How to tell what VHF/UHF analog frequencies listed in RR's database are obsolete or no longer used?

iMONITOR

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Numerous VHF/UHF analog frequencies listed in RR's database are obsolete or no longer used. I think RR has a term for them but I can't recall the word (thin it starts with a "D"). How can I determine which ones are no longer used? I would be nice if there was a way to just show the active or inactive ones. I'm interested in Michigan in particular.

Thanks!
 

cmjonesinc

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Deprecated is the word you're thinking of. Like everything else in the RR database, it relies on user submission. Scanning and logging/recording software is the best way to see if something is still used. Unfortunately it would be very time consuming since some of those frequencies may still be used, just very rarely.
 

GTR8000

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Note that the behavior of channels/talkgroups listed as Deprecated in the RRDB changed about a year ago. Anything tagged as Deprecated will now auto-delete 30 days later, and so aside from freshly deprecated stuff, you really should not see many listings with that tag in the database.

Our policy is that truly obsolete listings are to be tagged as Deprecated so they can be automatically pruned. The RRDB is not a catalog of every historical frequency/talkgroup ever used; that's what the Wiki is for. Only active listings belong in the RRDB, however obviously many fall through the cracks over the years. As the RRDB is crowd sourced, until and unless someone actually tells us that something is dead and buried, it'll remain in the RRDB forever.

One good example of that is when an agency or county switches to a trunked system. We do not automatically delete all of the conventional listings for them, as often those resources may be used for backup or off-network purposes.
 

iMONITOR

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Excellent, thanks for the clarification. Now that I'm really getting into SDR's, I might start sitting on some of these and monitor their activity. I know in Michigan there is an assumption by many that just about everything has been moved to MPSCS P25. However Macomb Township FD and DPW also continue to use their old analog systems in parallel with digital. I believe Washington Township does this as well. Also in nearby Shelby Township use a P25 non-trunked frequency in the 850 MHz band for surveillance.
 

cmjonesinc

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For the very rarely used ones you may have better luck using something like proscan


You can dedicate a radio to scanning those frequencies and it can log all the info and record the audio.
 

dmchalmers

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A lot of the UHF in my area of montmorency/oscoda Counties of Mi have gone dark for yrs but still listed IE 451.5125,461.200 belonging to PIE&G power company AKA Wolverine power. They now use trunked 800 system MTP-1327
 
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west-pac

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If the FCC license is still valid the agency and personnel can still use those frequencies at any time. They may only use them for low-power parking control during the annual winter festival, or maybe they only use them at the police shooting range now, or for training purposes within the jail. Just because they were once the primary Dispatch channel doesn't mean they're no longer in use; all they could easily flip the switch back to using it fulltime as long as their license is current. Here in Indiana, we've had a statewide digital radio system for 20+ years, and I've noticed a lot of counties still renew their 'old' VHF frequencies. FCC licenses are valid for 10 years, so it could take decades before a county voluntarily gives up frequencies that are licensed to them. Many counties renew a license that has several frequencies on it because they still use 1 of them (likely a fire dispatch frequency for VHF pagers, or an interior jail frequency that isn't able to be received more than a city block away from the jail do to thick concrete and steel walls.); Again, if the license is valid they could use them for nearly any purpose at any time.

With that being said, I submitted a couple frequencies for depreciation a few weeks ago. The private ambulance service was replaced by an ambulance service from a large hospital network many years ago, that hospital network uses their own TRS for their ambulances along with the statewide TRS, the private ambulance service went out of business, and the private ambulance service's FCC licenses had expired several years ago.
 

gary123

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I wonder if it would be possible to add a new column to the database. This would just be the date the entry was made or last updated? I dont see a need to go back though the data base and fill in dates but going forward (I hate that term) dates could be added on new entries. For trunking systems date on the SID, and site info would be enough. TGs would of course have a date. To prevent continuous updates possibly set it up so that there is a 60 day update limit?

I know doing something on this scope is not as easy as it sounds Im just making a suggestion. I am personally happy with the database as it is and the way it is administered.
 

GTR8000

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I wonder if it would be possible to add a new column to the database. This would just be the date the entry was made or last updated?
Already exists for conventional frequencies. Look at the Downloads and Reports tab, then All Identified Frequencies in XXXXX
 

gary123

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Trunking was more of where I was thinking. System changes are pretty rare compared to updated and depreciated TGs. A date code might
help by indicating the time when a TG was discovered or generally when it was last known to be active.
 

natedawg1604

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Trunking was more of where I was thinking. System changes are pretty rare compared to updated and depreciated TGs. A date code might
help by indicating the time when a TG was discovered or generally when it was last known to be active.
You know, it would be kinda cool if there was an option to submit an update basically stating "today I heard xyz frequency/PL/Color Code/RAN and it's still active". This info. could then be used in conjunction with a new field for "date last verified".

Part of the issue with the current "last updated" field in the custom report, is "updated" could mean many different things; often it seems to mean a database administrator was updating/re-organizing something internally. It would be cool to see a discrete field reflecting that last time someone submitted information specifically indicating they heard a frequency, or otherwise confirmed through reliable sources the frequency is still in use.
 
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GTR8000

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You know, it would be kinda cool if there was an option to submit an update basically stating "today I heard xyx frequency/PL/Color Code/RAN and it's still active". This info. could then be used in conjunction with a new field for "date last verified".
The amount of extra work that would potentially create for the admins could be completely unmanageable. Imagine someone going through a few dozen frequencies in their area, and multiply that by a large factor. Now consider the people who are going to submit one or two frequency "updates" at a time, rather than collecting their thoughts and making one submission. Now think of the couple of members who are going to submit the same things over and over again every week, or worse.

The database admins are volunteers, we don't have the time to deal with that sort of insane workload, and adding more admins just to update 'last seen' timestamps is not the solution.

Entries in the database are considered active until and unless someone makes us aware that they're not. We don't need a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist.
 

sonm10

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The amount of extra work that would potentially create for the admins could be completely unmanageable. Imagine someone going through a few dozen frequencies in their area, and multiply that by a large factor. Now consider the people who are going to submit one or two frequency "updates" at a time, rather than collecting their thoughts and making one submission. Now think of the couple of members who are going to submit the same things over and over again every week, or worse.

The database admins are volunteers, we don't have the time to deal with that sort of insane workload, and adding more admins just to update 'last seen' timestamps is not the solution.

Entries in the database are considered active until and unless someone makes us aware that they're not. We don't need a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist.
I agree with the need for a last verified column. I also agree with the above statement. The solution would be actual users could "check a box" so to speak. No admins needed.
 

GTR8000

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I agree with the need for a last verified column. I also agree with the above statement. The solution would be actual users could "check a box" so to speak. No admins needed.
You might be surprised at just how many trolls and characters of questionable mental health are out there, who would love nothing more than to wreak havoc with the database in any little way that they could. Even with admins acting as gatekeepers, you still have stuff that gets past us from time to time, which usually results in people complaining about it. Believe me, I understand that the idea sounds good on paper, but in reality you really don't want the general public being able to directly manipulate any part of the database.
 
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