View Full Version : Scanner Help!
07-11-2003, 10:46 AM
Hi! I am really hoping someone can help me with this technical issue:
I have a scanner so I can listen to radio frequencies at Disneyland. My scanner only has NFM mode, but not WFM mode. What does this mean? How will it affect my ability to listen to frequencies at Disneyland? Please help! :)
Thank you so much, Bob
07-14-2003, 10:40 PM
NFM means narrow frequency modulation. WFM means wide frequency modulation.
Disneyland primarily uses WFM for their communications, so If you really want to be able to listen in, you're going to need a scanner capable of WFM reception.
For the time being, I believe that the Parade Control is broadcast in NFM in addition to WFM. So that might be something to start off with.
07-14-2003, 11:44 PM
Tech Services and Parades and Show Support use mostly NFM for better voice quality and the ability to talk over each other.
WFM is basically the Motorolas that you see certain CMs carrying around. NFM are the big bulky headphones with boom mikes you see CMs wearing in front of Parades.
07-15-2003, 04:20 PM
Thanks for the info!
07-15-2003, 09:37 PM
I am afraid that folks have got the NFM vs. WFM thread entirely
NFM - Narrowband FM
WFM - Wideband FM
Here is a URL that describes the differences for a scanning
The 'narrow' has a smaller amount of signal +/-5kHz and therefore
results in a smaller amount of 'fidelity' that can be reproduced.
NFM is used by the Motorola park radios you see the CMs carry
around. For the more technical, here is a datasheet:
The park's radios transmit in the 938-941 area. The emission
designator '10K0F1D' indicates that that it is a NFM (10 = +/-5)
WFM is used by the parade and show control headsets. These
typically have +/- 25kHz deviation. WFM is also used by your
FM radios. Since there is a larger signal deviation, it can encode
a 'higher fidelity'.
The park headset frequencies have all migrated to the 470MHz
to 490MHz band. They used to use ~200MHz for Fantasmic! and
Space Mountain. Fantasmic! has since moved to ~470MHz.
If your scanner doesn't do WFM, you should be able to monitor
DL's 'wfm' with NFM. You just need to be more precise when you
If you're going to 'tune into' Disneyland park operations, you'll
need a trunking capable scanner. The best models are the
Uniden 245XLT and 250XLT. Radio Shack does make trunking
models, but my experience with their Pro-92 hasn't been good.
The reason the techs can 'talk over' has nothing to do with
modulation (e.g. WFM vs. NFM). It is how the radio system works.
The tech headsets operate on multiple input and single output
systems. So Bob, Sally, and Chris are transmitting on three
different systems. The repeater will receive all three and mix the
combined audio on the output.
The park radios operate (ignoring trunking for the moment) on a
single input and single output.
If you have more questions, please let me know...
What radio are you bringing to the park?
07-16-2003, 05:13 PM
Hi! Thanks for the info!
Well, I have a Uniden SC200 -- I got the Disneyland frequencies off of freqofnature.com. It had freqs for security, park operations, etc... I have noticed that I am not able to receive these... The only ones I receive are the 938.xxxx frequencies. I also do not have the WFM mode. Am I using the wrong scanner? Are the frequencies I am getting outdated? Thanks for the help and for clearing up NFM/WFM. - Bob
07-16-2003, 09:03 PM
I haven't seen a good resource of current Disneyland frequencies online for quite some time. The frequencies listed on Freq Of Nature have been silent for quite a while (except for the trunked frequencies). Disneyland reprogramed the radios around the time DCA opened as well, so some of the trunked radio information may be incorrect as well. Unfortuneatly I don't have the capibility to trunk track the 900mhz frequencies yet, so I can't be positive.
The closest thing I have been able to find to an updated list of Disneyland frequencies is at http://disney_scanning.home.att.net/ and even that is pre-DCA. But it gives a good place to start. Many frequencies are still in use and many new frequencies are in the same range and can be found with a little searching. Searching is half the fun in my opinion.
Lol, Freq Of Nature says that ECHO stands for electrical. For those who care to know, it stands for Entertaiment Charactor HOst
07-17-2003, 09:58 AM
The disney_scanning is my page. ;)
I'm working on an update.
Polar33 is correct that the old 400MHz frequencies aren't in
use. The park uses a 900MHz trunked radio. It has the benefit
of allowing many users to share the same ten frequencies.
I went to the Uniden site to get info on the SC200. The
relevant bands are:
470-512MHz & 894-956MHz
The first range (from 470-480) will let you get the show control
headsets for Fantasmic!, Believe!, PotS, and ELP.
The second range will let you get the trunked radio system. You
can get the trunked frequencies on the att site mentioned in this
thread, or you can go to www.trunkedradio.net and cruise the
trunked radio database.
Briefly stated, trunking allows many users (>1k) to share a limited
number ( >2 & <28) frequencies. A computer makes dynamic
assignments between users (e.g. security) and frequencies. The
assignment is communicated via the control channel. The control
channel is a digital datastream all radios in the system monitor.
The control channel is one of four frequencies in the system, and
is rotated periodically. If you program all ten frequencies, your
radio will stop on one that has a buzzing or growling noise, that
is the control channel. Lock it out and you can scan the other
nine voice channels.
Remember that at any point in time, any voice you hear might
be one of the approximately 80 user groups. Since you're
scanning the voice channels, and not tracking, you won't know
who is who, but after a while you can tell by the conversation.
As for the changes introduced with DCA, the basic set of IDs is
still the same. There was little reorganization of the core IDs.
Most of the change was 'addition'. So many of the IDs less than
1000 are still the same.
Probably before the end of the year I'll publish an updated master
list that is more complete than anything else you've seen on the
web. Haven't decided which fan site to ask yet, so everything is
up in the air. ;)
Keep the questions coming...
07-17-2003, 12:30 PM
Hi again! Thanks for all your help with scanning Disneyland frequencies... I still have a few more questions, though.
So, my Uniden SC200 will work fine for scanning Disneyland frequencies??
- You mentioned that Fantasmic! control headsets were in the 400 range... On one website it said that Fantasmic was in the 200 range. My scanner won't take the 200 range, so you for sure it is in the 400s?
- My scanner has alpha text display so you can see what exactly you are listening to (Show, Security, Rides, etc) On your page, there are just the frequencies in the first table... what do they correspond to? Also, on the bottom of the page I noticed an area that said Talk Groups... what is this and what is the Uniden code? Is this something I should use?
Again, I appreciate everybodys input in this thread.
07-17-2003, 01:09 PM
I wrote the other article. ;)
Those frequencies were abandoned during one of the previous
I think you're going to need a little information about Trunked
Radios before you'll understand why the alpha tags in your
radio are not appropriate...
Here are a couple of links:
The issue is that your radio scans _frequencies_ and you need
to scan talk group IDs.
DL's system has ten frequencies, but 80 different groups of users.
For example, when a radio that is on the 'security channel' keys
up, it sends a short burst of data to a central computer that
says, "I'm radio XYZ, assigned to Talk Group 272. Please assign
me a frequency."
The computer sees what frequencies are in use and sends a
response via the control channel. "All radios that are part of
Talkgroup 272, please switch to channel 1." All the radios then
switch to that channel for the duration of the call. All of this happens in less than 250ms. When the call is over, the radios
go back to monitoring the control channel.
Maybe the next time someone keys up, they get Channel 2. Or
maybe they get a 'busy signal' because all frequencies are in use.
The point is that the frequencies are reused. Your non-trunking
capable unit isn't parsing the data stream, so it doesn't know
who's using a particular channel. You'll just hear that someone
is using it. So to answer your question, the talk group IDs aren't
useful to you.
You need a trunking capable radio that monitors and decodes
the digital data stream to know who's using a particular channel.
My advice is to listen to the voice channels and see if it is
interesting to you. If it is, then go out and buy a Uniden 245 or
As for the headsets, since they use a fixed frequency assignment
(e.g. F! is always on the same freq), then alpha tags are usful.
Is this clear yet? :)
07-17-2003, 05:28 PM
Wow! Thanks for all your help.
When you say that I should listen to the voice channels first, what does this mean? What are the voice channels? Are those the frequencies that are located on your page? (in the 900 range) Thanks, Bob
07-17-2003, 09:58 PM
Yes, the ten frequencies in the 900MHz range.
When you scan them, one will have data. Lock it out. Scan
the remaining nine. You'll hear all of the voice traffic throughout
Sometimes it'll be quiet. Sometimes it'll be like drinking from a
firehose. Depends what's going on in the park.
The benfit of the trunk tracking scanner is to limit and identify
what you hear. I typically listen to the park ops stuff and don't
care for the hotel or other periphery traffic. The trunktracker
let's me be selective in what I monitor...
07-18-2003, 04:49 PM
I think that I am finally understanding this. Thank you!
If I think of any more questions, I will post them!
07-20-2003, 12:57 AM
b52hbuff- I sent you a private message through MousePlanet that I need your feedback on. Thank you.
07-20-2003, 10:32 AM
Ooooohhhh!! Polar's gonna find out how funny/stupid/weird the ODV channel sounds...I think.
At least, that's what I'd ask. My friends in Security always comment on the weird conversations that go on on our channel. :)
Of course, I've heard weird stuff when I used to eavesdrop on other channels too.