Monitoring and emergency transmission on forbidden frequencies

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by KM6UTP, Jun 23, 2018.

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  1. KL7FZ

    KL7FZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It does not matter whether the emergency call comes in via semaphore, smoke signals, satellite, or any radio. If your sheriff will not or does not respond to a legitimate call for help in a real emergency he is severely remiss in his duties. If he does not have "the guts" to respond he does not deserve to wear the badge. I always thought the old Texas ranger slogan is one that is needed more these days every time I see 15 police cars at a minor problem. It was "One riot, one Ranger"
    As the son of a long time police officer in a rural area, I saw that those officers had to be tough and self reliant as any backup was non existent or a long time away. Just as it was for law on the frontiers of America in the early days. The very definition of the job is "GUTS"!
  2. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    The quote, "One riot, one ranger", is generally attributed to Texas Ranger William J. ("Captain Bill") McDonald who was called to what was then Camp Worth and is now Fort Worth to quell a riot. When he stepped off of the train, the city's mayor wanted to know where the rest of the rangers were. one ranger statue Dallas love field&f=false

    There is a statue at Dallas Love Field Airport in honor of this.

    Glen, K9STH
  3. AI3V

    AI3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    I love these daddy stories.

    I stand by my statement, neither your father, or any other cop is going to go hiking out to a set of gps coordinates based on a radio call from persons unknown to them, transmitting on "their" channel.

  4. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page


    If someone identifies themselves giving their name and other information such as their address, Social Security number, etc., then, at least around here, the vast majority of public safety officers would definitely respond or notify a search and rescue organization most of which are comprised of volunteers. A call, with no identification might cause them to be more cautious.

    However, the chances of a modified amateur radio unit to function on the public safety frequency, with the correct CTCSS tone, and so forth, is a very rare occurrence. The individual would have to know all of the technical information required to contact a specific public safety organization unless there just happens to be a particular frequency utilized by multiple agencies over a wide area. In Texas the frequency of 155.7525 MHz, with a CTCSS tone of 156.7 Hz, is monitored by public safety organizations and that frequency would be the best to be used for high-band.

    For UHF, either the repeater pair of 453.2125 MHz receive and 458.2125 MHz transmit, with CTCSS tone frequency of 156.7 Hz, or simplex at 453.2125 MHz, with CTCSS tone frequency 156.7 Hz, would be proper.

    At least one of these systems are supposed to be monitored by all public safety organizations and a fair number monitor both frequencies. I seriously doubt that any agency would ignore a properly identified transmission seeking help.

    In Texas, these frequencies are not kept secret. The information is readily available on the Internet at the following URL:

    Everything aside, I would definitely recommend that anyone venturing into a remote area carry one of the Chinese handheld unit that are certificated, by the FCC, for 47 CFR Part 90 use. Those radios can be programmed for amateur radio frequencies as well as for the public safety frequencies.

    Now, the chances of an amateur radio operator being in a situation where a public safety agency needs to be contacted is very slim. In over 59-years of being licensed, there have been exactly 2-times when such was needed.

    The first involved an automobile accident and that was reported to the local police department using a "fuzz buzz" system on a 2-meter frequency. The Richardson Police Department paid for a Motorola base station operating on 146.490 MHz which was the frequency used by the Richardson Wireless Klub for rag-chewing, DX alerts, emergency training, etc. Installed in the base station was a DTMF decoder that had to be activated, by a licensed amateur radio operator, before a desk set, located at the dispatch center would be activated and then the dispatcher could transmit on 2-meters. The decoder could be reset, stopping the ability of the dispatcher to transmit, either by remote control by an amateur radio operator or by a switch on the desk set controlled by the dispatcher. The antenna was a Cush Craft Ringo installed about 150-feet above ground on the main antenna support at the police department.

    Before the system was put in place, the plans were submitted to the Dallas FCC office and the system was approved. Then, the equipment was ordered (a C73MHB-3100A 110-watt output unit) and the other equipment including decoder and antenna were acquired.

    The time that I had to use this system involved a concrete truck running a red light and crashing into the vehicle right in front of me.

    The only other time was when I was on my way to meet the fire chief of a volunteer fire department in one of the small towns north of Dallas. I came upon a house on fire. This time I used a certificated radio to contact the central county dispatch for the volunteer fire departments. The dispatcher immediately sent the tone codes to activate the receivers located at each fireman's house, place of business, and pagers.

    Since my company was handling all of the two-way radio systems for every city, town, sheriff's department, and even the Texas Highway Patrol (Department of Public Safety), I had been authorized to have equipment capable of operating on the various systems. I had absolutely no problems with the dispatcher sending the fire department to the structure fire.

    Since there are certificated radios available for very low prices, there is no reason, at all, for someone to modify any amateur radio equipment to operate on frequencies that require certificated equipment.

    Glen, K9STH
    KB0MNM and WD9EWK like this.
  5. VK6ZGO

    VK6ZGO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would suggest to the OP, that he obtain a Satphone.
    In VK, if you are going into remote areas, you can hire one short term, not sure if you can do that in the USA.
    Another thing we have, that many 4WD enthusiast subscribe to is a channelised HF service.
    There are several of these, which offer excellent coverage.

    I don't think there's any equivalent of this in you country, except, maybe in Alaska.
  6. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Relying on cell phones, even in an urban area is fraught with danger. Here in So. Cal, Malibu, Oak Park, Calabasas, Thousand Oaks, etc. are not all "rural" or out in the boonies, but authorities report cell systems are ALL down in the fire areas. So much for use in an "emergency."
    N0TZU likes this.
  7. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm not really a fan, but an owner. SOME Baofeng (and Woxun, etc.) radio models DO have FCC §Part 90 certification, in which case it is perfectly legal for volunteer firefighters to use such radios. Reliability and sturdiness, however doesn't come even close to that of most commercial (such as "Batty Wing") radios.
  8. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    OK, but that’s in a very very different situation from that of the OP.
  9. AF7IN

    AF7IN Ham Member QRZ Page

    There's lots of good advice in this thread regarding emergency contingency planning, and how relying on utilizing public service frequencies is probably not your best 'plan A'. Probably not your best plan b, c, or d for that matter. But I don't get why everyone is grilling the guy over what does or doesn't constitute an emergency (or whatever term you wish to use). Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions, but when the guy starts out his post explaining he's up in years and has heart problems, I'm inclined to believe he is, indeed, talking matters of life and death. Which is exactly the situation the law covers. Why everyone just assumes, despite his lead sentence, that he's looking to hijack public service frequencies to report a painful hangnail is beyond me.

    Op... I agree with everyone who's doubted the practicality of contacting the forest service direct in times of true crisis, regardless of legality, but if you're ever in situation where it truly is life or death, and transmitting on an unapproved frequency is the only way to save a life... Don't hesitate. Just know that those times are truly rare, and that in most cases... If you're in that situation... you likely out yourself there through inadequate or unrealistic planning.

    Fyi... I have a ton of local frequencies programmed in all my commercial radios that I have no transmit privileges on. The chances I'll ever tx on any of them is slim to none. But I would rather have them and not need them than the other way around.
    WU8Y likes this.
  10. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Strange how some threads bring out the police haters.
    WU8Y and AF7IN like this.

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