USCG Canada Border Region Frequencies

Electrical and electronic topics for small boats
peteinsf
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:04 am

USCG Canada Border Region Frequencies

Postby peteinsf » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:50 pm

For you Great Lakes types. I found this item that I assume is a Canadian CG to USCG mutual aid interoperation system:

USCG VHF Canadian Border Area Regional Channels
Freq↓ Channel↓ Details ↓
167.1125 AG-101 Toldeo OH, Lake Huron
167.6250 AG-102 Detroit MI, Saginaw River Essexville MI, Western NY, Marblhead OH
173.1000 AG-109 Western NY
173.5375 AG-113 Buffalo NY

Might be fun to monitor.

jimh
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Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
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Re: USCG Canada Border Region Frequencies

Postby jimh » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:42 pm

My VHF Marine Band radio cannot receive any of the frequencies listed.

What is the modulation used on those frequencies? My VHF Marine Band radio can only receive narrow-band unencrypted voice frequency or phase modulation.

What sort of radio is needed to listen to the channels?

peteinsf
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:04 am

Re: USCG Canada Border Region Frequencies

Postby peteinsf » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:51 am

I don't actually know the modulation. It was an addendum on a list of Rescue-21 frequencies listed as "border areas" and not in the standard Rescue-21 channel numbering sequence.

My hope was that one of you lake residents could confirm their use and any technical observations. My girlfriend lives near Lewiston NY (a Rescue 21 site) so I may be in a position to confirm AG-109 or AG-113 myself on my next visit.

To monitor you would need one of these options:
A) P25 scanner (Uniden BCD996P2 as a good example)
B) Surplus VHF mobile p25 radio (Ebay Astro Spectra 1MEG, XTL2500, XTL5000)
C) Surplus VHF portable (ebay: XTS5000, XTS2500, Astro Saber)
D) A USB Software defined radio (SDR) with P25. AirSpy has been the best I have tested. http://airspy.com

The surplus gear requires some fiddling with and a USB programming cable and software--generally available in the Amateur radio community--and similar to an E-TEC. The SDR needs a recent technology PC (USB-2) with enough CPU.

As a note, the RCMP has been on P25 for many years. My observation is that they are full-time encrypted, I have never heard an open RCMP call.

jimh
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Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
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Re: USCG Canada Border Region Frequencies

Postby jimh » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:47 am

Thanks for the clarification on the type of receiving gear needed to be able to receive the USCG-Canada Border Region frequencies you listed in the initial article.

From a boater's perspective, all communication with the Coast Guard occurs on non-encrypted, non-digital, standard, frequency-modulated VHF Marine Band channels. The frequencies listed above using APCO P25 modulated signals outside the VHF-Marine-Band are not intended for boaters to use for communication with the Coast Guard. While listening to these channels may be interesting for radio receiving enthusiasts (or "scanners" or "short wave listeners"), I don't think most boaters would be particularly keen to monitor them when underway, and most boats would not have the proper receiving equipment onboard to receive these transmissions.

Collecting and organizing information about radio frequencies and modulation methods used by various government agencies for their intra-agency and inter-agency communication is not really part of the goal of the CONTINUOUSWAVE website. Other websites have such information collection and organization as their goal. I found two other websites where extensive information is available about communication channels used by the USCG. See

http://mt-fedfiles.blogspot.com/p/us-co ... dates.html

http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.ph ... oast_Guard

peteinsf
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:04 am

Re: USCG Canada Border Region Frequencies

Postby peteinsf » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:04 pm

Agreed this is not the forum for geeky radio topics...

My only comment is that it is helpful to monitor what historically was on Ch21. Much of the Rescue21 traffic is in the clear and sounds exactly like with was on CH21 before. All my whalers have an Astro Spectra on them ($100-$150).

jimh
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Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
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Re: USCG Canada Border Region Frequencies

Postby jimh » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:56 pm

For $100 it might be fun to have a radio that could receive the other side of the USCG communications.