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Confusion about the two MARCS systems

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WuLabsWuTecH

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So I'm hoping someone can explain to me like I'm five here...

There are currently 2 MARCS systems: the digital statewide system that has been in use for a few years, and then another IP system? How do the two work together? Are they just simulcasts of each other? Or are they two separate systems? And if they are two separate systems, doesn't that defeat the purpose of having one statewide system for interoperability?

Also, can I can both of them with any digital scanner? I know on one of the pages it says that the IP system *MAY* be on TDMA in which case I'd have to wait for the new uniden scanner to come our to scan it right?

Thanks for any help you guys can offer to straighten out my head!
 

wmlovell

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Quick Answer:

The original MARCS statewide system is upgrading to a MARCS-IP system. In the transition, there are two systems. Eventually there will be only the MARCS-IP.

Currently, nobody on the MARCS-IP system is using Phase II TDMA but the system is capable of Phase II if the need for more radio IDs arise.

Hope that helps.

Bill L.
 

n5ims

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Based on the comment in this database entry (Ohio MARCS-IP: Multi-Agency Radio Communications (P25) Trunking System, Various, Ohio - Scanner Frequencies) it appears that the one with the "IP" in the name is the new system which will replace the old system (Ohio MARCS - Multi-Agency Radio Communications Trunking System, Statewide, Ohio - Scanner Frequencies).

This is the Ohio MARCS migration to the P25 platform, which will replace the current Type II / P25 CAI system. The first site to go online will be the Cuyahoga County simulcast, with a connection to the Lake County system being migrated to P25.

IP in the title refers to the fact that system infrastructure is interconnected via IP routers and switches rather than by traditional circuit switched methods.

Some talkgroups MAY be using X2/TDMA mode, but so far none have been found or confirmed.

Be sure to check county-level Wiki pages for detailed information regarding user agencies of this system.
You are correct that you'll need either a PSR-800 or one of the new Unidens to pick up any of the Phase II talkgroups on the new system. You may want to try to pick it up on your existing Phase I compatible digital scanner since quite often a new system will start up using Phase I talkgroups and add Phase II talkgroups later on when they need additional capacity. This allows them to keep on using the older radios and phase the newer ones in over time.

Here's the 5 yr old explanation since you asked. The state is growing just like you are and needs a larger radio system, just like you need larger cloths. Their old one does still work, for now, just like much of your old cloths still fit OK. If we waited until your old cloths no longer fit, you'd need to be undressed (there would be system outages or area of no coverage on the old system where the new one isn't ready) when we shopped for some new cloths for you so we're getting you some new ones now so you can start wearing them, even though they may be a bit large for you (some areas/agencies will be on the old system as others are transitioned to the new one). As your old ones wear out or become too tight (or for the radio side, the infrastructure parts break and are no longer available or they reach limits of the old system that are expanded under the new one) you can simply wear the new ones and throw out the old ones (as the new system is built out and readied, folks will migrate to it from the old one).

Hope this helps!
 
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WuLabsWuTecH

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Here's the 5 yr old explanation since you asked. The state is growing just like you are and needs a larger radio system, just like you need larger cloths. Their old one does still work, for now, just like much of your old cloths still fit OK. If we waited until your old cloths no longer fit, you'd need to be undressed (there would be system outages or area of no coverage on the old system where the new one isn't ready) when we shopped for some new cloths for you so we're getting you some new ones now so you can start wearing them, even though they may be a bit large for you (some areas/agencies will be on the old system as others are transitioned to the new one). As your old ones wear out or become too tight (or for the radio side, the infrastructure parts break and are no longer available or they reach limits of the old system that are expanded under the new one) you can simply wear the new ones and throw out the old ones (as the new system is built out and readied, folks will migrate to it from the old one).

Hope this helps!
Perfect! That actually makes a lot of sense now! I'm so glad that my own agencies are so far behind the times that we're not even on the first MARCS system yet much less the second!
 

SCPD

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Marcs

BUT why go out and invest 450.00 on a BC 996XT, just so when the State of Ohio goes to Phase II it becomes a boat anchor?? Save your money, invest in the newest technology. I will seel both my 396 and 996 models when the newest becomes available and use that to offset the higher purchase price. And just because Ohio is going doesn't mean everyone will, especially limited cash states. The radio people have done their jobs upselling this phase II system, its a cat/ dog situation
 

WuLabsWuTecH

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BUT why go out and invest 450.00 on a BC 996XT, just so when the State of Ohio goes to Phase II it becomes a boat anchor?? Save your money, invest in the newest technology. I will seel both my 396 and 996 models when the newest becomes available and use that to offset the higher purchase price. And just because Ohio is going doesn't mean everyone will, especially limited cash states. The radio people have done their jobs upselling this phase II system, its a cat/ dog situation
Yes, but if I can get a 396xt for relatively cheap (they are going for $300 used right now, I'm hoping that the release of the new 436 will push it down into the $200-250 range), I'd rather just do that and then upgrade once TDMA actually becomes a thing. None of my agencies are on MARCS right now except fo the PD that just went to it, and since none of our radios that we own on our trucks are MARCS capable, it's going to be awhile before I need it. I just like to be able to hear what the PD is getting dispatched on again since the dispatchers are pretty bad at relaying to the fire dispatcher what's going on. Just a couple of weeks ago, our injured person was out of a shots fired that somehow didn't get relayed to us and the PD frantically waved us off as we pulled up since the scene was no where near secure...
 
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