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Dallas Area Rapid Transit OpenSky System

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Motoballa

Emergency Dispatcher
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Rowlett, Texas.
#1
Been awhile since I've been on here.. Anyway, got up about 7 to go do "Coffee with a Cop" for my city, and upon arrival the only officer from my city there was the Chief, its like everyone else had gone, and he was leaving as I arrived, anyway..

There were 3 DART Officers there, 2 Lieutenants and the Deputy Chief, I got to sit with them all and we had some laughs and good conversations, anyway I was curious about their radios, since the first thing I looked at when I walked in was the radio on their belts, from a distance it looked like a Harris radio, and I asked one of the Lieutenants about it and it was said "Oh yeah" and pulled it from his hip and let me hold it "Its one of our newer ones, its a digital radio." and so we talked someone about it, then I asked him if I'd be able to sit in one of their cars (hoping I can see what mobile unit they have and maybe some light action!) and so he of course said sure.

He got the Deputy Chiefs keys since he has a new car that came in recently and his car was messy, so we went outside and he told me to hop in the driver seat, so as soon as we got in I looked dead at the Harris radio they had, it looked beautiful! (But keep in mind I am in no way a fan of Harris, hints the name..) so he turned on the car and all the equipment flicked on, and the radio read "NORTH" and I pointed and asked what other talkgroups they have (so I could compare it to the one listed on RR) and he said "We have North, South, TAC 1 and TAC 2 for special events and she can put us on a citywide talk so we can talk with other departments" and I replied "That's pretty cool" he then asked if I wanted him to demonstrate a radio check, I was like, heck yeah! And he grabbed the mic, and it wouldn't come off! The car was like, brand new, so he finally got the mic off and said "Tell you what, you wanna do it?" I almost died, lol, he said "Just wait until you hear the beep" I was so tempted to say I KNOW lol. and continued to say "and then say - radio check" So I held it firmly in my hand, pushed down the push to talk, and called in his unit number and asked for a radio check, the dispatcher responded and before he could tell me what to say next I keyed it and said "Received." I honestly felt like an Officer, man, I didn't realize how loose this Lieutenant would be. He said he's been on duty for about 40 years. (replaced his unit number with a -)

So back to the actual point of the thread, is the system encrypted? I honestly didn't ask because I've seen 3 on RR that show up as DART PD, so I went home and looked it up, he mentioned they were on the OpenSky System, and I didn't see any talkgroups for it, I thought maybe their encrypted? Anyone know? I don't see any comments on the misc part of the system. Check attachments for the picture of it.
 

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Motoballa

Emergency Dispatcher
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Messages
251
Location
Rowlett, Texas.
#3
Well I did forget to mention the other Lieutenant had what looked like an XTS5000, and then with me looking at the system, it does say Phase I, meaning they don't need an APX to operate on it until they go Phase II, so it would kinda make sense, but the other officers were carrying what looked like Harris P7100s, I can't confirm if that Lieutenant was carrying a 5k due to the holster but it looked like it!
 
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Stinkadena, TX
#4
The mobile radio is a Harris M7300. They are capable of both P25 and OpenSky operation, however DART PD is primary on OpenSky. I ran Unitrunker on the P25 system overnight a couple of years ago and logged zero affiliations or PTTs.

FYI, OpenSky does not support simulcast so the "simulcast" site 5 on the system page is incorrect.
 

Motoballa

Emergency Dispatcher
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Messages
251
Location
Rowlett, Texas.
#5
The mobile radio is a Harris M7300. They are capable of both P25 and OpenSky operation, however DART PD is primary on OpenSky. I ran Unitrunker on the P25 system overnight a couple of years ago and logged zero affiliations or PTTs.

FYI, OpenSky does not support simulcast so the "simulcast" site 5 on the system page is incorrect.
I would guess since its not capable they set up transceivers to each site and kinda do a red neck link for all of them, idk. I've seen it done before as a cheap link between towers to link them, except the one I saw was a VHF link, UHF Repeater just a VHF link, I found that real interesting. Could they have done something like that?
 
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2,542
Location
New Orleans region
#6
I would guess since its not capable they set up transceivers to each site and kinda do a red neck link for all of them, idk. I've seen it done before as a cheap link between towers to link them, except the one I saw was a VHF link, UHF Repeater just a VHF link, I found that real interesting. Could they have done something like that?
My guess is that they have a patch in the switch controlling the system that can connect the different talkgroups and or systems together. They may even have a radio interop gateway doing the same thing. Hard to tell how it's being done without digging more and or asking someone that may actually know.
 
Joined
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Messages
3,237
Location
Texas
#7
The mobile radio is a Harris M7300. They are capable of both P25 and OpenSky operation, however DART PD is primary on OpenSky. I ran Unitrunker on the P25 system overnight a couple of years ago and logged zero affiliations or PTTs.

FYI, OpenSky does not support simulcast so the "simulcast" site 5 on the system page is incorrect.
I made a bid on an in-building DAS project for DART's main office and for the precinct at the Illinois Station back in March. While we were out there they insisted that all DART PD operations are currently P25. P25 was actually the coverage they cared about at Illinois while they wanted the 700 side of OpenSky for the main office.

That system is a mess. Transit runs on 900 MHz (or is it just the trains?). I think there was some allocation for PD on the 800 MHz side of the OpenSky system as well. 800 MHz was where majority of the "operations" were though.
 
Joined
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Messages
648
Location
Stinkadena, TX
#8
My guess is that they have a patch in the switch controlling the system that can connect the different talkgroups and or systems together. They may even have a radio interop gateway doing the same thing. Hard to tell how it's being done without digging more and or asking someone that may actually know.
VIDA switch would be my guess.

I ran UT on the P25 system in June 2015 when I logged zero activity. They may well have switched since then.
 
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