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Will the CHP ever go to the trunked system?

Should the CHP go to a trunked system?

  • Yes

    Votes: 15 20.5%
  • No

    Votes: 58 79.5%

  • Total voters
    73
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Window_Seat

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#1
I searched for this question, both here & Google, only one turned up asking if the CHP currently does trunking, so here goes:

Will/Should the CHP ever go to a trunked system and do away with the 42/44, etc. MHZ freq system? If they wanted to, would they be able to, or is it much more complicated because of the huge districts they have to be able to communicate in? On that note, I can hear Fremont/Newark from Elk Grove, so I don't see why it would be a problem, especially for purposes of officer safety, but I don't know a whole lot about this issue either.

Erik.
 

gmclam

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#2
Chp

Will they or should they are two totally different questions. I can certainly see them getting 800 MHz capability for mutual aid use in large cities such as Sacramento and San Diego.

There are a lot of issues here. If the airwaves were totally available (no one else using them) and they were just able to pick the frequencies they want, I'd suspect that VHF high would be a good choice. It can go long distances and does not get much atmospheric interference. But that's not the case.

Take a look at any area that has moved up to 800 MHz from lower bands and you'll find that most of them have had to add more towers to get the signal coverage. Places like Nevada have been able to deploy statewide 800 MHz, but that's because it is largely rural and there are enough high mountains in key areas to put repeaters.

Certainly trunking could be done on any band, not just 800 MHz. But the biggest reason to go trunking is for a lot of channels out of a few frequencies. Typically, the CHP does not need a lot of channels. What they need is coverage of a LARGE area and the ability to take one of their radios to anyplace in the state and have it work.

I happen to love low band VHF. The signals can travel quite the distance in that band. The one headache is atmospheric interference, but that is largely mitigated with the use of CT tones. I think their current upgrade to separate base and mobile frequencies, use better antennas, and ultimately change how their extenders work is a great choice.
 
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#3
If the state ever gets a statewide system like other states have, they probably would get in on that. But personally, I think it would be dumb. Other smaller flat states have had a rough time with those, and it costs insane amounts of money. CA would probably be three times that. Kind of hard to justify when the present systems work, and the state is broke. But that never stopped them in the past.
 

K6CDO

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#7
None that they own and maintain. And they had enough issues with the RCS.
When they first joined, yes. But you should see the stink being thrown up at the idea that the El Cajon Office should leave the RCS now.

Something about a couple of major accidents involving officers where the vehicle electrical system was destroyed and the only way the officers could call for help was the RCS.
 

K6CDO

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#8
I searched for this question, both here & Google, only one turned up asking if the CHP currently does trunking, so here goes:

Will/Should the CHP ever go to a trunked system and do away with the 42/44, etc. MHZ freq system? If they wanted to, would they be able to, or is it much more complicated because of the huge districts they have to be able to communicate in? On that note, I can hear Fremont/Newark from Elk Grove, so I don't see why it would be a problem, especially for purposes of officer safety, but I don't know a whole lot about this issue either.

Erik.
The CHP had the opportunity to go in with 5 other state agencies who operate statewide VHF-Hi systems today, to create a statewide trunked network. They cited a need to cover everywhere in the state as a reason not to. Funny, it seems to me that CalFire and Fish & Game have identical (if not greater) need for coverage in the rural areas.
 
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Cyberspace
#9
the key word is chp

chp doesnt like to share anything

if you notice they dont mind being on other peoples systems..

but its failry rare for others to be on chp systems unless it something that greatly benefits chp

air units...k9..lojack..ets finders etc from other agencies
 
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#10
Yes, they'll join systems as subscribed users but that's the extent. They haven't exactly jumped on that idea that well though.
They jumped on just fine, the folks in Sacramento on the other hand still have tantrums.



but its failry rare for others to be on chp systems unless it something that greatly benefits chp
Realize the CHP is now contract dispatching for a number of small agencies, and for one really large private agency.
 
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#11
The CHP had the opportunity to go in with 5 other state agencies who operate statewide VHF-Hi systems today, to create a statewide trunked network. They cited a need to cover everywhere in the state as a reason not to. Funny, it seems to me that CalFire and Fish & Game have identical (if not greater) need for coverage in the rural areas.
Cal-Fire has true interoperability and can use any of the local fire dept channels in the district. I hear them all of the time on the county-wide fire systems.

Fish & Game dispatches their own calls during business hours. Wardens are in contact with some of the county sheriff's dispatchers at night, on weekends and holidays. I've never heard any car-to-car traffic with local law enforcement agencies.

Cal Trans and the State Parks are using a conventional 800 mhz system; while the prisons and universities are trunked. The CHP is almost alone on the VHF low band. Not likely that everybody will get on the same page any time soon.

I used to hear the San Jose CHP on a leased 935 mhz repeater a few years ago...
 
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Virginia
#12
Fish & Game dispatches their own calls during business hours. Wardens are in contact with some of the county sheriff's dispatchers at night, on weekends and holidays. I've never heard any car-to-car traffic with local law enforcement agencies.
When I've listened to DFG in the last several years while traveling all the dispatching has been done through one of the three regional dispatch centers shared by State Parks and DFG. These are SURCOMM located at Lake Perris, Northern located near Folsom dam, and Central located in Monterrey. When I first moved to California 28 years ago DFG repeaters were not linked on the state's microwave system, at least in the eastern Sierra. That has changed, allowing the regionalized centers, which are 24 hour operations.

There was a study done some years back for a statewide all-agency trunked system. It would utilize VHF-High in rural areas and 700/800 MHz in urban areas. The number of new sites needed was at least 3 times as many and that without any field testing. In the eastern Sierra the 800 MHz conventional system Caltrans is using has many blind spots nearly 30 years after the system was installed. CHP cannot have blind spots anywhere, including those areas without state highways, where Caltrans has not even tried to provide coverage. 12-15% of the nation's population lives in California and coming up frequencies for a statewide system is a huge challenge. The terrain is more rugged than many people in other areas of the country realize. It isn't freeways, beaches, and Disneyland everywhere.
 
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#13
Fish & Game dispatches their own calls during business hours. Wardens are in contact with some of the county sheriff's dispatchers at night, on weekends and holidays. I've never heard any car-to-car traffic with local law enforcement agencies.

Cal Trans and the State Parks are using a conventional 800 mhz system; while the prisons and universities are trunked. The CHP is almost alone on the VHF low band. Not likely that everybody will get on the same page any time soon.[/QUOTE

Many Wardens are in contact with allied agencies during the day as well. I have handed out more than a few UHF antennas and 800mhz radios to Wardens who want to be able to talk to people other than DFG and CDF. A friend of mine just helped strip a Parks truck and is putting the 800mhz parks radio into his patrol truck. That is interoperability.

CalTrans still uses the lo band, more so in some areas than others. Not all of the universities are trunked, not all of them are on 800mhz either.
 
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Sacramento/Bay Area, CA
#15
Fish & Game dispatches their own calls during business hours. Wardens are in contact with some of the county sheriff's dispatchers at night, on weekends and holidays. I've never heard any car-to-car traffic with local law enforcement agencies.

Cal Trans and the State Parks are using a conventional 800 mhz system; while the prisons and universities are trunked. The CHP is almost alone on the VHF low band. Not likely that everybody will get on the same page any time soon.[/QUOTE

Many Wardens are in contact with allied agencies during the day as well. I have handed out more than a few UHF antennas and 800mhz radios to Wardens who want to be able to talk to people other than DFG and CDF. A friend of mine just helped strip a Parks truck and is putting the 800mhz parks radio into his patrol truck. That is interoperability.

CalTrans still uses the lo band, more so in some areas than others. Not all of the universities are trunked, not all of them are on 800mhz either.
Haha. I offered to get one of our Spectras on loan for one of the wardens we work with on a regular basis (hoping I might be able to get a TK-790 on loan in return). He didn't want it - didn't want to get saddled down with outside agency calls. The logic evaded me (just don't go), but that's just me.


To reiterate, this is exactly what my understanding of the situation is, not what CousinKix said. While DFG Wardens may contact outside agency dispatchers for specific incidents, they still have their own dispatch center that they actually are dispatched through.
When I've listened to DFG in the last several years while traveling all the dispatching has been done through one of the three regional dispatch centers shared by State Parks and DFG. These are SURCOMM located at Lake Perris, Northern located near Folsom dam, and Central located in Monterrey. When I first moved to California 28 years ago DFG repeaters were not linked on the state's microwave system, at least in the eastern Sierra. That has changed, allowing the regionalized centers, which are 24 hour operations.
 
Last edited:
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#16
Fish & Game dispatches their own calls during business hours. Wardens are in contact with some of the county sheriff's dispatchers at night, on weekends and holidays. I've never heard any car-to-car traffic with local law enforcement agencies.

Cal Trans and the State Parks are using a conventional 800 MHz system; while the prisons and universities are trunked. The CHP is almost alone on the VHF low band. Not likely that everybody will get on the same page any time soon.[/QUOTE

Many Wardens are in contact with allied agencies during the day as well. I have handed out more than a few UHF antennas and 800 MHz radios to Wardens who want to be able to talk to people other than DFG and CDF. A friend of mine just helped strip a Parks truck and is putting the 800 MHz parks radio into his patrol truck. That is interoperability.

Caltrans still uses the lo band, more so in some areas than others. Not all of the universities are trunked, not all of them are on 800 MHz either.
When I used to work with State Parks frequently (before my retirement) they had a Midland 80 channel VHF radio with local sheriff's, PD's, BLM, USFS, NPS, etc. The program was identical with that of DFG's.

Someone related that CDF and DFG have coverage in the rural areas. The DFG coverage is getting better as they slowly add some repeaters, however there are some areas, some significant, that don't have coverage.

CDF has coverage in the counties that they have SRA in. The contract counties don't have close to the coverage CHP would need. In Mono County the CDF repeater coverage is not good at all. CHP has fair coverage of the paved highway portion of the county, but not in the many large dirt road only areas, such as the area east of Bridgeport. To cover all of Mono County with 800 MHz would require at least 7 additional repeaters, perhaps more. These sites are not currently state sites with electrical present and would be difficult to link to the State's microwave linking system. CHP only has 4 repeaters in the county now. The Caltrans 800 MHz system has a lot of blind spots that the CHP could not tolerate due to officer safety issues. Inyo County would require about 5 more, adding to the 4 that exist now. So more than a doubling in Inyo/Mono with at least 12 more needed as the 8 existing won't do the job. Some of these new sites are quite primitive with all solar/propane facilities, a single low level antenna (short mast or with no mast at all) and vaults that may not allow techs to enter as they are really just metal boxes that are less than 6 feet in height. Some don't have any other users of the site except the BLM, NPS, and USFS. Some of those may not be available for the state to use due to environmental issues such as not being able to build a road to the site and not being able to place larger buildings and more substantial antennas (towers instead of short masts).

Other rural and mountainous counties would have similar issues. VHF trunking would have the same number of sites needed. Rural counties on the west side of the Sierra may have good VHF and 800 MHz coverage as the State sites to the west such a Joaquin Ridge provide pretty good coverage for the mountains. Take a look at the NPS, BLM, and USFS in the database and you can see how many repeaters are needed to cover an entire unit under their jurisdiction. Many or most of these repeaters are needed just to cover the roaded sections of those units. Very few repeaters provide coverage to wilderness areas alone. Coverage in those wilderness areas is not all the great anyway.

Give these factors I see some significant obstacles for the CHP trunking using VHF or 800 MHz. By the way I've seen better terminology used for the 700/800/900 MHz bands. It is called UHF high with a corresponding UHF low designation for the 400/500 MHz band. With trunked and simplex systems on 700/800 MHz's it sure would be nice not having to refer to these bands by their frequency range.
 
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#17
Many Wardens are in contact with allied agencies during the day as well. I have handed out more than a few UHF antennas and 800mhz radios to Wardens who want to be able to talk to people other than DFG and CDF. A friend of mine just helped strip a Parks truck and is putting the 800mhz parks radio into his patrol truck. That is interoperability.

CalTrans still uses the lo band, more so in some areas than others. Not all of the universities are trunked, not all of them are on 800mhz either.
Game wardens can communicate with certain county communication centers after regular business hours. The Motorola TRS exists on all of those UC campuses; but the CSU's and local community colleges are all over the spectrum. Yes, I still hear Cal-Trans on 47 mhz as well as conventional 800 mhz repeaters around here...
 

rlg913

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#18
The Motorola TRS exists on all of those UC campuses; but the CSU's and local community colleges are all over the spectrum.
The California State University has a de-facto statewide channel of 153.74 with various tones specific to each campus.

At one time, this was intended for all CSU PD units for inter-op between campuses, but over time campuses migrated to UHF or 800 Mhz channels for inter-op with their nearest county SO or city PD. For example, Northridge uses P25 UHF T-band for inter-op with LAPD; San Jose is UHF analog for inter-op with San Jose City PD; San Marcos is on San Deigo's RCS 800 Mhz trunked system; Sacramento is 800 Mhz conventional for inter-op with Sacramento City PD. At these campuses, the 153.74 channel is either a secondary/CSU mutual aid channel or is used by the campus for another PD-related function such as parking enforcement or dorm security.

CSU police departments are independent, each of the 23 campuses being a standalone department with a chief of police. Most campuses have their own 24-hour dispatch center that is the primary answering point for 9-1-1 calls originating on the campus. Some campuses contract all dispatching out to another nearby agency (Monterey Bay), some contract out only after-hours (Stanislaus).

I have yet to observe a repeater on 153.74. The fixed base transmitters are all low-level antennas on the campus.

At Northridge, CHP units are brought in for additional traffic control on the first few days of each semester and for big events like the March 4 protests. They are provided campus P25 UHF radios.

In thinking about a state-wide TRS, keep in mind that the University of California is constitutionally independent, and can't be forced to join a TRS by legislation, so I suspect they will not likely participate in any projects.

Sorry if a bit OT, but I hope the CSU's inter-op paradigm gets everyone thinking. Maybe instead of a state-wide system, each CHP division does what works in their division -- think regional systems? How often does a Southern unit need to go to Inland and talk?
 

Hooligan

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#19
By the time CHP has the motivation and funds to really do something major, the best option for them will probably be push to talk mobile satellite system for voice & data, backed-up with PCS smart-phones that automatically switch to satellite if they don't detect a terrestrial signal.

There is precedence for statewide LEAs using PTT MSS as their primary dispatch system (I think it's the Mississippi DNR, for one), though they still need another communication device when outside the vehicle.

The next step with these multi-band mobile & portable radios is to incorporate satellite chipsets in them. That way they'll have full interoperability with other agencies but can rely on PTT MSS talkgroups for their organic comms, plus the IP-based MSS stuff can easily be patched-in to someone else's LMR system as-needed. Relm in particular is already working on this. They can seamlessly integrate a PTT MSS talk group with a VHF or UHF terrestrial channel or talk-group, in the case of operating in urban canyons.

With as much $$$ as it'd cost CHP to put in a state of the art UHF terrestrial system, costs associated with satellite launch & operation don't look so bad. They (ideally not just CHP but the State of California) could pretty much afford to buy & launch a satellite or two, if they've already made to financial commitment to replace the current VHF-low system with a new statewide high-tech (meaning not just bare-bones voice LMR, but a broad-band IP based system for voice & data). Or they can own the ground architecture & lease the satellite transponders. State of California already has some experience with MSS as well as portable & fixed-station satellite terminals for emergency operations.


If you're thinking the technology isn't around to do the above, you aren't paying attention! It's pretty much here now, and should be more robust & less expensive by the time CHP is actually ready to do something.
 
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#20
It was nice of the San Jose CHP to shut off the repeater on 42.50 mhz and pull the plug on the UHF 453.825 mhz simulcast too. They aren't much worth listening to any more. They'll be hung up on this skip infested low band and using obsolete "duplex" radios; when most of us are long dead and gone.

I would rather listen to 5 county sheriff's offices that are using decent VHF repeaters and get out like gang busters...

P.S.
I'm sick of these sleazy POLITICAL ads? Lies! They are mandatory on radio and TV; but not here. I listen to AM radio stations on line; because they bleep out those political ads...
 
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