Emergency Services Getting Digital Radios

The Progress reports today that the local Emergency Communications Center will be switching to a $13M digital communications system that will permit Charlottesville and Albemarle fire, EMS, and police radio networks to all be tied together. Currently, they can’t communicate with one another. The downside? Joe Citizen can’t listen in with scanners, which is something done by a lot of folks in the area. According to the Progress, the FCC requires that the frequencies be available to the public, a standard that seems contrary to these plans.

4 Responses to “Emergency Services Getting Digital Radios”


  • Does anyone know *what* the FCC requires that the frequencies be available to the public for? Is it for availability to monitor, or is the public supposed to be allowed to transmit on those frequencies as well?

    I know that these digital systems were first introduced for police use several years ago and since then it has become easier and easier to find the equipment to monitor digital police radio traffic (perfectly legal, in most cases). So Joe Citizen can listen in, but he’ll need a fancier scanner than your typical Radio Shack fare.

    That could all be out the window in this case if they’re using some type of exceptional cryptography.

    ~J

  • Is there a website or publication somewhere which details what part of the spectrum is allocated for what? Would be nice to see where everything fits in.

  • Yup. The FCC sells one for $6 on the Department of Commerce’s website. Alternately, you can download a PDF, which is just as good. The military puts out a simpler one, too.

    Waldo

  • Heres info the 800mhz spectrum that they’re using.

    ———

    800 mhz frequency guide-compiled by john mccolman

    800 – 1300 mhz listening guide * repeater out

    frequency band service

    806 – 810 business radio service

    conventional systems mobile in

    810 – 816 public safety radio service

    slow growth systems mobile in

    816 – 821 business radio service

    smr trunked systems mobile in

    821 – 825 land mobile satellite service

    mobile in

    825 – 835 cellular mobile telephones

    nonwireline systems mobile in

    835 – 845 cellular mobile telephones

    wireline systems mobile in

    845 – 850 cellular mobile telephones

    expansion reserve mobile in

    850 – 851 reserved

    851 – 855 * business radio service

    conventional systems base out

    855 – 861 * public savety radio service

    slow growth systems base out

    861 – 866 * business radio service

    trunked systems base out

    866 – 870 * land mobile satellite service

    output

    870 – 890 * cellular mobile telephones

    nonwireline systems base out

    890 – 896 * cellular mobile telephones

    wireline systems base out

    896 – 902 private land mobile radio service

    ps i t blocks mobile in

    902 – 928 amateur radio service reserve

    928.0125 – 928.3375 domestic public radio service

    private multi-address systems

    928.3625 – 928.8375 domestic public radio service

    reserved

    928.8625 – 928.9875 domestic public radio service

    wide area paging

    929.0125 – 929.7375 domestic public radio service

    reserved

    929.7625 – 929.9875 domestic public radio service

    radiotelephone utility paging

    930 – 931 domestic public radio service

    advanced technology paging

    931 – 932 domestic public radio service

    common carrier paging

    932 – 935 government private shared

    operational fixed systems

    935 – 941 * private land mobile radio service

    ps i t blocks base out

    941 – 944 government private shared

    operational fixed systems

    944 – 947 broadcast radio service

    studio-transmitter link (intercity relay)

    947 – 952 broadcast radio service

    formerly stl ir

    952.100 – 952.700 private microwave service

    omnidirectional control

    952.800 – 956.100 private microwave service

    operational fixed systems

    956.2625 – 956.4375 private fixed service

    signalling and control

    956.500 – 959.800 private microwave service

    operational fixed systems

    959.8625 – 959.9875 common carrier radio service

    wide area paging

    960 – 1215 aviation services

    navaids dme

    1215 – 1300 amateur radio service

    some repeaters in service

    25 khz channel spacing (65 miles north of mexican border)

    —————————————————————–

    .0125 .0375 .0625 .0875 .1125 .1375 .1625 .1875

    .2125 .2375 .2625 .2875 .3125 .3375 .3625 .3875

    .4125 .4375 .4625 .4875 .5125 .5375 .5625 .5875

    .6125 .6375 .6625 .6875 .7125 .7375 .7625 .7875

    .8125 .8375 .8625 .8875 .9125 .9375 .9625 .9875

    12.5 khz channel spacing (as proposed for future use)

    —————————————————————–

    .0000 .0125 .0250 .0375 .0500 .0625 .0750 .0875

    .1000 .1125 .1250 .1375 .1500 .1625 .1750 .1875

    .2000 .2125 .2250 .2375 .2500 .2625 .2750 .2875

    .3000 .3125 .3250 .3375 .3500 .3625 .3750 .3875

    .4000 .4125 .4250 .4375 .4500 .4625 .4750 .4875

    .5000 .5125 .5250 .5375 .5500 .5625 .5750 .5875

    .6000 .6125 .6250 .6375 .6500 .6625 .6750 .6875

    .7000 .7125 .7250 .7375 .7500 .7625 .7750 .7875

    .8000 .8125 .8250 .8375 .8500 .8625 .8750 .8875

    .9000 .9125 .9250 .9375 .9500 .9625 .9750 .9875

    mexican border channel spacing (includes san clemente & tucson)

    —————————————————————–

    .0000 .0250 .0500 .0750

    .1000 .1250 .1500 .1750

    .2000 .2250 .2500 .2750

    .3000 .3250 .3500 .3750

    .4000 .4250 .4500 .4750

    .5000 .5250 .5500 .5750

    .6000 .6250 .6500 .6750

    .7000 .7250 .7500 .7750

    .8000 .8250 .8500 .8750

    .9000 .9250 .9500 .9750

    cellular mobile telephones – base output frequency

    —————————————————————–

    870 – 880 333 nonwireline channels (radiotelephone utilities)

    880 – 890 333 wireline channles (telephone companies)

    33 channels/mhz

    nonwireline blocks wireline blocks

    —————— —————

    chn freq chn freq

    1 870.030 334 880.020

    34 871.020 367 881.010

    67 872.010 401 882.030

    101 873.030 434 883.020

    134 874.020 467 884.010

    167 875.010 501 885.030

    201 876.030 534 886.020

    234 877.020 567 887.010

    267 878.010 601 888.030

    301 879.030 634 889.020

    30 khz channel spacing

    —————————————————————–

    870 873 876 879 882 885 888 mhz

    .030 .060 .090 .120 .150 .180 .210 .240 .270 .300

    .330 .360 .390 .420 .450 .480 .510 .540 .570 .600

    .630 .660 .690 .720 .750 .780 .810 .840 .870 .900

    .930 .960 .990

    871 874 877 880 883 886 889 mhz

    .020 .050 .080 .110 .140 .170 .200 .230 .260 .290

    .320 .350 .380 .410 .440 .470 .500 .530 .560 .590

    .620 .650 .680 .710 .740 .770 .800 .830 .860 .890

    .920 .950 .980

    872 875 878 881 884 887 mhz

    .010 .040 .070 .100 .130 .160 .190 .220 .250 .280

    .310 .340 .370 .400 .430 .460 .490 .520 .550 .580

    .610 .640 .670 .700 .730 .760 .790 .820 .850 .880

    .910 .940 .970

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