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Septa

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#1
Figured I'd post an update on the frequencies used in SEPTA's various operations.

I'll start with the trunk system first. The primary control channel is 502.4875. The alternates are 502.5375, 502.5625, and 502.6125. The primary voice channels are 502.5875, 502.6375, and 502.7125. The alternate control channels can also function as voice channels. 502.5125 and 502.6625 are MDT Channels and should be removed from the trunk system frequencies. Also 502.6875, 502.7375, 502.7625, and 502.7875 should also be removed from the trunk system frequencies. Those are conventional channels used by the Transit Police, Maintenance of Way, Broad Street Subway, and Market Frankford Line respectively. They are all conventional repeaters with input frequency at 505.6875, 505.7375, 505.7625, and 505.7875. All of these repeaters use a 131.8 PL on the input but are CSQ on the output. I've also monitered some radio maintenance activity on talkgroup ID #1584. Haven't heard anything on it recently but I'm guessing this is an alternate for radio maintenance.

SEPTA Customized Community Transit (CCT) is the paratransit division of SEPTA. Service is contracted out to private operators. From what I understand, CCT is suppose to eventually go trunked. Not sure if they'll join the current trunk system or if they'll get a new one but it is supposed to happen by the end of this year or beginning of next year. I'm not sure of the exact channel number assignments but these are the current frequencies I have for CCT. They are all repeaters and the frequencies themselves are leased from BA Communications I believe it is called.

463.325 / 468.325 PL 162.2
463.875 / 468.875 PL 179.9
463.600 / 468.600 PL 107.2
463.475 / 468.475 PL 203.5
464.150 / 469.150 PL 192.8
464.050 / 469.050 PL 206.5

I believe those are all the frequencies. The 452 frequencies listed in the database for SEPTA CCT are incorrect and should be removed. They are used on Mobile Communications' LTR system.

SEPTA Regional Rail Frequencies have no change for me to note. I will note that the yard ops for Powelton and Roberts Yards on AAR Channel 19 (160.395) use a 141.3 PL.

Now for the biggest question I've been looking for answer for quite some time. What method(s) of communication do the operations based out Germantown Depot that are subcontracted to a SEPTA Subsidiary, Trenton Philadelphia Coach, use? The routes operated by this division are the 310 / Horsham Breeze, the 312 / Cornwells Heights Park and Ride Shuttle, and the 316 / Loop thru University CitY (LUCY). They are not a part of the trunk system since they do not have the MDTs in them used with the trunk system. Also, can anyone verify that the contract ops based out of Krapf's Coaches in West Goshen use Krapf's frequencies? I've never been able to hear any SEPTA contract ops on radio (not counting CCT). If anyone can provide me an answer, please do so!
 
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#2
Just found 451.550/456.550 being used by CCT for western Delaware County using a 172 DPL. Also found a 463.850/468.850 with a 152 DPL and 463.950/468.950 with a 155 DPL being used by SEPTA CCT.
 
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chankel

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SEPTA also has several 453.#### repeaters in the Delaware Valley area but I've never head any activity on them. Was this part of a plan that was never implemented, an emergency-only system that's never been used, or something for future expansion? They're licensed as regular, non-trunked frequencies.

They are also reported to use all of the 453.#### mutual aid frequencies in simplex mode as tactical channels for the transit police, I've only ever seen one post on this, where someone noted 453.2125(?) rebroadcasting a PPD transmission and using CTCSS 131.8(?)

I'm surprised the SEPTA police don't have any official talkgroups on the trunked system, at least that anyone knows of. MTA in Maryland was the same way. TPAS in Washington DC was the opposite, with several VHF repeater/simplex frequencies and trunked talkgroups. Some of their trunked groups were and may still be patched together with the conventional VHF but it's been almost 4 years since I've been down that way so I can't confirm or deny.

Finally, there were some low-band frequencies that SEPTA used at one time. Any activity on those? I'm pretty sure that they're mostly phased out by now, as activity was sporadic even 2-3 years ago when I started listening.
 
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#4
I was thinking those 453's were part of the old radio system. The trunk system went into service around 2002 or 2003 (correct me if I'm wrong). I remember 2002 was about the time the older buses got the new MDTs and radio system placed in them. SEPTA uses the 131.8 PL on the inputs for the PD, MoW, BSL, and MFL repeaters along with the 504.1375 frequency used in simplex mode for yard operations on the MFL.
 

Audiodave1

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#5
I believe the 453's will be part of a new septa TRS. (I have not details except that, not sure the excat use)
In the past couple of weeks 453.150 was active with a signal used to test site coverage.

Dave
 

HM1529

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Finally, there were some low-band frequencies that SEPTA used at one time. Any activity on those? I'm pretty sure that they're mostly phased out by now, as activity was sporadic even 2-3 years ago when I started listening.

Lowband was used on the 100/101/102 routes, but that has been replaced by the trunked system. I do recall hearing some of the work crew vehicles still on lowband for a while after the switch, but as fas as I know, everyone has since moved off the old lowband stuff.
 
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#7
453.2125, 453.4625, 453.7125, 453.8625 are the nationwide U-TAC Channels and have a PL156.7 on the input and the output can be CS or PL156.7. I have not heard any activity on these channels except for SEPTA PD on 453.4625 PL131.8 one short transmission. You would figure Bucks, Delaware, Camden, Gloucester and Salem Counties would take advantage of these channels if there radios drop down to 453 range.

SEPTA Police HQ has a PPD radio to talk directly to J-Band. They also have that gateway that can patch/connect their radio into a city talkgroup. http://sytechcorp.com/new_site/Syte...osPdf/SEPTA Communications Systems (2006).pdf

The old PPD frequencies SEPTA has now is reportedly for a new Transit Police trunked system.
 

HM1529

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453.2125, 453.4625, 453.7125, 453.8625 are the nationwide U-TAC Channels and have a PL156.7 on the input and the output can be CS or PL156.7. I have not heard any activity on these channels except for SEPTA PD on 453.4625 PL131.8 one short transmission. You would figure Bucks, Delaware, Camden, Gloucester and Salem Counties would take advantage of these channels if there radios drop down to 453 range.

SEPTA Police HQ has a PPD radio to talk directly to J-Band. They also have that gateway that can patch/connect their radio into a city talkgroup. http://sytechcorp.com/new_site/Syte...osPdf/SEPTA Communications Systems (2006).pdf

The old PPD frequencies SEPTA has now is reportedly for a new Transit Police trunked system.
I was told that Lt. Boukouris is no longer with SEPTA PD. Just last week, Philly OEM also lost their interop guru to DHS. Without these two guys, there is a major gap in the region's interop communications abilities (they were really leading the charge). Sadly, there are not that many people in the region who are interested in really having workable solutions that end users actually know about or know how to use. The regional microwave network linking all the counties around Philly in PA/NJ/DE/MD* came online this year, but still needs to be fleshed out and 911 staff still need training. None of the counties have plans for UTAC repeaters that I've heard. PA has been licensing UTAC repeaters across the state as gateways for locals to link to the OpenSky system. The VHF interop channels will also fall by the wayside locally. They were licensed and used for the past few years as an interim step to the SECOM microwave system and will become back-ups to the SECOM net. The SECOM system allows counties to set up multiple interop patches (at least six pathways per county) at the console level. It will also have data transfer capability, supports VOIP phone links between counties, and will be a much more robust system vs. just using the VHF interop channels for county to county comms.

Even though SEPTA established a RIOS interop system in the area, the individual counties (at least on the PA side) ended up standardizing on another interop box (name escapes me right now). This system is set up in each of the county field comm mobile command units and includes a bank of mobiles from each county all able to be linked together via the box. If you get a tour in any of the comm vehicles at public event, you can see this set up in a rack somewhere in the vehicle.


* - Philly, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery in PA; Camden, Burlington, Salem, Gloucester in NJ; New Castle in DE; Cecil in MD (future add on).
 
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#10
I heard Philly OEM patching & testing on City Events 3 last week with Chester, Camden & Delaware Counties. I didn't catch the freq the patch was going through.
 

HM1529

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Philadelphia area interops

The interop boxes in use by Philly and the surrounding counties (at least in PA) are made by Link Communications. The units are part of the Tactical Communications Bridge product line. The unit of choice was the TCB-2. As I mentioned before, the mobile communications vehicles for each county have one of these set up in a rack with mobile radios from all the other counties.

http://www.link-comm.com/page.php?cid=1
 
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#15
Now for the biggest question I've been looking for answer for quite some time. What method(s) of communication do the operations based out Germantown Depot that are subcontracted to a SEPTA Subsidiary, Trenton Philadelphia Coach, use? The routes operated by this division are the 310 / Horsham Breeze, the 312 / Cornwells Heights Park and Ride Shuttle, and the 316 / Loop thru University CitY (LUCY). They are not a part of the trunk system since they do not have the MDTs in them used with the trunk system. Also, can anyone verify that the contract ops based out of Krapf's Coaches in West Goshen use Krapf's frequencies? I've never been able to hear any SEPTA contract ops on radio (not counting CCT). If anyone can provide me an answer, please do so!
For the 204, 205, 306, and 314 buses Krapf's (or, Krap(f)s as I refer to them on transit related boards) uses Nextel to communicate between base and the drivers. I can confirm this since I'm stuck riding the 314 to work every weekday (though, that will soon change an not a second too soon).

On a radio related note, I will be back in the market for a digital scanner within a matter of weeks. R&R Communications, here I come!
 
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