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  #61 (permalink)  
Old 10-09-2013, 2:10 PM
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Have any other PL's changed, or just PGH Fire Dispatch?
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Old 10-09-2013, 5:45 PM
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Just FD ch5.
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2013, 6:16 PM
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I apologize for the newb like question but can someone give me a brief explanation as to what this all means. I've been listening to the city channels and noticed the different radio volume (city is now quite low compared to the north boros, for example) the past few days through the transition. I listen with a bearcat 72xlt with a diamond rh77ca antenna and want to know if I'll have to upgrade to one of the higher end scanners in the near future. Thank you in advance for your assistance.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:59 AM
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Definitely have noticed the difference. A few city channels are really weak now in the Pleasant Hills area where my house is.

Enjoyed this article in the Trib. It kind of reminds you of the Open Sky fiasco;

Radio system's flaws detailed by Western Pa. law enforcement, emergency agencies | TribLIVE
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:00 PM
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The City's system will come around. They may be toying with P25 in the future. Every city firefighter, police officer, and paramedic I have ran into in the past several weeks was carrying a Motorola APX6000. While it would make headache fuel for nearby agencies that have to go into the city (unless said digital repeaters were mixed-mode), it would make for a better system.

They are fortunate to be on this edge of tomorrow. I just finished explaining the difference between PL codes and narrowbanding to an EMS supervisor today.
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:13 AM
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And hopefully the Pittsburgh city tower locations would be better strategically placed than the Westmoreland ones were at inception. Can hardly pick Westmoreland up in Pgh too much anymore on base or mobile.

Would be advantageous to switch over since Westmoreland, Armstrong, Fayette, etc are already on P25.
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  #67 (permalink)  
Old 10-20-2013, 9:59 PM
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I've done my best to keep up with this thread but I'ma bit confused by it. Did Pittsburgh complete their narrawband changes? Is the database information on PGH fire accurate, or are they still using their old set-up? Considering a visit soon, just curious to know.
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Old 10-21-2013, 7:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocguard View Post
I've done my best to keep up with this thread but I'ma bit confused by it. Did Pittsburgh complete their narrawband changes? Is the database information on PGH fire accurate, or are they still using their old set-up? Considering a visit soon, just curious to know.
It appears the narrowbanding is complete and the posted information in the database has been corrected.

Some monitors are reporting some coverage changes but that is ongoing
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  #69 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2013, 4:26 PM
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Yes, narrowbanding is complete on all city channels. I honestly don't see the city, or any other agency that Allegheny County dispatches for going to P25 or anything other than conventional UHF for that matter. If they were going to do it, I think they would've just done it when they did the narrowbanding. It would've been much less of a headache to just do it all at once. The narrowbanding process in itself was a big enough headache.

As for the coverage, I was listening to the 3 Alarm fire that the city had a few nights ago while I was at home in Elizabeth Township and I had no issues hearing them.

Just my two cents. I could very well be wrong.
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Old 10-24-2013, 6:14 PM
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I live on the border of the city in the south hills. Pittsburgh Fire 2 is very weak at my house. I have noticed that there are some weak areas on my drive in to work in the city. It has been like that for over a year. Police ch. 3, and EMS 2 have also been very weak. I just thought that they reduced the power on those channels for some reason and perhaps there was a possibility it would be better. It's not. Not a narrow banding issue as it has been going on before the narrow banding,
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  #71 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2013, 9:57 PM
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Originally Posted by pghscanner View Post
I live on the border of the city in the south hills. Pittsburgh Fire 2 is very weak at my house. I have noticed that there are some weak areas on my drive in to work in the city. It has been like that for over a year. Police ch. 3, and EMS 2 have also been very weak. I just thought that they reduced the power on those channels for some reason and perhaps there was a possibility it would be better. It's not. Not a narrow banding issue as it has been going on before the narrow banding,
Can no longer receive Fire 1or 2 or Police 3 here in washington started a few months before narrow banding started.EMS booms in here now never could get them before this also started before narrow banding started.I miss monitoring fire might have to look into antenna alternatives as the online feed does not stay up all the time.
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  #72 (permalink)  
Old 10-25-2013, 3:38 PM
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From my spot in Northeast Allegheny County, PGH EMS 1 (old Ch.9) is next to impossible to hear anymore. It's been like that pre-narrowbanding as well for awhile. When I do just barley pick it up, it sounds like there's a constant "doubling" like someone else is keyed up, and you can't make out the conversation anyway.

On the flip side, in the several years I've been monitoring, I was never able to pick up the Zone 3/6 police channel. Then earlier this summer it started coming in fine just like the others.
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  #73 (permalink)  
Old 10-25-2013, 7:43 PM
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So this has all been completed now? For the City and the County? Or just the City? I've been holding off on my reprogramming until it's done. Can I make that my project for the weekend or are there still some things yet to do and I should continue to wait?
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:20 AM
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As luck would have it I was in town for some business on the week that the switch-over occurred. I immediately noticed the lower modulation. I also noticed much a tighter receive on the repeaters. While driving around the area I was paying very close attention to the signals and they seemed to be less powerful than the old system. On a return trip last week we observed that the audio output on the dispatchers side had appeared to be increased. It was almost to the point of being over driven or over modulated. This proved to be a real pain in the butt as the dispatcher audio and the audio of the field units did not match requiring me to have to consistently increase and decrease the volume on my end. As stated above, I'm sure that they will be experimenting with things in the next few months.

I'm just going to throw this out there and you guys can take it as you want. I've seen this type of thing happen in the past in other areas. Those areas had in place a very good radio system. Not perfect but very good and with some minimum expansion or fine tuning they could have been near perfect. However the local radio dealer and service provider had other plans. The owners and operators of those systems were informed that they could not upgrade or expand the current system and HAD to scrap it for a brand new P25 system. Most of these jurisdictions were in no financial position to take on such a task and explained this to the the radio dealer. In response to that the radio dealer informed those jurisdictions not to worry because the federal government offers public safety grants for upgrading radio equipment. "Here, let us help you with that". Well wouldn't you know it those places were awarded the grants (that were written with the unofficial help of the big M) and new radio systems were built. In most cases those new systems ended up with more problems and safety concerns than what they had in the first place. This is usually because the radio dealer knows exactly how much money is awarded in the grant and therefore know exactly where to cut corners and trim features while still maximizing their profit.

The moral of the story is this. Be careful. These big radio manufacturers and the big government are all in co-hoots with each other. The radio dealers will invent problems or "try to fix" current issues. I've watched it happen. I've been on the south end of a brand new failing radio system and knew at the time that if I only had my old radio the situation would have turned out much differently. I have also watched a company of good firemen get burned because their new radio system failed them and know that had the old system been in place they would have had a better chance.

Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh have a good system in place. It is a patchwork of many systems merged to work together and for the most part they do. The coverage is pretty good too especially if those using the system know the limitations of each channel. I think the biggest challenge however is that in the political and management world of the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. That's not meant to be a slam either but like the gentleman from Ross Township pointed out, he had to explain what narrow banding and private line tones were all about. These folks just don't know any better so why wouldn't they trust the guy that fixes their stuff, right? And the politicians? Well come on now, they're politicians...Just something to think about.
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  #75 (permalink)  
Old 10-28-2013, 4:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_B_Chief View Post
As luck would have it I was in town for some business on the week that the switch-over occurred. I immediately noticed the lower modulation. I also noticed much a tighter receive on the repeaters. While driving around the area I was paying very close attention to the signals and they seemed to be less powerful than the old system. On a return trip last week we observed that the audio output on the dispatchers side had appeared to be increased. It was almost to the point of being over driven or over modulated. This proved to be a real pain in the butt as the dispatcher audio and the audio of the field units did not match requiring me to have to consistently increase and decrease the volume on my end. As stated above, I'm sure that they will be experimenting with things in the next few months.

I'm just going to throw this out there and you guys can take it as you want. I've seen this type of thing happen in the past in other areas. Those areas had in place a very good radio system. Not perfect but very good and with some minimum expansion or fine tuning they could have been near perfect. However the local radio dealer and service provider had other plans. The owners and operators of those systems were informed that they could not upgrade or expand the current system and HAD to scrap it for a brand new P25 system. Most of these jurisdictions were in no financial position to take on such a task and explained this to the the radio dealer. In response to that the radio dealer informed those jurisdictions not to worry because the federal government offers public safety grants for upgrading radio equipment. "Here, let us help you with that". Well wouldn't you know it those places were awarded the grants (that were written with the unofficial help of the big M) and new radio systems were built. In most cases those new systems ended up with more problems and safety concerns than what they had in the first place. This is usually because the radio dealer knows exactly how much money is awarded in the grant and therefore know exactly where to cut corners and trim features while still maximizing their profit.

The moral of the story is this. Be careful. These big radio manufacturers and the big government are all in co-hoots with each other. The radio dealers will invent problems or "try to fix" current issues. I've watched it happen. I've been on the south end of a brand new failing radio system and knew at the time that if I only had my old radio the situation would have turned out much differently. I have also watched a company of good firemen get burned because their new radio system failed them and know that had the old system been in place they would have had a better chance.

Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh have a good system in place. It is a patchwork of many systems merged to work together and for the most part they do. The coverage is pretty good too especially if those using the system know the limitations of each channel. I think the biggest challenge however is that in the political and management world of the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. That's not meant to be a slam either but like the gentleman from Ross Township pointed out, he had to explain what narrow banding and private line tones were all about. These folks just don't know any better so why wouldn't they trust the guy that fixes their stuff, right? And the politicians? Well come on now, they're politicians...Just something to think about.
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  #76 (permalink)  
Old 10-30-2013, 9:06 PM
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Default City of Pittsburgh changes

Anyone know if the UHF med channels got narrow banded yet?


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Old 11-24-2013, 10:26 PM
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Yeah, Moon & Cory are dispatched on Moon Fire Disp.

As far as the individual ringdown centers, we all know how much AC loves those.

Northwest EMS would go to wherever the county says to go. They are based out of a south/west zone community, and half of their area is in the north/west. They could go either way.

The last I heard, it was supposed to be a standalone NW system. I guess now, they are trying to super-beef the North system?
FYI, Cresent Township used to dispatch police on their own but now they are also dispatched by Moon Township as well. I believe their fire department is also.
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  #78 (permalink)  
Old 11-25-2013, 6:03 AM
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Yes, narrowbanding is complete on all city channels. I honestly don't see the city, or any other agency that Allegheny County dispatches for going to P25 or anything other than conventional UHF for that matter. If they were going to do it, I think they would've just done it when they did the narrowbanding. It would've been much less of a headache to just do it all at once. The narrowbanding process in itself was a big enough headache.

As for the coverage, I was listening to the 3 Alarm fire that the city had a few nights ago while I was at home in Elizabeth Township and I had no issues hearing them.

Just my two cents. I could very well be wrong.
The City of Pittsburgh School Police are using P25. They also have the ability to talk with the Pgh PD on their channels, (not sure if they are using two separate Radios or not) and I don't know if the PGH PD can switch to the School PD on P25. Dispatch usually asks if their are any School Police on the channel to report a fight on a school bus for ie: The City Pd also had a P25 channel for SWAT operations,but it seems like the County has taken the P25 over for their SWAT operations.(same frequency being used).. Monroeville PD uses P25 for their SECURE Channel.

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Old 11-27-2013, 2:10 AM
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Anyone else not able to receive City PD channel 3 (453.400) in the South Hills area (Pleasant Hills) since rebanding?
I have tried a regular back of set telescopic and also an outdoor antenna, but still nothing,
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Old 11-27-2013, 9:20 AM
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Nope cant get Fire 1 or Fire 2 anymore either here in Washington.All started right before the switch.
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Anyone else not able to receive City PD channel 3 (453.400) in the South Hills area (Pleasant Hills) since rebanding?
I have tried a regular back of set telescopic and also an outdoor antenna, but still nothing,
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