Wednesday, September 30, 2009

700 MHz Trunked Systems

With the Prince George's 700 MHz Project 25 trunked system beginning to see some use, I thought a summary of the state of 700 MHz in the region might be in order:
  • Prince George's County: system being used at least for events at FedEx Field (one Redskins game and U2 concert).
  • Stafford County: system licensed (WQKD203 and WQKD204), but no control channel on-air. Appears to be a twelve-site simulcast system.
  • Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority: system licensed (WQKR977), but no control channel believed to be active. Appears to be a three-site Smartzone system. See previous post.
  • Loudoun County: According to post on RadioReference, Loudoun may be getting 700 MHz system. The county has no license for it, however.

U2 Concert Finds

Here are some finds from the U2 concert last night at FedEx Field:

461.1375 [ d152] CSC Event Staff (Supervisors?)
461.2375 [ d152] CSC Event Staff (Security around band/Backstage)
461.3875 [ d152] CSC Event Staff (Inside Stadium)
461.4375 [ d152] CSC Event Staff (Gates, Line Control)

461.2375 [ d311] U2 Production Staff
461.3375 [ d413] U2 Production Staff
466.0375 [ d532] U2 Production Staff
466.1375 [ d734] U2 Production Staff

461.0625 [ d343] Blackberry Promotional Display Staff
464.6000 [ 88.5] Private Medics?? (personnel on field)

Many FedEx Field frequencies were active (see Prince George's County page).

Police used 494.7375 [127.3] (inside) and 494.8875 [127.3] (outside/traffic).

Fire/EMS used talkgroup 2001 from the Prince George's County P25 trunked system. This talkgroup was seen on both site 101 and site 102 of the system. The "base" radio ID was i2528050.

MWAA Licenses 700 MHz Frequencies

Joining the increasing number of jurisdictions around the region moving to the 700 MHz band, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) recently licensed frequencies in said band. These frequencies will probably be used for a Project 25 digital trunked system to replace the current Project 16 trunked system.

Based on the license, the new system will probably be configured as Smartzone, as opposed to the current system's simulcast configuration. This means that the mobile or portable radio will automatically select the strongest site (Dulles, Reagan National, Dulles Toll Road) based on where the radio user is located. One practical implication for scanner listeners: the majority of transmissions on a particular site will be from units that "belong" to that site. For example, most transmissions on the Dulles site will be from Dulles units. With the current system, a scanner listener simply needs to program one set of frequencies, and is able to hear transmissions from all units, whether they're at Dulles, Reagan National, or in-between.

The license indicates the system will support 1500 mobile units.

Here are the sites, and the frequencies to be used at each one:


Reagan National

Dulles Toll Road

J&J Worldwide Services FCC App

J&J Worldwide Services, which provides facilities management services at Fort Belvoir, has an application pending before the FCC. The app calls for a UHF repeater on 463.5875.

Monday, September 28, 2009

National Book Festival Finds

Here's what I found at Saturday's National Book Festival:

151.5125 [173.8] Pavilion Managers/Ushers (Channel 2?)
152.9150 [123.0] Base Command (Channel 1?)
155.9100 [146.2] Transportation Command/Golf Carts (Channel 3)
157.8150 [141.3] Electrical
158.0100 [156.7] Volunteers?/Line Captains
Radio rentals from USA Radio Rentals.

410.3375 [ d411] "LSOs"; OSEF units; Security
467.8750 [ d432] Borders Books (Book Sales Tent)
469.5000 [ d125] Audio/Visual

The VHF channels have been used in previous years at the Race for the Cure. The parent company of USA Radio Rentals is Blanchard Communications. I've never found a license for these frequencies.

The 410.3375 may be a Library of Congress frequency, since the LOC produces the Book Festival. This frequency was also active at the 2005 Festival.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Virginia State Fair

The Virginia State Fair began yesterday and runs through October 4. The Fair is now located in Caroline County, near Kings Dominion (previously, it was in Richmond). Virginia State Police are using STARS talkgroup 96 (which they call "Richmond 3") for communications. This talkgroup can be heard on the Thornburg tower.

Although I haven't monitored them personally, fair organizers will probably be using these eight simplex frequencies, which were licensed earlier this year:


Weekend Events

Here are a couple of major events this weekend:

The National Book Festival is tomorrow on the National Mall. The one time I attended in 2005, I was surprised at the number of frequencies in use. Here's the list:

464.5000 [ d131]
464.6000 [ d134]
464.6250 [ d516]
469.5000 [ d132]
469.7000 [ d155]

The University of Maryland plays Rutgers tomorrow at Byrd Stadium at 3:30. See the University of Maryland College Park section of the Prince George's County page for details on their trunked system and other frequencies.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Golden Triangle BID Using MOTOTRBO

The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) has switched to MOTOTRBO. They are using the digital format on 461.4375. Previously, they had used 463.4750 [ d205] and 461.4375 [ d263]. Their license does not indicate the switch to TRBO.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Website Down This Weekend

My website,, was down yesterday and continues to be down today. The problem involves renewing the domain name. I've been assured by my web host that the problem is being fixed, and the website should be working by tonight at the latest.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

STARS Site 108 Update

There's been some question on RadioReference as to whether STARS site 108 is really located at Independent Hill. One person speculated that it may be located at Hogback Mountain. There is a Hogback Mountain southwest of Leesburg, and another in Rappahannock County.

Site 108 wasn't on the air this morning. It seems to be "turned-on" only during the day on weekdays so far.

Oce Business Services FCC App

Oce Business Services, which engages in document process management, has an application pending before the FCC. The app calls for five UHF simplex frequencies.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

STARS Site 108 (Independent Hill) Active

STARS Site 108, which is located at Independent Hill in Prince William County, is active this morning. The control channel is 151.3925. I haven't seen any voice channels during my limited monitoring. Note that this site is the closest one to Northern Virginia's inner suburbs that's online.

(STARS is Virginia's statewide Project 25 radio system.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Speech to Joint Session of Congress Tonight

President Obama addresses Congress tonight. Here are some ideas for monitoring:

Capitol Police:
169.2250 [110.9] (Channel 1)
165.5375 [146.2] (Channel 2)
170.1750 [156.7] (Channel 3)
162.2500 [173.8] (Channel 4)
162.6125 [127.3] (Channel 5)
173.5250 [167.9] Specialized Teams (R)
164.6250 [ d023] (S)
164.6250 [ d074] (S)

Other Capitol frequencies:
406.3875 [ d723] Capitol Tours (R)
408.5125 [ d632] Capitol Tours (R)
409.8375 [ 74.4] Capitol Tours (R)
406.9375 [ 77.0] Unknown
407.7875 [ d364] Unknown

Fort Myer Trunked System - talkgroups in the 400s (which are primarily for ceremonial units) should be active

DC Trunked System - check the MPD SOD talkgroups and DCFD Special Events talkgroups

Arlington P25 Trunked System - particularly for the National Medical Response Team talkgroups

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

RAND Corporation FCC License

RAND Corporation, a research think tank located in Pentagon City, has an application pending before the FCC. The app calls for five UHF simplex frequencies: