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McKinney looking at new radio system

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musicman476

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#1
No big suprises here really...

Source: McKinney Courier-Gazette
"Officials say current system outdated, offers little ‘interoperability’

By Danny Gallagher, McKinney Courier-Gazette

The city’s radio communication system needs an upgrade, and officials are looking to offer better coverage and more interdepartmental capabilities.

“What we have is no longer viable,” said Don Grammar, McKinney’s director of information technology. “So we’re looking at some new digital technology.”

Representatives from the McKinney police, fire, public works and other effected departments will meet with the city’s information technology department and an unidentified consultant to discuss updating their radio system to provide more effective coverage and interoperability throughout the city, police and IT officials confirmed.

McKinney Assistant Police Chief Rex Redden said the current system has some trouble reaching spots in southwest parts of the city.

“It involves police, fire, public works and some other agencies, but mostly police and fire because we use the radio most and those are for emergency situations,” Redden said. “When the current system was built, that area was all farm land, but now that we’re all grown up, our radio coverage is suffering a little bit.”

Grammar said the city’s population explosion surpassed the system’s coverage range.

“This system is like 8 years old and it was designed for a seven- to 10-year life cycle,” Grammar said. “The city’s growth rate has been much higher than anybody expected, and there has been a lot of building that has gone on and that affects radio coverage.”...
The article goes on to mention that a 700 mHz multi-site system is what they're looking for. Will be interesting to see how it pans out.
 
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#2
Unidentified my hind, I bet money its Motorola Inc. yeah, no supprise here. I wonder what sort of time frame were looking at? 700MHz sharred by Collin Co. ......
 

fwradio

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#3
Just another opportunity for big M to sell a way overpriced system without a bid process. My money is that DFW / Motorola convinces them to buy it on the same HGAC contract that Parker County bought theirs on. No bid process, no chance to see other vendors' products. It will be sold as a complete interoperability solution that any 700 MHz P25 radio will work on. When it is built, the story changes to "only Motorola radios will work properly on the system."
 
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#4
Is this aanother candidate for Borgnet to assimilate????

;^>

On a more pragmatic note, why don't the DFW area agencies make a super-TRS like Starnet is doing in the HGAC COG?
 

hiegtx

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#5
bpckty1 said:
On a more pragmatic note, why don't the DFW area agencies make a super-TRS like Starnet is doing in the HGAC COG?
I think their political egos are getting in the way.

Frisco, which was a member of the Plano TRS, is cranking up their very own P25 TRS, instead of remaining in the Plano system, which appears to be headed for an upgrade to P25 status as well. A a lot of duplication of efforts so that everyone can be their own boss.
 

fwradio

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#6
hiegtx said:
I think their political egos are getting in the way.

Frisco, which was a member of the Plano TRS, is cranking up their very own P25 TRS, instead of remaining in the Plano system, which appears to be headed for an upgrade to P25 status as well. A a lot of duplication of efforts so that everyone can be their own boss.
This may not really be a bad thing. One of the promises of P25 (which is now old enough to drink, but still not completed) is that you will be able to connect neighboring systems together to provide seamless expanded coverage.

I think that each city or county should have their own system and maintain complete control over it.

Think of the position Parker County has gotten themselves into. Right now they seem to be on their own, but I think eventually, Harris County will be telling them what they can and can't do with their system (from 250 miles away). They paid the same price for the system that they would have if they didn't work it into the Harris County scheme.
 
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#7
bpckty1 said:
Is this aanother candidate for Borgnet to assimilate????

;^>

On a more pragmatic note, why don't the DFW area agencies make a super-TRS like Starnet is doing in the HGAC COG?

There working on it .... be patient
 
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#8
The "unidentified consultant" may well be RCC Consultants. They've been doing a lot of business down here in the south.

Unlike some of these guys, McKinney's system actually needs an upgrade. Their coverage to the south has always sucked (is the system still on a water tower in the middle of town? lol), and their current system has a bad repeater that transmits an audible hum along with voice whenever someone gets put on it. As for the P25 part, well.. as long as DHS continues to specify it in their grants, you're stuck with it.

As for D/FW building their own Borgnet, I'd bet on the Texas Rangers sweeping the World Series before that happens. ;p
 

fwradio

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#9
Unfortunately, EVERYTHING that RCC Consultants specs out is /\/\. They make it so that there is no other option. Even the dealer is chosen beforehand. No suprises in Dallas/Fort Worth, but in a recent bid (Burleson LTR System), DFW Communications was awarded points when Comtex was not while both were offering the exact same Motorola radio on that particular line item. The person at RCC who designed this "Motorola LTR" system used to be one of the managers at DFW.

Any agency that contracts with RCC is just spending a lot of money so that they can be told that they need a Motorola system. There are plenty of other consultants out there that are not married to Motorola who can design a system based on the needs of the customer and around specifications that will provide the desired coverage and operation, not a system designed around a particular Motorola product.
 
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#10
Reminds me of what a radio shop owner told me several years ago when Harris County put out the specs for the new system. After reading the info, he, as well as other vendors in the radio community, knew that there would be only one provider: The company that could put a stylized M surrounded by a circle placed on the radio's case. Any company and system was possible, but the radios had to have the above label.

;^>
 

fwradio

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#11
bpckty1 said:
Reminds me of what a radio shop owner told me several years ago when Harris County put out the specs for the new system. After reading the info, he, as well as other vendors in the radio community, knew that there would be only one provider: The company that could put a stylized M surrounded by a circle placed on the radio's case. Any company and system was possible, but the radios had to have the above label.

;^>

Funny you mention that one. It's the same story right now in that area. One of the counties coming on the the STARNET system wanted to use the EF Johnson radios on the analog SmartNet side right now, and be able to transition to Project 25 when it was expanded to thier county. Harris County told them they would not be allowed to use the non-Motorola radios on the system.

It's not limited to just Harris County, or North Texas, but is happening all over the country. In fact, the Korean division of Motorola just got in trouble for using dealers to collude and force sales in Korea. So I guess you could almost say it is global. I expect that with all of this going on there will be lawsuits forthcoming. Just what Motorola needs when they are trying to figure out how to stay in business... more trouble. Couldn't happen to a more deserving group of crooks.
 
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#12
Well, even though there were complaints at first, Batwings is a good company and it provides good support for its product, even though it seems to act like a "mother hen" to protect its "chicks".

The only real complaint I'm aware of is the planned obselence of the product. Upgrade, Upgrade, Upgrade (to digital radios that accept encryption) seems to be the mantra. But, considering many of the challenges in today's world, I cannot deny them the effort to keep their product(s) and customers safe from hackers, really bad people, and system failures.

Despite many complaints, I have seen them provide instant aid in dire times: The support they provided during the Katrina and Rita events was outstanding. I was told that they provided more than the requested radios that Starnet needed to support the people evacuated from NOLA and the protection of the Beaumont-Port Arthur area (Houston PD was helping patrol Beaumont and needed Motorola trunked radios for its officers). And despite a few glitches, understandable, everything worked out reasonably well. Mother Hen does care for her chicks.

My only complaint is that they don't interface very well with other systems, but better than others that because they use different programming and standards seem that they absolutely will not (Open Sky, Ma/Com Pro-Voice, for examples ), and won't even allow scannists to listen in. But, nowit seems that Batwings is starting to go along this route with Mototurbo (sic).

With all of the different systems now in place, and who knows who will be entering the game in the future, how P-25 and interoperability will be affected, especially if City A is on Batwings P-25, Neighbor City B is on Pro-Voice ESK, Neighbor City C is on Batwings Mototurbo, and a major, regional event occurs. Will each agency's police cars/fire trucks have to have at least 4 $5000.00 radios in the vehicles, since pushing a button to change modes, or turning a dial will not connect with the neighboring city. Or, will each dispatch center have to purchase separate radios that, hopefully, will work on the dispatcher's console?

Oh, well, my 2 Cents worth about regional communications problems and why Starnet is showing that, despite its problems, having a central, interconnected, radio system seems to be better than a patchwork quilt solution seen in other parts of the country. It is unfortunate that it took two hurricanes to emphasize the plusses over the minuses, but, it is nice to know, that if necessary, one department/agency can, after a quick reprogramming, immediately assist it's neighbors. Local agencies still control their piece of the system, but they don't have to worry about being responsible for the upkeep, records, and all the problems of ownership. Just think of it as similar to leasing an airplane (rather than a car or an abode). You pay for the use of the system, and the other guy gets the headaches.
;^>
 
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#13
Look into the P25 Inter-System Sub-Interface (ISSI). It's there to address exactly what you're talking about: allowing infrastructure equipment from various vendors to be used together. Of course, that's part of Phase II, and implementation is solely up to the individual customer.

MOTOTRBO is intended for the commercial sector as an answer to the 6.25 kHz narrowbanding requirement (it still uses 12.5 kHz of bandwidth, but you get two talk paths out of it.) God willing, it'll never see use in the public safety sector.. but then, we all know how the real world works. I could see a cash-strapped agency implementing it as a cheap form of anti-scanner protection.

And finally, there's the issue of actually getting agencies to talk to one another. I can't speak for everywhere/everyone, but I rarely hear agencies on 2318 talking to one another as part of a daily cooperative effort unless they're dispatched on common channels from a common comm center, and sometimes not even then.
 

mbstone99

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#14
MotoTRBO

JoshW said:
Look into the P25 Inter-System Sub-Interface (ISSI). It's there to address exactly what you're talking about: allowing infrastructure equipment from various vendors to be used together. Of course, that's part of Phase II, and implementation is solely up to the individual customer.

MOTOTRBO is intended for the commercial sector as an answer to the 6.25 kHz narrowbanding requirement (it still uses 12.5 kHz of bandwidth, but you get two talk paths out of it.) God willing, it'll never see use in the public safety sector.. but then, we all know how the real world works. I could see a cash-strapped agency implementing it as a cheap form of anti-scanner protection.

And finally, there's the issue of actually getting agencies to talk to one another. I can't speak for everywhere/everyone, but I rarely hear agencies on 2318 talking to one another as part of a daily cooperative effort unless they're dispatched on common channels from a common comm center, and sometimes not even then.
Actually there is one police department back home in Canada where I am from that just recently switched over to MotoTRBO. Funny enough though I read they have been broadcasting in analog mode since beginning of last weekend. I guess they are still trying to tweak out all the bugs.

Matt
 
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#15
This would explain why I am getting poor reception for this system and I live in the city on the SW Side off Custer and 121. If anyone has any suggestions as to how I can improve my reception let me know. I have a BC246T using an 800 mhz ant...
 

musicman476

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ph03nix42 said:
This would explain why I am getting poor reception for this system and I live in the city on the SW Side off Custer and 121. If anyone has any suggestions as to how I can improve my reception let me know. I have a BC246T using an 800 mhz ant...
It's been my experience that the Custer/121 area is some of the worst coverage in the city for the McKinney TRS. Really, all along Custer from 121 to 380 is weak.
 
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#17
What he said custer-380 = terrible...now whats odd is that mckinney comes in fine at my house near hedgecoxe and independence
 
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