MBTA PD UHF signal issues?

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n1zyy
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MBTA PD UHF signal issues?

#1 Post by n1zyy » 30 Jan 2019 16:54

I'm in the office in Boston today and noticing a weird issue where some comms are very strong, but some are just barely above the noise floor. This seems kind of weird since it's a repeater so it doesn't really make any sense... Has anyone noticed something similar?

Does anyone know if UHF is still the primary, or if it's now on the 800 MHz trunk and they're just patched through to the UHF frequency?
Matt, N1ZYY ★ Lowell, MA

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Re: MBTA PD UHF signal issues?

#2 Post by ecps92 » 30 Jan 2019 16:59

Different Repeater sites ?, just a thought
n1zyy wrote:
30 Jan 2019 16:54
I'm in the office in Boston today and noticing a weird issue where some comms are very strong, but some are just barely above the noise floor. This seems kind of weird since it's a repeater so it doesn't really make any sense... Has anyone noticed something similar?

Does anyone know if UHF is still the primary, or if it's now on the 800 MHz trunk and they're just patched through to the UHF frequency?
Bill Dunn N1KUG
Cruise Ship Frequencies
http://scanmaritime.com

"The tougher it is to find a frequency, the more it makes me want to work to find it. - I've learned to use the SEARCH Button"

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n1zyy
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Re: MBTA PD UHF signal issues?

#3 Post by n1zyy » 30 Jan 2019 22:14

I wondered about that. The dispatcher always has a great signal, and many, but not all, other units did, too. The "good" signal was about -55 dBm, and the "bad" one was around -120 dBm. My office is 11 stories up a block away from City Hall, so anything designed to cover Boston is quite strong. But if they have multiple repeaters, I'd have blindly assumed they were simulcast.

My other theory is that it was someone accidentally on talkaround that I was hearing. But it wasn't a one-time thing. (I also naively assume that the dispatcher more or less hears the repeater input via wireline, so they wouldn't hear someone on talkaround. This may be totally false.)

But the other weird thing -- last week I went to try to play back the "tapes" from T PD on Broadcastify after I reported suspicious activity on my way home. The archives were mostly silent, except for occasional scratchy signal. I reported to the feed maintainer that it seemed like they had a signal problem, as it used to be fine. I wonder if it's actually the same thing.

I'm curious if officers are carrying UHF radios, or if they're on the 800 MHz system. I don't have the equipment to monitor it, but know that years ago the police used UHF as 'primary' and just had a patch. Curious if that's flipped, and maybe they don't care much about the UHF side now or something.
Matt, N1ZYY ★ Lowell, MA

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Re: MBTA PD UHF signal issues?

#4 Post by ecps92 » 31 Jan 2019 07:11

I'd agree with likely simulcast.

Last I knew, chatting with a former co-worked, they still had the UHF , guess it is time to have a Coffee with him and also grab all the Alpha-Tags :)

Remember also they provide [last I heard] coverage down into RI for the Commuter Rail, so they might have those officers with 700/800 Portables or just mobiles.
Never been an agency I have regularly monitored within the past 22 yrs, prior to that always as they would show-up during a Surv on an active Lo/Jack vehicle :)
n1zyy wrote:
30 Jan 2019 22:14
I wondered about that. The dispatcher always has a great signal, and many, but not all, other units did, too. The "good" signal was about -55 dBm, and the "bad" one was around -120 dBm. My office is 11 stories up a block away from City Hall, so anything designed to cover Boston is quite strong. But if they have multiple repeaters, I'd have blindly assumed they were simulcast.

My other theory is that it was someone accidentally on talkaround that I was hearing. But it wasn't a one-time thing. (I also naively assume that the dispatcher more or less hears the repeater input via wireline, so they wouldn't hear someone on talkaround. This may be totally false.)

But the other weird thing -- last week I went to try to play back the "tapes" from T PD on Broadcastify after I reported suspicious activity on my way home. The archives were mostly silent, except for occasional scratchy signal. I reported to the feed maintainer that it seemed like they had a signal problem, as it used to be fine. I wonder if it's actually the same thing.

I'm curious if officers are carrying UHF radios, or if they're on the 800 MHz system. I don't have the equipment to monitor it, but know that years ago the police used UHF as 'primary' and just had a patch. Curious if that's flipped, and maybe they don't care much about the UHF side now or something.
Bill Dunn N1KUG
Cruise Ship Frequencies
http://scanmaritime.com

"The tougher it is to find a frequency, the more it makes me want to work to find it. - I've learned to use the SEARCH Button"

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Re: MBTA PD UHF signal issues?

#5 Post by garys » 31 Jan 2019 10:23

They may well carry dual band radios. As Bill notes, they have jurisdiction down into Rhode Island because of the Commuter Rail. They also go out at least to Worcester for the same reason.
It makes more sense for them to use the MSP system than to build the UHF system out to cover that far from Boston.

The Transit Police have full police powers in any city or town where there is MBTA property. That includes towns with only Commuter Rail stations or even with no stations and just power lines running through. That dates back to a late 1980s court decision on a case that involved the MDC police. As long as their is some sort of facility that the Transit Police are responsible for protecting, they have full police powers in that city or town.

Which means that the Transit Police can be in all sorts of places where you wouldn't expect them.
We're peace loving people, we're not hunting trouble, but if trouble should find us, we'll stand up and fight.

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Re: MBTA PD UHF signal issues?

#6 Post by ScanBoston » 31 Jan 2019 11:44

But yet their scared to ride the trains... go figure?

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Re: MBTA PD UHF signal issues?

#7 Post by n1zyy » 31 Jan 2019 12:31

ScanBoston wrote:
31 Jan 2019 11:44
But yet their scared to ride the trains... go figure?
:D

I assumed they'd say it was something about mobility, but I've seen more sketchy stuff happen on trains than in stations.

The police powers bit is interesting. I noticed some years ago that college PDs have a similar deal -- not just police powers on their campus, but areas around their campus, and anywhere in the state (at least) where a school event is occurring.

I have seen transit cops carrying APX radios a while back now that I think about it, but I didn't get a close look at whether they were using the dual/multi-band ones or not.
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Re: MBTA PD UHF signal issues?

#8 Post by garys » 31 Jan 2019 15:00

At least at one time, they did both ride the trains and use cruisers. I don't know if they still do that. They also used to make a lot of warrant arrests at the stations.

Campus police probably have different powers depending on whether it's a private or public school. Also, a lot depends on which police agency grants them police powers. I think it was Northeastern that actually got their police powers from the Suffolk County Sheriff. Which gave them more latitude than if Boston PD had done it. The Transit Police jurisdiction is more clear cut because it comes from legislation and a court decision which confirmed the legislation.
n1zyy wrote:
31 Jan 2019 12:31
ScanBoston wrote:
31 Jan 2019 11:44
But yet their scared to ride the trains... go figure?
:D

I assumed they'd say it was something about mobility, but I've seen more sketchy stuff happen on trains than in stations.

The police powers bit is interesting. I noticed some years ago that college PDs have a similar deal -- not just police powers on their campus, but areas around their campus, and anywhere in the state (at least) where a school event is occurring.

I have seen transit cops carrying APX radios a while back now that I think about it, but I didn't get a close look at whether they were using the dual/multi-band ones or not.
We're peace loving people, we're not hunting trouble, but if trouble should find us, we'll stand up and fight.

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Re: MBTA PD UHF signal issues?

#9 Post by ScanBoston » 31 Jan 2019 16:54

The original four campus police departments where started by the state (Harvard, Tufts, Northeastern and Boston College) and date back to major anti-war demonstrations where Boston Police were chasing students back into dorms and school buildings. The schools demanded the legislators do something to protect the students. So at the state level the training, the powers, and the jurisdictions were all granted. Boston University and the others came a long a little later. Over the years Boston started working with them and now several have worked out special police deals with Boston to have some powers off their campuses. But without this they have no Chapter 90 and only jurisdiction on school owned property and streets.

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Re: MBTA PD UHF signal issues?

#10 Post by wb1hbu » 31 Jan 2019 17:37

Hello,

Back in the early days of activity on the EDACS system, Transit PD Channel 1 was linked to a talkgroup like the various subway UHF frequencies. It also appeared like some of the radios were actually on the system. At some point it changed, because the only thing I heard last year was simulcast of the BAPERN channels. Any transmission on Transit PD Channel 1 did not appear on the EDACS system.

73 Eric

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Re: MBTA PD UHF signal issues?

#11 Post by ecps92 » 31 Jan 2019 17:43

More are being granted Chapter 90 outside of being Specials for the County or City
IT is more [passed thru the legislature] of an Ask the RMV/OAT on a One-for-One basis as they begin to isssue Citations and have BT Machines installed
ScanBoston wrote:
31 Jan 2019 16:54
The original four campus police departments where started by the state (Harvard, Tufts, Northeastern and Boston College) and date back to major anti-war demonstrations where Boston Police were chasing students back into dorms and school buildings. The schools demanded the legislators do something to protect the students. So at the state level the training, the powers, and the jurisdictions were all granted. Boston University and the others came a long a little later. Over the years Boston started working with them and now several have worked out special police deals with Boston to have some powers off their campuses. But without this they have no Chapter 90 and only jurisdiction on school owned property and streets.
Bill Dunn N1KUG
Cruise Ship Frequencies
http://scanmaritime.com

"The tougher it is to find a frequency, the more it makes me want to work to find it. - I've learned to use the SEARCH Button"

gillham
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Re: MBTA PD UHF signal issues?

#12 Post by gillham » 31 Jan 2019 21:13

Colleges and Universities that have true Police powers, not campus security departments, are Massachusetts Special State Police Officers: https://www1.wne.edu/public-safety/page ... ficers.cfm

I'm not aware of any schools that have Chapter 90 - I know they're currently pushing for it.

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