Wednesday, April 23, 2014

SoCal DEA going VHF?

I just caught some traffic on a VHF channel with some radio techs regarding receive sites and signal strengths as well as a radio interface bridge. The conversation was on 173.1625 MHz, N156, and I only heard one side of the conversation most of the time, but did hear a couple of replies from a field unit. I also heard one person ask if they were on the "APX" radio. APX is the Motorola radio series that features multi-band operation in a single radio.

This joins the frequencies of 170.6500 MHz and 170.9500 MHz that are most likely VHF DEA channels that have been heard in the Southern California area.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

SoCal CBP Marine Common?

While in the Los Angeles area for work, I was picking up some of the many VHF P-25 frequencies being used throughout the southern end of the state by the CBP wide area system. This system is technically separate, but fiscally part of the Integrated Wireless Network (IWN). These are not trunked, but likely a vote-scan system used mainly by CBP Field Operations and Border Patrol. I have noted what is probable use by other agencies as well, such as Coast Guard and likely ICE.

I was checking what I was hearing against what I think is a pretty good source for the area, the SoCal Fedcom Blog, Among some of the updated frequencies, there is a reference to something the blog author is referring to as the MCS or Marine Common System. I would presume this refers to a common radio system for CBP, Coast Guard and other agencies working the various maritime operations.

Here are the frequencies noted as being part of the MCS:

162.6250 MHz, N820 - common input
171.3250 MHz, N820 - Mt. Solidad repeater
172.0625 MHz, N820 - Santa Ynez repeater
172.7125 MHz, N820 - San Pedro repeater

Reports indicate a fourth repeater located on San Nicolas Island, but the frequency is unconfirmed.

I'm still researching and trying to find more information on this system. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

New BoP System Near Philadelphia?

I'm monitoring a P25 trunking control channel in the Philadelphia area that doesn't match up with what I've heard in the past and is not listed on Radio Reference.

The control channel is currently on 410.0000 MHz, shows a System ID of 4C6, WACN of BEE00. The only system frequencies I have heard so far are 406.8125, 409.2125 and the control channel on 410.0000 MHz. The voice channel NAC is N4C1. These frequencies have been used in other Bureau of Prisons trunked systems in other parts of the country.

Anyone have any information on this one? I am guessing that the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia has upgraded their Motorola Type II trunked system to a P25 system on some new frequencies.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Harlingen TX Logs

I received a few frequencies logged from a friend on a trip down to South Padre Island and Harlingen, Texas. Here is what was picked up:

162.2875, NAC A50 - New CBP Border Patrol
163.1375, NAC 293 - US Coast Guard NET 113
163.4750, NAC A61 - New CBP Border Patrol
169.2625, NAC 293 - CBP OAM AIR 3
171.2375, NAC 293 - US Coast Guard NET 127
172.7125, NAC A60 - New CBP Border Patrol
410.4125, NAC 156 - DEA, new F11

Here are some additional CBP Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley area frequencies that have been posted previously:

163.0625, NA40
163.5250, NA10
163.6500, NA60
163.9750, NA21
164.4375, NA51
164.7375, NA41
166.9875, N310
168.3875, N312
169.5750, NA80
169.6000, NA20
169.6375, NA31 - CBP WESLACO 2
169.6625, NA30 - CBP WESLACO 1
170.1250, NA40
170.3375, NA50
170.4375, NA61
170.5375, NA40 - CBP HARLINGEN 1
170.9875, NA60
171.1875, NA20 - CBP McALLEN
171.1875, NB20
171.3250, NA11 - CBP RIO GRANDE CITY 2
171.3250, NA41 - CBP HARLINGEN
171.6625, NA12 - CBP RIO GRANDE CITY 1
171.6625, NA51
171.7125, NA22 - CBP McALLEN 2 
171.9625, NA10 - CBP RIO GRANDE CITY
171.9875, N311
172.2375, NC20
172.2625, NA21 - CBP McALLEN 1

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Houston Federal Activity

I came across a couple of interesting posts regarding federal activity in the Houston, Texas area.

The first was some security detail activity on 168.3500 MHz, N100. Over the years I have caught several security details using this common federal frequency. In at least two cases it was the US Capitol Police providing security for members of Congress. However, I was not able to confirm the P25 NAC on those catches.

Best guess is that this Houston activity was the protective detail for Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sebelius. The original poster also mentioned the code name FLOODGATE was associated with this detail.

Second catch from Houston was on 170.8500 MHz, N864, with some testing in the clear that identified this as "USMS Channel B", with USMS being the US Marshals Service. The P25 NAC of N864 has been speculated as being the US Marshals for a while, but not much has been provided for proof. This catch helps tilt the scales a bit towards confirmation.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New Federal VHF TRS

Some recent postings on Radio Reference are providing some details of a new VHF P-25 trunked system somewhere in northern Virginia. Here are the system details that are known;

System ID - 00A
WACN - 0000A

System NAC - 01F
Tower - 101

Main CC - 170.46250
Alt CC - 171.17500
Alt CC - 172.35000
Alt CC - 173.51250

All traffic has been encrypted so far, and no other towers appear to be a part of this system. Some have indicated the information gleaned from running the PRO96COM software package on this system show that it has APCO P25 Phase II TDMA capabilities.

I have noted that the System ID of 00A has shown up on several new trunked systems around the country and I had heard that this System ID is the "default" ID for Harris P25 systems.

I will post more information when it comes in!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

US Capitol Police Trunked System

I saw a posting from Alan Henney about the new VHF trunked system in use by the US Capitol Police. The system is apparently in limited use and Alan was able to watch the system activity using PRO96COM software during the State of the Union speech on January 26th. Here's what he found:

System ID = 582

Frequency       Input Frequency        Hit Count
172.6875        165.0875        193
172.3875        164.8125        184
172.9625        165.5375        183
173.1625        165.7750        12 (alternate control)
173.8125        166.4250        79 (alternate control)
170.1375        162.8000        199
169.5750        136.0000        191
173.4750        166.2250        42 (alternate control)
169.8375        162.6125        189
170.3750        163.1625        202
171.7875        164.6125        212
171.4125        164.3250        199
171.0000        164.0125        171
170.5750        163.6000        0 (primary control)

Alan also posted that the new system is being used along with the old, analog repeaters as well. So it appears that the USCP has not moved all operations to the new system full time yet.