Friday, August 29, 2008

RNC Build Up

Now that the dust has settled in Denver, the focus shifts towards the eastern half of the Twin Cites, St. Paul, Minnesota.

The radio spectrum has started to get busier and more new and unusual frequencies are being seen and heard here. This morning the Coast Guard flew 2 HH-65 Dolphin helicopters around downtown St. Paul and the Xcel Energy Center and the site of the Republican National Convention. No sign of any Customs air assets yet. Secret Service and other federal frequencies are starting to come alive with radio tests and encryption.

There are rumors flying about that if Hurricane Gustav makes a beeline for New Orleans, the RNC may be delayed by a few days or perhaps a week. The situation is being monitored and we'll find out if anything changes soon.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Denver DNC Ramps Up

The radio spectrum in the Denver area is becoming increasingly filled with communications related to the Democratic National Convention, which starts tomorrow at the Pepsi Center.

As we reported in an earlier blog post, the Multi Agency Communications Center started operations on Saturday, and reports of all sorts of federal activity in the VHF and UHF bands continue to pour in. Much of the activity is reported as using APCO P-25 digital with encryption, especially the US Secret Service channels, which is the lead agency for this event.

Also, reports are coming in that more new talk groups are being spotted on the Colorado State P-25 800 MHz system as well as the federal "Front Range" UHF trunked system. Most of these new talk group users are using the encryption feature, so identifying the channels will be difficult at best. Some conventional UHF federal activity is being heard in the downtown Denver area as well, some even in analog.

There are some web sites hosting live feeds of the Denver area public safety communications, including this one:

Tom Kneitel, 1933-2008

I received word this morning that Tom Kneitel, author of many scanning and monitoring related books and writer for Popular Communications magazine, has passed away at the age of 75.

As many long time "Fed Heads" will remember, Tom was the author of the CRB books series "Top Secret Registry of US Government Frequencies". The last edition was the 8th edition, printed in 1993. These books were the bibles of the federal scanning hobby and provided much of the basis of all federal scanning & monitoring well before the Internet age.