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Old 04-24-2011, 11:13 AM
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http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2011-04-23/27m-radios-necessary

Interesting article about the county's dilemna on how to comply with the FCC by 2013. A debate that has been repeated over & over again no doubt throughout the country.

From a scanner hobbyists' perspective, all I care about is continually being able to monitor SO & FD. If they go with the new system (800mhz/digital) that's fine with me but then there's always the possibility of them using encryption with one or both of those depts. That would not be cool.
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Old 04-24-2011, 1:52 PM
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Is $27M for radios necessary? | StAugustine.com

Interesting article about the county's dilemna on how to comply with the FCC by 2013. A debate that has been repeated over & over again no doubt throughout the country.

From a scanner hobbyists' perspective, all I care about is continually being able to monitor SO & FD. If they go with the new system (800mhz/digital) that's fine with me but then there's always the possibility of them using encryption with one or both of those depts. That would not be cool.
I think the Sheriff's Office/Saint Augustine PD and F/R may have a few TG's may go to ENC I have been hearing the county wanted to do this 5 yrs ago maybe further back......... I hardly listen to the PD/FR now cause most of the people I know are long gone or retired.
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Old 04-24-2011, 7:04 PM
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Wow, that report wasn't too out of line info-wise., at least compared to most. Some biased info being put out amongst the folks they interviewed, but what's new. Seems no one can be neutral with the topic anymore. It's a shame these public servants and experts can't just present clean options and then make an informed decision, instead of trying to be drama queens about it once they pick a side of the fence to stand on.
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Old 04-24-2011, 9:33 PM
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The current system is working just fine when i listen to it. Can't they just get new radios when they wear out that have narrow fm in them. All these ideas that the radios need to be digital and $27 million is a large amount to spend for st johns county.
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Old 04-25-2011, 7:00 AM
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I have to applaud the news reporter on this one, certainly more and correct info than we have seen for a lot of other news agencies on this matter. The county definitly got caught with not being truthful on this one.This county is just another government agency that wants to spend someone else's (the taxpayers, in a bad economy) money for a radio system that they and you all know they will encrypt. (they won't tell you that until after it's built like Bergen County N.J. did) The response from the firefighter pains me, since as a firefighter I do know you don't use repeaters for fire grounds. So if you are in a burning building, the last thing you want to do is transmit on a repeater talk group,especially in digital. I hope he knows more about firefighting than what all of the national fire agencies and large FD's say about fire ground communications, NO repeater and NO digital. As for all you MOTOTRBO people out there, I am still not convinced.
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:25 AM
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I wonder if the Harris Corp will put the system in if the county does get that system or the local guys will put it up?
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Old 04-25-2011, 2:44 PM
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You can bet that WTEC or someone in the Big M business will be a vendor. I love the way the article delves into both sides. First off, out of all the digital systems I have been associated with in building and planning, the argument ironically is always the same. They cite interoperability among entities, and the ability to communicate. What will happen like it does with EVERY system I have been involved with is once up and running, the powers to be in the various kingdoms of the County and Cities, will not tolerate anyone else on their TG's. Then they invaribly come up with the mutual aid TG's which generally noone receives training for on how or when to access them, who is going to control them, and when large scale ops require them or would be perfect for them, guess what? You got a command post with the admins walking around or huddling over 16 different radios, (All on the system mind you same model) but on different TG's and trying to convey information. I have seen this EVERYTIME.

So forget interoperability for a moment. Better coverage? I know of one system recently that was sold and "engineered" for 6 sites simulcast. What they ended up with was 17 sites simulcast and multicast. And thats not a fluke. Happens everytime as well.

It is a way for the big radio companies to stay in business, and profit, and a governmental authority having jurisdiction, because they do not know radio, and do not know what they are technically talking about, a way out before being discovered. More than half of the people in these positions have no business being in it. There is a big difference between "administering" a system versus "engineering and building it"
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Old 04-25-2011, 6:30 PM
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Is it currently slated to be a P25 system? I have no problem with a new radio system - I know they've been wanting one for a while, but I sure hope it isn't full encryption.
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Old 04-26-2011, 8:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjcscanner View Post
Is it currently slated to be a P25 system? I have no problem with a new radio system - I know they've been wanting one for a while, but I sure hope it isn't full encryption.
Do you the 800 freq's. I know last time I check they were listed on RR in the FCC Grant list but not sure if listed still I am not a paid member this time. I can ask my buddy who is with City Fire he may get the info for me.
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Old 04-27-2011, 8:41 AM
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Default St Johns County digital trunk

Hello radio friends,

The article states this system will be like Lake County's radio system. That is a pure digital Motorola system, 9600 baud control channel, 700 & 800 MHz. All law enforcement talkgroups are encrypted. Initially, police TGs were in the clear, but after the Lake Co. system was in use for a year or more, all cops' comms were encrypted. Fire & EMS are digital in the clear.

The article does not mention that Jacksonville/Duval Co is also on a Motorola system, and the new system would allow interop between the 2 counties. Police & fire comms on that system are encrypted. Marion County's system is also pure digital, but very little of it is encrypted.

It's also possible that it will be a P-25 EDACS system. Volusia Co will get that technology. Flagler County is on an EDACS system in which law comms are encrypted.
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Old 04-29-2011, 3:44 PM
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EDACS is not P25. EDACS is a proprietary system/protocol developed by GE many years ago and passed on to the various companies that have owned what was left of GE - now Harris.

John Rayfield, Jr. CETma
Motorola 2-Way Radios - Springfield, MO, Implementing New and Emerging Technology

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Hello radio friends,

The article states this system will be like Lake County's radio system. That is a pure digital Motorola system, 9600 baud control channel, 700 & 800 MHz. All law enforcement talkgroups are encrypted. Initially, police TGs were in the clear, but after the Lake Co. system was in use for a year or more, all cops' comms were encrypted. Fire & EMS are digital in the clear.

The article does not mention that Jacksonville/Duval Co is also on a Motorola system, and the new system would allow interop between the 2 counties. Police & fire comms on that system are encrypted. Marion County's system is also pure digital, but very little of it is encrypted.

It's also possible that it will be a P-25 EDACS system. Volusia Co will get that technology. Flagler County is on an EDACS system in which law comms are encrypted.
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Old 05-01-2011, 8:21 PM
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More update but county is not sure what to do....

County: We need new radio system | StAugustine.com
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Old 05-10-2011, 3:31 AM
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I can't tell if SJC managers are being fed a big line of bull by the radio manfs, or they are intentionally misleading the public to try to push a new system through.

Bottom line for less than $100K they could be fully compliant with the new regs. For no more than 2 Mil they could have one really good working system.

Almost ,if not, all of the field radios are already NB capable. That just leaves the base stations / repeaters.

In some areas the system was very poorly thought out (especially on the fire side), but that can be fixed for less than 10% of what they want to spend.
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:37 PM
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Since 1996, St. Johns County has collected almost $3.8 million for an intergovernmental radio communication program, thanks to a state-mandated $12.50 surcharge built into certain categories of traffic tickets.

County may use part of traffic ticket fines for new radio system | StAugustine.com
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Old 08-17-2011, 4:49 PM
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County reviews 800-MHz radio need

The Federal Communications Commission will revoke St. Johns County's emergency radio license and hand over those frequencies to someone else if the county misses its Jan. 1, 2013, deadline.

That's the warning the County Commission heard Tuesday as it reviewed plans for a proposed 800-MHz system they'd like to see mostly built before that date.

more of the story

County reviews 800-MHz radio need | StAugustine.com
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Old 08-23-2011, 6:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bravo14 View Post
County reviews 800-MHz radio need

The Federal Communications Commission will revoke St. Johns County's emergency radio license and hand over those frequencies to someone else if the county misses its Jan. 1, 2013, deadline.

That's the warning the County Commission heard Tuesday as it reviewed plans for a proposed 800-MHz system they'd like to see mostly built before that date.

more of the story

County reviews 800-MHz radio need | StAugustine.com
Quote:
Only one member of the public spoke at the Tuesday hearing.

St. Johns County resident Bill McCormick said that at some crime or accident scenes, "the media are already there" before law enforcement due to hearing about the incident on a police scanner.
(emphasis mine)

Sounds like some of the st aug folks need to show up at these meetings and say they don't want it encrypted--or you'll end up in the same boat as Jax.
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Old 12-03-2011, 8:55 PM
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Just found This PDF on the county website, it says it was presented to the commissioners on 11/15. This makes it sound like they have made up their mind on the 800 system and have started buying land for tower sites.

Edit: Also found This one that confirms they have selected the 800 mhz system....
Quote:
County Administration determined that a switch to 800 MHZ Trunking Systems was the best
means of complying with FCC mandates and providing interoperability between different
agencies within and outside of the County. The general requirements of the system were
determined in collaboration with RCC Consultants, a well known radio consulting firm and
with local agencies within the County.
RFP 11-84 was issued with responses from Harris, Motorola & Tait.
In accordance with County Policy, an evaluation committee was formed to evaluate the
responses. The Evaluation Committee met on November 3rd and ranked the firms based on
written submittals. Motorola Solutions, Inc was ranked No 1. Staff requests authorization
to negotiate with Motorola Solutions, Inc., and will bring back to the board a draft contract
for board consideration.
That link has the bid request and responses. The request states it will be an p-25 system, im going to read through it and see if there is any mention of encryption.
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Old 12-03-2011, 9:51 PM
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I just skimmed through the entire second document from my last post, and the only reference to encryption i found was on pages 77-83, where Motorola appears to be listing different options for customizing the radios/consoles. I never saw any references to encryption when they described the system itself. I do not think this means we are for sure in the clear, i guess only time will tell.
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Old 12-05-2011, 1:30 PM
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Good find! I am not sure which 800 system company will be installing the towers or the system. I have the 800 freq's in my radio for over a year I have p25, 800, edacs etc see what comes first. I know on the news a few weeks ago stated SJC wants to able to talk to Clay and Jax NEW SYSTEM.
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Old 12-05-2011, 6:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bravo14 View Post
Good find! I am not sure which 800 system company will be installing the towers or the system. I have the 800 freq's in my radio for over a year I have p25, 800, edacs etc see what comes first. I know on the news a few weeks ago stated SJC wants to able to talk to Clay and Jax NEW SYSTEM.
It looks like they want to pick motorola:
Quote:
In accordance with County Policy, an evaluation committee was formed to evaluate theresponses. The Evaluation Committee met on November 3rd and ranked the firms based onwritten submittals. Motorola Solutions, Inc was ranked No 1. Staff requests authorization to negotiate with Motorola Solutions, Inc., and will bring back to the board a draft contract for board consideration.
Motorola came in almost $10 million less than Harris and $20 million less than Tait. They also seem to have thrown in maintenance/monitoring, and TDMA/P-25 Phase II upgrades for free. (Page 33 of the second PDF)
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