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Low Band State OEM and Red Cross

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N2ZGE

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#1
I just noticed that tbe db was recently updated with the low band 39 MHz state OEM channels and the 47 MHz Red Cross channels (although not sure exactly what was updated). Aren't these frequencies deprecated now?
 
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#2
Red Cross still utilizes Low Band Nationwide.

Also many states have kept the low-band active in Radios even with conversions to 700/800 TRS
I just noticed that tbe db was recently updated with the low band 39 MHz state OEM channels and the 47 MHz Red Cross channels (although not sure exactly what was updated). Aren't these frequencies deprecated now?
 

902

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#3
Red Cross still utilizes Low Band Nationwide.

Also many states have kept the low-band active in Radios even with conversions to 700/800 TRS
47.42 MHz is an FCC-designated national frequency for the American Red Cross. Many chapters have licensed adjacent channels for "F2" operations independent of the national frequency, and some have licensed various VHF and UHF frequencies, as well. If the local Red Cross chapter operates on a trunked system, they maintain the low band frequency as an "infrastructure agnostic" means of communication. That means, the trunked system can go away, and their ability to operate may be inconvenienced, but is otherwise minimally affected. The other thing is that, since this is a nationwide channel, if something happens in your community and outside resources need to come in, they will all be pre-equipped with this channel as a known quantity, so they can all work together without needing the COML, reprogramming, etc. At worst, they turn off PL and they're good to go.

The 39 MHz channels have had a long and storied existence. They were once "SLEPA" channels. This stood for the New Jersey "State Law Enforcement Planning Agency," and were local channels prior to the implementation of the SPEN network. After being supplanted by SPEN, they were largely abandoned, sometimes in place, sometimes stripped from the site. There was a resurgence in their use as EMRAD channels in the 90s, before the trunked systems were built-out and became accepted as "proven technology." I believe all of this has been largely supplanted by the trunked systems now. It's probably wise to keep them going and exercise using them in the event of a technological emergency.

The thing with low band is that, even though the marketers at the manufacturers have mostly written it off, it can work great distances without the need for lots of sites and base station equipment (those sites and their constant need for upgrade and tweaking are the reason why manufacturers have made minimal investments into low band... they don't want a build-it-once system that lasts for years without the potential for making more money post-sale).
 
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#5
I read in different parts of the country the Red Cross is relying more on cellphones and other forms of communication When you do see Red Cross talkgroups on a particular system, it usually means they in theory have access to let's say a mutual aid or common talkgroup like every other radio on the system. I suspect the talk group is there for them to use, if they chose to use it is another story

The Red Cross has a Talk Group on the NJICS system.

Do they ever use it?
 

W8RMH

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#6
One of the main reasons the Red Cross maintains low band radios is if they are deployed to a disaster area the local trunked system towers and cell sites may have been damaged by the disaster itself, yet they will still be able to communicate with the low band simplex radios.

Local public safety systems need to be aware of this too and have a backup system that does not rely on cell phones and trunked systems.

Think about it. A tornado just went through your city and wiped out the radio towers and there is no power. Will your radios work?
 
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#7
Actually they follow the principle of "Don't impact who you are there to assist"

Hi we are here to help. but need access to your radio system and radios.... doesn't work.



One of the main reasons the Red Cross maintains low band radios is if they are deployed to a disaster area the local trunked system towers and cell sites may have been damaged by the disaster itself, yet they will still be able to communicate with the low band simplex radios.

Local public safety systems need to be aware of this too and have a backup system that does not rely on cell phones and trunked systems.

Think about it. A tornado just went through your city and wiped out the radio towers and there is no power. Will your radios work?
 
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#8
Many Red Cross chapters have the 47 MHz radios installed, as do many county EOCs and the State EOC in West Trenton. We test this frequency capability monthly as part of the NJ RACES drill.

73, John WJ3P
Mercer County ARES
 
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#9
One of the main reasons the Red Cross maintains low band radios is if they are deployed to a disaster area the local trunked system towers and cell sites may have been damaged by the disaster itself, yet they will still be able to communicate with the low band simplex radios.

Local public safety systems need to be aware of this too and have a backup system that does not rely on cell phones and trunked systems.

Think about it. A tornado just went through your city and wiped out the radio towers and there is no power. Will your radios work?
Completely agree with you on this issue. Unfortunately, theres been marketing misinformation, often leading potential consumers of a new, complex trunking system to believe that there's little, if any need, to maintain any kind of secondary backup system. Municipalities don't want, or don't think they need to have a redundancy to the primary, ...too costly, one less thing to maintain & deal with, etc.etc.
We still maintain availability of the entire gamut of frequencies from low, through T band, as well as the interop 800s, in case there's some need to utilize them locally and regionally, in addition to our own system. And, more often than not, there's a lot of use on these (somewhat 'depreciated') frequencies initially, until things fall into place.
Ironically, (& unfortunately), depending on what region and district personnel are assigned to as their AOA, there's still some local systems that won't even allocate tg's /keys to permit accessibility to their system; hard to believe. Last spring on an event in the southern part of the county, a local EM absolutely refused any access to their dmr system by our agency, which led us to open a contingency plan of multi band, cellular and hard-line relays to patch in, until the bosses 'worked things out' to resolve things (...oh, to have been a fly on the wall for that!)...
 
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#10
Wow, that was almost exactly what I was going to post about this! The problem as I see it, it's one thing to maintain a presence on the former simpler technology, such as non trunk VHF - example being base units. It's another entirely to continue to support all the mobile and portable units and battery needs for the units. The blame belongs entirely with, as was stated - concerns who derisively refer to such technology as "legacy" and then do so with a smirk, while pedaling mega dollar TRS. We survived Sandy, but I don't think the lessons where learned?

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KK4JUG

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#11
Our mobile command post has a low band radio specifically for talking to Red Cross. It's at the bottom of a large stack of radios (aircraft, marine, UHF, VHF, etc.) but I don't recall ever using it or seeing it used in the 20+ years I've been involved with our disaster vehicles..
 
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