Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)

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Which free police/fire scanner do you recommend that does not have
intrusive ads?

There's a fire, called the "Loma Fire" nearby, near the site of the big
earthquake of 89 (also probably in sight of where Jeff lives):
http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/09/26/santa-cruz-mountains-large-fire-burns-near-loma-prieta/

Some pictures are:
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-lomafire-0927-22.jpg
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/20080522__firesecondbatch2.jpg
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-lomafire-0927-24.jpg
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-lomafire-0927-23.jpg
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-sjfire-0927-004.jpg

Lots of WISP and radio dishes are at risk!
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-sjfire-0927-005.jpg

This fire started before 3pm today so is still less than 1,000 acres at
this point, but it's gonna grow bigger (I can see the flames from my house,
even at night - where the glow changes with the flames) since it's the
fastest growing mushroom cloud I've seen in years!
https://i0.wp.com/www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-lomafire-0927-02.jpg?w62%0&crop=0%2C0px%2C100%2C9999px

I had *thought* in the past that the 5.0 scanner was the best free scanner
for listening to the "CalFire SCU" frequencies.

But, after installing it, I was disgusted with the plethora of super
annoying ads, the likes of which I have never seen before - they're that
obnoxious.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.criticalhitsoftware.policescanner50free
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/5-0-radio-police-scanner/id356336433

Since the 5.0 Scanner seems to have gone completely over to the dark side,
Googling, I can find plenty of listings of other free Android & iOS
police/fire scanners, so I simply ask you for the one *you* use that has
the least amount of obtrusive ads.

Android:
http://www.androidauthority.com/best-police-scanner-apps-for-android-608588/
iOS:
http://journalistapps.com/2012/02/top-3-free-police-scanner-apps-iphone/

Which free police/fire scanner do you recommend that does not have
intrusive ads?

Re: Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)

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uniden trunktracker


you've previously said you had 'business' to do in the woods without
being tracked.

now we know why.

Re: Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)
On Mon, 26 Sep 2016 23:19:34 -0400, nospam wrote:

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If I could only tell you the story ... I'm pretty sure the police obtained
my cellphone signals for a month on either side of a certain date of an
event which first made local news and then was spread (mostly by copying
since there wasn't any new data) to around the country, so, I had my "two
minutes" of fame as an "anonymous RP"  (the police refer to me as the RP
for some reason).

It's interesting how the story spread - where everyone just copied the
information (both accurate and inaccurate) - but the local news had it
almost right since they talked to me and to the police afterward.

I can't tell you the details, but they asked questions which, had I
answered wrong, they would have known, because they *knew* the time and
place where I was in the middle of nowhere at those times.

Let's see what happens when/if it ever gets to court. They have the guys on
something else right now.

But that's for another place and time (maybe I'll tell Jeff - who certainly
heard the news - but he's probably the only one I'd tell *exactly* what
happened).

The net is that it's a good idea to get really good at removing the battery
or trusting airplane mode so that your cellphone doesn't tell the police
(or the bad guys) *everywhere* you've been in the past months...  

Re: Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)

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i'm sure they refer to you by much more than that, but rp means
reporting party or reporting person.

Re: Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)
On Mon, 26 Sep 2016 23:40:01 -0400, nospam wrote:

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Heh heh ... yeah. Probably.  
I do talk a lot so the detectives were writing stuff down for quite a while
(you'd think they'd use tape recorders for heaven's sake).

All the papers I've seen simply list me as "the RP", and even when they
introduced me to others, they referred to me verbally as "the RP".

I think I'll make that my next nym ...  

Anyway, back to the free wifi scanners that *don't* have obnoxious ads!

Re: Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)

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Yup! I saw that you have a fire burning just below the Loma Prieta  
towers. I hope that doesn't effect you too badly. I have just gone  
through our scare with the "Chimney" fire.

I use the "5-0 Radio Pro" on my iPhone they have a free edition and and  
edition which has extra feeds for $3.99.
<https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/5-0-radio-police-scanner/id356336433?mt=8
<https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/5-0-radio-pro-police-scanner/id341776037?mt=8

I use the pay edition, so I don't know if the free edition will give  
you what you want. I normally monitor the San Luis Obispo County Public  
Safety, San Luis Obispo and Southern Monterey Counties CalFire, which  
also gives me all the air attack traffic. It gives me all the traffic I  
eed for my location.


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Some  
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http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-lomafire-0927-24.jpg
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-lomafire-0927-23.jpg
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-sjfire-0927-004.jpg

Lots  
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I  
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https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/5-0-radio-police-scanner/id356336433

Since  
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--  
Regards,

Savageduck


Re: Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)

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There is also this:
<https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/police-scanner+-free/id498408628?mt=8

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Some

pictures  
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http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-lomafire-0927-24.jpg
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-lomafire-0927-23.jpg
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-sjfire-0927-004.jpg

Lots

of  
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I

had  
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https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/5-0-radio-police-scanner/id356336433

Since

the  
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--  
Regards,

Savageduck


Re: Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)
On Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:21:28 -0700, Savageduck wrote:

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Thanks for taking a risk on suggesting the iOS freeware fire/police
scanner.

Police Scanner+ Free By Rego Apps
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/police-scanner+-free/id498408628

This app has features that the Android app I found doesn't, e.g.,
- records the audio (and plays it back)
- timer controlled to turn on or shut off on a daily schedule

As always, I needed to select the correct folder to put the app in, so I
put it in the "audio" folder, along with "5-0 Radio" by Smartest Apps LLC,
Version 39.0:

It's an OK app, and I'd call it usable for a few reasons...

In my tests:
- It picked up CalFire SCU  
- It works in the background
- It works with the screen off
- It recorded easily to a named file (e.g., "loma fire 1").
- It has a timer to start/stop playing  
- There are two kinds of ads, but they don't kill the app.

The two kinds of ads are:
- There is a bar-like ad at the bottom of the scanner app
- There is a full-screen ad that pops up and takes over the screen
- The full-screen ad has to be killed - but - unlike 5-0 Scanner, at least
the full-screen ad didn't kill the operation of the scanner. And the
full-screen ad seems to be on some sort of long (minutes) timer because it
went away without me messing with it. One full-screen ad came with audio,
which overlay the scanner audio - so that sucked - so I'd say this app is
"just ok" because there are apps that are free that don't have any ads that
take up the whole screen like this one did.

The "done" button on the recording and favoriting of stations was not
intuitive, but after figuring it out, that, and the lack of a "Back"
button, were only minor learning hurdles to overcome. (At least Android
*always* has a back button.)

I'll test it out further, but first inspection is that it is "ok".
a. It's not as usable as the Android first choice
b. But it has more features than did the Android first selection

Re: Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)
On Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:01:28 -0700, Savageduck wrote:

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It's close enough to see the red glow, even now, in the dark, and the
mushroom was incredible at just after 3pm. It was *huge* at the base.  

Here's a picture of the mushroom cloud from the newspapers:
http://cdn20.patchcdn.com/users/22880691/20160926/065938/styles/T600x450/public/article_images/1-1474930500-3823.jpg

That picture was taken in the valley, *very far* away from the fire (maybe
30 miles because you can't see the mountain, and the fire is *on* the
mountain itself) and the base *still* looks huge - ever from that far away
and from that lousy vantage point.

I've seen dozens of fires in these mountains and this one isn't that large
yet (less than a thousand acres, but it's only about 5% contained, they
say), and it's moving southeast - but luckily there's almost no wind to
speak of at the moment - but that mushroom cloud just went straight up with
a *wide* column and then abruptly flattened at about 3000 or 4000 feet AGL
(I'm guessing based on the height of the mountains themselves) with the
wind up there pushing the top of the mushroom cloud south west toward the
Pacific Ocean.

They are evacuating people, but not us yet.
  
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The free edition knows where I cam and so it gives me as my default station
"CalFire SCU", and it works fine - as I can hear what they say - but - it
also has obnoxious ads that I don't remember being so obnoxious in the
past.

For others to get an idea of what they say, here's a quick transcript of
what they're saying right now ... "we have a box built ... it will take
about an hour to complete ... we're on the way ... it's starting to pick up
... I'll come down ... ok copy ... if you could have them come down to hq
we can meet up with them ... go ahead and do traffic on command ... I got
fire on both sides of loma chiquita road ... so I will keep dozers on both
sides to maintain structure protection... yeah copy that ... are you guys
gonna maintain the dozer line from loma chiquita down south? ... same plan
as widening twin creeks road ... I'm gonna open up that road as a
contingency ... on the far north end of branch one we found a prominent
ridge on section 33 down to the 1923 ... it's 2679 on the quarter station
... santa clara county making a request all santa clara county fire
agencies ... there is an immediate need for structure protection at loma
prieta ... access is on 17 only ... we're gonna be traveling on vfire 21
over... standby ... attention all santa clara county ... immediate need for
structure protection ... incident location at summit and loma prieta ...
mutual assistance request ... access is from summit road ... type 1 engine
... at santa clara we need 1 type one engine ... from gilroy we need 1 type
one engine ... and from ... we need a strike leader ... stand by for roll
call ... yeah ... just confirming where the original icv? was ... affirming
... two sets still committed to your division at loma chiquita ... yeah ...
we're gonna head back down and do the city ... 8667 and Santa Clara 13 are
no longer on the incident ... Gilroy Fire on the red map ... Engine 47
stationary ... I'll work my way back down ... we have engine 4323 getting
ready to go ... advise if available ... negative ... they just left the
stationary areay ... recommit them and bring them to the summit! ... branch
c do not recommit them without going to the ic first! ... Ic on command!
...  is IC on command? ... do not release additional resources without
going to me first! ... branch v I just got pulled over ... can you give me
a description of that ridge line and the name of the creek over ...  

They're all extremely calm about it, but you can easy tell who is in charge
and who is just responding and who is asking for support by their voices
and the *tone* of their voices.

However, he problem with the *free* version of 5-0 Scanner now is that it
just pops up an ad in the *middle* of a transmission where the sound stops
and you have to kill the ad before the sound returns.

So the latest 5-0 scanner (on Android anyway) is totally useless as a free
version now.

I don't remember 5-0 scanner being *that* obnoxious in the past, when I
first tested it out (maybe a year ago?). So they certainly have gotten
worse (which is one reason to always save your old installers!).  

It will be interesting to see what *others* use for their police/fire
scanning on their cellphones and tablets.

Re: Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)

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so much for android being better.

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or pay for no ads

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get a real scanner.

Re: Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)

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The $3.99 edition of 5-0 Radio Pro works just fine and has no ads. For  
me with our local fires it has proven to be invaluable. It lets me  
monitor these guys:
<https://db.tt/Zf2Jmaf9
<https://db.tt/VcTsX4yQ
<https://db.tt/toKTw9em
<https://db.tt/kgPt0QIA
<https://db.tt/sC8CkVFG
Needless to say, at the height of the fire our air quality sucked.
<https://db.tt/9WibzROZ

--  
Regards,

Savageduck


Re: Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)
On Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:53:43 -0700, Savageduck wrote:

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Interesting set of copters and cargo jets (and trucks).

Here's the view, last night, from near Jeff's Liebermann's house in SC:
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-fire-0927-101.jpg

Here is a CalFire S2 tanker flying over the scene & dumping retardant:
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/mch-l-lomafire-0927-112.jpg?w81%0
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/mch-l-lomafire-0927-121.jpg

Here is the night status of that antenna farm shown yesterday in daylight:
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-lomafire-0927-021.jpg

Here's the mushroom cloud around 3pm from the Silicon Vally looking west:
http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CtUAvagUEAA7Arx.jpg

Here is a chopper they're using on that fire last afternoon:
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-sjfire-0927-008.jpg
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/mch-l-lomafire-0927-141.jpg

Here are the trucks they're using in the Loma Fire yesterday afternoon:
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-sjfire-0927-001.jpg
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-sjfire-0927-002.jpg
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/mch-l-lomafire-0927-22.jpg

Here is a pic of a house burning in the afternoon & evening:
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/mch-l-lomafire-0927-17.jpg
www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-lomafire-0927-022.jpg

Here is a screenshot of the evacaultion area (I'm on a fringe):
http://i1.wp.com/mountainbulletin.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/2016-09-26_Loma-Fire_Map2-1.jpg

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That looks pretty smoky.

I smell like a campfire right now, and I haven't yet been evacuated (and
probably won't be evacuated if the fire continues the way it's been).

Back on topic, any decent free scanner *must*:
a. Have no ads or have unobtrusive ads
b. Work in the background
c. Work with the screen off
d. Not ask for permissions it doesn't need (or run with them turned off)
e. Have your local fire and police stations  
http://i.cubeupload.com/bXAxbE.png

On Android, I found a good one (and a whole slew of horrid ones!), so I
need to find a good one on iOS next (haven't tried yet).
http://i.cubeupload.com/6Gg14Y.png



Re: Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)

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http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/mch-l-lomafire-0927-121.jpg

Here  
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Here  
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Here  
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www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-lomafire-0927-022.jpg

Here  
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This  
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is the area our fire effected:
<https://db.tt/dYLtMWwL
<https://db.tt/OeguZPHN

This has been a rough fire season, along with our large fire we have  
had five others which have disrupted life out here.
<https://db.tt/ZTyXttpZ

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As I have said, I get what I need for my location and more, but I did  
pay $3.99.

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Yup! That is also available for iOS, but I haven't tried it.
<https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scanner-radio-deluxe/id498405045?mt=8


--  
Regards,

Savageduck


Re: Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)
On Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:41:14 -0700, Savageduck wrote:

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I'll try that one next.  
Thanks for pitching in so that all others benefit from our conversations!
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scanner-radio-deluxe/id498405045

Re: Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)
On Tue, 27 Sep 2016 00:34:31 -0400, nospam wrote:

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To add value to that comment ...  

I didn't get a chance to check for the best iOS scanner but I did find a
great Android scanner (so far anyway) after about a half-dozen utterly
dismal scanners.  

http://i.cubeupload.com/6Gg14Y.pn

Scanner Radio by GordonEdwards.net LLC
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.scannerradio&hl=en

The problem with the latest 5-0 scanner on Android was that the ads were
horrific. They popped up frequently, took up the entire screen, required
manual closing, and they killed the audio. Besides, the software couldn't
work in the background, and it wouldn't play with the screen off (which is
ridiculously badly written software). Basically the freeware 5-0 scanner is
unusable, and shouldn't even exist, IMHO (it's that bad).

Any softwere "I" recommend must be *usable*, at the very least.
So, for example, it *must* work while the screen is off.
It must work in the background while you do other tasks.
And, if it must have ads, they must be unobtrusive.

Luckily, my first tests with Scanner Radio seem to fit that requirement.
I haven't seen *any* ads yet (maybe they come later?), but so far it works
great in the background and with the screen off.  

As for location permissions, it only asks for coarse location (aka network
cell-tower & AP MACID) and for fine location (add GPS) but it works with
both turned off.  (
http://i.cubeupload.com/084wZe.png)

Apparently it relies on "volunteers" to feed the scans, but luckily, all
the frequencies I might need were well covered:
http://i.cubeupload.com/bXAxbE.png

Re: Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)

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Some  
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http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-lomafire-0927-24.jpg
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-lomafire-0927-23.jpg
http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/sjm-sjfire-0927-004.jpg

Lots  
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I  
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https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/5-0-radio-police-scanner/id356336433

As  
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I said, I have the pay edition of 5-0 Radio Pro, so no ads.

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If you opt for free the price you pay is ads.

--  
Regards,

Savageduck


Re: Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)
On Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:05:39 -0700, Savageduck wrote:

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There are ads, and there are ADS!!!!!!!

I'm currently on Android (kids using the iPad) and I accidentally hit the
"clean" button a month or so ago in ES File Explorer on Android, which, who
knew? wipes out *all* the APKs ever installed *anywhere* on the entire
device, internal or external!

So I lost my old version of the 50scanner which worked just fine by having
unobtrusive ads which did not, as I recall, prevent you from *listening* to
the transmissions.

This *new* version of 50 scanner free *constantly* pops up OBTRUSIVE ads
that KILL the transmission, where it's to the point of being *useless*.

It wasn't originally that way.

So, I'm sure there are *other* scanners which haven't gotten their ads to
the point that the ads make the software useless.

Certainly 50 Scanner Lite, which *you* turned me on to in the first place,
maybe a year or so ago, was fine in the "olden days" (on both iOS and
Android).  

But now, the free version (at least on Android) is utterly useless.  
Not even worth installing.

Hence my question ... what free scanner do people use that is still useful?
(ads are ok - but ads that prevent the tool from working are NOT ok)

Re: Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)
Go Away!

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA  

Re: Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)
On Tue, 27 Sep 2016 03:11:07 -0000 (UTC), Horace Algiers

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I can see the ridge line from my house, but my view of Loma Prieta is
blocked by a wall of redwood trees.  According to the local ARES net,
the fire has already passed the radio site on Loma Prieta with the
only damage being the power and comm lines going down the hill on the
Santa Clara side.  Lots of transmitters are now down, including the
local NOAA weather transmitter.  Cruzio's wireless systems on Loma is
currently on battery power.  Most others are on generator.  No clue
how long they will last.  Access is currently impossible, so I expect
problems when the batteries are discharged.

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Broadcastify:
<http://www.broadcastify.com/listen/ctid/226

For Android, I use Scanner Radio Pro:
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.scannerradio_pro&hl=en
No ads and $3 to register.  Runs nicely in the background without
slowing my tablet to a crawl.  I tested various Android scanner apps
about 3 years ago and settled on this one.  If I know the streaming
source URL, I sometimes use VLC to listen.

For OTA (over the air) listening, I have a pile of assorted scanners,
mostly older Radio Shack computah programmable types.  The banks are
preloaded by the type of incident (fire, traffic, power failure,
flood, water, etc).  I also use my various ham radios for monitoring
activity.
<http://802.11junk.com/jeffl/pics/drivel/slides/too-many-radios.html
The hard part is finding which frequencies are worth monitoring, and
keeping all the junk radio programming up to date.

For digital, I can decode some of the traffic with an SDR-RTL receiver
and a computah using DSD (digital speech decoder):
<http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/DSDPlus (old)
<http://www.rtl-sdr.com/tag/dsd/
<http://www.dsdplus.com
Maybe some day I'll buy a scanner that does digital.


--  
Jeff Liebermann     snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Fire nearby - Best freeware Police/Fire Scanner (which do YOU use?)
On Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:36:57 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

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The fire is (slowly) heading your way, but you have a few miles in between,
so, the most you'll get is a good view of it and some smoky smells.

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If those high-tension wires that cross the mountain a bit further north of
the fire do go down, that's a *lot* of electric power because those lines
are *double* a normal set of lines.

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Yup. Our local WISPs are going down, one by one, based on reports I'm
seeing in the email reflectors.

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I had to switch towers that I point at from my rooftop radio because my
WISP AP went down already in the fire due to power loss.

Luckily I have a lot of towers to choose from, but this new one is 12 miles
(round trip ACK) from my home, so the CCQs are far worse and the speeds
dropped in half.

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Someone in the Android newsgroup also suggested broadcastify but they
didn't supply the perfect URL! :)
 http://www.broadcastify.com/listen/ctid/226

So to test it out, I created a pin on my desktop to that link above:
http://i.cubeupload.com/cmmQDD.png

a. Open up the URL in Firefox on Android
b. Bookmark the URL
c. Open the Bookmarks editor
d. Long press on the bookmark
d. Select the save to desktop option
(
http://i.cubeupload.com/l8exni.png)

Once I pinned that link to the desktop, I selected that "Santa Cruz County
Fire and CalFire" desktop link to get to your suggested web page.
(
http://i.cubeupload.com/2t45vY.png)

Once at that suggested web page, I hit the "play" button on:
"Santa Cruz County Fire and CalFire"

That started the scanner working.

The first test was whether it works with the screen off, and it worked
fine.

The second test was whether it worked in the background, and that worked
also.  

So simply pinning the URL to the desktop *does* seem to be a nice easy free
way to scan police/fire frequencies (without obnoxious ads)!

Thanks for that suggestion (and from someone else whom it came from also).

What I love about people like you and me, Jeff, is we supply details that
are usable enough so that others can follow in our footsteps.

Psst: They're "diving off of Nim Nob down into Uvas Creek" with the chopper
as we speak (they say "that's the only option ... they'll line a good line
of retardent on summit road - turn the corner on summit - go down nims nob
and then put as much as you can - any update or increase in size? - I
called it 1000 last night - I call it 1500 now - we're working copters over
on the east morgan hill side to try to keep it out of the houses - we're
gonna flip flop it and put retardent on it and try to pitch it off"

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