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Old 08-08-2014, 10:24 AM
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Default Weld County government, emergency services at odds over communications system

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Sitting in Windsor Severance Fire Rescue Station No. 3, [Lt. Kerry] Koppes holds up a radio and points to the device’s screen.

This is the signal indicator, just like what you have on your phone. As you can see, right now? Zero bars,” Koppes said. “This is our primary operational talk group, Fireground 4. We’re in our station on the hill and we have zero signal.
Weld County government, emergency services at odds over communications system | GreeleyTribune.com
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:11 AM
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Another hit brought to you by the DHS, Motorola, and Grant Funds that have now dried up. 700-800 and trunking were never needed, or advantageous outside of Eastern US Metro areas. One size does not fit all, or in this case, even get the job done. Narrowband digital UHF and VHF would have done the job. Notice how many municipalities, counties, etc. across the country are buying DMR instead of P25? More bang for the buck, less complicated, more dependable. Many are staying on their VHF and UHF vs moving up to 700-800 as well, reducing the need for additional comm sites.

Colorado got taken on DTRS, and it's still oozing around the band-aid.
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Old 08-08-2014, 3:10 PM
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Originally Posted by profiledescent View Post
Another hit brought to you by the DHS, Motorola, and Grant Funds that have now dried up. 700-800 and trunking were never needed, or advantageous outside of Eastern US Metro areas. One size does not fit all, or in this case, even get the job done. Narrowband digital UHF and VHF would have done the job. Notice how many municipalities, counties, etc. across the country are buying DMR instead of P25? More bang for the buck, less complicated, more dependable. Many are staying on their VHF and UHF vs moving up to 700-800 as well, reducing the need for additional comm sites.

Colorado got taken on DTRS, and it's still oozing around the band-aid.
Where is the "like" button? I agree totally!

Can you imagine what AMAZING things Weld could have done with millions of dollars on VHF and UHF systems? Lower frequencies travel farther and are not affected as much by buildings, hills and terrain. Wyoming at least got it right using VHF for trunking. However, just the simple act of making analog voice digital and then digital voice analog for every conversation is non-sense and introduces another opportunity for emergency communications to go awry which they very frequently do in Weld County each day all throughout the day with what has become known as "you're digital". The dispatchers are forced each day in an attempt to pull words out of a soup of garbled syllables and hope they understand everything correctly. Is this acceptable for emergency communications after spending millions of dollars?

Everyone is doing their own thing. Weld has their system, Denver has their system, the state has their system, individual counties and towns have their specific systems. Things were a lot better off in this area of the country inter-operability wise when everyone was on two analog bands: VHF and UHF with all the inter-operability channels required to instantly communicate with each other.

Maybe all counties should come together and purchase analog VHF radios that have standardized inter-operability channels to compliment their individual systems that are increasingly non inter-operable. Just a thought... Every county can keep their individual systems but simply add VHF units for inter-operability and as a backup for all the times the digital system(s) does not work.

Shawn

Last edited by ScannerSK; 08-08-2014 at 3:49 PM..
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:50 PM
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One reason it would be tough to move some back to analog ... AES and all the rest of the analog encryption methods I've ever heard don't really treat the audio very well. And we all know where THAT trend is heading!
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScannerSK View Post

Maybe all counties should come together and purchase analog VHF radios that have standardized inter-operability channels to compliment their individual systems that are increasingly non inter-operable. Just a thought... Every county can keep their individual systems but simply add VHF units for inter-operability and as a backup for all the times the digital system(s) does not work.

Shawn
The State Patrol units in the Boulder County area have VHF capable radios. They will sometimes hop on Boulder Green for mutual aid.

Just an aside, there was a fatal motorcycle crash east of Nederland at Barker Dam yesterday. None of the responding units had issues with communications on VHF, but trying to listen to the State Patrol was difficult because the units were continually "going digital". Denver Dispatch at one point had the Sargent repeat one transmission 3 times before finally decoding what was being said. Thorodin, Dakota, and Betasso DTRS sites are not that far away from Nederland.
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Old 08-11-2014, 1:24 AM
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I feel like Colorado has maintained its ability to be interoperable despite the differences in radio systems and do indeed have the interoperable channels available for them to use. The days of everyone on VHF/UHF and switching to CLEER, FERN, or some else has only been replaced by the need to go to a Network First frequency/talkgroup for the Denver area, MAC for DTRS, or MAT for FRCC. Anyone who has an 800 MHz radio (FRCC, DTRS, Aurora, Denver, MARC, Westminster, etc) should have the state Simplex or 8TAC frequencies (not trunked) programmed in to be able to communicate with anyone else using either analog or digital voice.

The whole deal with interoperability is the mindset behind switching to one of these channels to talk to someone else. Going back to VHF/UHF won't solve the issue if some Police Sergeant decides that they prefer staying on their own dispatch talkgroup as opposed to switching to something a little more mutual aid friendly. Getting a VHF radio for everyone in a department to use for interoperability won't help if they aren't already willing to switch their radios to a 800 MHz simplex frequency to use. It's likely that some agencies still have a stock of radios that work on VHF/UHF in storage, but not deployed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundchaser View Post
Thorodin, Dakota, and Betasso DTRS sites are not that far away from Nederland.
Mountains affect line of site with some of these sites pretty significantly. Based on the simulated coverage maps we have on the wiki, Betasso has a very small footprint of coverage compared to many of the other DTRS site, with very limited coverage to the west of where the site is located. Thorodin and Dakota have areas of good and bad coverage, depending on if you're in the shadow of a mountain or not.
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