2020 MACS 441-1 - California fire mutual aid channel load

rsmith7799

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Good morning, so I talked with the LP Comm. Tech (Patrick Marty) after he posted the 217a for the Forest. He doesn't have the RX tones because he says they are already in the radio. That made no sense to me. So I rewrote the 217a for Patrick with the RX tones. The reason I did that was because if you are coming in on Mutual Aid, you won't be able hear any of the RX transmissions, since most Departments run with tones on both sides.

I will reach out to my LA County boys and get an answer on the LARTCS protocols just to clear it all up.
 

KK6ZTE

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Good morning, so I talked with the LP Comm. Tech (Patrick Marty) after he posted the 217a for the Forest. He doesn't have the RX tones because he says they are already in the radio. That made no sense to me. So I rewrote the 217a for Patrick with the RX tones. The reason I did that was because if you are coming in on Mutual Aid, you won't be able hear any of the RX transmissions, since most Departments run with tones on both sides.

I will reach out to my LA County boys and get an answer on the LARTCS protocols just to clear it all up.
Are you saying if you don't have the RX tones in your radio, you won't hear the transmissions if they have a tone on the output? That doesn't seem right...
 

Paysonscanner

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Good morning, so I talked with the LP Comm. Tech (Patrick Marty) after he posted the 217a for the Forest. He doesn't have the RX tones because he says they are already in the radio. That made no sense to me. So I rewrote the 217a for Patrick with the RX tones. The reason I did that was because if you are coming in on Mutual Aid, you won't be able hear any of the RX transmissions, since most Departments run with tones on both sides.

I will reach out to my LA County boys and get an answer on the LARTCS protocols just to clear it all up.
Good morning to you also! I don't know what a 217a is, can you explain?

My understanding that if there isn't a RX tone in the radio, you hear everything, regardless of the tone. That is how my late Hubby's volunteer fire department Bendix-King radio worked. I still have the BK radio we owned and we listened to all the forests, parks and BLM nets without a RX tone programmed into them. On national forests where the repeater input tone is transmitted on the output also, the mobiles and handhelds in the field don't have individual channels for each repeater, along with that repeater's output tone programmed, the channel has no tone for RX on the forest and admin repeater net access channels. The direct forest/admin channels (usually 1 and 3) don't have RX or TX tones on them either, except in SOCAL. The radio receives everything TXed on those frequencies.

We took Hubby's FD handheld to SOCAL once and heard Angeles, San Bernardino and Cleveland traffic with Mexican interference as well. We also heard traffic on those nets, plus the NIFC nets getting this interference. Someone on these nets was complaining that, and this is a quote, not what I said, "boy, the Julios are real strong tonight, I couldn't copy you." This back about 20-30 years ago. I think that is why NIFC is now assigning a RX tone for all command and tactical frequencies used when a NIFC system is setup on a fire. I saw that somewhere in my sweetie's notebooks. It was also to reduce interference from NIFC systems set up on other fires in the area. Since then we always programmed 103.5 into our SOCAL scanner, ham handhelds and the BK's we brought with us, no more Mexico traffic.

It would seem like any mutual aid radios brought into an area without RX tones will be on CSQ and will hear everything on the freq. A RX tone is not mandatory, even on the radios the home unit has. Am I missing something here? The document we are discussing here doesn't have the Inyo's, the Sierra's, the Eldorado's RX tones shown in them, it would seem like that is a good indicator that my understanding is correct.
 

Paysonscanner

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I forgot to mention that late Hubby took an volunteer fire dept. engine to fires around the state multiple times and he said the mutual aid program in the dept.'s radios did not have RX tones in them. This for the USFS specifically, except 103.5 was used on the Forest/Admin Nets in SOCAL. However, he was still able to program his personal BK radio if there weren't enough handhelds for each member of the engine crew and he often forgot to program 103.5 on the RX side. He didn't notice a problem with receiving those forests, but if Mexican traffic started coming in, it would remind him of his oversight.

EDIT - we sometimes left out the RX tone on our scanners for National Forests like the Eldorado and Inyo (they both TX the input tone on the output) because we didn't want to eat up memory by programming each channel with the output tone for each repeater. We left it on CSQ and had a list or memorized the RX tone to associate it with a repeater. I don't think scanners work any differently for RX than the BK's and mobiles the USFS has.
 
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Progline

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I'm not sure what's up with LARTCS, I havent heard traffic on it in a loooong time, and am not even sure it still exists. It was used for aux comms for one fire, right after it went online (the Oat Mtn site as I recall), but since then, nada.
 

f40ph

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Good morning to you also! I don't know what a 217a is, can you explain?
"217a" is the ICS217A form. This is simply a communications "availability" worksheet. Typically this is the method used to share information between agencies before the incident. While the ICS205 is an actual incident comm plan. Now that you have the proper name, you can google it and see plenty of examples.
 
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