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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-01-2012, 5:39 AM
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Default St Mary's New System News

St Mary's County signs a 34 million contract with Harris.

SoMdNews.com: County agrees to 911 communications upgrade
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Old 07-01-2012, 6:47 PM
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No surprise the county went with Harris. It's a bit ironic that the current Harris system never worked as advertised, as stated in the article, but the telecommunications geniuses here went right back for more. Hopefully the taxpayers will get what we paid for this time around.

I would love to see the other manufactures submissions to the original RFP.

Why the county didn't go P25 originally is beyond me. It would have opened up competition, extended the useful life of the system, enhanced interop with surrounding counties and saved money. Instead we bought a multi million dollar, proprietary system that for all intent and purpose is obsolete and unserviceable not 10 years after commissioning.

The Good Old Boy SMIB network at it's finest!!!!
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:13 PM
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Any word on if this system will stay "in the clear", or if they will begin using ProVoice or something of the sort? Sadly enough my home, Middlesex County NJ uses a ProVoice system and more and more towns are starting to switch over to the "dark side". Spend a week every year (actually within the next few days) down at Point Lookout and enjoy listening to this TRS. Thanks for any info.
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Old 07-11-2012, 3:08 PM
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Default Looks Like P25 FDMA Phase II System??

Here is the link to the counties request for the new radio system. It is over 200 pages long and goes over what issues they have now and what they want in the new system.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...H9fh-zW_vdjdjA
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Old 10-23-2012, 7:40 PM
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Funny reading articles written by people who don't really understand the technologies... or it was a lack of understanding on the part of the person in being interviewed.... (or they can blame spell checker).

I suspect if the system were live today, the PSR800 should be able to handle it (I think).

SoMdNews.com: Emergency scanners to go quiet in 2014
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Old 07-27-2013, 3:35 AM
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The County is expected to switch over this new system on August 5th
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Old 07-28-2013, 7:24 AM
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If someone in the area can get the System ID and WACN for this system, that would be great. Thanks.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:48 AM
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Default System Info

This is the information that the HomePatrol-1 is giving me.

SID= 12Dh
Site= 1 (All sites are simulcast)
Wacn= 92565h

There has been periodic testing today on the system.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAMR213 View Post
Any word on if this system will stay "in the clear", or if they will begin using ProVoice or something of the sort?
It won't be ProVoice because that technology is obsolete, and will be phased out. It certainly will be P25 CAI with Phase 2's TDMA - making the PSR-800 the only current scanner capable of receiving unencrypted messaging.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:03 PM
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This system was built really fast. I thought it wasn't supposed to go live until 2014? How did Harris set everything up and perform all of their testing so quickly?
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Old 08-04-2013, 5:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumba View Post
This system was built really fast. I thought it wasn't supposed to go live until 2014? How did Harris set everything up and perform all of their testing so quickly?
Apparently the first Phase (of 3) was promised this month.
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Old 08-05-2013, 4:54 AM
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Road trip for the grand opening....

First thing I hear upon reaching the area..... Encryption.

Appears the system is coming online as Phase 1 so you don't need a PSR-800 just yet....

I'm parked near the tower site in Mechanicsville. My 800 is locked well onto the control channel but my 500 is really struggling holding the lock.

Update: Fire Board switch over at 0620 with a roll call to all stations. So far with the possible exception of TGID 1001 on the police side has been encrypted. There are occasional time where it sounds like the dispatcher side of conversations are in the clear.

Trouble getting Charles County tones working... Actually all tones....

Odd that most new systems bring non-emergency users over first.... Transit and other users are still on the old system at this point.

Most radio IDs are 258xxxx which maps to the statewide plan.

Encrypted...I suspect Sheriff's Office...on TGIDs 1003 & 1019 are pretty active. Also encrypted activity on TGID 6001...radio IDs make me this this is MSP...

Tones may be working now...
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Last edited by troymail; 08-05-2013 at 5:58 AM..
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Old 08-05-2013, 9:22 AM
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Drove the length of Rt 5 to Point Lookout - now sitting here in Leonardtown...

Trouble continues getting station alerts out -- dispatchers having to send out tones over the old system for now.

The reception on my PSR800 is pretty much the same as with other P25 systems -- fades in and out while moving. Parked here in Leonardtown and also in Mechanicsville earlier I have pretty good solid and clear reception - at least for the SM Transit (3006) talkgroup - which - other than Fire Dispatch (2001) is one of the only talkgroups that aren't encrypted. There have been one or two others but they aren't very active right now.

But now for the PSR500 -- I've been using it to feed Pro96Com -- which has reported 72 talkgroups (???) and almost 400 radio IDs so far. However, the PSR500 is having considerable trouble maintaining lock on the control channel. Since being in the area this morning the best I've seen is 70% decode and that's very brief and then it drops off to zero and then cycles back up towards 65-70% decode. Pretty bad.

Update: hooked up my PSR800 to Pro96Com -- still only getting about 65-68% (max) decode parked in Leonardtown - but it's a steady decode rate unlike what I'm seeing on my PSR500.

So - maybe my comment earlier about not needing a PSR800 was premature. The PSR500 decodes and you can listen but the reception is very flaky.

The BCD-396T was doing a decent job for the brief period I turned it on while sitting here.

TGIDs so far on Pro96Com:
1001-1020
2001-2030 and 2037
3001-3011,3017 and 3022
4001-4011
5001
6001-6002 (probably MSP)
64531
64540-64542
64573
64578
64584
64591
63596

Radio IDs:
17 in the 212xxxx range (probably MSP)
the rest are 258xxxx (St. Mary's County range)
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Last edited by troymail; 08-05-2013 at 9:58 AM..
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:27 AM
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Reception near the towers is great.... Terrible between then (as expected)
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Old 08-05-2013, 2:00 PM
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Troy are you using an external antenna when you're doing all your testing? Listening inside a car with a duckie is not going to bring you a lot of success with all that attenuating metal around you...Mike
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Old 08-05-2013, 2:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ka3jjz View Post
Troy are you using an external antenna when you're doing all your testing? Listening inside a car with a duckie is not going to bring you a lot of success with all that attenuating metal around you...Mike
No -- it's just using duckies... back in the day (before 800 Mhz trunking w/repeaters), you used to have to put an antenna on your roof to get good reception. Then, the trunked systems for the most part eliminated that need. With these new systems and their digital modulation/signal timing issues, I don't think an external antenna really helps. In some cases, it's been suggested that attenuation is more appropriate -- try to limit the signals hitting the radio.

I've tried an external on these new systems and it really doesn't help. I have dash mounts for my radios - one of them has the antenna actually touching to windshield. I try various antennas - various stock antennas, RS 800 Mhz, stubby, etc. It's pretty much the modulation issue that causes the problems -- particularly while in motion.

I remember when the PG system first came out - I went nuts trying to find an external antenna thinking that would help.... it never did.
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Old 08-06-2013, 3:50 PM
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Unhappy PSR 500 tracking issues

I have both a PSR 500 and a PSR 600 scanner. Both of them tracked the old system perfectly.

The PSR 600 is connected to a DIAMOND DISCONE at 35 feet using LMR 400 COAX.
The PSR 500 is connected to a Radio Shack 800 MHz rubber duck.
I have a full strength signal on the PSR 600 and the PSR 500.

The Fire Board dispatch talk group is received intermittently on both scanners. The 2001 TG ID is displayed and sometimes I receive the dispatch, sometimes the receiver 'stutters' for lack of a better term. Yes, I have tried it with the attenuation on and off with the same results.

Is anyone here using a PSR 500/PSR 600 to monitor the new system? I'd like to compare notes on your scanner settings.
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Old 08-06-2013, 3:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scansomd View Post
I have both a PSR 500 and a PSR 600 scanner. Both of them tracked the old system perfectly.

The PSR 600 is connected to a DIAMOND DISCONE at 35 feet using LMR 400 COAX.
The PSR 500 is connected to a Radio Shack 800 MHz rubber duck.
I have a full strength signal on the PSR 600 and the PSR 500.

The Fire Board dispatch talk group is received intermittently on both scanners. The 2001 TG ID is displayed and sometimes I receive the dispatch, sometimes the receiver 'stutters' for lack of a better term. Yes, I have tried it with the attenuation on and off with the same results.

Is anyone here using a PSR 500/PSR 600 to monitor the new system? I'd like to compare notes on your scanner settings.
I noticed my PSR500 was having trouble holding lock on the new CC yesterday while in the area (http://forums.radioreference.com/mar...ml#post2016702) but my PSR800 was locking fine ... at least, while stationary. The 800 showed a pretty steady "T" but the signal on the PSR500 seemed to good good for a few seconds and then give the appearance it was gone a few seconds later and then back again (cyclic).

I'm not sure why the PSR500 was having so much trouble.

Sorry - I know this doesn't help other than to say it's not a problem with (just) your radio.
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Old 08-06-2013, 4:40 PM
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Also - I don't know if this is a factor but it is something to consider -- to my knowledge, the St. Mary's system is the first Harris P25 Phase 1 or Phase 2 system that I've tried to monitor (other than the older 380 Mhz military systems which are not really the same thing).

I found that on both my PSR500 and my PSR800, I was only getting 65-70% maximum decoding of the control channel signal on both radios - and of course the 500 wasn't able to hold on to it.

As a test to rule out something in my laptop and/or software load of Pro96Com, I just verified that the Maryland State (Motorola) FiRST system is still decoding at 100%.

This make me wonder if there is anything in the Harris system generated P25 data stream that is causing problems with the decoding on the scanners - particularly the PSR500.

Also makes me wonder if anyone down that way has a HP-1 (hey Brian86 !!!!) and how well it's working...

I did read somewhere that they tested the Motorola radios on the St. Mary's system and they were working fine. In fact, I expect that the radios currently being used by MSP Leonardtown are State issues Motorola radios and as far as we know, they are still operating on the new system without problems (but of course we don't know for certain that since it's all encrypted).
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Old 08-06-2013, 6:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troymail View Post
I noticed my PSR500 was having trouble holding lock on the new CC yesterday while in the area (http://forums.radioreference.com/mar...ml#post2016702) but my PSR800 was locking fine ... at least, while stationary. The 800 showed a pretty steady "T" but the signal on the PSR500 seemed to good good for a few seconds and then give the appearance it was gone a few seconds later and then back again (cyclic).

I'm not sure why the PSR500 was having so much trouble.

Sorry - I know this doesn't help other than to say it's not a problem with (just) your radio.
///////
I noticed the same symptoms (intermittent and cyclic reception).

Update: My BC9000 receives the 154.98 Simulcast of EMS Dispatch. I noticed the PSR 600 does NOT receive every dispatch - maybe 50% of them are successful.
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