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BREAKING NEWS: SUMMER 2014 -- TALKGROUPS IN THE 500-SERIES ARE ARMSTRONG COUNTY UNITS BEING DISPATCHED VIA WESTMORELAND COUNTY 911. TALKGROUPS IN THE 700-SERIES ARE INDIANA COUNT UNITS BEING DISPATCHED BY WESTMORELAND COUNTY 911.

NOVEMBER, 2010 -- PA STATE POLICE HAVE MOVED ALL RADIO TRAFFIC TO A *SUPPOSEDLY* "UNMONITORABLE" DIGITAL 800 MHZ SYSTEM KNOWN AS OPENSKY(TM). YOU CANNOT RECEIVE IT USING CONVENTIONAL APCO P25 DIGITAL SCANNERS. CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS.

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FREQUENCY NEWS >>> 2012 -- EXCELA-WESTMORELAND HOSPITAL SECURITY NOW ON LOW-POWER REPEATER ON 463.2375 (PL 114.8)

>>>
WESTMORELAND COUNTY 800 MHZ RADIO SYSTEM INFO

Frequencies

TALKGROUPS - UPDATED 6-23-10
DISTRICT 1 POLICE PORTABLE TALKGROUP LISTINGRadio Unit Numbers

UNIDEN BC796D PAGE!

UNIDEN BCD396T PAGE!

PRO-96 INFO, DATA DOWNLOADS, AND CONTROL CHANNEL DECODING DATA

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>> VHF/UHF PUBLIC SAFETY FREQUENCIES STILL IN USE

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>> HOSPITAL CONDITION COLOR CODES

BUSINESS/MISCELLANEOUS FREQUENCIES (updated 2-8-12)

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>> WHY CAN'T I HEAR THE STATE POLICE ON MY SCANNER ANYMORE? (updated AUGUST, 2011)

PAGER DATA MONITORING!!!! HOW-TO VIDEOS

911 RADIO CODES

UNIDEN BCD396T PROGRAMMING DATA AND FREQUENCY/TALKGROUP DOWNLOADS <<<<<

The ONLY place on the web for straight talk on the new WESTMORELAND COUNTY 800MHz RADIO SYSTEM! UPDATED REGULARLY!!

-- FREQUENCY UPDATE -- *** STEELER CAMP FREQUENCIES: ***

460.975 (S) Steeler Camp Office (very lower power)

461.550  (S) (PL 218.1) -- Security/ops -- practice field area -- you'll need to use tone squelch on your scanner on this frequency, as there's strong digital interference on this channel not associated with the training camp.

467.875 (S) Secuity/ops/parking (PL 151.4)
467.175(S) and 467.925 (S) Security/ops -- practice field area
461.425 (R) St. Vincent Campus Security repeater
464.950 (R) St. Vincent Campus Maintenance
464.475 (R) St. Vincent College ops
*** *** *** *** *** ***  

If you live in S.W. Pennsylvania and have a radio scanner around your shack, you may be wondering why you haven't been hearing as many radio signals on the local police/fire/ems radio frequencies you listened to for years. This is because Westmoreland County is now implementing a new 800 MHz digital radio system, which will eventually handle the radio communications for ALL local police, fire and EMS agencies in the county.

Your old scanner won't be able to receive and decode these transmissions, even if it was advertised as "800 MHz" capable or "trunked" compatible.

There are alot of technical reasons for this, which I won't bore you with at this time, except to say if you try to monitor one of the system frequencies listed below on a regular 800 MHz scanner, even a trunked one, you will only hear a static-like white noise sound, because these are DIGITAL radio transmissions, not FM analog like you are used to listening to.

If you are not satisfied with being shut out of the action, then you're going to have to shell out some bucks for a new scanner. There are several models available from Uniden and Radio Shack, and all have a list price of around $500. A good scanner to use for monitoring this system is the BC796D from the Uniden Company (the good old Bearcat people). Uniden's info page on the BC796D can be found here. The BC796D is available from many dealers on the internet, so check out their web ads and compare to find the best price. Another good choice in a handheld portable scanner is the Radio Shack PRO-96 (catalog number 20-526.) This radio is a handheld scanner which retails for about $500 (which is a firm price, since RS's prices are pretty much standardized, whether you buy over the web or in-store. You can get details on this unit from Radio Shack's PRO-96 info page. Either of these units makes a good choice for monitoring this new system, with each having it's strengths and weaknesses. You can find all the programming details, as well as preprogrammed frequency and talkgroup information you can download.

WHAT YOU NEED TO MONITOR THE NEW SYSTEM:

  1. Purchase a Uniden or Radio Shack APCO-25 capable scanner, such as the BC796D or PRO-96;
  2. Read the manual for your radio, and familiarize yourself with the radio's basic features such as powering on/off, adjusting volume/squelch, locking out channels/banks/talkgroups, etc.
  3. Go to our website page listed below which applies to your radio to learn more about your radio's unique features as they relate to monitoring the Westmoreland County trunked APCO-25 system. You will also find preprogrammed frequency and talkgroup information which you can download from this website, load onto your scanner, and you'll be monitoring the system like pro in no time!

    BASIC SYSTEM INFO:

    FREQUENCIES:

    The new Westmoreland County system is licensed to used several dozen radio frequencies in the 855-860 MHz range. The system is basically a 800 MHz repeater system, using several different groups of frequencies in two regions of the County. This repeater system differs in one important respect from other repeaters you may have monitored: ALL RADIO TRANSMISSIONS REPEATED IN THIS SYSTEM USE DIGITAL MODULATION, NOT REGULAR FM, SO YOU CANNOT RECEIVE THEM ON ANY SCANNER EXCEPT THE UNIDEN/BEARCAT AND RADIO SHACK DIGITAL APCO-25 COMPATIBLE RECEIVERS. PERIOD.

    The county is divided into two zones, known as the South-West zone (Tower 0101), and the North-East zone (Tower 0102). Each zone has three "control channel" frequencies associated with it, as well as a number of other voice frequencies all in the 800 MHz range. These control channel frequencies alternate every few days between 860.9375/859.7125/858.9375 for the south-western zone and 858.9875/859.9875/858.4375 for the north-eastern zone.

    Regardless of which radio you use, you need only program the three control frequencies for each zone into two separate scanner banks, set your radio up for Motorola/APCO-25 trunking, and it will do the rest.

    This is because among the information sent on the control channel are instructions as to which additional radio frequencies will be used for voice transmissions within a zone, and the radio will automatically tune to those frequencies so you can follow the transmissions. You will also want to program the "talkaround" frequencies into your radio, as these are used for low power direct transmission between mobiles or portables. For more information, please visit our frequencies page. An important difference from the old FM two-way radio systems you've monitored is the identification of users/departments by "Talkgroup" as opposed to each police/fire/ems agency having their own channel or frequency.

    TALKGROUPS:

    Unlike the VHF/UHF FM radio systems you've been listening to for years, the APCO-25 system groups users by usage groups, called Talkgroups. Each Talkgroup identifies a group of police, fire or other agencies, and is transmitted as part of the digital data sent by a transmitter each time it is keyed. The talkgroup ID will appear as a number on the your scanner's digital readout screen while a transmission is being received. For example, among the agencies using the system you will find Talkgroup 38 ("MOT: 00038"), which is assigned to "District 1 Police Dispatch", covering Irwin, Penn Township, Jeannette, Manor and Trafford Police Departments; and as of December 20, 2004, "District 9 Police Dispatch" on Talkgroup 94, covering Arnold, New Kensington and Lower Burrell PD; and as of January 19, 2005, "District 4 Police Dispatch" on Talkgroup 64, covering Latrobe, Derry Boro, Ligonier Boro and Township, Seward Boro, Bolivar Boro, New Florence Boro and St. Clair Twp., as well as Idlewild Park Security; and as of April 14, 2005, "District 5 Police Dispatch" on Talkgroup 70. Most agencies also have additional talkgroups, separate from their dispatch group, known as TAC channels. The organization of these talkgroups can be best understood by examining the Talkgroup listing page.

    PROGRAMMING GUIDES FOR YOUR PARTICULAR SCANNER:

    Why program all the frequencies and talkgroups into your scanner, when PA2600.com has done it for you?

    If you have Uniden Bearcat, visit our BC796D page.

    If you have a Radio Shack PRO-96, visit our PRO-96 page

    .

    RADIO RELATED LINKS:

    FCC FREQUENCY SEARCH: To conduct your own free searches of the FCC's up-to-date frequency database, click here.

    FCC RULES SEARCH: To conduct your own free searches of the Code of Federal Regulations, including all FCC rules's, click here.

    CHECK THESE LINKS FOR PENNSYLVANIA CRIMINAL RECORD INFORMATION:

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