April Feature: Tad M10

The TAD M10 is a very special radio! Packed with unique features, this radio is designed for convenience and ease of use.

The TAD M10 is compact and very versatile.  It covers the entire 138-174 MHz. bandwidth, so it never has to be retuned. Also, the M10 has the famous “Up/Dn” buttons on the mic so changing channels is a breeze!

Another awesome feature is the 396 channels are programmed in 4-banks of 99 channels each. The channels can be given an alpha name and the frequencies organized as needed by area, company or person. The M10 is also resource road ready!

Specifications from TAD’s site include:

  • Small size: 2×5.5×7.3″
  • Weight: 3 lbs approx.
  • Dimmable Display
  • Alpha-numeric readout
  • Buttons are backlit
  • Rotary Channel Switch
  • Internal Speaker
  • Programmable, PC or Field
  • Faster cloning capabilities
  • Anti-Theft Protection
  • From 1 to 396 Channels
  • Covers 138-174 MHz
  • Canadian & FCC approved
  • Electronic Serial Number
  • Quick “add or delete” from scan list
  • Busy Channel Lockout per Channel
  • CTCSS & DCS tone signaling
  • Low/normal RX Sensitivity Switch
  • Data input thru cloning plug

Questions? Want us to put one aside?

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Resource Road Updates: Southern and Northern Interior

As noted in our previous posts[1], standardized resource road channels are coming into use in various areas of BC at staggered times.

The latest update from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations notes that the next area to undergo this change is a large portion of the Southern Interior Forest Region, including Quesnel, Thompson Rivers, Cascades, Okanagan Shuswap and Chilliwack.[2] The date scheduled for this change is May 4th, 2015.

As of June 1, 2015 portions of the Northern Interior Areas will also make the move to RR. Specifically, Prince George, Robson Valley, Mackenzie, Stuart Nechako (Vanderhoof and Fort St. James), Nadina (Burns Lake and Houston) and Skeena Stikine Forest Districts.

A rough idea of the included area can be determined by use of this map from 2011: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/maps/regdis/nRNI.htm

Prior to May 4th and June 1st respectively, radio users in the above areas must have pre-programmed the new 40 RR channels into radios. As previously mentioned, compliance with this requirement may require a newer narrow band radio to accommodate the channels.

In an effort to promote a smooth transition, it is advised that resource road users become familiar with the new signs.  Information regarding the content and interpretation of these new signs can be found here: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hth/engineering/sign_standards.htm

Walco will continue to endeavor to provide updates as they occur.

[1] http://walcoradio.com/changes-to-resource-road-channels/

http://walcoradio.com/tag/resource-roads/

[2]http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hth/engineering/documents/Road_Radio_Project/DM%20Letter%20OKShuswap%20February%202015.pdf

February Feature: IC-F5023H Land Mobile VHF Radio

Amazing features, performance and value for the everyday user. Plus, Walco offers free programming at time of purchase! 

  • Icom Sized 128 memory channels (max) separated into 8 memory zones
  • Built-in 2-tone, 5-tone, CTCSS and DTCS capabilities
  • Kill/stun functions disable a lost or stolen radio over the air
  • 6 programmable buttons allow customized operation
  • Rugged construction, meets MIL 810F standard
  • 50W output power VHF, 45W output power UHF
  • Powerful, front-mounted speaker with 4W audio output
  • Lone worker function requires a response from the operator
  • Scanning setting is dependent on operating channel
  • Compatible with IC-F3021/F4021 series handheld radios
  • MDC 1200 compatible with the following built-in features
    • PTT ID (TX/RX)  Radio check (RX)
    • Radio Stun (RX)  Radio revive (RX)
    • Emergency TX/RX (NoACK)
    • 5 alias table (max)

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LandmobiIe_C-F5020_F6020series_InstructionManual

Resource Road Update: Implementation Dates

Further to our previous post, an update has been released by Industry Canada regarding dates of implementation for the Resource Roads in BC.

Implementation Dates:

A new release was made yesterday with respect to the start dates for 100 Mile House, Cariboo-Chilcotin, Fort St. John and Fort Nelson Forest Districts:[1]

• 100 Mile House Forest District – Saturday, May 31st, 2014

• Cariboo-Chilcotin Forest District – Monday, June 16th, 2014

• Fort St John Forest District – Monday, June 16th, 2014

• Fort Nelson Forest District – Monday, June 16th, 2014

Location of Channels:

Maps can be found here, to locate which channels are in use in which location.

License Amendments:

It should be noted that an ‘RR Appendix’ is required for each mobile license. Each license holder must obtain said RR Appendix through emailing Industry Canada to obtain a quote. Simply provide company name and license number to the local Industry Canada office. [2]

We will endeavor to provide continuing updates as the Resource Roads project progresses. If you have any questions or require compliant equipment, we would be happy to assist you in the transition.

 

 

 

[1] http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hth/engineering/documents/Road_Radio_Project/RR_Notice_May_20_2014.pdf

[2] http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hth/engineering/documents/Road_Radio_Project/RR_Notice_May_20_2014.pdf

Changes to Resource Road Channels

Resource roads cover swaths of British Columbia. According to the Provincial Government, there is over 650,000 km of “RR’s” tracking to and from remote locations.[1] These roads often require radio communication and coordination to ensure safe passage for the many users. In 2006, the Government decided to reassess RR’s and their safety. As stated in the Pilot Project Summary Report of March 2013:

In 2006, led by the Ministry of Forests and Range (MOFR), the BC Radio CommunicationsWorking Group (including participants from MOFR, FPInnovations (formerly FERIC), Industry Canada, Forestry TruckSafe and the Council of Forest Industries) was drawn together to create a comprehensive communications strategy for all of the radio-assisted resource roads in BC with the intent of improving user safety. The strategy had three key parts: refine resource road signage, create standardized radio calling procedures, and establish a bank of radio channels that are dedicated for resource road use in BC.[2]

These goals were undertaken by pilot projects in the Peace Forest District and Strait of Georgia Business Area (including the Sunshine Coast).[3]

Standardized Signage:

The first issue was to determine consistent signage identifying channels, and establishing must call locations. Under the pilot project, several sign types were developed:[4]

  • Resource Road Orientation;
  • Km Marker;
  • Road Channel Identification;
  • Must Call at road junctions and Km markers;
  • Caution signs that would be installed in high hazard areas.

Under the pilot project, these signs were considered to improve safety and create consistency. Signage was adopted as a result.

Standardized Call Procedure:

The second issue was to determine consistent call procedures, ensuring understanding between drivers. The pilot project standardized:[5]

  • The order of descriptors for vehicle position and standardized direction descriptor;
  • Frequency of calling;
  • Rules for convoy calling.

Some variations in the procedure are permitted for ‘local variation’, for example, high call locations which may result in ‘walkover’ or excessive chatter.[6]

Standardized Channels:

The final issue was regarding uniform channels for use on RR’s. After some tweaking, two new types of channels were created for the purpose. Thirty-five ‘Resource Road’ or ‘RR’ channels will be used for “radio assisted traffic control”, and marked at the entry point to each road.[7]  Five ‘Loading’ or ‘LD’ channels will be used for “co-ordination of temporary site specific field work”, for example “loading and unloading of resources or equipment”.[8]

Industry Canada has listed the primary changes to RR channels as follows:[9]

  • CTCSS Tones will no longer be used.
  • Forty unique channels will replace the tones.
  • Output power for channels will be standardized to a maximum of 30 watts.
  • Naming will be standardized to RR-1 through RR-35, LD-1 through LD-5.

Two-way radios must be programmed to reflect these channel changes. However, as the new channels are in the narrow band (11kHz), only radios “approved under RSS 119 issue 5 or later” will be usable.[10] All older wide band radios will have limited compatibility with the new channels. This roughly translates to two-way land mobiles purchased prior to 2000.  As noted in the Pilot Project Report, “newer narrowband radios [can] effectively receive wideband transmissions without distortion. Depending on the wideband radio model, however, narrowband transmissions may sound quieter [or be distorted] on a receiving wideband radio. Wideband radio owners should be made aware of this possibility and be encouraged to purchase narrowband radios.”[11]

However, narrow band radios may have some limitations with respect to signal propagation. For example, “users of the narrowband RR channels may notice garbled or distorted communications near rock bluffs, power lines, steep road dips and during bouts of inclement weather that wasn’t present previously with wideband radio use.”[12] Therefore, those who are new to narrowband devices should consider this factor when reviewing locations of must call signs.

Implementation:

The primary concern for those using RR’s is the progressive implementation of the new channels. Presently the RR channels will be transitioned in the pilot regions of North and South Peace for June 15, with the Sunshine Coast and Strait of Georgia anticipated to complete the transition in August.[13] Rumors are circulating regarding when other areas will be added. However, as some users may require new narrow band radios, it is important to obtain accurate information regarding the switch.

On speaking to Industry Canada, it was reported that the next transition will occur starting in 150 Mile, south to Ashcroft (off highway 97).  The maps included below were given as direction, and will be reportedly updated in the coming month.

Rumors place the Kamloops forest district in transition next year. However, this has yet to be confirmed.

Summary:

The assessment and implementation of the new RR channels has been progressing for several years. These changes are coming into effect over time and in line with stakeholder request. Therefore, it is important to watch for notifications of the transition in your area. It is also advisable to consider purchase of narrowband radios with an eye to these changes.

Walco will continue to monitor the situation through contact with Industry Canada. We will post all pertinent updates to our website blog (walcoradio.com) and twitter account (@walcoradio).

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this process, compliant radios, or radio programming, feel free to drop in to the shop.

SouthPeace_RadioFrequency_April2014

FN_NorthPeace_RadioFrequency_April_4_2014

FSJ_NorthPeace_RadioFrequency_April_3_2014

 

 

 



[1] Government of BC, “Important Information on Resource Industry Radio Channels Used in British Columbia,” find at: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hth/engineering/documents/Road_Radio_Project/rrinformation_bc_final-indcan_apr_2013.pdf (“Important Info”).

[2] Craig Evans & Allan Bradley, “A Radio Communications Protocol for Resource Roads in B.C.:

A Summary of Three Pilot Project Reports and Recommendations for Provincial Implementation”, find at: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hth/engineering/documents/Road_Radio_Project/fpi_radio_comm_protocol_final_report_8may_version.pdf (“Three Pilot”).

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid, at 6.

[5] Ibid, at 7.

[6] Three Pilot, note 2 at 13.

[7] Important Info, note 1.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Industry Canada, “RSS 119”, find issues at: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/h_sf06129.html.

[11] Three Pilot, note 2 at 16.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Government of British Columbia, “Resource Road Radio Standardized Channels Revised- Coast Transition in Progress”, find at: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hth/engineering/documents/Road_Radio_Project/Stakeholder_Info_Note_Dec_2013.pdf.