Wednesday, October 6, 2010

RadioReference - An Exhaustive, Comprehensive Look At Today's Radio Communications Information Leader

RadioReference has grown over time, and one feature people enjoy are the Radio Reference internet feeds to various Public Safety Departments, aviation operations, amateur radio repeaters, railroad radio systems, and other offerings. This is a complete directory listing of radio feeds found on  RadioReference, PLUS an exhaustive / comprehensive look at what RadioReference means to the communications world. Being able to tune into a nation full of radio activity is quite exciting and innovative, especially given that we all can't live in every place at once and band openings that allow us to hear many states away don't happen every day.

From Analog to Digital P25 systems, Radio Reference has it all thanks to the miracle of internet radio linking.
There are those who don't care for internet assistance of a radio signal, even for listening. They don't know what they're missing out on! Some of these radio feeds may not be active, some may be off the site permanently due to the use of things such as encryption, OpenSky, Mototrbo, IDen, etc.

Amateur Radio

D-Star Reflector 1C

The Los Angeles NUT repeater, covering most of Southern California. This system is not always family friendly. Often times called the "Renegade Repeater", you'll know why when you listen. 

WB2JPQ IRLP Reflector 9050
This feed is in New York

N2ACF Repeater
Quote from RadioReference Feed:
"N2ACF system simulcasts on 443.850, 449.875, 444.450, 444.850, 445.125, 442.800, 223.820, 146.460, 927.850, 53.370 & 29.640 repeaters. This scanner will be on 443.850mhz. For more information go to"

Peekskill And Cortland Amateur Radio Club repeater feed (PCARA)

See the entire Amateur Radio feed list here

Kennedy Space Center
Left audio channel is the KSC trunked system, Right audio channel is Aviation AM such as chase planes, etc

Aviation Feeds
Entire Aviation Radio Communications Feed List

Railroad Radio Feed List

Marine Radio Feeds
Entire Marine Radio Feed List

New York City.: This is the direct link to the entire list of available feeds for New York, which includes a few Amateur Radio repeaters, key Public Safety Agencies, and Aviation Operations from New York City, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
New York City Feed List

Washington D.C: Capitol Police radio found in this feed
D.C. Metro Police, Fire and EMS

Other Category
Entire Category listing
Mostly severe weather feeds, but there are other items as well.

Official Feeds
Entire List

New Feeds
Follow this link for a listing of newly added feeds

Top Feeds
Entire list of top feeds

Search RadioReference feeds by State, city, Zipcode, Metro Area, and Country!

RadioReference provides feeds from nine different countries counting the U.S. The nice thing about these feeds is that you don't have to be stateside to hear them! Anyone from anywhere in the world can just click and listen. Depending on your operating system, you may be able to use the web player to listen. From it's very inception to this current day, RadioReference is something you don't want to shrug off! When the founder of the original Police Call died and the book went out of print, RadioReference became THE PLACE for people to go whether it be those who are curious about radio, what radio is and how it works; those who are die hard listeners, and those people who are Licensed Amateur Radio Operators, GMRS Licensees, and even industry professionals.

Those people who provide feeds are doing so voluntarily, without any compensation whatsoever. All it takes is a radio covering the bands you take interest in, a USB cable, and an internet connected computer with a sound card. If you wish to provide a feed, you can seek out that information HERE.

Lindsay Blanton is the owner and founder of RadioReference, and he has built a great place for everyone. Lindsay believes in his vision. He takes all sorts of time to make the site what it is, having even fought against legal beagles for the public's right to FCC Database Information and the right to monitor radio traffic that is unencrypted. Lindsay is probably the biggest advocate the radio world has known. So, what's it cost Lindsay to run the site? Read that HERE

As with any other internet audio feed, you'll have to deal with buffering. Some feeds are not always up, some feeds have downtime for technical reasons. RadioReference offers extra features for those people who wish to become Premium Subscribers at a rate of fifteen dollars for a short subscription, and thirty dollars for a 360 day period.

RadioReference - Better Than QRZ

The only thing QRZ has over Lindsay Blanton's RadioReference is an amateur radio callsign database with an interactive forum. Lindsay has more than just an interactive forum and radio audio feeds! There is a wiki page for just about everything radio related, a submittal form that is used for radio listeners to submit frequency and radio system information anonymously. A search for identified frequencies requires that you become a premium subscriber. The RadioReference structure does not rely on flashy graphics that stall your computer, cause browser crashes, etc. RadioReference is supported via it's premium subscribers, and the income Lindsay makes from the site using his corporate strategy. Just over a year ago, Lindsay partnered with ScannerMaster in a deal to distribute his RadioReference Database Disc. What was once a CD-R is now a DVD-R. Also known as "The Reference", Lindsay's site offers a classifieds section for buying and selling radio gear. Buyers and sellers are quick to speak up about those who do not honor their deals, commit fraud, etc.

Read about the "Reference" leadership

"The Reference" is best used when combined with E-Ham, where everyone can get equipment reviews directly from those who have used everything out here, many of these people have even performed complicated technical investigations before writing their user reviews. Shortwave America already has links to "The Reference" in the links section that deal with Shortwave/HF listening. Taken altogether, "The Reference" has far surpassed Fred Lloyd's QRZ and in all reality, it is highly unlikely that Fred could ever surpass or even compete with Lindsay Blanton and his team.

One can only hope that in the future, we will see a fine line of products such as instructional books or DVD's / CD's. It would be nice to see Lindsay Blanton produce a radio show one day with a dedicated focus on all things radio. People can dream can't they?

An Example Of Advocacy

A day came about when Lindsay Blanton received a rather silly letter from "MRA" claiming that U.S. Federal Law was violated when he allowed or caused to happen, the posting of radio frequencies and radio system details about "MRA". Lindsay obtained legal counsel to prove that U.S. Federal Law allows the posting of information made public by way of the United States FCC License Database, and that such information being public record, no violation could even be remotely possible unless someone was posting details of what they heard on the system. In the end, Lindsay deleted or caused to be deleted the LCN numbers for the "MRA" radio system, but kept all other information intact. Because Lindsay knew the law and knew his rights, he was able to stand up for radio hobbyists, and the legal communications practices of law abiding radio enthusiasts.  

See the closed thread: MRA Demands Removal Of Information From Radio Reference
MRA is the acronym of Mobile Relay Associates. Another example would be when Dan Brady, an Illinois politician pushed a law that would have made listening to or causing to be relayed, radio traffic over the internet or even listening with a radio receiver capable of receiving Illinois Public Safety Radio Systems. This knee jerk reaction by Brady came about when a Motorola vendor decided it was a great idea to transmit a working radio on the Illinois Starcom21 system. CARMA partnered with Radio Reference, and RadioReference backed them as did the many members of the forums there. Everyone came together to point out that listening is not illegal and that by banning listening, the State would be unfairly making criminals out of law abiding citizens. Lindsay Blanton, CARMA, and RadioReference members were loud enough, used enough factual information, and presented themselves so well that Brady was able to get the law re-written to read that only an unauthorized radio programmed to actually TRANSMIT on the Illinois Public Safety System is now a crime in Illinois. Federal Laws already make this unlawful to begin with, but leave it to Illinois to double the effort! CARMA is the acronym for the Chicago Area Radio Monitoring Association.

Listening and The Law

U.S. Department Of Justice Complete Text Of 47 USC 605
U.S. Department of Justice Complete Text Of  Chapter 119, Title 18 § 251

The most important parts of these laws are below:

Except as authorized by chapter 119, Title 18, no person receiving, assisting in receiving, transmitting, or assisting in transmitting, any interstate or foreign communication by wire or radio shall divulge or publish the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning thereof, except through authorized channels of transmission or reception,......

(g) It shall not be unlawful under this chapter or chapter 121 of this title for any person--

(i) to intercept or access an electronic communication made through an electronic communication system that is configured so that such electronic communication is readily accessible to the general public;

(ii) to intercept any radio communication which is transmitted--

(I) by any station for the use of the general public, or that relates to ships, aircraft, vehicles, or persons in distress;

(II) by any governmental, law enforcement, civil defense, private land mobile, or public safety communications system, including police and fire, readily accessible to the general public;

(III) by a station operating on an authorized frequency within the bands allocated to the amateur, citizens band, or general mobile radio services; or

(IV) by any marine or aeronautical communications system;

(iii) to engage in any conduct which--

(I) is prohibited by section 633 of the Communications Act of 1934; or

(II) is excepted from the application of section 705(a) of the Communications Act of 1934 by section 705(b) of that Act;

(iv) to intercept any wire or electronic communication the transmission of which is causing harmful interference to any lawfully operating station or consumer electronic equipment, to the extent necessary to identify the source of such interference; or

(v) for other users of the same frequency to intercept any radio communication made through a system that utilizes frequencies monitored by individuals engaged in the provision or the use of such system, if such communication is not scrambled or encrypted.

Chapter 119, Title 18 § 2510 defines what "readily accessible to the general public" means as shown below:

(16) "readily accessible to the general public" means, with respect to a radio communication, that such communication is not--

(A) scrambled or encrypted;

(B) transmitted using modulation techniques whose essential parameters have been withheld from the public with the intention of preserving the privacy of such communication;

(C) carried on a subcarrier or other signal subsidiary to a radio transmission;

(D) transmitted over a communication system provided by a common carrier, unless the communication is a tone only paging system communication; or

(E) transmitted on frequencies allocated under part 25, subpart D, E, or F of part 74, or part 94 of the Rules of the Federal Communications Commission, unless, in the case of a communication transmitted on a frequency allocated under part 74 that is not exclusively allocated to broadcast auxiliary services, the communication is a two-way voice communication by radio;

In spite of these Federal Laws that permit listening to unencrypted signals that are also not scrambled, the individual states retain their rights to make their own state laws regarding possession & transport of radio receivers capable of receiving public safety or special emergency frequencies to include restrictions on portable and mobile use. portable means to carry a radio receiver while on foot between one place and another outside of one's home or business. See Scanner Laws Of All 50 states

Licensed Amateur Radio Operators are exempt per FCC Docket / FCC Memorandum Opinion, and Order
PR91-36 (This, however does not pertain to scanners)

For information about how to become a Licensed Amateur Radio Operator, Federal Laws Governing Amateur Radio, and other related subjects, please go to the ARRL Website See the Shortwave America links section for a link to Amateur Radio Practice exams.

RadioReference is the people's source for radio learning, enjoyment, information, and listening all in one!

Please note that information at any of the sites linked to may be subject to change at any time and most times without notice. The information at sites linked to may be subject to becoming outdated at any time due to system upgrades, changes, system removal, maintenance, amendments to laws, repeal of laws, etc. The RadioReference logo is Copyright 2010 by Radioreference, LLC, all rights reserved and is used by permission.

No comments: