Monday, June 23, 2008

Civil Air Patrol New Narrowband Freq Conversion

The Milcom Monitoring Post Blog has been told that the changeover by the Civil Air Patrol to their new narrowband freq bandplan has been slowed (if not halted) by the need to coordinate their new frequencies with the Canadians. CAP has already bought $30 million dollars worth if radio equipment with another $12 million coming in FY2009 to make this changeover to narrowbanding. Their new freqs is suppose to be 138.0125 140.6375 142.2250 143.7250 143.9000 148.1750 148.7750 150.1625 150.5625 150.6375 MHz. Obviously some of not all of the new 12.5 kHz splinter freqs are the issue.

This is absolutely amazing. Another fine mess the incompetent politicians in the US Congress who wrote the law and bureaucrats in Washington DC who implement the law have gotten us into. Congress mandated in law that narrowbanding place, but they forgot to take into account that our neighbors Canada and Mexico also use the spectrum for entirely different purposes.

The Canadians have a lot of LMR traffic in the 138.0-144.0/148.0-150.8 MHz band that does not use the same frequency spacing as the the DoD agencies authorized to use the bands above.

This is just another example of the US Government dropping the ball in the world of frequency coordination. Mandate a change, buy the equipment for millions of dollars, and all of this is at major expense to the taxpayer. Then someone remembers, "oh hell we forgot to coordinate our changes with the Canadians who use a completely different bandplan for their public safety agencies in this band."

It isn't like they didn't know what the Canadians use (here is a link to their 2004 LMR bandplan:, it is just another case of mis-management and there should be some government employees fired for fleecing the American taxpayers of public monies. How much more is it going to cost the American public to fix this problem, if it can even be resolved? What other agencies are having problems besides CAP with this move to 12.5 kHz spacing in the 138-144/148-150.8 MHz bands?

This is just a small tip of the iceberg. You ought to see the fraud, waste and abuse by the US Government in the HF radio spectrum. But that is another whole story that I am working on for a future issue of Monitoring Times.

More on this $42 million CAP narrowbanding nightmare soon.