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Military Monitoring Forum - Discussions regarding monitoring military communications on the ground, in air and at sea. Please keep USCG discussion to this forum also.

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2009, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SIGNAL555 View Post
Just to be verify with you, are you hearing the same station on both frequencies (which might indicate a repeater frequency pair), or different stations using both frequencies as simplex?
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Different stations. 143.9000 running a "Red Emergency Net" once a month.

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Old 04-09-2009, 1:55 PM
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Those down in Texas might want to Search/Scan on Saturday
as the Texas Wing will have an exercise on 04.11.2009 from 1700-2300 [Zulu]

PL's, DPL's ,, Call Signs and Channels Names appreciated.

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Originally Posted by firephoto20 View Post
Civil Air Patrol in switching over to P-25 radios, does anyone have the frequencies they will be using ?
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:56 AM
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Is CAP going to need to switch they're current radios in order to comply with the new P25 standards....or are they already P25 compliant and just need to be reprogrammed? I have a buddy in CAP and rather than just asking for the new frequencies (which I knwo he can't give me) I could just see when they get new radios and start monitoring then.

Edit: The radio in the CAP aircraft is a NAT NPX 138 FM Transceiver
http://www.pacificavionics.com/produ...Product=NPX138

Last edited by trumpetman; 04-13-2009 at 1:04 AM.. Reason: More Info
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Old 04-13-2009, 3:21 PM
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Originally Posted by trumpetman View Post
Is CAP going to need to switch they're current radios in order to comply with the new P25 standards....or are they already P25 compliant and just need to be reprogrammed? I have a buddy in CAP and rather than just asking for the new frequencies (which I knwo he can't give me) I could just see when they get new radios and start monitoring then.

Edit: The radio in the CAP aircraft is a NAT NPX 138 FM Transceiver
Pacific Avionics
We've been using P25 radios for years now, just not on narrowband frequencies. As it stands we are working on shipping radios up to wing to get reprogrammed, many already are. Sometime in the sorta near future we will be switching over to the new narrowband frequencies (no idea for sure when, probably months).

Somebody mentioned encryption earlier in the thread. Thats not encryption, thats digital; there is a difference and we don't encrypt. Using digital encoding allows for clearer transmissions that are less affected by adverse conditions (think "vinyl record is to analogue transmissions as MP3 is to digital transmissions). With the proper receiver you can decode digital, its not meant to conceal transmissions. Encryption on the other hand is meant to keep prying ears from picking up a transmission and isn't used by CAP. Proper OpSec is our encryption.

As far as what radios we use: CAP owned radios are EF Johnson 5300 mobiles and 5100 handhelds. For HF ops we issue Motorola Micoms. Member owned radios will vary.
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Old 04-13-2009, 4:49 PM
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So I need to find out when the radio is swapped/removed to be reprogrammed? And are the EF Johnson radios the only ones authorized? I have a picture of the aircraft cockpit, and that is the radio.
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Old 04-13-2009, 5:16 PM
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Originally Posted by trumpetman View Post
So I need to find out when the radio is swapped/removed to be reprogrammed? And are the EF Johnson radios the only ones authorized? I have a picture of the aircraft cockpit, and that is the radio.
Negative. You have to wait for our comm folks up at national HQ to tell the members to start using narrowband.

No, EF Johnsons aren't the only authorized radios. They're just the ones that CAP bought. As for the aircraft radio, I don't know whats happening with those. They may not even be required to switch, again I don't know.

Last edited by Resdon111; 04-13-2009 at 5:19 PM..
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Old 04-13-2009, 9:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Resdon111 View Post
Somebody mentioned encryption earlier in the thread. Thats not encryption, thats digital; there is a difference and we don't encrypt.
I mentioned encryption earlier on. Of course, when I mentioned it, I mentioned a frequency that has been listed as a CAP frequency - but I did not acknowledge that it was CAP that I heard. I don't know who the entity was that I heard. If CAP does not use encryption _ever_, and does not even have that capability in their radios, then i suppose I didn't hear CAP.

What I do know is that I heard what I believe to be a repeater output on 150.5625 - NAC 167. (someone else questioned my belief that it was an output - but I stand by that.) Both encrypted and in-the-clear P25 transmissions were heard (I know the difference between the two). So I guess what I'm hearing is simply some other agency and not CAP.

I never gave CAP much thought myself. But I appreciate your dialog about CAP communications. It's very interesting information you've given. Thank you. I'll monitor it further and see if I can figure out exactly what entity is using it.

Mike
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:47 AM
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Resdon 111,

You made a point of stating that CAP doesn't use encryption, but the documents at the following URLs which were referenced earlier in this thread purport to be CAP training materials and they specifically refer to encryption.

http://txwgcap.org/comm/Narrow_Band_...ining_PPT3.ppt

Narrow Band Transition Training

The specific statements that I'm referring to in the materials are:

"Version1 and Version 4 Differences

* Option buttons 5 and 6 will be programmed depending on the version of the radio.
* The oldest radios are not able to perform encryption, and so option buttons 5 and 6 are available to be programmed according to the needs of the wing.
* The programming of these two buttons will not be standard throughout all of the CAP radios."

Option Buttons 5 and 6

* The newer radios are able to perform encryption. Option buttons 5 and 6 are marked C/S and KY SEL
* Training for encryption will be done in a later class."

What's the scoop?

Dick
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Old 04-14-2009, 2:28 AM
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Well, I'd guess its either one of two things. Either they mixed up the difference between encryption and digital (a common mistake), or they're actually talking about encryption. When I said that we don't encrypt, I meant in a general sense.

Per CAP Regulation 100-3
Quote:
There are many different types and levels of encryption technology available today, and some CAP equipment may be equipped to operate using this technology. CAP stations are not authorized to utilize encryption unless authorized in advance for a specific mission or activity by the National Technology Center. If a unit has a requirement for routine use of encryption, it will communicate that need to the NTC prior to such use.
There's really no reason CAP would need to encrypt anything and I can't think of any reason that the NTC would approve it on our own frequencies. Like I said, OpSec is our encryption; if we need to communicate something sensitive we use means other than radio. If its in the training materials then its probably in there for when we work on another agency's frequencies where encryption is used (Texas may work with such an agency on a regular basis, don't know). So yes, our radios may be capable of encrypting but I'll eat my shoes if it ever gets used on a CAP freq.
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Old 04-14-2009, 3:12 AM
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Please, no attacks on citizens who volunteer their time. It's not necessary. Posts deleted.
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Old 04-14-2009, 3:13 PM
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Resdon111,

Thanks for the response. It appears that new radios will be capable of encryption and that old radios were not and that the encryption referred to earlier in this thread could therefore have been encryption, albeit perhaps unauthorized. I guess we'll have to wait and see whether the encryption function which is now available on the new radios will be used or not. I'd be curious to see whether CAP Regulation 100-3 remains part of the revised communications plan which is apparently in the works.

It does seem strange to equip all CAP radios for encryption if it's not intended to use it. I understand the possibility of the need to communicate with outside agencies, but the encryption might not even "match" the type of encryption used by such an agency. Of course, as a former government employee for 36 years, I've learned that things done by government or quasi-government agencies are not always capable of logical analysis.

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Old 04-14-2009, 4:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Resdon111 View Post
Well, I'd guess its either one of two things. Either they mixed up the difference between encryption and digital (a common mistake), or they're actually talking about encryption. When I said that we don't encrypt, I meant in a general sense.
Ok, understood. These two units (3103 / 3104) were testing brand new equipment (their own words told me that). And the guy went to encryption and asked the lady to do the same but she couldn't figure out how to do it on hers. Since it was during a "testing" phase, anything is possible - and it could make sense that somebody might test [the ability to go encrypted] and then not actually do it on a normal basis. So I guess it still could have been CAP that i heard. Thanks for the clarification.

Mike
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Old 04-14-2009, 7:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvictor View Post
Thanks for the response. It appears that new radios will be capable of encryption and that old radios were not and that the encryption referred to earlier in this thread could therefore have been encryption, albeit perhaps unauthorized. I guess we'll have to wait and see whether the encryption function which is now available on the new radios will be used or not. I'd be curious to see whether CAP Regulation 100-3 remains part of the revised communications plan which is apparently in the works.
Yeah, that revision has some fixing that needs to be done. HQ posts drafts of new regs for member comment and input. They then go back, revise it again and make it a reg. There were some things in the draft that were just, well, not right...

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Originally Posted by rvictor View Post
It does seem strange to equip all CAP radios for encryption if it's not intended to use it. I understand the possibility of the need to communicate with outside agencies, but the encryption might not even "match" the type of encryption used by such an agency. Of course, as a former government employee for 36 years, I've learned that things done by government or quasi-government agencies are not always capable of logical analysis.
Heh, funny story there... The reason for this whole switch lies partly with congress. They wanted to pick up an extra buck (about 10 million) so they sold off a bunch of frequency space (including CAP's and other agencies) to radio astronomy corporations. So, in order for us to still have frequencies we had to go narrowband so everyone could fit in the spectrum. Here's where the cluster&*## comes in - this whole switch was going to cost the government how much? About ten million. What's a bigger cluster%^&*? The rad-astro companies went bankrupt and never paid up!
So how this relates to your statement is: We had to get new radios that could go narrowband to fit the spectrum, we didn't really have much of a choice as I understand it. I would assume the encryption came with the package and like I said, some wings may have a legitimate use for it. (By the way, I'm right in your backyard. I live in the area and my squadron meets in Milwaukee. If you monitor CAP you've probably heard me)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtindor
Ok, understood. These two units (3103 / 3104) were testing brand new equipment (their own words told me that). And the guy went to encryption and asked the lady to do the same but she couldn't figure out how to do it on hers. Since it was during a "testing" phase, anything is possible - and it could make sense that somebody might test [the ability to go encrypted] and then not actually do it on a normal basis. So I guess it still could have been CAP that i heard. Thanks for the clarification.

Mike
Sounds reasonable, let me know if you hear anything else related.


Thanks wayne_h, I stopped arguing with people like that a long time ago. Its unfortunate he had a bad experience with CAP and I apologize on behalf of those members he met.
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Old 04-19-2009, 4:14 PM
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There's really no reason CAP would need to encrypt anything and I can't think of any reason that the NTC would approve it on our own frequencies. Like I said, OpSec is our encryption; if we need to communicate something sensitive we use means other than radio.
I'm a former CAP member, former CAP Comm Officer and former Ground Team Member. There were several actual missions in which it would have been very helpful to have encryption available on our radios. In many cases, cell phones were useless because we couldn't get a signal, so all we had were VHF HTs and mobile radios. In some cases, we had to yell to each other because we didn't want to use the radios for sensative information.

On one mission, we worked with the Shelby County, Alabama SO to find an aircraft that had hit the trees on top of a small mountain. Because of the terrain, cell phones didn't work reliably, so we loaned one of our CAP HT-1000s to the deputy we were working with. We also had to deal with a local news 'chopper overhead filming and listening in to us. We really had to watch what we said about the downed aircraft and its deceased pilot. It would have been nice to be able to have encryption that day.....

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Old 04-19-2009, 4:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mtindor View Post
What I do know is that I heard what I believe to be a repeater output on 150.5625 - NAC 167. (someone else questioned my belief that it was an output - but I stand by that.) Both encrypted and in-the-clear P25 transmissions were heard (I know the difference between the two). So I guess what I'm hearing is simply some other agency and not CAP.
When I was a CAP member, I remember reading a memo about CAP's use of digital and NACs. I'm not sure if the plan has changed or not, but the plan was to use the current PL tone for the local repeater and then convert it to hex to come up with the NAC for that repeater.

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Old 04-19-2009, 4:30 PM
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Quote:
Sure. Here's a plain text file you can view in Notepad.
A couple of updates:

Quote:
S&R (Aircraft) 122.9000 AM
S&R (Aircraft) 123.1000 AM
CAP stopped using those frequencies many years ago - I can't remember when, but it had to be before 2003. From what I read in a memo from NHQ on that subject, the FCC requested that CAP not use those frequencies for air to ground use anymore. After that, we had to use Ch.4 (149.5375) for ATG communications.

In my squadron, we sort of cheated since we purchased a VHF airband HT that we could use to communicate with pilots or listen in to ELTs. We had a CAP rated pilot who did double duty as a ground team member, and he would work that radio when communicating with pilots that we could not raise on Ch.4. It also came in handy on one mission where we were working with a non CAP pilot who was working for the local SO.

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Old 04-19-2009, 7:56 PM
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Resdon111,

Thanks for the response.

I don't know if I've got it right, but I suspect that you may be an Air Force officer assigned as liaison to the local CAP wing.

I just retired after 36 years as an Asst. Atty. Gen. with the Wis. Dept. of Justice. Many years ago we had a retired Air Force colonel working as a consumer protection investigator in our Milwaukee office. He had served as a CAP liaison at some point in his career. Can't recall his name at the moment but he was a heck of a nice guy! Probably too long ago for there to be any chance that you would have known him unless you've been around an awful long time.

I'll keep an ear out for you. I guess I shouldn't have to worry about too much encryption on the CAP freqs around here. ;-)

73
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Old 04-20-2009, 6:22 PM
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I don't know if I've got it right, but I suspect that you may be an Air Force officer assigned as liaison to the local CAP wing.
HA, thats a good one! No Dick, I'm just a regular joe member who spends too much on time on CAP for his own good.

That liaison wouldn't happen to have been a Mike Archer, would it? Thats who supervises the wing now.

Keep your ears out for Bluemound 317, thats me. You'll also hear me using 86 a lot, our base's callsign. In fact I'll be net control tonight so if you read this post in time, tune in at 6:30PM.
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Old 04-20-2009, 9:40 PM
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HA, thats a good one! No Dick, I'm just a regular joe member who spends too much on time on CAP for his own good.

That liaison wouldn't happen to have been a Mike Archer, would it? Thats who supervises the wing now.

Keep your ears out for Bluemound 317, thats me. You'll also hear me using 86 a lot, our base's callsign. In fact I'll be net control tonight so if you read this post in time, tune in at 6:30PM.
Well, I've been wrong before and, I'm sure, will be wrong again. :-)

No, it isn't Mike Archer. This fellow had already retired from active duty Air Force when he came to work for us. I think he was a 20 year man, but might have been even longer.

I'll listen for you. It was too late tonight by the time I read your message.

73
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Old 04-21-2009, 12:14 PM
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Hello to all , This should bring up the past of radio communication . When i was an active member of CAP in the 60's and 70's in upstate New York , we were using AM on the CAP Freqs before switching to FM. So you were limited with what radio's you could use. Base and mobile , very few HT's. The old days of the Gonsick (forgot how to spell it) that over 35 years ago for me. But still a great time and a lot of hard work, I was a ground team leader , Sq. and Group Communication Officer plus an observer and held some other jobs over a 20 years of service. I believe the 1st FM radio was 2 channel radio's we had for CAP were made by Regency , I think that they were only 10 watts output maybe a little more . I think i still got one in my collection of radio equipment. That was the good old days . Best to all and have a Great Day Steven
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