Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

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SCPD

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I just made this database submission for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. I received this information a couple of months ago from a good source, but have been laid up even worse than I am now so I did not submit it earlier. It looks like the frontcountry net is a three repeater multicast mobile voting system. The backcountry looks like a multicast repeater system and mobile voting might be used or not, but likely not. By mobile voting I mean that the mobile frequency and tone is the same for all three frontcountry repeaters and the repeater that receives the best signal then feeds that signal to the other two repeaters and the signal is then transmitted on all three repeaters.

The backcountry net uses three frequency pairs twice on six repeaters. The repeaters sharing a pair are separated by distance and topography and in addition there are different tones for each repeater on a frequency pair. I suppose all six repeaters could then multicast the mobile signal and the system design appears as though that is what is done, while mobile voting may not be used due to how small repeaters in wilderness have to be. That is, buildings are not in place, rather large fiberglass boxes or vaults are used. Antennas are on masts and not towers and usually won't support a link antenna. Power is also limited so having a repeater and a link transceiver is not likely.

Since CTCSS tones are listed it looks like the system is analog. I'm not completely surprised as the Mt. Gould backcountry repeater sounded real poor the previous two seasons. It sounded like the mobile signals coming into the repeater weren't of sufficient strength and quality to be understandable. If you've ever hiked the backcountry of both parks it is easy to understand why. It is pretty spectacular.

Here is their channel plan:

171.7000 165.6000 KMC735 RM 167.9 KNP CMD MlkPt Ch 1 Command Milk Ranch - South
171.6750 165.6000 KMC735 RM 167.9 KNP CMD PrkRdg Ch 2 Command Parkridge - North
171.6250 165.6000 KMC735 RM 167.9 KNP CMD Thrps Ch 3 Command Tharps Hill - South Front Country
170.0250 164.4750 RM 156.7 KNP BC Evol Ch 4 Backcountry Evolution Rpt
170.3625 165.0000 RM 156.7 KNP BC Windy Ch 5 Backcountry Windy Rpt
172.1125 166.0875 RM 156.7 KNP BC Gould Ch 6 Backcountry Mt. Gould Rpt
170.0250 164.4750 RM 167.9 KNP BC Palmer Ch 7 Backcountry Palmer Rpt
172.1125 166.0875 RM 167.9 KNP BC Prdse Ch 8 Backcountry Paradise Rpt
170.3625 165.6000 RM 167.9 KNP BC Frgtn Ch 9 Backcountry Forgotten Rpt
168.6125 168.6125 M General Use Ch 10 General Use
163.7125 163.7125 M Common Use Ch 11 Common Use
166.5500 166.5500 M R5 Tac 4 Ch 12 USFS R5 Tac 4
168.0500 168.0500 M NIFC Tac 1 Ch 13 NIFC Tac 1
167.4750 167.4750 M AG41 Prim Ch 14 AG 41 Air to Ground Primary
168.6375 168.6375 M AG24 Secd Ch 15 AG 24 Air to Ground Secondary
173.6750 173.6750 M KNP AG Ch 16 Sequoia Kings Air to Ground

Since receiving this information I've been unable to drive down to the Owens Valley to listen to the Mt. Gould backcountry repeater to determine if the system is multicasted. Actually this system would be a combination multicast and simulcast system as a mobile frequency would be repeated on three different frequency pairs and each on two different repeaters. Remember that multicasting is when several transmitters, each on a different frequency, transmit the same signal at the same time. Simulcast is the same except the transmitters are all on the same frequency.

I hope some of you can monitor both the frontcountry and backcountry nets and report back, most especially in regard to the multi/simulcasting of the backcountry net. I may not be able to leave the house and get down to the Owens Valley before the rangers leave the backcountry for the season.
 

brcoz

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I hope to visit them next year. I know that will not help at this time. Thanks for all of your info.
 

ShawnInPaso

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I hear a fair amount of activity on this frequency:
171.6750 165.6000 KMC735 RM 167.9 KNP CMD PrkRdg Ch 2 Command Parkridge - North

Haven't listened enough to discern what the activity is about (or if anything is repeated from the back country).

I'm in Paso Robles and while it's not unusual for me to receive sigs from the west Sierra, I don't know where "Parkridge" is located. I sort of half expected to hear Milk Ranch as I know where the transmitter site is located which would be fair game for my location.
 

ecps92

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Smokey, migrated your notes into a Wiki as well at

RR Wiki

I just made this database submission for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. I received this information a couple of months ago from a good source, but have been laid up even worse than I am now so I did not submit it earlier. It looks like the frontcountry net is a three repeater multicast mobile voting system. The backcountry looks like a multicast repeater system and mobile voting might be used or not, but likely not. By mobile voting I mean that the mobile frequency and tone is the same for all three frontcountry repeaters and the repeater that receives the best signal then feeds that signal to the other two repeaters and the signal is then transmitted on all three repeaters.

The backcountry net uses three frequency pairs twice on six repeaters. The repeaters sharing a pair are separated by distance and topography and in addition there are different tones for each repeater on a frequency pair. I suppose all six repeaters could then multicast the mobile signal and the system design appears as though that is what is done, while mobile voting may not be used due to how small repeaters in wilderness have to be. That is, buildings are not in place, rather large fiberglass boxes or vaults are used. Antennas are on masts and not towers and usually won't support a link antenna. Power is also limited so having a repeater and a link transceiver is not likely.

Since CTCSS tones are listed it looks like the system is analog. I'm not completely surprised as the Mt. Gould backcountry repeater sounded real poor the previous two seasons. It sounded like the mobile signals coming into the repeater weren't of sufficient strength and quality to be understandable. If you've ever hiked the backcountry of both parks it is easy to understand why. It is pretty spectacular.

Here is their channel plan:

171.7000 165.6000 KMC735 RM 167.9 KNP CMD MlkPt Ch 1 Command Milk Ranch - South
171.6750 165.6000 KMC735 RM 167.9 KNP CMD PrkRdg Ch 2 Command Parkridge - North
171.6250 165.6000 KMC735 RM 167.9 KNP CMD Thrps Ch 3 Command Tharps Hill - South Front Country
170.0250 164.4750 RM 156.7 KNP BC Evol Ch 4 Backcountry Evolution Rpt
170.3625 165.0000 RM 156.7 KNP BC Windy Ch 5 Backcountry Windy Rpt
172.1125 166.0875 RM 156.7 KNP BC Gould Ch 6 Backcountry Mt. Gould Rpt
170.0250 164.4750 RM 167.9 KNP BC Palmer Ch 7 Backcountry Palmer Rpt
172.1125 166.0875 RM 167.9 KNP BC Prdse Ch 8 Backcountry Paradise Rpt
170.3625 165.6000 RM 167.9 KNP BC Frgtn Ch 9 Backcountry Forgotten Rpt
168.6125 168.6125 M General Use Ch 10 General Use
163.7125 163.7125 M Common Use Ch 11 Common Use
166.5500 166.5500 M R5 Tac 4 Ch 12 USFS R5 Tac 4
168.0500 168.0500 M NIFC Tac 1 Ch 13 NIFC Tac 1
167.4750 167.4750 M AG41 Prim Ch 14 AG 41 Air to Ground Primary
168.6375 168.6375 M AG24 Secd Ch 15 AG 24 Air to Ground Secondary
173.6750 173.6750 M KNP AG Ch 16 Sequoia Kings Air to Ground

Since receiving this information I've been unable to drive down to the Owens Valley to listen to the Mt. Gould backcountry repeater to determine if the system is multicasted. Actually this system would be a combination multicast and simulcast system as a mobile frequency would be repeated on three different frequency pairs and each on two different repeaters. Remember that multicasting is when several transmitters, each on a different frequency, transmit the same signal at the same time. Simulcast is the same except the transmitters are all on the same frequency.

I hope some of you can monitor both the frontcountry and backcountry nets and report back, most especially in regard to the multi/simulcasting of the backcountry net. I may not be able to leave the house and get down to the Owens Valley before the rangers leave the backcountry for the season.
 

ecps92

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Shawn, let us know what you get for an OUTPUT PL

I hear a fair amount of activity on this frequency:
171.6750 165.6000 KMC735 RM 167.9 KNP CMD PrkRdg Ch 2 Command Parkridge - North

Haven't listened enough to discern what the activity is about (or if anything is repeated from the back country).

I'm in Paso Robles and while it's not unusual for me to receive sigs from the west Sierra, I don't know where "Parkridge" is located. I sort of half expected to hear Milk Ranch as I know where the transmitter site is located which would be fair game for my location.
 

SCPD

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I hear a fair amount of activity on this frequency:
171.6750 165.6000 KMC735 RM 167.9 KNP CMD PrkRdg Ch 2 Command Parkridge - North

Haven't listened enough to discern what the activity is about (or if anything is repeated from the back country).

I'm in Paso Robles and while it's not unusual for me to receive sigs from the west Sierra, I don't know where "Parkridge" is located. I sort of half expected to hear Milk Ranch as I know where the transmitter site is located which would be fair game for my location.
The backcountry and frontcountry nets are not tied together. The frontcountry net is likely multicasted given the different output frequencies on each repeater paired with a single input frequency.

Parkridge is south of Grant Grove on the west side of the main highway in the park. A map of the Sequoia National Forest will show the peak's location.
 

SCPD

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The channel information is good but just missing a few things, I was monitoring the backcounty channels today and said that's digital and then i'd programmed my bk dph commander to digital mode and picked up the traffic clearly. So for the nac's I'm still lost on that one and wondering if the tactical 1,2,3 are still being used?. There are more frequency's missing from there list i see like the law enforcement frequency like one repeater on milk ranch just east of ash mt hq was called secret squirrel. I will dig up my old frequency list from the past.
 

clovisb31

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Sanger,Ca.
P-25

Why are the repeaters on a list with CTCSS inputs instead of NAC's? If the net is digital my source gave me bum information.
Like Capt63, I have been monitoring P25 traffic on the backcountry repeaters for several summers. It's still present now (P25). Never have heard P25 on the front country channels I posted several inquiries to this forum 2 consecutive years in a row. Never got any satisfactory explanations as to the P25 channels. But I have heard P25 on the following...

171.025
162.1625 listening to P25 right now as I type this
169.625
164.475

Maybe we can figure out this system once and for all. Seems to me that somebody has the correct info? What's the big secret here?
 

SCPD

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Like Capt63, I have been monitoring P25 traffic on the backcountry repeaters for several summers. It's still present now (P25). Never have heard P25 on the front country channels I posted several inquiries to this forum 2 consecutive years in a row. Never got any satisfactory explanations as to the P25 channels. But I have heard P25 on the following...

171.025
162.1625 listening to P25 right now as I type this
169.625
164.475

Maybe we can figure out this system once and for all. Seems to me that somebody has the correct info? What's the big secret here?
All of the backcounrty channels are p25, i can see the front country channels go p25 in the near future, and the park rangers use p25 often but i haven't pinned down the channels/frequency's yet.

170.0250 Evolution
170.3625 Windy
172.1125 Mt. Gould
170.0250 Palmer
172.1125 Paradise
170.3625 Forgotten
 

ecps92

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Might these be LE and Smokey has the Fire/Admin channels??

162.1625 would be the input What NAC ? or NAC's are you hearing

Like Capt63, I have been monitoring P25 traffic on the backcountry repeaters for several summers. It's still present now (P25). Never have heard P25 on the front country channels I posted several inquiries to this forum 2 consecutive years in a row. Never got any satisfactory explanations as to the P25 channels. But I have heard P25 on the following...

171.025
162.1625 listening to P25 right now as I type this
169.625
164.475

Maybe we can figure out this system once and for all. Seems to me that somebody has the correct info? What's the big secret here?
 

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
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Location
Virginia
All of the backcounrty channels are p25, i can see the front country channels go p25 in the near future, and the park rangers use p25 often but i haven't pinned down the channels/frequency's yet.

170.0250 Evolution
170.3625 Windy
172.1125 Mt. Gould
170.0250 Palmer
172.1125 Paradise
170.3625 Forgotten
What you have matches my information.

This system continues to frustrate me. The information in my first post came from an official printed channel list, a copy of which was given to me by a source that I trust. It has CTCSS tones listed for all the repeaters. This channel list is part of a document used for interagency fire operations. The repeaters may be able to operate in both a digital mode and analog mode. The Forest Service and BLM are equipped with radios capable of digital and can be programmed into individual channels, while leaving others analog. In other words, the radio doesn't have to be switched globally between digital and analog. Thus, the most likely agencies to respond to park incidents have the ability to work the park's system without each repeater having to operate in both modes. I haven't seen anything in writing, but I believe that all federal land management aircraft radios can operate digitally with the non global feature as well.

I'm not sure if Cal Fire radios are capable of operating with digital modulation. When they respond for mutual aid it is possible that their air attack, tankers and helicopters are not capable of digital modulation. I would not be surprised if most local fire agencies can't operate digitally at all. Perhaps

Up to this point Sequoia Kings Canyon has only had two nets, the frontcountry and backcountry nets. There is a growing trend in large parks to separate fire and admin/law enforcement with two nets. There are two parks I know of that have built law enforcement only nets, Yosemite and Grand Canyon. Yellowstone has 4 nets, but they are not functionally based, rather they are location based, with all functions using each net.

To distinguish protection (law enforcement, EMS, SAR) rangers from interpretive rangers, maintenance and other functions remember that the second digit of the unit identifier in Sequoia Kings is a "one." The first digit is the area as follows:

1 Evolution, Le Conte, Simpson
2 Upper Kern, Charlotte Lake, MIddle Fork Kings
3 Kern River
4 Cedar Grove
5 Grant Grove, Roaring River, Kings Maintenance District
6 Lodgepole, Giant Forest, Pear Lake, Bearpaw
7 Ash Mtn., North Fork, South Fork, Sequoia Maintenance
8 Mineral King, Atwell Mill, Hockett
9 Non geographic positions, admin, resources, fire

I might as well add the complete list for the second number.

1 Protection ranger
2 Resources and research
3 Interpretive ranger
4 Maintenance frontcountry
5 Maintenance backcountry
6 Fire management
7 Not assigned as the first digit of the number portion of all base station call signs starts with a 7 in the NPS.
8 Admin
9 Communications

The third digit:

0 Supervisor or District Ranger
1 Assistants or Sub District Rangers
2 Employees

To further assist you here are the districts and sub districts:

Sierra District

Sierra Crest Sub District
Atwell-Kern Sub District

Kings River District

Grant Grove Sub District
Cedar Grove Sub District

Kaweah District

Giant Forest Sub District
Ash Mtn. Sub District

I wish I could down there, sit on Morro Rock for a few hours a day and figure this thing out. For health reasons (recovery from surgery) I can't think about it for this year. I might not even be able to take a trip to the Owens Valley to listen to the Mt. Gould backcountry repeater. At the same time I can determine if it will work in the analog mode.

The last item is a crosswalk for CTCSS tones and NAC's.

1 110.9 455
2 123.0 4CE
3 131.8 526
4 136.5 555
5 146.2 5B6
6 156.7 61F
7 167.9 68F
8 103.5 40B
9 100.0 3E8
10 107.2 430
11 114.8 47C
12 127.3 4F9
13 141.3 585
14 151.4 5EA
15 162.2 656
16 192.8 788

As you can see the NAC's correspond with the California standard 16 tone system. It would be nice to see if the NAC matches the corresponding CTCSS tone I listed in my original post.

**EDIT**

Forget Morro Rock as I would probably attract more attention than I want. Parkridge is the hub of the system, so a drive up there makes more sense.
 
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SCPD

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Smokey, migrated your notes into a Wiki as well at

RR Wiki
Thanks Bill! I've taken it upon myself to take over the maintenance of the Wiki page for the NIFC system and I'm slowly getting better with the very non user friendly method of writing the pages. The method reminds me of the first computers we had in the Forest Service. They were Data General DOS dumb terminal units at our desks with a large main frame at the various offices we had, ie. District Ranger Stations, Forest Supervisor's Offices and Regional Offices. We had this very cumbersome system very similar to the RR Wiki system. You had to write a page and then print it out to see the results, then take the piece of paper back to a terminal and try to figure out the mistakes with all the dozens of little marks, such as hyphens, underlines and semi colons. Then you had to ask someone who had gone to the training and they would have to look in the notebook they received at the training. Then we had to figure out how to do something, sometimes by trial and error as the writers of the software were like so many computer types, they could not write clear instructions or communicate information well.
 

SCPD

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All of the backcounrty channels are p25, i can see the front country channels go p25 in the near future, and the park rangers use p25 often but i haven't pinned down the channels/frequency's yet.

170.0250 Evolution
170.3625 Windy
172.1125 Mt. Gould
170.0250 Palmer
172.1125 Paradise
170.3625 Forgotten
Mt. Gould is on the eastern boundary of the park and overlooks Independence in the Owens Valley. How do receive it from Auberry? Do you take any backcountry trips and hear it that way? I used to get a booming signal in Bishop post narrowbanding, but since they made it digital the signal in Bishop cuts in and out. I have to get south of Big Pine about 10 miles to start getting a clear signal due to some low hills between Gould and Bishop. If I was working as a radio tech on park or forest with pronounced topography I would be very hesitant to covert to digital. New backcountry repeaters were not necessary due to narrowbanding, unless I don't know about the complaints backcountry rangers may have had at the time the conversion. The backcountry rangers at Sequoia Kings Canyon have a long tradition of being frank and assertive so if radio coverage affected their jobs management heard about it very quickly.

I know that digital scanners don't receive as well as commercial gear and perhaps a digital BK in Bishop would come in just fine. I've got to assume that some marginal areas became non operable areas when digital starting being used. This does bring another thought, I wonder if the repeaters can also operate in analog for these areas?
 

SCPD

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Backcountry Mt. Gould Rpt is using P25
Wow! I can you afford 5 (?) BKs with four command models and three digital command models? If you have a source for the regular DPH model and its reasonable, I would like to get one. Their is a place called "49er Communications" or some such that is selling them, but the price is still too high, even for a used one.
 

ecps92

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Yup, lots of good info, if you run across problems PM me and I'll help out.

Thanks Bill! I've taken it upon myself to take over the maintenance of the Wiki page for the NIFC system and I'm slowly getting better with the very non user friendly method of writing the pages. The method reminds me of the first computers we had in the Forest Service. They were Data General DOS dumb terminal units at our desks with a large main frame at the various offices we had, ie. District Ranger Stations, Forest Supervisor's Offices and Regional Offices. We had this very cumbersome system very similar to the RR Wiki system. You had to write a page and then print it out to see the results, then take the piece of paper back to a terminal and try to figure out the mistakes with all the dozens of little marks, such as hyphens, underlines and semi colons. Then you had to ask someone who had gone to the training and they would have to look in the notebook they received at the training. Then we had to figure out how to do something, sometimes by trial and error as the writers of the software were like so many computer types, they could not write clear instructions or communicate information well.
 

SCPD

QRT
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Location
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Wow! I can you afford 5 (?) BKs with four command models and three digital command models? If you have a source for the regular DPH model and its reasonable, I would like to get one. Their is a place called "49er Communications" or some such that is selling them, but the price is still too high, even for a used one.
For the past four years i have been purchasing my radio BK DPH Command models for $1100.00 from Vincent Communications in Fresno, and just purchased a BK P150 tier 2 HT from ebay for $350.00 what a deal.
 

SCPD

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Mt. Gould is on the eastern boundary of the park and overlooks Independence in the Owens Valley. How do receive it from Auberry? Do you take any backcountry trips and hear it that way? I used to get a booming signal in Bishop post narrowbanding, but since they made it digital the signal in Bishop cuts in and out. I have to get south of Big Pine about 10 miles to start getting a clear signal due to some low hills between Gould and Bishop. If I was working as a radio tech on park or forest with pronounced topography I would be very hesitant to covert to digital. New backcountry repeaters were not necessary due to narrowbanding, unless I don't know about the complaints backcountry rangers may have had at the time the conversion. The backcountry rangers at Sequoia Kings Canyon have a long tradition of being frank and assertive so if radio coverage affected their jobs management heard about it very quickly.

I know that digital scanners don't receive as well as commercial gear and perhaps a digital BK in Bishop would come in just fine. I've got to assume that some marginal areas became non operable areas when digital starting being used. This does bring another thought, I wonder if the repeaters can also operate in analog for these areas?
My location is just east of Bald Mountain on the ridge on top of the 4-lanes the ridge runs west to east that over looks the San Joaquin Valley and the backcounty. Just northwest from my location is Meadow Lakes the Multi-Television/Radio antenna site.
 

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