Prior to 1993, the Town of Ocean City maintained more than 700 radios on 14 different radio systems in the VHF low, high and UHF bands.  An approaching hurricane forced the town's evacuation in 1985.  City agencies, says the O.C. Emergency Management Web site, had a difficult time coordinating with each other.  City officials soon sought to improve radio communication.

By December of 1992, the city negotiated a contract for a General Electric EDACS (Enhanced Digital Access Communications System) trunked radio system, which despite its name, is an analog radio system.  The system was installed during the following two years.  Since that time the city made several improvements to the system, including frequency swaps and additions.  With the advent of EDACS Trunk Trackers, this is the first complete summer that scanner enthusiasts will be able to enjoy tracking the system.

The system, which consists of some 1,100 radios, includes those radios used by the Ocean City government, Ocean Pines and Berlin police, and the Eastern Shore Gas Company.  Worcester County also has several experimental talkgroups on the system, and has expressed interest in eventually joining the system.

A 5.2 mile 10 GHz microwave link connects the 65th Street Public Safety Building to the system's primary nine-channel transmit site -- a 400 foot tower near Ocean Pines northwest of the intersection of Routes 90 and 589.  Should this site fail, system operations hopefully transfer to a four-channel back-up site (on 856.7375, 857.7375, 858.7375 and 859.7375) at the Public Safety Building.  Two new channels, 856.2375 and 857.2375, are licensed for both sites, but have yet to be implemented.

Since this is an EDACS system, the frequencies

must be entered in the proper order.  Logical channel numbers and corresponding frequencies are as follows:

EDACS Trunked Channels
859.9875  LCN1
853.9625  LCN2
855.2375  LCN3
860.9875  LCN4
856.7375  LCN5
857.7375  LCN6
858.7375  LCN7
859.7375  LCN8
860.7375  LCN9
856.2375  LCN10
857.2375  LCN11

Talkgroups are as follows:

Hex      Decimal   AFS       Title/Agency
----     ----     ------     -----------------------------
0100     0256     02-000     Citywide All Call
0111     0273     02-021     Pol 1 South of 18th St
0112     0274     02-022     Pol 2 North, 460.325
0113     0275     02-023     Pol 3 Alternate
0114     0276     02-024     Pol 4 Data
0115     0277     02-025     Pol 5 Narcotics
0116     0278     02-026     Pol 6 Detectives
0117     0279     02-027     Pol 7 QRT Tac 1
0118     0280     02-030     Pol QRT Tac 2
0121     0289     02-041     Fire 1 Disp, 158.895
0122     0290     02-042     Fire 2 Ops 1, 154.085
0123     0291     02-043     Fire 3 Ops 2
0124     0292     02-044     Fire 4 EMS Ops 1
0125     0293     02-045     Fire 5 Helo Patch,            154.025
0126     0294     02-046     Fire 6 USCG Patch,           157.15
0127     0295     02-047     Fire 7 Worc Patch, 46           CHs
0128     0296     02-050     Fire/Pol 8 Fire Marshal
0129     0297     02-051     Fire 11 Sussex Patch,           800
012a     0298     02-052     Eastern Shore Gas
012b     0299     02-053     Eastern Shore Gas

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0131     0305     02-061     Public Wks 1; Const/         Water
0132     0306     02-062     Public Wks 2; Maint/         Traffic
0133     0307     02-063     Sanitation 1; Solid           Waste
0134     0308     02-064     Sanitation 2; Recyle
0135     0309     02-065     Trans 1; Boardwalk           Trains
0136     0310     02-066     Trans 2; Buses
0137     0311     02-067     Ocean City Airport
0138     0312     02-070     Building Inspectors
0139     0313     02-071     Service Center
013f     0319     02-077     Wastewater
0141     0321     02-081     Parks/Recreation
0142     0322     02-082     Eagles Landing Golf          Course
0143     0323     02-083     Beach Patrol 1/Grp           10-Main
0144     0324     02-084     Beach Patrol 2/Grp           11-Tac
0151     0337     02-101     Convention Center 1
0152     0338     02-102     Convention Center 2
0153     0339     02-103     Convention Center           Rental
0154     0340     02-104     Conv Ctr Cater/Svc           Am Corp
0161     0353     02-121     City Executives
0162     0354     02-122     Command Channel
0163     0355     02-123     Coordination 1            (CH12)
0164     0356     02-124     Coordination 2            (CH13)
0165     0357     02-125     Coordination 3            (CH14), 162.475 Alert
0167     0359     02-127     EMERGENCY (CH9)
0171     0369     02-141     Public/OCHMRA            Link, 155.37
0172     0370     02-142     Ocean Pines Police 1
0173     0371     02-143     Ocean Pines Police 2
0181     0385     03-001     Worc Co Shr Sp Tacs          & Resp
01f1     0497     03-141     Radio Maintenance 1
01f2     0498     03-142     Radio Maintenance 2
01f8     0504     03-150     Training
0311     0785     06-021     Worc Co Fire 1,            46.38
0312     0786     06-022     Worc Co Fire 2            (future)
0321     0801     06-041     Berlin Police 1
0322     0802     06-042     Berlin Police 2
0381     0897     07-001     Simulcasts 122.8
07f7     2039     15-147     Patch #9

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Check out and  Included is the city's emergency operations plan, fire station pictures, locations and box areas, communications, historical and other useful information.  Just about the only thing missing is a copy of OCPD's radio codes.  The police use the standard MSP 10 code (APCO 1969 edition).

34.8300  s  Assateague Island Nat Seashore
37.3600  s  DNR Lower East Sh Region
39.6000  s  MSP Berlin, Barrack V
47.3200  s  SHA Ch. 1: Statewide
47.4000  s  SHA Ch. 3: Dist. 1 (Worc Co)
122.8000  s  O.C. Airport UniCom
151.2050  r  DNR Fish & Game Police
151.3250  s  DNR East Reg Parks (Ch. 2)
151.4600  s  DNR East Reg Forests (Ch. 1)
154.0250  -  Fire 5 Helo Patch (patch)
154.0850  -  Fire 2 Ops 1 (simulcast)
155.3700  -  Public/OCHMRA Link (simulcast)
158.8950  -  Fire 1 Disp (simulcast)
159.4500  r  DNR Statewide (Ch. 3)
168.3500  s  Assateague Isl Nat Seashore Maint
170.0500  r  Chincoteague Nat Wildlife Ref
453.3500  r  MSP Exec Prot Div (Berlin site)
460.3250  -  O.C. Police (simulcast)
462.9750  d  Med 10, Worc Co Calling (467.975      mobile)
463.0750  d  Med 4, Worc Co Primary (468.075       mobile)
866.0125  r  O.C. Conv/Nat'l Calling Ch

The former O.C. public works channel, 154.04, and the former Convention Center channel, 154.57, both remain licensed and are probably unused.  Although not as popular as they once were, the older low band fire/EMS and police channels are still available for patching through the Ocean City trunked system for mutual aid coordination.  You can even hear the Loudoun County fire dispatch (46.38) regularly simulcast on the O.C. system!

33.780 Sussex Co Fire Ch. 1 (statewide)
33.960 Sussex Co Fire Ch. 2 (tac east)
33.980 Wicomico Co Fire Ch. 1
46.380 Worcester Co Fire Ch. 1
46.440 Worcester Co Fire Ch. 2
46.360 Ocean City Fire (old dispatch)
46.320 Ocean City (former EMS ops)

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Giant Killer (FACSFAC) has several VHF and UHF frequencies for discrete use to control both the ADIZ and more importantly, the ranges.  Much, if not most, of the radio traffic within the warning area is now encrypted, except for the area safety and control channels.

And to the west of O.C., the Ocean Pines Police Department switched to the O.C. trunked system several years ago, but the fire department remains on the county's and its own 46 MHz channels.  The channels listed below, however, are still licensed by Ocean Pines.  Updates are appreciated.

  46.3400 Ocean Pines VFD mobile
461.8750 Ocean Pines PD (former channel)
462.0250 Ocean Pines
467.8125 Ocean Pines Golf Course


  46.2800 O.C. Fire Station Alerting (no voice)
109.1500 O.C. Airport Runway 14 NavAid
173.2625 O.C. Water Dept SCADA
173.3125 O.C. Water Dept SCADA
410.0750 O.C. Airport Weather ASOS

If you're planning to visit O.C., these Delaware frequencies will give you a fair sampling of what's going on north of the state line.  Unfortunately, Delaware's digital trunked system snuffed out much of the resort area's best chatter.  Many of the former radio systems are still used to some degree, often by related agencies, or just not as often.

150.815  r  Sea Colony security
*NEW for 2000*
154.400  -  Blades VFD (repeats Sussex Co
154.755  r  DSP Sussex Co Troops (SusCom
453.225  r  Indian River VFD (repeats Sussex Co      talkgroups)
453.300  r  Rehoboth Beach VFD (cross-repeats      33.78)

The plan in Sussex County is to eventually move volunteer alerting from 33.78 to the UHF band, and create a network of trunked system simulcasts and "company channels" also in the UHF band to keep the volunteer fire fighters in the loop.  The county has already licensed each fire department and any

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Charles County: Fire dispatcher Chris Hughes says the county has made a decision to build an 800 MHz trunked analog/digital radio system.  The next phase will be to solicit bids.  Frequencies are: 866.325, 866.625, 867.05, 867.45, 868.65, 868.675, 868.9 and 868.925.

Montgomery County: Two recent county-sponsored citizen meetings discussed Montgomery County's 20-channel digital trunked system.  Ken Knopp provides us with the details.  The county is seeking 91 percent in-building coverage for portable radios.

The potential plan of 15 new tower locations was engineered to only two new sites -- the WSSC water tank on Shady Grove Road and the new Clarksburg county correctional facility.  The new towers will each be 250 foot lattice-style with red marker lights (no strobes) and will be similar to the tower at Montgomery College's Germantown Campus. 

Pending the approval of the tower committee, site construction will begin in August or September.  Construction of equipment shelters at each location is planned to start in October or November.

Eleven existing site locations will be upgraded with new equipment.  Sites specifically mentioned include Vernon Place, Hampshire Greens, PEPCO's Quince Orchard tower, PEPCO's Dickerson Power Plant, among others.  The Shady Grove site will be the "brains of the system" site because of its proximity to core county services, radio shop, etc.  The target for system operation is 24 months to coincide with the completion of the new Emergency Communications Center in Gaithersburg (Quince Orchard Road).  Frequencies are: 866.2125, 866.275, 866.3375, 866.4875, 866.65, 867.7375, 867.8375, 867.8875, 867.9125, 868.1125, 868.1625, 868.275, 868.3625, 868.3875, 868.4375, 868.6125, 868.6375, 868.6875, 868.8625, 868.8875 and 868.9375.

Queen Anne's and Talbot Counties: This system is unique in the region because it will consist of several counties on the same system.  Phil Taylor, Queen Anne's County emergency services director, says his county and Talbot County are committed, with Caroline hopefully planning to join within two years.  The three jurisdictions have been

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dubbed the Unified Maryland Eastern Shore Consortium.  Kent County, which had entertained the possibility of joining, opted to expand a high-band VHF system that should be completed this summer.

A contract for the consortium's system has been signed with Motorola.  Queen Anne's County's new building is complete, and systems installation is scheduled through summer.  All sites are up, with the exception of Sudlersville.

Taylor says several state agencies (SHA, MIEMSS, DNR and MSP) provided some antenna sites, and those agencies will receive talkgroups in exchange.  While the system has been assigned 10 frequency pairs, Region 28, the frequency coordinating committee region adjoining Maryland, has challenged four of the allocations.  Taylor is hopeful they can resolve the concerns with some site modifications.  Testing is slated for the fall with cut-over during December and January.  Frequencies are: 866.5875, 866.7, 866.8, 866.975, 867.575, 868.425, 868.475, 868.525, 868.675 and 868.9875.

Fauquier County:  Planning for a new radio system, which could cost as much as $8 million, has begun according to articles appearing in the Fauquier Citizen.  County officials had planned to replace Fauquier's emergency radio system with an 800 MHz network.  But county supervisors voted unanimously in March also to consider a less expensive 150 MHz system.  The county awaits FCC approval of 150 MHz radio channels for which it has applied (as of this writing no new or pending 150 MHz frequencies appear for the county in the online FCC database).

The proposed 800 MHz system would require three to five new towers at heights of 250 to 350 feet.  A 150 MHz system could use existing towers and would cost nearly 75 percent less, consultants claim.  Bid specifications for the system could be ready by December, Project Manager Mark Cornwell said in an article appearing in the
Fauquier Citizen.  Building the complete system could take five to seven years.  According to the article, major system failures in the existing system -- when a base radio cannot transmit or receive -- have occurred nine times since 1995.  Frequencies are: 866.2, 866.225, 866.6375, 866.9, 866.9375, 867.2125, 867.4375, 867.625, 867.7, 867.85,

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while on the scene of an emergency.  The software purportedly automates incident management functions.  FieldSoft provides automated incident management, responder accountability, and incident pre-planning software.  The product line also includes FDonScene for the fire service.  For more info:

CORDLESS INTERCEPTION LEADS TO DEFAMATION SUIT. "As a dispute with their neighbors intensified in 1994," reads the May 13
New York Times, "Mitchell and Candace Aronson of Evergreen, Colo., tuned in a police scanner to intercept private phone conversations and heard the neighbors make what the Aronsons perceived were anti-Semitic remarks about them.  The Aronsons immediately sought help from the Anti-Defamation League, whose local director publicly called the neighbors anti-Semites."  The Aronsons filed a lawsuit against the Quigleys who countersued.  Those two lawsuits eventually were resolved with neither family having to give the other any money.

Unknown to anyone at the time that the Aronsons were taping -- including the local district attorney -- was that Congress had amended the federal wiretap law, making it illegal to record cordless telephone conversations, and to transcribe the material and to use the transcriptions for any purpose.  The law already covered conventional telephones and cellular phones.  Over the next five and a half years, the New York Times said the conflict widened into a vicious legal battle over issues of privacy and defamation, ending in a Denver federal court, where a jury returned the first verdict ever against the ADL. 

The jury found that the statements at the ADL news conference, and on talk radio, were defamatory and "not substantially true."  The accusations allegedly had a devastating effect on William Quigley's career as a film executive, the May 29 Jerusalem Post noted.  The jury awarded William and Dorothy Quigley, $10.5 million in damages -- a quarter of the league's annual budget.  The district attorney later apologized to the Quigleys for filing hate crime charges against them, and his office paid $75,000 to settle a lawsuit.  The Quigleys also got a $350,000 settlement from the two lawyers who initially represented the Aronsons.

The ADL Colorado chairman said the jury may have been sending a message against such an in

vasion of privacy as the police scanner rather than weighing whether the anti-Semitic label against the Quigleys was true.  The Jerusalem Post said no fines were levied against the Aronsons, who initiated the anti-Semitism charges and taped the conversations, nor against the district attorney, who charged the Quigleys with criminal ethnic intimidation before backing down and apologizing.  Parties involved with the case have refused to comment with appeals pending.

NYPD COP BUSTED FOR PAGER HACKING.  A Southern District judge refused to dismiss a case against a New York City police officer who was accused of using Message Tracker software to intercept paging messages sent from his department to other officers.  The judge, reports the May 2
NY Law Journal, rejected arguments by the officer that reading the pages is not forbidden under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and that he was the victim of selective prosecution in the case.

Kevin Sills, a police officer for the city since 1996, was the subject of a sting operation in 1998 by a criminal investigator working for the U.S. Attorney's Office.  The two-count indictment charged that between 1996 and 1998, Sills possessed software that was programmed to intercept alphanumeric pager messages, a violation of 2512(1)(b) of the act.  It also charged Sills with violating 2511(1)(a) of the act by intercepting such messages.

In phone conversations with an employee of K & L Technology (the maker of the Message Tracker) who was cooperating with the investigator, Sills allegedly said he had been reading other pagers, asked the employee if the company would modify his scanner so it worked in conjunction with a more advanced version of Message Tracker and then ordered the modifications to be done.  Read the full story at:

MEDIA ACCUSES MEDIA OF ILLEGAL PAGER INTERCEPTION.  KIRO-TV in Seattle filed a complaint with the FCC charging that rival KING-TV intercepted its pager messages during coverage of the World Trade Organization protests last year.  KIRO-TV, reports
Broadcasting & Cable, claims its pager company mistakenly programmed KING-TV's pagers with KIRO-TV capcodes and, as a result, KING-TV was able to receive KIRO-TV's messages.  The KIRO-TV news director said the situa

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