FREQUENCY Coordination


The Karo-Echo Coordination Team: Don, NI6A, team lead

Job Duties: To coordinate radio frequency usage for radio disaster services in order to minimize interference on Ham, GMRS, FRS, and Digital Networks and establish a Message Center protocol to coordinate and maximize inter-operability between networks, as well as to titrate message precedence.

Communications Coordination encompasses two critical domains

1: Ham Radio Simplex Frequency Coordination

A: Ham Radio Simplex Frequency Coordination between all Karo/Echo CERT Areas and the EOC

B: Ham Radio Simplex Frequency Coordination with neighboring EMcomm (Emergency Communications organizations and ACS (Auxiliary Communications Systems) Outside of Kensington/El Cerrito

2: FRS/GMRS Frequency Coordination

Each CERT Area will cooperate by reporting their primary and secondary FRS and GMRS frequencies. Frequencies/channels should be staggered in order to avoid inter-area interference between adjacent CERT areas. Intra-area channel choices are relegated to the individual CERT area coordinators, but should be coordinated through KE's Coordinating body. Each Area shall do their own intra-area mapping in the attempt to establish 100% communication between FRS block stations and Ham radio dual station or GMRS/Ham dual stations for relay to the Area ICP without the need for relays, if possible.

The following CERT areas have applied for the following frequencies.

CERT Area EC9: FRS/GMRS Channel 7 primary and FRS/GMRS Channel 2 secondary Status: Coordinated

CERT AREA K6: FRS/GMRS Channel 6 primary and FRS/GMRS Channel 1 secondary Status: Coordinated

CERT AREA EC4 FRS/GMRS Channel 2 primary and FRS/GMRS Channel 7 secondary Status: Coordinated


  • Channels 8-14 are restricted to 1/2 watt for both GMRS and FRS and are to be used intra-block (SAR, Triage, Fire Suppression, etc)
  • Channels 1-7 are for longer comms such as inter-block comms to and from the AREA ICP where GMRS are allowed 5 watts and FRS 2 watts maximum.

GMRS/FRS Mapping: Each CERT Neighborhood Area should be mapped so that block dead spots and hot spots are identified and remedial measures implemented.

Frequency Coordination between CERT areas (Inter-Area) through the use of Amateur Radio and GMRS Interfaces

The KARO/ECHO primary frequency 146.415 MHz with 146.475 MHz as secondary.

The assigned Contra Costa County OES frequency for KARO/ECHO CERT is 146.475 MHz simplex.

No GMRS inter-area coordination has yet been established.

2 Meter Mapping: Each Ham location should map all ham stations that they can establish direct contact. This can be done as a weekly net exercise. Each ham station should have the capability of contacting the EOC on simplex. (This must be tested on regular basis).

Mapping Tool: Just enter the address that you want to contact and see the path and obstructions if any.

Coordination with neighboring EMcomm organizations

Communication and coordination is necessary in order to minimize interference and to arrange for mutual aid if needed, since, many disasters are local and not widespread equally among geographical regions. Mutual-aid can take the form of training exercises, skilled operators, and sharing needed resources such as water, food, medicines, generators, skilled nursing, rescue equipment etc. This is especially valuable if our local agencies are overworked and unavailable.

       A: The KARO/ECHO primary frequency 146.415 MHz simplex
       B: 146.475 MHz simplex secondary
       C: 146.475 MHz (secondary) EC/K CERT allocation by Contra Costa County OES
       D: West CoCo County RACES 145.110 MHz (repeater TX -600 KHz PL 82.5)
       E: CoCo County OES Martinez 146.505MHz simplex
       F: Richmond 147.450 MHz simplex CERT
       G: San Pablo 147.495 MHz simplex CERT
       H: Pinole 147.570 CERT
       I: Crockett 146.490 CERT
       J: Hercules 147.540 CERT
       K: Berkeley 147.480 simplex (NALCO ARES/RACES)
       L: NALCO ARES/RACES 440.900 MHz (TX +5 PL 131.8) 
       M: Contra Costa County RACES (OES) 3893 KHz LSB
       N: Oakland ARES/RACES 146.880 MHz (repeater TX -600 PL 77)
       O: Bay Area Red Cross: 3891KHz LSB at 0730; 5371.5 (ch4) at 0745 or 5357 (ch3) USB; 7181 LSB at 0800 Saturdays 
       P: CoCo County OES Martinez 145.41, 147.735, and 145.490 (WA6HAM Linked Repeater System TX -600 PL 107.2)
       Q: R2R (Richmond Ready to React) 1930 move to primary FRS/GMRS Ch.5-7) 
       R: BeCERTAINN (Berkeley CERT & Inter-Neighborhood Network) GMRS Ch.22 RX 462.725 MHz TX +5 MHz PL 88.5
       S. Live Feeds to Contra Costa County Fire, Police, CalFire, W6CX Repeater, and related live feeds 
       T. American Red Cross of the Bay Area (ARCBA) WW6BAY repeater 443.975 MHz, TX +5 MHz, PL 100 Hz
       U. Bay Area Hospital Net, 147.060 MHz TX +600 PL 100  
       V. CARS (California Amateur Radio Service) 1100 M-F 7.248 MHz See: CARS Website
       W. SATERN Net Mondays 2000 local (W6CX) 147.060 + (100PL); Linked to 224.780/441.325 + (100PL)
       X. Marin Amateur Radio Society 146.700 Mhz, - pl 203.5 Big Rock Ridge, pl 179.9 Mt. Tam, pl 167.9 Mt. Barnabe
          Linked Simulcast System. Also 147.330 MHz + pl 192.8 147.330 MHz + pl 173.8 (Net on Tues 1930)
       Y. California Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) formerly California State RACES:
Monday at 2000 hours local - California Emergency Services Net (CESN) 3992 KHz LSB  Primary or 3960 KHz LSB Alternate(Mutual Aid Regions 1 through 6) 
4th Monday at 2030 hours local - California Emergency Services Net (CESN)-- (No Nets on the 4th Monday for 2019) (Mutual Aid Regions 1 through 6) 
Wednesday at 1000 hours local - California Emergency Services Net (CESN) 7230 KHz LSB Primary or 7192 KHz LSB Alternate (Mutual Aid Regions 1 through 6) -- SEE: for changes
        Z. Bay Area EMCOMM Net Every Saturday 0900 145.110 (-600) pl 82.5Hz

Local and Adjacent Nets:

  • A: 1900 Thurs KAROECHO Net 146.415 MHz Simplex
  • D: 1845 Thurs West Co Co Cty ACS/RACES
  • L: 1915 Thurs NALCO ARES/RACES
  • M: 1835 Thurs 3893 KHz LSB Co Co RACES/ACS
  • P: 1920 Thurs Co Co County Wide Net (WA6HAM linked repeater system)
  • Q: 1930 Richmond Ready to React (R2R) 1st Wednesday of each month. FRS Ch. 5, 6, or 7 (Alt. freqs.)
  • R: 1930 Tues BeCERTainn (Berkeley CERT GMRS Net Ch.22 (462.725 MHz) Tx +5MHz PL 88.5
  • T: 2000 Wednesdays (Am. Red Cross of Bay Area Net)
  • U: 1200 (noon) 4th Wednesday of month -- monthly-- Bay Area Hospital Net
  • W: Salvation Army Team Emergency Network (SATERN) - Mon 2000 (W6CX) 147.060 Linked to 224.780/441.325 + (100PL)
  • X. Marin Amateur Radio Society (the k6gwe repeater system) 146.700 Mhz, - pl 203.5 Big Rock Ridge, pl 179.9 Mt. Tam, pl 167.9 Mt. Barnabe. Linked Simulcast System. Also 147.330 MHz + pl 192.8 147.330 MHz + pl 173.8 (Tues evenings 1930); and 443.525 MHz + pl 82.5 Hz
  • Z. Bay Area EMCOMM Net Every Saturday 0900 145.110 (-600) pl 82.5Hz

Adjacent Alameda County Frequencies and Weekly Nets

NALCO ( Berkeley)

Frequencies ....... Offset/Tone ...... Weekly Net ....... Notes

147.480 N/A ....... Simplex

224.900 ...........(-1.6Mhz) 131.8 ......Net Thu 18:45 ......Low-level ARES/RACES use (SECONDARY)

440.900 ...........(+5MHz) 131.8. .......Net Thu 19:15 .....Low-level ARES/RACES use (PRIMARY)

1285.55 ...........(-12MHz) 114.8 ................................ Low-level ARES/RACES use (RESOURCES)

BEcertainn (Berkeley GMRS CERT Repeater Network)

462.725 ...........(+5MHz) 88.5 ..........Net Tues 1930 ....... Low Level CERT GMRS Repeater

ORCA ( Oakland )

Frequency .......... Offset/Tone ........ Weekly Net ....... Notes

146.88 ............ (-) 77.0 .................Net Thu 19:30

442.40 ............ (+) 77.0

147.585 ........... Simplex (PRIMARY)

146.565 ........... Simplex (SECONDARY)

ARCA ( Alameda )

Frequency ........... Offset/Tone ........ Weekly Net ....... Notes

444.575 ............ (+) 88.5 ............... Net Thu 19:00

146.505 ............ Simplex (PRIMARY)

146.535 ............ Simplex (SECONDARY)

3. Coordination with local NGOs to Aid Messenger Services Local running, bicycling, Scout Troops, PTAs, service organizations, and Church organizations are potent resources to run messages within the CERT areas need to be recruited and trained to act as transcribers/scribes, crowd control, runners, and message center managers.

4. Training in Efficient message center operations should be made available as well as FRS/GMRS and radio training classes. Since smooth Interoperability is key, all radio frequencies should be coordinated by the KAROECHO Coordination body.

Not only ham frequencies need to be coordinated in order to avoid interference; but also FRS/GMRS CERT frequencies. A message center model for each ICP must be established so that messages can be triaged/titrated and handed off from one service to the other be it by ham, FRS, GMRS, runner, or bicyclist.

Cert blocks and CERT Area ICPs must be COORDINATED as to frequencies or they will interfere with each other. Interference with neighboring CERT areas such as Berkeley, Albany, and Richmond on our borders can and should be avoided, through coordination.

A List of Relevant HF, VHF, UHF SIMPLEX EmComm Frequencies in our area

Link to FRS/GMRS frequencies, numeric designators, and power limitations

El Cerrito/Kensington CERT Area Maps and Area Coordinator Contact List

El Cerrito Kensington CERT Disaster Staging/Gathering Areas (Unfortunately this information is no longer available)