LPNF Forest Net Repeater Input

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I try to listen to LPF here in Soledad in Monterey district seems like they use both admin and forest net alot depending where there at. I mostly hear chews ridge lookout. Calfire has a new repeater in arroyo seco should be up next season tone 11
 

KK6ZTE

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I try to listen to LPF here in Soledad in Monterey district seems like they use both admin and forest net alot depending where there at. I mostly hear chews ridge lookout. Calfire has a new repeater in arroyo seco should be up next season tone 11
BEU East or West? (I'm assuming East but maybe they're finally building out West a bit?)
 

Paysonscanner

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Morning weather is being simulcast on 164.825MHz and 164.9125MHz from Santa Ynez. Output on 170.4625MHz and 406.325MHz link. Searching link channels today. Only the usual suspects so far.

The Angeles NF service net is 171.500MHz. This could be heard in Ventura County. The input is 164.825MHz. In fact this pair is in use in other national forests. Maybe one day in the LPNF?

It has been suggested that the dual input frequencies may be an attempt to mitigate phase distortion problems which have plagued the LPNF system for a long time.

Could LP be bringing up ANF repeaters? Have to check PL's later.
Morning weather is being simulcast on 164.825MHz and 164.9125MHz from Santa Ynez. Output on 170.4625MHz and 406.325MHz link. Searching link channels today. Only the usual suspects so far.

The Angeles NF service net is 171.500MHz. This could be heard in Ventura County. The input is 164.825MHz. In fact this pair is in use in other national forests. Maybe one day in the LPNF?

It has been suggested that the dual input frequencies may be an attempt to mitigate phase distortion problems which have plagued the LPNF system for a long time.

Could LP be bringing up ANF repeaters? Have to check PL's later.
Wow, lots of bits and pieces of a larger picture that we don't completely understand yet. My input here is to list what the R5 frequency guide lists. When a unit lists a new frequency and doesn't have the system in place yet, they normally make a note of the estimated installation time frame. In the past the ANF, BDF and CNF shared a service net pair and now it looks like at least the LPF and ANF are going to do the same. The dual repeater input idea for Santa Ynez doesn't make any sense to me, but then again, some electronic principles are beyond my grasp of the subject. It would seem that two receivers for one repeater would be involved, with one only for base station use and only for times when transmissions are "multicast." Multicast is when the same transmission is carried by several repeaters on different frequencies at the same time. The National Park Service does this at Sequoia-Kings, Lassen Volcanic and Joshua Trees so that everyone hears all activity on a net no matter what repeater they are in range of. Simulcast is when the transmission is carried by several repeaters or base stations on the same frequency at the same time. I've been told that this gets complicated in areas with substantial topography (in the mountains) so I've never heard of a federal land management agency employing simulcast, at least in western states. I think that holds true for eastern national forests and national parks as well. It is best to remember the differences between multicast and simulcast when discussing radio systems.
 

Paysonscanner

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A couple of other things, I have a Los Padres group/frequency plan for the LPF from 2017. The "Fire Camp Service Net Rptr" listing only shows up for their Group 1 plan which is titled "Monterey East (MRD East), Group 2 - the MRD West Group and not for Groups 3-18. I can't seem to find my blasted LPF repeater map, that I just worked on, to make a guess as to which MRD eastern repeater might have had the Service Net at that time. Of course the LPF can key up the Angeles Service Net repeaters, the tones are standardized in CA, and increasingly across the country in order to do that.

Also, I've never heard of the Service Net being carried on portable repeaters. This is because the Service Net is supposed to be a link between a dispatch center and "fire camp" or the incident command post (ICP) as they are officially known as. The service net is used for logistical traffic, such as making orders for additional resources (crews, engines, shower units, food service, supplies, dozers, overhead people, etc.) and not for command or tactical use. The cell phone and computer linking usually carries this traffic, however, some ICP's, especially those in remote areas and on Type 3-5 (non national teams/organizations) where computer linking is not ordered up.

Hey, ScannerDude, thanks for the report. I notice you monitor and report on USFS and CDF systems fairly often. It seems like it's pulling teeth to get most members to stop listening to law enforcement and report anything on land management/natural resource agency systems.
 
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BEU East or West? (I'm assuming East but maybe they're finally building out West a bit?)
East it's been in the works for a few years. Yeah they should build out West more it will cut down on traffic during fire season.

They also have 157.450/159.0525 CALL MTN in San Benito. Not sure what's going with that
 
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KK6ZTE

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East it's been in the works for a few years. Yeah they should build out West more it will cut down on traffic during fire season.

They also have 157.450/159.0525 CALL MTN in San Benito. Not sure what's going with that
I think with the shortage of techs OES is facing, it won't happen for awhile, unfortunately.

LPF is "simulselecting" or "multiselecting" repeater sites in order to provide wide area coverage with minimal phase noise, as the transmitters are not aligned nor configured for simulcasting. This is similar to a multicast system except the transmitters are on the same frequency, but not held to the standards that you would have for simulcast sites (audio delay, GPS disciplined oscillators, etc). It's a cheap and easy away for them to transmit to all field units without repeating themselves multiple times.

The method CAL FIRE, BLM, and USFS uses is "crude" but it gets the job done. Especially since some sites are extremely remote and/or inaccessible during the winter without helicopter use, it makes sense to have a solid, reliable system that has minimal power draw, as compared to a simulcast site.

I'm not sure where one poster came up with the dual input idea. They are two separate nets, multi-selected by the dispatcher.

I can confirm that this new LPF Service Net (note LPF not LPNF) is not in the law enforcement radios used by the LPF. Law Enforcement will typically use Admin, while Fire while use Forest.
 
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norcalscan

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LPF is "simulselecting" or "multiselecting" repeater sites in order to provide wide area coverage with minimal phase noise, as the transmitters are not aligned nor configured for simulcasting.
That's the better description for this situation, I agree. Multi-select from the dispatch console's point of view. I used simulcast not from a radio system's point of view, but from the audio-source point of view. CHP Helicopter RF package uses the same simulcast terminology to transmit on multiple bands/radios at once from the one audio source.

Paysonscanner - I think I have a copy of that LPF map you were thinking of. It's something I found in 2018, probably here.
 

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I think with the shortage of techs OES is facing, it won't happen for awhile, unfortunately.

LPF is "simulselecting" or "multiselecting" repeater sites in order to provide wide area coverage with minimal phase noise, as the transmitters are not aligned nor configured for simulcasting. This is similar to a multicast system except the transmitters are on the same frequency, but not held to the standards that you would have for simulcast sites (audio delay, GPS disciplined oscillators, etc). It's a cheap and easy away for them to transmit to all field units without repeating themselves multiple times.

The method CAL FIRE, BLM, and USFS uses is "crude" but it gets the job done. Especially since some sites are extremely remote and/or inaccessible during the winter without helicopter use, it makes sense to have a solid, reliable system that has minimal power draw, as compared to a simulcast site.

I'm not sure where one poster came up with the dual input idea. They are two separate nets, multi-selected by the dispatcher.

I can confirm that this new LPF Service Net (note LPF not LPNF) is not in the law enforcement radios used by the LPF. Law Enforcement will typically use Admin, while Fire while use Forest.
From what I heard early this year they said the repeater is installed, but not on yet
 

Paysonscanner

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That's the better description for this situation, I agree. Multi-select from the dispatch console's point of view. I used simulcast not from a radio system's point of view, but from the audio-source point of view. CHP Helicopter RF package uses the same simulcast terminology to transmit on multiple bands/radios at once from the one audio source.

Paysonscanner - I think I have a copy of that LPF map you were thinking of. It's something I found in 2018, probably here.
Thanks for sending the map along. I have several versions of it from different years. My problem is I printed the most current and then made all sorts of notations on it as to what nets were carried at the various sites, tone number used for each repeater, ranger district numbers and the frequencies of each net off to the side. I worked on it for about 30 minutes and then cleaned up. Somehow it didn't make it home when we took Daddy home from the hospital a couple of days ago. Fudge!

EDIT I didn't have this version with a list of the repeaters below, so I'm going to use it to put my other information on it. Thank you again!
 

ko6jw_2

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On Saturday I decided to monitor 164.825MHz all day to see what I could hear. Sometime in the afternoon LP dispatched units to a vehicle accident in Wheeler Gorge on Highway 33. They wanted to respond Engine 372 because they thought it might be closer. I'm listening to this on the 406.325MHz link repeater. Then LP gets on 164.825 and calls 372 to find out their location. I can hear LP over the link and also a weak signal on Forest Net 170.4625MHz. Engine 372 answered that they were at Ozena Station. I heard them on the link, but I also heard them on 164.825MHz. There is no way I could hear a transmission from that area here in Santa Ynez. As I listened to more traffic from 372 I realized that they were on a repeater on 164.825MHz.

So now we have an input that is also a repeater, at least in in the Ozena area.

Thoughts?
 

Paysonscanner

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On Saturday I decided to monitor 164.825MHz all day to see what I could hear. Sometime in the afternoon LP dispatched units to a vehicle accident in Wheeler Gorge on Highway 33. They wanted to respond Engine 372 because they thought it might be closer. I'm listening to this on the 406.325MHz link repeater. Then LP gets on 164.825 and calls 372 to find out their location. I can hear LP over the link and also a weak signal on Forest Net 170.4625MHz. Engine 372 answered that they were at Ozena Station. I heard them on the link, but I also heard them on 164.825MHz. There is no way I could hear a transmission from that area here in Santa Ynez. As I listened to more traffic from 372 I realized that they were on a repeater on 164.825MHz.

So now we have an input that is also a repeater, at least in in the Ozena area.

Thoughts?
Another little piece of information for a big picture we don't understand! Isn't the Ozena Station on Highway 33 near the junction of the road that ends up near Gorman? OK, I just wandered upstairs and got the Los Padres out of late Hubby's file cabinets full of public land maps. It is at the junction I just mentioned, just west of Lockwood Valley where Ventura Co. has a fire station.

I agree it seems doubtful, but what if the signal bounced off the north side of the Santa Ynez Mtns. and went down the Santa Ynez River canyon? When late Hubby and I hiked we often found some incredible paths of reception that still puzzle me today. We were once driving home from an eastern Sierra hike via 395 to Sonora Pass. We picked up a CDF repeater from the Morgan Hill ECC when we stopped at a pizza place south of Bridgeport. We also picked up Mt. Hoffman in Yosemite very clearly from the same place. To add to that I started playing with the FM radio to see if a similar path existed on that band. I picked up KWAV (96.9) from Monterey full quieting, full stereo. From our Sierra Nevada foothill home we picked up all kinds of things from the other side of the coast range. We picked up multiple repeaters from the Los Padres on the Monterey, Santa Lucia and Mt. Pinos Ranger Districts, a few we didn't expect to at all. We climbed Mt. Charleston next to Las Vegas a couple of times. We programmed the repeater output frequency of 169.8750 into our Bendix-King handheld. This was the Toiyabe National Forest's only repeater output at the time. It also happened to be the repeater input on the San Bernardino NF. We picked up many San Berdo mobile units direct from the top of the ridge south of the peak we were walking on. From what we could tell these units were on the north side of the San Bernardino Mtns. until one unit said he was in Running Springs! That is on the L.A. Basin side of the San Bernardino Mtns. This on a handheld with the standard rubber ducky antenna on it. Hubby looked at the radio and repeated what a high school teacher used to say, "well put that in your pipe and smoke it!" Our experience in the mountains was there were peaks and slopes that reflected signals and canyons with knife edge paths. This is one reason we loved to take handheld radios with us, in spite of them making our packs much heavier.

Sorry to go on and on, but both of us used to get thrilled when we would find these little gems. It is possible you found such a bounce and/or knife edge path. From Ozena the engine would be talking on a 25 watt mobile or from a 50-100 watt base station and rooftop antenna.
 

iscanvnc2

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Yes, ko6jw_2, I heard the whole incident beginning with the original dispatch by VNC on 155.055 placing command on CMD 8 155.985. I immediately placed one scanner on CMD 8 & another on LPF. A LPF unit informed LP dispatch of hearing the VNC dispatch after which LPF units were dispatched as above.

Multiple motorcycles and another vehicle were invovled resulting in one fatality and two minor injuries.
 

ko6jw_2

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Another little piece of information for a big picture we don't understand! Isn't the Ozena Station on Highway 33 near the junction of the road that ends up near Gorman? OK, I just wandered upstairs and got the Los Padres out of late Hubby's file cabinets full of public land maps. It is at the junction I just mentioned, just west of Lockwood Valley where Ventura Co. has a fire station.

I agree it seems doubtful, but what if the signal bounced off the north side of the Santa Ynez Mtns. and went down the Santa Ynez River canyon? When late Hubby and I hiked we often found some incredible paths of reception that still puzzle me today. We were once driving home from an eastern Sierra hike via 395 to Sonora Pass. We picked up a CDF repeater from the Morgan Hill ECC when we stopped at a pizza place south of Bridgeport. We also picked up Mt. Hoffman in Yosemite very clearly from the same place. To add to that I started playing with the FM radio to see if a similar path existed on that band. I picked up KWAV (96.9) from Monterey full quieting, full stereo. From our Sierra Nevada foothill home we picked up all kinds of things from the other side of the coast range. We picked up multiple repeaters from the Los Padres on the Monterey, Santa Lucia and Mt. Pinos Ranger Districts, a few we didn't expect to at all. We climbed Mt. Charleston next to Las Vegas a couple of times. We programmed the repeater output frequency of 169.8750 into our Bendix-King handheld. This was the Toiyabe National Forest's only repeater output at the time. It also happened to be the repeater input on the San Bernardino NF. We picked up many San Berdo mobile units direct from the top of the ridge south of the peak we were walking on. From what we could tell these units were on the north side of the San Bernardino Mtns. until one unit said he was in Running Springs! That is on the L.A. Basin side of the San Bernardino Mtns. This on a handheld with the standard rubber ducky antenna on it. Hubby looked at the radio and repeated what a high school teacher used to say, "well put that in your pipe and smoke it!" Our experience in the mountains was there were peaks and slopes that reflected signals and canyons with knife edge paths. This is one reason we loved to take handheld radios with us, in spite of them making our packs much heavier.

Sorry to go on and on, but both of us used to get thrilled when we would find these little gems. It is possible you found such a bounce and/or knife edge path. From Ozena the engine would be talking on a 25 watt mobile or from a 50-100 watt base station and rooftop antenna.
I didn't mention in my original post that Engine 372's transmission had a squelch tail that indicated that it was going through a repeater.
 

iscanvnc2

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As I said in Post 33, I heard the entire LPF side of the incident on Forest Net repeater.

Every weekend you can count on at least one motorcycle accident on Hwy 33 in Ventura county.

FYI here's today's KVTA follow up.
Update--The CHP has released new details about a fatal motorcycle crash on Highway 33 in the Los Padres National Forest over the weekend.

They say that around 12:10 PM Sunday afternoon 42-year-old Daniel Figueroa of Santa Barbara was riding his 2016 Ducati motorcycle southbound on Highway 33 near Pine Mountain Road when for unknown reasons he collided with a 2015 Jeep in the southbound lane of the highway.

Figueroa was killed.

Two other motorcyclists who were behind Figueroa took evasive action and were ejected from their motorcycles.

They were both taken to VCMC with moderate injuries.
 

ko6jw_2

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Yes, this is all too common on that road. Over here we have Hwy 154. Not quite a dangerous as 33 but close. I heard most of the details on the link repeater.

I had a conversation this afternoon on the radio with the gentleman I mentioned in an earlier post. He believes that LPNF is using multiple inputs to avoid problems they have had with simulcasting in the past.

By the way, he confirms that Santa Barbara County Fire will stay with their present analog system for quite some time. They will be making improvements to fix phase distortion problems, but not for a couple of years. RFP's are just going out for the work.

USFS will got digital in the future. He doubts that it will ever be encrypted, however.
 

norcalscan

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I had a conversation this afternoon on the radio with the gentleman I mentioned in an earlier post. He believes that LPNF is using multiple inputs to avoid problems they have had with simulcasting in the past.
So, would the multiple inputs be behind the UHF links and remote bases, because the state fire load only has the one input for Forest Net. That just sounds real messy, although drawing it out I guess would work. But drawing it out still doesn't make sense that you heard both LP and Engine on 164.825, with a squelch tail. Is 164.825 pulling the job of a pseudo link? E372 radio transmits on 164.9125 tone 7 for Hwy33. How does that end up on 164.825, AND still come out on 170.4625. And what problem is it avoiding, exactly? :unsure:
 

KK6ZTE

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So, would the multiple inputs be behind the UHF links and remote bases, because the state fire load only has the one input for Forest Net. That just sounds real messy, although drawing it out I guess would work. But drawing it out still doesn't make sense that you heard both LP and Engine on 164.825, with a squelch tail. Is 164.825 pulling the job of a pseudo link? E372 radio transmits on 164.9125 tone 7 for Hwy33. How does that end up on 164.825, AND still come out on 170.4625. And what problem is it avoiding, exactly? :unsure:

It doesn't. Period. There are too many crazy ideas in here, all from people with no actual public safety system experience. (Listening doesn't count).

"Dual inputs" would do nothing to solve phase noise on the output. It sounds like something a messy ham system would try.

What these hobbyists are likely hearing is a patch between the two nets (possibly a hardware patch like an ACU1000, but most likely a software patch in the LPF dispatch console). What the user in Santa Ynez is likely hearing is a Service Net control station (possibly on Santa Ynez Peak) that is tied to Forest Net.

Similar to a multi-select, where the dispatcher can talk on multiple tones and frequencies at once (depending on link method), they can also link nets together. What is received on Forest Net can be processed and sent out via Service Net simulteneously, with a slight audio processing delay. If they're using control stations instead of wireline control, you'll hear the squelch tails from the inbound repeater (as the control station is programmed exactly like a mobile unit).

If we take usage into account, it makes sense and is far simpler (and a realistic answer) than some of the conclusions drawn previously. E372 would not be dispatched on Service Net.

So the next question is why? Why would LPF have a patch in place? As service net is new, it could be a way for testing on a net that would get very little coverage.

Keep it simple. It's the government.

I spoke last night to a fellow ham who is the chief of a local fire department and a cooperator with the LPNF. He has the communications plan for LPNF dated 03/18/2020. He says there is no separate "service net." He programs all of his department's radios and would certainly know.
Apparently he doesn't know. Service Net is in the Firescope MACS441-1 for 2020 which has the required frequencies for mutual aid in CA, so it should be in his radios. He needs to check current information. Is it WRA Fire?
 

Mike_G_D

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It doesn't. Period. There are too many crazy ideas in here, all from people with no actual public safety system experience. (Listening doesn't count).

"Dual inputs" would do nothing to solve phase noise on the output. It sounds like something a messy ham system would try.

What these hobbyists are likely hearing is a patch between the two nets (possibly a hardware patch like an ACU1000, but most likely a software patch in the LPF dispatch console). What the user in Santa Ynez is likely hearing is a Service Net control station (possibly on Santa Ynez Peak) that is tied to Forest Net.

Similar to a multi-select, where the dispatcher can talk on multiple tones and frequencies at once (depending on link method), they can also link nets together. What is received on Forest Net can be processed and sent out via Service Net simulteneously, with a slight audio processing delay. If they're using control stations instead of wireline control, you'll hear the squelch tails from the inbound repeater (as the control station is programmed exactly like a mobile unit).

If we take usage into account, it makes sense and is far simpler (and a realistic answer) than some of the conclusions drawn previously. E372 would not be dispatched on Service Net.

So the next question is why? Why would LPF have a patch in place? As service net is new, it could be a way for testing on a net that would get very little coverage.

Keep it simple. It's the government.



Apparently he doesn't know. Service Net is in the Firescope MACS441-1 for 2020 which has the required frequencies for mutual aid in CA, so it should be in his radios. He needs to check current information. Is it WRA Fire?
Makes sense; sounds logical.

-Mike
 
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