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Surfin': Using the Internet as a Public Service Radio Scanner


By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
ARRL Contributing Editor
March 5, 2010

This week, Surfin' discovers yet another use for the Internet in the RF world.


Monitoring the public service radio channels in town can be as exciting as watching Rust-Oleum dry on my tower. There is not a lot of radio action in the burbs, so I listen to the action in the neighboring communities. But that has become a frustrating endeavor, since most of the big city public service communications are scanner-proof, using systems such as trunking and encoded digital transmissions to foil my vintage scanner.

To thwart scanner-proofing, my old ARRL Headquarters pal, John Nelson, K0IO, suggested listening to live public service radio feeds over the Internet. John recommended that among other things, provides live audio feeds of public service radio action from hither and yon (and maybe your hometown, too).

John points out that "what is interesting is there are recordings of radio transmissions from QRP hand-held transceivers used by public service personnel on the ground that you normally cannot hear with a scanner."

By the way, also has an extensive online database of public service radio frequency assignments in the U.S.

And for more radio action than you can imagine, John suggests the live audio feeds of the New York City Fire Department that you can access here.

Until next time, keep on surfin'!

Editor's note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, remembers when the expense of crystals was the primary foil to monitoring. To contact Stan, send him e-mail or add comments to his blog.



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