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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-08-2018, 6:02 AM
   
Join Date: Oct 2018
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Default Radio system discussion

My local PD has decided it's time to go digital. But we are trying to decide which system to go with. I have some questions about switching to a Motorola p25 800 system so we could have our own frequency and also use the same radio for AWIN. Is that possible? Dont know much about nexedge but we are on a budget and I assume that nexedge is fairly pricey. And they dont want to switch to mototurbo. Any suggestions?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-08-2018, 7:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Brett280 View Post
My local PD has decided it's time to go digital. But we are trying to decide which system to go with. I have some questions about switching to a Motorola p25 800 system so we could have our own frequency and also use the same radio for AWIN. Is that possible? Dont know much about nexedge but we are on a budget and I assume that nexedge is fairly pricey. And they dont want to switch to mototurbo. Any suggestions?
I am not trying to push spending more money than you have to, but changing a radio system is not for the average person to make those choices. I strongly suggest that you get the agency to bring in a radio consultant that has done radio system upgrades, to guide you through the process and help write the specs for the new radios. Do not allow a radio vendor to write any specs that you intend to use to obtain any new radios with. This always ends up one sided and is intended to push out other radio companies from even being able to meet the radio specs.

There are a number of issues that most people don't understand or have ever got into. Like what kind of communications do you need to be able to interop with the surrounding agencies? What kind of radio systems are they using?

What coverage do you currently have on your existing system? Do you have any holes or poor coverage in any part of the region you need the radios to work?

How old are the radio towers your currently using? This comes down to the issue of the tower specs have changed recently and most towers will not pass an engineering study. So the towers will have to be replaced if you change any antenna on them or try to add additional antennas and feed lines on them.

What features are you looking at in the new radio system?

Can your existing dispatch consoles have any additional radio channels added to them? You will need both the old and the new radio systems functional as you go into the transitional phase of the upgrade.

Just trying to engineer the radio coverage is not for the average person. It takes the use of a computer to look at what you currently should have. Then you sit down and see if that is what you actually have. This goes to the fact that most agencies won't replace antennas and coax cable feed lines until they don't work any more.

I have been out in the field working for several consulting companies in the past. No I don't work for any at present. Just trying to pass along some of the issues you will be looking at. What I find is most agencies do not have anyone that can even come close to understanding the steps that need to be gone through in replacing a radio system. Even if you may have a ham radio operator helping, that person probably still is lacking on going through all the steps that need to be covered.

Good luck on the agency's effort in moving toward a new radio system.
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Old 10-08-2018, 8:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim202 View Post
I am not trying to push spending more money than you have to, but changing a radio system is not for the average person to make those choices. I strongly suggest that you get the agency to bring in a radio consultant that has done radio system upgrades, to guide you through the process and help write the specs for the new radios. Do not allow a radio vendor to write any specs that you intend to use to obtain any new radios with. This always ends up one sided and is intended to push out other radio companies from even being able to meet the radio specs.

There are a number of issues that most people don't understand or have ever got into. Like what kind of communications do you need to be able to interop with the surrounding agencies? What kind of radio systems are they using?

What coverage do you currently have on your existing system? Do you have any holes or poor coverage in any part of the region you need the radios to work?

How old are the radio towers your currently using? This comes down to the issue of the tower specs have changed recently and most towers will not pass an engineering study. So the towers will have to be replaced if you change any antenna on them or try to add additional antennas and feed lines on them.

What features are you looking at in the new radio system?

Can your existing dispatch consoles have any additional radio channels added to them? You will need both the old and the new radio systems functional as you go into the transitional phase of the upgrade.

Just trying to engineer the radio coverage is not for the average person. It takes the use of a computer to look at what you currently should have. Then you sit down and see if that is what you actually have. This goes to the fact that most agencies won't replace antennas and coax cable feed lines until they don't work any more.

I have been out in the field working for several consulting companies in the past. No I don't work for any at present. Just trying to pass along some of the issues you will be looking at. What I find is most agencies do not have anyone that can even come close to understanding the steps that need to be gone through in replacing a radio system. Even if you may have a ham radio operator helping, that person probably still is lacking on going through all the steps that need to be covered.

Good luck on the agency's effort in moving toward a new radio system.

I agree with all his points here for sure! You would be better off going to AWIN if you are looking at a P25 system. The infrastructure is already there, and you would have your own talkgroups. It would just depending on funding as to how many TG's you had, etc. It would be a matter of getting P25 radios and getting them put on the system. I think it would be pointless to have your own P25 system, when there is a statewide system already in place, but that is just my opinion.

What part of Arkansas are you in? In my area, things have been transitioning from analog to DMR (MotoTrbo) or P25 700/800. There are some grants out there that will help with funding, but I do agree with Jim to bring in a consultant and see what is best for your agency.
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Old 10-08-2018, 9:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim202 View Post
I am not trying to push spending more money than you have to, but changing a radio system is not for the average person to make those choices. I strongly suggest that you get the agency to bring in a radio consultant that has done radio system upgrades, to guide you through the process and help write the specs for the new radios. Do not allow a radio vendor to write any specs that you intend to use to obtain any new radios with. This always ends up one sided and is intended to push out other radio companies from even being able to meet the radio specs.

There are a number of issues that most people don't understand or have ever got into. Like what kind of communications do you need to be able to interop with the surrounding agencies? What kind of radio systems are they using?

What coverage do you currently have on your existing system? Do you have any holes or poor coverage in any part of the region you need the radios to work?

How old are the radio towers your currently using? This comes down to the issue of the tower specs have changed recently and most towers will not pass an engineering study. So the towers will have to be replaced if you change any antenna on them or try to add additional antennas and feed lines on them.

What features are you looking at in the new radio system?

Can your existing dispatch consoles have any additional radio channels added to them? You will need both the old and the new radio systems functional as you go into the transitional phase of the upgrade.

Just trying to engineer the radio coverage is not for the average person. It takes the use of a computer to look at what you currently should have. Then you sit down and see if that is what you actually have. This goes to the fact that most agencies won't replace antennas and coax cable feed lines until they don't work any more.

I have been out in the field working for several consulting companies in the past. No I don't work for any at present. Just trying to pass along some of the issues you will be looking at. What I find is most agencies do not have anyone that can even come close to understanding the steps that need to be gone through in replacing a radio system. Even if you may have a ham radio operator helping, that person probably still is lacking on going through all the steps that need to be covered.

Good luck on the agency's effort in moving toward a new radio system.
jim202 x1000

Replacing a radio system is a big deal. Since you mentioned P25, you might represent a public safety agency. If you replace the boxes you have today with new boxes at the same sites that use the latest greatest technology, the only thing you have accomplished is updating hardware. If you had coverage problems, interoperability issues with local, regional or state agencies, have the new boxes addressed these issues? Likely not, in fact unintended consequences may be introduced.

Replacing a system should be a holistic effort. Now is the time to do it right. Similar to marriage, a radio project only has one honeymoon. If the system does not meet the expectations of the users, (Or you have a flawed launch), it may be difficult, if not impossible to meet the users wants and needs.
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Old 10-09-2018, 4:04 AM
   
Join Date: Oct 2018
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Originally Posted by Magnetsteve View Post
I agree with all his points here for sure! You would be better off going to AWIN if you are looking at a P25 system. The infrastructure is already there, and you would have your own talkgroups. It would just depending on funding as to how many TG's you had, etc. It would be a matter of getting P25 radios and getting them put on the system. I think it would be pointless to have your own P25 system, when there is a statewide system already in place, but that is just my opinion.

What part of Arkansas are you in? In my area, things have been transitioning from analog to DMR (MotoTrbo) or P25 700/800. There are some grants out there that will help with funding, but I do agree with Jim to bring in a consultant and see what is best for your agency.

We are in NWA we are currently on analog uhf system coverage isn't terrible in town but if you get very far out of town it's terrible. We are wanting to get awin in all or our patrol car. Washington county is on the passport system. Benton county is in the process of switching to a digital motorola system I do t know what yet. Franklin county is vhf mototrbo. And Carroll county is on analog vhf. We are located in a very steep terrain. The city assist the county very often our county runs both analog uhf and and awin which I assume is a madison county talk group. Just trying to get ideas if we can just get the licensing for awin and put new radios in the cars or purchase our own frequency and replace all of our hardware at the towers.
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Old 10-09-2018, 7:58 AM
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P25 and Budget are like an oxymoron, in addition to the above you need to come up with a reasonable budget for this endeavor. If you think NXDN is going to be out of the budget I would hate to be around when you see the price tag of P25.
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Old 10-09-2018, 8:25 AM
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To reiterate cost: I design, deploy, and repair large MOTOTRBO systems (often for public safety). P25 is easily 10 times and lately closer to 15 times the cost of TRBO (and I am assuming Kenwood/HYterra products as well). Before you jump on the AWIN, you want to thoroughly test its coverage. Commonly, people in your situation would do a UHF IPSC or LCP system to get coverage they need, often with Pyramid vehicular repeaters or X10DR mics. TT
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