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Old 02-20-2013, 12:53 PM
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Angry Middlesex County Open Sky

Well folks, looks like "Radio Death" has arrived in Middlesex County. County Radio Techs are currently testing and running a "control channel" on 769.53750 in Open Sky format. More details to emerge as I dig deeper...
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Old 02-20-2013, 1:27 PM
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Quote:
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Well folks, looks like "Radio Death" has arrived in Middlesex County. County Radio Techs are currently testing and running a "control channel" on 769.53750 in Open Sky format. More details to emerge as I dig deeper...
I suspect $50,000,000 of headaches before they come to their senses and dump it for P25. Just like West Palm Beach, Las Vegas, Lancaster...the list goes on and on.
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Old 02-20-2013, 7:05 PM
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Can anyone else in Middlesex County (and immediate surrounding areas) confirm if they hear the Open Sky "control channel" (buzz saw raw data stream) on the 769.53750 freq.? I have a report that it was not heard in the southern section of the county so far. It seems that it's operational from the New Brunswick tower only at this time.
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Old 02-20-2013, 7:28 PM
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I will try last i heard this system was put off till 2014 why is everyone jumping on the opencry band wagon and the database updated as so if it has not been confirmed I thought only confirmed info was updated
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Old 02-20-2013, 7:38 PM
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It is confirmed that it's in operation, and the rumor is that the County Fire Marshal's Office will be testing it out first. One site has been confirmed to be turned on and in operation at this time. I had a report from a contact that in the South Brunswick area, he did not hear the Open Sky buzz saw sound from any of the repeater towers in that area.

For those who do not know what OpenSky sounds like, here is a sample of the raw data stream: http://www.w2sjw.com/sounds/OpenSky.mp3
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Old 02-20-2013, 8:12 PM
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Not sure if I would normally be able to pick up the control channel "buzzsaw" noise on a Pro-95 (you guys would know better then me), but just programmed 769.5375 in and it is currently silent. Monitoring from Highland Park. Maybe they "shut it off" for the night after they were done testing? (also not sure if that is possible)
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Old 02-20-2013, 8:44 PM
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negative copy from central eastern monmouth county.
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Old 02-20-2013, 9:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioDitch View Post
I suspect $50,000,000 of headaches before they come to their senses and dump it for P25. Just like West Palm Beach, Las Vegas, Lancaster...the list goes on and on.
Lest we forget good old New York State and that statewide money hole excursion.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:03 PM
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I hear it in Staten Island by the OuterBridge.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GM View Post
Can anyone else in Middlesex County (and immediate surrounding areas) confirm if they hear the Open Sky "control channel" (buzz saw raw data stream) on the 769.53750 freq.? I have a report that it was not heard in the southern section of the county so far. It seems that it's operational from the New Brunswick tower only at this time.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:23 PM
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I live in Old Bridge and I dont hear anything but it's not a suprise that the county would choose opensky (moneypit) based on the reports of corruption going in the sheriffs office and the rest of the county,state......

Last edited by racescan_fan; 02-21-2013 at 12:33 PM..
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Old 02-21-2013, 2:37 PM
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769.5375 is still silent here in Highland Park on a Pro-95.
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Old 02-21-2013, 3:53 PM
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I believe opensky will take place. However just like many towns like Piscataway that has recently implimented P25 radio interfaces. I think some towns that are on the EDACS format will start their own talkgroups like Piscataway and Dunellen did. Maybe combining one large P25 talkgroups. This is just valid speculation. No confirmations, though I have heard of this being a valid idea. Plus it is cheaper to implement since encryption usually costs nothing to enable and maintain.
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Old 02-21-2013, 6:19 PM
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I can just barely hear it here in Branchburg, but that's 100% confirmed as a OpenSky signal.

OpenSky does not use control channels in the way we all are used to trunking systems operating. You have to visualize OS systems as large wireless computer networks, where most off-peak traffic is going on via the same frequency that you hear the data stream on. Take a look at the PA STARNet system in the database - most sites have only 2 or 3 frequencies. 3 frequencies at 4:1 TDMA is a lot of separate voice paths.

I'm not defending the use of OS at all, I think the county is out of it's f*cking mind. There has got to be a way to start enough of a public stink to show that the county is wantonly wasting taxpayer dollars on a non-compliant system, all in the deliberate pursuit of being unmonitorable (as told to me by a trusted inside source).

I'm so glad I'm moving to Warren County in April...
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Old 02-21-2013, 6:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2SJW View Post
OpenSky does not use control channels in the way we all are used to trunking systems operating. You have to visualize OS systems as large wireless computer networks, where most off-peak traffic is going on via the same frequency that you hear the data stream on.
MOTOTRBO systems work in a similar fashion, control + voice on the same frequency. Not entirely the same, but similar enough that anyone who is familiar with the increasingly popular Connect Plus or Capacity Plus TRBO systems might be able to relate it to OpenSkam...I mean Sky.
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Old 02-21-2013, 6:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAMR213 View Post
769.5375 is still silent here in Highland Park on a Pro-95.
The Pro-95 is not made for 700MHz; I am surprised it allows you to input that frequency (maybe it could be unlocked like the Pro-96 bands could be expanded?) but in any event you cannot count on its performance on that band.

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I believe opensky will take place. However just like many towns like Piscataway that has recently implimented P25 radio interfaces. I think some towns that are on the EDACS format will start their own talkgroups like Piscataway and Dunellen did. Maybe combining one large P25 talkgroups. This is just valid speculation. No confirmations, though I have heard of this being a valid idea. Plus it is cheaper to implement since encryption usually costs nothing to enable and maintain.
Sure, it's an opinion and "there's no such thing as a bad opinion," but you seem to misunderstand the technology at hand and its cost. To "start their own talkgroups like Piscataway" would take millions of dollars for repeaters, site controller, and subscriber units, and possibly dispatch center upgrades as well. Spectrum would have to be found and licensed.

Piscataway upgraded their trunked system from a Motorola-type to a P25-type (they were never regularly on the County EDACS), which is much more straight-forward and less expensive (depending upon exactly how the Motorola system and its subscriber units evolved) than building a new system. For a better idea of the work involved to build a new system, study Woodbridge. They have spent years building it out and trying to find available, useful, reliable frequencies on which to operate.

"Starting their own talkgroups" (as opposed to using excess capacity like Dunellen has done on Piscataway's new system) isn't like programming a scanner, where you just put in some different frequencies and TGIDs and, presto, there's a spanking new system ready to go.

Yes it is possible, though it is very highly unlikely that any municipality which has jumped onto the county's trunked system is going to leave it and construct their own trunked system, and as unlikely that any town currently on conventional is going to build their own new trunked system. It is more likely that legacy trunked systems will be partially tied together at the back end, and possible for them to be consolidated as upgrades/ transitions occur. And if the UHF-T vacation mandate remains, frankly I expect East Brunswick, Edison, Monroe, Piscataway, Sayreville, and Woodbridge trunked users to be rolled onto the county's or the state's 700MHz systems, though that is more speculative and further out on the calendar.

As I requested in the other thread you posted something similar to, please study the technology and clarify the meaning of your statement about towns "starting their own talkgroups" and "one large P25 talkgroups" and what encryption has to do with any of this. As presently written, I'm afraid it is nonsensical; a better discussion could be had if we understand what you mean (talkgroup versus system, new system versus existing or upgraded system, and what encryption has to do with any of the above).
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Old 02-21-2013, 6:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chauffeur6 View Post
MOTOTRBO systems work in a similar fashion, control + voice on the same frequency. Not entirely the same, but similar enough that anyone who is familiar with the increasingly popular Connect Plus or Capacity Plus TRBO systems might be able to relate it to OpenSkam...I mean Sky.
The NJSP has a more rudimentary type of functionality very similar to that with the IR sites on the 800MHz Type-II system.

That kind of behavior is not supported on the 7.xx P25 systems, so that's a interesting wrinkle they have to work out before the upgrade starts. Anyone else getting the feeling that it's not going to start until the PSIC is 100% deployed?

Sorry for the minor derail of the thread, back to the torches & pitchfork crucifixion of the county!
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Old 02-21-2013, 9:35 PM
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The Pro-95 is not made for 700MHz; I am surprised it allows you to input that frequency (maybe it could be unlocked like the Pro-96 bands could be expanded?) but in any event you cannot count on its performance on that band.
Thanks for the input Mr. Robbins. Using Win95 to program my scanner, I was under the impression that the normal "gaps" in reception were eliminated, and all frequencies between 5 kHz and 1.3 GHz were able to be monitored (outside of cell ranges). As stated on the Win95 website.

I don't mean to take this thread off topic, but I assume this is not the case? I don't make much use of this function (other then recently programming in 769.5375), but if I ever wanted to listen to say, MilAir in the 225-380 MHz range, I assume I can expect similarly disappointing results?
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:16 PM
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Using Win95 to program my scanner, I was under the impression that the normal "gaps" in reception were eliminated, and all frequencies between 5 kHz and 1.3 GHz were able to be monitored (outside of cell ranges). As stated on the Win95 website.

I don't mean to take this thread off topic, but I assume this is not the case?
Hi Erik, it's been a while,

Okay, per the link you shared the 95 can be opened up like the 96. The problem is that the radio wasn't designed for those bands so it won't perform well on them. If it was designed for them, or by happy accident happened to do well on them, then it would have been enabled out-of-the-box and marketed (and priced) accordingly. I unlocked my 96 as soon as it became possible, then found it to be worthless on the extended range, haven't used it, and may have even closed those ranges.

You can experiment, since the 95 can attempt to tune 0.5-1300. Try tuning broadcast FM stations out of New York; you don't have WFM mode but do you even get a distorted signal? How about on WMGQ, much closer to Highland Park? The AM broadcast band is tougher to pull in (my ancient Icom R-2, spec'ed out for 0.5-1300, has a special separate antenna for those low frequencies and still does poorly) but how about the Rutgers TIS on 0.53? You can double-check with a car radio -- I'm not sure if that's a 24/7 station or only activated for special events.

The 95 may be good enough on milair to meet your needs for close-in action at an airshow but probably not for general scanning of the band.

Jim
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:57 PM
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Call me naive but, as a Middlesex taxpayer and public safety user in a service which may someday use the system, I am cautiously optimistic. I've heard mostly about the statewide (attempted) installations, less about smaller installations so I have some reading ahead of me to satisfy my curiosity. Middlesex is only 325 square miles and, what, not even 400' from Sand Hill down to the sea?

That's not to say I'm happy about the decision as a scannist, but that's obviously not relevant to the decision-making process. As for outbound interoperability, the subscriber units will be P25-capable, right? (note to self: check their specs) I bet they'll integrate certain OpenSky channels with regional and statewide channels for inbound interoperability and there are probably some pretty neat gizmos with county OEM, NJSP, Port Authority, etc.

Finally I'm counting on solid performance requirements in the contract, and close scrutiny of compliance since OS shortcomings have been well publicized in the government/ public safety community. Naive? Maybe or maybe not, time will tell and I don't expect this system or issue to be set up and sorted out real quick...

Jim
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Old 02-22-2013, 7:07 AM
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Interesting Mr. Robbins

Last edited by johnls7424; 02-22-2013 at 7:09 AM..
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