Wednesday, October 07, 2009

USCG San Francisco - Update

While passing through SFO (San Francisco International Airport) recently, I had some time to search the federal bands. I came across Coast Guard Sector SF working with craft in the bay on 171.3500 MHz, P-25 with a NAC of 293.

This seemed to be their normal operations channel for the area, and several times I heard them refer to this as "LE-6" on their radios. Previously "LE-6" has been part of the federal interoperability channel plan as 167.2500 MHz. Could it be that this is a repeater with LE-6 as the input? Or could this be a different LE-6?

The 171.3500 MHz is a Coast Guard allocation, and I have heard it used at CG Air Station Astoria as a helicopter maintenance channel.

UPDATE: I was informed by some good folks from the Bay Area that this is a long established Coast Guard "L-E" frequency that is still being used, but now in P-25 mode. The "L-E" repeaters (short for Law Enforcement) were common in some areas that the Coast Guard operated. In theory, the old LE repeaters should be superseded by the new CG NET channels as the RESCUE 21 system is expanded.