Monitoring Logging Road VHF Frequencies?

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by JohnAbercrombie, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    For paddlers who have 'shared' roads with logging trucks:
    Do any of you monitor the VHF frequencies the truckers are using?

    I found a link to a 2015 map of logging areas and radio channel assignments (Note- these are NOT the marine channels):
    Link:
    https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/...ource-roads/radio-communications/channel-maps

    For S. Vancouver Island:
    https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/f...-maps/coastradiofrequencynov23-2015_v10_8.pdf

    The frequencies corresponding to those channels are here:
    https://www.fleetwooddp.com/pages/bc-logging-roads-resource-road-frequencies

    Some marine radios like the IC-M88 can be programmed with 'additional' channels. There are also many very cheap handheld VHF radios (Baofeng and others) now available. I know there are amateur radio enthusiasts here on WCP - any comments?
    If it's not useful to monitor the logging VHF traffic, I'd rather spare myself the effort of programming my radio! :)
    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  2. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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  3. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    Legalities:
    Radio Licencing: Two-way radios require a valid radio licence with the RR Appendix which can be
    applied for by submitting the IC-2366 form to Innovation, Science and Economic Development
    Canada. The use of amateur, marine or user programmable radios are not permitted. Radios must be
    approved under RSS 119 issue 5 or later and must be able to accommodate narrowband channels.
    https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/f...e-use/resource-roads/isedinfonotejune2016.pdf

    I've heard of radios being confiscated but I think that was logging industry workers who were using ham radios.

    Practicalities:
    http://northword.ca/features/driving-bcs-radio-assisted-logging-roads

    http://www.replant.ca/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=65545



    One problem with the Baofeng is their limited power (assuming you hook it to a magmount antenna, the rubber duck is useless).
     
  4. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Nootka, on similar topography to that of much of coastal Vancouver Island, loggers in my area of NW Oregon routinely use commercial VHF equipment to access repeaters to make their low power, line of sight radios useful. Basically, similar to the network that law enforcement and medical transport use here, but NOT the same network, although some may use the same towers.

    Do you know to what extent networks of repeaters might be used by commercial VHF radios on Vancouver Island?
     
  5. Kayak Jim

    Kayak Jim Paddler

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    I suspect any licensing requirements only apply if one is transmitting.
     
  6. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    Dave the logging road freqs are all simplex now. I believe there were some repeaters at one time. There are still repeater networks for RCMP, Ambulance, Highways, and Forestry see http://www.scanbc.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

    Jim technically you are not allowed to have the wrong frequencies in a radio that is capable of transmitting.
    So you have to choose whether the risk to your life & limb is worth (a) breaking the law or (b) spending extra $$ on a radio you rarely use (and annual fees). There is no good solution ... because our government serves corporations, not citizens taxpayers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  7. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Everybody: Thanks for the info so far, it's very helpful.
    Nootka: Did you mean to say: "you are not allowed to have the wrong frequencies in a radio that is capable of transmitting on those frequencies " ?

    The programming software I've looked at allows 'channels' (i.e. programmed frequencies) to be set as Receive Only. This would mean less with a 'wide open' radio like the Chinese VHF radios where it's possible to just punch in the frequency and transmit, but for a radio like the IC-M88 it would be impossible to transmit on a 'wrong' frequency if TX had been disabled.

    I've never used a handheld VHF inside a vehicle - are they 'deaf' unless connected to a magmount on the roof?

    And, how useful would it be to just monitor the logging truck frequency without being able to transmit and let them know I was on the road?
     
  8. LAM

    LAM Paddler

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    Hi John. If your concern is just making sure that the truckers know you are there you can just wait for a truck going in or out and follow them. They will let the other trucks in the area know that you are on the road.

    Lila
     
  9. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    The use of amateur, marine or user programmable radios is not permitted.
    https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf11127.html
    doesn't prohibit scanners ie receive only radios

    Logically a channel blocked from transmit would be fine; but logically any radio that met the technical requirements would do. How often are bureaucrats logical?

    A rubber duck is a terrible antenna. Good for line of sight. All the metal on a vehicle can block or distort the signal.
    If you don't have line of sight, then you need to bounce a signal (rx or tx) off a mountain etc, and thus a good antenna and decent power helps a great deal.

    Rx only would be much better than deaf, but certainly not ideal.

    Lila, what if you have to wait one hour? Two?
     
  10. LAM

    LAM Paddler

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    Personally, I would't wait.. I would just go. But if someone want's to be extra careful it's an option. That SledGolden Safetey Guidelines is a good video.

    Lila
     
  11. CRPaddler

    CRPaddler Paddler

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    Nootka's references are fantastic.

    As someone who works in the resource industry and travels on radio assisted roads all the time there's very little I can add to those links. I would say several points:

    1. All Resource Road Channels are direct only with no repeaters. You don't actually want repeaters as a proper truck radio will transmit far enough that you can hear everyone near you. If there are repeaters you have way to much radio noise as you are hearing trucks calling that are 10s, 20s... 40kms away and you then won't hear the trucks close by because they can't get on the radio to call their kms.
    2. All local radio shops rent portable truck radios that you can plug into your cigarette lighter and have a portable magnetic antenna that stick on the roof of your vehicle. We rent them all the time on short term basis when we need a rental truck for a short job. While we do rent them through work, I can't imagine them not renting it to an individual. So if you're heading out on a road just rent one.
    3. For the first couple of times try and head out on a road with someone that has experience calling kms and using a truck radio to get the feel for it. Perhaps easier said than done, but it does take a while to get comfortable with it ... just like it takes a while to get comfortable listening to weather forecasts and calling on a marine radio.
    4. As many have said, following a truck with a radio makes a lot of sense. Try and make it a logging truck, quite a few people with pickups won't bother calling their kms and drive faster than you'd expect because they have experience and just plan to pull over at the last minute (not perhaps the best method but it is how they drive). Logging trucks will tend to be more careful with their driving and calling.

    I trust some of you find that helpful.
     
    Astoriadave and JohnAbercrombie like this.
  12. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Thanks for all that input; I appreciate it.