SCANNING OCEAN CITY, MD
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