Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Gov Freq Bands are Changing

It is truly amazing to watch the government/military aero/LMR bands in a state of flux. I have been writing about the changes for over three years now in the pages of Monitoring Times magazine. I also have been carefully documenting changes in the various gov radio bands as they changeover to narrowband technology. Even the spacing in the 30-50 MHz governement LMR bands seems to be changing.

Government/mil comms can pop up just about anywhere. But here are the government LMR/aero bands that are assigned within the NTIA Redbook:

VHF-Lo (20/25 kHz) 30.000-30.560, 32-33, 34-35, 36-37, 38-39, 40-42, 46.6-47.0, 49.6-50.0 MHz (primarily NFM/FM/Data, a tiny bit of AM)

VHF-Hi (All 12.5 kHz) 138-144 (AM/NFM/Data), 148-150.8 (AM/NFM/Data), 162-174 (NFM/Data) MHz

UHF 225-380 MHz (25 kHz - AM/NFM on satellite freqs), 380-400 MHz (12.5 kHz - AM/NFM), 406.1-420 MHz (12.5 kHz - NFM/Data)

The NTIA schedule of mandatory completion dates for narrowbanding for government agencies was January 1, 2005 for 162-174 MHz, and January 1, 2008 for 138-150.8 MHz and 406.1-420 MHz.

So you can expect to see major changes in the 138-144, 148-150.8 and 406.1-420 MHz bands between now and the end of this year. In fact, we are seeing major changes nearly everyday.

So let me give you a bit of sage scanner advice. A wise man passed this piece of wisdom along that will help you regain your scanner mojo --

"A search button should never gather should have the lettering worn off!"

And the successful radio hobbyist know this truth very well. You want to hear the good stuff - "you" have to find it.

When was the last time you took a tour (search) of your Gov/Mil LMR bands?

Still relying on a freq list produced from the last public GMF run in 1984?

Then it is time for you to go and wear out our search button. And if you do some searching and find some new stuff be sure to share it with the rest of us. It will really help piece together what is currently happening with these bands as they change over to new bandplans. If you do a bandscan for your local area on any of the bands above I would appreciate if you could forward those scans to this blog. If you don't want your name on it, I can do that also.

So hit those search buttons and give the LMR bands some attention today.