This article first appeared in the February 2001 issue of Monitoring Times.


One of the first challenges facing a scanner user trying to track a trunked system is finding the right frequencies. Short of standing next to a police cruiser or fire truck with a frequency counter, how can you find the frequencies they use?

Web Resources

One of the easiest ways is to see if someone else has already figured it out, and the World Wide Web is a great place to look. A number of dedicated hobbyists maintain detailed listings of frequencies and talkgroups.

One such site is the Southeast US Trunked Radio Information Homepage run by Lindsay Blanton at . The site contains specific county and city listings for Alabama, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. You can also find general information about Motorola and EDACS systems, decoding schematics and software, and even some tidbits about the APCO 25 standard.

In the April 2000 Tracking the Trunks column I reported on the Ocean City, Maryland, EDACS system. Lindsay's web site recently reported that In coming months Ocean City, Md and Worcester County will consolidate their EDACS systems for enhanced coverage. It will be necessary to change/re-program all radios with this new talkgroup IDs and system information.

The site goes on to list the frequencies and talkgroups for the combined system.

Orange County Transportation Authority

From the mailbag I received this question:

Sir, in your November 2000 column on page 79 you found information on the Galveston County trunked system for Dale M. I have the same problem with the Orange County Transit Authority in California. I know the frequencies of 856 to 860.4875 MHz. On my Pro 90, 92, and 94 scanners Motorola Type 2 systems go right in but not this system. Any help will be a great help to me, are there any web sites on public transit that you have found?

Clarence B.

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is the primary public transportation provider in Orange County, California, with about 1,500 employees and an annual budget of more than $500 million.

The ultimate source for frequency information is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which operates a license database that can be accessed from the web. Let's walk though an example to find the assigned frequencies for the Orange County Transportation Authority.

First, go to the FCC database website at

and select State/County from the left side of the Table of Contents.

Select CA for the State, enter ORANGE for the County, and use YP (Trunked Public Safety/Special Emergency) for the Radio Service. Click on the "OK" button.

When the search completes, click on "ULS DATABASE" hyperlink and you should see a screen like this:

Click on the callsign assigned to the Orange County Transportation Authority, KNCM802. This should retrieve one record that looks something like this:

Click on "SITE" in the upper left-hand corner of the record. You'll see a set of site records.

Click on "FREQUENCY" in the upper-left hand corner of the record.

The frequency drill-down results show a total of six unique frequencies licensed at the first site (Sierra Peak): 856.4875, 857.4875, 858.4875, 859.4875, 860.4875 and 858.4125 MHz. Record number 2 (for Santiago Peak) shows the same frequencies.

Record number 3 shows the corresponding mobile frequencies (45 MHz lower than the repeater frequencies): 811.4875, 812.4875, 813.4875, 814.4875, 815.4875, and 813.4125 MHz.

With these frequencies, Clarence can listen in conventional mode to find the control and voice channels for this trunked system.

A number of other types of FCC database searches are available from the Table of Contents. For instance, if you know the name of the licensee you're interested in, you can use the "Licensee/State" search.

Entering "orange county transportation authority" results in the following table:

Selecting the callsign for each entry will pull out the relevant records.

Galveston, Texas

As a follow-up to Dale M.'s request in the November 2000 column, a reader who wishes to remain anonymous sent me the following talkgroup information for the Galveston County, Texas, trunked radio network. It's a Motorola Type II system with voice channel frequencies of 866.0625, 866.1625, 866.4125, 866.4375, 866.5875, 866.8125, 866.8375, 866.9625, 867.0875, 867.3125, 867.3375, 867.5625, 867.7125, 867.8375, 868.0625, 868.2125, 868.3375, and 868.4625 MHz. Control channels are running on 868.5875, 868.6625, 868.8000, and 868.9125 MHz.


Bacliff/San Leon Fire Department 59312 E7B

Bolivar/High Island Fire Department 53424 D0B

Dickinson Fire Department (Channel #1) 49936 C31

Dickinson Fire Department (Tactical #1) 49968 C33

Dickinson Fire Department (Tactical #2) 50000 C35

Galveston Fire Department 52656 CDB

Galveston County (Countywide Fire) 55920 DA7

Galveston County (DVP Operations) 55888 DA5

Hitchcock Fire Department 60720 ED3

Jamaica Beach Fire Department 60848 EDB

Kemah Fire Department 53680 D1B

LaMarque Fire Department 53904 D29

Radcliff/San Leon Fire Departments 59312 E7B

Santa Fe Fire Department 54576 D53

Texas City Fire Department (Channel #1) 55184 D79

Texas City Fire Department (Channel #2) 55216 D7B

Texas City Fire Department (Channel #3) 55248 D7D

Tiki Island Fire Department 61552 F07

Emergency Medical Services

Galveston City 51504 C93

Galveston City (Dispatch) 51472 C91

Galveston County (Countywide) 55984 DAB

Galveston County (Countywide) 55952 DA9

Rural Metro Galveston County 54512 D4F

Rural Metro Galveston County (Primary) 54480 D4D

Rural Metro Galveston County (Channel #1) 54384 D47

Rural Metro Galveston County (Channel #2) 54416 D49

Santa Fe EMS 54544 D51


Texas Department of Public Safety 55472 D8B

Galveston County Constable (Channel A) 51120 C7B

Galveston County Constable (Channel B) 51152 C7D

Clear Lake Shores Police 49616 C1D

Dickinson Police (Channel 1) 49712 C23

Dickinson Police (Channel 2) 49744 C25

Dickinson Police (Channel 3) 49776 C27

Dickinson Police (Channel 4) 49808 C29

Dickinson Police (Channel 5) 49840 C2B

Dickinson Police (Special Events) 49872 C2D

Galveston Police (Channel 1) Primary 52208 CBF

Galveston Police (Channel 2) Information 52240 CC1

Galveston Police (Channel 3) 52272 CC3

Galveston Police (Channel 4) 52304 CC5

Galveston Police (Channel 5) 52336 CC7

Galveston Police (Channel 6) 52368 CC9

Galveston Police (Channel 7 - SWAT) 52464 CCF

Galveston Police (Dive Team) 52496 CD1

Galveston Police (Motorcycles) 52560 CD5

Galveston Police (Narcotics) 52624 CD9

Gilchrist Police Department 54352 D45

Hitchcock Police Department 53456 D0D

Jamaica Beach Police Department 60816 ED9

Kemah Police Department 53648 D19

Kemah Police Department (Channel 1) 53616 D17

Kemah Police Department (Channel 2) 53584 D15

Kemah Police Department (Tactical) 62928 F5D

LaMarque Police Department 53808 D23

Santa Fe Police Department (Channel 1) 54704 D5B

Santa Fe Police Department (Channel 2) 54736 D5D

Texas City Police Department (Channel 1) 54896 D67

Texas City Police Department (Channel 2) 54928 D69

Texas City Police Department (Channel 3) 54960 D6B

Texas City Police Department (Channel 4) 55088 D73

Galveston County Sheriff (Administration) 50832 C69

Galveston County Sheriff (Beach Patrol Channel 1) 50960 C71

Galveston County Sheriff (Beach Patrol Channel 2) 50992 C73

Galveston County Sheriff (Beach Patrol Supervisor) 51024 C75

Galveston County Sheriff (Channel 1 - Island) 50032 C37

Galveston County Sheriff (Channel 2 - Mainland) 50064 C39

Galveston County Sheriff (Channel 3 - Information) 50096 C3B

Galveston County Sheriff (Channel 4 - Intercity) 50128 C3D

Galveston County Sheriff (Communications) 50416 C4F

Galveston County Sheriff (Countywide) 55888 DA5

Galveston County Sheriff (Countywide Police) 55856 DA3

Galveston County Sheriff (Dive Team) 50928 C6F

Galveston County Sheriff (Jail) 50448 C51

Galveston County Sheriff (Marine - Channel 1) 50864 C6B

Galveston County Sheriff (Marine - Channel 2) 50896 C6D

Galveston County Sheriff (Patrol 1) 50160 C3F

Galveston County Sheriff (Patrol Supervisor) 50192 C41

Galveston County Sheriff (Warrants - Channel 1) 50768 C65

Galveston County Sheriff (Warrants - Channel 2) 50800 C67


Galveston County (Countywide - All Agencies) 55952 DA9

Galveston County Disaster (Channel 1) 51728 CA1

Galveston County Disaster (Channel 2) 51760 CA3

Dickinson Office of Emergency Measures 49904 C2F

Galveston County Emergency Management (Channel 1) 51664 C9D

Galveston County Emergency Management (Channel 2) 51696 C9F

Galveston County Emergency Measures (Channel 1) 51888 CAB

Galveston County Emergency Measures (Channel 2) 51920 CAD

Galveston City Emergency Operations Center 52880 CE9

Galveston School District 52944 CED

Santa Fe School District 57008 DEB

Texas City Independent School District 56912 DE5

LaMarque Utilities 58000 E29

Texas City Utilities Department 61200 EF1

Our reader also recommends the website

for further information.

Scanning over the Web

If you're interested in listening to public safety radio traffic in distant areas of the country, you may be in luck if you have a relatively fast connection to the Internet. Many cities now pipe their police and fire dispatch frequencies to interested web surfers. Here's a sample of some of what's out there: has police departments from Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, New York and San Diego as well as the Dallas Fire Department. You'll need either the Windows Media Player or the Real Audio Player (both are free) and at least a 28.8 kbps (kilobits per second) connection to the Internet.

Cleveland, Ohio, may be the first city to have their trunked radio traffic available on the Internet. You can check it out at

Montgomery County, Maryland has two channels of Real Audio, Fire Ground Operations and Emergency Dispatches, available at

Phoenix police and fire frequencies can be heard at

Cincinnati, Ohio police transmissions are available in Real Audio at

That's all for this month. Further information and links can be found on my website at, and I welcome your electronic mail at Until next month, happy monitoring!

Comments to Dan Veeneman

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