Oil and gas business radios

Status
Not open for further replies.

jdevo989

Newbie
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
Messages
3
I work for a company in the oil and gas industry, in my line of work I need to keep in contact with the various companies that I work with on various pads through out PA, WV, and OH. Some of them have no issue issuing me a radio while others are short on them or just dont want to give them up. I would like to get a radio that I could program fairly easy. I have found the frequencies online for the various companies and this would save a lot of trouble. The little research I have done has left me with some questions 1. I notice the frequencies listed have 3 digits a decimal followed by 5 digits the radios I have come across on amazon specifically only let you program 3 digits a decimal followed by 3 digits. with that said what are my options if any? 2. I am under the understanding that even though the frequencies list are public I will not be able to transmit only listen which is fine just curious if that is true? Lastly if I could be guided in the direction of what I need and where to buy that would be great. Thanks in advance for dealing with my ignorance in this matter.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
13,859
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
I work for a company in the oil and gas industry, in my line of work I need to keep in contact with the various companies that I work with on various pads through out PA, WV, and OH. Some of them have no issue issuing me a radio while others are short on them or just dont want to give them up. I would like to get a radio that I could program fairly easy. I have found the frequencies online for the various companies and this would save a lot of trouble. The little research I have done has left me with some questions 1. I notice the frequencies listed have 3 digits a decimal followed by 5 digits the radios I have come across on amazon specifically only let you program 3 digits a decimal followed by 3 digits. with that said what are my options if any?
Has to do with channel spacing, and you need to be able to program the frequency in there exactly as it's licensed, or it's not going to work.
I'd also stay away from the cheap radios on Amazon, more on that later.


2. I am under the understanding that even though the frequencies list are public I will not be able to transmit only listen which is fine just curious if that is true?
Only the licensee (the person/company/agency) that holds the license can give you permission to transmit on their frequencies under their license. Since you are not licensed on those frequencies, you would be in violation of the FCC rules. Doesn't mean you cannot get permission, you'd just need it to be in writing if you wanted to be legal.
And, sure, there are those that would program them in anyway and ignore the FCC rules. The chances of getting busted are slim to none, but I'm looking at this from the direction that you want to do it right and legally.

A few things you need to keep in mind:

A lot of companies are going to digital radio systems. If they do, an analog only radio isn't going to do you any good. You'll have to have a compatible digital radio for it to work. These low end radios you are probably looking at on Amazon are analog only.

If listening only is an option, that might be a lot easier. A decent scanner will handle most of the digital modes, however programming will take some practice. The specifics on how to set up the digital scanner are not going to be shown in the public databases.

There's quite a few pieces of information you'd need to program your own radio correctly, if you want to transmit. Transmit and Receive frequency (might be different if they are using a repeater) as well as squelch codes, digital modes, etc. are all required pieces of information to do this correctly.


Lastly if I could be guided in the direction of what I need and where to buy that would be great. Thanks in advance for dealing with my ignorance in this matter.
Not all the low end radios sold have the necessary FCC certifications to legally transmit on these frequencies. Often there are ways to make it work correctly, but there's the legal issue part, if that concerns you.

You need to be really careful about this part:
Often radios used in the petrochemical industry have an Intrinsically Safe (IS) or Factory Mutual (FM) or other types of ratings to increase their safety for use in possible explosive environments. You might "get away" with using a non rated radio, you might not. What I'd be more concerned about is showing up on site with a non-rated radio and getting busted by the company that runs the place. You need to find out what their requirements are. And, no offense to the hard working men and women in that industry, but I'd be really careful about taking advice from anyone that's not had their hands in setting up the specific radios they are using on site. Most people are radio "users", not radio techs, and there is a big difference.
I used to work with a guy that was in telecom for one of the big oil companies, and it's a big deal. Just make sure you cross all your T's and dot all your I's to stay on the right side of these companies.

They could be using different bands, too, VHF, UHF, 900MHz, etc. You'd need to know the frequencies they are using to make sure you got the correct radio(s).



Personally, if listen only is an option, go with a scanner. It'll be legal, much more flexible, easier and probably be less frustrating.
 
Last edited:

jdevo989

Newbie
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
Messages
3
Scanner sounds good

Im not concerned with transmitting I just need to know whats going on. Thanks for the direction, last question would be any suggestion as to a scanner? what I need is to be able to carry it and hook up head phones or an earpiece. And as to the digital radios most at least who I have worked with use Motorola radios such as PR 1500 and similar. Thanks again to the quick response.
 

ofd8001

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
6,948
Location
Louisville, KY
I agree with McKenna. Most likely the radios you find on Amazon are not that "intrinsically" safe variety, which are designed to reduce the chances of sparking. Such radios are pretty specialized and only available from "the big guys" (Motorola, etc.).

Beside from exposing yourself and others to a risk of an explosion, it is also a violation of OSHA regulations and could subject your employer and the oil/gas company to some pretty hefty fines.
 

jonwienke

More Info Coming Soon!
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
12,132
Location
VA
what I need is to be able to carry it and hook up head phones or an earpiece. And as to the digital radios most at least who I have worked with use Motorola radios such as PR 1500 and similar.
The BCD436HP would be a good choice, as it has a standard 1/8" stereo headphone/earbud jack, and is capable of receiving and decoding analog and most flavors of digital and digital trunked systems. There are numerous cases available for it with belt clips that let you wear it on your belt while protecting it from scratches and dings.

It comes with a nationwide database that is updated weekly, and with GPS, it will automatically scan local frequencies and systems. If your work stuff is not already in the database, you can make a work-related Favorite List, and GPS will automatically switch the scanner to whatever frequencies or systems are in use at each job site.
 

Golay

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2016
Messages
382
Location
Nankin Township, Michigan
Monitoring oil and gas

From what I read of the OP, this sounds like pipeline companies.
The OP may not need to spend a lot on a scanner to monitor. Around me, that sort of thing is still mostly analog on VHF-Low. Perhaps the OP could post the frequencies you are talking about. The group could advise on what would be the best radio to get. Or we could advise not to get anything at all, if the frequencies the OP is looking at are actually SCADA frequencies, or something along them lines.

Also, it sounds like the OP is describing splinter frequencies.
(example 37.31250). Most scanners actually will monitor the exact frequency, even if the display don't show it. As an example, my old Radio Shack handheld will display my example as 37.312. It's monitoring 37.3125, not 37.3120. I had to look at the manual to realize this. Hence, a cheap analog scanner may be just fine.
 

jdevo989

Newbie
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
Messages
3
Thanks for all the help

Thanks for all your responses and help. Luckily I dont have to worry about being intrinsicly safe, keep some dollars in the pocket. Once I get my scanner in I will likely be back with more questions great people in this forum thanks and take care.
 

jonwienke

More Info Coming Soon!
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
12,132
Location
VA
From what I read of the OP, this sounds like pipeline companies.
The OP may not need to spend a lot on a scanner to monitor. Around me, that sort of thing is still mostly analog on VHF-Low.
Around here, the gas/power utility uses a P25 trunked system using a mix of VHF and 900MHz. The OP will need to figure out the freqs regardless of the scanner he gets.
 

mule1075

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
Jan 20, 2003
Messages
3,866
Location
Washington Pennsylvania
Southwestern Pennsylvania and the Northern panhandle of WV is almost all dmr for the pipeline companies. Some analog left but not much.

Sent from my SM-S907VL using Tapatalk
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top