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

Opening page Last updated May 24, 2019
(Subsidiary pages are updated separately)

     
On the Web since the last century
from Halifax, Nova Scotia

     

  This site is about 20 years old, and is long past its prime. having evolved from a regional list site and discussion centre for radio enthusiasts into what it is nowadays, a more personal spot for me to come and link to items i want to easily access or to share with others.   Frankly, its days are numbered, with maybe a couple of years to go, as it is becoming more difficult for me to keep this up!  Please forgive my lack of updates!!

For up-to-the-minute lists and discussions regarding scanning in the Maritimes check www.radioreference.com

For an entry point into amateur radio in Atlantic Canada check
The Atlantic Amateur.


 

AERONAUTICAL RADIO AND OBSERVATION

My go-to receiver at home is a PRO-2048 (courtesy of my friend Matt).  I find it does a great job, at least somewhat better than my more sophisticated trunk-tracking receivers.  This is  connected to a roof-mount dedicated VHF aero vertical.  With this I am able to hear much of the traffic on the ground at Halifax airport, and as well much farther distances from aircraft aloft.  In my car I use a BC-996XLT and quarter-wave whip.   Keep in mind that I also use internet flight following programs, and on occasion I also use on-line communications feeds from remote locations.

I think it is fair to say that this is my radio specialty. In my commutes I listen to music or broadcast radio, but chances are I will also be listening to aeronautical radio.  Weird you might say, but I enjoy it. I have been interested in aircraft since my childhood days in the fifties, watching Lancasters and CF-100's operating out of Comox on Vancouver Island.  I have been listening to aeronautical radio for several decades and have become very familiar with it, and with the procedures used n air movements.  I combine radio listening with live observation out at the local airport, plus I very commonly watch the flights on 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.  For another depiction of flght status, including delays i also use Flightvew Flight Tracker. Flightview does not depict aircraft on a map but it does easly show the previous leg/flight number to help you understand delays a little better. You can find other sites indicating flight status on the web.

Halifax news items from RoutesOnline

My pages focus on Halifax but are useful for others in the Maritimes and elsewhere.

Many enthusiasts have set up on-line aero radio feeds around the world, so you can listen on your computer or phone without having to own a radio receiver. I sometimes listen to a feed from the vicinity of Halifax airport. Click here to access ATC Live's Halifax page. At this page, select CYHZ Del/Gnd/Twr/App and selecting your favoured medium (MP3, Windows Media Player or in your browser).  To find other areas enter the appropriate code in the search box at the upper left.  I commonly also listen to Moncton Centre remote transmissions from Yarmouth (enter CYQI) and also Boston Center's 133.45 from Cape Cod (enter ZBW)

Listening to high flyers?  What does it mean when they report "light chop" or "moderate turbulence"?  See the explanation of this kind of comment at this page.

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

ATC

123.95 Clearance Delivery
121.9 Ground Control
118.4 Tower   
119.2 Terminal
118.7 Terminal VFR
128.55 Arrival (rarely used)
123.275 Halifax Radio
 

PRIVATE SUPPORT

129.25 Jazz/AC De Ice  
122.35 Swissport De Ice (Westjet)
122.95 Inland Tech De Ice (Porter) 
129.1 Gateway FBO 
123.4 Shell Innotech FBO
129.3 Esso Avitat FBO
130.8 Air Canada Ops
130.175 Air Canada STOC
130.375 Air Canada LOAD
128.9 Jazz Ops
129.375 Jazz Maintenance
131.275 Westjet Ops
130.65 Swissport (United / Air Transat Ops)
129.475 Strategic Aviation
(Sunwing & Flair Ops)
131.925 Morningstar (Fedex)
131.875 Cargojet
130.075 Air St Pierre Ops

Some other local area frequencies of note:

126.2 Shearwater Tower and Advisory
134.1 Shearwater Radar
121.7 Shearwater Ground

122.8 Stanley & Trenton Unicom
123.0 Debert Unicom

118.1 Greenwood Terminal

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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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Sleeping in Airports A fascinating guide to sleeping in airports overnight between flights. Yes, Halifax is in here!

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

 

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 

Click here for an external webpage listing many American military aero call signs.   

 

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 RADIO AND OBSERVATION

In the relatively few times that I actually listen to local marine radio, I mostly use the aero scanners and antennas described at the left.

 In the aero column at the left I stated that I am not a pilot, yet I listen to aero radio.  In this column I can say that I have been a sailor, at least for a short time, and I was a Communications Officer as a specialty.  And yes I do listen to marine radio, but not near as much as I listen to aircraft.  In fact my marine   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)

 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, but recently I have also been using Cruise Ship Tracker as it clearly shows ship names (not just cruise ships), is easily navigated and has associated cruise ship information and itineraries.

   I sometimes also watch for them on the harbour cams listed below as they arrive at Halifax or when they leave, or when in Saint John and Bar Harbor. 

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 cruise liners. 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  Please note that for 2019 I have yet to get around to doing this.  In the meantime the official link above ought to be good enough!
 

Note that while my schedule has enhanced information, I do not update it through the season. Each year there are cancellations for various reasons, and often also additions that result from heavy weather in the Caribbean area, causing ships to be diverted. A daily check of the official website should show these changes.

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

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)

 

 

 

WEATHER, TIME, SPACE, DISTANCE AND RELATED EXTERNAL LINKS 

Interactive Time Zone Map

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.

 

Aurora 30 minute forecast


 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.)

distancesonline.com
(Road distances Canada/USA)

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

Map of Cell phone towers in Canada

 

MISCL LINKS

Arcamax Daily Comics Archive

"Betty" Comicstrip Archive

my hobby and personal links page

army.ca

QRZ.com

Radio Amateurs of Canada - RAC

 

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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 x 2. BCT15.   GRE PSR-400.  Sporty’s Aviation Interrupt.

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

 

 

 

 


OTHER RADIO TOPICS

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

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

 Search TAFL

Official Spectrum Direct Page

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  

MTMRS frequency matrix, a Marscan exclusive  

 

NS Government

The following specialty pages require updating but may be of interest

HAM radio pages

eHAM.net  (Amateur Radio on the Net)
 

RAILWAY frequency list and map

HFX TRANSIT

OTHER SERVICES  
 

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. Note that distant reception of American TV signals from the Halifax area is absolutely a fluke and consistent over the air reception is impossible.

 

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

Radio West Broadcast lists and history for Western Canada

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

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. 

 

   

 

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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