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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 02-22-2013, 6:46 AM
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I will point to the recent spate of complaints & issues regarding the LVPD Metro system. That one can't be that much different in size (geographically) than Middlesex County (taking into consideration that Clark County, NV is the size of the state of Massachusetts).
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Old 02-22-2013, 7:29 AM
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what? Harris I was told is no longer supporting/building new "open Sky" systems and eventually were moving to a type of P-25
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Old 02-22-2013, 9:50 AM
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Arrow OpenSky 2

Harris is now deploying OpenSky2 type systems at this time, geared towards Utility companies. They also are marketing a hybrid type of OpenSky2 and P25 system. On their pspc home page, they have an article ( Harris announces Washington Gas deployment | Utility content from Urgent Communications ) about how Washington Gas in the D.C. metro area (that also covers into VA and WV) has a system where some of the voice is P25 on VHF, and the rest is (I believe) voice and data over OpenSky2 protocol. In my opinion, the OpenSky protocol is great; however, I am concerned that with all of the failures nationwide in the Public Safety field, that this will be yet another boondoggle. (Plus the fact that OpenSky is not monitorable with any means also dissapoints me from an inter-op point of view). Quite possible, the County will choose a mix of OpenSky for data, and P25 for voice and be able to intermix them with the VIDA network from Harris? http://pspc.harris.com/media/7234F%2...cm27-11744.pdf (Pure pipe dream at this point but always a possibility)
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:48 AM
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Red face Pa's Open Sky Experience

The latest: Pa's has just spent 11 million dollars in deploying a "backup" VHF system to fill in the spots where Open Sky has failed.
The following is a letter I sent to the Pa Auditor General.
===========
Dear Auditor General Wagner:

I want to bring your attention to a serious issue which endangers public safety and the lives of State Troopers. It's the Open Sky 800 MHz radio system that has been deployed.

Please review the following TV report.
$600 million radio investment leaves police hearing dead air | Investigations - WTAE Home

As a ham radio operator, licensed by the FCC, I have been following the radio system deployment. First the Open Sky system is NOT using the national standard for radio transmissions which is called Project 25. See: Project 25 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia What does this mean for the state taxpayers? In my opinion, a lot. The Open Sky system is propriety. That means when it comes time to buy new radios or supporting equipment the purchase can NOT be put out to bid. Why? Only one radio company, Harris, has the patent on Open Sky. Getting back to Project 25. Lets say that State Police decided to reconfigure their system for Project 25. They can bid on and then buy P25 radios from a variety of vendors, Motorola (Harris DOES make a p25 radio) Relm, GE, just about anyone. Under the current system without bidding that's like saying I have a radio and TV station. I will not be using the national standard to broadcast my programming. If you want to see/hear us you will have to buy the TV/radio set from us!


One of the main potential problems is the so called "cell sites" that will be used. They are used to "fill in" dead spots that the tower sites can not reach. In Pa most of those cell sites are connected by phone lines! In bad weather if the phone lines are pulled down or receive such damage---the cell site is useless.

Pa's Open Sky system is 10 years behind schedule, as it was supposed to be online in 2001. The cost has risen from an original 179 million to 380 million. Also there is word that in coming years the State will be going to an Open Sky 2 format. My information is that thousands of new radios will have to be purchased.


I also reviewed the state documentation of how the bid for a whole new radio system was awarded and am hoping the State Auditor General investigates. An example: The state asked the prospective vendors to supply three OPERATING systems that each vendor had deployed. Ma/Com, which was bought out by Harris, put down Fed Ex twice and the third, the Orange County California Transit Authority. The problem: At the time the OCTA radio system was not OPERATING and the radios were not even installed in the buses.

There also appears to be something defiantly flawed in the system as a whole. Please review the following link which show similar problems using Open Sky in other jurisdictions.

Inspector General finds problems with police radios, contract and tax dollars wasted


Las Vegas police dump problem radio system - News - ReviewJournal.com


I respectfully ask that a full performance audit be done on the system before a civilian or trooper is severely hurt or killed because of a problem plagued radio system.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:03 AM
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Hey Bob, what took you so long? This thread has been going for two whole days!
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Old 02-28-2013, 3:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2SJW View Post
I will point to the recent spate of complaints & issues regarding the LVPD Metro system. That one can't be that much different in size (geographically) than Middlesex County (taking into consideration that Clark County, NV is the size of the state of Massachusetts).
LVMPD has dropped their "DesertSky" OS system. One of the biggest complaints was massive dead spots inside buildings. Lancaster is now suing Harris over their failed deployment (and going P25). And as for PASP, I think it says a lot how much they're now spending on their VHF backup equipment this last quarter.

OS is highly flawed. Harris needs to stick to milcom and sigint where they know what they're doing.
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Old 02-28-2013, 8:03 AM
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PASP VHF activity has really picked up over the last couple of months. If I had to guess, they are using VHF about 20% of the time (Troop M).
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:49 PM
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I wanted to clarify something in my original post on this topic. It was recently pointed out to me that the County licensed a new site for the OpenSky TRS in Middlesex Borough (Jim Robbins' Scanner Pages Table of Contents & Links) and upon a "fox hunt," I have found that the source of the 769.53750 OpenSky signal is indeed transmitting from the Middlesex Borough site, (as licensed) and NOT the New Brunswick site as originally stated. I have also contacted a few sources of mine and all of them have little to no knowledge of the new system at this time.
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Old 06-24-2013, 1:07 PM
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Any new updates about Middlesex County Opensky??
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Old 06-25-2013, 2:36 PM
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I recently heard that Middlesex County has dropped the Open Sky idea and is going with P25, can anyone else confirm?

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Originally Posted by johnls7424 View Post
Any new updates about Middlesex County Opensky??
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Old 06-25-2013, 3:43 PM
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I have not heard about this confirmation of P25. Have heard rumors that they did want to drop Open Sky, but thats no confirm. Not at least to my knowledge.

****** Personal Note******

Middlesex County should have went with P25 from the get go. Most other municipalites here in New Jersey seem to be using that communications networking interface. If talk-groups are for interoperability and to save money and lives ( IN THE LONG RUN) then everyone should be on the same page. Not having to purchase expensive multi-banded radios and such to create and connect interop!!
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Old 06-26-2013, 6:09 PM
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- Multi-band isn't the only way to accomplish interoperability. Much can be done on the back end, between different trunked systems (of a kind and different kinds), conventional, push-to-talk on cell nets, etc.
- OpenSky theoretically has double or so the voice paths that P25^2 has. In other words, more simultaneous system capacity using the same amount of spectrum.
- It was my understanding that the OpenSky public safety radios also have P25 abilities (within band), though I haven't checked up on this to verify myself.

As a scanning enthousiast, I prefer P25 over OpenSky. As a public safety professional, I want a reliable system with adequate coverage, adequate capacity, and reasonable fidelity. That does not have to rule out P25 or OpenSky or other options out there. Obviously OpenSky has a ... rough track record for public safety applications but I'll bet the key people at the county are more familiar with that than almost all users of these forums.

I've neither heard nor seen any indication of a switch from OpenSky to P25, but neither will I believe they're 100% committed to OpenSky until they start moving public safety and law enforcement users over to it from the EDACS.
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Old 06-26-2013, 6:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbinsj2 View Post
- OpenSky theoretically has double or so the voice paths that P25^2 has. In other words, more simultaneous system capacity using the same amount of spectrum.
That's a red herring. OpenSky allows for 4 voice paths within a 25 kHz channel space, P25 Phase II allows for 2 voice paths within a 12.5 kHz channel space. 4 Slot TDMA in a 25 kHz channel vs 2 Slot TDMA in a 12.5 kHz channel equals the same amount of voice paths. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

One frequency is freed up with OpenSky vs P25, as there is no dedicated control channel as is required with P25.
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Old 06-26-2013, 9:50 PM
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These are the portable radios that several Public Safety users of the County TRS are currently using:

P7200 700/800 MHz (older purchases - Model P7250)
http://www.fireradios.com/pdf/P7200.pdf

P7300 700/800 MHz (recent purchases - Model P7350)
http://pspc.harris.com/media/ECR-7670L_tcm42-11040.pdf

From what I have been told, both models have P25 and OpenSky digital platforms available to them, as well as ProVoice digital currently installed. In my opinion, it may be a couple of years before the switch, as the only site currently on-line is the one located in Middlesex Borough. Also, each County agency (and subsequent subscriber units such as Milltown, Jamesburg, Highland Park, South Plainfield) would have to have their radios upgraded (with the latest software) and/or replaced to support the OpenSky and/or P25 digital mode(s). The subscriber unit agencies currently utilize the above mentioned radios, but depts. such as Public Property, Highways and Bridges, Parks, etc. would have to have their current fleet replaced before such a switch can take place (unless law enforcement switches over first to OpenSky, and the others follow suit as their fleet is upgraded). I've also noticed that with the P7300 radio, users can switch from ProVoice (EDACS) mode to OpenSky mode with "the flip of a switch." Currently though, any information about when a switch may occur is very tight lipped, and only a selected few know what the future plans are with OpenSky.
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Old 06-27-2013, 9:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chauffeur6 View Post
That's a red herring. OpenSky allows for 4 voice paths within a 25 kHz channel space, P25 Phase II allows for 2 voice paths within a 12.5 kHz channel space.
Ah, okay, I keyed on the paths per radio channel but missed the channel bandwidth bit. Thanks for the correction.
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Old 07-02-2013, 5:32 PM
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I think all of this will be encrypted soon enough. Cell nets I believe are the newest thing that goes far beyond just regular radio encryption. I'm sure when and if Middlesex County makes a switch private encrypted cell phones like the ones motorola has to offer law enforcement will be the new thing. At least for detectives. Patrol units will still mostly use radios.
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Old 11-18-2013, 4:56 PM
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Has anyone heard any updated information about Middlesex County moving to the Opensky network?
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Old 11-20-2013, 9:54 AM
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From what I heard it was a testing site and they are not going to move forward with OpenWallet. The rumor is that it will be a P25 system, just don't know who is going to get the winning bid or if they just called Harris and said start installing.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:05 AM
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Yeah I figured Middlesex would go with a Project 25 system. It seems to be the norm, especially in New Jersey. Would make interop alot better and seems to be a more efficient and price efficient move.
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Old 11-24-2013, 9:07 PM
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From a "very reliable and direct source" of mine, it is my understanding that their will be a decision made soon whether to implement OpenSky or P25 Phase II trunking to replace the current EDACS system. Stay tuned for further updates...
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