This is the first Radio Reference.com Style Guide and is designed to promote
familiarity throughout the entire Web site, by presenting the written material created in a
cohesive and uniform manner. Moreover, to make the material we create and present
understandable to anyone around the world. Many of the entries in this guide reflect the
contributions from RadioReference.com staff, communications specialists, and
As new technologies emerge in the two-way radio industry that directly impact the
information that we present on this Web site, this style guide will never really be
finished, and it is anticipated that it will be continuously updated with each passing year.
We live in age when communications systems are changing faster than you can blink an
eye. The ability of this Web site to contribute accurate and timely information to its
subscribers is essential, especially in times of crises that may affect a local community or
even several states.
In the past, scanner hobbyists relied upon the latest changes in printed format from
various annual publications. While these magazines have enjoyed great success with
their readers, the information they present is already outdated by the time it hits the
shelves. Moreover, hobbyists and professionals alike need information that is current and
on the cutting edge, not yesterday’s outdated frequency rehash from the F.C.C. database.
This is where our Web site comes through with flying colors, since it is designed to be
dynamic, flexible, and up-to-date to everyone involved: the ideal scanning reference.
Avoid agency abbreviations like PD, FD, CD, on all entry lines. Spellout as:
• Police – Dispatch
• Police – Car-to-Car
• Sheriff – Detectives
• State Police – Troop C: Dispatch
• Fire – Fireground 1
• Fire – Tac 1
• Civil Defense – EAS Alerting Monitors
Do not abbreviate in text:
• Names such as Reginald (Reg.) or Charles (Chas.).
• Ranks such as Lieutenant (Lt.) or Captain (Capt.).
• Names of the days of the week except in tabular form.
• Percent as % except in tabular form.
• And as “&” unless the “&” is an official part of a name (Norfolk & Western)
or (Colorado Search & Rescue).
On first reference, please put an abbreviation or acronym in parentheses after an
organization's name. On second reference with lesser-known organizations, use methods
similar to the following to refer to the organization rather than using an acronym:
• First reference – Henderson County 9-1-1 Commission.
• Second reference - the committee or 9-1-1 commission.
• Abbreviate avenue (Ave.), boulevard (Blvd.) and street (St.) when a complete
address is given. Otherwise, spell out. The correct forms are:
o 320 N. Maple St.,
o North Maple Street,
o Fourth Street and 32nd Street.
Capitalize proper nouns and common nouns such as agency, community and system
when they become an integral part of a full name for person, place or thing. For instance:
• Indiana State Police.
• Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS).
• Mississippi River.
• Lieutenant Colonel William L. Anderson.
• Lake Ontario.
• Canadian County.
• Plaquemines Parish.
Capitalize specific geographic regions and popularized names for those regions and
associated radio systems:
• New England.
• the South.
• the Kanto Region.
The same rule applies for some geologic regions (check to be certain) For instance:
• the Mississippi Delta.
• the Hill Country.
• the Straights.
• the Marmot Basin.
Numbers and Numbering Schemes:
Generally, spell out numbers less than 10. The exceptions to this rule are:
• Addresses: 6 Main St.
• Dimensions: 8 meters tall, 3 centimeters long.
• Highways: U.S. Route 6, US-9, I-5, SR-3.
• Millions, billions: 7 million people.
5. • Percentages: 8 percent.
• Speed: 5 kilometers per hour (5 km/h).
Please adhere to the following when using numerals:
• Do not use Roman numerals; Arabic numerals shall be used for numbers
with two or more digits.
• In figures of more than 999, use commas to set off each group of three
numerals (except for years).
• Spell out numbers at the beginning of a sentence. There is one exception -
years: 1984 was the year Motorola introduced their new PrivacyPlus
When dealing with public safety unit numbering schemes, the alphanumeric part
should always be capitalized.
• Bravo 53
Since the Radio Reference.com Web page is a global communications resource, the
International System of Measurement (IM) system should be used at all times.
Moreover, since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Comision Federal de
Telecomunicaciones de Mexico (Federal Telecommunications Commission, or CoFeTe),
and Industry Canada use the IM (Metric) System as their official and only measurement
standards, we should follow this policy as well.
Conversion formulas from the American Customary System of Measurement are as
When You Know: Multiply by To find
Inches 2.54 Centimeters
Yards 0.9 Meters
Feet .305 Meters
6. Miles 1.61 Kilometers
Square Miles 2.59 Square Kilometers
Square Feet 9.29 Square Meters
To avoid any confusion about the time when a reported system changeover is
scheduled or other event when time is relevant. Please use 24-hour time rather than the
a.m. or p.m. format, except when quoting a source directly. This will avoid any
confusion as to what time of the day is in question.
7. R A D I O R E F E R E N C E . C O M
Trunked Radio Systems
SECTION 1: Trunked Radio Systems:
8. Trunking systems over the past 20 years have exploded onto the communications
scene, changing every facet of the two-way radio market, from local SMRs to wide-area
Omni-Link behemoths that allow users to communicate across entire states. Likewise,
the impact over the past five years has been just as dramatic for scanner owners as highly
sophisticated trunk-tracking scanners have emerged and changed the hobby overnight.
Years ago the buzzword was channels or frequencies, but today it’s talkgroups.
This Web site’s former URL as we all know was trunkedradio.net, which became the
premier reference site for the latest in trunked radio system info, deployment and updated
talkgroups. Managing this core element, and others of the Radio Reference.com,
database is a full-time effort that would not be possible without the great work of the
administrators who keep the entire Web site running like a finely tuned Swiss watch.
Entering Trunked Radio Systems Into The Database:
Before entering any system into the database, please make sure that it doesn’t already
exist. If you find out that the system doesn’t exist, examine the information carefully and
ask yourself the following questions:
• Did the submitter send in a rehash from the FCC database?
• Does this information appear to have been lifted from another site?
• Is there enough information provided to enter the system completely into
• Is there an e-mail address where you can contact the submitter for further
Please do not post any unknown information from the FCC database that is listed as
“Pending.” While this information is valuable, it’s best posted in the forums until some
kind of a conformation can be received, unless the following is known:
9. • The pending license is for a system that is already operational and is part
of an expansion program.
• You have read or received a press release that confirms the validity of this
new site or system being proposed.
• You have accurate inside information that a contract with a certain vendor
has been signed and the site, or system is currently under construction.
When entering this information into the database, please mark the FCC License area
as PENDING. This will indicate that this new site or system is in the actual construction
When categorizing talkgroups, it’s important to remember not to be redundant or
repetitive when editing them. However, keep in mind the scope of the system and the
area(s) that it covers. When doing so with local or county systems, please avoid the
• Do not clump all of the talkgroups under one heading, such as “All
Talkgroups.” Not only does this look bad, but it’s highly confusing to any
of the readers.
• Avoid redundancies: If the talkgroup group says “Smith County Sheriff’s
Office Talkgroups,” edit the them accordingly:
o Acceptable: Dispatch / Dispatch F-1.
o Unacceptable: SCSO Dispatch / Sheriff’s Office Dispatch.
• When dealing with a large Omni-Link system, its best to categorize things
by state agencies first, followed by users with a large amount of individual
talkgroups, then by the county with its alphabetical number “(23)” in
parenthesis. The following would be acceptable examples:
o State Highway Patrol – District 1 Talkgroups.
o Delaware National Guard Talkgroups.
o Chicago Police – Zone 2 Dispatch Talkgroups.
o Wayne County (82) Talkgroups.
10. When ranking the order of the talkgroups, it’s best to place emergency and other
priority talkgroups at the top of the page. Such examples would be:
• 01-Mutual Aid/Intersystem.
• 02-EOC & Disaster.
• 03-County Fire.
• 04-Countywide Tactical/Special Events.
• 05-Sheriff’s Department.
• 06-Gainesville Fire.
• 07-Gainesville Police.
• 08-Gainesville Public Works.
Please note, when working with large Omni-Link public safety systems that cover an
entire state, it’s best to use three digits rather than two, due to the higher number of
agencies utilizing the system.
12. R A D I O R E F E R E N C E . C O M
Conventional Radio Systems
SECTION 2: Conventional Radio Systems:
13. With the recent addition of conventional, non-trunked radios systems to the database,
the need for accurate information is greater than ever. This section will deal with the best
way to arrange and present the information for these listings.
Since the information in the conventional section of Radio Reference.com is arranged
mostly by county in each state, the majority of the data entered so far has been for fire,
police, and EMS agencies, and their associated radio frequencies. Since some of these
systems have been in place dating back to the 1940s, it’s very possible many that you will
encounter a multitude of frequencies and channel assignments on various radio bands.
Many of the listings from the FCC frequency sort, maybe outdated, or even abandoned as
the newer trunking systems are implemented. The trend nowadays, is for many smaller
cities and counties to join larger statewide networks, for total and complete
interoperability among all First Responders.
When entering the information into the conventional database, please follow these
• Categorize each agency alphabetically if possible, but make the county
government listings first in the queue.
• Enter agency for the city, county, parish, or township as follows:
o Police – Dispatch
o Fire – Fireground Ch-2
o Emergency Mgmt. – EAS Alerting
o Sheriff – Tac 3
o EMS – H.E.A.R.N.
o Dog Catcher
Example: Adrian, City of
14. Frequency Input Callsign Type Tone CH Description Mode
156.10500 KNGA906 BM 85.4 F-1 Fire - Dispatch - Station 71 FM
153.95000 KNGA906 M 85.4 F-2 Fire - Fireground FM
154.29500 KNGA906 M F-3 Fire - Statewide Mutual Aid FM
154.01000 150.80500 KNGA906 RM 118.8 F-4 Fire - Operations FM
154.43000 KNGA906 BM 85.4 F-5 Fire - Tactical FM
153.83000 KNGA906 M 85.4 F-6 Fire - Command FM
154.65750 KQH584 M 118.8 Police - Tactical FM
155.49000 158.73000 KQH584 RM 118.8 F-1 Police - Dispatch FM
155.86500 WPEY238 M M.E.P.S.S. – Statewide Police
156.00000 WPEY238 BM DPW/Fire/Police FM
453.06250 458.06250 WPBC397 M Water Dept. FM
• Do not add redundant information to each data entry line. If the agency is
specific, like the New York State Police, it is not necessary to repeat all or
part of that on each line. However, please use the following as the best
suggestion; this may vary from agency-to-agency and state-to-state, as
Correct: Troop G (Albany)
Frequency Input Type Tone CH Description Mode
155.44500 154.68000 BM 110.9 F-
155.55000 BM 110.9 Information FM
Incorrect: Troop G (Albany)
Frequency Input Type Tone CH Description Mode
155.44500 154.68000 BM 110.9 F-
State Police Dispatch
155.55000 BM 110.9 N.Y.S.P. Information FM
Aircraft & Airports