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Lincoln County Fire VHF

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N1DDC

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#1
I have a question y'all. I'm visiting family from out-of-state, and I am tuned in to Lincoln County Fire Dispatch. There have been several times today on calls where the FireFighters advised on the radio they were switching operations to Tac 2. However I am not able to find Tac 2 anywhere. I have programmed every single frequency in my scanner that is on the Lincoln County database page without any luck. Is this a channel that hasn't been made public or something? Anyone with more info would be appreciated!
 

kc4wsd

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#2
I'm not from the area, so probably not the best person to provide an answer, but I'll offer what little knowledge I have.
TAC channels are designed to be used on-scene, so typically need extremely little coverage area. As a result, they generally do not use repeaters. You will need to be close to receive the traffic.
Having said that, according to the FCC, the license for what is in the database for a VHF TAC channel, WPLW620, is expired.
I'm assuming you are monitoring 159.165 for dispatch, and 154.265 for secondary. Under the expired license there is another frequency pair that may be worth monitoring: 154.815 and 158.985. It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for them to be using the old input frequency as a TAC channel. Stranger things have happened.
There is also a UHF frequency coordinated for use by 245 portables under the license for the primary dispatch frequency, WPKN711. While it's probably used for paging, it's worth plugging in 465.600.
As I said earlier, it may not be any help, but . . . at least it's an answer.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
 

N1DDC

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I do appreciate the help. I've already been that route in the FCC website. I've plugged those extra channels in also. They were supposed to make the TAC channels repeated so that dispatch and others responding county-wide could hear the incident. AND the funny thing is one of those Expired freqs (154.815) is their primary main EMS Dispatch channel cuz I'm listening to it now! LOL I wonder if they know... Thanks.
 

trumpetman

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#4
Try looking at WPYN375 for the EMS license.

Also try 154.205 for Fire Tac 2. The PL should be 218.1 Hz instead of 107.2 Hz. As mentioned above the fireground and tac channels are simplex so you're not going to be able to hear unless you're nearby.

Hope this helps.
 

N1DDC

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Well I have the PL disabled so I hear any traffic that comes over the Channel, so I shouldn't miss anything. Also the Tac channels were supposed to be repeated thru system upgrades last year, but I could be misinformed. Either way I am close enough to where I should hear something.
 
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#6
If I remember correctly, they were using (when I left the area in 2010) these as Tac 1, 2 & 3.

154.265
154.205
154.280


I'll see if I still have an old programming file Wednesday to confirm the tone and which frequency is which channel. They were setup as West, Central & East. I think West = 1, Central = 2, East = 3 but it could be the other way.



154.265 was their old fire dispatch frequency.
When I lived there (1999-2010). If I scanned with an open tone on Fire Dispatch, it would get overpowered by the Virginia State Police, even on a portable scanner/radio. I'm sure that's no longer the case with the changes VSP has made.


154.815 is (was) the EMS repeater.
It looks like the only rescue squad is West Lincoln, Lincoln and East Lincoln are not on the county webpage.




In case you need them....


Station 1 Denver Fire Department

Station 2 North Brook Volunteer Fire Department

Station 3 East Lincoln Fire Department

Station 4 Boger City Volunteer Fire Department

Station 5 Howards Creek Volunteer Fire Department

Station 6 Union Volunteer Fire Department

Station 7 South Fork Volunteer Fire Department

Station 8 Crouse Volunteer Fire Department

Station 9 City of Lincolnton Fire Department

Station 10 North 321 Volunteer Fire Department

Station 11 Pumpkin Center Volunteer Fire Department

Station 20 Alexis Volunteer Fire Department (also often dispatched by Gaston Co since they are on the line).
 
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N1DDC

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I appreciate your help with all this!! 154.815 is still the EMS Primary channel but Fire is using 159.165 now, one of the incidents they used a Tac channel on was 6 blocks from my home, so scanning all the possibilities I still should have been able to hear something. But I will just keep trying, I've exhausted my searches on the FCC website I've programmed every frequency listed for Lincoln County so we will wait and see...

Also when listening to Catawba County at their scenes they say "Going to Direct 1" or 2 or 3, should I assume those are the same principles as Lincoln in being they are non-repeated Fireground channels? Thanks!
 
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#8
I left in 2010 so it's very possible they have switched over to using Vtac channels instead of their own. I didn't think of that last night.

National Interoperability Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

154.2800 VFIRE21
154.2650 VFIRE22
154.2950 VFIRE23
154.2725 VFIRE24
154.2875 VFIRE25
154.3025 VFIRE26



If it's a forest fire, they might have the capabilities to talk direct on the NCFS channels. That would be District 12 Mount Holly.

Forest Service Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

151.3625 94.8 PL NCFS D12 OPS
151.1600 91.5 PL NCFS D12 TC1
159.3300 91.5 PL NCFS D12 TC2
159.4350 91.5 PL NCFS D12 TC3



I can't say for Catawba County. We have a few members up there including one was is/was on the EMS side of the house so maybe they'll see this.
 
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N1DDC

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Well I will find out, There is a working Structure Fire right now on the Iron Station/Alexis area in Lincoln County and they just switched to Tac 2... I am about 1 mile from it so I will see... Thanks!
 

milf

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#10
Also remember, that everything should be fully narrowbanded by now, as I believe all the old FCC Waivers have expired now. With narrowbanding, new tones are in use by many agencies. For Tac/FG, also put in any/all State Fire Mutual Aid frequencies including the nationwide V-Call and V-Tacs. If they are going direct and only on HTs, you indeed will need to be within a couple of miles to get traffic. With Mobiles, you should get traffic within a 8 to 10 mile area of them. LC using any extenders that you know of?
 

N1DDC

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No not that I am aware. They are using the same VHF system they've been using for 15+ years now, same exact channels. in 2013 they were supposed to upgrade the system a little to make all the Direct/Tac/FG channels repeated and adding 2 transmitter sites so that it would all be county-wide. I don't believe it happened exactly that way. Also there are a few talkgroups put aside for them on the VIPER state-wide P25 network but they have chosen not to switch over yet. It's like they are stuck in time here... They definitely have not complied with the new narrowbanding requirements yet as their channels are still 154.815 and 159.165 and 453.100 so I'm not sure what is all about that...
 

N1DDC

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I am actively doing a band-wide search right now for any frequency hits between 150-170 MHz so if they are using a channel in that range, I'll find it!
 

milf

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#14
Narrowbanding has nada to do with the freqs in use, it applies to the modulation used on the freqs. The spacing in the bandwidth. One way to tell by listening is if it sounds (weaker) than it did before. And the License shows they have multiple repeater locations now. All of them using same CTCSS on output? If so, then most likely different CTCSS on input for each, unless they are simulcasting them all.
 

N1DDC

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But wouldn't narrowbanding use be able to be seen by the frequency? For example, regular frequency 154.815 and narrowbanded freq 154.80625? That's how I understood it..
 

milf

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No. https://www.fcc.gov/general/narrowbanding-overview This explains the main points, that the spacing has been shrunk and can fit more channels in... From 25 KHz between stations, to 12.5 KHz, or even down to 6.25 KHz for some operations.
OLD 25 KHz spacing - 155.1250, 155.1300 etc...
12.5 KHz spacing - 155.1250, 155.1275 etc...
and then you get into digital only areas of 6.25 KHz spacing....
 

yardbird

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#17
Lincoln County Fire:

T-150.995 Mhz.
R-159.165 Mhz.

PL: 218.1 Hz.

Lincoln County Ems/Rescue

T-158.985 Mhz.
R-154.815 Mhz.

PL: 107.2 Hz.

Lincoln County used to dispatch fire across 154.265 Mhz. years ago
Lincoln County used to dispatch ems/rescue across 155.160 Mhz. years ago as well.

I never quite understood why they switched to a completely new dispatch system, when they could have added a input frequency and repeater and used the old 154.265 Mhz. frequency.

Seems like everybody is abandoning the old traditional fire frequencies for odd frequencies.

I figure when the new Viper Tower for the Lincoln County area becomes operational I look for Lincoln to make the transition to Viper just like Catawba County Did.

Correct East Lincoln and Lincoln County Rescue Squads have been put out of business, do to lack of volunteers, funding, and fire departments taking over the duties.

Unfortunately volunteer rescue squads are slowly becoming a dying breed in NC. That is due mainly grant money for rescue services being given to the fire departments and lack of volunteers and all the mandated training the state has implemented to be a volunteer.

Listen to them all the time at work

Just my thoughts

David
 
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Often in times, the regional frequency coordinator requires a department to change to narrowband frequencies, especially if it conflicts with another agency, same goes with their pl tones. Up in Ohio the switch to narrowband created coverage issues that in due time are making agencies to switch to the state radio system. Catawba seems to have patched their dispatch channels to Viper including Hickory Fire. The direct channels up here seem to be direct 800 MHz one's and are strictly line of sight low power usage. Not certain if it is boosted with a vehicular repeater or not.
 
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#19
As far as narrowband, as has been explained they don't need a new frequency. I had a radio I was setting up to receive for Gaston County so I programmed GastonEMS as wide & narrow in adjacent channel positions. When I finally heard them transmitting for an extended time, I would switch back and forth and hear the volume difference.



Lincoln County used to dispatch fire across 154.265 Mhz. years ago
Lincoln County used to dispatch ems/rescue across 155.160 Mhz. years ago as well.

I never quite understood why they switched to a completely new dispatch system, when they could have added a input frequency and repeater and used the old 154.265 Mhz. frequency.

I could see getting away from those two freqs. They are heavily used in NC so even with CTCSS/DCS there is a chance for interference. Granted I still heard VSP booming in on 159.165 but that was not a every day year round occurrence.

Plus by getting a new repeater pair, they could (and did) still use 154.265 and 155.160. 154.265 was their primary fireground frequency before switched to the Tac 1-3 and the rescue squads still used 155.160 if they were helping at an extended scene since dispatch could still transmit on it.
 

N1DDC

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Well, I finally solved this mystery that spanned the globe for Lincoln County! LOL I waited til they got a working fire, which was yesterday, and when they advised switching to Tac-2, I fired up a custom search of the 150-160 MHz band. And wouldn't ya know I finally found it! Tac-2 is 154.205, which is properly listed on the RR DB for Lincoln County under Fire Tactical, however what was screwing me up was the CTCSS/PL code, the DB lists it as 107.2 however during my custom search I found it to be 218.1, like was suggested in a previous reply above! I submitted a correction to the DB Admins but it hasn't been fixed yet... The channel appears to not be repeated however the Comm Center was still able to hear them and reply back, but that is probably due to the very high tower on their bldg... But I would like all of you that offered me suggestions and previous experiences you had! Much appreciated.

--David
 
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