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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-15-2010, 4:24 PM
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Post Monroe County Narrowband Switch

Just a Heads up for people in Monroe County, the date they are looking at for the Fire Narrowband switchover is October 17th, as of Monday night that was still on-track. I Do not know what channels, if any, will change, maybe someone could shed some more light on it.
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:12 AM
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Existing wideband channels will go narrow. As far as I know, the Rochester FD channel is already narrowband.

There are also additional battalion fireground channels that started out narrowband.
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Old 09-16-2010, 5:45 AM
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Does anyone know if this is just fire or is ems going at the same time? Radiowise, they are fairly intertwined so it would be reasonable for everyone to make the jump together.

(I was so tempted to say "go over to the dark side", but resisted. )
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Old 09-17-2010, 8:53 AM
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Interesting question. I also wonder about narrowbanding the hospital base stations on .340 and .175. I suspect DOH would be responsible for that rather than Monroe County.
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Old 09-17-2010, 9:44 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveNF2G View Post
Interesting question. I also wonder about narrowbanding the hospital base stations on .340 and .175. I suspect DOH would be responsible for that rather than Monroe County.
Doubly interesting. I wonder what's the story in other counties, like Fulton, for example?
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Old 09-17-2010, 6:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveC0625 View Post
Does anyone know if this is just fire or is ems going at the same time? Radiowise, they are fairly intertwined so it would be reasonable for everyone to make the jump together.
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Originally Posted by DaveNF2G View Post
Interesting question. I also wonder about narrowbanding the hospital base stations on .340 and .175. I suspect DOH would be responsible for that rather than Monroe County.
C&P from MC Communications Board Minutes 5-20-10

Quote:
NARROWBAND CONVERSION COMMITTEE – T. Warth

Narrowband Conversion Plan draft 1.9 was emailed and given to the Board and discussed in length. Changes were suggested and a new copy will be emailed to the Board shortly. This will include the 911 phone numbers for each battalion.

When the draft is finalized the plan will go to surrounding Fire/EMS/911 agencies along with an invite to the informational meeting on June 5.

A Matrix will be created for the conversion with all involved parties and contact numbers listed.

Sunday October 17, 2010 0600 hrs has been decided for the conversion.

T. Aroesty and T. Link will be contact points for the day of the conversion. Contact information will be on the matrix and conversion plan.

Battalion Reps should be available to their respective agencies for that day.

Larry Vaughan publically recognized the Narrowband Committee for all their hard work and dedication to this project. It was recognized by the Board as a job well done.

Informational Meeting has been scheduled for June 5, 2010 at the PSTF room 117 A&B at

9:00 AM. Topics to be discussed are as follows:



What is Narrowband

Transition plan (R. Verdouw)

ECD Role and plan (J. Merklinger)

Operational Consideration

County overview (S. Bowman)



The invite will go out to all Coordinators, Chief’s, DO’s, & Hospitals. It will be up to the agencies to invite their vendors.
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Old 09-18-2010, 6:51 AM
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On the Fulton County end, I understand that the county was installing new repeaters, but as I understand it, they don't have to change the frequencies they have, but any additional frequencies would be narrow band. The equipment would be up-to date. Now I know someone is dying to start correcting me on this, so have at it....I like learning !
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Old 09-18-2010, 7:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Warthog1 View Post
On the Fulton County end, I understand that the county was installing new repeaters, but as I understand it, they don't have to change the frequencies they have, but any additional frequencies would be narrow band. The equipment would be up-to date. Now I know someone is dying to start correcting me on this, so have at it....I like learning !
Don, that matches the info I have. Supposedly there will be no frequency changes, just the shift to NB. When that will happen is anyone's guess. It is taking a lot longer than I expected to get baseline information so that the ambulance squad will be ready with the right equipment ahead of time.

The biggest unknown at the moment is fire and ems pagers. Departments that have older inventories, ie. Minitor II, III, and IV models, should be taking a close look at how well those pagers will work in the NB world. (If anyone has real life experience with this, please chime in.) I suspect that the II's may be problematic.
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Old 09-18-2010, 9:19 AM
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The Minitor V is the only narrowband compliant Motorola voice pager. That being said, most pagers should continue to work just fine (including the Minitor II) post-narrowbanding, albeit at slightly reduced audio. The bigger concern is that the pagers could pick up interference/overlap from adjacent narrowband frequencies. This may or may not be an issue depending on the frequencies in use around you. So basically, if you have nearby users on 154.3025 or 154.3175, you're going to have issues with older pagers on 154.310.
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Old 09-18-2010, 8:37 PM
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I agree with Chauffer on the paging issue. The wideband minitors might even trigger at a greater distance than they used to. Depends on how they respond to extra noise on the signal. [edit] I just thought about this a little more. The amplitude of the tones will appear lower to the pager than they used to, so there could actually be a loss of range after the changeover. [/edit]

I've been made aware that the October 17 changeover in Monroe County will cover all fire and EMS channels that are not already narrowband (except .340). Also, the new setup will be DPL instead of CTCSS. Watch NF2G's Forensic Scannist Pages for full details shortly.
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Old 09-20-2010, 7:32 AM
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I have been investigating this very issue with tone and voice paging. On low band, as those frequencies are not going narrow band there won't be a problem. On VHF and UHF I have tested most Minitor series pagers and with 2.4 kc deviation of tones they alert just fine. The comment about low audio is true, but not unmanageable. The only comment I can make is that whoever is doing the paging out should strip the PL off the transmission, other wise you either don't have enough deviation to alert the pagers or you will be over deviating your signal. Another discovery is that most analog model radios will work just fine with mixed narrow and wide deviation. The audio will just be low or louder depending on who you are conversing with. The receive band width of most radios receivers is wide enough in the narrow setting for this to work.
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Old 09-21-2010, 4:30 AM
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I think the part that some people are missing here is how reliant (in my opinion) people in Monroe County have become on digital pagers. The main reason why the narrow band switch had been put off for so long for county fire and ems (keep in mind probably 95% of the equipment was capable and ready to go in 2003/2004) was due to paging issues and narrow band.

With the new paging system which has just under 30 sites (last I heard) and the old one getting decommissioned when there are no parts to run it anymore it is not surprising that they are taking yet another step to get away from the QCII paging (narrow banding).

This is just the last step (convincing Fire/EMS that QCII isn't needed) before they hit trunking where they will drop QCII completely and go to Fire 1 style dispatching like the city....

Wait and see!

-Alex
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Old 09-21-2010, 7:09 AM
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Alex, as one who carried one of those Monroe County digital pagers for several years, I pretty much agree with your assessment. I am not 100% with you on the future prediction, but past and present is correct.

One of the things that a lot of folks don't know is that when an agency is alerted for a fire or ems call, a short version of the CAD event is sent to each and every pager that is programmed for that agency.

Between that, multiple group paging, the ability to hit a pager or group of pagers from any pc with a modem, and on and on, it is easy to understand how Monroe County became so reliant on the digital pagers.
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Old 09-21-2010, 9:10 AM
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Since some agencies were going to use the digital pagers as its primary means of alerting it's members, the decision was made to hold off on narrowbanding until the new digital paging system was "certified" to the public safety dispatching coverage level. (95% at street level.) This decision was made even before the Minitor 5's came out (2004) and at the time there was even a question as to voice paging end-user equipment availability.

The new digital paging system was "certified" last November (2009), hence you now see the narrowband transition.

As for voice paging in the future, you will probably still see QC2 being simulcasted out on VHF to voice pagers similar to other counties.

tpg
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Old 09-21-2010, 3:53 PM
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As for voice paging in the future, you will probably still see QC2 being simulcasted out on VHF to voice pagers similar to other counties.
That would be my prediction, too. I think fire and ems are still very attached to having tone and voice dispatch even though the digital paging with abbreviated CAD event is more accurate. It's not just a tradition they are reluctant to give up, it's also the security of actually hearing tones and a voice dispatch of each call.

What you may see down the line is less "full dispatch" style transmissions with a drift towards tones and a very brief voice "announcement" of the call. Instead of repeating everything twice with cross-streets,etc., you may just hear, "XXX going to 123 abc st for a car fire." at least for service calls and minor fire calls. Reported structure fires and other major incident type calls will likely continue to get full tone and voice dispatch for a long, long time to come.

But that's just my prediction...
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Old 09-22-2010, 1:16 PM
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If the capital district is any indication, you will also notice a decrease in the intelligibility of voice transmissions as everyone becomes reliant on the CAD or digital page readout. Some of the dispatchers around here sound like mumbling auctioneers. As long as the "rip-n-run" is working, nobody asks for repeats because they don't really need to listen to the voice dispatch.
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Old 09-22-2010, 3:30 PM
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If the capital district is any indication, you will also notice a decrease in the intelligibility of voice transmissions as everyone becomes reliant on the CAD or digital page readout. Some of the dispatchers around here sound like mumbling auctioneers. As long as the "rip-n-run" is working, nobody asks for repeats because they don't really need to listen to the voice dispatch.
And here I thought I was the only one that detected a major shift to MUMBLING on the radio by some dispatchers, even in counties where they are not doing any digital side-by-side.
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Old 09-22-2010, 7:28 PM
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I've added a file for the Monroe County Narrow Band Plan in case someone may be interested. It includes some frequencies and timelines for the changes.

Last edited by GSPD; 09-23-2010 at 3:38 PM..
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Old 09-23-2010, 2:48 PM
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Amazing. I know people in public safety who send me documents and beg me not to mention their names because getting caught leaking this info will end their careers.

Then somebody else comes along and posts the same documents into public forums. I guess my sources are safe - we can always point to someone else as the source. LOL.
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Old 09-23-2010, 3:35 PM
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Every Fire Chief, EMS Director of Operations, Fire and EMS Coordinators, Radio Vendors, etc has received a copy of the transition document. The "FINAL" version is considered public knowledge. Narrowband changeover meetings have been happening at the department levels since 2004. This year, the transition plan document was finalized with firm dates and publicly distributed in June.

Nothing secret about this one...

Last edited by ThePagerGeek; 09-23-2010 at 3:38 PM..
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