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.