Thread: Using VCall VTac
01-29-2007, 10:01 PM #1
Using VCall VTac
I am trying to locate the rules for using VTac/Call.
Can I use it as a Tactical Channel for our routine operations (fires, etc).
Can I use a P25 digital radio on them?
01-29-2007, 11:17 PM #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.
01-29-2007, 11:38 PM #3
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"
01-30-2007, 07:45 AM #4
Can anyone cite?
Can you cite the FCC standard/rule/etc that governs their use? Or perhaps another agency, perhaps DHS?
01-30-2007, 07:49 AM #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.
01-30-2007, 02:05 PM #6
Is a guide to the interoperabilty issue put out by NJ, that includes some
info about Vtac/Vcall.
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.
01-30-2007, 04:02 PM #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?
01-31-2007, 10:19 AM #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.
01-31-2007, 10:44 AM #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.
02-03-2007, 08:36 PM #10
- Join Date
- Apr 2000
- IL, USA
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.
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