Division of Technology

System Operations, Policies and User Cost

Palmetto 800 Radio System Information

Palmetto 800 Radio System Details

Statewide Radio System
The Palmetto 800 MHz radio system is a unique partnership between State government, local governments, public safety agencies, power utilities and Motorola, Inc.

Transmitter Sites
System transmitter sites are designed with maximum redundancy. Each site is equipped with generator back-up power. Most sites operate off of a DC rectifier system that allows the site to operate for up to 24 hours without commerical or generator power. If an individual transmitter site loses connectivity with the network (site trunking) it will continue to operate as an independent trunked site.  

System Monitoring
Motorola provides 7X24 monitoring of the statewide system through the System's Zone Watch and MOSCAD system.

Talkgroup Guidelines
To manage system loading users are provided one (1) primary talkgroup for every 25 radios and one statewide roaming talkgroup for every one 100 radios they have on the Palmetto 800 system. Please use the Talkgroup Request Form (linked above) for special request of additional talkgroups.

Talkgroup Sharing
All system users are required to have written approval from the agency a talkgroup/frequency is assigned to prior to programing the talkgroup or frequency into a radio. Written approval is not required for programing and use of State Mutual Aid talkgroups, 8SCTAC and 8TAC mutual aid frequencies. For additional information on mutual aid frequencies and talkgroups see the 800 Mutual Aid Conventional Repeater Plan and Trunked Mutual Aid Talkroup links above. 

System Cost
User costs are base in the number of trunked transmitter sites an agency needs for primary radio coverage of its jurisdiction. See the Palmetto 800 System Users Rates link at the top of the page.

System Key
System keys for the Palmetto 800 System are the property of Motorola, Inc. and are not to be copied or given to anyone except those with written authorization to have a system key. All holders of a system key for the Palmetto 800 System must have a signed agreement on file with Motorola-Palmetto 800 for the use of the system key. Holders of pirated copies of system keys are subject to legal prosecution.

Purchasing 800 MHz Radios
The Palmetto 800 System continues to plan for the future upgrade to an all digital P25 system. All new control stations, mobiles and portable radios purchased for use on the Palmetto 800 System shall be SmartZone capable, have a 100 plus talkgroup/channel capacity and be upgradable to the P25 digital standard. While the upgrade of the system to a P25 digital standard is not planned for another 4 or 5 years, (most new radios today have a 10 year life expectancy), the 800 Advisory Committee, proactively, has instructed Motorola not to activate new radios on the system that are not SmartZone capable and upgradable to the P25 digital standard.

Use of Stubby (3") Antennas
Agencies utilizing the Palmetto 800 System should not utilize stubby antennas on their 800 MHz handheld radios. The short stubby antenna should only be utilized in conjunction with the public safety speaker mic and attached to the speaker mic "only." Testing on the system has shown that use of the stubby antenna attached directly to the handheld radio will reduce the effectiveness, operating range and in-building coverage of the radio. Agencies (especially public safety agencies) should implement a policy to prohibit the use of stubby antennas attached directly to handheld radios.

Disaster Operations
To help manage system loading and to increase agency interoperability during local or state disasters, all Palmetto 800 users should include the utilization of the statewide 800 MHz conventional repeater (ITAC's & SCTAC's) system as part of their communications plans. See the Coverage Maps link for additional information.

Essential Operations Plans
All users of the Palmetto 800 system are required to submit an Essential Operations Plan to Motorola for review by the 800 Advisory Committee on an annual basis. The Essential Operations Plan provides essential contact information for an agency, a listing of the agencies talkgroups and the agency's plan to reduce talkgroups if needed during a major local or statewide emergency. Plans should include a 50 percent reduction in talkgroups and the off loading of some operations to conventional 800 MHz channels. See the Essential Operations Form, linked above, for additional information.

Interconnecting to the Palmetto 800 System
The Palmetto 800 Radio System and its licensees prohibit two-way interconnecting or the connecting of the Palmetto 800 System to other radio systems, telephone systems, cellular systems or any system that brings additional/outside loading to the system without written approval of the Palmetto 800 MHz Advisory Committee. See the interconnect guideline links above for additional information.  

Palmetto 800 Infrastructure Providers
Motorola, the State of South Carolina, Lexington County, Spartanburg County, Pickens County, Georgetown County, New Horizon Electric Cooperative, and South Carolina Electric and Gas (SCE&G).

Palmetto 800 Frequency Providers
The State of South Carolina, SCANA/SCE&G, Lexington County, Spartanburg County, Augusta-Richmond County, Ga., Richland County, Jasper County, Georgetown County, Dorchester County, Orangeburg County, and Charleston County.