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Old 08-26-2012, 12:50 PM
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Default Narrow Banding Confusion

I attended a fire equipment show a couple of days ago, being the only radio dealer there. I was amazed at how many people just do not understand when narrow banding actual is and isnít! This was all angles: the day-to-day field users up to the people who are actually spending the money on their radio equipment, and everyone in between!

Out of 10 people taking about it, there were at least 8 that had different ideas about what narrow banding is all about. Some thought it means having to go to new digital systems.
Some thought they HAVE to change all of their present frequencies and/or bands. One of the lead people thought that they absolutely could no longer use the VHF Low band that they used up until a year or two ago.
Some reported that their new narrow band VHF High frequencies have poor voice quality because of the narrow band frequencies themselves.
Many voiced concerns that a neighboring county is in the process of setting up all emergency services on a new 800Mhz trunked system.

NONE of them had ever heard of (let alone ever saw) the radio interoperability systems that are on the market, or knew such technology exists.

Just thought Iíd throw this out here for discussion! Is anyone else seeing this??
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Old 08-26-2012, 1:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdknapp View Post
NONE of them had ever heard of (let alone ever saw) the radio interoperability systems that are on the market, or knew such technology exists.
Yes, those "systems" are better known as "conventional analog"!

Seriously though, the biggest shame aside from the ignorance of these agencies and organizations, is the sad fact that far too many communication outfits have taken advantage of the situation to try to push expensive systems that are simply not needed. Yes, shame on the agency for not doing their homework and in many cases wasting money on stuff they don't need, but I would expect my radio vendor to be honest with me and help explain narrowbanding to me if I wasn't up to speed on it. I find it very distasteful that some have gone the other route, and preyed on the ignorance when it comes to narrowbanding.
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Old 08-26-2012, 2:11 PM
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Yeah I have been seeing this everyday.
Dealers telling people you have to go digital or you will go to jail on Jan 1st 2013.
Go To Jail? How can they get away with that?
If I tried that to make a BIG sale using that tactic someone would catch it.

Oh and the other strange one I heard.. "Don't forget you need a new narrow band antenna for the new narrow band radio!" LOL I guess I need to check into stocking some of them and narrow band batteries also.

The Status Que company's can get away with it I guess because everyone has that brand and no one ever got fired for buying "(Enter An Over Rated Brand Name Here)" brand radios.

Another thing I am seeing is that a few company's are going to customers and telling them they will get them ready for narrow band so when the county is ready all they have to do is come back and flick a switch. So they look busy and charge the company a service call charge but don't do anything plus replace a 2 year old 512 channel radio for a 64 channel radio and say it's not narrow band-able (it's still under warranty). There is no 2nd zone/group with narrow band channels then again the radios only hold 64 channels to begin with in a over 200 channel county.

How I found out is a radio failed and they could not get a hold of the company to come out so they called me and once I explained what happened they flipped.

They spent over $2k in one day on a fake narrow band job and new 64 channel radio and they took the 512 channel radio on a $40 trade in for a radio they paid $350 2 years before.
What a Racket to be in.
Oh the cost of the new radio after trade in was $798.00. (Full Retail?)

Now this one only one example of what has been going on but I have plenty more but they are just as if not more insane.

Key is... RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH
The FCC has all of the information on line for everyone to see.
VHF/UHF Narrowbanding FAQs

I always tell the customer the truth and keep them informed.

Sorry for the ranting.
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Old 08-26-2012, 3:29 PM
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Maybe some of it has to do with the easy availability of radios, programming software & hardware (online). Departments no longer have relationships with radio shops so no one is there to help them through the narrowbanding.
Between the ignorance regarding that and the rebanding of 800MHz, I don't get warm fuzzy feelings about the future nationwide radio system every working properly.

chris
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Old 08-26-2012, 4:12 PM
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Yup and any Joe-Schzmoe can get a Knock-Off radio with software from China and program them, without any real radio knowledge.

Who needs bench equipment anymore

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Maybe some of it has to do with the easy availability of radios, programming software & hardware (online). Departments no longer have relationships with radio shops so no one is there to help them through the narrowbanding.
Between the ignorance regarding that and the rebanding of 800MHz, I don't get warm fuzzy feelings about the future nationwide radio system every working properly.

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Old 08-29-2012, 5:49 AM
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Departments no longer have relationships with radio shops so no one is there to help them through the narrowbanding.
That is a two-way street, and the radio shops are not helping the matter. Real life example: We had one VHF high band Motorola GM300 that needed to be replaced to be ready for narrowband. Keep in mind that we are in a county that is conventional VHF analog with little or no prospect or need of any upgrades to digital, P25, or any other newer or different frequency or emissions technology. We have more than enough channels thanks to a very far-sighted previous fire coordinator.

Anyway, the rep from the local Motorola shop had the stones to tell me that we really needed to buy a MotoTrbo radio to be compatible with the future. No one else in the county has a MotoTrbo radio, but he thinks he can pull one over on the new guy (I had just moved into the area prior to this.) Lucky for my agency, I darned well know better.

I did find another Motorola shop in the area that understands this situation and is willing to work with us without trying to push stuff on us that we don't need.
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Old 08-29-2012, 6:27 AM
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the rep from the local Motorola shop had the stones to tell me that we really needed to buy a MotoTrbo radio to be compatible with the future.
Steve I have seen this. I have a whole county using the XPR portables but nothing in the county is TDMA and they will never be for public safety.

I know they have simplex TDMA channels in them... in the 136MHz range (136.000000MHz,136.112500MHz,136.087500MHz & 136.025000MHz) and they use them.

No matter how many times you tell them you can't use them no one cares.

I just think it's a waste of tax payer money. When you add the digital end to the radio the price goes up and amount of radios you can afford goes down.
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Old 08-29-2012, 6:40 AM
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The only way this corrupt sales push will stop is that the public safety agencies need to be more literate on what they are doing. The next step is to prosecute these radio vendors for fraud and for literally stealing the radios they are trying to replace. A couple of high publicity cases should slow down this wide spread tactic of ripping off the tax payers hard earned public safety property.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:00 AM
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Education is the answer, and no one wants to do that. Ignorance is expensive, but it is so much easier.
Every county should have someone versed in this industry, and that person should be reaching out to the individual public safety and local government agencies to make sure this doesn't happen. I may be naive but I'd bet that just about every county in this country has at least one person, or access to one person, that understands the industry enough to help out. Of course part of the issue with that is that these individuals have their own agendas. I'm discovering that a number of my counterparts seem to hold a lot of personal stock in Motorola, or at least that is what it would seem. There seems to be blind allegiances that cause issues too. Departments that will buy whatever X company tells them too.

I agree, some of these dealers need to be brought up on charges, but the agencies that purchased the equipment share in some of the blame.
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Old 08-30-2012, 8:02 PM
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Actually, this isn't always the case. For example, an XPR6550 costs less (dealer cost) than an HT1250, if equipped with the same kind of battery/charger/warranty. And the XPR6550 has more channel capacity, analog and digital (DMR) modes, is submersible, and has met the same specs/tests as the HT1250 for durability.

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I just think it's a waste of tax payer money. When you add the digital end to the radio the price goes up and amount of radios you can afford goes down.
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Old 08-30-2012, 8:52 PM
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Originally Posted by TRNcommLLC View Post
I know they have simplex TDMA channels in them... in the 136MHz range (136.000000MHz,136.112500MHz,136.087500MHz & 136.025000MHz) and they use them.

No matter how many times you tell them you can't use them no one cares.
Given that is in the aeronautical band, I bet a call to the FCC would put an end to that. They tend to take inteference to aero comms seriously.
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Old 08-30-2012, 9:26 PM
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A call to the FAA might get some results, too. The FAA has 'authority' to shut down any transmitter that is interfering with aeronautical systems. I know of a case like this happening, when a nearby sheriff's department's VHF repeater had a serious spurious transmitter problem and was interfering with a frequency used for air traffic control out of the Kansas City Air Traffic Control Center. The FAA person who was responsible for shutting the system down told me about this. His job is to 'manage' radio frequencies and systems for aviation, and in particular, to deal with interference to aviation radio systems. The FAA takes this VERY VERY seriously.

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Given that is in the aeronautical band, I bet a call to the FCC would put an end to that. They tend to take inteference to aero comms seriously.
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:02 PM
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Now go find the number of "outfits" that think that narrow banding consists of changing their license...and then they are done. I know more than one....didn't think they needed to upgrade or reprogram.
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Old 08-31-2012, 9:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveC0625 View Post
That is a two-way street, and the radio shops are not helping the matter. Real life example: We had one VHF high band Motorola GM300 that needed to be replaced to be ready for narrowband. Keep in mind that we are in a county that is conventional VHF analog with little or no prospect or need of any upgrades to digital, P25, or any other newer or different frequency or emissions technology. We have more than enough channels thanks to a very far-sighted previous fire coordinator.

Anyway, the rep from the local Motorola shop had the stones to tell me that we really needed to buy a MotoTrbo radio to be compatible with the future. No one else in the county has a MotoTrbo radio, but he thinks he can pull one over on the new guy (I had just moved into the area prior to this.) Lucky for my agency, I darned well know better.
I did find another Motorola shop in the area that understands this situation and is willing to work with us without trying to push stuff on us that we don't need.

Steve, this is JUST the kind of bulls%#* that I have been talking about, and it is (and has been) going on all over the country. They ferret out the elected people (who hold the purse strings and now nothing about what is needed in the street), and put the old "ya gotta upgrade to digital" pitch. They just don't know any better, and before you know it the people that use these systems everyday are stuck with a less-than great system.
Where you and I are lucky (being retired) is that we don't have to listen to, let alone sit on the other end of this poor voice quality and time lags. YES, it's THAT bad!
And now there is talk about putting fire and EMS on a digital system in the next few years. Others are already dumping their digital systems and going back to analog, especially for on-scene use.
I am sorry, but when someone tells me that the new system has 95% area coverage..... and if they're admitting to that, it's probably more like 80% at best. AND like I said, it's not only coverage, but the voice quality, etc.
You're right- you were there to act as the BS filter, and saved your place some big $$.... they are lucky!
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Old 08-31-2012, 1:14 PM
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As a long time technician (closing on 30 yrs), I couldn't agree more with a lot of what has been said here. I have personally seen other shops do things that are blatantly wrong and frequently illegal, at least for the user. I try to 'nip it in the bud', but I can only do so much.
I guess all I can do is stand up as often as I can and say, 'No, that's not the real story.'

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Old 09-28-2012, 11:46 PM
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Default narrowbanding ??

Then there is the local shop, that thinks narrowbanding is
going around to all his customers and turning down the "mod pot".
Never mind how it will sound on the wide receiver.
But these folks are used to hearing Midlands
( or does Regency still sell radios) ;-)


Don
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Old 10-04-2012, 1:34 PM
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On the other side of the coin we have had a County "manager" tell us to tell everyone that a new digital P25 system was required. Because they needed a new radio system and telling everyone it was "required by the FCC" was the only way he would get his system fixed. We refused of course. Neither one of us is sorry we parted ways.

BB
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Old 10-05-2012, 9:56 PM
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There's a lot of confusion.
We had a manager send out a letter saying we had to convert to "wideband digital" by the end of the year. Fortunately, we have a vendor that's not out to dazzle and baffle, and everything is going well. We'll be compliant by years end, narrowband analog.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:14 PM
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Yes seeing it way too much,
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Old 10-19-2012, 3:34 AM
   
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Default Turnkey Basis

Did anyone heard about Turnkey Basis? why it is used for?
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