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Bill’s Site
[Formerly the Maritimes Scanning Site, and commonly known as Marscan]

Opening page Last updated January 29, 2017
(Subsidiary pages are updated separately)

     
16+ Years on the Web
from Halifax, Nova Scotia

     



Remembering days as a COMM/EW O in Canada's Navy

Over the years this website has evolved and downsized to become a place to visit and learn from descriptive articles, and to find links of interest.   Many of my links and other material go beyond radio and are here strictly for my convenience in my wide-ranging set of interests, you are of course free to use them as well. I am not responsible for content on any linked page.   Please email me  marscan1 AT gmail.com with any comments.  Please note that descriptive articles are intended for the general radio enthusiast rather than electronics engineers and the like, and therefore may sacrifice detail in favour of general understanding.

Those of you looking for up-to-the-minute lists and discussions regarding scanning in the Maritimes should check the following sites:

For information and discussion re Atlantic Canada radio in general check out
www.scanmaritimes.com and join in.
For
Prince Edward Island specifically, go to www.Scanpei.net 
 For radio information and discussion for
practically everywhere, go to www.radioreference.com

This site is now more than fifteen years old but is now a mere remnant of its former self, which was the Maritimes Scanning Site or “Marscan”.  It was the premier radio website for the Maritimes and was featured internationally in the August 2003 edition of Popular Communications. Nowadays it covers just a few topics of particular interest to myself that are not adequately covered elsewhere.      My thanks to the many contributors over the years,  some of you very major back in the formative years and some in the later ones... you know who you are, and as well those who contributed once or a few times.   I have heard from some of you that this site was what really got you going in scanning back when we were still trying to figure out TMR1, and in the years since.  I am very pleased to hear that the site was of some use and inspiration to you.  It was a pleasure!


 

AERO SCANNING AND OBSERVATION

 Please  note that most of my aero pages were updated or rebuilt in January 2017

   Halifax Airport Watch Group.  You might be interested in joining!

I have been interested in aircraft since my childhood days watching Lancasters and CF-100's operating out of Comox on Vancouver Island. Now this interest is combined with my radio interest, so that today I guess I am an aeroradio specialist combined with live observation around Halifax plus on-line monitoring using sites such as  www.flightradar24.com and  www.planefinder.net  that depict aero traffic in real-time and near real-time.  I often use Flightaware for aero arrivals and departures at Halifax and elsewhere. My pages focus on Halifax but are useful for others in the Maritimes and elsewhere.

Halifax Airport Frequencies at a Glance
(More frequencies, including regional ones are on my pages linked below.)

123.95 Clearance Delivery
121.9 Ground Control
118.4 Tower    119.2 Terminal
118.7 Terminal VFR
129.25 De Ice for Air Canada and affiliates
122.35 De Ice for Others
129.1 Gateway FBO  123.4 Shell FBO
129.3 Esso FBO

126.2 Shearwater Tower and Advisory

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Halifax Airport Webcams

 Public Webcam (from the terminal toward junction of 05/14) and showing de-icing bays.

HSIA Weather webcams, from the tower (slow refresh rate)
NW Webcam (Taxiway D and intrsctn 05/14) 
NE Webcam (Taxiways D & M, end of 14/32) SW Webcam (Distant view of A/P south end)

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Professional quality photos of aircraft at CYHZ  (on the airliners.net website). [In keywords, type in CYHZ]
Most of these are taken by fellow members of the Halifax Airport Watch group.  You won't find any from me as I am not a photographer like these guys!

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LIve Wind and RVR's at Halifax  This Nav Canada page shows the wind at CYHZ, indicating the best use runway.  Links to other airports too.

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The following are mostly my own aero pages with descriptive detail of aero movements from a radio perspective, for the Halifax area but also the surrounding region.  Also included is a variety of great external links.

Aero Radio  
   
Intro to Aero Radio Bands and Aero Frequency List for the Maritimes. revised August 2015.

   Identifying Places
Codes and Abbreviations for Airports, Radio Aids and Reporting Points. 
Revised August 21, 2015

Identifying Aircraft
Guide to Aircraft Registration Marks, Call Signs and Airline Codes

 

General outline of the Aero Scene in the Halifax area and the Maritimes.

At the Airport: Halifax Stanfield Info including Observation areas, Frequencies, Photos

 Stanfield:  Flight Plan, Taxi, Takeoff

Stanfield Departures: Aircraft Leaving the Halifax Airport Area and Heading Out.  Includes my map showing the major initial destinations (waypoints and navaids)

Controlled Airspace and Sectors.  Including low level and high level sector maps and frequency charts. This page briefly outlines tower control zones and terminal control areas but mostly focuses on the area control centre sectors and frequencies in this region. This is where you can see which centre frequencies are used where in our region.   You need to get a handle on this if you want to listen effectively, or want to watch on the computer.  But you may want to read about aero radio first.

Arrivals:  Observing and Listening to Aircraft Approaching Halifax for Landing, includes maps and info re approach points, and frequency list re liaison with FBO or company

Listening to and Observing High-Flying Aircraft Passing over Nova Scotia. This is where you go if you want to know about the multitude of aircraft flying over our area on their way to and from Europe.  REQUIRES RE-WRITING.

Observing on Your Computer
 
(with FlightAware, planefinder, etc.)    REQUIRES RE-WRITING

U.S. Military Aerial Refueling over Nova Scotia 

Runway designations.   What does “Runway 35” really mean?   And why did the designations at Halifax change a while back? 

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Official Airport Sites of Interest

Halifax Stanfield International Airport (CYHZ) official website

Charlottetown Airport     Moncton Airport    
 
Fredericton Airport     Yarmouth airport         Sydney airport    Saint John airport  Bangor International Airport

Other External Reference Links

Airnav.com  Get info on airports, navaids, reporting points, etc.

Airportnavfinder  is where I go to get info on airports and relationship to navaids and adjacent airports.  I use this in my Flight Simulation grand tour of North America.

VFRMAP - Digital Aeronautical Charts

SkyVector: Flight Planning / Aeronautical Charts

        www. aviation.ca

Canadian Airport Weather Cameras   

Nav Canada's Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS)

Transport Canada's North Atlantic Operating Regulations

Rockwell Collins (AIRINC) page

GlobalAir.com an eclectic aero website including aircraft sales and a listing of airspace fixes in the USA 

VATCAN Moncton This is one of many sites from around the world established for the benefit of serious flight simulation enthusiasts.  This site provides airport maps, along with diagrams of standard approaches and departures at the major airports in the Maritimes, all of which originate in Nav Canada publications and reproduced superbly at the simulator site

 

Canairradio   -- for info on Canadian aero frequencies

Nav Canada's Airport Diagram Site
This page will also link to Nav Canada’s chart sales if you want the real thing, 

FAA Site for USA Airport Diagrams and Terminal Procedures (Arrivals and Departures) Search by State

Milcom Monitoring Blogspot 

www.planespotters.net (Lists of current and historic aircraft types, deliveries, etc)

 

NTSB (United States National Transportation Safety Board) reports on incidents.  This has reports on all aviation incidents that the NTSB has been involved in since 1962.  This includes some incidents outside the USA in which for some reason the NTSB played an official role. Very interesting as it gives more details on accidents and incidents than you would find in the press.

Aviation Safety Network (descriptions & photos of air crashes and incidents)

See current location of Lifeflight air ambulance

 

 

MARINE SCANNING AND OBSERVATION

 Just posted January 29, 2017.  Enhanced Cruise Ship Schedule for Halifax, 2017  See link below.

My marine scanning interest is mostly a seasonal one that coincides with the cruise ship season (May to October).  Just as with aero I combine scanning with at least some actual observation and also with online resources including www.marinetraffic.com and harbour webcams.

Halifax Harbour Frequencies at a Glance
(The main ones only. More on my Marine pages linked below.)

156.6 Halifax Traffic (inner)
156.7 Halifax Traffic (outer)
156.8 Callling and Emergency
156.5 QHM (Naval Dockyard)
156.4 (Secondary Naval Movements)
156.3 Intership Primary
156.35 Tug Working
161.75 Halifax Pilots

My Specialized Page on VHF and UHF marine radio in our region, and on Halifax Traffic (with a map of the sectors and calling-in points)

Each year the port publishes a cruise ship schedule for the year. It is found via the official port website at Port of Halifax. This site also shows ship movements and berthing information of all kinds, so check here for freighters and tankers as well as cruiseliners. The cruise schedule shown there is regularly updated to reflect unforeseen changes.   I use the information as published in the Spring and add details of the ships and their last and next ports and publish here My Enhanced Halifax Cruise Ship Schedule for 2017 .  

 

 During the cruise season I take keen interest in the comings and goings of the cruise liners visiting our region.  I follow their movements online at www.marinetraffic.com   As they arrive at Halifax or when they leave I also watch on the harbour cams serving the harbour area.

During the cruise season I also on occasion go to webcams in other ports in the region:

Saint John Harbour CBC Webcam     Saint John Harbour Webcam     Saint John Hbr Webcam 3

Bar Harbor Webcam (East View)         Bar Harbor Webcam (North View)

I have an interest in the ships themselves and at times follow them on line as they move from area to area around the world.   For example, many of the ships visiting here in the fall move on to the Caribbean and Bermuda cruise scene in the winter.  Here is one of the sites I often use for information on the ships and to see where they are. 

 List of Cruise Ships and where they are in the world right now!
Other cruise ship sites: 

Cruise Critic's Cruise Ship ItinerariesAlso includes Notes on new ships and ships being reconditioned etc.

Cruise Ship WebcamsSome cruise ships have webcams…watch from the perspective of a passenger or the captain!

Click here for sailwx Or go to www.CruiseCal.com   Presented in two different formats.


Halifax is of course a major port in the Canadian context but is dwarfed by many other world ports, including our biggest Pacific port of Vancouver.   It is quite interesting however with its steady flow of container ships, auto carriers, tankers, cruise ships and offshore support vessels, as well as our own navy and coast guard fleet, and occasional foreign military vessels.   

Like me, you will find the photos and commentary on the following observation and data websites to be very interesting:

 

Shipfax

 

Tugfax

 

Cap'n Ken's Blog

 

Halifax Shipping News

 

Seawaves


       

Links to Marine Related Websites of Interest

Notices to Shipping for the Maritimes

[Note in September 2016: These links below have not been checked in some time, and some may be inoperative].
 

HMCS Restigouche webpage (This is the ship on which I was Communications Officer in the 70's. International Call Letters: CZDE)

   Shipspotting.com  a worldwide ship photo site

NOAA's Charts of the US Coasts, showing coastal Weatheradio sites and USCG stations. Excellent!

The Ship's List (Historical Records of Fleets and Passenger Lists)

Ships Nostalgia site (Interesting threads on ship and coast radio)

 Fond BC memories for me:  BC's Lighthouses    CPR's BC Coast Steamships.   BC Tugs forum  
West Coast Ferries Forum   
Tugboat Photo Site
    Evergreen Fleet (Ferries of Puget Sound and BC Coast)

 

 



OTHER SCANNING TOPICS

What is Scanning?  A brief comment for those who arrived here but don't know what scanning is!

Brief Intro to Scanning in Nova Scotia
for those who already have some knowledge of scanning, but not of the specific region. 

 
Check for conditions favouring distant reception and is an all round fascinating site: 
Hepburn's DX Information Centre .  

My own list of continuously transmitting stations on VHF-HI in the Maritimes and northern New England.  This list, along with a list of FM broadcasters can provide some clues regarding the current DX conditions.

Description of the Maritimes P25 700 MHz Trunked Mobile Radio System

What is Trunked Radio?  (under construction)

The following specialty pages require updating but may be of interest

HAM radio pages

eHAM.net  (Amateur Radio on the Net)

NS GOVT

RAILWAY frequency list and map

HFX TRANSIT

OTHER SERVICES  
Public Safety, Broadcasting, etc.

NOVA SCOTIA FIRE  (revised Dec 29/14)
(Dept lists, with frequencies, and Dispatch Ctrs.)  REQUIRES UPDATING

 

BROADCAST PAGES

LIST OF FM BROADCAST STATIONS IN THE MARITIMES AND MAINE.  REVISED NOVEMBER 2016.

My broadcast jumpoff page: an intro and links to my AM, FM and TV pages. In general needs some updating.

  TV Fool. Check what TV stations are in range at your location.
   

TVFool.  See what the closest tv stations to you are, with distances and azimuth, and more.  Meant as an aid to DTV reception but great for DX'ers

 

I had intended on trying for US tv signals and had installed a UHF/VHF High antenna with amp, but now realize that without something more sophisticated or without constant scanning the channels, I am not going to be successful.   It is impossible to achieve consistent over the air TV reception from the USA here in Halifax.

 

Northeast Radio Watch. Scott Fybush's weekly roundup of all happenings in NE USA and in Ontario and east in Canada.  Excellent!  As of 2011 this site became "by subscription only."

Recent Broadcast Decisions from the CRTC

Northwest Broadcasters (AM, FM, TV developments and Lists from the Seattle/Vancouver area) (I am from there, that's why!)  may be defunct in 2016

Ontario DX Association.   The #1 Canada-oriented shortwave listeners club, but there may be some AM and VHF info here too.

National Radio Club. Perhaps the premer organization dedicated to the hobby of monitoring and dx'ing the AM broadcast band

Worldwide TV-FM DX Association (WTFDA) This is the top club for those interested in TV, FM and related DX'ing...including up to the minute forums on ducting and other skip phenomena)

Digital Home's Digital Forum.  Canadian site.  I go here mostly for the OTA (Over the Air) reception discussion.

FM Reception Guide

My Miscellaneous Radio Pages:

Canada's VHF Band Plan

   About Call Letters 

Codes used in radio: ten, Q, CW etc
(Have you heard, 10 codes may be dying out)

About GMRS, FRS and MURS    

The old 
Mobile Telephone Service and the introduction of the cell phone

Using GMRS radios in an institutional setting

 

My historical page on the no-longer-existing Nova Scotia RCMP VHF Network. 

 

 

WEATHER, TIME, SPACE, DISTANCE AND RELATED EXTERNAL LINKS 

Halifax Weather {Environment Canada]
Halifax Weather [The Weather Network]

Windyty.com – Cool wind flow map of our area, and more.

NS Weatherbriefing links and shows many weather related sites in the Maritimes.  Includes a huge variety of webcams, on the highways and others.


 Bangor Weather,
Canadian Hurricane Centre
US National Hurricane Center  
Nova Scotia Highway Cams
Nova Weather

Salt Lake City Weather
Nanaimo Weather

Orlando Weather


My Weather Radio Page  

NS Burning Restrictions map (Burnsafe) [in effect only during May to October fire season]

Sunrise, Sunset, Day Length in Halifax

Time, Time Zones,Calendars

 Canada Tide Tables

Heavens Above
(Star Chart, Satellite Passes, etc.)

Astronomical Events for 2017

Seeing the Best Meteor Showers 2016

distancesonline.com
(Road distances Canada/USA)

Calculating bearings and distances (Straight line, for radio use)

Map of Cell phone towers in Canada

 

Very briefly about me:   Born and raised in British Columbia.  First remembrance of radio interest was from the mid fifties listening to an aero beacon at 530 kHz just below the bottom of the AM broadcast band, and wondering…what is this?   Listened to AM, shortwave broadcast, HF Utility and Marine MF all through the sixties as a teenager, and sporadically since then.  I was thrilled to first hear transcontinental AM radio in 1963, and to hear my name mentioned on Swiss International Radio, but the 2 MHz marine band was my specialty particularly BC coastal shipping and the US Coast Guard.  First began listening to VHF public service radio around 1968. Joined the navy in the early 70’s, sent to Halifax and eventually became Communications and Electronic Warfare Officer on a destroyer.  While interesting, the naval career did not hold me and by the mid-70’s I had left that and became a high school teacher and later a guidance counsellor, and on the side, a driving instructor.  I obtained my Amateur radio licence in 1978 but have never been very active with that.  My current call is VE1CY.  I obtained my first programmable scanner around 1980, a PRO-30, and from there began my serious phase of scanning.  Began this site around the year 2000 when NS TMR1 came in, and it became the "go to" place for the interchange of information, and expanded to cover the Maritimes, gradually becoming too large to maintain, and by 2010 had begun to shrink and be replaced by more convenient forum sites such as RR and ScanMaritimes.  In a gradual process beginning in 2008 I retired from my career in the public school system but continue to teach driver education part-time.   In the fall of 2015 I entered a brand new career phase with employment in radio communications with the provincial government.  I am privileged now to use TMR2 all day on multiple talk groups while at work. With that I have more or less withdrawn from some aspects of the radio hobby,  Outside of aero listening, my main focus in radio is distant and unusual reception and organizational analysis.  I never was and never will be an expert in anything, but it has been a very interesting ride so far!  Thanks for visiting….    73 de VE1CY.      

 

 

 

VHF and/or UHF scanners and monitors I have owned (not including transceivers):

GE Searcher, Lafayette P-100, Tompkins TunaVerter,

Radio Shack/Realistic PRO-30, PRO-43, PRO-92, PRO-95, PRO-96, PRO-97, PRO-99, PRO-106, PRO-2009, PRO-2026, PRO-2067, PRO-2096.

Uniden/Bearcat BC 235XLT, 590, 780XLT, 285D, 796D, 396XT, 996XT. BCT15.   GRE PSR-400.  Sporty’s Aviation Interrupt.

Might be others I have forgotten altogether, or at least the model number is forgotten!

 

 

 

 
 
 

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Other Links and Pages.   These are placed here for my own convenience and reflect my own quirks of interest and background.  Feel free to visit, but they have  nothing to do with radio.  Note that links to do with my non-scanning aero, marine and rail interests are in the appropriate scanning pages.   As of November 2016 I will be slowly expanding this section, as time permits.

Line of Succession to the Briitsh/Canadian Throne

OMRS - The Orders and Medals Researh Society

Canadian and Associated Medals and Decorations (post-Korea)  
Town of Qualicum Beach, BC (my hometown)   Canadian Medals and Decorations (Korea and before)  

 

     
       
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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