ScanBoston

Boston Scanner Info
A Scanning Site for the Boston area

[ My resources | My Boston channels | Scanner Links | Useful Software | Message Board ]

News

This site is very outdated. I haven't lived in the city for about two years, and I haven't used my scanner very much.

When I first put this site together, I couldn't find a single scanner site for Boston. There were Eastern Mass pages, but none for Boston proper. SO, I made this site to fill the gap and connect with other Boston scanner operators.

In the meantime another person has put together a much better site at ScanBoston.Com. Please go there for the best Boston Scanning page around.

Since InsideTheWeb.com went out of business, the message board for this site has been inoperative.

Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the new, better resources that others have made available.

Keith D. Tyler

PS: Because I was so impressed with his site, I have given the owner of scanboston.com permission to use the logo I made for this site.

My Scanner

I own an RCA RP-6100 handheld scanner. ($100 or so from Fingerhut) It has limited frequency range -- 30-54, 137-170, 380-512 -- and has only 20 storage channels. Its a modest unit but hasnt given me any problems.

Boston area

Boston, especially my area in the Back Bay, is notorious for its congestion of radio signals. The FM radio band is especially crowded, so much that the FCC will reportedly not approve any new high-power stations on the dial. This makes it a generally good place for picking up signals.

What's available?

An idea of what broadcasters are available in the Boston area...

My searching

Frequency searching turns up a lot of odd stuff. I've posted a recent copy of my
scanning log here. The columns are frequency, assumed usage, and possible source/owner. The freqs I can figure out solely from the Boston freq list below dont get logged.

My Boston channel set up

Check the Boston list below for signals that will interest you. I am obviously at NU; most other schools will have available signals for their campus police and operations.

ChFreqUsage
1460.350Police - Major Emergencies/Events
2460.500Police - District 4
3460.300Police - Unit-to-unit
4460.075Police - Detectives
5460.125Police - Info
6460.250Police - Command
7460.050Police - Special Ops
8156.800Marine Ch. 16 - Hailing/Distress
9464.975NU - Police 1
10464.125NU - Police 2
ChFreqUsage
11464.925NU - Patrol
12464.675NU - Operations
13483.162Fire - Operations
14483.187Fire - Fireground 1
15483.212Fire - FG 2
16483.237Fire - Alarms / FG 3
17470.637MBTA - Green Line
18470.662MBTA - Police 1
19483.562MBTA - Police 2
20162.475NOAA Weather - Boston (l/o)

Some channel notes.

02 - Area D-4 is the name for the Back Bay area police district. The districts and the localities they cover are listed on the Boston Police home page. The frequencies for the districts seem to be shared, e.g. the D-4 frequency is the same as the district 14 frequency.

04 - Boston Detectives freqency can be very good listening. I have heard drug sting operations communicating on this frequency.

09-12 - If you are a university student, finding your school's Public Safety frequency is a must, especially when you see officers walking into your residence hall, or cars with their lights flashing and speeding down Huntington or Hemenway. Of course, it probably also has lots of boring traffic from escort vans.
The Operations freqency isnt probably that intersting unless you get a kick out of hearing about clogged toilets. (As a heavily involved student, all these frequencies are simply a must for me -- keeping tabs on how the school operates.)

17 - This is the frequency that Green Line train operators and supervisors communicate on. Since the subway system is a) mostly underground and b) uses the overhead wires to boost the signal, reception on this frequency seems to be best when actually riding a train.

16 - From my location (especially my building), Marine Ch. 16 is only good for hearing the high-power USCG broadcasts, which are usually reports about either high gale warnings, hazards, or faulty bouys. Nearer the coast I could get more interesting signals from boaters, including Marine Operator phone calls.

Links

Contribute to the message board:
Visit my message board: ScanBoston

Boston Area Frequencies - From Jim Fordyce's Long Island Area scanning page.
Best Boston area freq list on the web, though a bit old. Also has lists for many Northeast areas.

Strong Signals - large scanner tips page. Much info for beginners.
Has the definintive scanner model comparison chart, and the owner has a ridiculously large scanner collection -- and the pictures to prove it.

Stupid Scanner Tricks - possibly abandoned, but a good source for info on more sordid scanner uses.

RadioScanner - online monitoring magazine.

alt.radio.scanner and rec.radio.scanner - scanning newsgroups.

scan-mass-east - Mailing list for Eastern Mass. Seems like mostly 'burb talk, not much Boston traffic. (I experienced major problems with this list which were never resolved.)

Massachusetts RACES/SKYWARN frequencies - Weather and civil alert volunteer network.

stupidscannertricks - the email list for the SST site above. Much more active than the page itself.

Software

RecAll - level-activated (VOX) wave recorder. Has variable level control, and ability to time-stamp individual recording segments.

WX-Sat - decodes NOAA weather satellite image signals, as well as High Frequency Fax audio.

POC32 - supposedly can decode pager signals.

MRP37 - Morse code decoder. Not very useful if not registered...!

More

This page is run by Keith T. Email about new links for freqrencies or software, and check out the Message Board.

This Radio Scanner WebRing site owned by Keith T.
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romulus@ccs.neu.edu