December 07, 2013

No News Is Not Good News!

Still remains an "inactive" active blog here.

Sincerely wish there was news to be found!

November 06, 2013

A Little Something

Did get a little insight into VIPER's future from an inside source.

Roxboro will be the 203rd site and High Windy's resurrection from the dead will make it 204 sites online.

October 31, 2013

Fox Mtn. Site In Iredell County








   (Thanks to E.S. for sharing!. Neat that folks out there like to contribute to this here little blog. Always appreciated.)

October 22, 2013

Wish There Was

Be nice to report some VIPER news wouldn't it!

Will keep looking.

October 02, 2013

Only In America!

FCC website is shutdown while politicians play their games!

September 27, 2013

New Newsletter






The 2013 3rd quarter edition of the VIPER Newsletter has been published.


September 12, 2013

Blogger Overload

Still here!

Been bogged down with a whole lot more pressing matters unfortunately

Will try to get caught up.

August 29, 2013

Announcing Warrenton






Ladies & Gentlemen.

The Warrenton site in Warren County is alive.

Now 202 sites in the VIPER active lineup.

Go team, go!


August 21, 2013

Gearing Up

New site Roxboro in Person County has frequencies application pending over at the FCC.

Great to see things moving along again.

In The Money

VIPER is at long last fully funded!

$14 million was approved in the NC state budget to build out remaining sites.

The funding will be allocated over the next two years.

August 20, 2013

Movin' On

Troop G Comm Center in Asheville was shut down and its duty taken over by F Troop in Newton on August 19th.

The week of August 26th Troop A will make a similar move to Raleigh C.

NCSHP seems to be doing what has to be done and taking it in stride.

August 11, 2013

Further Chatter

Reducing the number of VIPER telecommunication centers across NC brings up a crucial point.

Means more microwave hops have to be made for distant sites to link to dispatchers.

If something goes down what then happens.

Maybe the reason that VHF-P25 standalone repeaters are supposedly being considered for backup.

August 08, 2013

More Chatter

Seems the "secrecy" now of the VIPER project not releasing new site information is all about politics.

Guess if state legislators don't get a site built back home they get their panties in a wad.

Remaining site locations are even withheld from the techs.

So have been told.

August 05, 2013

Current Chatter

Budget shortfall is a common concern amongst inside sources. Heck, the latest VIPER newsletter even uses capital letters when it reports 27 sites UNFUNDED.

Could possibly take another three years to finish the project because of federal funding requirements. FCC time frames for site completion deadlines are hard to meet.

The now completed push to reband western sites was to beat old man winter.

August 02, 2013

VIPER Media Coverage


Charlotte's WSOC-TV did a piece on VIPER.

"Funding Will Help Complete Statewide Emergency Communications"

Gaston Go Ahead






VIPER got granted approval for tower construction for the Stanley site in Gaston County.

Environmental compliance needed for federal funding was finally processed.  Has been a real issue for new builds.  More about this in a future post.

July 29, 2013

Budget Moves Not Popular


"Actually the helicopter move has already taken place. Spoke with a helo crew out of Salisbury a couple of weeks ago who told me that. They're also closing Williamston and Elizabethtown comms centers and consolidating those into Raleigh. Newton will be responsible for two troops. Raleigh will be responsible for three troops."

Thanks SD !
                                  "Post Referenced" 

Like to highlight any comments to a post since they can get overlooked.

Law officers active in NC and even retired ones from other states have expressed serious concern about closing NCSHP communications centers.

Controlling the state budget and taking advantage of VIPER technology are understandable.  However putting troopers and the public they serve at risk is unacceptable.

Time is of the essence in certain situations and dispatchers trying to pinpoint an unknown location would cost critical time. 

Not just the opinion of this here blog.  Those who know firsthand have sent along their feelings.

Correction Update:

"Greensboro Comm Center is closing, not E-town."

Thanks Anonymous!

"Sorry about the confusion on E-town instead of Greensboro. I read a news article that E-town was being considered for the shutdown a few months ago and hadn't been informed any differently. Again, my apologies."

No problem SD..


July 25, 2013

The Good And The Bad


Proposed state budget calls for the closing of the Asheville and other comm centers.

          "Asheville Likely To Lose Highway Patrol Assets"

Scuttlebutt is afloat suggesting a possible shrink down to just two.  East and west.  Maybe just one.

The new budget also provides for the hiring of 13 new Viper ops and maintenance personal.

July 23, 2013

New VIPER Newsletter Released






The 2013 2nd quarter edition of the VIPER Newsletter is available.


July 22, 2013

More On Barrett

Regarding the previous post about Catawba County being denied access to the Barrett Mtn. site. The following comment was submitted to this blog:

“This was done at the request of county officals to assist in steering the system load to less used sites (Riverbend). The state VIPER techs were quick to assist in making these changes all in an effort to better the system for all users.”

A very informative source with Catawba County wasn't aware of any county requests being made.
 
However, there was a major issue with busies. It was determined that Catawba County's radios were heavily loading the site.

Seems Barrett has quite a broad footprint into the northern half of the county as well as into surrounding counties. Hilltop locations in the western part of VIPER really do get out.

Through the "magic" of zone control the problem is solved and everyone is now happy.  No coverage lost either. Imagine the upcoming Love Valley site in Iredell County will be a big help too.

Appreciate folks in the know passing these things along!


July 14, 2013

Grin And Barrett

Catawba County public safety radios are no longer granted affiliation with the Barrett Mtn. site in Alexander County.

Been informed that there were too many busies. Slamming the door on Catawba's VIPER users solved the problem.

July 02, 2013

New Construction

Got word the towers are going up for Roxboro in Person County and Potato Knob in Swain County.

Been quite a while since any new build activity has been reportable!

June 29, 2013

RR's Reband Updates

More rebanded VIPER sites reported recently at RadioReference:

C123-23, Wadesboro, Anson County
C123-09, Bens Knob, Cleveland County
C123-22, Kings Mtn., Cleveland County
C123-29, Shelby, Cleveland County
C123-38, Boiling Springs, Cleveland County
C123-12, Cherryville, Gaston County
C123-25, Buck Mtn., Montgomery County
C123-32, Biscoe, Montgomery County
C123-46, Mt. Gilead, Montgomery County

                          Source: RadioReference

June 27, 2013

VIPER Makes Burke Ready






VIPER is a big asset in Burke County's preparedness for the unthinkable.

                                           (TNX SA!)

June 24, 2013

Reband Update: Laurinburg

Scotland County Laurinburg VIPER site 6038-37 is operating on rebanded frequencies.

                                    (DC!)

June 21, 2013

Reband Update: Hamlet

Richmond County Hamlet VIPER site C123-51 is operating on rebanded frequencies.

                                    (DC!)

June 20, 2013

Reband Update: McCain, Carthage, Southern Pines

Hoke County McCain VIPER site 6038-23 is operating on rebanded frequencies.

Moore County Carthage VIPER site 6038-36 is operating on rebanded frequencies.

Moore County Southern Pines VIPER site 6038-52 is operating on rebanded frequencies.

                                        (DC again!)

June 14, 2013

Reband Update: Ellerbe

Richmond County Ellerbe VIPER site C123-26 is operating on rebanded frequencies.

                                     (Thanks DC!)

June 13, 2013

RR's Rebanding Reports

Ongoing monitoring of western VIPER finds these sites rebanded:

6038-09, Tramway, Lee County
C123-21, Wentworth, Rockingham County
C123-36, Mocksville, Davie County
C92D-11, Clingmans Peak, Yancey County
C92D-16, Grants Mtn., McDowell County
C92D-20, Woody's Knob, Mitchell County
C92D-21, Locust Knob, Mitchell County
C92D-48, Dobson Knob, McDowell County

                             Source: RadioReference

June 12, 2013

Reband Update: Staley, Riverdale, Greensboro

Randolph County Staley VIPER site C123-31 is operating on rebanded frequencies. (PCC 853.9875)

Guilford County Riverdale VIPER site C123-30 is operating on rebanded frequencies. (PCC 853.8750)

Guilford County Greensboro VIPER site C123-05 is operating on rebanded frequencies. (PCC 853.8875 )

                                 (Thanks again RK!)

June 11, 2013

Reband Update: Shepherd Mtn., Asheboro DOT, Coleridge

Randolph County Shepherd Mtn, VIPER site C123-04 is operating on rebanded frequencies. (PCC 853.7000)

Randolph County Asheboro DOT VIPER site C123-41 is operating on rebanded frequencies. (PCC 853.8125)

Randolph County Coleridge VIPER site C123-49 is operating on rebanded frequencies. (PCC 853.5875)

                                     (Thanks RK!)

Reband Update: Concord, Albemarle

Cabarrus County Concord VIPER site C123-02 is operating on rebanded frequencies.

Stanly County Albemarle VIPER site C123-13 is operating on rebanded frequencies.

                                     (Thanks DYJ!)

June 10, 2013

Reband Updates Over At RR

 More reported western site frequency reconfigurations:

C123-15, Eden, Rockingham County
C123-17, Mayodan, Rockingham County
C92D-31, Doughton Mtn., Alleghany County
C92D-39, Green Mtn., Alleghany County
C92D-35, Deep Gap, Ashe County
C92D-14, High Peak Mtn., Burke County
C92D-08, Joanna Bald, Cherokee County
C92D-02, Corbin Mtn,. Henderson County
C92D-03, Jump Off Mtn., Henderson County
C92D-37, Viking Mtn., Madison County
C92D-04, Tryon Peak, Polk County
C92D-23, Spindale, Rutherford County

         Source: RadioReference

June 07, 2013

RadioReference Reference

RadioReference databasing the following VIPER west rebanded sites:

C123-01, Salisbury, Rowan County
C123-37, Sauratown Mtn., Stokes County
C123-40, Booth Mountain, Stokes County
C123-16, Waxhaw, Union County
C123-19, Monroe, Union County
C123-27, Wingate, Union County
C92D-24, Mt. Jefferson, Ashe County
C92D-34, Phoenix Mountain, Ashe County
C92D-40, Wauchecha Bald, Graham County
C92D-01, Bearwallow Mtn., Henderson County
C92D-38, Franklin Water Tower, Macon County
C92D-41, Scaley Mtn., Macon County
C92D-53, Pores Knob, Wilkes County


June 05, 2013

Reband Update: Big Knob, Meadows

Madison County Big Knob VIPER site C92D-12 is operating on rebanded frequencies. 

Buncombe County Meadows VIPER site C92D-19 is operating on rebanded frequencies.

May 30, 2013

Reband Update: Linville, Fisher Peak

Avery County Linville VIPER site C92D-18 is operating on rebanded frequencies. 

Surry County Fisher Peak VIPER site C123-20 is operating on rebanded frequencies.

May 29, 2013

Rallying Resources

With 100 sites spread across 50 counties, tracking the progress of  VIPER west rebanding is quite a task.

RadioReference website is a good source with widespread submissions of monitored changeovers.

From there add to the growing list:

C123-8, Mooresville, Iredell County
C123-7, Huntersville, Mecklenburg County
C123-14, Heathway Dr., Mecklenburg County
C123-24, Pineville, Mecklenburg County
C123-55, Mint Hill ,Mecklenburg County
C123-11, Elkin DOT, Surry County
C123-28, Turner Mountain, Surry County
C123-43, I-77 Rest Area, Yadkin County
C92D-26, Beech Mountain, Avery County
C92D-15, Butte Mountain, Caldwell County
C92D-45, Murphy,Cherokee County
C92D-32, Chunky Girl Gap, Clay County
C92D-10, Wine Springs, Macon County
C92D-49, Buckeye Knob, Watauga County

May 28, 2013

Boone Bumps Down

The Boone site, C92D-17 BOONE, Watauga County moved to rebanded frequencies.

May 23, 2013

Just Keep On Coming

A couple more VIPER sites that have gone to rebanded frequencies:

Hibriten Mtn., Caldwell County,  C92D-13 HIBRTN

Barium Springs, Iredell County,  C123-6 BARIUM

May 22, 2013

Busy News Day

Getting hard to keep up!

Barrett Mtn. got reconfigured. It's C92D-25 in Alexander County.

C123-42, Belmont and C123-52, Crowders Mountain in Gaston County also were reported over at RadioReference website.

Catawba's Rebanding Completed

C92D-51, Anderson Mtn. in Catawba County, finalizes the list of rebanded sites in that county.

Another Catawba Reconfig

The Baker Mtn. VIPER site C92D-30 in Catawba County is now rebanded.

May 21, 2013

Riverbend Rebanded

The VIPER Riverbend C92D-52 site in Catawba County has been reconfigured.

Now on rebanded frequencies with a control channel of 853.6250. Voice channels from old bandplan shift down 15 MHz as well.

Reconfiguration became necessary to eliminate interference between different types of users sharing 800 MHz bandwidth.

May 17, 2013

Moving Along







The major news item in the latest VIPER newsletter is the progress of statewide user radio reprogramming needed for rebanding and initial P25 transition.

The western phase is fully completed.

Allows site frequency retuning to begin out that way.

A map of counties and sites involved is provided in the "Q1 2013 Newsletter".

P25 changeover comes later this year.


May 15, 2013

New VIPER Newsletter!







The latest project newsletter is now available.



May 14, 2013

Jumping On The Reband Wagon

Got a heads-up regarding VIPER\Sprint bandplan reconfiguration.

Catawba County gets first honors in the state with site frequency switchover scheduled for May 21st.

P25 transition yet to come.

Growing Pains In Orange






Orange County needs to upgrade.

(Thanks MA for passing this along!)


May 12, 2013

Tracking Transition

Been following VIPER P25 transition progress.

Other than some initial test sites up Raleigh way, contacts are not aware of any sites upgrading yet.

Can't get statistics on how many users or counties have undergone first phase reprogramming that is needed. Learned Randolph and Rockingham County radios did during project's 1st Quarter 2013.

May 04, 2013

Related Item

A state law enforcement source reports an administrative change over at the NCSHP Technical Services Unit.

The current head of the unit, Captain Bobby West, has been replaced by Captain James Blanks in a series of promotion transfers.

Technical Services maintains communication and data systems for the Patrol including VIPER.


April 23, 2013

New Hanover Waits






Current shortage of VIPER radio ID's fortunately didn't hamper recent rescue attempt.



April 22, 2013

Passing Along

The public VIPER website lies dormant.  The last system information update was two and a half months ago.

Waiting for the 1st Quarter 2013 Newsletter to be released, too.

Lot of folks are interested in the project build-out, though.  Many of them are associated directly with VIPER in some way or the other.   They do pass along info and that is greatly appreciated!

Learned that mid January 2014 is the target for full transition to P25 9600 baud.

Radios being currently reprogrammed for the move have rebanded control channel frequencies added as well as other 700 MHz and mutual aid frequencies.


April 13, 2013

Frye Fill In

When Frye Mtn.in Swain County was announced activated two months ago, info was lacking.

Some control signal data logging was passed this way.

In Zone 4, SysID C92D, it is site # 46.  868.3875 control channel with callsign WQQT373.

Should tie up the loose ends.


Correction - Site 41, Zone 4

Data previously reported for Scaley Mtn. site in Macon County was incorrect.

Control Channels are 868.5000 Primary and 868.2750 Alternate.

Had listed as 868.9375 Primary.  Is a licensed frequency for this site, though.

Also, alias found to be SCALY.


April 05, 2013

Filling In Details

Posted the activation announcement of Scaley Mtn., a new Zone 4 (SysID C92D) site in Macon County a while back.

Didn't have many details at the time.  Do now.

It's site #41.  Control channel 868.9375.  Callsign WQQS300.

Also, the Mt. Noble site in nearby Swain County has site alias MTNOBL.

Thanks to BR for tracking it all down.

April 03, 2013

Reband Mods






Reconfigure frequencies added to yet more VIPER site licenses.



March 24, 2013

Pilings Of Filings

Nothing of any real interest in FCC site licensing.

Have been a lot of routine renewals. There normally wouldn't need to be so many. They involve special authorizations that expire in short time periods.

VIPER has to keep using frequencies that it should really be off.

Lots of online electronic "paperwork" in dealing with rebanding.

March 13, 2013

No Dirt To Dish

Recent VIPER FCC licensing activity frenzy seems to have ended. The Sprint/Nextel reconfiguring process really had things in modification mode there for a while.

The official project website hasn't released any updated public information yet.

Informed sources aren't too informative lately, either.

Not that nothing is happening.  Just one of those reporting gaps again.

March 08, 2013

Add On And On






Site licenses continue to be modified with added rebanded frequencies.

Radio service code gets changed from YF (current public safety band plan) to reconfigured YE plan.

(Click "File Number" to see location and frequencies in above links)

Actual RF changeover yet to come.


March 07, 2013

Relocating Rockingham






VIPER is needing to relocate current Rockingham County sites and that requires new licensing.

Some channels to be added as well.

"STA Request" filings under "Attachments" on the online FCC applications referenced below give the details. "Locations" and "Frequencies" tabs provide those changes.



February 26, 2013

VIPER 101







EMS Performance Improvement Center's online guide for VIPER radio users.




February 25, 2013

Even More Reconfig






30 additional VIPER sites now have modified licensing to include reband frequencies.

Hard to document all this sudden activity!  The FCC search engine got a bit uncooperative also.

Fastest thing was to come up with this PDF that links back directly to the online database.  To check things out, the file number is the hyperlink.


CA Continues






10 more VIPER licenses have been granted cancellation.

Look under "Admin" on each license linked below.


Conover


Appears to be "house cleaning".  Frequencies involved were moved to different locations and licenses.


February 22, 2013

More Reconfig






NCSHP has applied for some more rebanded site frequencies.

These are filings for license modifications the FCC received 02/21/2013 with a current pending status.  Click on the "Frequencies" tab when in the link.


Update On Recent Post






All that new VIPER licensing mentioned in the February 08, 2013 post has been granted by the FCC.

A couple applications were kicked back, however.

Apparently the Fry Mtn. site in Swain County will have to turn down the wick.

FCC Notice OF Return stated: "The ERP requested exceeds the value allowed at Location #1 frequencies 866.350, 867.175, 867.850, 868.3875 and 868.9875. The HAAT is 619 m which limits the ERP to 200 watts under Rule 90.635."

Submitted with 300 watts for the Intellipeater output power.

The notice is found under Automated Letters on the application.

Baker Mtn. in Catawba County filing for an additional frequency was also returned. A minor typo reported concerning the frequency pair listing.

February 21, 2013

CA Request






License has been cancelled for the Warrior Mtn. site in Caldwell County.

WQJW975

Don't know if this a rebanding move, a change in system design or a budget cut.


Rebanding In The Works






The gears of reconfiguration are turning.

Rebanded frequencies are now being added to licenses pending final Sprint/Nextel agreement.  Check the latest batch of FCC applications dated 02/20/2013.  Click on the "Frequencies" tab when in the link.


Attached to the FCC paperwork of all these locations is this STA Statement:

"The subject modification is being filed pursuant to instructions received from Sprint as part of the rebanding process for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. The subject facilities will be included in the FRA amendment being negotiated between the two parties."

STA is special authorization VIPER has to keep getting to operate on existing frequencies until things get swapped out with Sprint.

February 20, 2013

Moore's Identity Crisis






VIPER's current shortage of system radio identifiers hampers Moore County's plans.



February 19, 2013

Rutherford Needs VIPER






Rutherford County newspaper editorial supports VIPER expansion.

February 16, 2013

Slow News Days

New site activation is at a standstill again.

Lot of licensing for added frequencies at sites for increased traffic capacity though.

February 08, 2013

New VIPER Licensing






Licensing information for the last series of western site activations is available.


Also found are some upcoming new sites as well as expansion channels for existing sites.


Thing is these are currently pending applications awaiting final approval.  Don't know how new locations got on the air already (or at least announced as such).

January 30, 2013

Brunswick Gets Good News






Brunswick County has received some much-needed radio ID's for VIPER.

"Brunswick Fire Departments Finally Hooking Into VIPER Radio Network"

January 29, 2013

Mount Noble







In Swain County, Mt. Noble has been activated.

Located on Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians land just west of Cherokee.

Zone 4' s site #44.

January 24, 2013

Sylva Airport







New VIPER site activation at the Jackson County Airport in Sylva.

868.8875 Primary Control
868.1500 Alternate Control
FCC Callsign  WQMD999

Zone 4 assignment of #42.

January 21, 2013

Bits & Pieces






It's an ongoing transition to the initial stage of the P25 conversion.  Starting in the central part of the state and heading west.

Pick up bits and pieces, now and then.

A couple more pieces are that Rockingham and Randolph County subscribers to VIPER have their radios ready to go.

January 20, 2013

Reach Out And Touch Someone






A sampling of how some NCSHP radios have been programmed with talkgroups.

Troopers have quick access to quite a few systems, both trunked and non-trunked, outside of VIPER.

Interoperability has sure come a long way.


January 18, 2013

Chunky Gal Gap







Latest addition to the growing VIPER family is Chunky Gal Gap.

Located in the Nantahala National Forest in Clay County.

Don't have any other info other than it's assigned site #32 of Zone 4. 

Really curious what the alias name for this location is!  "CHUNKY"?  Or "SMOOTH"?

               "How Chunky Gal Mountain Got Its Name" 

Jumping Through The Hoops


 





Freshwater mussels, historic properties, Indians, bird collisions, and archeological artifacts.

Nothing seemingly related.  Yet all have to be considered when building a new tower with federal money.

This preliminary environmental impact study for the proposed Warrenton site is a lot of reading. 

Just skimming through it, though, gives a rather fascinating overview of a complex process.

Reason why the VIPER project can get bogged down.  There are deadlines that have to be met to receive the funding grants, too.

Just can't simply slap up some metal if you want to use Uncle Sam's cash


January 14, 2013

Planning Revision






The total number of sites planned for the project has been revised on the VIPER website.

Increased from 240 to 241.


January 11, 2013

Mitchell Makes Do






Mitchell County finds itself in the same fix as some other counties across the state.  New radios that can't be used because the current VIPER system is maxed out.

                    "New Radios, No Radio IDs From State"
                        (posted over at "RadioReference")

The news item mentions the state legislature expanding the number of available radio IDs.  NC lawmakers have to fund a newer technology P25 solution.

Once upgrading sites to P25 9600 starts, RID's of users that switch will be "harvested" and available again on the existing network (where Mitchell remains until its transition is completed).

January 09, 2013

Cranking Them Out






Macon County now has Scaley Mtn. as a site.

VIPER is making up for lost time.

January 08, 2013

Frye In Swain






Frye Mtn. site in Swain County is active now.

Zone 4, Site # 46.

Have not been able to find the FCC licenses for this or the last site put on the air.

January 04, 2013

Wauchecha Bald






Wauchecha Bald, Graham County is now on the air.

It is the 195th site of the network, Site 40 in Zone 4

January 03, 2013

New Year Rings In New





The VIPER project was granted FCC approval for a new tower on a site off Catfish Road in Rowan County.

                                        "Richfield"