Wednesday, January 06, 2010

New TSA Radios Are Analog! UPDATED!

In late 2008 there were news reports of the Transportation Security Administration requesting funding for newer, smaller radios that were supposed to help keep the security checkpoints quieter.

Now I have seen a report that the TSA at Newark Liberty Airport is using new Icom F50 portable radios at the screening areas. Interestingly, the person reporting this says they were using them on 172. 1500 MHz in analog mode (136.5 pl), but with voice inversion scrambling!

The TSA is apparently still using the APCO P-25 radios for other operations in Newark, and I have not heard this analog activity at other airports, but I will be looking for these changes as I travel this week.


I have received some additional information on the "new" TSA radios, specifically they are using 169.1625 MHz, 131.8 pl with inversion scrambling in Oakland, CA (OAK) and I have personally confirmed that the TSA at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport (PHX) are using the Icom F50 radios on 172.1500, 123.0 pl with inversion scrambling.

They are still using the XTS P-25 radios, but only a few TSA officers (supervisors?) are carrying them. Almost all the screeners dealing with the public at security checkpoints were wearing the Icom radios. If you have the TSA programmed in your scanner as "digital only", watch out! They've taken a small step backwards to analog!

Monday, January 04, 2010

More TRBO On Federal Frequncies

On a recent trip out of Seattle, I started picking up what sounded like MotoTRBO digital signals on 407.9375 MHz somewhere south of town. I can not confirm who is using this frequency in the area yet, but my gut feeling is that it is one of the VA Medical Facilities in the area.

Washington DC Pit Stop

Just passed through Washington DC after New Years and had a couple of things to post about...

First, things were fairly quiet while I was there, but did hear a number of FBI repeaters key up with no one talking several times on Sunday the 3rd. The following frequencies all keyed up simultaneously and all were analog with a 167.9 CTCSS tone:


Secondly, there have been reports of a second site of the IWN federal trunked system being heard near Washington DC.

Somewhere in Washington area is IWN Site 160, usually heard with its control channel on 168.2625 MHz. I don't know exactly where the trunked site is located, as I have only picked it up marginally from downtown DC, near the Verizon Center. Recently a control channel on 171.4375 MHz has been heard somewhere in northeren Virginia. It reports as System 715, and Site 124. And Site 160 does not report this as a neighboring site yet.