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