Two Way Radio Communication

UCSC operates a two-way radio system that is available for use by any department on campus. This system, operated by the Telecommunications department, provides 24 hour a day, two-way radio service to the entire campus and surrounding areas. Individual units or student organizations may rent radio equipment for campus-related activities from Telecommunications. Currently we offer handheld radios with a rechargeable battery pack and charge. Each radio is capable of communicating with the other rental radios on a pre-assigned rental talk group, and with other campus units on three available events talk groups. All other campus unit radios have these three events talk groups, so smooth and reliable communications can be maintained with other units on campus.

Current rental rates are:

Daily $15/radio
Weekend $30/radio
Weekly $50/radio

The above rates include: radio, one rechargeable battery, battery charge, leather belt holster and operator training (required for first time users).

For more information, please contact the ITS Support Center.

UC Santa Cruz Radio Use and Procedures

1. The campus EMERGENCY talkgroup is montitored at all times by the campus Communications Center. If you are unsure whether to use the EMERGENCY talkgroup, ask yourself if you would dial 9-1-1 in the same circumstance.

To report an emergency, use the rotary switch on the top of the radio to select the EMERGENCY talkgroup on switch position 16. The text EMERG will appear in the display. Press the Push-to-Talk button and announce:
"Control, this is __[your radio identifer]__ , reporting an emergency. "

The Communications Center ("Control") dispatcher will answer your call and prompt you for the details of the emergency. Listen to and follow instructions from the dispatcher or other public safety personnel responding to your report.

3. Make only necessary transmissions-you are sharing a limited number of radio channels with all other UCSC radio users INCLUDING PUBLIC SAFETY AGENCIES. You cannot know when emergency communications are in progress on other talkgroups and your unnecessary transmission may delay another radio user reporting or responding to an emergency incident.

4. Use radio identifiers, not personal names, when talking to another radio. The University's license does not authorize personal conversations. When calling another radio, say its identifier first and then your own radio identifier.

Example: "R-2 [pause] "R-4 "
"R-1, this is R-3 "

5. Make all transmissions as brief and concise as possible. Be aware that the radio system will automatically end an excessively long transmission (over sixty seconds).

6. Speak directly into the face of the radio, using a normal voice. You do not need to speak slowly or particularly fast, but it is important to speak clearly, distinctly, and loudly enough to be understood.

7. Think before your speak-DON'T press the Push-to-Talk button until you know what you want to say in your transmission.

8. After you press the Push-to-Talk button, always pause for a moment before speaking. This ensures that the radio system has time to respond to your transmission and prevents the first part of your transmission from being lost. Likewise, do not release the Push-to-Talk button until you have finished speaking. If you are often asked to repeat part of your message, you may be inadvertently cutting off part of your transmission.

Radio Regulations

The UC Santa Cruz 800MHz radio system uses radio frequencies allocated by the federal government for public safety use and licensed to the University of California System. In the case of governmental organizations such as the University, non-public safety users are permitted to use these frequencies in association with public safety agencies.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is authorized by law to formulate and enforce regulations governing radio frequency use. All radio users are required to follow FCC rules and regulations and failure to comply may result in substantial fines levied against the University and may place the UC Santa Cruz licenses in jeopardy.

The regulations below are of particular importance and are enforced by the FCC:

- Use of indecent, obscene, or profane language is strictly prohibited: "whoever utters an obscene, indecent or profane language by means of radio communications shall be fined not more than $10,000 and/or imprisoned not more than two years. (Title 18, US Code, Chapter 71, paragraph 1464)

- Federal law states that "each licensee [i.e. UC Santa Cruz] shall restrict all transmissions to the minimum practicable transmission time and employ efficient operating procedure to maximize the utilization of the spectrum." FCC interpretation of this rule forbids the use of "CB" type language as a wasteful and inefficient us of radio time.

- Federal law states that radio users may transmit only the following types of communications:

1. Any communication related directly to the imminent safety of life and property. Federal
law provides such emergency transmission with priority over all other communications.

2. Communications directly related and necessary to those activities which make the licensee eligible for the license, i.e. University business.

3. Communications for testing purposes required for proper radio system maintenance.

Please ensure that you follow these regulations at all times when using the UCSC radio system. If you have any questions about permissible communications or wish to discuss possible violations of FCC regulations, please contact the ITS Support Center.