Monday, December 31, 2012

NNSA DC Overflights

News reports are circulating that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is doing radiation monitoring flights around the Washington, DC area over the next couple of weeks.

These flights will be using NNSA helicopters equipped with sensors designed to monitor normal background levels of radiation. The NNSA’s Remote Sensing Laboratory (RSL) out of Joint Base Andrews will be performing the assessment for local law enforcement of D.C. area.

As far as active frequencies, the NNSA has assignments all over the federal spectrum, so searching might reveal something new. However, I'm not sure how much radio chatter there will be during these flights. You might catch the helicopter on some of the VHF low-altitude VFR aircraft frequencies, possibly using the ENERGY call sign.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

406.9125 P25 Mystery in TN

A poster on Radio Reference has linked to a video showing a trunking control channel that was being received in the Springfield, TN area (north of Nashville). The video can be seen here:

There is all manor of speculation over what this is. It is clearly a P25 signal, probably a control channel for a P25 trunking system, but the radio is not displaying the System ID or Site. This is not uncommon on federal P25 trunked sites, as they sometimes utilize a message format that scanners cannot display properly. The trunking information is still viewable with a program like Unitrunker or PRO96COM.

406.9125 MHz is the only site information available, and it's showing a P25 NAC of N005. One posted on the thread seems to indicate that it comes in full strength north and east of Nashville. One suggestion is the Old Hickory dam, but I'm not sure the Army Corps of Engineers would be running a UHF P25 trunked system. Others have suggested a federal prison facility, but there really aren't any near Nashville.

Further information reveals that this is most likely part of a new P-25 UHF trunked system being built out for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The control channel mentioned above reveals the following:

406.9125 MHz
System ID = 372
WACN = 00001
Site = 505

Reports are that Harris is building this new system throughout the TVA area of responsibility.

Monday, December 03, 2012

FPS Updates

A couple of updates on the Federal Protective Service, part of the Department of Homeland Security.

The FPS had been active on 417.2000 MHz in the Los Angeles area for some time, but recently the frequency went silent. They have moved to 410.8000 MHz, 127.3 PL, part of the reorganization of the federal 406-420 MHz band. They still have not moved to P-25 digital as of this week, when I heard them on the new frequency. Other cities in the Southern California area are reported to be using 406. 2000 MHz, also in analog. The inputs to these new repeater frequencies are +9 MHz, part of this new organization of the UHF band.

In the Pacific Northwest, the FPS has long been active on 408.2000 MHz, in P25 digital and not encrypted. At some point last week, nearly all the transmissions in the Portland, OR area on the FPS primary frequency have been encrypted. An occasional unit will transmit in the clear, but the response from the FPS MegaCenter dispatcher is encrypted.

Word was out that encryption was coming for some time. Some mobile units were occasionaly using encryption, but the dispatchers would usually respond in the clear. Some areas of the country have had encryption on the FPS channels since the switch over to new frequencies or P25 digital. But some areas remain in the clear.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Atlantic City NJ - Sandy Recovery

I just spent some time in the Atlantic City, NJ area after Hurricane Sandy went through a couple of weeks ago. I was able to spot some debris and beach cleanup operations south of the hotels and casinos.

On the way into Atlantic City, I did catch some traffic from FEMA on 407.6625 MHz, N421. And as with the FEMA communications I heard in New York City, some were in the clear.

Once in the city, I came across several trucks with federal government license plates that were apparently with the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA). In addition to the WAPA vehicles, there were some additional power service trucks that were contractors working to restore power. All the vehicles carried VHF-hi band antennas, but I was never able to catch any radio transmissions from them.

But things must be getting back to normal, as both the FBI and the DEA were busy in the area during my time on the boardwalk!

Friday, November 09, 2012

UHF Changes in Oak Ridge?

A recent posting in the Radio Reference forums has some information on what appears to the an additional P25 UHF trunked site from the National Nuclear Security Administration facility in Oak Ridge, TN. You can see the posting here:

The original poster did not list any system information, other than it is reporting as Site 002. The control channel frequencies he was hearing were 408.7125 & 410.1125 MHz. He also reported a voice channel of 408.2250 MHz. My suspicion is that this is an additional site to the already existing Oak Ridge DoE NNSA P25 trunked system:

If anyone has any additional information you want to pass along, please do!

UHF Changes in Pittsburgh?

I recently spotted an entry to the Radio Reference database showing a "new" federal UHF trunked system. You can check out the entry here:

The system is not new, and for you Fed Files readers, it appeared in the March, 2006 column. It belongs to the  National Nuclear Security Administration Bechtel Bettis Navy Reactor Facility in West Mifflin, PA a suburb of Pittsburgh. You can see more about this facility at these web sites:

The entry in the Radio Reference database indicates that they may have changed some frequencies in the system since I last monitored it. Originally I had it using these channels:

406.9750 MHz
407.1375 MHz
407.3875 MHz
407.7875 MHz
408.1750 MHz

New new listing has added a frequency of 406.3375 MHz and deleted the 407.1375 MHz channel. Probably some additional re-shuffling of the federal UHF assignments.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Sandy Recovery NYC Area

I have been in the Brooklyn/Staten Island area for the last few days have have been monitoring some of the federal recovery efforts. Federal agency activity has started to increase on Saturday, with FEMA finally setting up some communications along with some DoD assets. Some FEMA communications were heard in the clear.

I have been monitoring mostly from the Ft. Wadsworth area on Staten Island. Ft. Wadsworth is the location of the US Coast Guard Sector New York. They have had numerous fly overs by USCG helicopters and have been landing some at the baseball field on Ft. Wadsworth. I've also been seeing many other military and other helicopters flying over the area over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

The National Guard and active duty military units have begun to arrive and are staging at various locations, one of which is Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. I have not been able to confirm any military or National Guard communications yet, but the National Parks Police are very busy supporting operations in their areas.

Here is what has been busy:

162.3250 N293 USCG NET 111 
165.1750 N225
165.2375 N301 DHS CBP DNET 1
166.3250 136.5 US PARK POLICE - NEW YORK AREA F1
167.7875  N653 FEDERAL I/O
168.9125 N935
169.7250 N824
173.6625 N167 FBI
407.6625 N421 FEMA
408.8625 N421 FEMA DMATS

During the evening I heard multiple communications on 123.1 MHz from "AVIATION BASE". They were apparently directing inbound helicopters to landing and parking areas somewhere. There was mention of parking on a baseball field near a flight line. I thought it might have been at the old airfield at Floyd Bennett, but haven't been able to confirm that. Reports on Radio Reference have 242.2 MHz and 283.0 MHz being used by the National Guard helicopters operating in the area.

And I forgot to include in the list above the Red Cross frequency of 47.42 MHz, which I caught some transmissions Saturday.

Monday, October 15, 2012

167.2500 At LAX

I was near the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) for a few days this past week, and was hearing someone using 167.2500 MHz, 100.0 PL for some sort of general communications. The traffic appeared to be simplex, construction related and occurred over several days. Finally on Sunday, while waiting at LAX for a flight, I heard traffic that indicated they were painting the edge lines on new taxiways at LAX.

I have no idea who this might be and why they are using this frequency. This frequency is part of the federal interoperability pool of channels set aside for federal/local communications. This particular frequency is known as "LE-2", if a repeater, or "LE-6" if simplex.

This frequency is part of the federal interoperability channel plan found in the DHS National Interoperability Field Operations Guide (NIFOG), which can be found here:

Monday, October 08, 2012

Post IWN, Justice Moves On

Here is an article about what the Justice Department intends to with updating their communications systems, now that they have cancelled the Integrated Wireless Network (IWN) project;

After IWN's cancellation, DOJ continues to push for radio modernization - FierceGovernmentIT

Contained in the body of the article is a link to a PDF file that was obtained from the Justice Department with some related (and some redacted) information on the future of DoJ communications.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Denver Presidential Debates

The first of a series of debates between the presidential candidates is tonight in the Denver, Colorado area. An anonymous source sent me an interesting photo taken at the debate site. This trailer has sprouted quite a few interesting antennas!

A similar setup has appeared at other large Presidential events, including political conventions and such. No indication as to who it belongs to, but the trailer itself appears military. I suspect the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) is probably involved.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

LightSquared Continues Spectrum Quest

The broadband company that was thwarted by the FCC in its efforts to utilize spectrum near the GPS frequency band is now requesting permission to share some federal government spectrum.

"What LightSquared wants to do is take one 5MHz band that it already uses for its satellite service (at 1670-1675MHz) and combine that with the next band up (1675-1680MHz), which is used for federal purposes including National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration weather balloons."

Saturday, September 29, 2012

More Mexican Cartel Radio Towers Dismantled

An AP story on the discovery of more drug cartel radio towers in Mexico:

Rumor had it that the cartels were being supplied by radio communications dealers in Texas, but I haven't found any information to support that yet.

Another interesting and more detailed story about this has appeared here:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

NYC Activity

I'm in New York City and noted a marked increase in radio traffic on known Secret Service and Department of State Diplomatic Security channels this weekend. It is most likely due to the arrival of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, here to speak at the United Nations. Unknown if this radio traffic is related to any other VIPs in for this event. If you in the area, search the VHF & UHF bands and see what pops up...

I now see that the UN General Assembly is gathering this week, as well as the "Global Initiative" with the Clintons happening today. So a true monitoring extraviganza in New York City this week!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Dallas Area DEA

As reported previously, there are a number of VHF frequencies in use around the Dallas/Ft. Worth area that are reported to be used by the DEA. All are using APCO P-25 and encryption, but all are using a P25 NAC of N156. Today I see reports of 163.2000 MHz, N156 being active, possibly being the input to the repeater on 173.7250 MHz.

I have updated the DEA frequency page, which you can find at the top of the Fed Files blog home page.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Portland TSA Off of IWN?

A while back I discovered that the TSA at Portland International Airport (KPDX) seemed to have moved their primary radio operations to 4 talk groups on the federal Integrated Wireless Network or IWN. I was able to confirm the TSA was using this system by scanning the IWN site at the airport in conjunction with some Close Call captures of transmissions at the same time.

Sometime over the last month of so, they seemed to have moved off of the IWN for their main operations and have gone back to 172.1500 MHz, N001 and 172.9000 MHz, N001, (The Icom analog radios have always been on 169.3000 and 172.1500 with voice inversion). 172.9000 is set up as a wide area repeater that covers the Portland metro area. I have heard some encrypted traffic on this repeater, as well as clear traffic that seems to be supervisors at PDX airport.

Why this move has taken place is unknown. Perhaps the TSA was being billed for the use of the system and it was eating up more system capacity than they expect.

More information as it becomes available.

USCG Astoria Using UHF

I recently caught one of the US Coast Guard helicopters out of Astoria, Oregon using 412.9750 MHz, N293 for position and ops normal traffic. This is the first time I've encountered the Astoria helos using the new USCG UHF nets. In this case, 412.9750 MHz has been identified as NET 409.

For the latest US Coast Guard channels, check the frequency page at the top of the Fed Files Blog home page.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

DNC Convention Begins

The Democratic National Convention begins today in Charlotte, NC.

Some reports of convention related communications are filtering in. Many are posting on Radio Reference, but reports are mostly of convention traffic on the local and state 800 MHz trunked systems.

Got any interesting federal frequencies related to the DNC? Send them along to the Fed Files!

Ryan Secret Service Code Name Revealed

News outlets are now reporting the Secret Service code name for GOP VP candidate Paul Ryan. The code name for Ryan is reported as "Bowhunter" and his wife Janna Ryan is reported as "Buttercup". The reports apparently originated with GQ Magazine.

As reported previously, Mitt Romney has the code name of "Javelin".

Monday, September 03, 2012

New BoP Radio System - Atwater?

I recently saw a note on Radio Reference about a new UHF federal trunked radio system being heard on the air in central California. Listeners have stated that this is most likely the US Penitentiary Atwater. It is is located on a portion of what was Castle Air Force Base, approximately 130 miles from San Francisco.

Previously the Atwater facility was using a Motorola Type II trunked radio system:

System ID: 6a37
Base: 408.3500 / 412.4750 
Step: 12.5 / 12.5 
Offset: 380 / 612 
408.3750, 411.1750, 412.4750, 413.6750, 414.3000

The new radio system is now a pure P-25 digital system:

System ID: 4C7    
408.3250,  409.0125,  409.2125

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tampa RNC Updates

As the powers that be mull a possible delay in the start of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, due to Hurricane Isaac, some frequencies have been reported as active.

Secret Service and Coast Guard channels have been reported as active with both encrypted and clear communications.

I will not be in attendance this year, so hopefully some local monitors can pass along some active federal frequencies. And interesting updates will be posted here.

I know it's a little late (but I tend to wait for these events to be over before posting), but here are a few active federal channels that were submitted by anonymous listeners in the Tampa area;

123.1000, AM - Intercepted civilian aircraft being warned out of restricted airspace
163.0500, N293 - USCG NET 112
163.0875, 131.8 PL
163.3125, N653 - Input to 171.6875 MHz
163.3625, 131.0 PL - VA Medical Center Police
164.3250, NE01
164.4000, N001 - USSS PAPA
164.4750, N167
164.6500, NAC 001 - USSS TANGO
164.8875, N001 - USSS OSCAR
165.3750, N001 - USSS CHARLIE
165.6375, N611
166.1875, N293  - USCG NET 124
166.4375, 100.0 - DHS CBP, input to 165.2375 MHz
166.4750, 94.8 PL - US Capitol Police
167.0375, N001 - USSS
167.0500, N1AF – Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
167.2500, N68F - Federal Interoperability LE-2/LE-6
167.4625, N167 – Tampa FBI
167.5375, N167 - FBI
167.5625, N167 - FBI
167.5875, N167 – Tampa FBI
167.6875, N167 – Tampa FBI
168.3500, 77.0 PL - US Capitol Police
168.4250, N001
168.5875, N001
168.8500, 151.4 PL - US Capitol Police
169.4500, 100.0 PL - DHS CBP NET 2
170.3375, NF00
170.4375, NF00
170.5875, N131
170.8000, N293
170.8500, N864
171.2000, N293
171.5750, 146.2 PL
171.6875, N653 - Federal Interoperability, TAM FIO
171.9500, NE01
172.9000, N001 - TSA @ Tampa International Airport
173.0125, N650 - BATFE Tac 3
173.8750, 94.8 PL - US Capitol Police
406.1375, D371 - US Postal Service
406.5625, N4A0 - USCG Base
407.0000, N201
407.1375, N482 - USPS Postal Inspectors
409.0000, N293 - USCG
409.3375, N293
410.6500, 100.0 PL
410.8000, N201
413.2125, 167.9 PL - Nationwide Interoperability, IR14
417.5500, N254
417.6125, D165
418.2000, N744 - Federal Protective Service

Friday, August 24, 2012

Las Vegas, Southern Nevada List

In the September Fed Files, I listed frequencies from my scanning trip around Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. Here is the list as published, so if you have any updates or corrections, please feel free to pass them along.

118.3000, AM            Creech AFB Tower
119.6750, AM            DoE Mercury Airstrip AWOS
134.1000, AM            DUDLEY 62 (UAV) inbound Creech
135.1000, AM
138.3750, AM            Air-to-air
139.9250, CSQ           Creech AFB, alarm data
143.8250, AM            Air-to-air

162.7875, N167          FBI
163.1250, N4CE         Hoover Dam Police
163.2125, N100          Unknown agency
163.6250, N169          DHC ICE
163.7000, N169          DHS ICE
163.7500, N300          DHS ICE
163.8125, N167          FBI, input to167.6625?
163.9125, N167          FBI, input to 167.2125
163.9625, N167          FBI
163.9875, N167          FBI, input to 167.4375 MHz
164.4500, 114.8          Possible US Postal Service truck operations
164.6250, 146.2          BLM - Bumblebee Site (NV or AZ?)
164.6500, CSQ           Secret Service TANGO, body wire on someone doing surveillance near my location.
165.2375, 100.0          DHS CBP Net 1 - OTAR
165.2875, N650          BATFE NET 1
165.3750, N001          Secret Service CHARLIE
166.2375, 114.8          BLM, Mt. Charleston
166.2875, N002          TSA at LAS airport
166.3000, CSQ           Bureau of Reclamation, Lake Meade
166.3750, 100.0          Unknown agency, mentioned Kingston Wash
166.4625, N001          TSA at LAS airport
166.7875, N293          Unknown dispatch with radio checks
166.9000, CSQ           Lake Meade National Recreation Area
167.1250, 123.0
167.2125, N167          FBI
167.2625, N167          FBI (repeater on Mandalay Bay Hotel?)
167.3625, CSQ           Open carrier, with some P25 (N167) key ups
167.4375, N167          FBI
167.6625, N167          FBI
167.7625, N167          FBI
168.0875, N002          TSA at LAS airport
168.1625                     Unknown agency
168.5250, 107.2          BLM, Unknown Site, Weather Reports
168.6500, 110.9          USFS National Flight Following
168.4375, 114.8          Unknown agency
168.4875                     Unknown agency
168.5250, 107.2          USFS Fire/Weather reports
168.9625, N001          TSA at LAS airport
168.9625, N002          TSA at LAS airport
168.9625, N003          TSA at LAS airport
169.3000, N001          TSA at LAS airport
169.4000, 186.2          BLM, Southern Nevada - Hayford Peak
169.5500, N930          Unknown agency
169.6625                     Unknown agency
169.8000, 173.8          Lake Meade National Recreation Area (input to 170.050 MHz)
169.8750, 110.9          USFS Toiyabe NF, Mt. Charleston with LAS VEGAS (USFS HQ)
169.9125                     Unknown agency
170.0500, CSQ           Lake Meade National Recreation Area
170.0750, D051
170.1000, N300          Possible ICE operations
170.1000, NC03         Unknown
170.4750, 156.7          USFS, input to 169.8750 MHz
170.6250, N167          FBI
170.6625, N167          FBI
170.6750                     Unknown agency
170.7500, N293          US Marshals, Federal Courthouse Security
170.8000, N293          Unknown agency
171.3625, 88.5            Unknown agency
172.6000, 173.8          Lake Meade National Recreation Area
172.6125, 156.7          Zion National Park South (analog)
172.6125, N637          Zion National Park South (digital)
172.7625, N301          Unknown, 14-xx units talking about heading to the office
172.9000, N001          DHS TSA at LAS airport
172.9000, N013          DHS TSA at LAS airport
173.2000, NCA6        Unknown agency
173.6750, N47C         BLM - “700” & “BLM Radio Maintenance” testing on “GRASS” or “BASS”
173.9875, CSQ           Data bursts
234.3250, AM             Air tactical, COYOTE Area
243.2750, AM             Creech AFB, approach?
281.0250, AM             Blackhawk helicopter departing Creech AFB
288.2250, AM
290.0000, AM
290.4500, AM             Creech AFB ATIS, mentioned 254.4 & 119.35 for Nellis Control
291.0500, AM
327.8000, AM
360.6250, AM             Creech AFB Tower
361.0250, AM
367.4000, AM             May be UAV Operations
377.8000, AM             UAV operations at Creech AFB

406.9375                     Las Vegas VA Medical Center, TRBO digital mode
407.3125, CSQ           Unknown, open microphone with PA in background
407.5250, D023          Unknown, conventional repeater
409.1875, 100.0          Unknown agency
409.4000, N940          Federal Protective Service, Las Vegas
410.3000, CSQ           Data bursts
410.9500, CSQ           Data bursts, LAS airport
413.6000, 103.5          US Postal Service
413.8000, CSQ           Data bursts
414.5250, 103.5          US Postal Service sorting facility
415.2750, 186.2          Unknown agency
415.5750, 186.2          US Postal Service, input to 418.1000
415.6500, CSQ           Possible DoE paging
416.0000                     Open carrier
418.1000, 186.2          US Postal Service truck operations
418.7500, 156.7          DEA F3
418.9000, 156.7          DEA F2, OTAR data
419.5000, 156.7          DEA, Las Vegas local operations

NNSA Trunked System
Motorola Type II, System ID: 7526 NAC: 264
Site 01 - Mercury
406.5000, 406.7875, 407.1875, 407.3000, 407.5000, 407.8625, 408.1500, 409.1125, 409.5625
Site 02 - Red Mountain, Checkpoint Pass
406.9875, 407.3500, 408.3625, 409.3125, 409.5250, 409.9125, 410.1625
Site 03 - Yucca Pass
406.1375, 407.3625, 408.1875, 409.1250, 409.3500, 409.5500, 409.7875
Site 04 - Las Vegas DOE Facility
406.4000, 406.9875, 407.3625, 408.3625, 409.5250, 409.9250, 410.1625
Site 05 - Skull Mountain
406.1500, 406.9750, 407.5500, 408.1000
Site 06 - Angel Peak
406.1125, 406.5500, 407.4250
Site 07 - Rainier Mesa
407.1625, 407.4000, 407.7875, 408.3875
Site 08 - Shoshone Mountain
407.3875, 407.8125, 408.4250, 409.3750, 410.1750, 410.6500

Nellis AFB System
System ID: 00F WACN: 58544 NAC: 00F
Site 01 - Nellis AFB
406.5000, 406.7875, 407.1875, 407.3000, 407.5000, 407.8625, 408.1500, 408.9625, 409.1125, 409.5625, 409.7125, 410.6500
Site 02 - Creech AFB
406.3625, 407.0750, 407.5875, 408.1750, 408.7000
Site 10 - Angel Peak
409.3000, 409.6000, 410.5500

NTTR EDACS Trunked System
Site 01 – Tonopah
[1] 406.5625 [2] 409.5625 [3] 410.7000
Site 02 – Antelope Peak
[1] 406.1500 [2] 407.2500 [3] 407.9500 [4] 408.5875 [5] 410.1500
Site 03 – Cedar Peak
[1] 406.9625 [2] 407.5625 [3] 407.7625 [4] 408.1250 [5] 409.1625 [6] 409.8875
Site 04 – Halligan Mesa  
[1] 406.7625 [2] 409.3625 [3] 409.7625
Site 05 – Bald Mountain
[1] 406.7750 [2] 407.8875 [3] 408.9625 [4] 410.3500 [5] 410.7625
Site 06 – Papoose Mountain
[1] 406.1875 [2] 408.1625 [3] 408.5625 [4] 409.5875 [5] 410.7000
Site 07 – Angel Peak
[1] 406.5625 [2] 408.0500 [3] 409.0250 [4] 409.9625 [5] 410.9000
Site 08 – Black Mountain
[1] 406.3625 [2] 407.0750 [3] 407.5875 [4] 408.1750 [5] 409.6375
Site 09 – Creech AFB
[1] 406.1500 [2] 407.2500 [3] 407.9500 [4] 408.5875 [5] 410.1500

Las Vegas, Nevada Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
System ID: 49D WACN: BEE00 NAC: 490
407.83750 408.23750 409.51250

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

TSA Frequencies - One Stop Shopping!

While preparing some information for an upcoming Fed Files column, I noticed that I had some "competing" blog posts with different updates on the various TSA frequencies used throughout the US. I decided to combine them all into one list, which can be found by clicking the "TSA Frequency Updates" button on the red bar running across the top of the Fed Files blog. From now on I will be updating that paget with any TSA updates.

Monday, August 20, 2012

CBP Inks Deal for Covert Antennas

According to this recent item, the CBP has signed a deal for "covert" mobile antennas with Antenna Authority, Inc., of Douglasville, GA.

Both the CBP and Antenna Authority are apparently reluctant to reveal exactly what the contacted antennas are to be used for, (see photo below).

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Joint Base Charleston

I've been in Charleston, SC for over a week for work, and finally had some time to search around for military activity in the area. I stumbled across something interesting concerning the Naval Support Activity Charleston (NSAC) and their 380 MHz trunked system.

As some may be aware, the US Navy is installing sites for the Enterprise Land Mobile Radio System (ELMRS) trunked radio network at bases across the country and around the world. These P-25 trunked sites can be found in the 380-400 MHz band of DoD controlled radio spectrum. And until now, all the sites of the ELMRS system were in that band.

But apparently now that both NSAC and the Charleston Air Force Base are now one base, called Joint Base Charleston, they made the CAFB 400 MHz trunking system a site on the ELMRS system. This is the first time I have run into a site on the ELMRS system that is NOT in the 380 MHz band. Both sites are using the same System ID of 14C, and both using a P-25 NAC of N140. Neither site shows the other as a neighbor, or any neighbors for that matter, so not sure if any roaming takes place between the two.

Here is what I found active:

System ID             : 14C
System Name           : Enterprise Land Mobile Radio System (ELMRS)
WACN                  : BEE00
Tower Number (Decimal): 206
Tower Number (Hex)    : T0206
Tower Description     : Joint Base Charleston, Naval Support Activity Charleston (NSAC)
Control Capabilities  : Data,Voice,Registration

#Format: Table ID,Base Freq,Spacing,Input Offset,Assumed/Confirmed,BandWidth,Slots

#Format: Channel,Usage,Frequency(/Slot),Input Frequency(/Slot),Hit Count

And here is the Charleston Air Force Base site:

System ID             : 14C
System Name           : Enterprise Land Mobile Radio System (ELMRS)
WACN                  : BEE00
Tower Number (Decimal): 270
Tower Number (Hex)    : T0246
Tower Description     : Joint Base Charleston, Charleston Air Force Base (CAFB)
Control Capabilities  : Data,Voice,Registration

#Format: Table ID,Base Freq,Spacing,Input Offset,Assumed/Confirmed,BandWidth,Slots

#Format: Channel,Usage,Frequency(/Slot),Input Frequency(/Slot),Hit Count

Friday, August 10, 2012

FEMA Moves From Nextel

As we have known, many federal agencies were heavy users of the Nextel "Direct Connect" push-to-talk radio and mobile phone service. With the demise of the Nextel network, at least one agency is moving to Sprints newest version of the Direct Connect service:

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

El Paso, Texas Federal Scanning

A few months ago I spent a few days in El Paso, Texas. As expected, the frequencies for CBP Border Patrol and Field Operations were hopping with activity. Here's what I was able to log over my stay there:

162.7250         N931   DHS CBP International Bridge, input to 169.5500
163.6250         151.4   DHS CBP Border Patrol
163.7000         D223   DHS CBP Border Patrol
163.7250                     DHS CBP
163.7750         D223   DHS CBP Border Patrol
164.6000         100.0   DHS CBP Field Operations
165.2875         N650   BATFE
165.6875         100.0   DHC CBP Field Operations
165.8250         D223   DHS CBP Border Patrol
166.2875         N002   TSA @ ELP - Backscatter X-RAY Operators
167.2375         N167   FBI
168.9500         151.4   DHS CBP Border Patrol
169.5500         N930   DHS CBP International Bridge, Field Operations repeater
170.6250         151.4   DHS CBP Border Patrol
170.6750         151.4   DHS CBP Border Patrol
170.7500         N293   US Marshals, Federal Courthouse
170.8625         N167   FBI
171.2250         N653   Unkown - P25 NAC used on Federal Interoperability systems
172.1500         N001   TSA @ ELP
406.8125                     Motorola Control Channel, SYS A516 - BOP 
407.1375         N482   US Postal Inspectors
407.8125         N164   Voice channel, SYS A516
408.2250         D226   CBP Link
408.2270         D226   CBP Link
409.3000         N2D0  P25 Control Channel, SYS 2D2, WACN BEE00 - Ft. Bliss
409.4750         N2D0  Voice channel, SYS 2D2 - Ft. Bliss
409.5125         N2D0  Voice channel, SYS 2D2 - Ft. Bliss
409.8250         N156   DEA Surveillance
409.8875         N2D0  Voice channel, SYS 2D2 - Ft. Bliss
409.9500         N156   DEA
410.1750         N2D0  Voice channel, SYS 2D2 - Ft. Bliss
410.3250         N2D0  Voice channel, SYS 2D2 - Ft. Bliss
410.8000         N709   Federal Protective Service
410.8125         N156   DEA
413.7250         151.4   CBP Link
418.8500         100.0   CBP Link

Pacific Northwest IWN System

In the July 2012 Fed Files column, I published the most recent compilation of the Integrated Wireless Network (IWN), the federal VHF P-25 trunked radio system.

I will update this list as further information comes in.
Integrated Wireless Network, US Justice Department
System ID – 715

SITE 1 (101, 01) – Lookout Mtn., Bellingham, WA

SITE 2 (102, 02) – Blaine, WA

SITE 3 (103, 03) – Bahokas Peak, Neah Bay, WA

SITE 4 (104, 04) – Octopus Mtn., Forks, WA

SITE 5 (105, 05) – Striped Peak, Port Angeles, WA

SITE 6 (106, 06) – Bank of America Building, Seattle, WA

SITE 7 (107, 07) – Gold Mtn., Bremerton, WA

SITE 8 (108, 08) – Grass Mtn., Enumclaw, WA

SITE 9 (109, 09) – Marysville SR-9, WA

SITE 10 (110, 0a) – Tacoma Fire Training Center, WA

SITE 11 (111, 0b) – Capitol Peak, Olympia, WA

SITE 12 (112, 0c) – Boisfort/Baw Faw Peak, WA

SITE 13 (113, 0d) – Naselle Ridge, WA

SITE 14 (114, 0e) – Green Mtn., Kalama, WA

SITE 15 (115, 0f) – Portland International Airport, OR

SITE 16 (116, 11) – Unknown (Never heard on air), WA

SITE 17 (117, 12) – Keelers Corner, WA

SITE 18 (118, 13) – Cougar Mtn, WA

SITE 19 (119, 14) – Mt. Scott, Portland, OR

SITE 20 (120, 15) – Germantown Road, Portland, OR

SITE 21 (121, 16) – Metro Portland, OR

SITE 22 (122, 17) – Lookout Mtn., Gresham, OR

SITE 23 (123, 18) – KGW-TV, Portland, OR

SITE 25 (125, 19) – Seattle Tacoma International Airport, WA

SITE 26 (126, 1a) – Eugene, OR

SITE 27 (127, 1b) – Reedsport, OR

SITE 28 (128, 1c) – Coos Bay, OR

SITE 29 (129, 1d) – Oregon Coast, OR

SITE 30 (130, 1e) – Mt. Spokane, WA

SITE 31 (131, 1f) – Mica Peak, Spokane, WA

SITE 32 (132, 20) – Sprague Lake

SITE 33 (133, 21) – 5 Mile, Spokane, WA

SITE 34 (134, 22) – Stampede Pass, WA

SITE 35 (135, 23) – Sky Meadows, Elum, WA

SITE 36 (136, 24) – Whiskey Dick Mtn., George WA

SITE 37 (137, 25) – Terrace Heights, Yakima, WA

SITE 38 (138, 26) – Sunnyside Slope, Yakima, WA

SITE 39 (139, 27) – Jump Off Joe Butte, Richland, WA

SITE 40 (140, 28) – Salem, OR

SITE 41 (141, 29) – Eagle Point, Cottage Grove, OR

SITE 42 (142, 2a) – Roseburg, OR

SITE 43 (143, 2b) – King Lake, Monroe, WA

SITE 44 (144, 2c) – Burlington Hill, WA

SITE 45 (145, 2d) – Sumas Mtn., WA

SITE 46 (146, 2e) – Burch Mtn., Wenatchee, WA

SITE 47 (147, 2f) – Goat Mtn., Pateros, WA

SITE 48 (148, 31) – Waitsburg, Walla Walla, WA

SITE 49 (149, 32) – Monument Hill, Ephrata, WA

SITE 50 (150, 33) – Monumental Mtn., Colville, WA

SITE 51 (151, 34) – Mt. Defiance, OR

SITE 52 (152, 35) – Rattlesnake Mtn., North Bend, WA

SITE 53 (153, 36) – Roosevelt Mtn., WA

SITE 54 (154, 37) – Schrag, Warden, WA

SITE 55 (155, 38) – Skamania Mtn., WA

SITE 56 (156, 39) – Haystack Mtn., The Dalles, OR

SITE 57 (157, 3a) – Steptoe Butte, WA

SITE 58 (158, 3b) – Mt. Hebo, OR

SITE 59 (159, 3c) – I-5, Southern Oregon, OR

SITE 61 (161, 3d) – Ashland, OR

SITE 62 (162, 3e) – Medford, OR

SITE 63 (163, 3f) – Grants Pass, OR

SITE 64 (164, 40) – ValleyCom, Kent, WA

SITE 65 (165, 41) – Unknown location, north central Oregon

SITE 66 (166, 42) – Possibly Emigrant Hill, WA

SITE 67 (167, 43) - Warm Springs, OR

SITE 68 (168, 44) - Unknown location, north central Oregon

Monday, July 02, 2012

Sandy Hook NPS Frequency Change

Reports on Radio Reference indicate a change of radio frequencies used by the Sandy Hook unit of the Gateway National Recreation Area in new Jersey. The new frequencies are reported as:

169.7500 MHz, N225 - Law Enforcement/Park Wide Communications
166.7750 MHz, N225 - Lifeguards
168.4750 MHz, N225 - Maintenance?
164.9500 MHz, N225 - Input to 169.7500 MHz repeater

Saturday, June 30, 2012

State VHF TRS Using NTIA Frequencies

On a recent trip to Northwest Arkansas, I was noticing many weak hits on 171.4375 MHz, N1CC. After a while I figured out this was a P-25 trunked control channel. I then monitored the control channel data and discovered that this was a trunked site that was part of the Missouri statewide radio system called MOSWIN. The site I was hearing was Site 12, using the frequencies of 161.8375 & 171.4375 MHz. It is reportedly located in St. Claire County, Missouri (well north of my location at the time). The system data can be found here:

The system consists of both 800 MHz and VHF trunked sites to provide statewide coverage. What is interesting is that the state has taken not only FCC controlled spectrum, but has a number of channels from the federal spectrum as well. My guess is that since VHF public safety allocations are getting difficult to find, they were able to get some VHF federal channels as a cooperative effort with the feds.

There were indications that the next deployment of the now unfunded, federal IWN trunked system would be in the Midwest. So it seems that giving the frequencies over the state of Missouri and letting them build the radio system (probably with federal grants), then getting federal agency access to the system is another method of getting what the Justice Department wanted in the first place.

Also, I have noticed a similar situation with the Nebraska state VHF trunked radio system, called the N-WIN: .

The WYOLINK system in Wyoming has only one site in Cheyenne that is using federal VHF channels, and I assumed that was for interoperability with the F.E. Warren AFB there:

The Montana Statewide Interoperable Public Safety Radio System (MSIPSRS?), a VHF P-25 trunked system, features only 1 site (so far) that is using a single federal allocation - Site 44:

I was advised that the new State of Maine VHF P-25 trunked radio system is planned to utilized frequencies in the federal VHF band. The system is not yet built out, but planners are acquiring VHF frequencies from as many sources as they can.

Also, the State of Wisconsin is utilizing some VHF allocations in the 138 - 150 MHz bands that were given over in a cooperative agreement with the Department of Defense.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

DEA New P25 UHF Updates

Just came up with some additional DEA UHF channels that had been previously unheard.

First, I received a report of DEA activity in the Boston area using 413.9750 MHz as an input to a 419.4250 MHz repeater. Both frequencies were using a NAC of N156. This would not only be reversed from other reports of a repeater on the 413 frequency with an input of 419, but it does not conform to the federal 9 MHz repeater offset.

Secondly, I was able to confirm that the DEA in El Paso, Texas is using 409.8250, 409.9500 and 410.8125 MHz, all with a NAC of N156. The 410.8125 MHz  frequency had not been reported before.

Here then is my current list of "new" P-25 digital DEA channels in use in some areas of the country:
409.6250 MHz, N156 - Repeater, Possible F1
409.6750 MHz, N156 - Repeater, Possible F6
409.8125 MHz, N156 - Repeater, Possible F7

409.8250 MHz, N156 - Repeater, Possible F8
409.9000 MHz, N156 - Repeater, Possible F9
409.9500 MHz, N156 - Repeater, Possible F10

410.4125 MHz, N156 - Repeater/simplex, Possible F11
410.8125 MHz, N156 - Repeater
411.1250 MHz, N156 - Simplex (SPLX 1)

411.1500 MHz, N156 - Repeater/simplex? 
412.2000 MHz, N156 - Simplex (SPLX 2?)
412.5250 MHz, N156 - Simplex
413.9750 MHz, N156 - Repeater/Simplex (SPLX 3)
414.2000 MHz, N156 - Simplex (SPLX 4)
414.4500 MHz, N156 - Simplex (SPLX 5)
418.3250 MHz, N156 - Simplex or possible input to 409.3250 repeater (not heard)
418.6250 MHz, N156 - Input to 409.6250 repeater
418.6750 MHz, N156 - Input to 409.6750 repeater
418.8125 MHz, N156 - Input to 409.8125 repeater
418.8250 MHz, N156 - Input to 409.8250 repeater
418.9000 MHz, N156 - Input to 409.9000 repeater
418.9500 MHz, N156 - Input to 409.9500 repeater

419.4250 MHz, N156 - Input to 413.9750 repeater
419.9750 MHz, N156 - Input to 413.9750 repeater?