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Old 07-18-2008, 6:27 PM
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Default New Inyo National Forest Link Frequencies

Some preliminary results of my searching for the new Inyo National Forest UHF link frequencies:

Forest Net (168.125 MHz)

409.1875 downlink 418.1875 uplink


Admin Net (168.725 MHz)

406.3875 downlink 415.3875 uplink


Air Guard (168.625 MHz)

406.325 downlink 415.325 uplink


The uplink frequencies are not verified but assumed from the NTIA Redbook direction that up links be 9 MHz higher than the down links. The Forest and Admin Nets down links are not repeating the up links as they did in the past before narrow banding. Both transmit whatever repeater input tone is used to key up the 168.125 and 168.725 repeaters. I haven't copied any traffic on the Air Guard yet, both to verify that this is the correct frequency for the downlink or to hear if the uplink is repeated on the downlink. I have a strong suspicion that the downlink frequency is correct. The 110.9 standard tone for Air Guard is not being passed along on the downlink.

I also have a possible frequency for the downlink of the Service Net (171.500 MHz):

410.700 downlink 419.700 uplink

This one is not passing the repeater access tone on the downlink so I cannot verify it.


I will continue to monitor and log to verify the above. All the above remote bases are located on Silver Peak, in the White Mountains, northeast of Bishop.

I also have copied unknown traffic on 408.300 MHz. It was a repeater of some sort, unknown if it was a downlink from a remote base or an actual repeater. Traffic copied was "Four Oh Four Clear" along with some other traffic I could not copy well enough to write down due to the speed it was spoken. I will continue to listen for this one and try to pin down what agency it is. There is very little federal radio traffic on the east side of the Sierra except for the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, BLM, and a small amount of U.S. Geological Survey traffic. This does not sound like any of those agencies and I'm not sure it is from the east side of the Sierra, although I've not heard anything from the west side on UHF before.
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Old 07-19-2008, 3:10 AM
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Default Inyo NF link frequencies.

Hello,
Bill from Reno again. That is very interesting that you found the new link frequencies where you did. I'm particularly curious about the link for the Admin Net that you found (406.3875) because about a month ago, I definitely heard Admin Net traffic being repeated from 406.275 off of Silver Peak and also Forest Net traffic on 406.250 from Cerro Gordo. In response to your comment about the downlink frequencies no longer transmitting the uplink traffic: I found that the Susanville District BLM Fire Net used to repeat all traffic on 417.275 (uplink and downlink), now 417.275 only repeats the downlink. I found that 167.075 (the input to the repeater) was carrying all Dispatch traffic, so by listening to both 417.275 and 167.075, I was able to hear the entire conversation. I wonder since you are in listening range of Silver Peak, if you listen to 409.1875 and 173.800, if you will encounter a similar situation. Please let me know what you find. Take care.
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Old 07-19-2008, 6:42 AM
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I have not received the dispatcher on 173.800 at all. When I have it in my scanner I keep getting repeater input traffic for mobile units in the local area and some very marginal signals from more distant mobile units. The scanner locks onto these weak and noisy signals, which can be received more clearly on the repeater output and the Silver Peak down link. I think the lack of dispatcher traffic might be the result of the north/south split nets on the linking frequencies. At one time the remote base for the south net was at the Lone Pine Ranger Station and the remote base for the north net was located at the Mammoth Airport. Since I'm so close to the Mammoth Airport I would think that I would receive the 173.800 input for the northern repeaters coming from that base. In addition, I would think I could receive the linking frequencies for this remote base, but I don't receive anything other than the 409.1875 signal. The north net was supposed to be linked to Silver Peak with 400 MHz frequencies. The remote base at the Lone Pine Ranger Station was supposed to be linked to Mazourka Peak with 400 MHz frequencies and then down to Bishop from there on 400 MHz frequencies as well.

I receive all of the northern repeaters on 409.1875 along with Silver Peak on tone 8 and Mazourka Peak on tone 4. This is what leads me to think that this is a Silver Peak down link, but I can't be positive. I don't hear Cerro Gordo on tone 5, Olancha Peak on tone 6, or Piper Peak (east of the Whites) on tone 7 on this frequency at all. It used to be simple to listen to the entire Inyo National Forest as the 415.475 Forest Net down link used to receive all of the repeaters, simplex traffic on 168.125, and the up link as well. I could monitor the entire Forest by just listening to this one 415 MHz frequency.

There has been a lot of change to the linking frequencies this year due to the new allocations and directions contained in the NTIA Redbook. Something you heard only a couple of months ago is subject to change. I've been hearing traffic from radio techs this last week so some work is being done on the system. So far I've only heard them call in when they are out of service in Bishop, so their communications do not help decipher what type of work is being done.

Another possible explanation for what you heard on 406.275 and 406.250 is that they are Mazourka Peak to Bishop down links for the southern net. I need to travel around a bit while searching the 406 to 411 MHz range to get this sorted out.

In the case of Susanville, you are located far enough away from the mobile units in northern California that you probably don't hear them, but are close enough to Susanville to hear the repeater input coming from the dispatch center there. You might pick up some repeater input traffic from mobiles when they are in the southern portion of the District, but I would bet topography blocks them out most of the time. The result is pretty advantageous for you. The only way I could duplicate this is to live in Bishop and hear both the up and down links from both the north and south nets. Even though Bishop is only 45 miles away from me, the location is down in a hole created by the Owens Valley, and I cannot hear very much traffic on simplex from there. What I do hear is fire department base traffic and the power must be 50 watts or more. I would bet the UHF up link traffic from the Inyo NF dispatch center is at 10 watts or less.

The BLM seems to have disappeared from 166.875 and are not back on 166.4875 either. I'm not sure what is going on, perhaps with the BLM and Forest Service fire organizations being merged on the Inyo National Forest it did not justify the maintenance of a separate net for the BLM. I always thought that the Forest could really use a Forest Net, an Admin Net, and one more net for fire command or to split the fires on the Forest into two nets due to the large amount of traffic generated when there were multiple fire starts during lightning activity. The BLM net would have served well as this third net.

In any case, I will be taking advantage of the logging function of my new PSR-600 radios (one base and one mobile) in trying to sort out all of this.
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:07 PM
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Default Forest Service link frequencies.

Good morning ExSmokey,
your discovery of link frequencies in the 409 MHz range paid off. This morning I found the link for the Tahoe NF on 409.3875 from Mt. Rose. I am now able to listen to the entire Tahoe Forest Net traffic from right here in Reno. I guess I have just been searching in the wrong places!
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:55 PM
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Does the down link repeat the up link? If it does that is quite nice for those in the Reno area that want to hear all of the Tahoe. It is interesting that you are hearing this link as I would guess it it there for the Truckee Ranger Station and is aimed to the northwest rather than the northeast toward Reno.

I don't seem to be picking up the down link that was repeating the back country net of Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks. It was interesting being able to hear them as my reception due south is really non-existent due to the dramatic topography to the south of town. This same topography is most likely the reason I can pick up 800 MHz traffic all the way from the Sweetwater electronic site near the Highway 395/108 junction. The mountain slopes seem to act as a reflector.

The 408.300 signal I'm copying may be coming from the west side of the Sierra. I believe it may be a Bureau of Reclamation link. I'm copying traffic about diversions and such. I can't imagine picking up traffic from the west side as the only repeater sites I've picked up from the west side are the Mt. Tom and Shuteye Peak repeaters on the Sierra NF nets and some CDF and OES traffic from the Joaquin Ridge repeater site near Coalinga. My coax needs to be replaced and my signal loss through it it quite high so picking up anything from the west side on 400 MHz seems unlikely. I'm picking up a tone of 110.9 consistently so the signal is quite strong.

The logging program for the new PSR-600 on Don Starr's software is very nice. I'm going to be finding lots of new frequencies with it.
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Old 07-19-2008, 1:32 PM
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By the way, the entire Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is linked via microwave. The hub site is Slide Mtn. and it also joins the State of Nevada microwave system on Rawe Peak, east of Carson City and Minden. 400 MHz links are used to access several of the repeaters where microwave cannot be used. One of these sites is the Mean Peak repeater, located just north of the Mountain Warfare Training Center in northern Mono County. The unique feature of the Humboldt-Toiyabe's system is that simplex traffic on the repeater output frequency of 169.875 cannot be heard by the dispatcher or the Ranger Stations. Thus this frequency can be used as a tactical between units while not burdening the dispatch center with traffic they don't need to hear.

I was working on the Toiyabe when the planning for this system was being done. Most of it had just been put in place in early 1988 when I transferred to the Inyo. As a result I was not able to use the system I had spent quite a bit of time helping to plan. I had to put up with a lot of dead spots and old equipment while I was there. The impetus for replacing the Toiyabe's system came from the activity in the Long Valley caldera of the early 1980's. The microwave system was designed so that the Mono County could interface with it and have several dedicated phone and data lines traveling to commercial phone circuits in Reno. The concern was that the county seat relied on phone circuits that traveled right through the caldera to the south. We were able to use the system to call the Toiyabe's Supervisor's Office in Sparks without using commercial phone circuits and thus saving us quite a bit in long distance charges. We were also able to bring up a Reno dial tone on commercial phone circuits and saved in long distance charges we made to that city, which is where we did a lot of our purchasing and other business. This was probably my first lesson in the politics of disaster and the improvements to infrastructure that can be made because of them.
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Old 07-19-2008, 1:34 PM
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Default Forest Service link frequencies.

Yes, the downlink for the Tahoe NF link does repeat the uplink. Relay Ridge (the true location of what everyone calls Mt. Rose) is shadowed out from much of Reno. By some strange twist of probability, my house in the old Southeast area of Reno sits directly in the signal path of Relay Ridge (Mt. Rose). The path is so narrow, if I move a couple feet in the wrong direction, I will lose the signal. But the strange thing is, I pick up the 400 MHz link frequency clearer than the 168.775 repeater on Relay Ridge, so maybe the link antenna is oriented different or on a higher tower. I noticed that the Tahoe NF Fire Net also has a different signal strength (slightly stronger) than the Forest Net, so maybe the antenna for it is on the same tower as the link frequency.
Bill B.
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Old 07-19-2008, 1:38 PM
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Default Forest Service link frequencies

Hello again ExSmokey,
I have sent you a PM with some info.
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:41 PM
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Default Silver Peak location?

Hi Ex-Smokey,

You said Silver Pk is northeast of Bishop, but I can't find it. Tried the USGS geographic names search ( http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/ ) , found a few way to the west or south but nothing matching your description. Does it have a different 'formal name' from the local usage?

Thanks,
Flash
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Old 07-24-2008, 1:28 PM
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Default Silver Peak

I believe that "Silver Peak" is an unofficial name. Silver Peak is in the White Mountains, NE of Bishop. It is basically at the top of Silver Canyon Road. If you look at a 7.5 minute quad map, it will be almost due south of County Line Hill and SW of Blanco Mtn. It could also be defined as being about two miles to the NW of the Schulman Grove of Bristlecone pines. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-24-2008, 3:41 PM
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I was in Downieville (TNF) the past few days. While there I was trying to figure out the UHF link off of Ruby Bluff. I tried the freq. listed on RR as well as a 409.65/419.65 combination found on another site, both to no avail. Search function was difficult, as the family's scanner is quite dated that I was trying to program. If anybody has data for the Ruby Bluff UHF link to the Downieville Ranger Station (TNF), please post or shoot me a PM. Tks
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Old 07-24-2008, 6:08 PM
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Default Tahoe NF, Ruby Bluff Link.

Hello,
unless it has changed in the last two months, the Ruby Bluff links are 415.450 (Forest Net) and 415.475 (Incident Net).
Bill
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Old 07-24-2008, 6:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Station81FirstAlarm View Post
I was in Downieville (TNF) the past few days. While there I was trying to figure out the UHF link off of Ruby Bluff. I tried the freq. listed on RR as well as a 409.65/419.65 combination found on another site, both to no avail. Search function was difficult, as the family's scanner is quite dated that I was trying to program. If anybody has data for the Ruby Bluff UHF link to the Downieville Ranger Station (TNF), please post or shoot me a PM. Tks
The link frequency combination you cited would actually have a 418.650 up link corresponding to a 409.650 up link. The difference is 9 MHz, not 10 MHz.

Thanks Silverspy, for pointing out where Silver Peak is. It is a peak whose name, as Silverspy indicated, is unofficial and has not been accepted by the Board of Geographical Place Names and placed on U.S. Geological Survey topographical maps. If you have a computer program with CD's for the topos in California that use USGS maps then go to Disk 6 "Yosemite", and find the words "Radio Facilities" at about 37 24' 43" by 118 11" 18" and you will see a peak just to the southeast whose elevating is approximately 10,825 feet. The electronic equipment is located as far south as the peak and on the west side of the north-south ridge that leads up to it. It has a fabulous view of the Owens Valley and the Sierra.

The Forest Service equipment was moved from there to a secret squirrel spot a bit distant from Silver. It is called by another unofficial name, McKee Peak. This in honor to Lucy McGee, Inyo National Forest soil scientist and other skills extraordinare, who lost a battle to cancer in the 1990's in her late 30's. To all who knew her and worked with her, she is dearly missed. I'm not sure, but the radio tech that gave the peak this name may have filed a naming request with the board I mentioned previously.

When the McKee Peak site is named on the radio it is still "Tone 8" and when people call it a name they still say "Silver." Now all who read this know this is not quite accurate and the story behind it.

All I have for all my years with the Forest Service is some how a bike trail on the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park carries my last name. The head of the Bike Park is a neighbor of mine and I have to ask him at some time how the trail got that name. It might be due to me or more likely not. I did work closely with Mammoth Mountain's transportation department when I was working for the Forest Service so there is a slight chance the trail carries my name for a reason. Then again if it does, it might not be a compliment, so I might just leave it be and not ask my neighbor.

Now if you want a list of local, unofficial names, the ones Caltrans uses on the radio are the most numerous of any entity in the area. 395 has locations like "Hazel's Hole" and a number of other colorful names. Because of my interest in Caltrans radio traffic, I have button holed more than one Caltrans employee in developing a list I use to decipher their traffic.
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Old 07-25-2008, 9:26 AM
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Thanks for the clarifications!

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Old 02-19-2012, 5:30 PM
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so is the UHF Link freq entered in a radio as the Tx or Rx freq ?
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:22 PM
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You're a little late, the last post in this thread was from July of 2008. They're referring to the uplink/downlink frequencies between the dispatch console and the mountaintop repeater. So to answer your question, they wouldn't be programmed in any radio...
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Old 02-20-2012, 6:35 PM
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I found out what the link frequencies are for the service net. The service net had fallen into disuse for several years, I think shortly after the FS was forced to contract out radio maintenance during the Bush administration. The problem with this program is that the contractors did half the job for twice the price and had a small fraction, if any, of the dedication the USFS radio techs have. FS radio techs know how to scrounge around and build systems for almost nothing, where contractors submit an invoice every time they need a lock washer. Under this scenario the service net fell apart for lack of funds. All the system or backbone maintenance now seems to be done by a tech from the Toiyabe or the Tahoe. They are the ones who have busted butt and gotten the service net back up again, sometime this summer or fall.

So the links for the service net are: 409.3875 down and 418.3875 up. I was passing through Bishop when a test of the system, between dispatch and a field unit was being conducted and I was able to verify that both links were working as well as hearing the VHF repeaters on another radio at the same time.

The Inyo is now able to utilize four nets: South Net, North Net, BLM Bishop Field Office Net, and Service Net. I wish there was a south and north fire net as well, which could be used as a command for larger incidents, leaving the north and south forest nets for initial attack dispatching and for non-fire functions. The fire nets would be used for incidents up through Type III and Type I and Type II incidents would then use the NIFC cache command repeaters. Many national forests now have admin, fire, command and service nets. I'm not sure if it will happen and how quickly it might, but I suspect the LEOs are probably lobbying for law enforcement nets on each forest as well. The Sequoia uses 166.125 and the Cleveland is using 168.025 for law enforcement, but I don't know if they have the full set of repeaters on those nets to allow for independent law enforcement communication over all of those forests.

The National Park Service is quite a ways ahead of the Forest Service and BLM in developing multiple nets on each large National Park unit. Grand Canyon National Park is in the midst of having four nets at six repeater sites all multi-casting so that units on the lower end of the park near Lake Mead will be able to hear traffic at the upper end of the park near Lees Ferry. The Park Service receives about 5-10 times more funding per visitor than the Forest Service so they are able to move faster.

I've not heard the uplink, but the downlink for the BLM net is on 415.075, the same as it was prior to narrowbanding and reallocation of the 406-420 federal UHF band.

Another update is that the air guard link frequencies I listed in a previous post don't seem to be the correct ones. I haven't heard anything on 168.625 for quite some time so I haven't had the chance to make an attempt at finding the links.
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Old 02-20-2012, 6:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inigo88 View Post
You're a little late, the last post in this thread was from July of 2008. They're referring to the uplink/downlink frequencies between the dispatch console and the mountaintop repeater. So to answer your question, they wouldn't be programmed in any radio...
I sent a PM to him this afternoon that should explain how links work.
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