Three years of Cape May scanning

As I( mentioned before t he scanning in Cape May is difference than the scanning in Bergen County. Fist of all Bergen County is divided into seventy towns, each, expect Teterboro has their own fire department and they have about 20 separate dispatch frequencies while Cape May has a countywide dispatch with a few notable exceptions, namely Upper Township. I haven't managed to memorize all the stations so I have a quick cheat sheet. Sadly some of the towns have gone to newer NJICS statewide system,

When I first moved my two base scanners down here. Let's do the simpler scanner first I originally wanted to use the BCT-15 just for scanning Cape May City and marine traffic only but then I remembered I had the NY, Boston and DC Air Traffic Control Centers in there from up north. It became clear that the public safety and marine traffic might be limited so I decided to keep the Centers in there,, I added the local airports. Which is all I need. When something happens in Cape May I simply turn off the statewide system and just scan Cape May City proper. It doesn't happen too often but I am happy to be able to do it with one keystroke

The 996T remains my work horse, I have all of what I have in the BCT15 and a whole lot more. I realized I am exactly due east of Washington, DC so I put a lot more military air frequencies in and they are quite a bit more active than in Northern New Jersey. I got a list from a few folks in the Maryland and Virginia areas. I am extremely impressed with the amount of military traffic I can get. Two factors are I am due east of Washington and can almost get them daily. As a matter of fact I get three or four weather channels during the summer

Both scanners are hooked up to whip antenna using a multicoupler which will hopefully be replaced with an outdoor antenna eventually@!! I kick myself because my dad constantly reminded me to get simple wires to run to the attic before he finished it but I couldn't do it in time Though I am happy with the setup and there's still hope!!!

BCD996T Layout

Cape May County System Quick Key 1

Group 1: Cape May City which includes West Cape May and Cape May Point (CMPD patrols all of them and their FD's

Group 2: Lower, Middle and Upper Townships., Ocean City, Sea Isle

Group 3: Wildwoods
Group 4:Countywide which includes Countywide Fire Dispatch and the fire ground channels. which is mainly te

Group 5: "Congress Hall" I should really relabel it "Cape Resorts" which is the management company that runs Congress Hall and about a dozen other properties around Cape May They make references to "Star Resorts which is a separate motel across the street.  They have thirteen different frequencies

Group 6: Businesses which include Morey's Pier and a few othj

 New Jersey State Quick Key 2

Group 1: Mutual Aid, which includes the SPEN channels, ITAC,UTAC & VTAC channels.
Group 2: NJ Conventional, Garden State Parkway,
Group 3 NJ DEP,  which includes the forest fire
Group 4: Aviation, both Civilian and Military-- The military is HUGE down here, I only
Group 5: Federal

Misc NJ/DE/MD Quick Key 3
Group 1: Atlantic County Fire VHF channels
Group 2: Cumberland County
Group 3: Salem  County
Group 4: Sussex County DE The police departments are all on 700MHz and encrypted but the FDs still

NJSP 800MHz Trunked Quick Key 4

Scratch Quick Key 5

Group 1 NJ Civil Air Patrol
Group 2 Inputs
Group 3
Group 4 Low Band
Group 5: Aircraft
Group 6 Ham Radio
Group 7
Marine SEARCH Quick Key 6

Railroad SEARCH Quick Key 7

BCT15 Layout

Cape May City System Quick Key 1

Group 1:Cape May City which includes West Cape May and Cape May Point (CMPD patrols all of them and their FD's

Group 2: Lower Township Fire ONLY rarely use it but decided it was a good idea

 New Jersey State System Quick Key 2

Group 1: Mutual Aid, which includes the SPEN channels, ITAC,UTAC & VTAC channels.
Group 2: NJ Conventional, Garden State Parkway,
Group 3 NJ DEP,  which includes the forest fire
Group 4: Aviation, both Civilian and Military-- The military is HUGE down here, I only

Marine Search Quick Key 3 Rarely used, f


Florida Lighthouse Road Trip

T o break up  the winter in Cape May  this year my mother planned a trip to Florida to visit my uncle in Jacksonville a few weeks ago! It was a different kind of trip; in that we didn't stay in one place we explored to entire East Coast of Florida. We spent the weekend with my Uncle Chuck who moved down to Jacksonville a few years ago for work. He has been back up north quite a few times but this year it was time to repay the visit. We spent a total of ten days in  Florida and spent most of the time at his house with a road trip to Palm Beach and then onto
Key West in between.

One of the unexpected excursion of the trip was a detour to the  Fort Clinch located on the St. Mary's River..  They have character reenactments and other demonstrations. I took the scooter all over t he grounds and explored the different buildings! The weather wasn't the greatest but it didn't interfere with my pictures too much as you can see above

The major goal of the trip was taking pictures of as many lighthouses, mom and dad really were good sports about it!! St John's Lighthouse w hich is located inn Mayport on a military  installation, hence the barbed wire. I tried my best to avoid the fence but the picture above was the best shot I could get. We didn't stick around so I really couldn't get a better  angle but time was running out

Next up was the Amelia  Island Lighthouse. Definitely ten times easier to photograph. We parked right next to it so the shots were perfect!!  We were also the only people on the grounds so I really took my time. Even though I couldn't actually climb the lighthouse I still managed to snap a grand total of about fifty pictures.  My parents were walking around the grounds while  I   rushed around trying to  get all the angles possible

After a two day  ride from Jacksonville down the  East Coast to Key West. Although the other two lighthouses were wonderful it was great to actually CLIMB the 88 steps to the top of the Key West Lighthouse built in 1848!!! This was nothing compared to the 199 steps of the  Cape May Lighthouse.  

The view from the top of the Key West Lighthouse was so amazing, I tried to get a panoramic shot.  I was nervous I would drop my camera, even though the strap was securely around my neck. So the shot didn't  come out quite as I planned, but I can't complain. Also the camera was acting funny, I thought I had lost almost all my shots, so I didn't want to mess with perfection@!! ! 


David Hogg and Nick Sandmann

During the last few days everyone has been taking sides over the standoff between Nick- Sandmann and  Nathan Phillips at the March for Life protest over the weekend. I have seen more footage =than most and my conclusion is Nathan Phillips, a supposed "elder" of an Indian tribe for whatever reason starting harassing Pro-Life high school students, some of them wearing Donald Trump hats. The students of course tried to ignore him but when it was obvious he wasn't budging, an "incident" occurred. I label it an "incident" because it seems to me Nathan Phillips went up to the students, started beating his drum and the students reacted. The actual interaction is up for debate, some called it an argument, while others said it was a scuffle.All I saw was Nick Sandmanmn just standing there while Nathan Phillips Truth of the matter is even with over an hour of video floating out there on the Internet, the "meeting" is still up for debate. Adding to the confusion Nathan Phillips was harassed earlier by a total separate group, the Black Isrealities which for whatever reason has been played down.

The White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders weighed in saying the pro-life students deserve to be heard. Enter David Hogg, the Stoneman Douglass High School student who rose to fame as a leader in the anti-gun movement after the shooting at his school. He is glorified by the anti-gun crowd as some kind of crusader. In reality while his heart is in the right Hogg criticized Sanders because he felt she was more  understand of Nick  Sandmann's pro-life  position, while in his mind dismissing his own position. The problem is Hogg is always accusing people who disagree with him as attacking him. With a 4.0 GPA you would think Hogg would understand people defending their positions need defending, even  if they don't always agree.

There are a couple of vast differences between David Hogg and Nick Sandmann. While they are both activists  for what the believe in, Hogg is on the attack while Sandmann is really only seen as defending. Sandmann is defending his pro-life positions. Sandmann gave a handful of interviews about what  happened, David Hogg has sought every camera or microphone under the sun David Hogg is trying to radically change the country, specifically the gun laws. David Hogg has been propped up by the pres, Nick Sandmann has been  attacked by the press.  David Hogg is often incoherent while Nick Sandmann has a straight message. David Hogg might pop up when the 2020 presidential campaign, I doubt we'll see Nick Sandmann be active supporting candidates.

All this being said both groups were standing up for what they believe in, which should bee applauded. While we must encourage the next generation of leaders we must warn them a message isn' t the only thing you need. It's extremely valuable to study both sides of an argument. Both David Hogg and Nick Sandmann have a lot to learn. I encourage t hem to keep up their efforts and lead the next generation of political activism


2018 Year Reflections

I sent t he following e-mail to a select friends, then I realized I haven't written an entry in quite awhile!! Talk about killing two birds with one stone. It takes the place of about ten entries so if you're reading it have a happy and safe 2019!



Happy New Year-- 2019!! First and foremost this IS NOT a chain email! I'm not promising a million dollars for every time you forward this e-mail. Just want to wish all of you a happy new year and highlight what I have been up to in 2018. From getting my first article published about a fire here in Cape May, celebrating my 40th birthday with my dad, brothers, uncle and a handful of friends,to travelling with the family to Italy, it has been a wonder 2018. I won't dwell on each one too much but need to express both my gratitude  for th e past and hopes for the future

As I turned 40 I realized I need to get into the 21st century so I traded in my LG SLIDE PHONE for an  Iphone 5S!! Yes ladies and gentleman I only got a smart phone less than a year ago. The learn curve wasn't as much of a challenge as physically setting up the apps and realizing I am actually better of holding it with my right hand and operating it with my left. I have a habit of asking for the wifi password everywhere I go and can say the novelty of "checking-in" on Facebook, HAS NOT worn off. My phone number remains the same:

I broke my dry streak when it came to writing in Cape May, sure I always kept writing since moving down   here, but it  wasn't until June 8th of this year that I could finally add to my growing list of "Publication Dates". Unfortunately it was about a devastating church fire in Cape May.  I hopped on the scooter, drove to the scene  (which was right across the street from the firehouse) and shot pictures.. Somehow the CBS station saw my photos and used them both on their website and their broadcast about the fire itself!!  Then in August I wrote a blog bout ham radio and National Night Out, as a fluke I sent it to a ham who used to live in  NJ and moved out to Nevada. He asked me if he could publish i t in a newsletter he edits. During the last few months I have become a
correspondent for 1st Responder News. Besides that church fire in June I managed to get pictures and articles published about a car accident down here, a three alarm fire in Sea Isle NJ and the annual West Cape May Christmas Parade

In  November I was a photographer for the annual Exit Zero Jazz FestivaL. I was issued a press pass and had access to all[ the venues. There I was with my trusty point and shoot camera photographing act from all over the world. For three days I was shooting performances, which caught up with me by Sunday night. Some of my work wound up on the Exit Zero Facebook Page and website.

Writing and photography aren't the only things keeping me busy, I can now say I am a world traveler as well. My mom dad and I, along with aunts, uncle and cousins, traveled to  Italy  the end of June!! It's the first time I used my   passport! We enjoyed the sights of Rome for a few days  before spending  the bulk of our time  in Tuscany! Eleven of us rented a villa complete with a vineyard. I managed to write a poem using the Iphone while sipping on a fine Italian red wine! We literally went straight from the airport to Valley F orge  Pennsylvania where I attended the annual license plate convention!!

It wouldn't be a proper e-mail without mentioning family! My brother  Chris and his wife Natalie celebrated their 11 anniversary this past November. My nephew Zander is now nine and my niece Quinn has turned seven. I think about them all the time. Pete and his wife Sue are doing fine. We divided our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day between both houses. There's a picture of me sleeping in Quinn's bed on Christmas. Rest assured  I have my dreaming about unicorns ever since. This past October my cousin Kristin got married to a wonderful guy, Jason. This is my Uncle Sal's youngest daughter. Both mom and dad have had some medical issues this year which although nothing serious still is a reminder we're ALL getting older. Their friends from up north came down to Cape May for New Years, which is always fun. They walk 2 miles almost every day.

This note is long enough so I will say so long for now. My parting thought I think of all of you often and hope you are doing well. MY New Year's Resolution is to try to reconnect with the folks I have lost touch with over the years.

Cheers and Best wishes for 2019!!!

Justin Mattes


Goodbye Bergenscanner

Moving to Cape May has been quite an adjustment after 38+ years of living in Woodcliff Lake.  Even though I have adjusted well, made new friends, become a "local" I still every now and then think about what's happening up north. Even though getting around on my scooter is considerably easier, I still long for the drives to Fusco's for a root beer and chips or into Park Ridge to Park Pizza for a slice of pizza. Though now it's Westside Market in West Cape May and down to Jojo's or Mario's Pizza to satisfy my  craving. It's time I leave my final permanent connection behind, Bergenscanner.com. I listed on RadioReference that I wanted someone either However before I leave I want to take a trip[ down memory lane

Listening to police scanners has given  me many many hours of pleasure. My first police scanner was a 10-channel Bearcat scanner I bought from Service Merchandise and I have been hooked ever since!
When I first got the scanner I bought the big Bearcat frequency guide and thought every town had their own frequency. The guide actually listed SPEN 1, a statewide frequency, as just being used for Hillsdale\. I also mislabeled fire frequencies for ambulance frequencies and vice versa. It took me a while to figure out that towns share the same frequencies. I bought a copy of Police Call from Radio Shack, I started to realize how radio systems work.

/ When I first got on the Internet there were different websites for New Jersey, but most focused on New York City. I decided people in Bergen County needed a better resource. Web design piqued my curiosity and  I searched Yahoo, days before Google took over everything, and found a website called Tripod where you could easily build a website using a pretty decent web editing. console without having to know HTML. I started tinkering, putting my frequency lists from my scanner and some other information.  Soon I had a friend convince me  to list every town in Bergen County. He was also the first to put everything into neatly formed tables. Remember  I was learning HTML coding on the fly.

As the site grew over the years I continue to add not just emergency frequencies, but frequencies for the local airports and other information. Through friends I learned about "PL Tones". The site was growing and I knew down the road it would need  to move off the free services of Tripod because after all the free sites used pop-up banners which got annoying really quick.  People offered to partner up with me to over to a different server. However I didn't want to lose control over the website I built After some resistance I decided to partner up with a web designer from Dumont who worked for a web hosting service. He assured me the site would remain under my control, he just handle the backend stuff, like getting the domain registered and provide free server space. Bergenscanner.com was born the summer of 2000. It was my first mistake that almost shutdown the site for good. Long story short he hosted the site on a business server, the business went under and he disappeared. I didn't have access to the information and lost the domain to a company in Louisiana of all places. After some persuasive \sweet talk I managed to gfet the domain back into my hands. As a side note after the whole debacle I immediately registered my own name "justinmattes.com" just save myself from headaches down the line. The status quo has been maintained for almost thirteen years.

Original Bergenscanner.com

2004 move to "Nocserve"

From about the time my youngest brother finished college my parents talked about moving out of Bergen County. They started visiting places like North Carolina and Lewes, Delaware, but decided they wanted to be closer to the rest of the family. I also for obvious reasons wanted to stay in New Jersey. They started visiting Cape May where friends had a house in 2012, right around this time.  They finally brought me down to check it out/. I remember the West Cape May Christmas Parade going on. Without making this post longer, they bought a house in 2015, rebuilt it in less than two years and sold my childhood home in 2016. I had wrapped up all  loose ends except one, Bergenscanner was still going. The domain was  about to expire and I just sold it.

Incidentally a friend of mine created a mailing list to exchange information on the fly. The activity dropped off during the last few years, like Bergenscanner. David decided it was time to let it go. In his closing response he named me personally so I offered this response. Best way to close a chapter in my life

Well since David named me personally I feel I need to compose some parting
comments. First I want to thank David for allowing me to participate in
such a wonderful forum. He said I encouraged him, but it was a
partnership. For those who have forgotten I was the webmaster of
Bergenscanner.com. David and I "met" while the website was still hosted on
a free website host called Tripod. We lived a few towns apart and began
exchanging e-mails with information. Over the course of time we forged a
friendship. Soon after David created NNJ-Scan, he got his ham radio ticket
and joined the Ramsey OEM. He introduced me to wonderful people like Mike
Adams, WA2MWT,SK and Joyce Brimingham, KA2ANF. Soon after David encouraged
me to get my ticket even though he knew I have CP which includes speech
difficulties. Little did I know what door David led me through. Since then
I have held memberships in some of the best radio clubs in Bergen County.
That was close to twenty years ago and I'm sorry while David and I haven't
completely lost touch, our daily emails have turned into passing
"Hellos", and in the recent years, just an acknowledgement we're still
kicking .
I have since moved down to Cape May, NJ and can no longer maintain
Bergenscanner. I have decided to close up shop. Twenty-four years is a
long run folks and now I need to move on. I want to thank David for
starting nnj-scan and letting this then "high school kid" to play with the
big folks best of luck David in the future

Justin Mattes-KC2GIK