanks our loyal customers and dealers for past business, and probably under a new brand name, the US team will re-introduce this fine line of scanners sometime soon.
Editorial note: Discussion of this surprising announcement is on RadioReference. We hope the employees are able to acquire the rights to continue to produce the scanners since the home company in Japan has now discontinued production. GRE has been the manufacturer of nearly all Radio Shack scanners over the last 20 years.
10-14 I have discovered there is a second transmitter site on the Arvada/Westminster trunked radio system. The new site is at 81st and Osceola, and has been operational since approximately January 2012. This site apparently transmits the same talk groups as the main site on Eldorado Mountain near 144th and I-25. The frequencies for these two sites are shown below, as found on RadioReference. Red (c) are primary control channels | Blue (a) are alternate control channels | Site Map(s): FCC CallsignsRR Locations
|001 (1)||Eldorado Mtn||Jefferson||01 851.06250 ||02851.76250c||03852.06250c||04852.32500c||05 853.92500 ||06 851.31250 |
|07 852.16250 ||08852.88750c||09 853.35000 ||10 853.65000 |
|003 (3)||81st & Osceola||Adams||01 854.66250 ||02856.03750c||03 859.38750 ||04 854.73750 ||05 856.08750 |
8-1 Edgewater voters will decide on November 6 whether to merge their 97-year old fire department's operations with the Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District, which is a combined career and volunteer department. Edgewater Fire Chief Mark Finocchio says he often finds himself the only member of the department responding to daytime calls. The department responds to about 1,000 calls a year, which leaves them hard-pressed to provide so many responses from their volunteer members. If passed, the change would take effect January 1, and Edgewater would repeal their tax mill levy and adopt the Wheat Ridge mill levy, which is about 50% higher. Edgewater is currently dispatched by Jefferson County, and Wheat Ridge is dispatched by West Metro. If this takes place, you would listen on the Lakewood/West Metro/Wheat Ridge P25 trunk system. See the full article at MyHub.com.
7-20 The Aurora theater shooting has saddened the nation, and the world. Twelve people were killed, and 58 more were injured. To hear some of the fine work of Aurora Police and Fire Departments, plus the dispatchers of Aurora Emergency Communications, you can access the following free scanner feed archives, thanks to RadioReference.com.
The audio files are in 30-minute segments in chronological order, so you should start with #1, then #2 and #3.
Continuing operations were moved to Aurora Police TAC-21 (14-044) and TAC-22 (14-045), and Aurora Fire TAC-5 (14-025); all on the City of Aurora EDACS trunk system.
Thanks also go to the many metro Denver agencies that sent resources including police officers, sheriff's deputies, and ambulances. Reports indicated almost 200 law enforcement officers were involved, plus uncounted ambulances, and 6 Metro Denver hospitals.
a CD of Aurora Police and Fire Department scanner audio from this incident. The cost is $12 postpaid (including shipping). To buy one, just click on the Buy Now
The Waldo Canyon wildfire west of Colorado Springs, beginning June 23, was the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history, causing 2 deaths, destroying 346 homes and 18,247 acres. As of July 7, it is 100% contained. Firefighting personnel totaled 1500+. All this information and much more is available from InciWeb.
To listen to radio traffic from El Paso County, go to RadioReference.com live audio and click on LISTEN .
Many other El Paso County feeds on RadioReference.com are available here
To see a map of current fire conditions, plus lots of detailed incident information, go to InciWEB.org.
New frequencies provided 7-1-12 by Rex KIØBJ: 253.7 (AM modulation) MAFFS(Modular Airborne FireFighting System) tankers
168.625 (FM modulation) Air-ground emergency
123.975 AM-Tanker base
More Waldo Canyon listening from KGØUFO 7-1-12
4945 DTRS-El Paso Gray Command
4946 DTRS-El Paso Gray Ops
168.65 FM-Flight following (15-minute checkins)
133.7 AM-Air-air helicopters
A nice frequency list has been assembled by Mike Springs at ScanElPasoCounty. Thanks to Mike for sharing!
124.1500 Air Force Academy Common Traffic Tower/Advisory
126.0250 Air Ops
151.2950 EPCO SAR
154.4300 Cascade Green Mountain Falls FPD
155.1000 Manitou Springs FD/Crystal Park FD
163.7125 Logistics-National Common use
164.9625 USFS Hand crews
165.6500 Flight following
167.2250 "Air to ground"
168.0250 CTC USFS
168.0500 USFS Pike Tac "Tac 1"
168.6000 USFS "Tac 3"
168.7250 Pike National Forest "Waldo Canyon IC"
169.6875 USFS Hand crews
173.9625 USFS Hand crews
464.2750 146.2 Security, KNCQ356 Cedar Hts Community Assoc
4540 El Paso County DOT - Pikes Peak Highway Channel-1
4623 Colorado Springs Fire Department Ch 4 Command
4624 Colorado Springs Fire Department Ch 5 Tac
4631 Colorado Springs Fire Department Ch 12
4731 El Paso County Office of Emergency Management
4896 Colorado Springs El Paso County AMR Ambulance Ch 2
4940 El Paso County Blue Command - C2 (Pyramid IC)
4942 El Paso County Ruby Command - C4
4944 El Paso County Brown - C8
4946 El Paso County Grey Operations - C7
Contributed by Dave W7RTX on 7-22-12:
Air to air- 133.000
Air to ground- 170.00 and 168.675
Pueblo (re-load and fuel)- 145.00?
Fire Divisions- (used by air to air)-
Yankee- North side
Zulu- East side
Alpha- Hwy 24 side
Bravo- Cascade (the town)
Charlie- Far West to the top (Yankee)
Attack Bird Dog 134 (Corsair)
There is another Corsair- I keep missing its name
Tanker #1- Alpha 48
Tanker #2- 847
When the "heavies" are in there they are using the Corsairs to do a "show me" and give them a IP Point.
6-7 Englewood and Littleton fire departments have commissioned a 6-month study to determine the feasibility of merging their operations. More information is available on the My Hub website.
The FCC's deadline to convert all commercial and public safety radio systems to Narrowband on January 1, 2013 is approaching. This means that radio systems between 150 MHz and 512 MHz, which were permitted to modulate their signals up to 25 Kilohertz (kHz) wide will be required to reduce their modulation bandwidth to 12.5 kHz. This will permit twice as many signals in the same amount of frequency space. For you as a listener, it will mean you should change the modulation mode in your programming to NFM (Narrow Frequency Modulation). If you do not make that change, or your radio does not have that mode, the audio of the signal you are receiving will sound 'weak', as if the user is not speaking loudly enough, and you will need to turn up the volume to hear that system well. If you do not make this change, you will not 'lose' that system, you just won't hear it quite as clearly. Many systems have already switched to narrowband, and you may not even be aware of it. This change does not apply to amateur radio.
4-3 The Larimer County Sheriff's Office Emergency Communications Center has re-established its relationship with the Town of Berthoud and will once again be dispatching Berthoud Police Department officers after hours and on weekends. The Berthoud police officers will utilize the same radio channels and computer dispatch system as Larimer County Sheriff's Office deputies.
This will assure better and more seamless service to the residents of Berthoud and will insure better communications so that the deputies and town officers can respond to assist each other as need dictates.
The Berthoud Police Department will continue to dispatch their officers Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
In addition to dispatching Sheriff's deputies and Emergency Services personnel and wildland fire crews, the Larimer County Sheriff's Office Emergency Communications Center also dispatches for the following groups:
Larimer County Search and Rescue Team
Larimer County Dive Rescue Team
Larimer County Parks
Colorado State Parks (Larimer County)
Crystal Lakes Volunteer Fire
Glacier View Volunteer Fire & EMS (Emergency Medical Services)
Livermore Volunteer Fire & EMS
Red Feather Volunteer Fire & EMS
Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire & EMS
Poudre Canyon Volunteer Fire & EMS
Timnath Police Department
(news release from the Larimer County Sheriff's Department)
3-2 Uniden has released firmware updates Version 1.10.00 for their Bearcat BCD-396XT handheld scanner and the BCD-996XT base/mobile scanner.
To determine what firmware version you currently have in your scanner, press the MENU key (lower rubber key on the left side of the 396), select SETTINGS, select SEE SCANNER INFO, and select FIRMWARE VERSION. The Uniden web pages above will explain what the updates will do for you.
2-27 Lakewood Police Dept. has announced that their 7-year old radios do not work reliably with their new P25 digital trunk system. In a Denver Post article, a spokesman said the city will spend almost $1 million to replace 360 portable radios, which had been retrofitted to operate on the new system. The department switched from an analog EDACS trunk system to a P25 digital trunk in December 2011.
DENVER PUBLIC SAFETY TRUNK(monitorable from most of Metro Denver)
Police Event 1 05-061 (police ops outside the venue, inside is on conventional)
Fire Event 1 07-004 (almost all fire operations on-site)
DENVER PUBLIC WORKS TRUNK(monitorable from most of metro Denver)
NWSS 2T-Maintenance 10-111
NWSS 3T-Engineering 10-112
NWSS 4T Janitors 10-113
NWSS 5T-Coliseum 10-114
NWSS 6T-Parking 10-115
NWSS 7T-Police? 10-116
NWSS 8T-Parking 10-117
CONVENTIONAL FREQUENCIES (monitorable about 5-10 miles from the event)
Parking operations 463.6875R
Command Center - Police 462.425R
Shuttle Buses 451.8875R
1-15 GRE will soon be releasing their new PSR-900 EZ Scan Digital, which appears to be a base/mobile version of the PSR-800. It's not on their website yet, but a few pictures from the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show are here.
So far the best guess on availability is October or November 2012.
1-9 GRE has released a major new firmware upgrade for the PSR-800 EZ Scan Digital. Among many other functions, according to GRE,
"Verson U1.5 adds a new import option to the PSR-800 scanner.
When enabled the scanner can import all frequencies systems based on a combination of County, City, or Zip Code and the usage tag (i.e. "Multi-Dispatch", "Law-Dispatch", "Fire-Dispatch") seen on the RadioReference.com web site.
When the Location Select option is enabled, scan lists 151 through 200 are renamed to match the usage tags present in the library database. Items imported via the Set Location menu will be placed in these scan lists. If custom alpha tags for these scan lists exist, those names will be preserved should the location select option be later turned off...
- Added battery level and alert voltage settings to the Advanced tab. Voltage levels will be updated to the default settings the first time a configuration is opened.
- The USA bandplan has been adjusted to allow access to Marine channels while preserving access to other frequencies in the same range.
- Updated the error message displayed when there is no data to import in the Library database (i.e. Puerto Rico)
- Added pop-up welcome screens at program start-up and after a successful CPU update to introduce the set location feature.
- Changed the alert type selection to be a pull-down selection rather than a click and cycle through selection."
GRE also released a new firmware upgrade on January 11 for their PSR-500/600 scanners; Version 2.1. Their webpage does not indicate the features of this upgrade.
1-8 Lakewood has changed their police districts. Instead of North, South, and West, they now have:
Central,on Channel 2 (formerly South channel), 6th to Jewell, from Sheridan to Union
South, on Channel 3 (formerly West channel), is everything south of Jewell, and everything south of 6th and west of Union
12-14 The Lakewood trunk system has made the switch from EDACS analog to P25 digital. This includes West Metro Fire andWheat Ridge. Frequencies and renumbered talkgroup ID's that have been identified are available here.
The plan for renumbering EDACS TG's (in the decimal display mode) seems to be:
TG's with 3 digits, add 37at the beginning
TG's with 4 digits, drop the first digit and add 37 at the beginning
These modifications will create 5-digit TGID's for P25.
Lakewood Public Works is remaining on the EDACS analog (with ESK) system.
sale (ending Saturday 12-31). Of interest are the PRO-197 digital trunking base/mobile and PRO-106 digital handheld at $299 (regularly $399).
There is some question about whether these radios might soon be replaced by newer versions in the near future. This may possibly be announced at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas January 10-13, 2012. GRE, which makes the PRO-106, PRO-197, and the GRE PSR series, is listed as an exhibitor at that show. Check the discussion of this subject on RadioReference.com. 12-1 North Metro Fire is scheduled to discontinue their annual contract with Northglenn Ambulance on December 1,2011, and begin providing ambulance service to the city of Northglenn. The Fire District will add four cross-trained fire fighters on each shift in Northglenn when it begins providing ambulance service. However, Fire District residents’ property tax assessments will not change. In fact, citizens who need to use 911 for a medical emergency situation should anticipate lower fees for ambulance transports and emergency medical procedures, according to the district. 11-22 Radio Shack has introduced the PRO-18 scanner, which appears to be a 'stripped-down' version of the GRE PSR-800. The current price is $499.95. The price for the full-featured PSR-800 is $399.95 at HRO.
"Missing from the PRO-18:
Recording / playback
200 scan lists (PRO-18 has 100 play lists)
Tri-color alert LED
Clock display while "off" (and connected to external power)
Auto power-on ("alarm clock")
"Extra" audio alert tones (PRO-18 has the 7 from PSR-500; PSR-800 has 8 more)
R/S will need to deep discount the PRO-18 before anyone should consider buying the PRO-18 over the PSR-800.
11-5 The Lakewood EDACS trunk will probably be changing to a P25 digital trunk Thursday, November 10. This means that your scanner programming will have to be changed to include the P25 frequencies (in the P25 mode) and new talk groups ID's. When the EDACS system is shut down, you will no longer receive Lakewood, West Metro Fire, or Wheat Ridge transmissions. Discussion of this change is on the RadioReference Colorado Forum. The latest frequency and talkgroup information is on the RadioReference database.
Update: The only change on November 10 was the additional cross-patch of West Metro Fire talk groups on P25 TG's, including 37785 and 37786. There have also been what seem to be test Private Calls on 9999995 and 9999996. No indication yet when the full changeover to P25 might take place.
Programming hint: The new P25 TG's seem to be derived from the Decimal mode EDACS TG ID's. The pattern so far has been to add 37 at the beginning of the old TG. In other words, if the EDACS Decimal TG was 785 (not the AFS TG of 06-021), the P25 TG will be 37785. The latest TG and frequency info, and a discussion of this change is available on RadioReference.
9-23 Monitoring information: There will be an emergency exercise taking place on Friday, September 23 from 5 am to 4:30 pm, in 10 different locations throughout the Denver Metro Area. This exercise will involve more than 100 agencies including military, hospitals, and first responders (including Denver Health!). This exercise will involve loud noises, simulated weapons, smoke, and emergency vehicles.
Primary Locations Involved
- Denver International Airport
- Sky Ridge Medical Center
- Denver Health Medical Center
- University of Colorado Hospital
- Catholic Charities (NW Denver)
- Sports Authority Field at Mile High
9-21 Eagle County appears to have switched at least some communications to DTRS, with the East Vail site, control channel 859.4375, on DTRS rather than the Eagle County system. Talkgroups to listen for:
8840 Eagle County MAC
8841 Eagle County ______________
8842 Eagle County West Law
8843 Eagle County East Law
8844 LE TAC-3
8849 Eagle County West Fire
8850 Eagle County East Fire
8856 Eagle County Ambulance District
8862 Eagle County _______________
8863 Eagle River Fire Dept.
8867 Vail Fire Dept.
8869 Vail Mountain Rescue?
9-12 Lake County (county seat-Leadville) has moved to the state DTRS, joining so many others who have made the switch. Possible DTRS control channels/sites to program:
852.8625 Hagerman Pass
Talk groups (from radioreference.com)
11801 Lake Co Law Enforcement & Fire Dispatch
11800 Lake Co Mutual Aid
11803 Lake Co Travel Channel
9-8 Some of the frequencies in Boulder County have changed. This is an overview of the changes known so far:
156.135 BLUE is now POLICE-1
155.49 BRONZE is now TAC-1
New TAC-4 (new repeater, TAC-2, talkaround when installed)
TAC-1 is now F-TAC-1
154.98 WHITE is now PARKS
ORANGE is now PUBWRK
Orange2 is nowPUBWR2
8-19 The city of Boulder will enter into a new five-year ambulance contract with American Medical Response starting Jan. 1, 2012.
The decision, announced this afternoon, means the end of the city's participation in a countywide ambulance contract with Pridemark/Rural Metro.
City officials said their decision to bid the contract individually was based on other local municipalities opting out of the county contract, raising costs for city residents and creating the possibility that fewer ambulances would be available for city calls.
Pridemark will continue to be the ambulance provider in the city through the end of 2011.
The city estimates that the average middle-aged man with chest pains will save about $300 under the American Medical Response proposal. The company commits to keeping four ambulances in the city while maintaining a seven-minute response time to 90 percent of all medical emergencies.
The contract also includes ongoing emergency medical training for city firefighters.
-from The Boulder Daily Camera
8-1 In mid-August Uniden will release a significant update for its HomePatrol Sentinel software, a major update to the HomePatrol-1 Feature Set, as well as an exciting optional Upgrade that adds significant new features and capabilities to the HomePatrol-1.
Read on to see what you have to look forward to (quoted from the Uniden release).
HomePatrol Sentinel Update
The HomePatrol Sentinel software has been an essential tool for keeping your HomePatrol-1’s database up to date, managing favorites lists, and backing up your HomePatrol-1’s settings. With the update, we’ll be adding some much-requested features and functionality, including:
Complete programmability for new or existing systems. Create or edit any system in a Favorites list to personalize alpha tags, apply some of the newly available settings (read on!), or set up systems that have not yet made it into the main database.
New channel settings include:
Per-channel delay of 10, 5, 2, 0, -5, or -10 seconds (those negative settings force scanning to resume after the set time elapses, even if a transmission continues).
Per-channel alert to get your attention when a particularly important channel becomes active.
CTCSS/DCS or NAC Search to capture unknown subtones on frequencies.
Per-channel attenuation to help avoid interference from other in-band transmissions.
Per-channel volume offset to help balance the audio level amongst channels.
New service tags for Racing Officials, Racing Teams, and eight Custom tags.
Support for defining location using up to 32 rectangles per department or site, instead of a single circle.
ID Search mode for trunked systems so you can monitor channels even if they are not yet in the database.
Unit ID programming so you can alpha tag individual radio IDs and see specifically who is transmitting.
The ability to add channels to a favorites list automatically based on your location, a range, and the service types you are interested in.
The ability to enable up to 256 Favorites Lists for scanning along with the Main Database.
Tools for reviewing the results of Discovery sessions or Activity Logs (see more in the HomePatrol-1 Extreme Upgrade section).
An Export feature that allows you to easily share Favorites Lists with other HomePatrol users (and a companion Import feature so you can use Favorites Lists others share with you).
A KML Export feature that lets you export system information for viewing in Google Earth.
Automatic update notification for the HomePatrol Sentinel software will now let you know when a new version is available.
More info is available from Uniden; click here.
5-15 Mountain View Fire will soon be dispatched by Weld County, instead of Boulder County, using Tac-12 (DTRS 1920). They may also use TAC channel DTRS 9113. 2-26 The city of Boulder is considering ending its ambulance agreement with Boulder County. The cooperative agreement, which has been effect since 1999, calls for the city and the county to use Pridemark Ambulance. Sheriff Joe Pelle is concerned that costs and response times could increase with multiple agencies in the county having separate ambulance contracts. Pridemark Ambulance is the exclusive provider of 9-1-1 emergency medical services in Arvada, Edgewater, Fairmount and Wheat Ridge, and is the primary 9-1-1 provider in Boulder County. Pridemark was recently acquired by Rural/Metro Ambulance, which is the primary 9-1-1 provider for Aurora. Aurora is Colorado's 3rd largest city, behind Denver and Colorado Springs. 1-10 Boulder County monitors will be interested in a new Wiki page posted to RadioReference.com. There are lots of call signs, a fire district/ambulance map, and much more. 1-6-2011 GRE Electronics has announced their latest digital scanner, thePSR-800. Features are similar to the Uniden Home Patrol, but in a handheld model. This radio looks similar to the recent GRE PSR-700/Radio Shack PRO-107 i-Scan, but adds a lot of functions, including digital system reception. Perhaps the most important: the entire national RadioReference database is programmed on the included 2Gb micro SD chip. MSRP is $499; street price seems to be $450. This radio is now available from a few sources which have received limited shipments.