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KERI Mystery Solved

January 14, 2013

Thanks to help from a site user in the Erie area, we have figured out the cause of the static on the Erie Intl. Airport frequency of 154.98 MHZ. A P25 digital system has been set up on the same frequency for the airport to use, and this is why all an analog scanner will hear is static. I monitored it once during good conditions on my analog radio and I can confirm that the “static” indeed sounds like P25 data. The site user monitored on his digital-capable scanner and reported that the signals are clear.

So, if you want to continue listening to 154.98 you will need a digital-capable scanner. If you are considering buying one I would be happy to help with recommendations.

Also while listening to Millcreek PD last night on 154.8 I noticed that their radio system has a new sound to it. The unbelievably long carrier was done away with, and the result is shorter and better-sounding transmissions, more closely resembling those of the Erie PD.

The only issue was a few times when Millcreek base was talking to a car or unit and I never heard them answer: it sounded like the dispatcher was talking to himself. This might have been on my end, I’m not sure.

Is anyone else hearing the differences on MPD, and if so what do you think? (I like the new sound.)

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11 Comments
  1. Tom Pamin permalink

    Millcreek PD sounds good to me too. Might have something to do with narrowbanding, as I heard them testing with tones a couple days ago. I hear the cars with no problem.

    Still waiting to see if the airport snowplows are also on 154.98, as before. I see they also have a freq. of 159.09 licensed.

  2. Thank you Tom. Narrowbanding is qobably the answer as I’m sure they had to purchase new broadcasting equipment to comply with the rules. The “one-sided” conversations might have been signal reception on my end, as it happened only very infrequently.

    As for 154.98 I’m curious to hear what you find about the snowplows. Let me know what you discover, and also if you hear anything on 159.09. I guess they’ll probably need the plows by next week, from the looks of it.

  3. Tom Pamin permalink

    I decided to go right to the source about the airport changes, and received this info from the police chief:
    “The airport has upgraded it’s radio equipment and has transitioned to
    digital equipment still using 154.980. The airport still has the analog 154.980
    as an alternate talk channel and 153.815 as a new additional alternate analog
    voice channel. Digital communications typically will not be heard on conventional scanners.”

    I’ve heard nothing on 153.815 yet, but maybe that is where the plows are now. Of course in my searching last night, I started at 154.0 and up!

    Also, I now think that 159.09 is the repeater input for 154.98.

    • Good info Tom! I’ll have to put in 153.815 although I probably won’t hear it out here. I would suspect that is where plows/maintenance would be, no sense making them digital. 159.09 could very well be a repeater input freq, I don’t know that there are definite splits for repeater input/output in the public safety bands. (I’m used to the definite +/- 600 KC on 2m ham, +/- 5 MHZ 70 cm ham etc… cut and dry.)

      Keep an ear on 153.815 for me and let me know what you hear (or don’t.) If it seems to be used I’ll add it to my freq page. I’ll be getting around to updating 154.98 as P25 on there as well.

      Thanks again!

  4. Tom Pamin permalink

    Weird – I can find no FCC data anywhere that lists the airport as having 153.815 licensed. All the records just show 159.09 as the second frequency. I’ll keep listening…..

    • Please do! I’ve never heard of 153.815 either, but I’ll add it to my list and maybe submit it to RR as well if you hear anything there. I updated the info on 154.98 while re-organizing my frequency pages, so that is now current. I thought more pages with more specific info would be easier to use then fewer pages with a huge jumble of info.

      Keep a-listenin’ and let me know what you find! 🙂

      • Tom Pamin permalink

        I did hear some talk about maintenance and plowing tonight on 154.98. Not sure yet if it was analog or digital.

  5. Tom Pamin permalink

    Yes, we have “digital snowplows”! Probably the only ones in the U.S. They are on 154.98 with the police.

    • Well that certainly is interesting! I’m sure there aren’t too many instances of digital snowplows, that’s really weird.

      154.98 is really going crazy with P25 transmissions this morning (probably the plows,) I had to lock them out since I can’t de-code the traffic anyways.

      You wonder why they do some things like making plows’ radios P25… oh well!

  6. Tom Pamin permalink

    I finally did find a license for the airport for 153.815. It’s under WPZ1622. I haven’t heard it being used yet though.

  7. nickonnature permalink

    Thank you for that sir, and pardon my late respnse (got sick.) If you hear anything on 153.815 let me know–it’s good to know it is at least an official license.

    Out of curiosity do police, fire/CFR, plows etc. all operate together on 154.98? Is it quite busy? I just started thinking that it must be with so many services on one freq.

    I greatly appreciate all you have done in assisting with this “mystery!”

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