Ramsey County ECC and other Public Safety services use the 800 MHz Radio System. The Radio System is accessed through in-vehicle mobile radios, hand-held portable radios, and dispatch consoles.
The NEW Ramsey County 800 Mhz Radio System provides radio interoperability that ensures first responders and other public agencies within the County have seamless radio communications for the performance of their duties.
Older scanners capable of receiving public safety frequencies prior to the 800 MHz ARMER system, no longer work.
To receive transmissions on the ARMER system you need a scanner that can receive APCO Project 25 trunked transmissions with a 9600 baud control channel.
There are several scanners on the market that can receive these transmissions. After the purchase, you will also need information to program the scanner. There are local scanner dealers and internet websites that can supply you with the information you need. Some dealers charge for this service and some include it with the price of the scanner.
Ramsey County does not supply control channel or talk-group information to any unauthorized person or group.
In most cases scanners are legal for use in a home or office setting. Please note that State and federal regulations prohibit the use of anything heard on the radio. So the policy is “listen but don’t tell.” Mobile use of Police scanners is generally not permitted except for qualified Amateur Radio Operators.
(MN State Statute 299C.37)
Technical Details of the Ramsey County 800 MHz Radio System
The ARMER Project 25 digital trunked radio system consists of portions owned and operated by the State and portions owned and operated by individual counties and cities. The Minnesota State Radio Board (SRB) oversees the system. Counties are responsible for system portions they built, but must operate within SRB rules.
The Ramsey County 800 MHz radio system is a portion of the Minnesota ARMER trunked digital radio system. Because of the connection to the state system, Ramsey County radios can communicate with any other 800 Mhz radio anywhere in the State with radio coverage.
The Ramsey County radio system uses APCO Project 25 digital modulation. This robust modulation scheme works well beyond the boundaries where older FM radio systems fail. This means that the radio transmissions stay clear and easy to understand inside the network.
The Ramsey County portion of the ARMER system consists of seven radio sites around the County, each with 22 transmitters. The radio sites are connected by microwave transmissions and fiber optic cable. One transmitter, used as the “control channel,” directs the system-affiliated portable and mobile radios where they should go to send or receive their transmissions. The other 21 transmitters are used as required to transmit the more than 350 virtual channels (“talk groups”) programmed into various Ramsey County radios. The transmissions of other talk groups that originate in Ramsey County, other counties, or at the state level are sorted by the control channel that respond to what each radio is tuned too.
The 22 transmitters employed by this system do the work of many old style transmitters. Since the system’s portions interconnect, each site transmits the same transmission, providing protective redundancy against the failure of one or more sites taking the entire system off the air. Even if the whole Ramsey County system were to fail, the radios would automatically affiliate with one of the other county or the State sites and transmissions would continue with minimal interruption.
More information on Ramsey County's Radio System History.