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Friday, April 22, 2011

What Am I Listening To?

A number of people have asked what about what I listen to on a regular basis (Along with "How many scanners do you have going, anyways?"). Here's the answer:

I run two handheld scanners, a Uniden BC346XT and a BCD396XT. I find that any more than two scanners at a time can be a little of a pain.

On the 346XT, I listen to the Massachusetts State Police. I usually also have the Massport trunked system on that scanner as well. Listening to the MSP saves me a lot of trouble, in that I don't have to listen to individual police departments. Anything major invariably ends up getting rebroadcast by MSP. From anywhere in the Boston area, you can hear the following:

A Troop, covering the area North of Boston all the way to the New Hampshire border, and West to Haverhill.

C Troop, covering all of central Mass.

D Troop, covering Southern and Eastern Mass.

E Troop covers the entire Mass Pike from New York to Boston, and most of the "Big Dig" project roads in Boston.

F Troop is on the Massport system, and covers Logan airport.

H Troop covers Eastern Mass, from Boston down to Foxboro.

Also operating on the MSP system are MEMA, the state Fire Marshal, Department of Fire Safety/Hazmat, Environmental PD, and a mess of other stuff.

On the 396XT, I listen to the following:

US Federal agencies. I can regularly hear the FBI, CBP, ICE, and Secret Service, as well as FPS, NPS, and TSA. I don't listen to this so much to update twitter and facebook, they're just something I'm personally interest me. Plus, if you're going to shell out a bunch of money for a digital scanner, you might as well listen to the fun stuff.

BAPERN/NEMLEC. Whenever a police department needs to notify their neighbors of something, they use one of these channels.

Fire mutual aid. Most fire departments require coverage or assistance from nearby towns whenever they have a fire. Each county operates radio frequencies dedicated to this. In the Boston area, there's Mass Metrofire.

Fire Buffs. These are organizations whose members are interested in always knowing what's happening. I listen to Fire Radio Systems, Boston Citywide, Metro Radio, Providence Citywide, Middlesex Radio, Merrimack Valley, and Statewide New Hampshire.

Medevac. Medical helicopters fly in and out of Boston transporting patients with traumatic injuries (among other things). I listen to Boston Medflight, UMass LifeFlight, and DHART.

I'm also scanning through the air and marine emergency channels, as well as the frequencies for military air in this area.

Both scanners have all of the area police and fire frequencies programmed in, so when something happens, I can lock in with either one. So far, this system has been working pretty good. If you think I'm missing anything good, or want any more information, leave a comment below.


  1. that should keep you going 24/7..

  2. It could, but I do shut it all off now and then!