FAQ

1. Is it legal to broadcast public safety communications over the internet?
2. Why do you do this?
3. How come I can’t hear your feed?
4. Why do I see these plugin errors on your website?
6. What’s the reason for tracking my IP when I visit your site?
7. What are the following sounds that I randomly hear when I’m listening?
8. How do I program my scanner?
9. Will you program or help me program my scanner? I’ll pay you!
10. What kind of scanners do you use?
11. Can you change or switch around (for me) what is broadcasted on each feed?
12. Do you broadcast anything other than Snohomish County radio communications?
13. Where can I find info on the different codes the Fire and Police Departments use?
14. What scanner do you recommend?
15. Where can I get technical info about the Snohomish County 800Mhz trunk system?
16. Where can I get info showing what frequency each department uses?
17. What software do you use to program and remotely control your scanner?
18. Can I get a copy of your programming file you use in FreeSCAN?
19. Do you maintain the website and feeds on your own?
20. How can I broadcast my own feed?
21. How do I contact you?
22. Can I re-broadcast your live scanner audio on my own website?
23. Why do you have SCSO South on Feed #1 when it’s mostly Fire and EMS?
24. If I have a question can I talk to you on the phone?
25. I’m trying to contact you but I have not heard back?
26. Who is this Annie Alley gal the police dispatchers refer to?
27. What frequency does (insert dept name here) use?
28. Why do the feeds randomly go down?
29. Are your feeds associated with or available on the Broadcastify website?
30. Are your feeds available on any mobile phone scanner applications?
31. How much time do you put in to this site to keep it all up and running?
32. Why is the sky blue and grass green?

1. Is it legal to broadcast public safety communications over the internet?
I will start off by saying yes it is completely legal to rebroadcast public safety radio communications over the internet. You can find much information regarding this subject all over the internet. With that said, it is illegal to commit a crime while listening to a scanner. These two very different scenarios often get confused with each other. So if you decide to rob a store and listen to a scanner to monitor police activity, you can expect to get a felony charge if caught.

2. Why do you do this?
First off, I don’t do this with the idea I am going to retire off the website. The Google Ads you see support several different aspects of the website. Such as the web hosting (about $1.00 per day) and the hardware needed (PC & scanners) to keep the site up and going. I just want to make it clear I do this for the fun and to challenge myself. I love technology and merging the two pieces together (scanner & internet) was fun and cool. When I first made my website it was just for my own personal gain. I wanted a way to listen to the scanner from anywhere. I let the proverbial “cat out of the bag” several years ago by posting a link to my site in a radio forum I frequent. The second I did that the traffic to my site went crazy and I started receiving emails asking questions. So the site has grown from there and I plan to keep it going for as long as I can.

3. How come I can’t hear the feed?
This can happen because of a few reasons. First check your browser settings and make sure it will allow addons / plugins. Second, make sure you don’t have the Flash Player blocked. And try disabling your antivirus software and reload the page. Lastly, try another web browser such as Firefox or Chrome.

5. Does your live feed run 24×7 365/366?
Yes. I try to keep broadcasting online as much as possible.

6. What’s the reason for tracking my IP when I visit your site?
In the past there has been some reports that my website may have been used while an individual or individuals committed a crime. Of course I do not condone the use of my website in this manner. I provide the website for those who enjoy the scanner hobby. Not for those who want to exploit the hobby. So I made the decision to log all the IP’s that visit my site. So be aware, I will provide the IP logs to any law enforcement agency that request them with no questions asked.

7. What are the following sounds that I randomly hear when I’m listening?
More than likely it’s me navigating the menus on the scanner. Here are some examples.

This is when I press a button on my scanner keypad.

This is when I lock or unlock a talk group on the scanner.

This is what the Control Channel sounds like.

This is what an encrypted Talk Group sounds like.

8. How do I program my scanner?
Best suggestion I can give you is to search Google for programming instructions for your scanner. In addition, almost every modern scanner model has a Google and or Yahoo group dedicated to it which can help you out.

9. Will you program or help me program my scanner? I’ll pay you!
Sorry, but no. I just don’t have the time. See FAQ #8. And no I am not aware of any service in Snohomish County that will program your scanner for a fee.

10. What kind of scanners do you use?
I have several scanners but for the Snohomish County Feeds that I broadcast, I use a couple Uniden BC246T. The handheld that I carry around with me is Uniden BC346XT. And in my car I have a Uniden BCT15. I also own several old Radio Shack scanners that I use for monitoring conventional VHF and UHF communications.

11. Can you change or switch around (for me) what is broadcasted on each feed?
Sorry, but no.

12. Do you broadcast anything other than Snohomish County radio communications?
I only broadcast the Snohomish County 800Mhz Trunk Radio System.

13. Where can I find info on the different codes the Fire and Police Departments use?
There is a “10 Code” list HERE for what SCSO uses. But some have changed and some don’t get used anymore. For example the dispatcher used to say “20Tom45 10-62” but now it’s “20Tom45 Status”. And the only acceptable “I’m A-Ok” response to this is “Code4”.

14. What scanner do you recommend?
There is no one single answer to this question. It all depends on what you want to listen to and the type of radio system you want to monitor. You will need to find out if it is an Analog or Digital system and what type of system it is such as Trunk or Conventional. This info can be found in the Intercept Radio Wiki. To monitor the public safety radio communications in Snohomish County (SNOPAC and SNOCOM) you will need a scanner that supports a analog Motorola Type II trunking radio system. With all that said I highly recommend the Uniden brand scanners. For one, there are lots of free programming and control software available for the Uniden product line. And in my opinion the quality of my Uniden scanners is excellent. And lastly, Uniden is very proactive as far as releasing new firmware for bug fixes, enhancements and the upcoming frequency re-band that is going to happen.

15. Where can I get technical info about the Snohomish County 800Mhz trunk system?
There are a couple of places you can find info. One is at the Intercept Radio Wiki. The other is the Snohomish County Emergency Radio System website. It’s also known as SERS.

16. Where can I get info showing what frequency and Talk Groups each department uses?
Almost all of that info can be found in the Intercept Radio Wiki. In addition, Intercept Radio has a great forum that has some very knowledgeable members that are more than willing to help out. And it’s all FREE. Check it out here Intercept Radio Forums

17. What software do you use to program and remotely control your scanner?
I use FreeSCAN. It’s freeware and works great. There are several other programs available that you have to pay for. Such as BuTeL but I refuse to pay for software when a free alternative is available. As far as controlling my scanner from a PC, I use Advanced Virtual Control.

18. Can I get a copy of your programming file you use in FreeSCAN?
Sure. Here it is Snohomish County Scanner Programming (updated 5-9-16). As a bonus you will notice this file also contains programming for some King Co. systems and other stuff. You will need to unzip the file with a program like WinZip or 7-Zip and then use FreeSCAN to view / edit it.

19. Do you maintain the website and feeds on your own?
Yes. This is a “one man band” so to speak. I am the only one that manages the website and feeds.

20. How can I broadcast my own feed?
Contact Rich at Intercept Radio

21. How do I contact you?
Click the Contact Me button at the top of the page or click Here

22. Can I re-broadcast your live scanner audio on my own website?
No, please do not steal my feeds.

23. Why do you have SCSO South on Feed #1 when it’s mostly Fire and EMS?
Feed #1 is what I listen to 99% of the time so I have configured it to broadcast what I prefer to listen to.

24. If I have a question can I talk to you on the phone?
Please use the Contact Me button at the top of the page and send me your questions. I will do my best to answer. If I feel a person to person phone call would be a better avenue then I will ask to contact you via telephone.

25. I’m trying to contact you but I have not heard back?
There is a 99.9% chance that what you are asking is already answered in this FAQ or in the link provided.

26. Who is this Annie Alley gal the police dispatchers refer to?
Well, it’s actually “ANI/ALI”. And it’s a term used when a 911 hang-up or open line call comes in to the dispatch center. ANI is Automatic Number Identification.  ALI is Automatic Location Identification.

27. What frequency does (insert dept name here) use?
This is one of the most common question I receive. No department uses just one frequency anymore. Those days are long gone. The answer is every department uses a pool of frequencies. Once you understand how a Motorola Type II trunk radio system woks, you will better understand why that question does not apply anymore. This site will give you a basic understanding how a trunk radio system works.

28. Why do the feeds randomly go down?
There are several answers to this question. But in a nutshell there are several pieces of software and hardware that all have to work for the feeds run. Some of which I have control of and some not. If one piece breaks then the feed(s) will go down. Considering the whole picture it’s impressive that the feeds are up about 98% of the time.

29. Are your feeds associated with or available on the Broadcastify website?
No

30. Are your feeds available on any mobile phone scanner applications?
No

29. How much time do you put in to this site to keep it all up and running?
Honestly, only a few hours a week on average. I have things setup pretty good to run on their own. But if something breaks on my end then I could spend several hours in one day trying to fix it. And please keep in mind, like most of you I work a normal job and I also volunteer at the Fire Dept. So please be patient when the feeds go down or the site is broken.

32. Why is the sky blue and grass green?
See Here! and Here!


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