Friday, April 27, 2012

The Scanner Gazette
Weekly Recap [04/23/2012 - 04/27/2012]

By Jonathan Higgins
Weekly News Recap [04/23/2012 - 04/27/2012]

Rocklin, CA

Profane calls interrupt Rocklin Police channel - Read more

FCC waives narrowbanding requirement for T-Band systems - Read more

Niagara County, NY
Sheriff’s Office communications system to be upgraded - Read more

Mankato, MN
The move is on for Mankato to go digital - Read more

Norfolk, NY
Fire Department receives 12 fire radios from American Legion Post 925 - Read more

New Milford, CT
Town Council OKs $4.25 Million Plan for Radio Communications System Upgrade - Read more

Montgomery TWP, PA
Upgraded police dispatch center up and running - Read more

Berkeley Heights, NJ
Administrators Present $2M Joint Dispatch Proposal to BH Council - Read more

Fenton, MI
Work Begins on Fenton Police Department Dispatch Upgrades - Read more

APCO Asks for T-Band Narrowbanding Break, L.A. and Chicago Seek Guidance - Read more

Killingly, CT
Dispatchers show off new East Killingly Dispatch Center - Read more

Kalamazoo Township, MI
New radios for the Township? - Read more

Madison County, AL
New Radio’s for the County Sheriff Department - Read more w/video -

New Berlin, WI
City to consider merging dispatchers with county - Read more w/Video

Lynchburg, VA
Area localities unite for new $16M radio system - Read more 

Farmington, ME
County to hold public hearings for a proposed new dispatch center - Read more

Weekly News Recaps every Friday Afternoon!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Scanner Master Road Trip
Boxborough, MA Police Department

By Richard Barnett

Boxborough, MA -
Scanner Master has sold and installed the equipment for a Rangecast monitoring system to the Boxborough, Massachusetts, Police Department. In this image you can see four BCT15X Bearcat Scanners mounted in a Scanner Master two-hole rack-mounting panel which is installed in the police department's computer room at their station. The scanners are connected to a discone antenna mounted on the department's tower and a Stridsberg multicoupler splits the feed to the four scanners while recovering loss with a small amplifier . A quad-core PowerSpec PC is connected to the scanners via a custom Rangecast Sound Hub which allows four scanners to simultaneously feed into one PC and upload to the Internet. The Boxborough Police use Rangecast to follow and record their department's communications along with all surrounding local and State law enforcement. Rangecast is a powerful, easy-to-use and low-cost IP-based communications monitoring system. For more information on Rangecast visit or contact Scanner Master.

Show Off Your Shack! - Ken LaBelle (North Smithfield, RI)

Learn how to Show off your shack! - read more

Shack Owner: Ken LaBelle
(Fire/Rescue Captain Town of Lincoln, RI 15yrs on the job)
From: North Smithfield, RI
In the hobby for: 20+ years avid scanner listener
What does he like to listen to? Listen to mostly fire/ems but I do have local police.

My scanners all have been purchased through Scanner Master. I have 6 Uniden 996t’s on my desk and a Motorola CDM 1250 UHF radio for fire buff club usage. One of the 6 scanners is dedicated for my website I use ProScan to stream to my followers on Radio Reference, ProScan, and the webserver site.

The antennas are: (scanner) Antenna Specialist Mon-31, (UHF Radio) Comtelco 36” fiberglass 470-512, and there is a Ferret scanner antenna. (I am not using the Ferret at the moment due to it lacks reception in the UHF bands). The coax is all LMR400 with Amphenol connectors. The Mon-31 scanner antenna coax ties into a Stridsberg active 8-port multicoupler. I also have a Jim M75 pre-amp before the multicoupler that greatly increases my reception range. The UHF antenna connects to my remote mount Motorola CDM 1250 radio.

The Stridsberg device connects to the 6 Uniden 996T scanners on my desk, a BC780 on my bedroom nightstand, and my Uniden 796d Scann
er Master remote-head edition. The brain of the 796d is in my attic near my office and the head is located in the living room of my house on an end table. A 50’ lead of CAT5 cable connects the two. The scanners in the Spectrum Force desk mounts have “T” connectors on the coax feeds to each. I did this to minimize runs of coax along my walls to the desk. The last 2 open ports on the multicoupler are capped off with a BNC terminator caps for future use.
In the Attic
You will see a tan box mounted on the attic mounting wallboard. This is the power supply for the house security cameras. I have a DVR on the desk for the cameras and it is also connected to the Internet via the router. I use the scanners to monitor for my hobby and to alert me for breaking news for my photography business NRI Fire Photos that can be found at
Thanks for taking the time to view my “Shack”.


Learn how to Show off your Shack! - read more

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Scanner Gazette
Weekly Recap [04/16/2012 - 04/20/2012]

By Jonathan Higgins

Weekly News Recap [04/16/2012 - 04/20/2012]

Sanford, ME
Dispatcher helped guide delivery for Lebanon mother on 911 call - Read more

Abington, MA
Town Fire Department to join Holbrook regional dispatch center - read more

San Diego, CA
System linking fire dispatch centers launches - Read more

Shawnee County, KS
Decision put off on 911 radio system provider - Read more

Rock County, WI
Initial testing for Wisconsin county's new land mobile radio system completed ahead of schedule - Read more

Carriers Warn of Crisis in Mobile Spectrum - Read more

Proctor, MN
$500k Brings New Radios to Arrowhead Police - Read more

Fresno, OH
Tower to help emergency communication gaps - Read more

Medford , MA
‘Sparkies’ follow police, fire scanner calls [ Follow Mike Moura on twitter @NEFirebuff ] - Read more w/video

Parkersburg, WV
City seeks grants for police and fire departments (for new radios) - Read more

Eau Claire, WI
City New towers will improve emergency services - Read more W/video

Antioch, IL
Town to outsource its emergency dispatch services - Read more

Litchfield, CT
Regional Dispatch Center Formed at Troop L - Read more

Cullman, AL
911 dispatch workers recognized - Read more

Tulsa, Ok
Granny 'Drug Kingpin' Busted in Oklahoma - Read more w/video

Chicago, IL
Fire Department Begins Switch To Digital Radios - Read more

Weekly News Recaps every Friday Afternoon!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Show Off Your Shack! - Scott Freiman (Tucson, AZ)

Learn how to Show off your shack! - read more

Shack owner: Scott Freiman
From: Tucson, AZ
In the hobby for: Over 35 years
What does he like to listen to? Police and SWL Broadcast

Shack consists of: (2) Uniden BCT15X scanners, Icom IC-R-75 receiver
(Also not pictured and spread throughout the house are a GRE PSR-700, Icom PCR-100 and several Uniden BC-3xx series scanners)

Learn how to Show off your Shack! - read more

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Scanner Gazette
Weekly Recap [04/09/2012 - 04/13/2012]

By Jonathan Higgins

Weekly News Recap [04/09/2012 - 04/13/2012]

Wood County, WV
New radio equipment purchase approved - Read more

Denton County, TX
Communications officers honored - Read more
[National Telecommunicator Appreciation Week]

Lancaster, OH
City mulls new communication tower plan - Read more

Wauconda, IL
Town Fire Department wins part of $1.1 M in FEMA grants (funds to buy new radios) - Read more

New Milford, NJ
Council OK's Some Police Radios - Read more [Follow-up story]

Frederick, MD
Citizen Scientists Track Rain Drop by Drop - Read more W/ video (SkyWarn Network)

Snoqualmie, WA
Ham radio grows at Two Rivers - Read more

Amherst County, VA
Copper Stolen From Radio Tower - Read more

Salem, OR
Police to tweet calls from dispatch center - Read more
[You can follow them on Twitter @salem_police ]

Orleans County, NY
County will tackle $5 million radio upgrade - Read more [Story Update]

Horry County, SC
Emergency Radios In Need of Replacement - Read more w/Video

Boulder County, CO
Commissioners OK mountain fire district telecommunications tower - Read more

Brownwood, TX
Emergency Dispatchers Receive Recognition - Read more
[National Telecommunicator Appreciation Week]

Uxbridge, MA
SNE Fire News: Close call for two firefighters - Read more w/video

Chatham, MA
Titanic remembered: Radio technology saved lives in 1912 disaster -Read More w/video

Canandaigua, NY
Disputed radio tower subject of public hearings - Read more

Abilene, KS
Code blue to babies dispatchers deliver - Read more
[National Telecommunicator Appreciation Week]

Fremont, OH
No decision reached on fire radios - Read more

La Crosse County, WI
Emergency dispatchers honored for behind-the-scenes work - Read more
[National Telecommunicator Appreciation Week]

Pinole, CA
New Communications System to Improve Emergency Response - Read more

Logan County, IL
Emergency airwaves frequencies change - Read More

Crossville, TN
E-911 dispatch makeover complete - Read more

Manatee County, FL
Firefighters get $1 million for new radios - Read more

Aurora, IL
City to Honor First-Ever 911 Operator of the Year - Read more
[National Telecommunicator Appreciation Week]

Loveland, CO
New Radios for Fire and Rescue Authority, nets more than $850,000 in federal funding - Read more

Marshalltown, IA
The face behind the voice you hear over the scanner. - Read More
[National Telecommunicator Appreciation Week]

Wood County, WI
Dispatcher honored for negotiating with suicidal caller - Read more

Sleepy Eye, MN
ARMER radio program to be implemented by August - Read more

Weekly News Recaps every Friday Afternoon!

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Scanner Gazette
Weekly Recap [04/02/2012 - 04/06/2012]

By Jonathan Higgins

Weekly News Recap [04/02/2012 - 04/06/2012]

Licking County, OH
Man's police scanner habit leads to informative website - Read more

Jacksonville, FL
3 years later, fire dispatch project still dogging Jacksonville - Read more

Sheboygan, WI
Sheboygan's Odd, Addictive Police Scanner Chatter - Follow him on Twitter - @sheboyganscan -

Dudley, MA
Dispatch center dedicated to Leona Lafountain - Read more

Covington, KY
City to discontinue police and fire dispatching services - Read more

Waukesha, WI
Mayor Says Joining County Dispatch Would Be 'Irresponsible' - Read more

Eagle Rock, CA
911 Caller, Dispatcher Meet After Save - Read more W/video

Joliet, IL
City hopes new digital police, fire radio system will be running in fall - Read more

Lexington, KY
Kentucky Fans Riot: Shooting, Fires, Arrests Occur As Twitter Focuses On Lexington Police Scanner - Read more

Montgomery County, MD
Emergency dispatchers often are first in the line of duty - Read more

Monterey County, CA
Changes in store for police scanners across County [encryption in the future] - Read more

Lorain, OH - Police dispatcher finalist for national honor (with video) - Read more

York, ME
Town Police keeps area 911 service - Read more

El Dorado Hills, CA
Fire department better able to communicate - Read more

Hillsdale, NJ - City PBA chief blasts 'miracle solution' of county dispatch - Read more

Wabasha County. MN
County dispatchers honored - read more

Kinnelon, NJ
Public Safety Dispatcher after 21 Years of Service Looks Forward to Retirement - Read more

Los Angeles, CA
Police radio system fails for 12 hours - Read more

Beverly, MA
Fire Department to get new mobile radios - Read more

South Portland, ME
Coast Guard adopts 911 system for mariners (with Video) - Read more

Chicago, IL [Editor Note: Most clicked story of the week]
Motorola Shows Off Cop Car of the Future [Video Report] - Watch video

Chisago County, MN
Radio upgrade pieces are all coming together - Read more

Southbury, CT
State Police Open Consolidated Dispatch Center - Read more

Bond County, IL
County Radio strategies shared with Effingham 911 committee - Read more

New Milford, NJ
Big problem! New Police Radios Dropped from Capital Budget - Read more

Butte County, SD
County Dispatch open house is Wednesday - Read more

Millville, MA
Future unclear for Millville dispatch - Read more

Rochester, NH
Fire Department to get new command vehicle and upgrades on a second one - Read more

Burlington, IA
Fire Department Receives $230K Fed Grant for New Radios - Read more

Orleans County, NY
County OKs 190 radios for first responders. [Thanks Joseph Arico via Facebook] - Read more

Weekly News Recaps every Friday Afternoon!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Show Off Your Shack! - Bristol, RI Emergency Dispatch Center

Learn how to Show off your shack! - read more

In honor of
National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week
(April 8-14, 2012) here is the Town of Bristol, RI "Shack".

Name: Bristol Emergency Dispatch Center
Location: Bristol, RI
Submitted and written by:
Rick Giannini (Twitter @rickgiannini)

Fire Dispatch - 154.14500 - PL 114.8
Police Dispatch - 155.13000 - PL 114.8

Our staff consists of 7 civillian employees employed by the PD. We dispatch for Police, Fire & EMS as well as Bristol Sewer Dept & DPW after hours. In addition, we monitor USCG due to the 12 miles of shoreline that Bristol has.

This center was upgraded with a $375,000 Homeland security grant in 2008. Our old center was 4' wide by 12' long and only had 1 computer and radio.

Looking at the photo you will see a wall mounted screen, that is the Internet which we monitor traffic cameras, weather, and hospital conditions.

The TV mounted in the corner is a closed circuit IP Camera 20-channel DVR which monitors cameras in town, Town beach, parks, landfill etc.

Under that you will see a bank of 6 computer monitors: One screen is our NCIC screen, under that is the Radio console, the 2 center and 2 left screens are the dispatch CAD, we use IMC by Tri-Tech, and also have it in our patrol cruisers. (This setup is mirrored on the right out of view for 2nd person to dispatch if needed) Both the video and keyboard tables are powered to raise or lower so that a person can stand or sit while working.

The radio screen is a GUI screen, the actual radios are in the sub-basement grounded with a copper cable, the safest place to be in town during a thunderstorm. The computer program is by Orbacom. Each icon is a "radio" which we can pull up to utilize, Police, Fire, Intercity PD & FD, we have 2 multi channel radios which monitor Coast Guard and surrounding communities as well as a UHF frequency. The program also has electro-magnetic door switches to allow us to remotely control access to the station, it has a full intercom throughout the building, as well as shutting off the water in the cell block. This program also allows us to "simulcast or patch" our frequency up to 7 times with other agencies if the need for a multi-jurisdictional response is ever needed.

The three screens to the upper right ate CCTV, Cable TV, CCTV for security reasons on the campus. We have 20 cameras on the PD which are recorded 24/7 on a DVR with a 65 day cycle before being overwritten.

Left Side
Left Side run down
  • DVD Recorder for prisoner movement
  • VHS/DVD for dispatch on Duty
  • 20 Channel Pelco DVR (Town Security CCTV IP Cams)
Radio Console
  • 4 Channel DVR (small grey unit, going to be replace)
  • 20 Channel CCT Switching Unit
  • 20 Channel Sount Recorder
  • 16 Channel DVR BPD CCTV

Right Side
Right Side run down
  • Digital Encrypted 800MHz Radio as Well as UHF Encrypted Radio (State EMA)
Radio Console
  • Kalatel Camera controller CCTV BPD Campus Cameras
Fire Control Panel
  • Keltron Fire control panel radio box head end receiver
    RI does not allow for new landline connections to local municipality for fire alarms

Back-up Systems
We have 6 computers with APC battery backups as well as a diesel powered generator which will power lighting and all computers, a natural gas fired generator is scheduled to be installed as a back-up. Our (4) 9-1-1 lines are hardwired to the wall, out of camera sight but trunk to the desk phones. We have 2 Cellular phones in the event of a service outage, we can forward our calls to these back ups. We also have an AED in Dispatch

(Photo from

Bristol Mobile Command Center
We have a 65' Mobile command center which can be deployed at key areas in town as a back up to dispatch with full capability of phone, fax, computer and radio in the event that the police station ever became incapacitated by disaster or other nature. We have a server and back-up on site, however, we also have a 100GB microwave uplink which updates a 3rd server located in another town building. The FD also has a dispatch center, however it is a computer and radio, with the Keltron Fire control panel. It serves as a tertiary dispatch center if needed, however the new fire station serves as the town's EOC and was put into 24/7 use 2 months after opening due to a flood which brought the town to it's knees 2 years ago. It was also used during Hurricane Irene, BFD took over dispatch for FD units and allowed the PD to focus on law enforcement.

I was in Worcester last year in a friend's truck, we heard 2 BPD officers on the car-to-car freq setting up a radar post, also, our past Deputy heard us while he was in Boston by the Pru tower.... not a bad range!

We also installed a MUCH NEEDED ductless mini split AC unit to keep the comm center comfortable.

Learn how to Show off your Shack! - read more

Monday, April 2, 2012

Scanner 101 - Tips on picking and installing a Roof Top Antenna

Have you been putting off installing a roof top antenna for your scanner? A roof top antenna is the best way to increase your scanner's range.

What antenna should you pick?
When selecting you should keep the following in mind:
What type of communication systems are you monitor? VHF, UHF and 700/800/900MHz so on... If the area is using the same type of communication system you may want to consider a single band antenna. If there is a mix I would recommend "wide band" antenna.

Mounting your antenna
When selecting antenna you want to keep in mind; how and where you're going to mount it. So many options available from non-penetrating, tripod, and wall mount. Keep way from power lines and telephone/cable wires. The higher the better, be sure you clearing anything that would block signals such as chimes.

Coax Cable
Your antenna performance depends on great coax cable! We carry LMR-400 Coax cable which is a high-end low signal loss coax. When planning out your coax routes, be sure you have a little extra, but not too much. Shorter runs are always best. Keep this in mind: the old carpenter rule of thumb, measure twice, cut once!

Will you have multiple listening locations?
Depending on how many listening locations you have in mind, you will need a 4 Port or 8 Port Multicoupler. This should be placed somewhere in a central location in your home or office. I would recommend running LMR-400 Coax cable (no more than 100 feet) from the antenna to the Multicoupler. From the Multicoupler to the scanners I would recommend LMR-400 or RG-6 Coax (no more than 50 feet). Both of the multicouplers have a built in pre-amp to cut down on signal loss going to the monitoring locations.

Installing the antenna
If your pretty handy this can be something you can do on your own, with help from a friend. Just following instructions provided with the antenna. If heights are not you thing I would recommend hiring help.

Scanner Master is your one stop shop for your entire base scanner antenna needs - from antennas to coax to mounting gear! Spring is here; don't keep putting it off! Make 2012 the year to upgrade your scanner's reception.

Quick Links:

Not sure?
Give us a call at Scanner Master 1-800-SCANNER we can help you!