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Trunking page expanded. Includes sections on trunking scanners, 800 MHz rebanding, and purchasing. Please scroll to the bottom of the page for links to information on the various trunked radio systems in Hawaii.

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Trunked Radio Systems in Hawaii

A trunked radio system is a complex type of radio system that is used to maximize available capacity in a two-way radio system. Groups of users are given a logical talkgroup to share for their communications, rather than a dedicated radio frequency. Trunking is used by many government entities to provide two-way communication for fire departments, police, and other municipal services, who all share spectrum allocated to a city, county, or other entity.

Trunking systems in use in Hawaii
Trunked radio systems from the three major companies (Motorola, M/A Com, and EF Johnson) are in use in Hawaii. The most common system in use on all islands are the Motorola Type II standard. When Motorola systems were first put into place, the older Type I and Type IIi Hybrid (Type I talkgroups [less common] mixed with Type II talkgroups) existed alongside the regular Type II systems.

Because Type I systems are based on fleet and subfleets (very similar to EDACS radio systems), Type I systems are not scalable because they limit the amount of IDs any fleet or subfleet can support. All Type I or IIi systems were upgraded to a Type II format.

Honolulu County uses Ericsson EDACS standard with a mix of analog and ProVoice digital transmissions, while Maui County uses the LTR Multi-Net standard. Maui County is planning to upgrade its 800 MHz radio system to Project 25 standards.

Trunking scanners
In 1997, radio scanners compatible with trunked systems appeared on the market. One of the first companies to bring these devices to market, Uniden, trademarked the term trunk tracking on 5 December 1997.

The first scanner with Ericsson EDACS trunking capability, the Uniden BC245XLT, was released for sale in July 1999.

The first scanner with LTR trunking capability, the Radio Shack Pro-92, was released in November 1999.

800 MHz Rebanding and the Future of Scanning
Expect to see a number of changes to the 800 MHz public safety trunked radio systems in Hawaii during 2008. An R&O (Report and Order) from the Federal Communications Commission regarding rebanding (reconfiguration) of the 800 MHz radio spectrum is expected to take place beginning this year.

Scanners monitoring Ericsson EDACS and LTR Standard systems will work fine after rebanding. Users will have to reprogram frequencies into their correct LCN order. However, current analog-capable scanners monitoring Motorola systems in the 866-869 MHz range will not work properly because of the changes Motorola will make to the trunking channel plan that is hard coded into Radio Shack and Uniden scanners. After rebanding, radios will not scan to the correct channel when the system assigns a call that was previously on a frequency between 866-869 MHz and was retuned to a new rebanded frequency 15 MHz lower between 851-854 MHz.

Frequencies in the 866-869 MHz range are spaced 12.5 kHz apart, where as pre-rebanding channels in the 851-854 MHz range are 25 kHz apart. The trunking channel plan allows certain scanners to track trunking systems using only the control channel.

The Pro-96/Pro-2096 scanners will be able to monitor Motorola rebanded public safety radio systems switching over to the 851-853 MHz band. These scanners out of the box is not programmed with the correct channel spacing data on the rebanded systems. The only way to correct this issue is to use scanner programming software for the Pro-96.

Systems for which information is confirmed and available

Copyright 2000-2010
Webguy: David J. Cabatu, AH7E
Updated: 08.05.2012 at 11:27 a.m.