Monday, December 31, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
I have recently received some additional frequencies that may be part of the 25 Cities Project. Here is a list of what I have so far, and if you have anything to add, please let us know!
168.8875 MHz - P25 repeater
168.9125 MHz - P25 repeater
170.8125 MHz - P25 repeater
171.4375 MHz - P25 repeater
171.6875 MHz - P25 repeater
172.2125 MHz - P25 repeater
Dallas / Ft. Worth, TX
170.7250 MHz - P25 repeater "Dallas East"
171.4375 MHz - P25 repeater "Dallas West"
Hampton Roads/Norfolk, VA
165.7000 MHz - P25 repeater
170.7250 MHz - P25 repeater "L-1"
171.4375 MHz - P25 repeater "L-2"
New York City, NY
167.7875 MHz - P25 repeater
171.4375 MHz - P25 repeater "FIO"
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
As noted in a previous blog entry, the Houston federal interop channels are:
L1 - 170.7250 MHz, P-25
L2 - 171.4375 MHz, P-25
Also some testing of a patch between L1 and the Houston Police Citywide channel of 460.4250 MHz was heard.
These same frequencies appear to be used as interop channels in other cities, so give them a try and see what you might hear.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
A strong signal on 414.0375 MHz was heard by listeners in the northern Broward County area,and was traced to a tower in Palm Beach County. The signal was an analog carrier with no voice or CTCSS tone. The mystery signal continued it's broadcast for 5 days or so, then abruptly left the air.
This frequency is a Federal Interoperability channel, designated as a simplex calling channel. The NTIA designation for this frequency is 4FCAL-45D, previously known as LE-B. The signal was possibly from a base station transmitter that was being installed, or had a problem that kept it keyed up for an extended period.
Keep an ear out for other strange, new signals on the federal 406 MHz to 420 MHz band as the deadline for changes approaches.
Monday, December 17, 2007
They must have stopped for fuel and a bathroom break, because about
45 minutes after touching down, they took off and headed east over the Burbank area. Unfortunately I was unable to find them on any federal channels at that time. All the communications I heard from them were on 118.7 MHz, the BUR tower frequency.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Been working in the Las Vegas, NV region this week and have found a few UHF frequencies that I've had trouble pinning down who the users are. Thought I would throw them out to the blog page and see if I could get some input...
407.3250 MHz, D051 - Security operations. Might be related to activity on 407.5250 MHz (see below). This frequency is allocated as a federal Itinerant local use repeater.
407.5250 MHz, D023 - Definitely sounds like a military security net. I've thought it might be Nellis AFB, but this analog repeater does not seem to be patched to the NNSA UHF system the rest of Nellis seems to be using. The frequency is allocated to various DoD services.
409.0250 MHz - This frequency started showing an EDACS control channel. It is showing that it is LCN 3 of Site 7, so I am guessing it is part of the NTTR (Nevada Test & Training Range) trunked system, although this frequency has not been listed as part of this system in the past. Changes in the UHF channels may be showing up in the local trunked systems as well.
409.3000 MHz, P-25 - This seems to be a stand alone P-25 repeater, but everything on this has been encrypted so far. This frequency is allocated to various agencies, including the Department of Energy as well as DoD.
415.5750, D754 - Another security operation, but definitly NOT military. Very "civilian" radio procedure. The frequency is primarily allocated to the Department of Agriculture, but also has some NOAA and US Postal Service allocations.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Now a report has appeared in one of the Radio Reference forums that a similar VHF EDACS system is being heard in the Houston, TX area, but the poster believes that this system is being heard via skip or ducting and is not local.
The frequencies reported heard are 163.5625 MHz, 164.5000 MHz and 165.0875 MHz. These frequencies are often associated with military facilities and the US Army Corps of Engineers, so my first guess would be a military base in Texas or Louisiana.
Anyone else hearing these frequencies active?
Here are confirmed locations that these frequency pairs are being used:
Kansas City, MO
San Francisco, CA
The Dallas Federal Reserve Bank is also reported to be using a repeater on 410.4875 MHz(input should be 419.4875 MHz). Can anyone else hear that pair in use?
Monday, November 26, 2007
and military systems have prompted me to remind everyone of the
upcoming deadline for narrowbanding the federal UHF band.
The January 1st 2008 deadline for the 406.1-420 MHz band to narrowband channels from 25 KHz channels spacing up to 12.5 kHz. Some agencies will be changing frequencies and some trunked systems may move off of their current UHF channels. Expect to see many changes between now and the end of the year, and even after the deadline has passed.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Motorola Type II with P-25 voice
System ID: a620
406.8125, 407.0125, 408.2125, 408.8125
This will be added to the updated file of all Bureau of Prisons radio systems that is available for download on the Montoring Times web site. Simple go to http://www.monitoringtimes.com and look for the Readers Access icon. You can find the password in the latest issue of Monitoring Times.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
However, this time I was able to confirm the use of 407.7750 MHz, 88.5pl as part of this Interop Net.
The activity on the UHF repeater was all analog, while the traffic on the VHF side
was all P-25.
Shortly after the check-in net was finished, traffic on the VHF repeater went to encrypted.
Friday, October 26, 2007
A few months ago, I posted that I thought I had heard someone on the BPA radio system identifying themselves as "DENVER", when in fact they were saying "KOD900 DITTMER". That's the name of the Vancouver, WA Dispatch center just south of 63rd and Hwy 99, also called the Ross Complex.
Monday, October 22, 2007
After reading this item from the BBC:
I've got to believe a tiny receiver / scanner using nano-techology can't be too far fetched! But will it trunk-track a P-25 system?!?
It is showing as Site 160, using frequencies of 168.2625 MHz and 168.8875 MHz. I have not seen any posts from anyone in the DC area about this yet. It may have just show up on the air recently, as it was not there a few weeks ago when I went through the area. Can anyone in the DC area confirm this?
UPDATE! - I did hear from someone who did confirm this site is on the air, and has a voice channel of 173.5500 MHz associated with it.
Seems like the IWN sites area popping up in new places, but so far not along the US/ Mexico border, which was officially stated as the next phase of the IWN project.
ANOTHER UPDATE! - I was passing through Dulles International Airport (IAD) today and was unable to pick up anything on either of the listed frequencies. Reports are that this site is not really strong as Reagan National Airport either, so the site may not be in DC proper.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
I have confirmed these frequencies are being used at several branches of the Federal Reserve System. I am wondering if this is now a nationwide assignment for the Federal Reserve. Some locations are using P-25 digital mode, some are analog. Some locations are using the 406 frequency as the repeater input, some are using it as the repeater output.
Previously these frequencies have been unassigned and became available because of the 12.5 KHz channelization of the federal 406-420 MHz band.
If you are curious about where the federal reserve banks and their branch banks are located, you can click here:
Tuesday's initial operations were mainly on the 800 MHz Portland area public safety trunked system, as well as trunked systems used by neighboring Clark County Washington and Washington County Oregon. Several fire and Emergency / Incident Command talk groups were utilized.
Wednesday brought in more federal agency response, and more activity on the 800 MHz systems. It did appear that there was use of the federal IWN VHF trunked radio system. I noticed a "spike" in the number of radios that were affiliated to the trunked system on Tuesday and Wednesday. Voice activity that I was able to catch on the IWN sites was all encrypted, so I can't confirm who exactly was using the system.
I did catch some conventional federal frequencies in use during the week. While near the area that the dirty bomb explosion was staged, I caught some simplex P-25 traffic on 167.3875 MHz, most likely FBI units on scene. While parked near the TOPOFF operations center in Portland, I did catch quite a bit of P-25 encrypted traffic on 138.225 MHz, most likely FEMA. They were a big presence at the ops center, as well as the Federal Protective Service. They were active on 417.2000 MHz, P-25 in the clear.
I am certain that there was more activity going on the federal bands, but I wasn't able to catch it. I'm also surprised that there was not more activity on any of the federal interoperability channels. I thought that this exercise might be a good time to catch some interop between the local 800 MHz trunked systems and some federal channels, but didn't catch any.
An interesting side note - I have seen no postings or any information on line about the TOP OFF exercises in Phoenix or in Guam. I don't know how many listeners there might have been in Guam, but I'm suprised that no one heard any of the events in Phoenix I'll have more in a future Fed Files column...
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I had a chance to do some monitoring and observations of the TOPOFF 4 exercise in the Portland, Oregon area this week and thought I would post some information.
The events started Tuesday, with the simulated explosion of a dirty bomb in downtown Portland on the Steel Bridge. The staged event took place on a simulated bridge with wrecked cars and a bus, all located at the Portland International Raceway along I-5 north of town. They had a large compound of tents and support vehicles for this event, but they kept the gawkers away by prohibiting any parking where you could sit and watch.
The radio traffic on Tuesday was primarily local public safety first-responders. Lots of active talk-groups on the Portland area 800 MHz trunked system carried traffic from this simulation.
The activities on Wednesday focused on recovery, decontamination and criminal investigation of the event. Lots of federal and military presence during the exercise on Wednesday. Some EPA air monitoring vehicles were staged at the Portland airport. Several very interesting FEMA vehicles were spotted around the city, including a mobile commmand post located at the TOPOFF Command Center, which was at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Portland. Many DHS and military vehicles were parked around the hotel and clogged the entrance to the parking ramp. :-)
I'll update this blog with more info as I find it...
Thursday, October 11, 2007
One op asked about some sort of check-in scheduled for Sunday. Also asked if they had the HF radio on. Original station said they did but that it was scanning the CoE frequencies.
The 163.4375 MHz repeater has been called "NAV Primary", and the input was noted as 164.2000 MHz.
Monday, October 08, 2007
The exercise will have "events" taking place in Phoenix, AZ, Portland, OR and in the US territory of Guam. These events will involve communications by first responders as well as government officials. This could be a good time to find out how the federal / local interoperability systems are working. The Guam location may provide some HF and SATCOM communciations as well.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
It is an interesting look at the usage of the VHF federal band (162 - 174 MHz) in the Washington DC area. It talks about the different agencies that are using frequencies in this band and how many users there are. It also looks at the potential impact the Justice IWN trunked system will have on frequency loading in the area. Some of the report is very technical, and there are some frequencies mentioned.
Some additonal interesting reading can be found here;
Friday, September 21, 2007
A couple of years ago I asked MT readers for any information on current federal (non-military) agencies that are still using VHF low-band (30-50 MHz). Unfortunately I did not receive any information, but I recently stumbled across some discussions on Radio Reference about line crews from the Tennessee Valley Authority, (http://www.tva.gov/) still using low band.
Here are the TVA Lo-Band channels and locations that I have in my database:
38.97 - AL, MS, US
38.98 - AL, KY, MS, NC, TN, US
40.50 - KY, MS, TN, US
40.57 - US
40.61 - US
40.62 - AL, KY, MS, NC, TN, US
40.73 - US
40.74 - AL, KY, MS, NC, TN,US
40.75 - US
40.85 - US
40.87 - MS, US
Can anyone in the states listed give these a listen and let us know if they are active?
Thursday, September 06, 2007
406.7000 MHz, P-25 with no encryption, with an input of 415.7000 MHz, now seems to be the primary FPS channel in Chicago. The old analog repeater on 415.2000 MHz appears to be no longer in use.
UPDATE! - Both Cleveland and Toledo, OH have recently switched from 415.2000 MHz to 407.0000 MHz, P-25. Minneapolis, MN also reports that FPS has changed from 415.2000 MHz to 407.0000 MHz, P-25 within the last month.
Look for additional changes in the UHF federal bands as the NTIA band re-shuffling continues.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
While listening to Tampa International (KTPA) approach on 08/28, I caught one of the controllers talking to JENA 32. At one point the controller called JENA 32 several times with no response, but JENA 024 ("Zero-Two-Four") came up and advised he was working with JENA 32 "on another radio" and he would pass along the instructions. The TPA approach controller just wanted to advise the JENA aircraft not to stray any further west as they would get mixed up with departing Tampa traffic. JENA 024 also advised TPA that they were trying to get JENA 32 on a target, then JENA 024 would depart the area.
Unfortunately I was not able to find what frequency the other radio might have been on.
Reports are that the "JENA" (here it was pronounced JENN-AH) aircraft are FBI operations using non-FBI pilots. The "ROSS" FBI aircraft call sign is still being used, and is reported to indicate that an FBI pilot is in command.
Searching the Internet produced this video on YouTube:
The poster claims this is a military contractor flight landing at DCA and was using the call sign "JENA 611". Could the JENA flights heard on surveillance operations be DoD contractor pilots working FBI aircraft???
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
VIPR, standing for Visible Intermodal Protection and Response, has conducted missions at various events and transportation facilities over the last 18 months. The teams include canine teams, Transportation Security officers trained in behavior observation, air marshal supervisors, air marshals not scheduled for flights, surface transportation security inspectors and local police.
A quick search of the TSA web site (http://www.tsa.gov/) shows quite a few news releases on the VIPR program
VIPR Teams were also in Portland for the Rose Festival back in July, but local media did not report on this.
No specific communications frequencies have been noted, but increased traffic (encrypted) on the Justice IWN trunked system here in Portland may be a result of this operation.
More as it becomes available...
Sunday, August 19, 2007
It appears that our mystery VHF EDACS trunked radio system mentioned in a previous blog entry has been located. Someone tracked down the control channels on 173.4250 MHz and 170.7625 MHz, and they appear to be coming from the NASA Goddard Flight Facility at Wallops Island, VA:
The NASA web site does not mention this trunked system specifically, but there are some interesting downloads containing information about the range and it's facilities:
The information about the location of these control channels also indicated that NASA security there continues to utilize their VHF conventional repeaters on 170.0000 MHz and 171.1500 MHz. A quick look at previously monitored frequencies at Wallops Island seems to show a lot of VHF usage in the same area as these trunked systems:
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
First, a listener in New Jersey as been reporting what he believes is an EDACS trunking control channel on 170.7625 MHz. 172.6875 & 172.9875 MHz might be analog voice channels associated with this control channel. The signal comes and goes as if it's being heard via skip, but from which direction is unknown. EDACS federal trunked systems are rare, but a VHF system would be a first. Listeners in Philadelphia, where 170.7625 MHz is used as by DHS/ICE have not confirmed a trunked system there. The 172.6875 and 172.9875 are previously un-assigned frequencies.
The originator of this information has theorized that it's an ICE/DHS trunked system somewhere. But so far he hasn't reported any specific voice traffic heard. I find that difficult to accept with as little information as we have so far. It makes no sense to me that the DHS would set up an analog EDACS trunked system, totally incompatible with what they are doing everywhere else, and not using the P-25 standard, which has been mandated by specifications in federal budgets for interoperability.
In the south, another monitor in Florida is reporting a P-25 control channel on 170.1250 MHz. It is reporting a System ID of 910. Speculation is that it might be military or Department of Energy, but nothing is confirmed. This signal is also being heard via skip from an unknown location in the Southeast US.
Anyone else hear any of these signals? Let us know at the Fed Files!
Monday, July 16, 2007
The activity was a surveillance operation. First names were used and no specific locations were identified. Could have been anyone of a dozen federal agencies. Similar traffic has been heard in the Pittsburgh area on a P-25 repeater on 169.8000 MHz. Pittsburgh monitors report that some locations heard on this repeater seem to indicate that the operations were taking place in Philadelphia, and this frequency was somehow tied in to the Philly repeater.
It's quite possible that this Federal Interop system has these repeaters in various cities tied together, but I have not confirmed this yet.
Saturday, July 07, 2007
(NOTE: It appears that the DoJ has moved all the 25 Cities downloads behind a login page. However you can do a search for "Department of Justice High Risk Metropolitan Area Interoperability" and you should still find access to all of the individual PDF files for each city.)
I have recently received some additional frequencies that may be part of the 25 Cities Project. Here are a list of what I have so far. If you have anything to add, please let us know!
168.8875 - P25 repeater
168.9125 - P25 repeater
170.8125 - P25 repeater
171.4375 - P25 repeater
171.6875 - P25 repeater
172.2125 - P25 repeater
Dallas / Ft. Worth
170.7250 MHz - P25 repeater "Dallas East"
171.4375 MHz - P25 repeater "Dallas West"
170.7250 MHz - P25 repeater "L-1"
171.4375 MHz - P25 repeater "L-2"
New York City
167.7875 MHz - P25 repeater
171.4375 MHz - P25 repeater "FIO"
Thursday, June 28, 2007
I recently had a nice email from a Fed Files reader who was interested in finding the US Postal Inspectors active frequencies. As we have noted here, the Postal Inspectors are in the process of changing around some of their frequencies and upgrading to P-25 digital radios. Some cities are still analog with DES encryption, others have moved to P-25 digital and some have both!
I thought I would compile what I currently had logged and share them. If anyone has some additional info, please feel free to pass it along!
Atlanta - 407.7250, P-25
Boston - 407.7750, 409.9375, 414.7500
Chicago - 406.3375, 414.7500, 415.0500
Cleveland - 409.9375, 414.7500
Dallas - 414.7500, 417.6000
Houston - 407.1375, 407.7250, 414.7500
Little Rock - 406.9625 (Not Confirmed Yet)
Los Angeles - 415.0500
Memphis - 407.1375, 407.7750
Miami - 407.7750
Minneapolis - 407.7250, 407.7750
NYC - 414.7500, 415.0500, 416.2250 + UHF trunked system on Manhattan
Newark - 407.7250
Oklahoma City - 417.7000
Orlando - 406.3375
Philadelphia - 406.8125, 409.3250, 409.9375
Pittsburgh - 406.3375, 407.1375, 407.7250, 407.7750, 415.0500
Portland - 407.1375, 407.7750, 415.0500 - P25
San Jose, CA - 413.6000, 414.1500, 414.7500, 415.0500
Tampa - 407.1375, 415.0500
Washington DC - 407.7750
In most cases, the 406 through 409 MHz repeaters are P-25 digital and the inputs to those repeaters should be +9 MHz. The 414 and 415 MHz repeaters are still analog, most with DES or AES encryption. In areas that have moved to new 406 or 407 MHz P-25 repeaters, keep listening to the 414.7500 and 415.0500 frequencies, as they can still show up as simplex surveillance channels!
UPDATE - Several Fed Files fans have provided some updates to the list I posted. Thanks for all the information! I will continue to update this blog entry as more information is received!
Monday, June 18, 2007
Besides the normal VHF marine channels, I did catch quite a few transmission on 162.1250 MHz, once known as LANT 03 or TAC 1. However, I was hearing the units calling New Haven refer to this frequency as CC-9 ("See-See-Nine"). Anyone hear channel designators like this before?
This article mentions that President Bush (43) has a call sign of "Tumbler", which it was when he was Governor of Texas. But I do recall that after he was elected to President, his call sign was changed to "Trailblazer", with the First Lady known as "Tempo".
The July Fed Files column will feature a focus on Secret Service radio frequencies.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
I've seen requests on some lists for information about AMTRAK police operations and frequencies. A search of the Internet turns up little information, but I decided to try and piece together as much of it as I could. I think I saw a thread on AMTRAK police on the SCAN-DC list a while back. The frequencies of 173.3500 MHz and 173.3750 MHz came up, and someone pointed to an archived edition of the Capitol Hill Monitors newsletter that has some great info on the AMTRAK police radio channels: http://henney.com/chm/0299/.
Other web sites have indicated that the AMTRAK police in New York City may have additional channels besides the ones listed in the previous link: F2-160.8150 MHz, F3-161.2950 MHz, F4-161.2050 MHz, F5-161.2950 MHz, F6-161.2050 MHz. 161.3650 MHz is also listed in some sources as an AMTRAK police frequency. These are all channels in the standard US railroad allocations, so in theory they may be using any of the 99 available VHF channels. The 173.3500 and 173.3750 MHz frequencies are not exclusive federal allocations, so you may hear other users on these channels.
Here on location, I have been hearing what appears to the AMTRAK police operations on 161.2950 MHz, 131.8pl. There have been a few incidents over the last few days at Penn Station involving NYFD units, but nothing that seems to have made the news.
Got any confirmed AMTRAK police frequencies you want to pass along? Send them to the Fed Files and Monitoring Times!
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
ATF New York
US Attorney Eastern District
DEA New York
US Marshals Southern District
US Marshals Eastern District
US Marshals New Jersey
ICE New York
ICE New Jersey
CBP New York
CBP Tactical JFK
Coast Guard Sector New York
Secret Service New York
Secret Service New Jersey
IRS New York
Park Police Manhattan
Park Police Brooklyn
Postal Inspectors New York
Postal Inspectors New Jersey
US Attorney Long Island
Air Marshals New York
Essex County SO
Nassau County Police
Previous reports that I had received on this interop repeater said that they had heard this repeater tied to 414.750 MHz during these tests, but I did not hear any activity on the UHF frequency during this morning's test.
Earlier in the morning, I caught two FBI radio techs checking coverage of this repeater with a hand held radio. The gentleman that was mobile was north of the NYC area on I-287 near the White Plains area, which is apparently the northern limit on this repeater.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
5.9.2. Air-to-Ground Communications (HF Radio). The weather reconnaissance crew may relay weather data via direct telephone patch to the weather data monitor. Monitors will evaluate these reports and disseminate them through the Air Force'sAutomated Weather Network (AWN) or to the weather communications facility at Suitland, Maryland. When requested, aeronautical stations will provide a discrete frequency for mission use, if possible. Specific radio procedures and terminology will comply with Allied Communications Publication 125, Standard Telephone and Radio Procedures. The use of IMMEDIATE precedence for transmission of hurricane reconnaissance data is authorized because of the perishable nature and potential operational impact of weather data. Data will be routed by direct phone patch between the aircraft and CARCAH.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
On Thursday, while in Forrest City, Arkansas, the same constant-carrier with the "beep-beep" was heard on 409.3500 MHz while in that area. I was not able to determine where that repeater was located.
I actually sat and listened to the constant "beep-beep" signal on Saturday for a while. It appears that the repeater is still getting signals in to the input. I heard quite a few radio key-ups and actual voice transmissions, but it was like they were talking to someone that was never heard responding over the repeater. Most of the transmissions I did hear were maintenance related, i.e., getting doors unlocked, refrigerators not working, etc.. Again, I heard some units calling others, but would only hear one side of the conversation.
I know some repeater systems will transmit this "beep-beep" signal to indicate something needs attention, such as a commercial power failure, a control link failure or something along those lines. But what this means is a mystery to me!
Friday, May 18, 2007
In the quest to document and build a database of Bureau of Prisons radio systems, there have been some BoP facilites that we just don't have any information on. Some are located in rural areas that just may not have any listeners nearby. This is probably the case for the Federal Correctional Complex in Forrest City, Arkansas.
I happened to be in nearby Memphis, TN and made a side trip over to see what I could find about the FCC Forrest City's radio system. Here is what I found:
Federal Correctional Complex Forrest City
Motorola Type II SmartNet
System ID - a733
Base - 406.8125
Step - 12.5
Offset - 380406.8125
The system is using P-25 digital voice and seems to be very busy.
This system information will be added to the Fed Files BoP Database that is available for download on the Monitoring Times website. It is in the "Readers Only" section of the site, and requires a password found in the latest issue of Monitoring Times magazine.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
First off, the 163.4750 MHz frequency does NOT appear to be the TSA on further listening. It is, in fact, the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement operations at the International Terminal at O'Hare Airport. However, it gets strange in that all the traffic on this repeater is also heard on another repeater on 163.7500 MHz, located somewhere nearby. These frequencies are quite busy with announcements as to incoming flights and baggage movement (thus my thinking it was TSA at first). I also heard one unit calling CHARLIE 100 about taking a subject under arrest to a holding cell. CHARLIE 100 is the Customs & Border Patrol National Law Enforcement Communications Center in the Orlando, FL area.
Next, I discovered the 165.8500 MHz frequency is actually the input to the ICE/CBP repeater on 163.6250 MHz, which does appear to be at ORD. I heard more than a few units switch between the 163.6250 and 163.4750 frequencies.
The 169.1625 MHz repeater does appear to be TSA, but have not confirmed the input. 172.1500 MHz is definitely in use by the TSA at ORD.
And finally, while searching, I got a couple of brief hits on 167.0375 MHz. I don't know who that might have been. All the frequencies listed in this blog entry were using APCO P-25 digital mode and un-encrypted.
Friday, April 27, 2007
163.4750, P-25 - Repeater that seems to carry a lot of informal traffic regarding baggage screening and personel assignments. I did not find the input to this repeater.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Monday, April 09, 2007
A few years ago I saw this request for information from the Department of Homeland Security regarding a "low profile", cell-phone look-alike radio:
A recent posting on the "Batlabs" board indicates that Motorola has come out with just what DHS wanted, and they are calling it the XTS4000:
While there is some speculation that these were developed with the IWN trunked system in mind (since they will do P-25 VHF trunking), I would guess that any federal agency using VHF systems would be interested in a radio like this. This model covers VHF frequencies, but could a UHF version be in the works?
Some additional information on the radio can be found at these links to the FCC web site:
Sunday, April 01, 2007
167.8125 - Primary Control Channel
167.9375 - Voice
168.1875 - Alternate Control Channel
170.9375 - Voice
This comes despite information in the recently released OIG report about the IWN Project. In that report it was stated that the next phase of the IWN deployment would be in the Southwest US:
The IWN has recently grown from the initial "testbed" system in Western Washington State down in to Northern Oregon and is expected to continue to grow as the project continues. Listeners in the Northeren Michigan area should keep an ear out for additional control channels and voice channels that go with them!
Friday, March 30, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
After my recent trip to Arizona, I decided to dust off my listings for the DHS Customs & Border Protection Border Patrol. The Border Patrol continues to use its legacy VHF frequencies that are in blocks assigned to the Justice Department.
Currently the CBP Border Patrol doesn’t have a national channel plan like some agencies, but assigns their frequencies as needed locally. Along both the northern and southern border areas (except for southern California), the 163 MHz frequencies are the “backbone” repeaters with multiple input frequencies, from the 162 MHz, 165 MHz and 168 MHz blocks of frequencies. These frequencies can be used as repeaters or “local” simplex frequencies as well.
In areas not near the US borders, the former US Immigration agents, now part of DHS as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement may use frequencies from these blocks for local use.
Besides the frequencies listed above, most CBP Border Patrol units have access to the national CBP Customs radio nets listed in a previous blog entry:
Sunday, March 25, 2007
The above link contains some interesting information about the project and its use by various agencies so far.
The IWN expanded it's coverage from Washington State down in to Oregon and the Portland metro area in late 2006. It now appears to be in full use by Portland area federal agencies. We've been monitoring a LOT of activity on the system in the last month or so, almost 24/7. Several talk-groups on the system are showing the majority of the activity, but since the radios have been set up with the encryption selected automaticaly, I haven't heard any clear transmissions since the radio techs finished with their installation tests. But remember - systems are not encrypted, talk groups are not encrypted, but it is the individual radios that are encrypted.
So where will the IWN show up next? Information in the above referenced audit report confirms that the southwest US is the next region to start the build out. I am currently in the Phoenix area (more on that in another blog entry) and have noted there is a P-25 control channel on 165.6375 MHz. It is part of the Phoenix area P-25 trunked system that allows federal VHF users to tie directly in to the 800 MHz system without patches.
Here is some budget information for the IWN project:
So keep a lookout for P-25 control channels showing up in the VHF federal band in your area!
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Here are some UHF frequencies that are allocated for use by the NOAA:
410.1000 - Weather Link
410.5750 - Weather Link
415.9000 - Weather Link
416.3750 - Weather Link
416.9750 - Weather Link
I have noted where I have heard the NOAA weather being linked to VHF transmitter sites.
So if you have trouble hearing the normal VHF NOAA Weather frequencies, give the UHF federal band a search!
I received some frequencies that are reported to be used by the National Marine Fisheries Service, a division of NOAA:
These are reported as being used in hand-held radios. I haven't confirmed these personally, but hope someone can!
NOAA NMFS Portlables
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Thursday, March 01, 2007
I had a little time between flights at Dulles International Airport near Washington, DC this week. Here's a little of what I was able to scan from Terminal D:
162.3500 MHz - FAA, Wind Shear data?
165.8250 MHz, P-25 - "409 to Command Center..."
168.9250 MHz, P-25 - DHS Customs & Border Protection at IAD
171.2375 MHz - Paging data
172.9000 MHz, P-25 - TSA at IAD - The TSA seems to be encrypted most of the time here. Very unusual for TSA, but I've heard reports they are encrypted full time in San Diego also.
407.8625 MHz, P-25 - Close Call hit on this frequency, sounded like "SIDE DOOR" calling Patrol Units.
408.6000 MHz, P-25 - Another Close Call hit. Active, but unknown who it is.
409.7125 MHz, P-25 - Yet another Close Call hit. Also active and unknown.
Maybe some of the folks who regularly monitor the DC area can fill me in on who all the UHF P-25 frequencies belong to!
Saturday, February 24, 2007
A recent post on the SCAN DC list pointed to this press release about the recent move from Customs and Border Protection to Coast Guard helicopter assets patroling the National Capitol District:
The Coast Guard is using HH65-C Dolphin helicopters to patrol the DC area and intercept wayward aircraft.
Monday, February 19, 2007
For over a year now I have been catching a lot of voice and digital paging data on 167.8625 MHz in different areas of the country. Despite this frequency falling in to the "normal" range used by the FBI, I am 99.9% sure that this is being used by the Department of Veterans Affairs for medical paging at VA Medical Centers across the country . I'm hoping some Fed Files readers can help confirm if this frequency is used in your area. So give this frequency listen and let us know if you catch some paging data or someone calling for a doctor to X-ray!
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Back from Miami with some frequencies used at Super Bowl 41. A more detailed list with some additional information will be coming soon in the Fed Files column. These frequencies were monitored while on location at Dolphin Stadium over a 5 day period, including Super Sunday:
163.1000, P-25 - Federal Common
163.8625, P-25 - Input to 167.5375 repeater
163.9000, P-25 - Input to 171.4375 FIO repeater
164.4000, P-25 - DHS USSS "Papa"
164.5375 - Unknown analog repeater
164.6500, P-25 - DHS USSS "Tango"
164.9625, 100.0 - Primary DHS Customs Air Marine Division helicopter operations
165.2375, 100.0 - DHS CBP Operations NET 1
165.2875, P-25 - ATF Operations at Dolphin Stadium
167.2625, P-25 - Radio checks at Dolphin Stadium
167.4375, 167.9 - FBI repeater
167.5125, P-25 - FBI simplex operations at Dolphin Stadium
167.5375, P-25 - FBI Interoperability repeater, possibly called "Tactical 2". Heard many radio checks between agencies and even heard "Atlanta" checking in with "Jacksonville".
167.6125, P-25 - FBI
167.6625, P-25 - FBI
169.4500. 100.0 - DHS CBP Operations
170.8250 - FBI
171.4375, P-25 - Primary Interoperability repeater. Links to various agencies heard here, including Metro-Dade Fire Rescue units. Keep an eye on this frequency as it has shown up as a Federal Interop repeater in other major US cities.
413.2750, D4431 - US Air Force Thunderbirds Comm Cart at Dolphin Stadium
Monday, January 29, 2007
I will be working at the Super Bowl telecast in Miami for the next week. I am fairly sure that there will be tons of interesting communications to scope out while we are there. I hope to provide some interesting federal logs after the event, so watch the Fed Files blog for updates!
Had some time while in the Anaheim / Orange County area of Southern California to search some, and found these frequencies active. I'll update them as I have time:
162.2250, 103.5 pl - Sounds like US Postal Service
163.1750, unknown repeater
163.6250, P-25 - ICE repeater
164.4000, P-25 - USSS PAPA
164.9375, 103.5 pl -
166.8750, P-25 - likely input to 163.6250 repeater
166.9125, P-25 - Clear and encrypted, the clear tansmissions have been mobile units checking in with milages to a dispatcher.
166.9500, P-25 - encrypted
167.2250, P-25 - encrypted
167.4125, 167.9 pl - FBI, unit was "10-8 from Bank of America"
168.8250, P-25 - DHS
169.4250, 141.3 pl - Unknown, data bursts at LAX
169.5500, 100.0 pl - DHS CBP / ICE
169.8750, 123.0 pl
170.7500, P-25 - COMM CENTER with ROBERT units, Federal Courthouse Security
171.0000, 118.8 pl
171.8250, 186.2 pl - Unknown repeater, lots of spanish language, maybe getting tripped from Mexico.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
I had a chance to gather some new frequency data for the Justice Integrated Wireless Network P-25 trunked system. This system has started to expand and is the model for more systems that will start appearing in other parts of the country.
I haven't been able to update my logs for all the system sites yet, but here is what I was able to update over the holidays:
Site 106 [T106] – Seattle South
167.2875 - CC
Site 107 [T0107] – Seattle North
167.6875 - CC
Site 108 [T0108] – Unknown location
167.6125 - CC
Site 112 [T010c] – Baw Faw Peak, WA
171.6875 - CC
Site 114 [T010e] – Kalama, WA
170.6750 - CC
Site 115 [T010f] – Vancouver, WA
167.4625 - CC
Site 118 [T0112] – SeaTac Area
172.6375 - CC
Site 119 [T0113] – Portland, OR – Mount Scott?
172.0625 - CC
Site 120 [T0114] – Portland, OR – Germantown Road?
168.5875 - CC
Site 121 [T0115] – Portland, OR – Unknown Site
171.6625 - CC
Site 122 [T0116] – Portland, OR – Unknown Site
171.6125 - CC
Site 123 [T0117] – Portland, OR – West Hills Site?
170.9875 - CC
Traffic on this system has been mostly encrypted, but I suspect when the interoperability features that will be linked to local public safety systems start showing up, more traffic may be in the clear.
Also, despite the availability of this system, most federal agency conventional channels continue to be used.
Friday, January 19, 2007
I've received some information about weekly testing of the New York City federal interop radio channels. Reports are that 167.7875 MHz, 407.7750 MHz and 414.7500 MHz are all used in these weekly check-ins with various local, state and federal agencies. The input to the 167.7875 MHz P-25 repeater is believed to be 164.7375 MHz and 407.7750 MHz is most likely the input to the 414.750 MHz repeater. The control operator appears to be the FBI New York Communications Center. I also heard a story that even though 414.7500 MHz is a nationwide US Postal Inspectors frequency, two Postal Inspector units who were trying to use this repeater in New York City were chased off the air by the FBI communications operator. I wonder if they leave these frequencies patched all the time, or someone forgot to drop the patch after the interop test?
For more information on the participating agencies and the radio systems involved:
A new feature of the Monitoring Times website is a "Reader Only" access area. Look for a password in each issue of Monitoring Times for access to this area.
I have started uploading some Fed Files documents that you may find interesting, so check the Reader Only area for new files.
For more information, click the link to the MT web site:
http://www.monitoringtimes.com/ and look for the key icon!
Monday, January 15, 2007
I've been getting some requests from readers for information about the federal use of Network Access Codes or "NAC"s on P-25 digital channels. So far there are few ways for the monitoring hobby to actually read or use NAC's, but since CTCSS or PL tones are going away when radio channels turn digital, maybe a pattern of NAC assignments by particular agencies will reveal itself.
If you are able to decode NACs on federal P-25 systems, consider starting a federal NAC database here at the Fed Files!
Friday, January 05, 2007
As announced in the January Fed Files column, we are having a contest to celebrate 25 years of Monitoring Times magazine. The prize is an original copy of Monitoring Times Volume 1, number 4, pictured above. All you have to do to be eligible for the drawing is send us your name and contact information (email or postal address - how to get in touch with you in case you win). And, if you like, please let us know what you would like to see in future Fed Files columns. You can e-mail it to me at email@example.com, or you can mail an entry to Monitoring Times Magazine, 7540 Highway 64 West, Brasstown, NC 28902-0098. The deadline for entries is February 15th. We'll announce the winner shortly after that.