Statewide Question

Chris52

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I was wondering if the Virginia State Police still use low band ? I live less then 10 miles from King George County in the state of Maryland. Someone told me they do statewide broadcast but they weren’t sure of the frequency. I was just trying to see what I could pick up from Maryland pertaining VA State Police.

Thanks
 

hill

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SIRS was on 39.54 for talking with other counties, but only being in Virginia a few times a year don't know if it is still used.
 

BoxAlarm187

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The Commonwealth still maintains SIRS (39.54), which is a low band channel, although its use in more urban areas as really curtailed over the past 15 years or so.

In Virginia, a "statewide broadcast" generally refers to a message sent all LE computer terminals in the state to be transmitted via radio in their individual radio systems.
 

BoxAlarm187

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I have yet to hear a transmission on SIRS traveling thru VA...
There are a handful of places that still use it, but many don't. Since its not a repeated channel, you'd only typically hear the dispatcher - you may hear the trooper if you were close enough (within a couple of miles). One the local dispatcher speaks with the trooper, then the trooper usually has the rest of his traffic (by radio or MDC) on STARS.
 

Chris52

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Thank you all for commenting, I guess I’ll add it in and see what happens. On another note our DNR has all of the statewide (Maryland First System) radios installed and our operating on it but they still maintain the VHF repeaters witch Is great in my opinion. Would anyone know of anything like that that I could plug in ?
 

fredva

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FIRST is a brand-new system, so it's not a surprise that there is an older system still operational. But Virginia fully transitioned to STARS several years ago. I think the old VSP system is gone.
 

W4UVV

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SIRS was on 39.54 for talking with other counties, but only being in Virginia a few times a year don't know if it is still used.
hill,

Without rehashing the detailed history of Virginia state radio comms before the installation of the STARS trs statewide system that began in the early 2000s, for the VSP a 46 mhz. range was used in a half duplex mode; i.e., the VSP dispatcher transmitted on one frequency and received the VSP mobiles on a different assigned 46 mhz. frequency. Towns and citys mostly were on low or high vhf. The 95 counties mostly used the 49 mhz. band. 49.5400 mhz.(Statewide Interdepartmental Radio System) SIRS evolved as the frequency for the city/county Sheriffs to use statewide and additionally for VSP radio comms directly to/from the VSP trooper's mobile only, no VSP dispatcher for each of the seven VSP divisions as appropriate.

When the statewide installation of the STARS trs began in early 2000, some of the larger populated urban city police departments which supported city & county comms were supplied a 39.5400 mhz. SIRS base radio. That was a problem because it now required a dispatcher(s) to monitor and respond to the city PD from an area county SO and/or VSP mobile. This subject was discussed on the VA forum years ago. I remember clearly the Richmond City PD and Hopewell City PD declaring they would not participate using SIRS . FYI the Hopewell PD was not a large urban PD, but never mind. Their solutions were either lower the 39.5400 mhz. audio to null or power off SIRS radio. Both choices worked fine then and still works fine 20+ years later.

The good news for PDs in urban citys and countys using a trs evolved technically and capability. Some trs were able to create a dedicated talk group which allowed the 39.5400 mhz. county SIRS radio traffic to be patched into the trs for direct comms.

Keep in mind that each urban city PD was supplied a 39.5400 mhz. SIRS radio and either declined to use it or accept it.

Typically the larger urban city populated areas do not monitor 39.5400 mhz. SIRS.
Typically the smaller populated city/county areas do monitor and respond to 39.5400 mhz. SIRS.
Also, on occasion you also might hear a VSP car to car comm. You never know.

Do not assume the capability does not exist just because you don't hear any comms. I live in Prince George Co. where SIRS rarely is active. Occasionally, an adjacent county is contacted for time sensitive situations, i.e, a speeding vehicle is entering its' jurisdiction. Also, Ft. Lee recently was added as a 39.5400 mhz. SIRS user.

For radio comm activity on 39.5400 mhz. SIRS, the correct answer is "yes" and "no". It depends. I recommend you program it, scan it and accept it either way.

John:)
W4UVV
 

BigLebowski

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SIRS is in regular use in southwest Virginia. I often hear one county calling another on it. Most counties have VHF or UHF patched over to it so that it can be received on county radios. Most if not all VSP units have SIRS, which is one of the two whip antennas on the car, the other being for STARS.
 

BoxAlarm187

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Without rehashing the detailed history of Virginia state radio comms before the installation of the STARS trs statewide system that began in the early 2000s, for the VSP a 46 mhz. range was used in a half duplex mode; i.e., the VSP dispatcher transmitted on one frequency and received the VSP mobiles on a different assigned 46 mhz. frequency.
When was primary VSP comms in the 46Mhz range?
 

vsp5151

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I am guessing around 1978 the primarily RCA base and mobile radio system operating around 42MHz was replaced with a Motorola Micor 375 W (mostly) repeaters and Aerotron MPAC? ( I think was the model) mobile radio system with Motorola PacRt UHF a vehicular repeater system. The low band system was kept in service until the new VHF system was completed to maintain communications for all vehicles statewide.
 

hill

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Before Stars VSP was on VHF High band. Think it started without using repeaters with the base and mobiles on different frequencies. They had what they called mobile relay which was enabling the repeater, so units far away could hear each other. In the end most if not all were repeaters all the time.

Low band was before my time, would guess it was 42 and not 46 Mhz. 46 Mhz was usually fire departments and 42 Mhz State police agencies.

Also think you mistyped 49.54 instead of the correct 39.54.
 

n4jri

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Before Stars VSP was on VHF High band. Think it started without using repeaters with the base and mobiles on different frequencies. They had what they called mobile relay which was enabling the repeater, so units far away could hear each other. In the end most if not all were repeaters all the time.

Low band was before my time, would guess it was 42 and not 46 Mhz. 46 Mhz was usually fire departments and 42 Mhz State police agencies.

Also think you mistyped 49.54 instead of the correct 39.54.
Yes, VSP was 42 MHz, not 46. Another freq that we often overlook now was 39.50 MHz, which was heavily used in rural areas for both fire & LE dispatch. A number of agencies which used low band had it in their radios for quite a while. Am trying try to remember when SIRS started, but I think it was in the wake of the clever and highly embarassing escape of six death row inmates from Mecklenburg CC in the mid 1980's.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
 

vsp5151

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If you roughly draw a line from New Market to Fredericksburg that is the approximate area that 2nd division, Culpeper handled. in the low band days. They had a 250 watt transmitter on Hog Back Mountain with a beam pointed to NOVA. Transmitted on 42.86 and received on 42.7 no pl.
And on 39.5 you are correct. Everyone used that frequency. I did moonlighting service work on radios for several agencies and had 39.5 in my personal vehicle. I was Page 409.
 

n4jri

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Vsp5151 is right on the money. I believe it was 1978. I actually found an article about it in a 1978 or 1979 issue in State Trooper magazine at the VCU Library. I miss that system. Vehicular repeaters would often be running even when the trooper was driving--they must've had to turn them on and off manually. The Aerotron radios had some interesting idiosyncracies, too. Functioned as kind of a radar detector for me. The Aerotron radios had some interesting idiosyncracies, too. I believe that they'd encode PL on the Tac channel to match whatever dispatch channel the radio was tuned to. Pretty sure they didn't decode PL on tac, though. On the low band system, I think Div.1 used 42.68 & 42.88--can't remember which was base and which was mobile. When my great uncle was a deputy in New Kent, I think VSP was dispatching them--and am pretty sure they kept dispatching King & Queen after switching to the high band system.

Anybody remember their abortive early plans for a trunked system? I seem to remember that somebody decided that a new type of system should be designed by folks out of VPI. They also had a deal with MCI to build various cell towers on state properties with the idea that they could use those towers for the fantasy system.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
 
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