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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2013, 4:56 PM
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Default Pittsburgh, PA - Radio system's flaws detailed by Western Pa. law enforcement

PITTSBURGH Law enforcement and emergency services agencies paid millions to switch to a federally mandated new radio system this week that may not work as well as their old system.

Read more: Radio system's flaws detailed by Western Pa. law enforcement, emergency agencies | TribLIVE
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:48 AM
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Default thats funny

Its obvious that this person knows nothing about radios and how they work , narrow vs. wide-band has virtually no effect if on the same frequencies . nor does it have any effect on how it will penetrate buildings if it is still in the same frequencies as the wide band system. It officials like this that get suckered into going Digital and encryption when it is not needed .
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Old 10-13-2013, 12:18 PM
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Its obvious that this person knows nothing about radios and how they work , narrow vs. wide-band has virtually no effect if on the same frequencies . nor does it have any effect on how it will penetrate buildings if it is still in the same frequencies as the wide band system. It officials like this that get suckered into going Digital and encryption when it is not needed .
That is not true. Many narrowband analog users on both VHF and UHF have experienced a considerable drop in coverage and performance since having to migrate to 2.5KHz. This is also why many of those agencies have made the switch to systems like MotoTRBO and NXDN. They do offer better performance than narrowband analog.

Building penetration can certainly be affected if you have a drop in coverage. "Getting suckered into digital" is not the case if you went from a system that worked adequately on 5KHz and now has 40 percent less coverage on 2.5KHz. Prehaps you should do some more research like the reporter you speak of. Plenty of documented cases of this happening around the country.
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Old 10-13-2013, 12:50 PM
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This is a fact here in NM and going digital is being considered due to the narrow analog drop.
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Old 10-13-2013, 1:46 PM
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That is not true. Many narrowband analog users on both VHF and UHF have experienced a considerable drop in coverage and performance since having to migrate to 2.5KHz. This is also why many of those agencies have made the switch to systems like MotoTRBO and NXDN. They do offer better performance than narrowband analog.

Building penetration can certainly be affected if you have a drop in coverage. "Getting suckered into digital" is not the case if you went from a system that worked adequately on 5KHz and now has 40 percent less coverage on 2.5KHz. Prehaps you should do some more research like the reporter you speak of. Plenty of documented cases of this happening around the country.
Obviously by your avatar you are biased from the get go. Being narrow you have less that has to punch through to make it intelligible.
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Old 10-13-2013, 4:07 PM
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Obviously by your avatar you are biased from the get go. Being narrow you have less that has to punch through to make it intelligible.
Oh please.
Stop it.
I'm hardly biased, judging someone by their forum avatar alone is what I call bias.

Facts are facts, narrow banding has caused some serious problems. Think outside the "I'm a scanner listener" world for a moment. Those who actually depend on their radios to work for their life safety are now having real problems. There are plenty of discussions and real facts to support why analog 2.5KHz can have loss of coverage versus wideband.

Digital is the future. Get over it. You still don't walk around with your DynaTAC 8000? Modern digital radio systems offer superior voice quality at an affordable cost.

If you ever had to use a radio for your job you'd see why TRBO and NXDN are so great and they don't cost anymore than inferior narrowband analog radios or infrastructure.
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Old 10-13-2013, 5:32 PM
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What am I missing here?
Who said anything about digital?

According to the database, Allegheny county and city of pittsburgh are using analog conventional and they have delayed narrowbanding up to this point.

The article says there "MAY" be problems. Ok. well wake me when there ARE problems.

Much ado about nothing.
And frankly they should be commended for staying with the proven conventional analog modulation and instead updated their infrastructure instead of paying many times the price to join the race to waste as just about everywhere else in the Country has chosen to do. $5 millin here, $1.2 million there, whooptey doo. If they went to a DTRS, they would have paid on the low side, $88.1 million and probably a lot more in forklift upgrades due to unexpected coverage gaps.

Last edited by rapidcharger; 10-13-2013 at 5:39 PM..
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Old 10-13-2013, 5:57 PM
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Well, according to the very accurate database, they have narrowwbanded fire and EMS (with access to the FCC ULS down now way to confirm).

And who said digital means spending hundreds of millions of dollars? There are plenty of affordable options from many vendors using DMR ad NXDN, with cost on par with analog radio and infrastructure, with superior performance and security to boot.

Hopefully they will consider ALL the options and go with the best performing system by an open bid process and select a modern replacement for their inadequate current system.
A modern networked DMR or NXDN system costs about the same as narrow banding some 30 year old analog infrastructure, why NOT go digital? You did.
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Old 10-13-2013, 6:20 PM
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Originally Posted by MTS2000des View Post
Well, according to the very accurate database, they have narrowwbanded fire and EMS (with access to the FCC ULS down now way to confirm).

And who said digital means spending hundreds of millions of dollars? There are plenty of affordable options from many vendors using DMR ad NXDN, with cost on par with analog radio and infrastructure, with superior performance and security to boot.

Hopefully they will consider ALL the options and go with the best performing system by an open bid process and select a modern replacement for their inadequate current system.
A modern networked DMR or NXDN system costs about the same as narrow banding some 30 year old analog infrastructure, why NOT go digital? You did.
Oh give me a break.
I don't have anything against either but you know as well as I do that a county the size of Allegheny County would not go to nxdn or dmr.
Their other county services look like they are on Open Sky. That should tell you something right there.
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:00 PM
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As of now, most dispatched through Allegheny County are all analog UHF, with a few small pockets still on VHF that are going to transition to UHF later this year or early next.

I believe the Open Sky listing in the database for the county was something that was tossed around/planned several years ago, but never got off the ground.
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Old 10-14-2013, 8:14 AM
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Originally Posted by ffemt134 View Post
As of now, most dispatched through Allegheny County are all analog UHF, with a few small pockets still on VHF that are going to transition to UHF later this year or early next.

I believe the Open Sky listing in the database for the county was something that was tossed around/planned several years ago, but never got off the ground.
Thanks for clearing that up.
Hopefully all goes well with the new equipment and congratulations to the County for on their upgrade.

Here's to another 20 years.
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:54 AM
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Default Narrow vs Wide coverage

I have to say that when we converted what few UHF and VHF systems that were not narrowbanded already the difference was not detectable. What was an immediate failure was moving from UHF analog to VHF p25 with associated degradation of signal in buildings. Any city official like the nitwits we had that go from UHF to VHF in a town/city environment should be fired. The UHF worked flawless the VHF P25 was practically unusable. And of all the technologies P25 is the worst (but the highest profit). The Icom IDAS sounds so much better in digital mode than Johnson, Motorola P25 in audio quality. The NXDN Kenwood radios also sound better and we are now installing Vertex DMR. We have yet to try TETRA. Still though for audio quality analog is the winner.
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Old 10-14-2013, 7:35 PM
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"Building penetration can certainly be affected if you have a drop in coverage. "Getting suckered into digital" is not the case if you went from a system that worked adequately on 5KHz and now has 40 percent less coverage on 2.5KHz. Prehaps you should do some more research like the reporter you speak of. Plenty of documented cases of this happening around the country."

Try again, the most loss has been rated at around 8%, please quote your sources for 40% less coverage. My loss figure is being stated by the coordinators who have to figure our how close then can pack another user on the same or adjacent frequency. Our agency has over 100 base stations and have shown no degradation of service, and yes most agencies DON"T need digital, and especially non industry Public Safety standard radios. Another bill of goods by manufacturers to ensure they lock in the customer.
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Old 10-14-2013, 9:03 PM
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"Building penetration can certainly be affected if you have a drop in coverage. "Getting suckered into digital" is not the case if you went from a system that worked adequately on 5KHz and now has 40 percent less coverage on 2.5KHz. Prehaps you should do some more research like the reporter you speak of. Plenty of documented cases of this happening around the country."

Try again, the most loss has been rated at around 8%, please quote your sources for 40% less coverage. My loss figure is being stated by the coordinators who have to figure our how close then can pack another user on the same or adjacent frequency. Our agency has over 100 base stations and have shown no degradation of service, and yes most agencies DON"T need digital, and especially non industry Public Safety standard radios. Another bill of goods by manufacturers to ensure they lock in the customer.
Douglas county GA sheriffs office and Paulding county SO come to mind. Both had functional VHF wideband repeaters. Post narrow banding, Paulding opted to go UHF MotoTRBO. The demoed both NXDN VHF and analog 2.5KHz, the 2.5KHZ on their existing Waris radios was so poor it made the use of portable radios became "monitor only".

Douglas county SO is currently narrowband, and reports a 40 percent loss in portable coverage since their migration. All they did was reprogram and retune.

8 percent? I don't think so.
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:30 PM
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I've been listening on Broadcastify and it sounds good.
Maybe not as good as Pudding County or Dougal County GA but I'm guessing A.C. is using radios that are heavier duty and you don't have to worry about melting a hole through the housing by using a mild cleaning solvent.
Looks like a smooth transition to narrowband.
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Old 10-15-2013, 1:43 PM
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The system changes have had some degradation on the signal, but not much. Yes, they have narrowbanded. I think a larger challenge is in finding 12.5khz compliant repeaters that have the wattage out of the old repeaters.

Now, as for a county the size of AC not using NXDN or TRBO:

I have been testing the TriConnex system for my business for the past several days. I've successfully used a portable to talk to my dispatch base from everywhere in AC, as far west as Ohio, as far north as Eerie, as far east as Westmoreland county, and as far south as WV. The dispatch base is in Pittsburgh. It is a Connect Plus TRBO system, and it works every time and is as clear as day.

AC doesn't need full-county coverage though. They have all of their police, fire, and EMS dispatch and operations channels separated into regional zones. As a daily user of the East EMS system, which went on the air as a narrowband UHF system, I can say that within it's service area, it has very few flaws. I can even key it up with a portable in the northwestern corner of the county.

As far as the OpenSky system that was proposed for county government, I can confirm through a discussion with the county radio supervisor that the system has been scrapped. This is the same supervisor who confirmed AC's continued support of conventional UHF, who confirmed that AC will not be joining the ICORRS system, and that any digital county channels going on the air will all be mixed-mode, and will be P25 Phase I.

I can say that after the narrowband switch, my conventional business UHF system for my own ambulance service suffered great losses, and that it has become unusable. That is why I'm demoing TRBO.
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Old 10-21-2013, 8:13 AM
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This is what happens when BIG GOVERNMENT gets too big without understanding the physics of carrier signals and frequency modulation.

Carson bandwidth rule - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:34 AM
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I don't understand the problem, or how this is big government related. My business' UHF signal turned to garbage when narrowband hit, and I'm a small business.

The law changed. They had to change with the law.
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