Mutual Aid Frequencies Have Disappeared

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gregsto

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I do not know whether this has happened in all databases, but in all Maryland county conventional fire listings the mutual aid frequency entries have all disappeared (i.e. 154.280, 154.295, 154.680).

The frequencies are of course all still in use as they have been for decades, without changes of any sort. If you program your scanner using a RR database, you will not have these included and are left to your own devices to figure out what they are and program them manually.

Anyone know why this has happened?
 

mikewazowski

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The first two are in the Nationwide list of frequencies since they're common frequencies across the country.

If you take a look at Section 6.2.6 of the Database Administrator Handbook, you'll see that Nationwide frequencies are not to be duplicated on other pages.
 

gregsto

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The first two are in the Nationwide list of frequencies since they're common frequencies across the country.

If you take a look at Section 6.2.6 of the Database Administrator Handbook, you'll see that Nationwide frequencies are not to be duplicated on other pages.
I see them now under Nationwide Interoperability Public Safety Common VHF, which is quite easy to do once one tells you that:

1. mutual aid channels exist
2. they are national standard frequencies common to all areas
3. you cannot find them in local databases
4. they are in the national database under Nationwide Interoperability Public Safety Common VHF
5. Not all of them will apply to your area, but the best of luck discovering which ones do.

Joe Schmoe scanner hobbyist who comes along to program his scanner will never know these exist, absent prior knowledge/experience. I figured there was SOME reason these no longer are listed, but I am having a hard time imagining how this is beneficial to someone utilizing the database for what it was intended: programming their scanner with relevant local frequencies. It can only hinder this process it would seem, as illustrated in item 5 above.

Am I missing something?

P.S. My bad, 154.680 should not have appeared in my little list....(brain glitch)
 
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gesucks

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They are not National frequencies. If you look at the NIFOG they are LOCAL licensed freqs. Just because it is in the NIFOG does not make it national. They are used for different things in different parts of the US
Outside of Call and Tac channels in the national plan, all the EMS, FIRE and LAW channels should be left in the local listing if they have a specific licensed local use.

In MD 154.280 is used as a mutual aid fire interop and 154.295 inter fire dispatch interop. They should be restored.
 

Thunderknight

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They are not National frequencies. If you look at the NIFOG they are LOCAL licensed freqs. Just because it is in the NIFOG does not make it national. They are used for different things in different parts of the US
Yes - this is true. Only the CALL/TAC channels are national interop. The others (VFIRE, VMEDs, etc) are not blanket licensed and are subject to pre-existing users.

This was something that caused confusion in the NIFOG and the reason the statement about needing a license (not blanket licensed) was added to v1.5
 

nd5y

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Yes - this is true. Only the CALL/TAC channels are national interop. The others (VFIRE, VMEDs, etc) are not blanket licensed and are subject to pre-existing users.

This was something that caused confusion in the NIFOG and the reason the statement about needing a license (not blanket licensed) was added to v1.5
See http://wireless.fcc.gov/releases/fcc00-348.pdf.
It applies to all the interoperability channels, not just the calling channels. It says:
Under our Rules, an entity must have a license to operate a base or control station on these interoperability channels. Mobile operation, however, is permitted on these channels without an individual license (i.e., a blanket licensing approach).

and

Public safety licensees who are eligible to hold a Part 90 license, or who are otherwise licensed under Part 90 of our Rules, can operate mobile units on
these interoperability channels without an individual license.


and

Current licensees may continue to operate on these interoperability channels indefinitely; however, after January 1, 2005, existing users that continue to operate on these channels will do so on a secondary basis to interoperability uses.

and

Secondary operations may not cause interference to primary interoperability use.

There is nothing in NIFOG 1.5 that says the non-federal public safety calling channels have licensing requirements that are differrent from the non-federal public safety tactical channels.
 

Thunderknight

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There is nothing in NIFOG 1.5 that says the non-federal public safety calling channels have licensing requirements that are differrent from the non-federal public safety tactical channels.
Huh? I never said the Call and Tac channels had two different requirements. I said the CALL/TAC (together) were covered by the blanket license, but the other "common channels" in the NIFOG (such as VFIRE, VMED) were not blanket licensed.

See, e.g. top of page 29 in the 1.5 NIFOG, which is referring to the table including VFIRE and VMEDs.
"WARNING: These frequencies are NOT covered by the blanket authorization for nationwide interoeprability (sic) channels. A valid FCC license for these frequencies is required. Availability subject to other licensed users in the same area."
 

wtp

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mutual aid "bank"

i put in a system called mutual aid and put in all the mutual frequencies in that i could think of.
got something last week on an 8tac from the next county.
yes, if you know to look it helps
but did you think if you put in every mutual frequency in every system how much space the data would really need? or how much time would be wasted scanning the same ones over and over?
back when radios had banks i always had bank 1 with common m.a. freqs
155.475 155.37 spen 1,2,3,4 (new jersey) the 5 8tacs
now i have about 100 freqs (fed and law) in there
would you want 100 extra, ok take out the feds, or even 50 extra channels in every system?
 

wa8pyr

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Despite a couple of other comments in this thread, these frequencies (with one exception) are in fact reserved for nationwide interoperability use, although the specific way they're used can vary locally. The frequencies specifically noted in reference to Maryland:

154.680 - Part 90 says "This frequency is reserved primarily for assignment to state police licensees. Assignments to other police licensees will be made only where the frequency is required for coordinated operation with the state police system to which the frequency is assigned. Any request for such assignment must be supported by a statement from the state police system concerned indicating that the assignment is necessary for coordination of police activities."

This frequency is not listed in the NIFOG, and isn't necessarily used for interoperability. If it is in fact used in Maryland it should not have been removed.

154.280 and 154.295 (and 154.265) - Part 90 says "This frequency is reserved for assignment to stations in this service for intersystem operations only and these operations must be primarily base-mobile communications."

The base-mobile restriction is observed more in the breach, but that fact notwithstanding, these frequencies are still specifically reserved for interoperability use and as such will remain on the nationwide page only. It doesn't matter if they're locally licensed or not; the 700 and 800 MHz mutual aid frequencies are locally licensed also, so that argument doesn't hold up.

However, if a frequency is used locally and using a squelch tone or code which varies from the standard recommendations, it can then be listed locally.

That being said, I will look into a way to make the nationwide frequencies a bit more obvious.
 
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gesucks

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wa8pyr, You and others may be confused. The VHF interop channels in the NIFGO are broken in to a few differnent groups:

Non-Federal VHF National Interoperability Channels
VHF Public Safety Mutual Aid and Common Channels
Weather Radio
VHF IR Federal Interoperability Channels
VHF LE Federal Interoperability Channels

The goup we are talking about in this thread is the "VHF Public Safety Mutual Aid and Common Channels"

These Channels are "LABELED" as
VSAR16
VFIRE21-26
VMED28 and 29
VLAW31-32

These channel are NOT nation wide intop channels. You MUST be licensed for these and they are both licensed locally and coordinated locally. Each state, and even with in each state, may use these or not use these channels and may use them differently.

This is the reason THESE channels should not have been removed from each database listing.
 

ResQguy

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154.295, 154.280 and 154.265 are locally licensed and named FMARS 1, 2, & 3 and have been that way since before Air Florida crashed. Just because someone decided to also include them in a book does not remove them from our local channel plans and they should be restored to the local database.
 

Ryangn

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I agree they should be left in the local database. I joined back in 2007 and only this past winter had I realized there was a nationwide frequencies tab and that was only after someone had mentioned it in a thread. Although I know what is used in my local area I couldn't imagine having to program all of those frequencies into my scanner and having to figure out what ones are used specific to my area when someone else already knows but can't list it in the database locally. Seems like a step backward. Although I am sure this was probably done to get the database more user friendly for the new scanners that are pulling straight from the database now and not because of what the NIFOG says.
 

wa8pyr

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I'm not confused and am quite aware of the categories in the NIFOG; as a COM-L and communications planner I look at it all the time. We're talking about reality here, though, not the way the FCC would like it to be.

The point from my original post regarding the noted frequencies still stands; the FCC reserves them and several others for intersystem use (another facet of interoperability). As I noted, the base-to-mobile requirement is observed mostly in the breach; in many areas I've visited, very few agencies use them for base-to-mobile communications, but rather as interoperable fireground channels. Licensing is also kind of hit or miss; if they even have a license, many areas might have a single license for the frequency and simply issue a blanket authority (typically by letter and now, e-mail) to other agencies to use it.

FCC usage and licensing requirements aside, these frequencies (no matter the category) are listed in the NIFOG as interoperable frequencies with certain recommendations for use, and the majority of departments use them per the recommendation. As such, for the purposes of the RadioReference database, they stay on the Nationwide page, and a separate local listing is not needed.

However, my other comment still stands as well. If a frequency is used at the local level with a different squelch tone than the standards recommended in the NIFOG (usually either CSQ or 156.7 with a few variations here and there), it can be listed in the state or county database, as applicable.

GE doesn't suck, by the way. I've got several. :D

wa8pyr, You and others may be confused. The VHF interop channels in the NIFGO are broken in to a few differnent groups:

Non-Federal VHF National Interoperability Channels
VHF Public Safety Mutual Aid and Common Channels
Weather Radio
VHF IR Federal Interoperability Channels
VHF LE Federal Interoperability Channels

The goup we are talking about in this thread is the "VHF Public Safety Mutual Aid and Common Channels"

These Channels are "LABELED" as
VSAR16
VFIRE21-26
VMED28 and 29
VLAW31-32

These channel are NOT nation wide intop channels. You MUST be licensed for these and they are both licensed locally and coordinated locally. Each state, and even with in each state, may use these or not use these channels and may use them differently.

This is the reason THESE channels should not have been removed from each database listing.
 

nd5y

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For those that don't already know, many states have communications interoperability plans posted on their web sites.
There is a list of state interoperability web sites at:
Common Public Safety - The RadioReference Wiki
Many states have channel plans posted which sometimes include the state or local frequencies that are different from the standard NIFOG frequencies.
 

wa8pyr

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If you're going to keep these out, please remove the offending frequencies from this system from the database too:
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference
Not only are they "national channels", but the tag is incorrectly listed as EMS-TAC instead of HOSPITAL
Which specific frequencies are you referring to?

Update: Disregard, found it. PS - the UHF MED channels will remain in place as the NIFOG defines the frequencies and channel names, but CTCSS is defined by local plan. In this instance both CTCSS and channel name are defined by local plan, but the CTCSS alone would be enough to keep it listed locally. The function tag may also be defined by local plan.
 
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The_B_Chief

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Ok so where are all the LTAC, VTAC, ITAC, UTAC, WEALLTAC (<--joke) frequencies in the database now?

I'm not trying to be a jerk here but it seems that folks are in such a hurry to provide NEW and FRESH info to the DB that they don't always check to validate the info or check to see how the info affects other listings.
 
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