Friday, March 25, 2022

Super Bowl Podcast

After my recent trip to LA for Super Bowl 56, I was a guest on Phil Lichtenberger’s Scanner School podcast. 

We talked at some length about the whole event and what I managed to hear. 

You can listen to podcast #221 at scannerschool.com:

Tuesday, March 08, 2022

TSA UHF - UPDATES

 


The rollout of the new UHF radio systems for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) appears to be proceeding at a fast pace. 

So far we have found the frequencies of 406.7375/415.7375 MHz, P-25 using various NAC's. The P25 radio IDs are in the 8xxxx or 9xxxx range so far, but some radios are just showing a RID of 1.They appear to be using a repeater at the airport, but I have identified a simplex channel of 411.4875 MHz, using the same NAC at one of the airports listed below. More are likely to be found as I get more time at the airports to monitor. I suspect that the simplex channels will be available with multiple NACs in different zones of the radios, similar to what they used in the VHF channel plans.

Lots of questions regarding encryption - Yes the TSA has always had AES encryption available in their radios and the new APX radios are no exception. And like the other radios, the encryption is not forced on, so you will get some clear transmissions. 

(NOTE: Corrected the frequency pair listing above which started out as incorrect!)

Here is a list of what we have found active so far. I will update the list as new finds come in.

Airport                           P-25 NAC

AUS - Austin Bergstrom            N061

BOS - Boston Logan                N01C

BUR - Hollywood Burbank           N06A

COS - Colorado Springs            N076 

DAL - Dallas Love Field           N07C

DEN - Denver International        N016 

DFW - Dallas/Ft. Worth Int'l      N02A

EWR - Newark                      N03D

HOU - Houston Hobby               N028

JFK - New York JFK                N02N

LAX - Los Angeles Intl            N031,N032

LGA - New York LaGuardia          N03A

MCO - Orlando Intl                N040

SAN - San Diego Intl              N0E0

SFO - San Francisco Intl          N049  

NOTES:

 In addition to the repeater paired frequencies, here are simplex channels that have been confirmed:

409.4875

411.2875

411.4875

411.5375

414.6125 

414.6375 

414.9125

415.7375 

418.4875

419.6875

These channels may be used with multiple NACs at the various airport locations.

UPDATES!

On my latest trip through San Diego, the TSA at SAN airport were using 414.6375 MHz, with a NAC of N0E0. Encryption was not forced, so some clear traffic was heard.

I just noticed a posting from CARMA Chicago that they heard a tone on 406.7375 MHz, N293. Unknown if this is testing for a TSA repeater, but odds are that it is. Also unknown if this is O'Hare or Midway airport.

 

Wednesday, March 02, 2022

LAX TSA Now on UHF

While traveling through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) today, I noted that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents  in the Terminal 2 checkpoint had Motorola APX-900 radios with them instead of the BK Radios that they have been using for some years now. 


 I put one of the radios in my backpack into searching the UHF federal band and quickly came up with some encrypted traffic on 406.7375 MHz, with a P-25 NAC of N031.

 There may be additional UHF channels in use at LAX, but it will take some time to find them. But this frequency seems to be common for all TSA locations so far. The repeater input is 415.7375 MHz.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Super Bowl 56 Reports

 For those wondering, yes I was at Super Bowl 56 in Inglewood last week, and there was plenty to hear. I didn't publish what was happening in real time, but will have a full report in the April issue of The Spectrum Monitor magazine. 

I would normally try and get it in the March issue, but due to editorial deadlines and the fact that the game occurred a week later than in past years, just made it too difficult to get done in time. 

I will share a picture of my work space at the stadium for the time I was on site!


Also some of the CBP helicopters that visited the stadium and dodged commercial traffic from LAX!




More UHF TSA Udates

 

 


I have recently received word of the new TSA UHF frequency being heard in the Houston, Texas area.

406.7375 MHz, was heard active with a NAC of N028. The report could not establish if this was from Houston Hobby airport (KHOU) or Houston George Bush Intercontinental airport (KIAH). It might be a common repeater for the area, and each airport may have addtional, simplex P-25 frequencies.

This makes the third or fourth city that has seen the new TSA channel active. Boston is using the same frequency with a NAC of N01C, Colorado Springs is using a NAC of N076. And someone posted on a thread about the TSA in Milwaukee that "Wisconson TSA has gone UHF", but no details were shared.

More updates as they come it!


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Federal Protective Service (FPS) Changes?


I have been receiving  reports of some recent changes in the Federal Protective Service (FPS) radio channels in multiple cities. 

First, listeners were not hearing the normal FPS traffic on  410.8000, 410.7000, or 410.9000 MHz in the eastern Georgia region. After some additional monitoring, it was determined that they had changed  their P-25 Network Access Code (NAC) from N270 to N201. 

I also received word that a new FPS repeater on 410.8000 MHz, N201 was being used in the Chicago area. This seems to replace the long used FPS channel of 406.7000 MHz, N201.

Nashville, TN has also reported a new FPS presence on 410.8000 MHz, N201 as well, so maybe they are  attempting to coordinate everything into a regional or national channel plan. 

This may indicate other changes are afoot, so keep an ear on the federal UHF channels for any new activity.

 

 

Friday, January 14, 2022

Chicago Federal Logs

 

One of the great monitoring locations I have encountered in my travels is O’Hare airport in Chicago (ORD). There is so much going on there, not just with air traffic and airlines, but the public safety and federal operations are always busy. One of the ongoing mysteries for me is what frequencies are being used by which federal agencies at ORD? In particular, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Since the TSA moved to their newer P-25 radios a few years ago, they seemed to be hard to catch at ORD.

 


Chicago usually has plenty of federal activity, and here is a listing of what I have caught over my last few visits:

 

162.0625                     NC02              Customs and Border Protection @ ORD

162.8250                     NC02              Customs and Border Protection @ ORD

162.9500                     NC02              Customs and Border Protection @ ORD

163.1125                     N496

163.1375                     N293              Coast Guard NET 113

163.4750                     NC02              Customs and Border Protection @ ORD

163.6250                     NC02              Customs and Border Protection @ ORD

163.6750                     NC02              Customs and Border Protection @ ORD

163.7500                     NC02              Customs and Border Protection @ ORD

163.7750                     NC02              Customs and Border Protection @ ORD

164.2625                     127.3 PL         Department of Energy - Fermilabs

165.0750                     N03D              TSA at ORD Airport

165.8500                     NC02 

166.7375                     N03D              TSA at ORD Airport 

166.8125                     N167               FBI

167.5875                     N167               FBI

168.0875                     NC02

168.8875                     N653               Chicago Tactical North (CG-TAC N)

168.9125                     N653               Chicago Tactical South (CG-TAC S)

169.5750                     N156               DEA

170.3750                     N156               DEA

170.5625                     N156               DEA

170.6250                     N167               FBI

170.7250                     N167               FBI

170.8125                     N653               Chicago Command North (CG-COM N)

170.8500                     N864

170.8625                     N167               FBI

171.2875                     N293

171.4375                     N653               Chicago Command South (CG-COM S)

171.6125                     N167               FBI

171.6875                     N653               Chicago Command Central (CG-COM C)

172.2125                     N653               Chicago Tactical Central (CG-TAC C)

172.6625                     NC02              Customs and Border Protection @ ORD

173.1875                     N650               BATFE

173.8625                     N156               DEA

 

406.1125                     DMR

406.3375                     N482               Postal Inspection Service (PIS)

406.6625                     DMR-CC1      Federal Reserve Bank Branch

406.7000                     N201               Federal Protective Service, Chicago

407.0750                     DMR              

407.1250                     N396               BoP Metropolitan Correctional Center

407.7250                     N482               Postal Inspection Service

407.7750                     N482               Postal Inspection Service

407.8375                     N293

408.2500                     N396               BoP Metropolitan Correctional Center

409.9125                     N396               BoP Metropolitan Correctional Center

409.9500                     N396               BoP Metropolitan Correctional Center

412.9750                     N293

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

TSA on UHF Frequencies UPDATES!

Over the last year, there has been some anticipation over the move of the Transportation Security Administration to new radios. They had been seeking new UHF radios to replace their current VHF BK radios used in most airports around the United States. 

Today, I received word of some activity on a federal UHF frequency in the Boston, MA area that is likely a new TSA UHF repeater system at Logan Airport.

The active frequency was 406.7375 MHz, NAC was N01C. Radio IDs were in the 839xxx range. Clear testing was heard from locations around the airport terminals. Encryption was also noted. 

 The frequency is interesting as I have no reports on that frequency use before. It is listed in the NTIA documents as being paired with 415.7375 MHz for repeater use.

More on this as I receive additional reports.

UPDATE 11/23/21 - Colorado Springs, CO is now using 406.7375/415.7375 repeater with a NAC of N076.

And thanks to all my anonymous sources!