LPNF Forest Net Repeater Input

Status
Not open for further replies.

es93546

A Member Twice
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
475
Location
East of the Sierra Crest-Right Side of CA on Map
I suggested that the Service Net repeaters were portable repeaters to be deployed at major fires. Several people debunked this idea and suggested that neither I nor my source knew what we were talking about.

I can hear very noisy traffic on 171.500MHz. I do not hear LP dispatch on the input (so far). They have used that input (164.8250MHz) to talk to units in the Ojai and Mt. Pinos Districts. They are not using that input to talk to units in the Monterrey District - only 164.9125MHz.

The deployment of portable repeaters is common practice at major fires. During the Thomas Fire there were at least two on Santa Ynez Peak. I physically saw them.

Of course I'm intentionally causing trouble, if by trouble you mean reporting objective observations or stating ideas that don't conform to the presently accepted thinking.

I believe that I'm done with this thread.
Well, don't pick up your ball and go home just yet. It has been mentioned that portable repeaters are used on large fires, there is no doubt and no one would dispute that. These repeaters are components of the "National Incident Radio Support Cache" (NIRSC) the largest radio cache in the world. All the repeaters are housed in fiberglass boxes. I think I remember the color of the box corresponding to the type of equipment inside, those being VHF command, UHF linking, UHF logistics repeaters, aircraft remote base stations, etc. I'm retired from the U.S. Forest Service and had 108 fire assignments in 8 states during my career. I didn't work in the comm unit on any fire, but I should have. My interest and knowledge in radio has always been keen. I also had administrative duties, as an investigator, on several national forests in California. I was on fires on the Angeles, San Bernardino, Cleveland, Los Padres, Stanislaus, Tahoe and Klamath National Forests while working/living in California. I have used and listened to 13 of the 18 national forest radio systems in the state.

I've also had access to dozens of Incident Action Plans and the ICS205 Communications Plans enclosed. I have never read one where the Service Net is used in conjunction with a National Type 1 or Type 2 incident, where the NIRSC is deployed. On Type 3, locally pre-organized incident command teams, the team has a choice to use the NIRSC cache system or not. It depends on the terrain, the coverage of the nets on a national forest, BLM district or national park and how much burden is being placed on day to day comms by the fire. I've been on a few of these and in most cases we used permanent repeaters on Service Net, never a portable one. On the Inyo National Forest there are two forest nets, north and south. with 11 repeaters total. There is also the Service Net on 3 repeaters, Glass Mtn., Silver Peak and Mazourka. The radio tech who was there while I worked on the Inyo wanted to add a service net repeater on Olancha Peak to get coverage on the Kern Plateau portion of the forest. I worked a couple of fires down there, so I agreed with him. Then the last net, the BLM net, which isn't used daily by BLM personnel, has 4 repeaters. A Type 3 or Type 4 command team would sometimes use these as command repeaters, again without the use of portable repeaters. I hung around the radio shop a bit while working on the Inyo, there weren't any portable service net repeaters, even in boxes.

Whoever said that "Fire Camp Service Net" is a throwback to earlier times was right. While the wording may be inferred as being used only in fire camps, that is not correct at all.

Now others have written here that they know or have talked to people who work(ed) for the Forest Service, but I did work for the Forest Service and have direct knowledge of many of their radio systems. One of the Los Padres NF fires I worked on was in security. I had the privilege (insert sarcasm) was to guard the entrance to whatever that Michael Jackson property east of Cachuma Lake was called. Various crews were found out what the entrance looks like (you would never guess it) and helped themselves to a driving tour. I was assigned to night shift to review each crew approaching the entrance to determine if they had reason to continue. It was so rewarding (sarcasm #2) dealing with these people, they would give me all kinds of expletives while expressing the poor decision by the IC team for placing me there.

Here is an interesting guide all about the NIRSC. That's a lot to say. I can tell you I never heard anyone say that on all the fires I was on. We used the term "NIFC cache." When I started in the early 1970's we called it the "BIFC cache" as NIFC was called the "Boise Interagency Fire Center" at one time.

National Incident Radio Support Cache User's Guide

EDIT, I remember! It was called the "Neverland Ranch." I never went to the ranch myself, I could have at the beginning or ending of a shift, but I had no interest.

EDIT #2, when I worked security in a camp, we had handhelds on the UHF portion of the NIFC cache. I think there are 6 or seven available "Camp Net' frequencies assigned. I had to hang around at staging areas before being released 3-5 times, such as the Orange Show down in San Berdo county. The staging areas were using a portable UHF logistics repeater to communicate with some of the Incident Command Posts, there's a whole set of frequencies for these and corresponding fiberglass boxes for them. The radio's came from the cache as there are very, very few UHF handhelds out on national forests, parks, BLM . . . . However, such repeaters are not usually set up, the cell phone saves the trouble when in big cities.
 
Last edited:

KK6ZTE

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
750
Location
California
Fire Camp Service Net tone 8 is being used as command for the Dolan incident up near Big Sur.

It's definitely not a ~10W solar powered portable repeater as has been suggested, as I'm picking it up far too far away. It's primarily for incident traffic (IC->air attack) but occasionally Los Padres will communicate with the IC via FCSN. It has been referred to as "Fire Camp Service Net" or "Fire Camp" by different field units.

Edit:clarification
 

Progline

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 4, 2006
Messages
293
Location
San Fernando Valley, LA County
Just checked 171.500 here in Ventura. The pulses as described by me & bcorbin in the thread "ANF Service Net P25 ?" in early June continue 24/7.
ANF Service Net P25 ?

Could these bursts attributed to AF Service Net be the noise heard by ko6jw_2?
The P25 bursts on the ANF/LPF "service net" have not let up, at least here in the SFV. I got tired of hearing it, so I put 103.5 in the CTCSS decode of the scanner, hoping that in doing so, I didn't cut off my nose to spite my face.
 

KK6ZTE

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
750
Location
California
As of 10:22 this morning, FCSN TONE 8 (which LPCC directly identified as Cone Peak over the air) went down. Traffic moved to FCSN tone 4, with no mountaintop name. Coverage was unusable on tone 4 so traffic moved to Admin Tone 8 which was still operational.

I don’t see how it could be seen as anything other than a fixed repeater system just like Admin and Forest net. LPCC could be heard on the input to Service calling for Dolan Air Attack and Dolan Night IC from the Lompoc area this morning.
 

es93546

A Member Twice
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
475
Location
East of the Sierra Crest-Right Side of CA on Map
The Dolan Fire comm plan shows:

CH3 LPF Ch3 Tac 168.2625
CH5 NIFC Tac 2 168.2000
CH8 LPF Admin Repeat (Command), 171.5500/164.1500 Tone 8 (Cone Peak)
CH9 Air to Ground 163.150
CH14 LPF Service 171.5000/164.8250 Tone 4 (Alder)
CH16 National Air Guard 168.6250 Tone 1

The rest are shown blank on the plan. These channels look somewhat like the channels used in many of their radio groups, those being Channels 3, 5, 8 and 14. Alder is located near the coast south of Cone. Since this fire is adjacent to the coast, there might be decent coverage, over water, for this repeater. Someone else mentioned that over the ocean coverage for the LP makes for great coverage. The air to ground is one I've not seen before, not a Region 5 unassigned air tactics. I need to make a database submission for those, Air Tactics 30-41 are not assigned to any NF in R5. They look like the frequencies are different than those listed before. From Air Tactics 42 to 66 (66 new for this year assigned for the Tahoe NF as their primary), there are 9 unassigned channels/frequencies. I presume that South Ops and North Ops can assign them for aviation uses. I wonder if the can also be used for ground tacticals, but I don't know that.

It looks like this fire is being handled with a Type 3 (local) team. I was on a couple of Type 3 teams, they were fun. Not nearly as stressful as working a Type 1 incident.

I've been retired for over 20 years now, my retirement was 6 years prior to my minimum 30 due to a stress related illness. I've lost most of my "in agency" contacts due to their retirements and one to dementia. He used to be one very sharp guy, who had been a FS radio tech for a few years. Out of the blue a current employee, who I didn't know during my career, contacted me and I have access to whatever he has time to look up and save. This situation is almost as good as I had pre-retirement. Actually better as at the time of my retirement there wasn't much of anything available on the computer.

I have just gathered comm plans from 6-10 fires in California, mostly CDF and am pondering starting a new thread listing what I have. My wife wants me to clean the kitchen before I do! She is a gem I want to keep, so off I go!!!
 

es93546

A Member Twice
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
475
Location
East of the Sierra Crest-Right Side of CA on Map
Welcome es93546! Nothing like jumping in head first. Watch out for the sharks!
Thank you. I know about the sharks, I was a member from 2002-2016 before. The sharks were actually moderators/database administrators. They beat me up pretty good, plus I had some other very difficult situations I was going through so I quit. My gorgeous wife and a woman who was fixing up an adjacent condo last summer have been encouraging me to give it another whirl. Let's see how long this lasts!!
 

rsmith7799

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
62
Location
Arroyo Grande, CA
I notice in the comm plan group 16 , frequencies are wrong for RRU-E & RRU - W
Good morning, so what are the CORRECT frequencies so I can give them to the CIO? What I have from the CalFIRE 2020 Load is: RRU 1 W 151.385/159.360 T110.9 RX. RRU 3 E 151.130/158.925 NO TONE.
 
Last edited:

rsmith7799

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
62
Location
Arroyo Grande, CA
And now I 'm looking at the CalFIRE Load for the RRU. RRU West is 151.175/159.285 T RX 110.9. I would tend to go with these frequencies since it is the Riverside Ranger Unit and the CalFIRE Load.
 

es93546

A Member Twice
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
475
Location
East of the Sierra Crest-Right Side of CA on Map
So, we're on page 6 of this dead horse, and have finally officially established that yes indeed, there is LPF Service Net fixed infrastructure in the forest, as stated in post 4 and elsewhere? ;) I saw the RRDB submissions and chuckled.
Oh heck, the discussion evolved! I'm not too worried that it got off topic. Some good information was posted.
 

KK6ZTE

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
750
Location
California
So, we're on page 6 of this dead horse, and have finally officially established that yes indeed, there is LPF Service Net fixed infrastructure in the forest, as stated in post 4 and elsewhere? ;) I saw the RRDB submissions and chuckled.
Yep, it's finally in the DB, but why on earth did someone submit an update to Admin and Forest to add tones? SMH
 

Mike_G_D

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,157
Location
Vista, CA
So, we're on page 6 of this dead horse, and have finally officially established that yes indeed, there is LPF Service Net fixed infrastructure in the forest, as stated in post 4 and elsewhere? ;) I saw the RRDB submissions and chuckled.
Occam's Razor is a little overrated, I think, but not in this case! Just needed some calm logic and a rational approach to the RF details involved. But it had it's "fun" moments!
 

djpaulino

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 4, 2003
Messages
228
Location
Temecula, Riverside County CA
And now I 'm looking at the CalFIRE Load for the RRU. RRU West is 151.175/159.285 T RX 110.9. I would tend to go with these frequencies since it is the Riverside Ranger Unit and the CalFIRE Load.
RRU - 1 (WEST) is 151.385/159.360 RRU - 2 is 151.175/159.285 RRU - 3 (East Desert) 151.130 / 158.925 all OST

 

KK6ZTE

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
750
Location
California
LPCC has been using Tone 5 to coordinate with Dolan Air Attack today, apparently there's an MCI now with 2 medevacs (Mercy 34 out of Paso just lifted)

So I've heard 4,5,8 used. I imagine more are installed. 4 is quite copyable from the Santa Maria area.
 

zerg901

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Apr 19, 2005
Messages
3,411
Can anyone confirm that 168.20 is used as a defacto 2ndary tac channel on the LPF? Does anyone hear units being told to use Tac 2 or reporting that they are going to switch to Tac 2 on scene? I suspect that 168.20 is listed as a NIFC channel at the RRDB - but it apparently is much "more" than a NIFC channel for the LPF - especially considering that it is listed in nearly group of the channel load. Maybe if some people can confirm (here in this thread) that it is in use, then I can submit it to the database - even if it is just added as a note to the LPF listing.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top