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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2018, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by FireMarshalRob View Post
If I am reading this thread correctly, is it safe to assume that the Fire Departments you speak of are operating on P25?


Yes they are on a P25 Simulcast System.


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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2018, 11:22 AM
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Why would any fire department operate on P25 is beyond me. Someone was sold a dangerous bill of goods.
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:22 AM
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One thing to keep in mind is that Butler County uses Motorola’s ADP software based encryption for there encrypted talkgroups. Now Tom can correct me if I’m wrong but ADP is proprietary to Motorola and not shared to other radio manufacturers.


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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2018, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by milf View Post
It is far cheaper and simpler in the long term to replace an entire fleet in one sitting. Yes the radios mostly work right now, but are not supported and it is just outright stupid to have to be an ebay shopping Public Safety agency. Also outright stupid to play the piece by piece game when your dealing with lots of radios. As each radio goes by bye due to failure, your saying just replace each one at a time.... Your not thinking at all on this one. Your not adding in programming etc. Training etc... You replace all of the radios on apparatus, HTs, and etc at the same time when your upgrading as you then only need to worry about the parts and upkeep for ONE family of radios, not 2 of this, 1 of that, 4 of those... And yes, some apparatus have 2 or more mobiles, all have at least 2 HTs... Some possibly even have vehicular repeaters/mobile extenders.
No dispute that it makes more sense to replace the fleet all at once from a maintenance standpoint, but it's never going to happen in the typical budget climate.

Replacing 100 radios in one swoop would cost nearly $250k at average prices today, and that's very painful for most agencies. This is especially true for fire departments (and to a lesser extent for police departments), which have ongoing high-dollar equipment requirements in other areas as well.

It's much less stressful to buy a percentage each year until the whole fleet is replaced; annual radio maintenance is a fact of life no matter what and is generally written into the budget as a line item.

Believe me, I've been there. The reality of dealing with a government budget sucks, but there it is.
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by n8dhw View Post
One thing to keep in mind is that Butler County uses Motorola’s ADP software based encryption for there encrypted talkgroups. Now Tom can correct me if I’m wrong but ADP is proprietary to Motorola and not shared to other radio manufacturers.
ADP is (or was) proprietary, but I'm told Harris and other manufacturers will soon offer it in their radios. I have yet to see it, and I wouldn't use it anyway. DES and AES are at least non-proprietary, so we're sticking with those.

I suspect it's a moot point for most of the FDs in question; they probably don't use encryption.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2018, 3:49 PM
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Originally Posted by wa8pyr View Post
ADP is (or was) proprietary, but I'm told Harris and other manufacturers will soon offer it in their radios. I have yet to see it, and I wouldn't use it anyway. DES and AES are at least non-proprietary, so we're sticking with those.



I suspect it's a moot point for most of the FDs in question; they probably don't use encryption.


Actually here in Butler County each most depts mostly the larger cities are assigned 2 OPs talkgroups that are encrypted. Also 9Comm which is the SO Dispatch assigns Fire Depts they dispatch for a TAC talkgroup which are encrypted for MVA’s so they can talk directly to LE so in short they use encryption more than you may think they do.


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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 08-10-2018, 8:05 AM
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EOL doesn't mean you throw the radio out on the expiration date. My agency has thousands of HT-1250 and CDM-1250 radios. We bought years worth of service parts (displays,keypads vol contols) as well as spare radios, before M made them EOL. Batteries and antenna,s will be available for years if not from M then by other vendors. If the county is big enough they should either hire their own tech or contract for a flat rate for any work needed. Programming is more than likely a template provided by the state, as they don't want people on systems or groups they don't need or paying for, so no need to pay mother M.

I would not replace a single XTS-5000 until it is beyond repairable as we do with our radios. Then those radios that are not repairable can become parts donors ( displays, housing, frames) for others as longs as not water damaged. There are still parts available for the 5k so I would order items that have had a high failure rate before they are all gone.

You don't have to play mother M's game, there plenty of ways to save when dealing with subscriber units on a large statewide system other than using other brands.

The comment about system updating and comparing cell phones and Public Safety radios is apples and oranges. Cellphone systems are updated so more users can be had, not because the vendors choose to sell only an updated system to continue their cash flow. The last line of the above stated article is telling "Are we letting a vendor make decisions for us.” Yes you are !

Last edited by radioman2001; 08-10-2018 at 8:19 AM..
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 08-10-2018, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by wa8pyr View Post
ADP is (or was) proprietary, but I'm told Harris and other manufacturers will soon offer it in their radios. I have yet to see it, and I wouldn't use it anyway.
ADP is based on ARC-4. Every P25 radio manufacturer offers it. EFJ/Kenwood, Harris and Tait all support it in it's "generic" form. I have tested an EFJ/Kenwood VP6000, VP5400, Harris XL-200P loaded with ARC-4 and it is compatible with ADP.
ADP is a weak algorithm and was standard on all APX radios until 2017 when MSI began replacing it with the Federally supported AES-256 software algorithm, single key now standard on all APX radio shipped post 4/17 IIRC. Many agencies use it despite it's venerability. AES-256 is the Federal standard for LMR encryption and most vendors are moving that direction by including at least basic single key software based AES-256 standard on all subscriber hardware.

Plenty of vendors make compatible P25 subscriber hardware and all agencies should vet all options based upon qualifications, testing and price point.

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Originally Posted by radioman2001 View Post
EOL doesn't mean you throw the radio out on the expiration date. My agency has thousands of HT-1250 and CDM-1250 radios. We bought years worth of service parts (displays,keypads vol contols) as well as spare radios, before M made them EOL.
Yes, but digital radios are a different beast as your comparison to cellphones vs. LMR. With no future HOST/DSP and CPS updates, 5 years from now dated radio operating software can hold a system owner back.

We found this out with ISSI support. While ISSI IS supported in XTL/XTS post HOST R15, if you want to order Flashport upgrades for your fleet of XTL/XTS radios so they can work on ISSI talk groups, you're hosed because MSI stopped selling Flashport upgrades for this series in December 2016.

This holds back an entire fleet from participating in a regional ISSI overlay. It would foolish to suggest that a regional trunked system stay on outdated and unsupported technology. Not to mention, with no future DSP support, no enhancements of improved vocoding in newer DSP.

P-25 trunked systems are a much different animal than conventional radios when it comes to subscriber gear.
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Last edited by MTS2000des; 08-10-2018 at 11:00 AM..
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 08-10-2018, 4:48 PM
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Originally Posted by MTS2000des View Post

P-25 trunked systems are a much different animal than conventional radios when it comes to subscriber gear.
You're right. It's called built-in, or forced obsolescence. There is a method behind the madness, and it has to do with the cash cow.

Modern day proprietary trunking systems (especially large ones) are a endless money pit. Many times it's already outdated before the build-out is complete.
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Old 08-10-2018, 8:40 PM
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Modern day proprietary trunking systems (especially large ones) are a endless money pit. Many times it's already outdated before the build-out is complete.
that's any modern networked communications system. Cellular providers run their FNE on a 3-5 year life cycle max. This isn't unusual. Technology evolves.
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Old 08-10-2018, 9:01 PM
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Originally Posted by MTS2000des View Post

Cellular providers run their FNE on a 3-5 year life cycle max. This isn't unusual. Technology evolves.
True, but cellular and LMR tax payer funded radio systems are apples to oranges, and subscriber units are generally not 5K plus, each. That's a good chunk of change for only a 5 year service life.

The only reason it continues is municipalities are willing to pay for it. Technology evolves when the manufacturer says it's time to, and that includes service and parts.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 08-10-2018, 9:10 PM
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True, but cellular and LMR tax payer funded radio systems are apples to oranges, and subscriber units are generally not 5K plus, each. That's a good chunk of change for only a 5 year service life.
An iPhone 10 is $1000 retail plus tax. Economies of scale keep it from rising to far up, but people in the millions are willing to pay the price to own one. P-25 subscriber radios can be had for $2000-2500 like Butler county is finding out. Not a tremendous difference considering one is purpose built for industrial use and one is for consumer use.
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The only reason it continues is municipalities are willing to pay for it. Technology evolves when the manufacturer says it's time to, and that includes service and parts.
That's the case with any technology. When Microsoft ends support for Windows 7, you buy new hardware and applications. When Avaya and Cisco tell you your UCM or Definity Communications Server are EOLed, you plan on replacing them. The IoT has shortened many product life cycles. Yes, manufacturers benefit, they are in business to sell product not keep products alive for 30,40 or 50 years like Western Electric/Bell Labs. We've moved on from that era. LMR is just late to the game.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 08-10-2018, 9:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MTS2000des View Post
An iPhone 10 is $1000 retail plus tax. Economies of scale keep it from rising to far up, but people in the millions are willing to pay the price to own one. P-25 subscriber radios can be had for $2000-2500 like Butler county is finding out. Not a tremendous difference considering one is purpose built for industrial use and one is for consumer use.
Right, but you're missing the point. You're trying to compare what consumers are willing to pay VS tax payer funded equipment. Consumers also buy a good amount of expensive vehicles, does that mean our police cruisers should be all Denali's? Remember, the government is supposed to work for us, not the other way around.

Besides, most of the time the Iphone is not sold at retail.

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Originally Posted by MTS2000des View Post
That's the case with any technology. When Microsoft ends support for Windows 7, you buy new hardware and applications. When Avaya and Cisco tell you your UCM or Definity Communications Server are EOLed, you plan on replacing them. The IoT has shortened many product life cycles. Yes, manufacturers benefit, they are in business to sell product not keep products alive for 30,40 or 50 years like Western Electric/Bell Labs. We've moved on from that era. LMR is just late to the game.
All of those things lasts more than 5 years. Usually, support is well spelled out and usually given 10 years in advance. There is A LOT more competition, compatibility in the computer industry VS LMR radio.

Last edited by 12dbsinad; 08-10-2018 at 11:04 PM..
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 08-10-2018, 9:39 PM
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The bottom line with subscriber units (end user radios) is that for the most part they are wildly overpriced and 'over-capable' for that they need to do for a line FF, patrol officer or EMT. That the XTS series is becoming end of life is nothing more than a scam.

There isn't much of a difference between an XTS and an APX, and before you start squawking about technical specs, capabilities and 'shut up you don't know what you're talking about,' I'll tell you I have both, use both and have programmed both.

My department is getting 'end of life' with out XTS5000s. We will be taking a very very serious look at other manufacturers, instead of financing Motorola's R&D for the feds. As a FF, I want a rugged frame, ergonomic buttons and audio that sounds decent in all environments, analog & P25. I would love to be able to buy new XTS5000s instead of getting a smaller, more expensive one (APX6000).

The capabilities of new P25 systems are overboard for smaller agencies with limited personnel for dispatch and line. You are paying to subsidize features that you will never use. Unfortunately most Chiefs get the 'Gold Badge Syndrome' and fall for the sales pitch that your system will be better than everyone else's.
Hit the Nail on the head Bravo sir
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