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  • Using VCall VTac

    I am trying to locate the rules for using VTac/Call.

    For instance:

    Can I use it as a Tactical Channel for our routine operations (fires, etc).

    Can I use a P25 digital radio on them?

    Thanks
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  • #2
    These channels are specifically for inter-agency interoperability. They are NOT, repeat NOT for routine or single agency operations. So the answer to your first question is no.

    As far as P25, I do not know the concrete answer to that question. However, I can not think of a single logical reason WHY you would ever want to do that. It completely negates the purpose of the channels. My guess would be NO.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ChiefKN View Post
      I am trying to locate the rules for using VTac/Call.

      For instance:

      Can I use it as a Tactical Channel for our routine operations (fires, etc).

      Can I use a P25 digital radio on them?

      Thanks
      Yes, they will work on P25 digital radios We have them installed on all of our new P25 digital radios

      Here is a good article regarding mutual aid frequenices
      http://mrtmag.com/mag/radio_look_success_found/
      Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
      "Everybody Goes Home"

      IACOJ 2003

      Comment


      • #4
        Can anyone cite?

        Can you cite the FCC standard/rule/etc that governs their use? Or perhaps another agency, perhaps DHS?

        Thanks
        I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

        "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

        "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

        Comment


        • #5
          There is a big difference between "will it work" and "is it allowed". A P25 radio can operate in conventional analog mode as well so saying "It works in my radio" means absolutely nothing.

          The bottom line is you can't use it for your personal tac channel; it is only for interoperability. And considering that it is for multiple agencies using different technologies to communicate on scene, using P25 on it would really stupid. I would image the FCC would not allow it anyway.
          Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

          Comment


          • #6
            http://interoperability.nj.gov/techn...utions_Map.pdf

            Is a guide to the interoperabilty issue put out by NJ, that includes some
            info about Vtac/Vcall.

            http://www.mshp.dps.mo.gov/MSHPWeb/P...erstanding.pdf


            Is a very good document from Missouri, that outlines our rules, which mirror
            the FCC regs. It includes FCC references.

            The long and short, VTAC/VCALL should NOT be used as tactical
            channels within your department, for your routine ops.

            Yes, you can use your P25 radios, just not in digital mode.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the references. I have looked and looked for some sort of guidance from either NJ (my state) or from the FCC and cannot find it.

              As for interoperability... if I have one neighboring fire department respond, then it seems this channel would be available?
              I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

              "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

              "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

              Comment


              • #8
                The state of NJ "should" have a MOU for every agency that will use the frequencies to sign, that would outline the protocols. A good source would be your Regional communications committee. Let me see what I can find.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Technically, there is no requirement to use the state protocols for it.

                  The frequencies can be used license free for interagency on-scene communications in mobile and portable radios. If you want to install a base or repeater, you will need a license for it. The state has no say in what, when, where, why, and how you use it. However, many states are putting together a grand master plan for its use and it would be good to stay on the same page.

                  For example, CT has implimented a plan that utilizes VTAC, UTAC, and ITAC for massive interoperability on scene. They have a truck with a cross-band repeater on board and they can interconnect UTAC, VTAC, and ITAC channels to being multiple agencies on multiple bands onto the same page. Of course, we can still use it for our own interagency communications but it would be wise to make yourself able to work with the state's pre-existing plan.
                  Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    http://wireless.fcc.gov/releases/fcc00-348.pdf

                    Look for the section called "Interoperability Below 512 MHz", which starts at paragraph 82. Licensing details (i.e. no license needed for mobile stations) are in paragraph 90.

                    Andy

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