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  #81 (permalink)  
Old 06-19-2014, 7:28 PM
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Default Article in the most recent addition of the Shawnee County Sheriffs STAR

.......Pretty much what we already know, but good reading none the less....

Communications Captain Lance Royer
The new P25 radio system project made steady progress over the past two months as participating agencies have been “going live” one by one. Hundreds of P25 portables were issued to Topeka Police Department officers, which started at 5 a.m. on May 5, by Radio Services staff, Lt. John Ostenson, and myself. TPD personnel joined the system as they received radios. The massive project of programming new P25 radios continues. Mobile radios were programmed and installed for all Shawnee County Sheriff vehicles, and programming and installation on P25 radios commenced for TPD cars. Portables have been issued to Topeka Fire Department personnel, and installations are complete on TFD vehicles. Because of difficulties that would be encountered in Communications attempting to dispatch to fire agencies simultaneously on the new vs. old radio systems, TFD will not go fully live until rural fire agencies in Shawnee County are ready to join P25. Soldier Fire, Shawnee Heights Fire, and Mission Fire have been issued new P25 radios, but other Shawnee County rural fire agencies are still pending. SCECC personnel are adapting well to hurdles encountered in radio operations created by the transition from the old radio system to the new. In mid-May, Motorola notified me of a possible microphone cord malfunction on the law enforcement portables, so all 600-plus portables are being tested. A small percentage of defective radios have been returned to Motorola for exchange. Other issues identified since the radios went live are being addressed. The Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office went live on portables in April
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Old 06-20-2014, 8:10 PM
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Default Equipment failure forces early switch of fire departments to digital system

Equipment failure forces early switch of fire departments to digital system
Four rural departments still operating on analog until next week


http://cjonline.com/news/2014-06-20/...digital-system


Most of us have stayed on analog because we have other redundancies in our radios but the change over can't come soon enough for everyone who is currently carrying three radios.

Last edited by nec911; 06-20-2014 at 8:11 PM.. Reason: http://cjonline.com/news/2014-06-20/equipment-failure-forces-early-switch-fire-departments-digital-system
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:19 PM
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Imagine that's hard on the alternator & batteries...

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Old 06-21-2014, 1:26 AM
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I was'nt quite ready ,but, it looks like I am going to have to take a chance and pull the trigger on a new Uniden...was kind of hopeing that Whistler would have had something P 25 phase 1 compatable by now.....kind of strange not hearing routine scanner traffic after almost 40 years....
Nelson ..only 3 radios?????...I figured you good for at least 6 at any given time...are you sure that only 1 will be enough for you?
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Old 06-21-2014, 9:29 PM
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U prefer Whistler over Uniden?

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Old 06-21-2014, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeuser View Post
U prefer Whistler over Uniden?

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...No real preference...I've had everything from Regency crystal scanners, Uniden racing scanners and the RS/GRE offerings....just was hoping to see what ,if anything, that Whistler would bring to the table as far as a P25 phase 1-2 scanner.......

Early next week I'll be picking up a lightly used Uniden 996xt .....really looking forward to listening again.....going to be a base unit at home so that my wife can enjoy it as well....she listens to Shawnee Co. Emergency Management when the weather turns bad and I am not at home....some familiar voices to her.
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Old 06-22-2014, 2:43 AM
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Same here, miss my old Regency Z60. I asked because I have never heard anything favorable about Whistler, from sources I trust. Impressed that your wife monitors also, my wife dislikes my rigs but, she's an angel, & deals with it. That's a good rig your getting, I have always been happy with Uniden.

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Old 06-24-2014, 4:59 PM
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I've heard that they are simulcasting the VHF rural fire paging channel now. I got to hear a tone out this afternoon. The audio was cruddy/muffled and sounded like the towers walking on each other. I did however get 2-3 bars of signal on my radio with it, which is way better than before. Just curious, how does it sound in the county or Topeka. I'm about 30 miles away.
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Old 06-25-2014, 7:16 AM
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In Shawnee Co, 4 of the Rural Fire Departments have already switched over to the P-25, they are still waiting for the other 3 to move as soon as they get their equip for all the volunteers involved. Of course they are still working on fine tuning the radios.


The sound does not sound like the analog, but is readable generally now. Plus Dispatchers at times have a difficulty in hearing the vehicles and portables as well as vice versa.
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Old 06-25-2014, 7:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t0pk01ne View Post
In Shawnee Co, 4 of the Rural Fire Departments have already switched over to the P-25, they are still waiting for the other 3 to move as soon as they get their equip for all the volunteers involved. Of course they are still working on fine tuning the radios.


The sound does not sound like the analog, but is readable generally now. Plus Dispatchers at times have a difficulty in hearing the vehicles and portables as well as vice versa.
I'm talking about VHF, not P25.
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Old 06-25-2014, 8:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firefive76 View Post
I'm talking about VHF, not P25.
My apologies... I thought that you were asking about the Rural Fire Dept in Shawnee Co and how they sound. I was just saying that most have moved off VHF to P-25 and the rest will be soon...

Apologies again..
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  #92 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2014, 8:58 AM
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No problem, they haven't been on VHF in years, just 800 analog. They still use VHF for page out, however.
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Old 06-25-2014, 6:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firefive76 View Post
I've heard that they are simulcasting the VHF rural fire paging channel now. I got to hear a tone out this afternoon. The audio was cruddy/muffled and sounded like the towers walking on each other. I did however get 2-3 bars of signal on my radio with it, which is way better than before. Just curious, how does it sound in the county or Topeka. I'm about 30 miles away.
They made the move last week when they were having issues and from talking to the Radio Shop, they are working out the bugs. Something about the timing and making sure it does not screw up the pagers. I think those on scanner might end up not hearing much on the VHF because of the wattage they are putting out.
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Old 06-25-2014, 7:21 PM
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Default pagers & P25

.......My wife and myself both carry Shawnee county issued pagers (A.R.E.S 589)...same as the volunteer fire fighters even though we do radio...got this e-mail message the other day from Alpha 1 ARES Shawnee Co....

The Shawnee County 911 center has changed over to the new 800 mhz digital system and over to the new VHF pager system. That means our 589 pagers will not be tested on the east tower and then the west tower as before on Monday nights. The new county vhf paging system has 6 sites all running 100 watts to gain antennas and when they page all sites transmit. A tower is located in each corner of the county, downtown on the bank building, and 220 gage. We now have excellent coverage on the vhf 589 pagers. If you want to know the freq. it is 158.835 mhz.
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Old 06-26-2014, 6:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nec911 View Post
They made the move last week when they were having issues and from talking to the Radio Shop, they are working out the bugs. Something about the timing and making sure it does not screw up the pagers. I think those on scanner might end up not hearing much on the VHF because of the wattage they are putting out.
Actually, the signal is way better than it was before on VHF, the audio just sounded horrible and a lot of the typical simulcast path "growling." I was wondering how the pagers are going to handle that.
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firefive76 View Post
Actually, the signal is way better than it was before on VHF, the audio just sounded horrible and a lot of the typical simulcast path "growling." I was wondering how the pagers are going to handle that.
They sound horrible- just like what you are receiving down there. Apparently the 7 sites are out of phase and interfering with one another. I am told that this will get better once Motorola tunes up the system- it was not really ready for the switch to take place. Shawnee County FDs have been having issues with pagers not triggering as the tone frequencies can be knocked off enough by the intermod so the discriminators miss the trigger.

It should be a much better paging system- 2 sites upgraded to 7. And, dispatchers won't be able to mess up which of the two transmitters they keyed up anymore as the 7 sites multicast.
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Old 06-28-2014, 1:41 AM
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I got to hear another VHF rural fire tone out this evening, this time I was in Ottawa. The audio sounded a little better than it did the other night. Put about 2-3 bars up again on my mobile radio, so range is pretty good.
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Old 06-29-2014, 1:22 AM
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Default 10 CODES

Someone asked me the other day about the codes that they are hearing on Topeka Metro buses. I have a redacted copy of it that I was given when I was setting up their Comms training a couple days ago.
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File Type: pdf Topeka Metro Transit 10codes .pdf (197.9 KB, 29 views)
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Old 07-12-2014, 2:36 PM
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Default Simulcast problems

KAA951 was talking about the problems with the Multi-sites that have come up in recent months and years.

Today, I was running the Command Post for the parade. We had set up the Command Post at the LEC and when I measured it was less than 800 feet as the crow flies from the BOA tower. Elev at the LEC was 985 feet.

During the parade, we used the new P25 system and I was able to program my scanner and hear on it very well. I had programmed PD West, PD East, Event 1, Event 2, MTA Fix, Sheriff Main, TFD Main and RFD 1. They came in great. I set up my duty radio to the same channels to scan; so I could test the scanner on the trip home (upper level of College Hill approx. elev of 1159).

As I came home, I noticed that it started to lose traffic because my radio would be talking and the scanner would not catch it. At the Command Post location I think we were so close to the BOA tower site that it could not get any other towers into it.

I am not 100% certain, but I think if you are able to get to a tower that has strong enough power to override all the other signals it might be scannable. Otherwise I fear that we are not going to be able to hear much when we are between two towers or more.
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Old 07-12-2014, 3:49 PM
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Nelson.....

I was in Steve's (wa0vrs) shop earlier this week talking about the local system and my base scanner....sounds as if ,talking to Steve, that antennas will make or break your reception with in the county. Since where we live is between two sites, slightly closer to one, I had a concern with multi site simulcast issues...Steve was able to tell me that I don't need to worry about a weak signal with in county due to the power out put county wide....I think he called the signal "booming everywhere"

Once I get the base in service,(currently at Uniden getting a tune up) and if I have reception issues (multi path) I will be either building a Yagi or buying one and start pointing it in different directions till I get the signal I am after as far as the home base unit is concerned.

When you where back in route home after the parade , where you using your scanners stock antenna verses using an antennae mounted outside the vehicle? The reason that I asked is I noticed a difference between having the scanner with its stock antenna on verses hooking into the outside antenna mounted on my truck on the old system.

I have not purchased a new hand held scanner just yet for the truck, but, from what I am able to gather reading different post on this site, using a outside mounted antennae on your vehicle improves reception noticeably with the P-25 system in most cases.

Last edited by kd0ega; 07-12-2014 at 4:01 PM..
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