Sunday, June 26, 2005

Fairwell to NewCom 

My first “scanner” was a Motorola Twin V tube receiver strip that had served its useful life mounted in a frame next to the matching transmitter in the trunk of a taxi cab. I built a power supply to run it in the shack and purchased a crystal for the main dispatch frequency for City of Pittsburgh Police. When I started listening to public safety radio with more than one receiver a frequency that came to my attention was 45.50 mHz where the dispatch center known as “Shaler Desk” could be heard.

It was not that I was all that interested in what was going on in Shaler Township but the fact that so many communities received all of their public safety radio communication from that single point. Because I worked for an alarm company that maintained their central receiving panel for fire and security systems I paid a number of visits to Shaler Desk and got to meet some of the voices entered my various radios through the antenna connectors.

About ten years ago for a number of reasons “Shaler Desk” became NewCom Communications. The physical facilities underwent a major upgrade and the frequency moved up into the UHF range becoming a multi channel radio system. Some of the voices coming from my speakers disappeared but many of the old familiar ones remained and their level of professionalism notched up even further.

This past week marked another major change in public safety dispatching in Pittsburgh and the North Hills in particular. Allegheny County is in the process of taking over all dispatching functions and as a result NewCom has ceased to exist as of last Friday June 24th 2005 morphing into Allegheny County north zone. If you follow the links in this posting you can read a fairwell message to those that “made it so” for these many years.

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