Can you be alittle more specific? We have a simplex channel at our FD and a boat load of NX portables but no NXDN Repeater. Just looking to clean up the audio a bit and see what these radios can do. Would I just set the mode on the Simplex channel to NXDN instead of Analog?
When you say clean up the audio what are you referring to background noise soft talkers loud talkers?
We have a video we use to train FF's how to sheild the radios from noise and it helps.
Digital if not sheilded from the noise source will not be any better and at times may be harder to understand. Proper use of two way radios will help your fire ground communications proper training in the use of walkies with SCBA will help your communications.
You can read all day about different types of digital. Since you already have nxdn portables you could check your license just go to the fcc license search Google that and then in the box type say for example," Rockwood, city of " or something in similiar nature. Once it comes up you'll want to look under the tab that contains the amended articles of desiganators. I know they are down right now for updates but when it comes up you should be able to search. After it works post your designator or search the Google tool for the designator type. Before using channels for any use make sure to get with your oem and or comm director/chief whoever is in charge and get them to approve a channel first if it has license already for digital mode. Typically many will use a input in simplex on a channel that has no priority type traffic on a. Different tone or nac/ran code. If the license isn't there for digital use I would suggest applying for it through the fcc which your comm director or county/city comm director could do. Run everything by them first. Once proper steps are done and a channel is selected that will not cause interference the fcc amends the digital mode for on a non priority channel you can begin testing the nxdn out seeing it's benefits. Many will argue analog only on fire grounds. If your looking for admin type channel such as hey John bring engine 2 back around the house and get jerry to unload the 4 inch down to have the fire officer bring more forms up stairs then ideally it would be good. Just make sure you run by your comm manager first what your wanting to do. Most if not all agencies require a in house list of frequencies and uses in event anything happens for interop down to legal purposes. One thing to keep in mind is if it is a admin only type of channel around the fire house one thing that should be considered is the built in scrambler or encryption board if applicable for administration type of comms if there is things you don't want public hearing. Always assume with records and staff issues someone is listening over the air unless it is secured. First thing though is to get approval from your department chief, comm manager, and or county/city person in charge of the licensing and setup before just picking a channel and testing. Cover yourself and any legal grounds first. But yes it is possible in simplex and in digital however distance may vary. Typically a talk around simplex channel is already programmed in event a repeater fails.
So like everyone has said, as long as you can get your current fcc licence emission changed from analog to digital / nxdn that takes care of the legal part. As far as the programming of the radios all that would be required is to change the channel from analog to NXDN and selecting a RAN. (RAN is similar to a PL/DPL on a analog channel)
NXDN will run in simplex mode just fine. I'm using it on 350+ Kenwood NX-410 and NX-900's at work.
You don't need a repeater to run NXDN.
Kenwood NexEdge, their version of NXDN comes in two flavors:
NXDN Narrow which uses a 12.5KHz channel and does just under 9600 baud data rate.
NXDN Very Narrow which uses 6.25KHz channel and does just under 4800 baud data rate.
Either one will work just fine for what you want. NXDN narrow works a bit better if you are running data across your radio as there is more throughput. NXDN Very Narrow might give you a bit more range.
NXDN Narrow and NXDN Very Narrow are NOT compatible, you -must- have the radios set to one or the other. Having them set differently will result in them not decoding each others transmissions.
You don't need to set a RAN code. You can leave it set at zero, which is equivalent to having carrier squelch on an analog channel.
You can also set the "Channel Type" to "mixed" mode, which will allow it to receive analog and NXDN mode. TX mode is whatever you set it to, either NXDN or Analog. You'll still be able to choose Narrow for your analog side and have the choice of Narrow or Very Narrow on the NXDN side. Might be useful to set it up this way so you can still hear analog calls.
Setting up the audio equalizer under the NXDN window "General 2" tab can help the audio quality quite a bit.
-Set the "Function type" to Enhanced. The settings you need will be based on your preference, but there are some good guidelines I can provide if you'd like.
For a "Quiet" environment:
RX Low Cut = unchecked
RX Auto Gain = Off
RX Audio Equalizer = flat
RX Noise Suppressor = checked
TX Auto Gain = On
TX Audio Equalizer = Flat
TX Mic Sense 0dB
Don't pass judgement on the audio quality until you've made sure it's set up right. If it's set up wrong for your environment, it can really sound crappy. Setting it up correctly will give you really good audio.
As for the licensing/emission designation, you do need to get that correct on your FCC license. The NXDN narrow and NXDN Very Narrow will fall inside the normal narrow band analog/FM envelope that you are probably licensed for, so it's unlikely you'd cause any issues to others. You do need to make sure you are not going to annoy others. Another analog radio user will get very tired of having to listen to the digital noise on their radio. It would make you very unpopular.
Let me know if you have any other questions. I've set up hundreds of these radios and have been really happy with the performance.
Thank you all for the replies and especially to WVFC80 and mmckenna for finally answering the question at hand lol. That was all I wanted to know, if it was possible. We dont have an FCC License because we are in Canada and the FCC doesnt exist here. We do have Industry Canada however but checking with them is pointless as every department in my are (23 of them) are all already in violation of their IC license for having more radios on hand then their license states. The silly buggers even think we are going to pay a fee to allow our neighboring departments to have our channel in their radios and vice versa haha not a chance. Comm director? Ill call myself that. We are a small town of 2300 people, a 25 member volunteer department with a call volume of 100 calls a year where 2 of the 4 council members are also volunteers and the mayor was recently a member. Ill call myself the comm director because I am the youngest most proactive member when it comes to communications and have the software to alter the radios with the old timer chiefs permission. I appreciate everyone's concern about checking licenses and stuff but reality on this end of the country is that once your inital license for an operating frequency is obtained, the rest is basically a free for all and you just dont speak about it. Eveyr 10 years when IC says they want an audit of your gear (they dont come visit, its a 2 hour flight away) then we tell them exactly what is on our license. As for simplex, we have all kinds of simplex around the county that get used about once every 3 years. Ill be testing NXDN radios for a bit on one of them and it will be for private officer to officer communications, not fire scene ops.
Is anyone squirming yet? lol Sorry fellas... thats reality where I come from
I'm sure you know how often those of us in the USA assume everyone else is. Maybe updating your location would help us out a bit.
I've heard a few stories about how IC operates. Like I said above, the emission envelope used by NXDN (either narrow or very narrow) is well within the standard channel size used by your analog licenses. If all your equipment is in good shape, splattering outside your channel won't be an issue.
I'd say give it a try and let us know what you think. I've been happy with NXDN when the audio is set up correctly. I won't say it's "better" than analog, but it is different and does sound better in many instances.
With respect Res21cue you asked if operation were possible, in the part of north America where I come from that is a question that needs both a technical and regulatory response. I'm happy that you have what you need now and that you don't need to any help becoming familiar with Form 601.