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U.S. Coast Guard Pactor II Network Overview
              Worldwide UTE News Club (WUN) Info File
            U.S. Coast Guard HF PACTOR II E-Mail Network
            (Last revised 30-Nov-01, Copyright 2001 WUN)

    The information in this file was derived from a variety of people
and sources as well as from on-the-air monitoring. Any additional
information in the form of frequencies, stations active, or operational
details would be greatly appreciated.  Please send any such
information to MidAtlanticDXer or Al Dudley using the E-Mail addresses
provided at the bottom of the page.

    Any new information will be flagged with "***New***".

        --USCG PACTOR II E-Mail Network Frequency Usage--

Frequency   Net Control Station     Fleet   Day/Night   Last Logged
---------   -------------------     -----   ---------   -----------
5272.2      NOJ                     PAC     Night       July 2001
6961.2      NMC1                    PAC     Night
6964.4      NMC                     PAC     Night
7442.3      Cutters                 PAC     Night
7685.5      NNN0MDC                 LANT    24hr        November 2001
8340.2      NMC                     PAC     Night
9302.7      NOJ                     No longer in use
10355.2     NOJ                     PAC     24hr        September 2001
12127.5     NNN0MDE                 LANT    24hr        ***New***
13827.5     NNN0MUC                 LANT    24hr        October 2001
13950.2     NMC1                    No longer in use
13953.2     NMC                     No longer in use
14506.2     NMC                     PAC     Day         November 2001
14752.2     Unknown                 PAC     Day
14922.4     poss NOJ                PAC     Day         ***New***
18192.2     NMC1                    PAC     Day         October 2001
20642.2     NMC                     PAC     Day

             --USCG PACTOR II E-Mail Network Callsigns--

Callsign    Identity
--------    --------
NAQD        USCGC Jarvis WHEC-725
NBTM        USCGC Polar Star WAGB-10 (no longer equipped)
NDWA        USCGC Morgenthau WHEC-722
NEGF        Unid USCGC
NEPP        USCGC Healy WAGB-20
NGDF        USCGC Munro WHEC-724
NKJU        USCGC Kukui WLB-203
NLPM        USCGC Chase WHEC-718
NLVS        USCGC Rush WHEC-723
NMAG        USCGC Hamilton WHEC-715
NMC         Communications Area Master Station Pacific (CAMSPAC)
            Point Reyes, CA
NMC1        Coast Guard Island, Alameda, CA
NMEL        USCGC Mellon WHEC-717
NNHA        USCGC Acushnet, WMEC-167
NNN0CBS     USCGC Durable, WMEC-628
NNN0CDU     Unid USCGC ***New Station***
NNN0CEQ     USCGC Harriet Lane WMEC-903
NNN0CES     USCGC Gentian (WIX-290) ***New Ident***
NNN0CFA     USNS Persistent (T-AGOS 6) ***New Ident***
NNN0CMD     USCGC Mohawk WMEC-913 ***New Station***
NNN0CME     USCGC Northland WMEC-904
NNN0CMS     USCGC Courageous WHEC-716
NNN0CMV     USCGC Tampa WMEC-902
NNN0CNY     USCGC Campbell WMEC-909
NNN0CNZ     USCGC Tahoma WMEC-908
NNN0CSA     USCGC Seneca WMEC-906
NNN0CSP     USCGC Spencer WMEC-905
NNN0CST     USCGC Decisive WMEC-629 ***New***
NNN0CTB     USCGC Venturous WMEC-625
NNN0CVM     USCGC Thetis WMEC-910 ***New***
NNN0CVQ     USCGC Forward WMEC-911
NNN0CXK     USCGC Gallatin WHEC-721
NNN0CXS     USCGC Dallas WHEC-716
NNN0CYU     USCGC Vigilant WMEC-617
NNN0CZK     USCGC Vigorous WMEC-627
NNN0MDA     Atlantic Shore Station, Nazareth PA (aka: NNN0GKF)
NNN0MDC     Atlantic Shore Station, HQ Navy & Marine Corps MARS,
            Washington DC (aka: NNN0NAV)
NNN0MDE     Atlantic Shore Station  ***New***
NNN0MDF     Atlantic Shore Station, Coast Guard HQ,
            Washington DC (aka: NNN0NCG)
NNN0MUC     Atlantic Shore Station
NNN0NXZ     USCGC Confidence WMEC-619
NNN0NZK     USCGC Dauntless WMEC-624
NOJ         Communications Station (COMSTA), Kodiak, AK
NRCB        USCGC Eagle, WIX-327
NRPX        USCGC Buttonwood WLB-306
NRTF        USCGC Active, WMEC-618
NRUC        USCGC Storis WMEC-38
NRUO        USCGC Polar Sea WAGB-11 (no longer equipped)
NSTF        USCGC Steadfast WMEC-625
NYCQ        USCGC Boutwell WHEC-719
NZNE        USCGC Walnut WLB-205 ***New Ident***
NZVE        USCGC Alert WMEC-630

----Traffic Sample----
    Here is an example of traffic exchange between the Coast Station
and the USCG Cutter Mohawk.  This is illustrative of the interaction
between the stations.  As in all cases on this network, the actual
traffic is encrypted and unreadable except by the intended recipient.
Read the overview section below for details on the encryption/decryption
process utilized by the USCG.

---------------------------------------------------------------BEGIN PGP M
VERSION: 2.6.2

    >---Encrypted Traffic removed---<

----Monitoring Tips----
    Several monitors have reported some problems in copying this network.
Some tips to help in the monitoring are provided below.

1) Center tune the freq as much as possible..deviations of even 40hz
have an effect on the ability to successfully decode the signal.

2) The USCG uses SCS PACTOR II modems with an FSK shift of 200hz, vice
the standard 170hz of a Kantronics modem.  Set your decoder to 200hz in
order to guarantee that you can "see" the entire signal.

3) Monitor using normal PACTOR seems to do a better job reading
the callups on most decoders.  The waveform used by PACTOR II during
callups is the same as normal PACTOR.  Since the e-mail traffic is
encrypted, its not really necessary to monitor in PACTOR II
can't read it anyway.  However, the traffic listed above is from the
PACTOR II module of the WaveCom W40PC, and is only copyable in PACTOR II

4) Most stations begin the traffic list at the top of the hour, and will
continue until all traffic is passed, or until no station answers.
Therefore, the best time to monitor is in the first few minutes of each

5) Monitoring for a long while WILL result in QSOs between the coast and
ship station. The coast stations work around the clock, the ships
"retrieve" email when operations and the environment permit.  If you find
an unidentified frequency active, look for these QSOs. Immediately prior
to the switch to PACTOR II mode, the coast station will identify

----Historical Overview and Transmission Protocols----

    The first logging of the USCG HF E-Mail Network USCG G-TOR took
place in September 1998. This net utilized the G-TOR transmission
protocol to transmit the e-mail. A majority of the USCG Pacific Fleet's
larger cutters were logged receiving e-mail on this network. This
network was intended strictly for USCG use, and no G-TOR transmissions
were seen for civilian or non-USCG vessels.

    In November 1999, the USCG switched to the more efficient PACTOR II
protocol for transmission. PACTOR II incorporates a DSP processor to
provide a more efficient signal. Capable of operating in both FSK and in
various forms of PSK modulation, the PACTOR II signal provides for
throughput speeds of up to 800 baud while maintaining a bandwidth
requirement of less than 500Hz. A side effect of this move to PACTOR II
is that it makes monitoring of the signal more difficult for the average
hobbyist as there are not a lot of decoders available for the PACTOR II

    The PACTOR II net utilizes the same off-line encryption process as
the former G-TOR net. This process is as follows:  E-Mail is received
from the internet via the PEGASUS e-mail program. Once a sufficient
quantity of e-mails are received, they are compressed using PKZIP.
The resulting file is then encrypted using Pretty Good Privacy
(PGP) software. The encrypted file is transmitted via the PACTOR II
modem (SCS PTC-II or PTC-IIE) to the appropriate vessel, where the
process is reversed. The encryption/decryption process is automated
using PROCOMM PLUS scripts to pull the e-mail from PEGASUS, run the PGP
routines, and then send the files to the modem.

    In the Pacific Fleet, most net QSOs begin at the top of the hour
with the Net Control Station (NCS) calling each of the vessels on its
support listing. In the Atlantic Fleet, these QSOs apparently can occur
at anytime, with communications noted throughout the hour, day and
night. Each vessel that has traffic then connects and receives data
from, or transmits data to, the NCS. THERE ARE NO OPERATIONAL MESSAGES
PASSED ON THIS NET. It is strictly used for E-Mail support to vessels at

    Throughout the first two years of monitoring the USCG HF E-Mail
Network many monitors wondered when the system would begin operating in
the Atlantic Fleet. On December 29th 2000, Al Dudley reported the first
log of the Atlantic Fleet PACTOR II network.  This was confirmed shortly
thereafter by MidAtlanticDXer.  This net reportedly began operations in
February 2000, and in the first 10 days of operation had passed more
than 2700 e-mails.

    In the Pacific Fleet, the Net Control Stations are established at
three US Coast Guard communication sites; CAMSPAC Point Reyes,
COMSTA Kodiak and Coast Guard Island Alameda.  In the Atlantic Fleet,
the network operates with a series of volunteer MARS stations
providing the service. The US Coast Guard has expressed the desire for
the entire network to eventually be run by MARS volunteers, thereby
freeing valuable assets at the Pacific Fleet COMSTAs.

    Callsign usage varies by fleet assignment.  In the Pacific Fleet,
the Net Control Station and Cutters utilize their international
callsigns. In the Atlantic Fleet, the cutters and Net Control Stations
utilize MARS callsigns.  It is expected that as the Pacific Fleet
transitions to a MARS-supported system, they will switch to MARS calls
as well.  Only one Atlantic Fleet cutter has been logged on the Pacific
Net; the USCGC Eagle.  This sail training vessel was operating in the
Pacific at the time and logged onto the network using its ITU callsign.
This station has yet to be logged in the Atlantic Fleet.  No Pacific
Fleet units have been logged on the Atlantic Fleet network.

    According to official sources, the terminal at Coast Guard Island,
Alameda (NMC1) processes the most Pacific Fleet PACTOR II traffic, with
the COMSTA at Kodiak, Alaska (NOJ) pulling a close second. CAMSPAC
Point Reyes (NMC) actually processes the least amount of Pacific Fleet
PACTOR II e-mail traffic.  In the Atlantic Fleet, Net Control Station
NNN0MDA provides a large majority of the traffic from its location in
Nazareth, PA.  In fact, Richard Johnson (aka: NNN0GKF/W3BI), the force
behind NNN0MDA, received the USCG's Meritorious Public Service Award in
November 2000 for his support of MARS and this E-Mail network. According
to an USCG Press Release, NNN0MDA has processed between 500 and 600
emails per day since joining the network.

---------------------UPDATES / CORRECTIONS---------------------
Any corrections, updates, or additional info appreciated!

MidAtlanticDXer   (
Al Dudley         (

COPYRIGHT Worldwide UTE News Club (WUN) 2001

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