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  #201 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2013, 10:00 AM
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Around the area i am in the penn dot trucks only carry the opensky radios in them, the bigger plow/dump trucks have CB radio's installed but i have not seen a penndot truck with the old low band antennas on them since the switch.

Also to bring up something else about PennDot since it was mentioned as anyone heard anything on there simplex/talkaround channel either the 156.7 tone or the p25 NAC as these are listed under PennDots page on RR i have the channels programmed in my truck and still have heard nothing. You would think in a storm or just basic converstion they would use a talkaround as does the PTC on 159.000
i can pick up there trucks up untill the Lehigh tunnel from scranton in the mobile.
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  #202 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2013, 2:47 PM
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The talkarounds are sometimes used for construction area traffic control. The times I have heard them used, it has been used by the flaggers when they have lane reductions requiring them to hold traffic in one direction for a bit and then alternate the flow. Unlike the turnpike, where a user could switch their channel knob to "6" for the simplex and quickly switch back to the district dispatch or even still be monitoring the district dispatch, you cannot do that with the OpenSky radios.

Going from "on the system" to "off the system" is more than just a flip of a channel knob or even a zone selector. You need to go into the radio menu, scroll to the mode selection, change from OTP (Opensky trunking protocol) to OCF (I think...don't have a radio in front of me), then the radio reboots into conventional mode where you then select the channel. The analog simplex is in the Channel 1 position which is probably why it's the one most everybody has heard in use. If you want to go back on the system to hear network traffic on your primary channel, you need to go through some button pushes again and the radio boots back into the OTP mode.

I have not seen a full list of PennDOT's talkgroups. I would imagine they have some operational talkgroups available for use like the one above. The only talkgroups I have seen display like this: T_TIOGA, T_YORK, T_PERRY, etc. and are for the county maintenance districts.

Personally, I have only come across jobs using the conventional channel a few times...along 611 in Northampton County and 895 in Schuylkill County. I may have come across it one or two other times, but I don't recall where I was. Only once did I hear anything on the P25 conventional channel and that was just key ups while I was driving along I-95 near I-476...probably just somebody playing around with their portable. All state agencies have these conventional channels in their radios.

Last edited by benrussellpa; 02-18-2013 at 2:52 PM..
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  #203 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2013, 3:13 PM
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thank you for that information, the only frequency programmed
851.43750
M

156.7 PL

PennDOT Tac

is there any other talkarounds i should program because i have not logged anything on that channel.

thanks for the help.
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  #204 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2013, 4:23 PM
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I heard plow trucks using the new talk around channels here in Franklin Co. during one of our recent snows. I believe you have to be fairly close to here the traffic either trucks or flaggers.
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Old 02-18-2013, 5:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandre88 View Post
thank you for that information, the only frequency programmed
851.43750
M

156.7 PL

PennDOT Tac

is there any other talkarounds i should program because i have not logged anything on that channel.

thanks for the help.

Same frequency in digital mode with NAC $293.
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  #206 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2013, 5:58 PM
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Default open sky

if this system is so bad why don't they just stop useing it?
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  #207 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2013, 6:39 PM
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Because it really isn't as bad as reported..It is not a portable based system so any portable coverage issues blow the issues out of proportion..
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  #208 (permalink)  
Old 02-23-2013, 5:41 PM
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Default PA State Police Struggle with OpenSky Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcr_inc View Post
Because it really isn't as bad as reported..It is not a portable based system so any portable coverage issues blow the issues out of proportion..
I wonder how many of these OpenSky "problems" would go away tomorrow if someone came out with an OpenSky scanner???

Also I'm sure the old PSP VHF system was never built for portable coverage either.


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  #209 (permalink)  
Old 02-23-2013, 5:52 PM
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All radio systems have problems and agencies have dealt with the hurdles. I believe the primary reason there is so much 'chatter' about OpenSky being so horrible is because those reporting, writing and complaining the most are those that cannot listen. Yes I know that the cops themselves are not happy either but would we being hearing so much about this on a system that was able to be monitored by anyone?
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  #210 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2013, 3:13 AM
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These two Requests for Extension that were filed and granted by the FCC a few weeks ago show beyond any shadow of a doubt that the PSP intends to maintain VHF capability far into the future, as I've previously stated.

This isn't just some temporary thing they're doing to address narrowbanding, they intend to keep their VHF system alive for the foreseeable future. You don't spend $20,000+ per GTR 8000 base station only to scrap them in a few years. I count 90 transmitters listed on those requests, which is at least a $1.8 million investment in just the VHF base station infrastructure alone. That does not include the mobile radios and related equipment. $1.8 million is a conservative estimate.

Based on the fact that they are purchasing GTR 8000 base stations, which are repeaters in their base configuration, coupled with all the license modifications from FB to FB2, it seems very likely that they intend to convert the VHF system from full duplex to a repeated system. This isn't surprising, they're basically following the same path they did with the recent DCNR infrastructure upgrades.

VHF is not going anywhere, although it needs to be stressed that the PSP will still operate primarily on the OpenSky system. VHF will be used in areas 800 doesn't cover, and for backup purposes.

Last edited by Chauffeur6; 12-01-2013 at 4:48 AM..
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  #211 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2013, 12:02 PM
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makes a lot of sense up in hear in the Lackawanna,luzerne,wayne,wyoming and pike county areas all the conventional vhf channels are active and the troopers seem to be using them more now since just last month I have a radio with just PSP and DCNR and I have been hearing a lot of Activity on Both agencies frequencies.
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  #212 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2013, 2:37 PM
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During the house and senate budget hearings a couple weeks ago, Commissioner Noonan of PSP indicated that, now that PSP has absorbed the STARNET radio project office, they are not planning on doing more expansion with new microcells to fill in coverage. They plan to utilize VHF for any remaining 800 dead spots, as you noted. Just wanted to point out that Noonan specifically mentioned this during at least one of the hearings. They plan to retain the OpenSky based system, they are just putting a freeze on addition of more microcell sites and, as he put it, evaluating where to go in the future.
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  #213 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2013, 6:22 PM
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@Ben,

without getting into a lot of details. . . .Personally with the upgrade to the backend controller a while back to Opensky 2 which supports P25 and Opensky. . . .

I see the state probably heading to a P25 network with a slow build out on 700 MHz . . . . .and in some areas probably putting in VHF/UHF trunking sites if they can get the licensing issues for centralized trunking resolved at the sites they want to do that at. . . . .

Already several sites in the state on 700 Mhz with P25 trunking supposedly for communication with the State Police Helo's . . . . .

Buggers are hard to find and actually took me a directional antenna and a spectrum analyzer snooping on 700 MHz repeater outputs to find. . . . .

As always, just my $2.25 and YMMV!

Enjoy!
Tony
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  #214 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2013, 7:22 PM
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Can you elaborate regarding your statement referring to 700 Mhz frequencies used by the State Police
Helo's..

An extensive search of the FCC records show no licenses for the spectrum of 700-800 Mhz except for
Berks County in the state of Pennsylvania. Would be interested in any information you can provide.

Thanks
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  #215 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2013, 7:34 PM
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Default Open Sky works most of the time

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcr_inc View Post
Because it really isn't as bad as reported..It is not a portable based system so any portable coverage issues blow the issues out of proportion..
Open Sky failed acceptance testing with the State of New York
Las Vegas Desert Sky is a "lemon" and is being replaced
I think it is on its way out in Palm Beach
Milwaukee got theirs to work, but with a lot of controversy.
Heaven help everyone else.

I listen to the turnpike patch, it does sound OK most of the time. In fact, its the only OS patch I've heard that remotely works. The disturbing part of this from what I have observed in the media is that the dead spots are not predictable. Most users on a regular system know where the system won't work and adjust.

If it does work as you say, why keep VHF?
I posted my top ten earlier in this thread, check that out.

Yep, it works most of the time.........
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  #216 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2013, 7:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talviar View Post
Already several sites in the state on 700 Mhz with P25 trunking supposedly for communication with the State Police Helo's . . . . .

Buggers are hard to find and actually took me a directional antenna and a spectrum analyzer snooping on 700 MHz repeater outputs to find. . . . .

As always, just my $2.25 and YMMV!

Enjoy!
Tony
Yeah, the 700MHz P25 is used by PAARNG, PSP, and OAG from what I understand. I believe there are only ten sites statewide since it is solely for the aircraft. According to old meeting notes, when they brought the site on air at the York01 tower, they got coverage from Philly to Latrobe. No idea where all 10 sites are, but I always figured they were centered around the metro areas since that is where most aerial surveillance takes place.


No licensing, though, that I can find.
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  #217 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2013, 7:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W3DMV View Post
Can you elaborate regarding your statement referring to 700 Mhz frequencies used by the State Police
Helo's..

An extensive search of the FCC records show no licenses for the spectrum of 700-800 Mhz except for
Berks County in the state of Pennsylvania. Would be interested in any information you can provide.

Thanks
Hence my earlier term. . . . a little hard to find. . . . . Statewide channels require a state wide license that shows they are licensed on the statewide channels in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. . . . . .

Southwestern Corner of the state. . . . look for 773.06875 MHz
as a P25 control channel . . . . .

ULS License - Public Safety 700 MHZ Band-State License License - WPTZ795 - COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

There is the Commonwealth of PA license. . . . Since the coordinating body is essentially the state . . . . This is all that gets cut for any of the 700 MHz state freqs put in use in the Commonwealth. . . . .
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  #218 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2013, 7:52 PM
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Thanks. I will attempt an official request on Monday to see what turns up......
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  #219 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2013, 7:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benrussellpa View Post
Yeah, the 700MHz P25 is used by PAARNG, PSP, and OAG from what I understand. I believe there are only ten sites statewide since it is solely for the aircraft. According to old meeting notes, when they brought the site on air at the York01 tower, they got coverage from Philly to Latrobe. No idea where all 10 sites are, but I always figured they were centered around the metro areas since that is where most aerial surveillance takes place.


No licensing, though, that I can find.
Site this way is off the turnpike near Irwin. . . . .A little help from some local scanner enthusists help narrow it down. . . . .
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  #220 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2013, 8:18 PM
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To clarify what talviar is saying:

The states were issued blanket statewide 700 MHz SL licenses back in 2002 for the 2.4 MHz of spectrum set aside for usage by the state. Every state gets the same set of frequencies. The states are not required to license sites individually as you'd normally see, as they do with the 800 MHz licenses.

In reality, it's really 1.2 MHz of usable spectrum, as the 2.4 MHz includes both the 769-775 MHz base and 799-805 MHz mobile frequencies. That works out to be 48 blocks of 25 kHz channels, or 96 blocks of 12.5 kHz channels.

700 MHz State License

Attached is a spreadsheet of the specific frequencies that are allocated to the states. They're segmented in 25 kHz blocks (alternate highlighting) with dotted lines breaking them into 12.5 kHz blocks.

Last edited by Chauffeur6; 05-09-2013 at 12:18 PM..
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