MIMS

sonm10

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Just seen this in feed notes. Just wondering what it is and the ARMER patch tg and any use in central mn

  • MIMS / Point to Point
  • MN Information Management system 155.370Mhz /800 mhz / ARMER
 

stmills

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MIMS - Minnesota Incident Management System- now referred to as MNCOMM. This channel was an interop channel used for incident coordination before ARMER. It is part of the VHF interop infrastructure in the state that are on many of the state towers and are patchable to ARMER talkgroups but is not hard patched into ARMER.
 

ofd8001

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The 155.370 frequency has been around for decades. It was/is a nationwide point to point frequency where one dispatch center can contact another dispatch center, limited by how far a signal will go.

There were models of point to point radios that had rotary dialers, similar to the old telephones. Agencies would have their own numbers that could be dialed up as needed. A lot of "good stuff" was heard back in the day.

If you are able to hear it, the use is very similar to METCOM in the cities.
 

KA0XR

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Use of 155.370 for Point to Point was well before my time in the scanning hobby. Based on old Radio Shack Police Call editions, it looks like every county in every state had a license and tower for this frequency.

If anyone knows, what kind of radio range were the public safety users/dispatchers getting on this frequency? Was it essentially tower to tower simplex? Would it be possible to hear traffic from several counties away since these were all base transmissions? Must have been fun listening years ago during incidents, as well as a beacon for VHF band openings (tropo-ducting).

Also, I saw a reference once to severe weather bulletins being broadcast on 155.370 in some states. Was this ever done in Minnesota or was that up to local county sheriff radio channels? I've never heard anything on 155.370 after years of having it programmed in my various radios/scanners. Thanks in advance for any historical insight on use of the frequency.
 

JASII

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...If anyone knows, what kind of radio range were the public safety users/dispatchers getting on this frequency? Was it essentially tower to tower simplex? Would it be possible to hear traffic from several counties away since these were all base transmissions? Must have been fun listening years ago during incidents, as well as a beacon for VHF band openings (tropo-ducting).

Also, I saw a reference once to severe weather bulletins being broadcast on 155.370 in some states. Was this ever done in Minnesota or was that up to local county sheriff radio channels? I've never heard anything on 155.370 after years of having it programmed in my various radios/scanners. Thanks in advance for any historical insight on use of the frequency.
Range, pretty much like anything RF, was dependent on location and power. It was simplex; there were no repeaters on Point To Point (Now Known As MIMS). If you had a good antenna, you could hear several counties away. As far as being a beacon for VHF band openings, I would often hear it on other VHF mains first. Probably because they were more active.

Weather stuff depended on the agency and area. The southeastern region of Minnesota had a repeater on 155.76. Weather spotters from several counties would do skywarn check ins, etc.

The Minnesota State Patrol Districts also performed civil defense network tests. Wednesday at 1300, if I recall correctly. "State Warning Point to County Warning Points, standby for roll call."

The agency that I worked for suffered terribly from VHF band openings. Sometimes it was so bad that when Eau Claire County Wisconsin tripped certain fire pagers, it would alert our firefighters by mistake! They weren't real happy to be awakened by a fire page from a different state!

MINSEF, which is renamed V LAW 31 and tone added, was often more interesting to me. While it wasn't typically patched to anything, when Minneapolis Police were in a pursuit, they would patch a UHF channel into it. It could easily be heard all over the seven county metro area and beyond!
 

stmills

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I recall in the mid 1990’s having MIMS programmed into our portables as incident management. I don’t recall much if any traffic on it. MINSEF was used frequently. The skip was always interesting, I remember being down visiting a friend in Des Moines and they were on the same frequency as Minneapolis, and skip was coming in so strong that night we could copy Minneapolis over the squad radio when the mic was off the hook.
 

peq387ab

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POINT is the new MNCOMM and MINSEF is now VLAW31. They are still used from time to time in VHF Interoperability. VHF is still active in some parts especially NW Minnesota as most fire and EMS are still on VHF. They are part of the national vhf interop. Locally on our fire department, we still have our VHF mobiles that are reprogrammed with our local VHF and also the interop VHF. Mainly it’s a backup for us and we use VHF to talk to DNR Fire. Our dispatch center has the capability to patch VHF to ARMER which does happen with spring fires with DNR.
 

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KA0XR

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Thank you to everyone for providing historical insight on 55.370 MHz usage. Very interesting stuff, as well as the comment about the Minneapolis to Des Moines band opening and the MINSEF patch during high speed pursuits. I recall hearing activity on MINSEF only once back in the pre-ARMER days in Pine County.

According to the FCC, 155.76 is still licensed for Olmstead County. The license specifies up to 350 watts and antenna height of 114 meters! If that repeater is still operational it probably could cover much of the entire region beyond just Rochester proper. Was this repeater created for non-ham spotters and/or law enforcement? Or was it the case any trained spotter from the (La Crosse) County Warning Area was authorized to use the machine during severe weather events? If so, how did the County/NWS identify users or keep unauthorized people off the frequency? Was it to avoid weak signal reports that seem to occur on local Skywarn nets at times, hence a special public safety storm spotting repeater?

It sounds like unless there is an active incident somewhere such as a wildfire or if you're in NW Minnesota, 155.37 is mostly silent. Has anyone heard activity on 159.300 recently - DNR Air to Ground 2 and, in a past life, Conservation Officer simplex?
 

sfd119

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Point is still used in Wisconsin. Phones, Teletype, and WISCOM has replaced some of its usage. Point in the summer is fun, I can hear Iowa and Illinois agencies. I prefer WISCOM as there is no interference.
 

KA0XR

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Point is still used in Wisconsin. Phones, Teletype, and WISCOM has replaced some of its usage. Point in the summer is fun, I can hear Iowa and Illinois agencies. I prefer WISCOM as there is no interference.

Interesting that Iowa and Illinois still use the Point frequency. Not surprised about Iowa since their state patrol is still on VHF (about to change I guess), but figured Illinois with their StarCom21 700/800 system would have left it years ago. Are you located in southern Wisconsin where you can hear traffic from these 2 states on 155.37? Any severe weather bulletins relayed on Point in either state? Hearing Illinois in Minnesota would be quite the haul for VHF high band.
 

kb0uxv

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Thank you to everyone for providing historical insight on 55.370 MHz usage. Very interesting stuff, as well as the comment about the Minneapolis to Des Moines band opening and the MINSEF patch during high speed pursuits. I recall hearing activity on MINSEF only once back in the pre-ARMER days in Pine County.

According to the FCC, 155.76 is still licensed for Olmstead County. The license specifies up to 350 watts and antenna height of 114 meters! If that repeater is still operational it probably could cover much of the entire region beyond just Rochester proper. Was this repeater created for non-ham spotters and/or law enforcement? Or was it the case any trained spotter from the (La Crosse) County Warning Area was authorized to use the machine during severe weather events? If so, how did the County/NWS identify users or keep unauthorized people off the frequency? Was it to avoid weak signal reports that seem to occur on local Skywarn nets at times, hence a special public safety storm spotting repeater?

It sounds like unless there is an active incident somewhere such as a wildfire or if you're in NW Minnesota, 155.37 is mostly silent. Has anyone heard activity on 159.300 recently - DNR Air to Ground 2 and, in a past life, Conservation Officer simplex?
155.76 was NWS coordination for all of SE MN when I came up in ham radio in the Rochester area in the 1990s. Olmsted County EOC coordinated an alphanumeric paging system (Westgate paging at the time, later I think it changed to Arch) to send out texts indicating upcoming weather and activations if necessary. Skywarn ham volunteers were responsible for the cost of the pager (Motorola Advisor model 1 at the time) but the County picked up the monthly service costs. I don't believe those alpha pages were sent on 155.76 though, if memory serves the sticker on the back listed a different frequency probably owned by the paging company.

Some public safety spotters called direct on that repeater but most reports went into the County dispatch who then radioed Lacrosse on the 155.76. The public safety 155.76 operator was usually in the same room in the EOC as Skywarn net control, so ham reports were relayed to NWS on 155.76 as well. As far as I know, those procedures remain mostly unchanged today, except the talkpath is now a ARMER talkgroup. You may find it listed in the SE section of the database.

That repeater had some great range, covering on high ground into the south metro. I believe the 147.255 ham repeater used for Skywarn in SE MN is on the same tower but a lower elevation. I am not sure if 155.76 has any use anymore now that everyone in SE is on ARMER.
 

sfd119

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Interesting that Iowa and Illinois still use the Point frequency. Not surprised about Iowa since their state patrol is still on VHF (about to change I guess), but figured Illinois with their StarCom21 700/800 system would have left it years ago. Are you located in southern Wisconsin where you can hear traffic from these 2 states on 155.37? Any severe weather bulletins relayed on Point in either state? Hearing Illinois in Minnesota would be quite the haul for VHF high band.
I am in Northern Wisconsin. I remember hearing some sort of pursuit in the Chicago metro area on Point and I have also heard Hamilton County Iowa on it too. The agency I worked for at the time had Point with no PL Tone so I heard quite a bit of activity in the summers.
 

JASII

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I am in Northern Wisconsin. I remember hearing some sort of pursuit in the Chicago metro area on Point and I have also heard Hamilton County Iowa on it too. The agency I worked for at the time had Point with no PL Tone so I heard quite a bit of activity in the summers.

That is interesting. If I recall correctly, most Minnesota mobiles did not have Point-To-Point programmed in them. It was designed as an inter-system, but there were some exceptions.


In other states, I don't know if there are, or were, similar restrictions. I seem to recall seeing Point-To-Point in some Wisconsin mobile radio channel lists.
 

mnrick

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The 155.370 frequency has been around for decades. It was/is a nationwide point to point frequency where one dispatch center can contact another dispatch center, limited by how far a signal will go.

There were models of point to point radios that had rotary dialers, similar to the old telephones. Agencies would have their own numbers that could be dialed up as needed. A lot of "good stuff" was heard back in the day.

If you are able to hear it, the use is very similar to METCOM in the cities.
That is interesting that you bring that up. I remember back in those days however I don't recall it being on point to point, it was on 155.340 and the ambulance had to dial up the hospital they wished to open up the channel to talk to. It sounded like a series of beeps.
 

JASII

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That is interesting that you bring that up. I remember back in those days however I don't recall it being on point to point, it was on 155.340 and the ambulance had to dial up the hospital they wished to open up the channel to talk to. It sounded like a series of beeps.

It depended on where in the state you were located. I have heard the "dial up" you refer to on BOTH 155.340 AND 155.370 back in the day.
 

sfd119

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Some mobiles have it. The chase I heard sounded like a dispatch center just multi selecting with Point. Didn't hear any squad traffic.
 

KA0XR

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155.76 was NWS coordination for all of SE MN when I came up in ham radio in the Rochester area in the 1990s. Olmsted County EOC coordinated an alphanumeric paging system (Westgate paging at the time, later I think it changed to Arch) to send out texts indicating upcoming weather and activations if necessary. Skywarn ham volunteers were responsible for the cost of the pager (Motorola Advisor model 1 at the time) but the County picked up the monthly service costs. I don't believe those alpha pages were sent on 155.76 though, if memory serves the sticker on the back listed a different frequency probably owned by the paging company.

Some public safety spotters called direct on that repeater but most reports went into the County dispatch who then radioed Lacrosse on the 155.76. The public safety 155.76 operator was usually in the same room in the EOC as Skywarn net control, so ham reports were relayed to NWS on 155.76 as well. As far as I know, those procedures remain mostly unchanged today, except the talkpath is now a ARMER talkgroup. You may find it listed in the SE section of the database.

That repeater had some great range, covering on high ground into the south metro. I believe the 147.255 ham repeater used for Skywarn in SE MN is on the same tower but a lower elevation. I am not sure if 155.76 has any use anymore now that everyone in SE is on ARMER.


Thanks for the background on use of 155.76. Based on tower location and power allotment, sounds like a 40km radius would be no sweat for this machine despite the license specs (~65 air miles from Rochester to La Crosse NWS). Since the WFO is actually in La Crosse, WI, would it be conceivable that 155.76 is still used but only as a relay frequency? Otherwise, it seems plausible the State, Olmstead County or the EOC would need to purchase ARMER radio(s) for the NWS office in a neighboring state.

If anyone reading this is in the La Crosse NWS county warning area, it would be neat to hear if this frequency is still being used during severe weather? Also, might there be an old user manual that was posted online for this users of this machine? I understand that a Department of Commerce frequency (162.15) is/was used for net coordination by the Chanhassen WFO, but I've only heard traffic once or twice on this frequency, so maybe with ARMER this is likewise antiquated.

In my opinion, in these trunking/digital/encrypted 800 MHz ARMER days, it's nice to come across potential use of "relic" VHF nanalog systems.
 

stmills

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When the National Weather Service became an ARMER user Warning offices in LaCrosse , Grand Forks and Souix Falls were setup with ARMER talkgroups since they were in ARMER coverage area even though they were outside of MN. Aberdeen South Dakota which covers part of West Central MN is outside of coverage for ARMER.
 
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