Saturday, May 28, 2011

Major Update - Montgomery County Fire/Rescue

I've been working a major update to the Montgomery County Fire/Rescue talkgroups on RadioReference. Many of the county's shared talkgroups have been updated as well. These changes won't be implemented until June 5. Note that the encryption status of some of the talkgroups has changed.

Expect to see many of these (particularly the Special Events talkgroups) in use for the upcoming U.S. Open Golf Tournament at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda from June 13-19.

Weekend Events

Lots of events this Memorial Day weekend:
  • The Nationals play Saturday at 1:05, Sunday at 1:35, and Monday at 1:05 at Nationals Park.
  • Stars & Stripes & Spokes runs through Monday at RFK Stadium.
  • Rolling Thunder is Sunday at noon. The event runs from the Pentagon to the District.
  • The National Memorial Day Parade is Monday at 2:00 on Constitution Ave. from 7th to 17th Sts.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hertz (Dulles Airport) FCC App

Hertz, a rental car company at Dulles Airport, has an application pending before the FCC. The app calls for a MOTOTRBO repeater on 462.4500.

Alexandria Union Taxicab Cooperative FCC App

Alexandria Union Taxicab Cooperative has an application pending before the FCC. The app calls for a base-mobile configuration on 451.8500.

PSR-800 Update Available

The PSR-800 firmware and PC application have been updated.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Potomac Yard Update

I spent a little time at Potomac Yard in Alexandria yesterday. Here's an updated list of frequencies:

467.9000 [ d743] Best Buy
467.9000 [ d731] New York & Company
467.8500 [ d047] Old Navy
464.8250 [100.0] Regal Potomac Yard 16 Theater
464.8750 [ ] Regal Potomac Yard 16 Theater (probably uses [100.0])
466.1875 [131.8] T.J. Maxx
467.7500 [ d115] Target (Channel 1)

I also heard what sounded like a hotel on 464.5000 [ d174], but since there are no hotels in the immediate area, it may have been an apartment.

Chili Cook-Off Finds

Here's what I monitored yesterday during the DC101 Chili Cook-Off:

DC Trunked System Talkgroups:
2112 DCFD Special Event 2
2128 DCFD Special Event 3
21232 MPD 3
MPD may also have used 21136 (MPD 1).

JSOH Findings

Here's what I monitored at the JSOH today. The show concludes tomorrow.

Joint Base Andrews Trunked System Talkgroups:
157 Security
259 "utilities"; "electrical"; "toilets"
261 EOC
501 Show Control
503 "Director"; "Chairman"
509 Joint Information Bureau (Media/Public Affairs)
513 Airboss
529 Audio/Visual, Comms
531 Medical
703 "bus"; "hanger 9"
705 Golf Carts/Deliveries

Prince George's County Trunked System Talkgroups:
1055 PGFD First Aid/Medical
2001 PGPD Parking/Traffic at FedEx Field
2005 "respond to command post" (brief use)
2015 PGPD Traffic Control around Andrews

464.5500 [ d023] Shuttle Bus Coordination at Andrews (S)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Weekend Events

It's going to be one of the busiest weekends of the year:
  • The Joint Services Open House is Saturday and Sunday at Joint Base Andrews. See the previous post for monitoring suggestions.
  • The Chili Cook-Off is Saturday at RFK Stadium. Look for the DCFD Special Events talkgroups to be active, as well as MPD 3 and/or SOD. Organizers will probably use rented UHF business radios.
  • The Preakness is Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Look for the new Baltimore Project 25 system to be very active.
  • DC United plays Sunday at 5 PM at RFK.

Joint Services Open House

The Joint Services Open House at Joint Base Andrews is this weekend. Here are some monitoring suggestions:
  • Joint Base Andrews trunked system. As in previous years, this system will handle security, medical/first aid, and show organizers.
  • Prince George's trunked system. PGPD coordinate traffic around the base and at FedEx Field. PGFD provides first aid services at the show. Note that most of the traffic on this system is TDMA, which means the only scanner that will work is the PSR-800.
  • For frequencies for the aerial performers, see the Monitoring Times Air Show Guide (PDF).
  • A post on the Scan-DC mailing list provides some frequencies that were in use earlier today, and should be active on Saturday and Sunday. The air boss is using 125.3500, the Thunderbirds are using 141.0750 (AM) and 235.2500, and the Golden Knights are using 123.1500.
For frequencies and talkgroups in use for the 2008-2010 shows, see my Prince George's County page. Scroll down to the "Special Events" section.

See the RadioReference Wiki for (mostly air) frequencies for the 2006-2011 shows.

Scanners at JSOH

This weekend is the Joint Services Open House (JSOH) at Joint Base Andrews. Here's an update on the permissibility of scanners at the show. I just sent this to the Scan-DC mailing list:

For the past couple of years, I've been in e-mail contact with Capt. Anna Carpenter in Public Affairs at Andrews. She has said both years that scanners were permissible at the Open House. This year, when trying to e-mail her, I got an automated reply that her tour was over or something to that effect. So, I tried to e-mail the Public Affairs Office at Andrews. No response. Today I called Public Affairs. Couldn't get anybody on the phone, so asked the base operator to transfer me to the Visitor Center number. The woman there said scanners are not allowed at the show. I told her about Capt. Carpenter's e-mails, and she decided to transfer me to security/law enforcement. Spoke to a gentleman there, and he said they weren't allowed at first either. I told him about Capt. Carpenter's e-mails and how they were not on the prohibited items list, and he said if I wanted to bring them and possibly be hassled, then fine. Or I could
not bring them.

So that's the story for this year - I don't really have a definitive answer. I have had good success in previous years getting through security at the Branch Avenue Metro, so I think I'll probably give it a go again. If anyone wants a copy of the e-mails from previous years, I'd be happy to send them.


Thursday, May 19, 2011


I've recently acquired the PSR-800 scanner, and after using it for a few hours, am generally pleased with it. The scanner seems to handle simulcast digital trunked systems slightly better than the BCD396XT. Stafford County's new 700 MHz trunked system in particular sounds better most of the time. On some analog frequencies, the 800 seems to have more background noise than the 396XT, but it's not too dramatic. The 800 has the capability to track the new Project 25 Motorola X2-TDMA systems in use in Prince George's and Loudoun. This feature is not found on any other scanner on the market today. And it has the discriminator audio output through the headphone jack, and the ability to record audio on the included SD card.

As for limitations, two obvious ones: the inability to directly enter a frequency and the inability to do any custom programming without the included PC software.

Marine Corps Historic Half Frequencies Found

Here's what I found at the Marine Corps Historic Half in Fredericksburg this past Sunday:

Marine Corps Trunked System (System ID: 14C Site: 405)
63036 Trash/Water?
63038 Route
63039 Trash/Water?
63044 Medical
63050 Unknown

146.4900 [ CSQ] Amateur Radio Support
158.8350 [203.5] Fredericksburg Fire Channel 3 (R)

Warner Theater FCC App

The Warner Theater, located at 1299 Pennsylvania Ave. in DC, has an application pending before the FCC. The app calls for five simplex frequencies: 466.8375, 468.6750, 469.7000, 469.7250, and 469.8500.

The Warner currently licenses (and uses) four simplex frequencies: 461.3875, 463.8875, 464.2875, and 464.7625, all with DCS 664. It's unknown if the new application will augment or replace these current frequencies.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

FPED Event at Stafford Airport

Force Protection Equipment Demonstration (FPED) runs through tomorrow at the Stafford Regional Airport. A couple of talkgroups on the Stafford County Trunked System have been active today. 4505 (Coordination) is being used for traffic and parking. 4616 (Fire Incident 4) is being used for first aid/medical.

Holiday Inn - Eisenhower Ave. FCC App

The Holiday Inn - Eisenhower Avenue in Alexandria has an application pending before the FCC. The app calls for a base-mobile configuration on 452.2125. This hotel currently uses 464.6000 [d072] (B/M) for hotel operations and the shuttle; it's unknown if the new frequency will replace or augment the existing frequency.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon Sunday

Fredericksburg will be hosting a big event Sunday morning beginning at 7 AM - the Marine Corps Historic Half.

Fredericksburg Police use voice inversion on their Dispatch and Tac channels. Interestingly, Channel 3 (156.1050 [69.3]) does not have inversion.

Fredericksburg Fire uses nine channels:

154.4150 [71.9] Dispatch (Channel 1) (R)
154.4150 [71.9] (Channel 2) (S)
158.8350 [203.5] (Channel 3) (R)
158.8350 [203.5] (Channel 4) (S)
159.0600 [203.5] (Channel 5) (R)
159.0600 [203.5] (Channel 6) (S)
155.7150 [156.7] Mary Washington Hospital (Channel 7) (R)
155.7150 [156.7] (Channel 8) (S)
153.8150 [156.7] Tac 5 (Channel 9) (S)

Channel 3 is used as a fireground channel, and Channel 9 is used for training, but Channels 5/6 or Channels 7/8 may be in use for the race.

Organizers may use the Fredericksburg site (405) of a multisite Marine Corps/Navy trunked system. The first year of the race, organizers used a couple of UHF business frequencies.

Amateur radio operators have been active on 146.4900 [CSQ] in previous years.

See the Fredericksburg page of my website for all the details of what was used in previous years.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Weekend Events

Two sporting events this weekend:
  • The Nationals play Friday at 7:05, Saturday at 1:05, and Sunday at 1:35 at Nationals Park.
  • DC United plays Saturday at 7:30 at RFK Stadium.

Police Bike Tour

On Wednesday, a police bike tour from Chesapeake, VA to Washington passed through the Fredericksburg area. Virginia State Police escorted the bikers, and used STARS talkgroup 54 (Blue 5) throughout Virginia (even when out of the Chesapeake Division). When the bike tour passed through Spotsylvania, deputies used talkgroups 02-041 (Patrol 2) and 02-024 (A Tac) on the county's trunked system.

Monitoring Times Air Show Guide Posted

The annual Monitoring Times Air Show Guide (PDF) has been posted. This is especially timely since the Joint Services Open House is next weekend at Joint Base Andrews.

Fauquier County Rebanded

Coming on the heels of Culpeper County's reband, Fauquier County rebanded this week. This means the six system frequencies shifted down exactly 15 MHz. Some scanners will no longer be able to track the system, and others will need to be reprogrammed.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Riot Act Comedy Theater FCC App

Riot Act Comedy Theater, opening this summer at 801 E St. NW, has an application pending before the FCC. The app calls for a repeater on 463.8000.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

RadioReference Javascript Remote Rendering

I've started to incorporate some RadioReference data on my website. An API from RR uses Javascript to render data from the database. So far, I have incorporated trunked system data for Arlington County and Loudoun County.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Weekend Events

Two sporting events this weekend:
  • The Virginia Gold Cup is Saturday afternoon in The Plains (Fauquier County). Expect many Fauquier talkgroups to be active, as well as public safety mutual aid channels. Organizers will probably use rented UHF business-band radios. The last time I monitored this event was in 2005; those notes are on my Fauquier County page.
  • DC United plays Saturday at 7:30 at RFK Stadium.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bolling AFB Talkgroup

Bolling Air Force Base security/MPs may be using talkgroup 10302 on the JNCR trunked system. This talkgroup was monitored unencrypted this past weekend. Several other encrypted 10xxx-series talkgroups have previously been monitored; these are probably also for Bolling.

Arlington County Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Arlington County Wastewater Treatment Plant has been confirmed using talkgroups 88 and 89 on the Project 25 trunked system.

Hilton Garden Inn Shirlington

The Hilton Garden Inn in Shirlington is probably using 467.9250 [ 67.0].

Borders Frequencies Removed

Due to the recent closure of a number of Borders locations in the DC area, several Borders frequencies have been removed from various pages of my website.

Tysons Corner Center Updated

Frequencies for Tysons Corner Center have been updated. See the Fairfax County page for details.