California Department of Forestry by fso11775


									                   The Monitoring Post
                   The Newsletter of the Southern California Monitoring Association
                                     In God We Trust – All Others We Monitor
 Founded 1996
                                           September, 2004

  California Department of Forestry

In this Issue:
                California Department of Forestry Radio Channel Plan
                Listening to the Newest Amateur Satellite - AO-51 - on your Scanner
                Code 3 Collectibles: “Salute to Our Local Heroes”
The Monitoring Post                                                                               September, 2004

The Southern California Monitoring Association (SCMA) is an organization for persons interested in listening to all
kinds of radio communications including Police, Fire, Aircraft, Business, Shortwave and Public Safety. Members of
the West L.A. Chapter of the nationwide Radio Communications Monitoring Association (RCMA) founded the
SCMA after the RCMA’s demise in 1996.

The Goals of the SCMA...

        1. To share information and help others in the radio monitoring community.
        2. To conduct and encourage the organization of meetings and tours for its members.
        3. To encourage and facilitate contact and interaction among its members.

        4. To publish a club newsletter devoted to the monitoring hobby in Southern California.
        5. To be a "clearing house" of knowledge about two-way radio systems and communications radios.
        6. To offer suggestions and recommendations to the manufacturers of monitor receivers and other
           equipment related to the hobby.

SCMA Meetings...
Meetings are on the 2nd Wednesday night of each month at the Grinder’s Restaurant in Westchester at the corner
of Sepulveda Blvd. and Manchester Blvd. about 1 mile north of LAX. SCMA members and nonmembers alike are
invited to attend. Meetings include a free exchange of information, handouts and updates of local frequencies,
programs or guest speakers, and door prizes. Members are encouraged to arrive at 7:00 PM for dinner and before-
meeting discussion. The official meeting starts at 8:00 PM.

The SCMA holds a weekly radio net on N6CIZ’s private Amateur Radio repeater. Licensed Amateur Radio (Ham)
Operators are encouraged to check in. Everyone is encouraged to listen for the latest club news. The nets are
every Tuesday night at 7:30 PM. The frequency is 446.260 MHz with a PL of 131.8 Hz.

Other SCMA Activities...
SCMA uses its contacts to set up and conduct member-only tours of sites of interest to radio monitors. Past tours
have visited the new LAPD Police Dispatch Center, the LACoFD Dispatch center, an FAA Air Traffic Control
Center, the U. S. Coast Guard Air Rescue Squadron, and several broadcast radio and television stations. Tours are
conducted by people who work at the facility who usually give us the real inside story.

The SCMA maintains an active home page on the World Wide Web at:

SCMA Board of Directors...
A Board of Directors selected from Association members manage and direct the SCMA. The current members of
the Board of Directors are:

        Rick DiFiore, SCMA-101
        Hugh Stegman, SCMA-102
        Rich Sauer, SCMA-104
        Michael Suchar, SCMA-106
        Dennis Field, SCMA-110
        Khalil Ladjevardi, SCMA-118

Anyone interested in Radio Monitoring may apply for membership in the SCMA. Dues are $15 per year. Please
see the membership application on the web site for more information.

                                                      Page 2
The Monitoring Post                                                                           September, 2004

From The President
Rick DiFiore SCMA-101

Guess what? Summer is over (or so they say it is) and during the month of August the club is doing just great.
Membership is up. We just had a great L.A. City Fire Department tour from Brian Humphrey (SCMA-301) who is
one of the department’s Public Service Officers’s. Check out the pictures on the club’s web site. There are some
great shots of O.C.D. (

At the club’s next meeting we will vote on the Christmas Party location along with frequency hand outs and
more…If you have not been to a club meeting lately, you are missing out on all the information, fun, and the raffle.
Don’t forget our weekly club net on Tuesday nights at 7:30 p.m., on 446.260- PL is 131.8. The repeater system is
closed but for the SCMA net all my check–in to catch the latest radio news. Also ARRL News can be heard during
the net.

There are many scanner web sites out there in the world wide web, but the S.C.M.A. web site and it’s information
comes from its members and user’s of the site.        When it comes it frequency listings it gets no better than
us…because our listing, our loggings come from our members who take the time to monitor them. The other guys
(other web sites) get theirs from old FCC databases or other sites were they are very out dated, and they pass that
information on to you! Or they want to charge you money for free information that you can get if you have the time.
I would like to thank the following S.C.M.A. members for their hard work and time in compiling frequency list that
they turn in each month to make us number one!

Dennis Field, SCMA-110                  Michael Suchar, SCMA-106
Gene Hughes, SCMA-105                   Hubert Stamps
Wayne Smith                             Rich Sauer, SCMA-104 and
Hugh Stegman, SCMA-102

Well that’s it for now, see you at the next meeting. Best of Monitoring, 73’s Rick, SCMA-101 / WA6KFI

                       LAFD PSO Brian Humphrey (SCMA-301), right, astounds some SCMA
                        Members (and the Floor Captain!) with his knowledge during a recent
                          SCMA tour of OCD. Thanks, Brian! (Photo by Rick SCMA-101)

                                                      Page 3
The Monitoring Post                                                                   September, 2004

138.600 S    Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base Fire Department – Dispatch
138.800 S    Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base Fire Department – Fire Tactical
140.450 S    Point Mugu Navy Construction Battalion Fire Department – Disp.
140.525 S    Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base Fire Department – Fire Tactical
140.900 S    Point Mugu Navy Construction Battalion Fire Department – Tac.
142.500 S    Point Mugu Naval Air Station Fire Department – Dispatch / Ops.
143.050 S    Los Alamitos Air Force Reserve Center Fire Department – Dispatch
151.265 S    California Department of Forestry ( CDF Command – 2 )
151.340 S    California Department of Forestry ( CDF Command – 3 )
151.355 S    California Department of Forestry ( CDF Command – 1 )
151.655 S    Knotts Berry Farm Fire Department - Fireground
151.745 S    Knotts Berry Farm Fire Department – Dispatch
160.230 R    Union Pacific Railroad –Transit Police ( Los Angeles )
160.635 S    MTA – Gold Line Supervisors
161.205 R    Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railroad – Transit Police
161.220 R    Union Pacific Railroad – Transit Police ( Southern California )
161.265 S    MTA – Red Line Supervisors
161.475 R    Amtrak – Transit Police ( Southern California )
161.505 S    MTA – Blue Line Supervisors
413.000 T    Vandenberg Air Force Base Fire Department – Dispatch / Fire Tac.
413.050 T    Vandenberg Air Force Base Fire Department – Dispatch / Fire Tac.
413.300 T    Vandenberg Air Force Base Fire Department – Dispatch / Fire Tac.
415.950 T    Vandenberg Air Force Base Fire Department – Dispatch / Fire Tac.
417.150 T    Vandenberg Air Force Base Fire Department – Dispatch / Fire Tac.
417.550 T    Vandenberg Air Force Base Fire Department – Dispatch / Fire Tac.
417.650 T    Vandenberg Air Force Base Fire Department – Dispatch / Fire Tac.
417.750 T    Vandenberg Air Force Base Fire Department – Dispatch / Fire Tac.
417.950 T    Vandenberg Air Force Base Fire Department – Dispatch / Fire Tac.
418.350 T    Vandenberg Air Force Base Fire Department – Dispatch / Fire Tac.
418.550 T    Vandenberg Air Force Base Fire Department – Dispatch / Fire Tac.
460.375 R    C.H.P. Dignitary Protection Detail ( Metropolitan Operations )
461.000 R    API / American Protection Industries ( Security )
461.850 S    Disneyland Fire Department – Dispatch
462.775 R    Regency Card Club and Casino ( Security )
464.3375 S   Paramount Petroleum Company Fire Department – Fireground
464.4625 S   Disneyland Fire Department – Fire Tactical
464.825 R    Hotel Nikko at Beverly Hills ( Security )
464.8375 R   Paramount Petroleum Company Fire Department – Dispatch
469.1625 S   UNOCAL Wilmington Refinery Fire Department – Dispatch
470.1375 R   Warner Brothers Studio Fire Department – Dispatch
857.7375 R   CalTrans – Operations District 7 ( L.A. and Ventura Counties )
858.9875 R   CalTrans – Operations District 7 ( L.A. and Ventura Counties )
860.7375 R   CalTrans – Operations District 7 ( L.A. and Ventura Counties )
860.9875 R   CalTrans – Operations District 7 ( L.A. and Ventura Counties )
860.9875 R   CalTrans – Operations District 8 ( San Bernardino & W. Riverside Co. )
866.0375 R   CalTrans – Operations District 7 ( L.A. and Ventura Counties )
867.0375 R   CalTrans – Operations District 8 ( San Bernardino & W. Riverside Co. )
868.0375 R   CalTrans – Operations District 7 ( L.A. and Ventura Counties )
898.500 S    UNOCAL Carson Refinery Fire Department – Dispatch
937.450 S    UNOCAL Carson Refinery Fire Department – Fire Tactical

                                                  Page 4
The Monitoring Post                                                                             September, 2004

Monitoring the California Department of Forestry (CDF)

                                                      From the giant redwoods of the north, to the beautiful central
                                                      Sierra, to the sunny southern coast, California is an
                                                      environmental wonder from border to border. The men and
                                                      women of the California Department of Forestry and Fire
                                                      Protection (CDF) are dedicated to the fire protection and
                                                      stewardship of over 31 million acres of California's privately
                                                      owned wildlands. In addition, the Department provides varied
                                                      emergency services in 35 of the State's 58 counties via
                                                      contracts with local governments.

                                                      Responding to all types of emergencies on a daily basis is the
                                                      role-played by most of the CDF workforce. Those
                                                      emergencies      take    the     form    of   wildland    fires,
                                                      residential/commercial structure fires, automobile accidents,
                                                      heart attacks, drownings, lost hikers, hazardous material spills
                                                      on highways, train wrecks, floods, earthquakes - the list is
                                                      endless. CDF's firefighters, fire engines and aircraft respond
                                                      to an average 6,300 wildland fires, and answer the call more
                                                      than 300,000 times for other emergencies each year.

                                                     Because of the Department's size and major incident
                                                     management experience, it is often asked to assist or take the
lead in disasters, including the Northern and Central California floods of 1997 and 1998, the 1991 Cantara train
derailment a toxic spill, 1994 Northridge earthquake, 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake,the 1991 Tunnel Fire in the
Oakland/Berkeley Hills,and the 2003 Southern California Fire Siege.

CDF declares fire season in California when warm weather and wildland fuel conditions
dictate. While fire season is usually declared around the middle of May, the exact date
varies from year to year based on weather patterns and fuel conditions. CDF rarely
declares the entire state in fire season all at one time. Most often CDF’s 21
administrative units throughout California declare fire season as their units’ conditions
dictate. It is usually units in the southern part of the state that declare fire season the
earliest as that region is usually warmer and dryer than the rest of the state.

"Fire Season" is a state of heightened readiness. Emergency response dispatch levels
are typically increased, facilities are staffed 24 hours a day and additional firefighters
are hired. CDF airtankers and air attack planes are moved from their off-season
maintenance location in Sacramento to strategic positions around the state. Restrictions
and suspensions of burn permits are also likely to take effect during fire season in areas
where extreme fire conditions exist.

                                          * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tracy Justus, SCMA-302, sent in the CDF frequency list presented on the next two pages. Visit Tracy’s great web
site Freq of Nature, at

                                                       Page 5
The Monitoring Post                                                                     September, 2004

From Tracy Justus, SCMA-302

 1   151.3550   CDF C1        CDF COMMAND 1            61     151.4450   CDF T11   CDF TAC 11
 2   151.2650   CDF C2        CDF COMMAND 2            62     151.4600   CDF T12   CDF TAC 12
 3   151.3400   CDF C3        CDF COMMAND 3            63     151.4750   CDF T13   CDF TAC 13
 4   151.4000   CDF C4        CDF COMMAND 4            64     159.2250   CDF T14   CDF TAC 14
 5   151.3700   CDF C5        CDF COMMAND 5            65     159.2700   CDF T15   CDF TAC 15
 6   151.2500   CDF C6        CDF COMMAND 6            66     159.2850   CDF T16   CDF TAC 16
 7   151.4600   CDF C7        CDF COMMAND 7            67     159.3150   CDF T17   CDF TAC 17
 8   151.4450   CDF C8        CDF COMMAND 8            68     159.3450   CDF T18   CDF TAC 18
 9   151.1750   CDF C9        CDF COMMAND 9            69     159.3600   CDF T19   CDF TAC 19
10   151.1900   CDF C10       CDF COMMAND 10           70     159.3750   CDF T20   CDF TAC 20
11   151.3850   MEU L                                  71     159.3900   CDF T21   CDF TAC 21
12   151.2500   HUU L                                  72     159.4050   CDF T22   CDF TAC 22
13   151.3400   LNU EAST      CDF LNU EAST NET         73     159.4500   CDF T23   CDF TAC 23
14   151.4600   LNU WEST      CDF LNU WEST NET         74     162.4000   NWR 1
15   151.0400   MRN                                    75     162.4250   NWR 2
16   151.4450   SCU L                                  76     162.4500   NWR 3
17   151.3700   CZU L                                  77     162.4750   NWR 4
20   169.1250   TRAVEL        CA TRAVEL NET            78     162.5000   NWR 5
21   151.4000   BTU L                                  79     162.5500   NWR 7
22   151.2500   LMU L                                  80     171.5250   FS ENF    USFS El Dorado NF
23   151.3250   NEU WEST      CDF NEU LOCAL NET        81     164.1750   FS KNF    USFS Klamath NF
24   151.1600   SHU L                                  82     172.2250   FS LNF    USFS Lassen NF
25   151.3700   TGU L                                  83     169.1750   FS MNF    USFS Mendocino NF
26   151.3250   SKU L                                  84     168.7500   FS MDF    USFS Modoc NF
27   154.1300   NEU EAST      NEU EAST NET             85     170.5500   FS PNF    USFS Plumas NF
28   154.4150   BTU SUPP      CDF BUTTE SUP NET        86     171.5750   FS SHF    USFS Shasta-Trinity NF
30   151.1300   RRU 3                                  87     168.7250   FS SRF    USFS Six Rivers NF
31   151.3850   RRU 1                                  88     168.7500   FS STF    USFS Stanislaus NF
32   151.1750   RRU 2                                  89     168.7750   FS TNF    USFS Tahoe NF
33   151.1900   MVU L                                  90     172.3750   FS ANF    USFS Angeles NF
34   151.3250   SLU L                                  91     168.7500   FS CNF    USFS Cleveland NF
35   151.4450   BDU 1                                  92     168.1250   FS INF
36   151.3250   BDU 2                                  93     170.5500   FS LPF    USFS Los Padres NF
37   151.2500   BDU 3                                  94     171.4750   FS BDF    USFS San Bernrdino NF
38   154.3850   SLC                                    95     168.7750   FS SQF    USFS Sequoia NF
41   151.1900   TUU L                                  96     172.2250   FS SNF    USFS Sierra NF
42   151.4600   MMU L                                  97     169.8750   FS TOF    USFS Toiyabe NF
43   151.3850   FKU 1                                  98     172.3750   FS TMU    USFS Lake Tahoe Mgmt Unit
44   151.1750   TCU L                                  100    168.3000   BLM SOA   BLM SCENE OF ACTION
45   151.1900   AEU L                                  101    168.0500   NIFC T1   NIFC TAC 1
46   151.2500   BEU L                                  102    168.2000   NIFC T2   NIFC TAC 2
47   151.1600   FKU 2                                  103    168.6000   NIFC T3   NIFC TAC 3
48   154.4300   XED CMD       El Dorado OA Cmd Net     104    164.1375   NIFC T4   NIFC TAC 4
49   153.9350   XAM CMD       Amador OA CMD Net        105    166.7250   NIFC T5   NIFC TAC 5
51   151.1450   CDF T1        CDF TAC 1                106    166.7750   NIFC T6   NIFC TAC 6
52   151.1600   CDF T2        CDF TAC 2                107    168.2500   NIFC T7   NIFC TAC 7
53   151.1750   CDF T3        CDF TAC 3                108    173.9125   FSR5 T4   USFS RGN 5 TAC 4
54   151.1900   CDF T4        CDF TAC 4                109    173.9625   FSR5 T5   USFS RGN 5 TAC 5
55   151.2500   CDF T5        CDF TAC 5                110    173.9875   FSR5 T6   USFS RGN 5 TAC 6
56   151.3250   CDF T6        CDF TAC 6                111    168.7000   NIFC C1   NIFC CMD 1
57   151.3400   CDF T7        CDF TAC 7                112    168.1000   NIFC C2   NIFC CMD 2
58   151.3700   CDF T8        CDF TAC 8                113    168.0750   NIFC C3   NIFC CMD 3
59   151.3850   CDF T9        CDF TAC 9                114    166.6125   NIFC C4   NIFC CMD 4
60   151.4000   CDF T10       CDF TAC 10               115    167.1000   NIFC C5   NIFC CMD 5

Continued on Next Page

                                                     Page 6
The Monitoring Post                                                                             September, 2004

CDF RADIO CHANNEL PLAN 2004 – Continued from Previous Page
116   168.4750   NIFC C6         NIFC CMD 6                   136   170.0750   LNP NPS     Lassen Volcanic NP
117   162.9625   NIFC C7         NIFC CMD 7                   137   172.0250   YNP NPS     Yosemite NP
118   166.7500   BLM LAW         BLM LAW NET                  138   170.0500   PIP NPS     Pinnacles NM
119   166.3750   BLM ADM         BLM ADMIN NET                139   164.7500   KNP 1 NPS   Sequoia-Kings Cyn 1
120   166.4875   BLMFIRE         BLM FIRE NET                 140   164.8000   KNP 2 NPS   S-K Cyn Net 2
121   151.2200   CDF A/G         CDF AIR TO GND NET           141   170.1000   DVP NPS     Death Valley NP
122   167.9500   BLM A/G         BLM AIR TO GND NET           142   171.7000   CNP NPS     Channel Is. NP
123   170.0000   FS A/G                                       143   171.6750   JTP NPS     Joshua Tree NP
124   166.6750   AIR T1          Air Tactics 1                144   172.5250   SMP NPS     Santa Monica Mtns NP
125   169.1500   AIR T2          Air Tactics 2                148   154.1600   OES 1
126   169.2000   AIR T3          Air Tactics 3                149   154.2200   OES 2
127   151.2800   AIR T4          Air Tactics 4                150   156.0750   CALCORD     CALCORD
128   151.2950   AIR T5          Air Tactics 5                151   155.7525   VCALL
129   151.3100   AIR T6          Air Tactics 6                152   151.1375   VTAC 1      VHF INTEROP
130   165.1625   RWP NPS         Redwood NP                   153   154.4525   VTAC 2      VHF INTEROP
131   170.0500   RNP NPS         Point Reyes NP               154   158.7375   VTAC 3      VHF INTEROP
132   164.8000   GNP NPS         Golden Gate NRA              155   159.4725   VTAC 4      VHF INTEROP
133   164.8000   JMP NPS         John Muir NHS                156   154.2800   WHITE 1     WHITE 1
134   171.7500   BNP NPS         Lava Beds NP                 157   154.2650   WHITE 2     WHITE 2
135   165.3125   WNP NPS         Whiskeytown NRA              158   154.2950   WHITE 3     WHITE 3

Initial Attack Helicopter VHF Frequencies
                                   PRIMARY          SECONDARY                          Thanks to the Professional
L.A. County                        135.975          122.925                            Helicopter Pilot’s Association
L.A. City                          119.975                                             (PHPA) for providing these
Angeles National Forest            135.975                                             Air to Air Fire frequencies
Kern County (East)                 135.975
Los Padres National Forest         122.575
Orange County                      122.575          122.925
Riverside County                   122.575
San Bernardino County              118.950
San Bernardino National Forest     118.950
San Diego County                   135.975
Santa Barbara County               122.575
Ventura County                     129.950

Pre-Assigned VHF-AM Frequencies for Air Attack Bases
135.975 – Ramona, Fox, Bishop, Hollister and Porterville Air Attack Bases
122.575 – Hemet, Santa Barbara, Columbia, and Paso Robles Air Attack Bases
118.950 – San Bernardino Air Attack Base
122.425 – Fresno Air Attack Base

Pre-Assigned Air Tactical (VHF-FM) Frequencies
Air Tactics 1 – 166.675 assigned to CNF, LPF, and INF
Air Tactics 2 – 169.150 assigned to BDF, SQF, and STF
Air Tactics 3 – 169.200 assigned to ANF and SNF
Air Tactics 4 – 151.280 assigned to MVU, SBC, SLU, TCU, and AEU
Air Tactics 5 – 151.295 assigned to BEU
Air Tactics 6 – 151.310 assigned to RRU, BDU, ORC, LAC, VNC, KRN, TUU, FKU, and MMU

168.625          Air Dispatch
170.000          Forest Service Air to Ground
151.220          CDF Air to Ground
154.400          Los Angeles County Air to Ground

                                                        Page 7
The Monitoring Post                                                                               September, 2004

Listening to AO-51 with Your Scanner
Clint Bradford, SCMA-501, K6LCS []

                                             The two primary modes of operations for the newest amateur satellite -
                                             AO-51 - are FM analog voice and 9600-baud packet. AO-51's
                                             transmitters have a variable power output, and can operate as high as 8
                                             Watts output on 70cm. Amateurs are successfully working the satellite
                                             with handheld radios.

                                             The UPLINK (to AO-51) frequency for voice is 145.920MHz with a
                                             67.0Hz CTCSS tone. The DOWNLINK (from AO-51) frequency is

                                             So...How can one listen to the satellite with a scanner?

The basics are the same as when working the sats with a HT. First, you need to know WHEN and WHERE the
satellite will be passing over your location. There are several computer programs that will tell you. In the home
office, I use Nova for Windows[1]. Outside, though, I use PocketSat[2] on my Garmin iQue 3600 PDA. Both
programs are easily updated with current satellite tracking data that is available on the Internet.

Or, you can go to and sign up. Using your longitude and latitude coordinates, you
can access amateur satellite pass information (and a lot more!).

The one "absolute" for success is to open up your squelch. Even if you alter or ignore the rest of the points in this
text, don't ignore this one. Working satellites starts off as a process of finding weak signals, so don't expect the
satellite to be anywhere as strong enough to break squelch like your local repeater. I know it's noisy, but that's part
of the process. Noise can also be an aid in locating the satellite because when the frequency starts to exhibit
QUIETING, that's a sure sign that you are hearing the satellite, and you should get ready.

Use a good antenna for your handheld. A good gain whip antenna (like
Pryme's AL-800[3]) will make the difference. Using an Arrow dual-band
handheld antenna[4] is better, and if you prefer to homebrew your
antenna, Alex Diaz XE1MEX[5] has an excellent Yagi-Uda design.

Set up your radio so you can to tune for the Doppler effect. Start listening
5 KHz above the center frequency - you will hear the satellite sooner and
clearer. When you hear the downlink signals get scratchy or fuzzy, tune
down 1KHz at a time, and reception should be clearer. Follow the signal
down in frequency as the pass continues.

Don't hold your whip antenna upright. Vertical antennas are not good,
and a HT held upright isn't either. The satellite isn't on the ground (which
is what HT's and vertical antennas were designed for). TILT IT about the
same amount as the satellite's ELEVATION. This means that if you are
FACING the satellite, tilt it down towards the ground from HORIZONTAL
an equal amount. If the satellite is to your back, tilt it up an equal amount
away from the satellites position off the vertical. You will be surprised at
the difference.

Continued on Next Page
                                                                                Chuck Green, N0ADI with the AO-51
                                                                                Microsat during integration and test

                                                        Page 8
The Monitoring Post                                                                                     September, 2004

Listening to AO-51 with Your Scanner – Continued from Previous Page
Hams use headphones - especially if working full duplex. If you have a full duplex HT like a Icom IC-W32A you can
listen to your own downlink (a good thing). Your brain is far better at discriminating signals than most expensive

Knowing your gridsquare - and having a gridsquare map - is a quick way of identifying locations of what you will be
hearing. The ARRL and Icom have some dandy gridsquare maps, the latter of which are free at most amateur radio

Remember the "three Ps" for working amateur satellites: preparation, planning, and patience. Not every pass is
workable with an HT or listenable with a scanner - so don't go after the 10 degree passes. Pick your passes, and
work the ones you know will give you the best chance.

Many hams record their sessions for later review. Even if you don't make contacts, it helps to accustom yourself to
the callsigns, voices and personalities of the other operators. When I first started out, I found it more valuable to
know which contacts I missed rather than the ones I made.

Ask questions! Find an Elmer or look up the AMSAT[7] area coordinator for your area. Posting specific questions
on the AMSAT bulletin board will also help you find answers.

Notes –
[1] Nova for Windows is available from Northern Lights Software Associates' Web site:

[2] PocketSat is available from Big Fat Tail's Web site:

[3] The Pryme AL-800 telescopes to 34" and collapses to 10". Is is packaged with a 9" rat tail - which you can use
for everyday use. Use caution with this massive, heavy antenna: It has the potential of placing a lot of stress on
your radio's BNC connector. Pryme claims gain figures of 3.2 dB on VHF and 5.5 dB on UHF. Available at better
amateur dealers - including Ham Radio Outlet - HRO.

[4] Arrow's Model 146/437-10WBP is a dual-band cross-Yagi design, with a duplexer built into the handle. It has
three elements on 2M and 7 elements on 440. (You've seen pictures in QST and elsewhere of operators using this
great antenna!) Also available at HRO - see it on Arrow's Web site at

[5] Alex has performed a lot of work on suitable homebrew antennas for satellite enthusiasts. His Web site is

[6] Icom's map is available at the Anaheim HRO, and also available as a .pdf file on their Web site at

[7] AMSAT deserves your support! Membership isn't that expensive, and members are entitled to discounts on
AMSAT publications and satellite tracking software!

At one time, Caltrans operated a Travelers Information Station on 1700 kHz in the San Diego area to provide motorists with
U.S./Mexican border information. Now that Jaime Bonilla is using 1700 kHz for his Tijuana/Tecate station XEKTT, the Caltrans
signs along the I-5 and I-805 freeways - advising motorists to tune to 1700 kHz - are a great promotional tool for Mr. Bonilla's
private enterprise.

According to one report, the signs are located on the southbound I-805 from Otay Lakes Road to San Ysidro Blvd. On the I-5
southbound, the signs start at around Palm Avenue. There are believed to be one to two signs per highway - a fine example of
California taxpayers' dollars at work.

From the CGC Communicator

                                                           Page 9
The Monitoring Post                                                                             September, 2004

Code 3 Collectibles - Salute Our Local Heroes
Saturday, September 18th, 2004
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
6115 Variel Avenue, Woodlands Hills, CA 91367
Code 3 Collectibles is paying tribute to local fire-rescue and law enforcement agencies by holding a community
event called "Salute Our Local Heroes." This community event will include demonstrations, apparatus displays,
helicopter fly-bys, public information/vendor booths, food, & free giveaways. Here is your chance to meet and greet
local fire-rescue and law enforcement personnel and say "Thank You" to all the men and women who risk their lives
everyday so that we can live in safety.

Here is a breakdown of the day's events by agency:

Agency                            Units                             Demonstration
Burbank Fire Dept.                Engine Company                    Apparatus Display
                                  Crown Engine                      Classic Display

Los Angeles County Fire Dept.     Emergency! Squad & Engine 51      Apparatus Display
                                  Ladder Truck 31                   Apparatus Display
                                  Helipcopter Bell 412              Fly-By
                                  K9 Arson/Search Team              Demonstration

Los Angeles Fire D ept.           Light Force 72                    Auto Extrication Demonstration
                                  USAR 88                           Auto Extrication Demonstration & Rapelling
                                  Haz-Mat Squad 70                  Apparatus Display
                                  Foam Tender 100                   Apparatus Display
                                  Engine 100                        Children Play With Water Hoses
                                  Helicopter Bell 412               Fly-By
                                  Rescue Ambulance                  Apparatus Display

Ventura County Fire Dept.         Rescue Engine 40                  Apparatus Display
                                  (ladder truck)                    Aerial Display
                                  Dozer Team                        Apparatus Display
                                  Brush Engine                      Apparatus Display
                                  "Sparky the Mascot"               Meet & Greet the Children

California Highway Patrol         Camero                            Apparatus Display
                                  Patrol Car                        Apparatus Display
                                  Motorcycle Unit                   Apparatus Display
                                  "Chipper" the Mascot              Meet & Greet the Children
                                  Roll-Over Demonstrator

Continued on Next Page

                                                         Page 10
The Monitoring Post                                                                            September, 2004

Salute Our Local Heroes – Continued from Previous Page

Agency                            Units                              Demonstration
Los Angeles Police Dept.          Incident Command Post Unit         Apparatus Display
                                  Patrol Car                         Apparatus Display
                                  Traffic Unit / Motorcycle          Apparatus Display
                                  Crime Prevention Unit              Public Information Bo oth & Giveaways
                                  ASTAR 350 Helicopter               Fly-By
                                  West Valley Explorers              Food Booth
                                  Metro Division                     SWAT Team

Los Angeles Sheriff's Dept.       ASTAR 350 Helicopter               Apparatus Display
                                  Arson / Bomb Unit                  Robot Demonstration
                                  LASD Racing Team                   Apparatus Display (Monster Truck)
                                  Lost Hills Posse                   Pet the Horses

L.A. Unified School Police        Patrol Car                         Apparatus Display
                                  Motorcycle Unit                    Apparatus Display

For more information please see the Code 3 Collectibles web site at

      CUSTOMER SERVICE TEAM TOLL FREE AT 1- 888-635-2333, 7:00am-5:00pm PDT
                        MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY.

              *Scheduled events may change without notice leading up to the day of the event

                                                       Page 11
The Monitoring Post                                                                               September, 2004

ARRL to Participate in National Preparedness Month
During September, the ARRL will be among dozens of organizations and agencies participating in National
Preparedness Month. "The Ready Campaign," produced by the Ad Council in partnership with the US Department
of Homeland Security (DHS), is aimed at making citizen preparedness "a priority for every city, every neighborhood
and every home" in the US. The League is an official affiliate of Citizen Corps, a DHS initiative to enhance public
preparedness and safety. ARRL will combine its role in National Preparedness Month--which starts September 9--
with its own "Amateur Radio Awareness Day" on September 18.

"The two events offer great opportunities for Amateur Radio to s   howcase its valued service to the nation," said
ARRL Field and Educational Services Manager Rosalie White, K1STO. She encouraged ARRL-affiliated clubs and
Field Organization volunteers to use the occasion to set up public demonstrations of Amateur Radio and to present
or even demonstrate--under the banner of National Preparedness Month--the free services Amateur Radio provides
to communities.

ARRL Club/Mentor Program Manager Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, suggests that while displays should be informative, they
also need to be neat and simple. "This is also an excellent opportunity to recruit prospective hams for licensing
classes that clubs may be forming for the fall," he added. In addition, ARRL encourages all Amateur Radio
operators to have a family emergency communication plan in place in case of an emergency, such as a severe
weather event. "Get Ready Now" brochures are available. Visit the Web site <> for
more information.

On Amateur Radio Awareness Day, September 18, W1AW/90 will be on the air from 10 AM until 10 PM Eastern
Time with ARRL staff members, new Section Managers in town for the annual Section Managers' Workshop and
volunteers from the Newington Amateur Radio League as operators. White encourages amateur groups to invite
public officials, representatives of served agencies and first responders to visit their public displays to discuss plans
for their Simulated Emergency Test (SET), typically in early October, or other drills.

Some clubs already have jumped on the National Preparedness Month/Amateur Radio Awareness Day
bandwagon, Fusaro notes--in some cases by taking advantage of already scheduled events during September.

The Middletown Amateur Radio Club--W2MAR--in New Jersey will take part in Middletown Day activities
September 18 with a public ham radio display, information table, traffic handling and ARES/RACES displays. The
club expects some 3000 visitors in town, including state and local officials.

In Illinois, Amateur Radio Awareness Day falls on the same weekend as the three-day Peoria Superfest 2004
Amateur Radio and computer show. The Peoria Area Amateur Radio Club will have an all-day demonstration at the
Exposition Garden Fairgrounds on September.

The Space Park Employees Association Amateur Radio Club (W6TRW) in Redondo Beach, California, will have its
emergency communications team (ECT) van at the Northrop Grumman Space Technology open house September

The ARRL has printed materials available for ARRL-affiliated clubs, ARES groups and others to use for public
exhibits and ham radio demonstrations. Brochures may be downloaded free of charge from the ARRL Web site
<>. For a small shipping fee, exhibit kits also are available.
Contact Linda Mullally, KB1HSV, <> to order.

The League also offers a sample news release <> that
clubs and groups can customize to help spread the word. More information about National Preparedness Month or
Amateur Radio demonstrations in general is available from ARRL <>.

                                                       Page 12
The Monitoring Post                                                                             September, 2004

FCC’s Emergency Alert System:
                Coming to Your Cell Phone Soon
Dave Eberhart,

The old Cold-War era broadcasts – with the shrieking signal on your TV and radio – may be finding new life in the
post 9/11 era. In fact, Emergency Alerts may become as ubiquitous as your cell phones and wireless devices, if
the FCC has their way.

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) has “fallen into disarray and needs major reform,” concluded FCC Chairman
Michael Powell recently as he announced agency plans to revamp the system, according to a report in
Broadcasting and Cable. Powell and his Federal Communications Commission planners envision a modernized
system to replace the old system’s architecture, taking fuller advantage of the digital age.

Featured would be instant alerts transmitted via a sophisticated new EAS that could beam warnings about crises
from local TV and radio stations to TVs, radios, personal computers and an array of digital devices -- including cell
phones and PDAs.

The FCC, working in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security, has already begun to solicit
suggestions from TV companies, cell phone makers and public-safety officials on how new digital-TV technology
can improve the system. On the drawing boards: DTV alerts that could turn TVs and radios on automatically so
residents could receive warnings even when the device is turned off – at night when they are asleep, for instance.

“A lot has changed since 1951,” said Powell in a reference to what most Baby Boomers recall as the weekly 30-
second tests of the old Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) -- an ear-piercing whistle and stern voiceover, “This is
only a test.”

Currently, EAS tests are accomplished monthly -- with a tone lasting only eight seconds. TV stations no longer
must display the EBS logo during tests and can continue regular programming while a notice for the test tracks
across the top of the screen. But despite such cosmetic upgrades over the years, critics point to a significant flaw.

Despite its ability to alert citizens in a variety of emergency situations, broadcasters have been required to install
and test equipment for a single purpose: to relay a nationwide message from the president to the American people
in the event of a full-scale nuclear attack.

As things stand now, the nation’s broadcasters carry local emergency alerts -- but only voluntarily. By 2007,
however, the FCC hopes to require local TV and radio outlets to carry local alerts, with other required elements
such as delivering alerts to cell phones and PDAs to follow.

Continued on Next Page

                                                      Page 13
The Monitoring Post                                                                              September, 2004

Emergency Alert System – Continued from Previous Page
If there is one big impetus to the ambitious project, it is the experience of 9/11, the closest the U.S. has come to a
national attack since Pearl Harbor. Incredibly, EAS was not activated during the aerial assaults.

Part of the problem in the Big Apple was that most New York TV stations’ antennas were located on the roof of the
World Trade Center. However even that hardware consideration becomes academic in the face of the fact that city
emergency managers simply failed to issue an alert. The dormancy of the system during the greatest domestic
crisis in the country’s history caused many to question whether the EAS as presently configured served any

FCC Wants a Mandatory System

FCC regulators have taken up the challenge, announcing that the goal now is to design the most efficient -- and
mandatory -- transmission of warnings about storms, toxic threats, medical facilities and evacuation routes during
all local emergencies.

The transformation may not be cost-intensive. Nearly all stations are already equipped to relay local alerts because
equipment necessary to relay presidential alerts also recognizes the codes used for local tornado, fire or missing-
child alerts. Even those stations needing some upgrades would be looking at an expenditure of $300-$5,000.

“Cost is not a factor in stations’ willingness to participate,” says Clay Freinwald, corporate engineer for Entercom
Communications and EAS committee chairman for the Society of Broadcast Engineers.

What has been a factor in the past is the system’s penchant for interrupting broadcasts -- annoying viewers with
frequent warnings of thunderstorms. Today, nearly 80 percent of local alerts are generated by the National Weather
Service, primarily in the “Tornado Alley” of the Midwest and the hurricane-prone states of the Gulf Coast.

But annoying or not, the era of mandatory local alerts is certainly on the horizon. Beyond the lessons of 9/11, there
have been other deadly learning curves at the local level.

Lessons Learned

In a San Diego County wildfire, sheriff’s deputies began evacuating residents at 11 p.m. the night before, but no
one thought to activate EAS for another four hours -- too late to catch more than a handful of TV viewers.
Consequently, twelve unwarned citizens died in the fires.          Even though wildfires are a frequent occurrence in
Southern California, local officials had never before activated broadcast alerts for a fire.

Meanwhile, some observers like Jim Gabbert, who oversees California's Emergency Alert System and serves on a
national advisory committee, is glad to see the FCC stepping up to bat. But will it be too little too late, he worries:

“Unfortunately, I think it will take a major catastrophe where hundreds of thousands of people are killed for people
to understand what (we) have been saying,” said Jim Gabbert, whose committee has been sounding a strident
alarm over the nation’s early warning deficit for the past two years.

Indeed, there is no shortage of critics of the present system – some of whom look to what they percieve as built-in
technical deficiencies. For instance, EAS remains much like it was three decades ago.

A government official triggers the alert system, and radio and TV stations -- along with cable companies -- move to
get an emergency message on the airwaves. For instance, during an emergency, the president records a message
to Americans. The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) then transmits the message via
telephone lines to 34 pre-chosen radio stations covering 90 percent of the country.

Continued on Next Page

                                                       Page 14
The Monitoring Post                                                                              September, 2004

Emergency Alert System – Continued from Previous Page
In many states, the systems rely entirely on these designated first-tier radio stations, which broadcast live 24 hours,
to interrupt their programs to air digital warning tones with audio messages embedded inside. Small, so-called
second-tier stations can also detect the tones and broadcast them to even smaller third-tier stations. Along the way,
the stations are supposed to pull out the messages and air them.

“A lot of people find fault with that and call it a daisy chain,” says Warren Shulz, who oversees the alert system in
Illinois. Shulz adds that the multiple-station approach requires the top stations to have a person in the studio all the
time and can break down if a disaster like an earthquake cripples the stations in the first tier and the backup second

While some broadcasters have complained that authorities use the system too often, especially for weather
warnings and “Amber alerts” about missing children, others occupy the opposite side of the spectrum – maintaining
that authorities, including police, fire and emergency-management departments, forget that the alert system even

Shulz thinks that relying on new gadgetry alone would be a mistake:

“Ask the people down in Florida how their cell phones and internet connections are working,” he said. By contrast,
he argues, many radio stations can operate on generator power for several days.

For his part, Gabbert wants more federal oversight:

“My biggest concern is that someone on the federal level has to be responsible for the national, state and local
alerting system. It can't be different groups in different places running into each other like bumper cars.”

For instance, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency refuses to operate EAS. Instead, the state
broadcasters association must run the system on its own. A new federal system could resolve such discrepancies.

And Finally...

                            D’oh! – Close that Door! It’s Supposed to Say HITS-FM!!!

                                                       Page 15
Your Articles Wanted!
The SCMA wants to publish this newsletter every month but, to make that a reality, we need information
to share with other members. If you have anything you think other members would find interesting,
please share it with us. You can send your information in ANY format and we’ll “pretty it up” to put in the
newsletter. Send your submissions to:

SCMA, PO Box 66701, Los Angeles, CA 90066

or via email to

All the membership will thank you.

Southern California Monitoring Association
P.O. Box 66701
Los Angeles, CA 90066


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