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Old 11-15-2013, 11:20 PM
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Default Milwaukee, WI: Open Sky problems - Milwaukee Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Another element of the law enforcement review will involve the Police Department's radio system, known as OpenSky.

One of the entries on the dispatch report notes: "transmission poor in hosp."


http://www.jsonline.com/news/crime/m...232043821.html

Last edited by MikeOxlong; 11-16-2013 at 8:18 AM..
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:05 AM
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Once again, Milwaukee's Radio is under scrutiny. They'll do a band-aid fix, find some way to praise the system, and try forget the entire thing ever happened.

It's what they've been doing for every radio mishap since the beginning.
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Old 11-16-2013, 5:45 PM
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You are correct about they will just put a band aid fix like another amplifier in the hospital and say everything is fine, it doesn't make any sense to me that Waukesha Co and Milwaukee Co are both going into an interoperable P25 system and the City of Milwaukee still wants to be on there own island with there own system and they are the biggest city in the state, and I was reading somewhere that Milwaukee was even trying to convince other municipalities to join there failed OpenSky system, to no real surprise there are no surrounding jurisdictions are jumping onto the opensky band wagon. I think the City of Milwaukee needs to realize that there system maybe state of the art with IP connectivity and a bunch of bells and whistles but if it doesn't work in critical situations then they need to look at replacing it. Las Vegas, NV has decided to dump it, State of New York decided to not go through with there contract and the state of Pennsylvania has 986 operational tower and communications sites: 251 high-profile towers and 740 low-profile microcells and have spent OVER an ASTRONOMICALLY $368 million to date for there Open Sky system, I just don't get why they keep putting money into a system that isn't working!!!
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Old 11-17-2013, 9:23 PM
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"I just don't get why they keep putting money into a system that isn't working!!!"


Because it's Milwaukee. Not a whole lot makes sense down there...
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:05 PM
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Digital systems in general do not work well in hospitals and other large complexes. The digital systems are generally marketed as street level systems. Doesn't matter if it is OpenSky or Motorola P25.
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Old 11-18-2013, 2:16 PM
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Cool Hospital comms

Childrens Hospital is outside of the City of Milwaukee. Its in Wauwatosa last time I checked. Shouldnt be too much of a surprise to the officers when leaving their home coverage that they might have some indoor issues, especially with a cell site technology like OS. when they go off the reservation. Its a good thing their Glocks work outside city limits.. or this may have ended differently.
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Old 11-28-2013, 7:49 AM
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Default OpenSky Coverage

The reason Milwaukee does not have coverage in building and expecially the hospitals is that they never asked for or paid for that level of coverage in the first place.
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Old 11-28-2013, 2:50 PM
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Default making the machine.

Personally, I don't think in-building problems are the fault of being analog or digital or opensky or apco25, or whatever.

I think it's the frequency.

Everyone likes to talk about the good ol' VHF, and how it used to talk so far, and so much better. But then someone forgets you have to swap out the feedline on a radio system every 10 years, so now the coax is leaking more rf than a garden soaker hose, and a vendor comes along and sells a new multi-million radio system. Except he puts it up on 800 mhz, where anything can reflect, refract and absorb the signal.

Unless you put up a repeater or amplifier every third or a mile, you're just not gonna get good 700-800 mhz communications anywhere that buildings or terrain are between the radio and the receiver. It's simple physics. It's not a big deal, because it's our money buying the band-aids.
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Old 11-29-2013, 6:33 AM
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Default Digital Systems Work fine when engineered

Wyandotte,

When the original contract was being negotiated, Milwaukee like many municipalities had a certain budget to spend. The system was engineered and designed based upon the amount of money available. Their expectations were that the system would be "better" than the analog UHF radio system they had. The word better is relative in that many people think better means it will solve all of the world's problems. It should have been clear from the beginning that there would only be a certain amount of in-building coverage.

The other issues is that the PD did not want change, at all. They had 14 original UHF frequencies and they refused to implement the fleet map that could have given them up to 65,000 talk groups. This resulted in different details interfering with each other when there was a festival, a baseball game and another activity operating on one talk group on the same day. Many of the issues were self inflicted. Trunking operates a certain way. The rank and file were used to just taking the air and covering each other up when they wanted to talk: with trunking you cannot do that, whether it be OpenSky or a Motorola system. Again self inflicted failure.

The band aids are simply the additions that should have been included in the original design, if Milwaukee truly understood trunking and had the money. The other problem is the negative attitude towards change.
The frequency has nothing to do with the problems if the system had been engineered and designed for better in-building coverage. The vendor simply did what the customer asked for.

I am in a county in Florida that has oneof th eonly VHF P25 conventional Amateur Radio Systems and the coverage is ausome.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:06 AM
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Default Yes, it's VHF

Quote:
Originally Posted by NF2F View Post
... I am in a county in Florida that has oneof th eonly VHF P25 conventional Amateur Radio Systems and the coverage is ausome.
I couldn't agree more.

This is why the federal government's alphabet agencies have stayed on VHF.
Like your P25 system (and we also have a P25 ham repeater in Detroit, which also has awesome coverage), the federal government still has great coverage on VHF, digital and encrypted.

Are there any 900 Mhz ham repeaters down your way?
Ever talk on one with a handheld?
We have several in Michigan.
Full signal one minute, move a foot to the left or right, and the signal will drop right out.

800 Mhz just isn't meant for voice communications. Sure it will work if you spend, spend, spend the taxpayers money. And if everything is on relatively flat land. It's great for data, it just keeps trying until the parity bits are in perfect harmony.

As a ham, I'm sure you agree with me.
You have to swap out your feedline and antenna every ten years, or your signal will be degraded.
This is why so many new mulit-million 800 Mhz systems are sold.

The municipality has had the same coax up there for 40 years. When you take it down, you can snap the coax like a twig (don't laugh, I've actually seen it). And the antenna is all corroded.

So here comes a vendor doing a demo on a new system that, yes, can talk further than the existing system. And the taxpayers just spent millions of dollars on a $2000 fix.

An excellent example is Corbin Kentucky.
The police chief said "Every time it rains, the signal goes south".
Did their radio vendor suggest they take a look at the antenna and coax and connectors?
No, the vendor sold them a Nexedge system that can't be monitored.

Here's a link to the Corbin story:
http://forums.radioreference.com/ken...ed-radios.html

Last edited by Wyandotte; 11-30-2013 at 10:13 AM..
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by washradiotech View Post
Childrens Hospital is outside of the City of Milwaukee. Its in Wauwatosa last time I checked. Shouldnt be too much of a surprise to the officers when leaving their home coverage that they might have some indoor issues, especially with a cell site technology like OS. when they go off the reservation. Its a good thing their Glocks work outside city limits.. or this may have ended differently.
Valid point, but the campus borders the City...it's not like it's out in Pewaukee or something. Granted, they probably never thought about coverage there, even though City resources are there every day
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Old 11-30-2013, 3:15 PM
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VHF doesn't work worth a flip in a typical building.

800, on the other hand, penetrates buildings MUCH better but it soon becomes useless when you have green growing things in the signal path.

UHF is a compromise between the two.

No band is ideal. There are always trade-offs.

A sparsely populated rural area with lots of forests and very few large buildings should NOT
even consider an 800 MHz system. VHF will generally be their best bet.

But if the city is concrete jungle, 800 MHz is a sensible choice for them while VHF is not.
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Old 12-01-2013, 8:06 PM
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Default I beg to differ

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElroyJetson View Post
VHF doesn't work worth a flip in a typical building.

800, on the other hand, penetrates buildings MUCH better but it soon becomes useless when you have green growing things in the signal path.
Is this statement based upon your personal actual experience, or from what have read or been told?

In both my professional and amateur experiences, it's just the opposite.

Anywhere in my house, I can make a VHF repeater full quieting with a 4 watt handheld.
On the same building is a 900 Mhz machine that I have to walk around the house and find a sweet spot to break the squelch with a 4 watt handheld.

At my employer, plantwide departments are on VHF and areas are on UHF. The VHF radios have far more distance than the UHF radios, all comms are simplex 4 watt radios, in and out of metal buildings.
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Old 12-09-2013, 8:36 AM
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Default OpenSky Coverage

This is from my personal experience. You canot compare VHF and what it does in your house to a fully integrated 80 MHZ trunking system.They are apples and oranges.You have to fully understand in-nuilding coverage which is determined by the construction of the building as well as coverage predictios that helpto engineer and determine the number of transmitter sites and their locations. A LOT of the so-called Open Sky issues were self inflicted as the rank and file did not want it.
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