Radio Communications in Northern Utah

Hobbyists helping hobbyists.
No attempts to lure you to a pay site.
No annoying pop-up ads.
No software which disables in 30 days unless you pay me money.

Some hope that they can turn the things they do for fun into a paying gig.
I say such a person needs to become an adult, and accept the fact that they need to earn a paycheck, just like the rest of us.


If you don't know what trunking is...

Start here first!

Also contains a lot of answers to the question, If it's not plain voice, what is it?

Or...

Just show me the lists!

Otherwise...

Read on!


Updates

16 August 2013

UP&L has made the transition to a VHF-Hi MPT-1327 system. Some preliminary information has been discussed in this radioreference.com thread.

At the same time, UTA is transitioning from their 900 MHz MPT-1327 system, to an iDEN network they have built out (link).

iDEN is the old Nextel format, recently taken down by Sprint. Go figure.

23 May 2012

I have (finally) replaced my outdated local amateur radio frequency list with a more recently produced spreadsheet.

My current project is searching the federal government bands, and documenting frequencies where P-25 is in use. The list will be added here shortly. In the meantime, I am willing to discuss my findings (and yours) by email. Documenting NXDN and MotoTRBO in the business bands is also in my plans.

See also...

Utah statewide interagency frequencies
Rural Nevada and the NHP
Northern California
Amateur Radio in Utah
My signaling page: CTCSS, trunking, encryption, paging
My equipment page


Scope of information

This page is intended for the radio hobbyist who realizes there is a lot more on the air to listen to than just the local police and fire dispatch. What I hope to accomplish is to learn through sharing. I put what I know on the table, others do likewise, and we all come away with more complete information than we started with. Information I receive will only be posted if permission is given.

I have made an effort to only include repeater output and simplex frequencies in my lists. Programming repeater input frequencies into a scanner is more of a hindrance than a help. CTCSS codes, not given in most scanner directories, are listed here. If your receiver is capable of CTCSS operation, this is a very effective way of eliminating the intermod problems that plague most scanners when you attach a decent antenna.

Exact frequencies and exact frequency ranges are highlighted in green, except when they appear in message headers. Approximate frequencies are not highlighted.

I have not published every frequency I know or suspect is in use, particularly in those areas of the state where I have never been, or haven't been to in years. If you don't see what you are looking for, email and ask.


A word about going to the scene of an incident...Don't!

You don't want to be confronted by the police, and your fellow hobbyists don't want systems to be made unmonitorable with encryption or voice scrambling, or laws against mobile scanning passed in this state.

If you really want to be there, explore opportunities as a search and rescue or media volunteer. Our hobby is already viewed by many with suspicion. One US Representative went as far as to characterize us as "electronic stalkers". Showing up, scanner in hand, but with no credentials or legitimate purpose, can only serve to perpetuate the idea that we are some kind of a problem.

Public safety workers have a difficult job to do. Let's let them do it. We certainly don't give them any reason to fear that we might get in their way.


Local Radio Operations, by category

AM and FM Broadcast

Utah Radio Guide
Salt Lake FM Subcarrier Programming

Federal police

With options such as Nextel, the federal bands (listed later on this page) have only a fraction of the signals on the air they once had. The US Government is actively implementing digital voice technology, and removing the analog systems they had been using. The standard being used is APCO Project 25 (commonly called P-25, sometimes called Motorola Astro). Encryption has become common since 9-11, though it is not universal. When not encrypted, P-25 can be monitored with what is marketed as a "digital scanner" (PRO-96, PRO2096, BC796D, BCD996T, PSR-500, PSR-600).

Previous to the change, the only agency which did not follow a uniform nationwide frequency list was the FBI. Now, the old frequency lists, available in abundance on usenet and on the web, are obsolete, and we monitoring hobbyists are back to square one, searching the federal bands for unencrypted traffic and trying to figure out who the user is.

UHP, Sheriff's Departments, City PD's, Fire, and EMS

The Valley Emergency Communication Center handles 911 service for most of the Salt Lake Valley.

Most Wasatch Front public safety communications are now found on these two systems:
Trunking System 7202, Utah Communications Agency Network
Trunking System AC33, Salt Lake City PD, Fire, Airport, and city services

Operations which who have not moved to one of these systems (or which still simulcast on their old frequencies) are listed on:
Salt Lake County non-trunked public safety frequency list
Weber/Davis Counties non-trunked public safety frequency list
Utah County non-trunked public safety frequency list
Cache Valley (link)

LDS Church

The LDS Church operates Motorola 800 MHz trunking system 3D38. This is simulcast from both Curry Peak and the roof of the Church Office building. Temple Square missionaries and maintenance personnel are the users most commonly heard. Security uses encrypted P-25 and cannot be monitored, all others are analog. They also have a digital paging system on 462.9 MHz. Most of the 460 MHz frequencies they once used have been abandoned.

Business

Taxi companies
Area malls

Nextel Direct Connect has taken the place of two-way radios for many businesses, though radios still do have their niche in the market. A complete listing of frequencies or trunking information for every company in the valley using 2-way radios would not be possible. Radio companies are not about to release a list of all of their customers to the general community. There are, however, considerable resources available for determining information.

Recent Uniden scanners, with the Close Call feature, are an invaluable tool. The FCC database can also be useful

If the company in question is using radios just for a specific site, with no apparent long range capabilities, then you should listen for them on FRS or GMRS. If you do not find them, the next place to check is the following MURS and itinerant frequencies: 151.625 MHz, 154.57 MHz, 154.6 MHz, 464.5 MHz, 464.55 MHz, 469.5 MHz, 469.55 MHz, and 853.4875 MHz.

Amateur Radio

Statewide, 2-meter repeater outputs can be found from 145.21-145.49 MHz and 146.62-147.38 MHz in 20 KHz steps. 440 MHz repeater outputs can be found from 447-450 MHz in 25 KHz steps. The vast majority of ham activity above 30 MHz in this state can be found in these two bands.

My local amateur radio frequency spreadsheet.
220 MHz
Utah Amateur Radio Club's Home Page

Paging

Many of the frequencies used by public safety agencies before they moved to 800 MHz are now used for voice paging of fire personnel. My conventional public safety frequency lists (above) include these.

Most digital paging systems operate in the 929-930 MHz and 931-932 MHz range, with POCSAG and Flex protocols. There is no voice paging in this band. What remains below 900 MHz is mostly fire, hospital, and county government owned systems (voice and/or digital).

Sample audio files (wave format).
Digital paging system frequency list.

UTA

My UTA page.


Local Radio Operations, by frequency band

VHF Low-band 30-54 MHz

There is very little Low-band use in Utah.

Some military traffic can be monitored in this range, mostly Blackhawk Helicopters and their ground support. A paired operation on 40.875 MHz and 49.75 MHz is the most active. 32.5, 32.8, 32.85, 34.15, 36.1, 38.9, 38.9, 40.15, 40.9, 41.55, 46.65, and 47.475 have also been observed in use. A NATO standard CTCSS code of 150.0 is used by all of these. No scanner that I'm aware of recognizes 150.0, as it is not part of the EIA standard, instead they'll typically display it as 151.4.

Morgan County Search and Rescue has a repeater on 45.32 MHz, (pl 123.0). Currently (August 2010) it is off air, pending repairs.

During the late Spring - early Summer, Sporadic-E propagation opens up this band, and the Highway Patrol in California, Missouri, and Oklahoma come in regularly. 33.42 MHz is a good channel to watch, to tell when a path is open to the Pacific Northwest, as the city of Sammamish, WA operates a link to their 530 kHz traffic advisory station on this frequency, transmitting a constant signal.

There are two local repeaters in 6-Meter Amateur band 50-54 MHz. One of them, K7DAV, has been off air for the entire Summer of 2010. The other, KI7DX, is linked to UHF. The national simplex frequency 52.525 MHz FM is often used by amateurs in this area, and there is (sometimes intermittently) a net on Wednesday night at 9 PM on 50.135 MHz USB.

One thing that really surprises me is the lack of propagation predicting tools being used in the 6-Meter Band. A few CW beacons is about all there is. I would expect repeater owners to enable CW ID even when idle, they do not. APRS inventor Bob Bruninga's call for that mode to be built out in 6-Meters was virtually ignored. You would think that even people setting packet TNC's to beacon would be useful, however the coordinated data channels are silent. That leaves 2-Meter APRS as the best method we have. If a path is open on 2, it's definitely open on 6. A geat prediction map for this can be found here.

VHF Mid-band 72-76 MHz

Used for site-to-site linking purposes. Mostly digital, voice systems are rare. Radio controlled model aircraft use Mid-band primarily

In the past, paging companies used some of these frequencies for linking purposes, however last time I monitored, this range was completely silent. It's been reported that when Lo-Band is open, Mid-band commonly is as well. I have not actively checked for this.

108-136 MHz

Civilian aircraft

Emergency: 121.5 MHz (AM)

I recommend airnav.com for information about local airports. Official sources used to publish ARTCC frequences, but since 9-11 they no longer offer this information to the general public. The next best thing is probably the wiki at radioreference.com.

Link: airnav.com Salt Lake City International Airport
Link: airnav.com Salt Lake City Municipal 2 Airport
Link: airnav.com Hill Air Force Base
Link: airnav.com Michael Army Airfield (Dugway Proving Ground)
Link: airnav.com Bountiful Skypark Airport
Link: airnav.com Ogden-Hinckley Airport
Link: airnav.com Bolinder Field-Tooele Valley Airport
Link: airnav.com Provo Municipal Airport

VHF Hi-band 138-174 MHz

Federal government/military frequencies from 138-144 MHz, 148-150.775 MHz, and 162-174 MHz are well worth exploring. 138-144 MHz is shared between land mobile users (FM, with PL or DPL) and Military aircraft operating AM.

150.775-162 MHz contains a mix of public safety, business, railroad, and marine. This band is still used by UHP and Sheriffs in areas of the state where the UCAN 800 MHz system has not yet been built out. Unlike the rest of the bands, there is no standard offset for repeater input/output. If a repeater is in use, your Close Call equipped scanner will give you the input frequency. There is no way to determine the output on site, but you will at least be able to hear one side of the conversation. When you get home, a search of The FCC database will tell you the output.

Historically, business users in this band were not allowed to use repeaters. Recently this has changed. In addition, there is at least one LTR format trunking system in use.

220-225 MHz

220-221 MHz is allocated for outputs of narrow band commercial trunking operations. Modulation on systems I have seen in the past has not been FM but rather something closer to SSB. I was actually able to use a BFO to produce intelligible voice. On my most recent sweep across the band, I did not find any signals on the air.

The 222-225 MHz amateur band is largely unused, though there are a few repeaters around the state. The Intermountain Repeater Emergency Amateur Network operates a network of linked 222 MHz systems throughout Utah.

225-406 MHz

Military aircraft. Emergency: 243.0 MHz (AM). Military tactical satellite communications also have uplinks and downlinks in this range.

I have observed and locked out of my scan list the following uninteresting operations: military ATIS recordings on 283.375 and 379.7 MHz, and air traffic control (ARTCC and Salt Lake Int'l) on 255.4, 257.2, 257.7, 269.175, 284.6, 307.05, 316.15, 319.25, 322.3, 336.4, 348.6, 354.125, 364.8, 377.15, and 287.1 MHz.

I have observed training operations (very interesting to monitor) on: (contact me by email).

As I noted earlier, military avation using the AM mode can also be found in the 138-144 MHz range, shared with other federal government users operating FM. Some of the airnav.com links I provided earlier contain useful frequency information for this range, particularly the listing for Hill AFB. In some areas of the country, 380-406 MHz has been reallocated to the 406-420 MHz UHF Federal band.

Low powered 14 channel radios (similar to civilian FRS) are used by ground forces on 396.875, 397.125, 397.175, 397.375, 397.425, 397.475, 397.550, 397.950, 398.050, 399.425, 399.475, 399.725, 399.925, and 399.975. The ICOM IC-4008M is one such model

UHF 406-470 MHz

Federal government/military frequencies from 406-420 MHz are also worthy of exploration.

State/County/Local government are assigned 453-454 MHz and 460-460.625.

Trunking has been given approval in the 451-455 MHz and 461-465 MHz ranges, and most radio companies in the valley operate LTR Format commercial systems.

Above 450 MHz, all repeater inputs are exactly +5 Mhz above the output.

470-512 MHz UHF T-band

In use in some parts of the country. California is one of them, Utah is not.

747-806 MHz

Along with the mandate for television stations to cease analog broadcasts on 17 February 2009, they are also required to vacate channels 60-69, creating what is referred to as the 700 MHz band. In addition, they have been "asked" to "voluntarily" clear channels 52-59, freeing up 698-746 MHz.

Public safety has been assigned 769-775 MHz for P-25 digital voice output frequencies, and 799-805 MHz for inputs. Some of the newer scanners will cover it. One of the first systems in the country is under construction in Idaho. The objective is a statewide network, and some departments in Southern Idaho have already moved to it.

It remains to be seen how 700 MHz will be used in Utah.

806-896 MHz

In 1982, the FCC ordered TV stations to vacate channels 70-83, creating the 800 MHz band.

Public Safety agencies have moved from their previous 150 and 453/460 MHz frequencies to Motorola trunking systems (monitorable) with outputs from 851-869 MHz. (Inputs are exactly -45 MHz below the output). In the past, commercial trunking systems used the band heavily. Nextel (digital-not monitorable) has bought up nearly all of these commercial systems, shut them down, and thereby obtained the spectrum for their national cellular-like network. A lot of companies have boxes gathering dust which contain unusable radios that they once paid a lot of money for.

The old mountaintop commercial trunking systems coexisted with public safety systems, but having Nextel's valley floor cell sites on interleafed frequencies has presented problems. If your trunking scanner was purchased more than a year of two ago, you will want to google "rebanding" (and start putting a couple hundred bucks aside).

869-896 MHz contains the cellular A and B blocks. After 18 Feb 2008, AT&T and Verizon were no longer required to maintain their analog cellular (AMPS format) systems. They promptly took all analog off the air, as well as AT&T's TDMA network. Now AT&T uses Block A for GSM, and Verizon uses Block B for CDMA, (in addition to what they both run at 1900 MHz). The government's ill-conceived laws did not stop cellular eavesdropping, but technology did.

902-928 MHz

Classified as an Industrial, Medical, and Scientific band, licensed services (almost always digital, and including spread spectrum) share the band with low power, unlicensed analog and digital (part 15) devices, such as cordless phones and baby monitors.

Amateur radio licensees have authorization to use this band on a secondary basis, and one repeater currently covers this area on 927.1125 MHz. No manufacturer commercially produces ham equipment for this band, so getting on the air on this band requires more expertise than others. Typically, modified Motorola and Kenwood radios designed for 935-941 MHz are used.

935-941 MHz

Businesses using Trunked radio systems, displaced from 800 MHz, have migrated to this 900 MHz range. LTR and Motorola formats are both in use. My Northern Utah Trunked Systems list, includes 900 MHz systems.

Inputs are exactly -39 MHz below the output.

1800-2000 MHz

Point to point microwave users in this range were relocated, and 6 blocks of spectrum were created for digital cellular use, aka. PCS.

Block  Base RX   Base TX   User                    Technology

A 1850-1865 1930-1945 T-Mobile GSM voice D 1865-1870 1945-1950 AT&T Wireless UMTS (3G) data B 1870-1885 1950-1965 Sprint CDMA Voice - EVDO (3G) data E 1885-1890 1965-1970 Verizon CDMA Voice - EVDO (3G) data F 1890-1895 1970-1975 C 1895-1910 1975-1990 Cricket (Leap Wireless) CDMA Voice - EVDO (3G) data

T-Mobile uses a separate allocation of 21102155 MHz for it's UMTS data.

Two competing 4G data technologies are currently being built out by the major wireless carriers, WiMax and LTE.


Email is always welcome from those with additional information or questions.

PGP public key available upon request.


You are visitor numbersince I moved my radio pages to this url on 2 October 2002.


This site is a member of the
Radio Scanner Webring
[Skip Prev] [Prev] [Next] [Skip Next] [Random] [Next 5] [List Sites]