Thursday, December 20, 2007

Houston Federal Interop Test

Another testing of a federal interoperability system was noted by listeners in the Houston, Texas area last night. Radio checks from various local and many federal agencies were heard. In some cities these tests seem to come at a set time every week. This test in Houston occurred at 3:30 AM. They may mix up the times to keep people on their toes...

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

South Florida UHF Mystery!

With the mandated changes in the channelization of the federal UHF band that appear to be taking place before the years end, mysterious signals have been heard in some areas, including South Florida.

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

Another JENNA Sighting!

While waiting for my flight to board at Burbank (KBUR) last week, I caught JENNA 49 coming in for a landing. I watched the runway expecting a fixed-wing aircraft, but to my suprise an all-black Bell 206B Jet Ranger helicopter flew in on runway 15 and hover taxied over to a small hanger & building marked as "Police Air Support". 

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.