Thursday, July 02, 2009

New FAA Radio Update

Back in November of 2006, I received frequency information from the new FAA land-mobile P-25 radio network, known as the FAA "C2" system. Here are the frequencies from the 11/06 Fed Files column:
Receive / Transmit
Channel 1 172.9250 169.3250
Channel 2 172.9500 169.3500
Channel 3 172.9750 169.3750
Channel 4 172.8500 169.2500
Channel 5 172.8750 169.2750
Channel 6 166.1000 162.3000
Channel 7 172.8250 169.2250
Channel 8 172.9125 169.3125
Channel 9 162.1375 166.0375
Channel 10 167.9375 171.4875
Channel 11 166.3875 162.3375
Channel 12 171.7125 167.8875
Channel 13 172.1750 172.1750
Channel 14 166.1750 166.1750

Now that the C2 radios are being deployed, the channel lineup seems to have changed somewhat. The radios are setup with two zones, one is P-25 digital and the other analog. The channel lineups are slightly different between the two zones. Here is the P-25 digital zone:
Channel 1 172.9250 169.3250 - N293
Channel 2 172.9500 169.3500 - N293
Channel 3 172.9750 169.3750 - N293
Channel 4 172.8500 169.2500 - N293
Channel 5 172.8750 169.2750 - N293
Channel 6 166.1000 162.3000 - N293
Channel 7 172.8250 169.2250 - N293
Channel 8 172.9125 169.3125 - N293
Channel 9 172.1250 172.1250 - N293
Channel 10 172.7375 172.7375 - N293
Channel 11 172.1750 172.1750 - N293
Channel 12 166.1750 166.1750 - N293

And this is the analog zone, all channels programmed with a 136.5 CTCSS squelch tone:

Channel 1 172.9250 169.3250 - 136.5

Channel 2 172.9500 169.3500 - 136.5
Channel 3 172.9750 169.3750 - 136.5
Channel 4 172.8500 169.2500 - 136.5
Channel 5 172.8750 169.2750 - 136.5
Channel 6 172.9000 169.3000 - 136.5
Channel 7 172.8250 169.2250 - 136.5
Channel 8 172.1250 172.1250 - 136.5
Channel 9 172.1500 172.1500 - 136.5
Channel 10 172.1750 172.1750 - 136.5
Channel 11 166.1750 166.1750 - 136.5

Interesting that the frequencies used by the TSA (shown in channels 6 and 9) are back in the FAA radios, but in the analog mode. Since the TSA radios are all P-25 digital, I think this is not meant to provide interoperability between the FAA and TSA.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

USCG Sector Portand Update

Since posting about the US Coast Guard utilizing more federal interoperability frequencies, I have run into some changes in my own listening area in Portland, Oregon.

Until recently, the CG tended to operate on either the standard VHF marine channels allocated for Coast Guard use. They also had access to, and used often, a talk-group on the Portland metro area 800 MHz public safety trunked system. However, around the time of the Portland Rose Festival, most of the activity on these channels seemed to disappear.

While searching around, I discovered that they had moved to one of the new CG "NET" channels in the APCO P-25 mode. So far SECTOR PORTLAND is using NET 21 (165.3125 MHz) in P25. It does not seem to be a repeater, but the base transmitters are probably located at one of the new Rescue 21 antenna sites in the area. Also, while the US and Canada had some navy vessels docked at Portland's Waterfront Park for the Rose Festival, CG security PACCOMM was heard using 163.1375 MHz, NET 113.

Minneapolis FRB

As some may recall, we have noted that the Federal Reserve branch banks across the US have been using a common set of UHF frequencies for their communications, but in all different modes. Some are analog, others are analog with DCS squelch tones and some are P-25 digital. But now
I received a report from a listener in the Twin Cites that indicates the Federal Reserve Branch Bank in Minneapolis is using a UHF LTR trunked system.

According to the supplied information, the trunked system is as follows:
406.6625 - LCN 10
410.4875 - LCN 01

I've learned long ago not to underestimate the possibilities of what can show up in the federal bands, but this is indeed unusual! Until I make it back up to Minneapolis, can anyone supply any further information on this system?

DHS Demos Thales Liberty Radio

The Department of Homeland Security will be testing a new multi-band portable radio from Thales. The pilot program will involve field testing of the Thales Liberty muli-band portable radio that will cover both VHF and UHF public safety bands as well as 700 and 800 MHz channels. The test program will involve multiple agencies, both in the US and Canada and will involve first-responders as well as federal agencies.

The 14 pilot organizations that will be involved in the test program are:

-2010 Olympic Security Committee (Blaine, Wash., and Vancouver, B.C. Canada)

-Amtrak (Northeast Corridor)

-Boise Fire Department (Boise, Idaho)

-Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group (Ottawa, ON Canada)

-Customs and Border Patrol (Detroit)

-Federal Emergency Management Agency (Multiple Locations)

-Hawaii State Civil Defense (Honolulu)

-Interagency Communication Interoperability System (Los Angeles County, Calif.)

-Michigan Emergency Medical Services (Lower Peninsula Areas)

-Murray State University (Southwest Kentucky)

-Phoenix Police Department and Arizona Department of Emergency --Management Greater Phoenix and Yuma County)

-Texas National Guard (Austin, Texas)

-U.S. Marshals Service (Northeast Region)

-Washington Metro Area Transit Authority Transit Police (District of Columbia)

According to information on the Thales Communications web site, the radio can be configured to operate in multiple mdes, including analog, APCO-25 digital, conventional and trunked.