• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

RCS Overload

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davidvel

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Was listening to the RCS yesterday during storms and heard an announcement on County Call to all agencies to minimize radio use and use MDTs as much as possible to avoid system overload. Anyone have any details on this?
 

JoeyC

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Every time a school bus driver, parks maintenance or pot hole filler strikes up a conversation about where they are going to lunch or how long they waited for a traffic light to change with their buddies, they tie up a frequency. With the weather we've been having here this week with all the flooding and fallen trees, the RCS is probably pretty busy and this was a reminder to all to cut the nonsense talk where possible so that the important stuff will get through.
 

K6CDO

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LOL Joey.

The RCS network will handle 18 simultaneous conversations in each of the North and South Simulcast zones, and 9 in the East / Northeast zones. If more than the maximum number of users try to talk at the same time, those who do not have a talk path are given a 'busy signal' by their radio, and put into a wait queue by the system. As channels free up, the next-in-line user is given the channel and notified audibly. This condition is known as a "system busy" condition. "Busies" happen in the RCS on an occasional basis (currently running approximately 200 busies out of more than 3,000,000 calls a month - which is very low for like-sized trunked systems around the country).

When there is inclement weather like we've been having, there is an increase in traffic due to the additional units out working on flooding, river rescues, signals out, etc., resulting in an increased number of busies (we had just under 2000 during the rain event last month on December 7th). Putting out the word to the users to restrict non-essential transmissions reminds them of the limitations and helps keep the delays caused by busy conditions to a minimum.

Expect to hear more of these transmissions on County Call during peak periods as the storms continue.

Don
 

davidvel

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Thanks Don for that informative post. That is increadible that the max is that low.

I am in North Co., just below the radio tower on San Marcos Peak. Amazing nothing went down tonight, as it looked like the top of the tower took a lightning hit around 1740.
 

karldotcom

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Does RCS prioritize traffic when busies start occuring? Public Safety, then everyone else?

I remember when Seattle had its "big quake" and everyone keyed up the Seattle-King County system to say "was that an earthquake" and knocked it off the air for some time. (among other reasons I am sure)
 

K6CDO

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Does RCS prioritize traffic when busies start occuring? Public Safety, then everyone else?

I remember when Seattle had its "big quake" and everyone keyed up the Seattle-King County system to say "was that an earthquake" and knocked it off the air for some time. (among other reasons I am sure)
Yes, Karl. Each talk group has a priority level programmed.

It looks something like this:

A. A unit who pushes his/her Emergency button goes to the top of the priority list.
B. Law & Fire operational groups
C. EMS coordination, EOC coordination
D. Local Government operations (public works, etc.) <- includes the RCS radio techs

Don
 

K6CDO

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Thanks Don for that informative post. That is increadible that the max is that low.

I am in North Co., just below the radio tower on San Marcos Peak. Amazing nothing went down tonight, as it looked like the top of the tower took a lightning hit around 1740.
Consider that there are approximately 20,000 radios on the RCS (18,000 of which are in San Diego County) across more than 200 operational entities and you start to see the power of sharing of the infrastructure (compared to each one of those 200 entities having their own set of frequencies). Then consider that, by being on an international border, the two-county area is limited by international agreement to about 1/2 of the available frequencies that the rest of California has to work with (and that does not include the UHF-TV spectrum [470, 482, and 506 MHz segments] available to Los Angeles County area) and you start to see the issues that system administrators face.

As far as our sites, well, we do try to make them as resilient as we can. :)

Don
 

JoeyC

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A. A unit who pushes his/her Emergency button goes to the top of the priority list.
B. Law & Fire operational groups
C. EMS coordination, EOC coordination
D. Local Government operations (public works, etc.) <- includes the RCS radio techs

Don
Does group D have option A? IOW, do the public works guys have an operational EMER button?
 

K6CDO

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Does group D have option A? IOW, do the public works guys have an operational EMER button?
Depends on the user group. Generally no, as the Public Works types do not have vehicle location capabilities or do not have a close 'tether' to their dispatch point.

Don
 

WayneH

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So you use "Top of Queue" versus "Ruthless Preemption" Don?

There's also the capability of a group or user having the ability to bump the lowest off without the need for an emergency activation. That'll teach them bus drivers!
 
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davidvel

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Don-

What has all the testing on COCALL T 2 been about? Is this just routine tesintg?

Thanks again,
David
 

K6CDO

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So you use "Top of Queue" versus "Ruthless Preemption" Don?

There's also the capability of a group or user having the ability to bump the lowest off without the need for an emergency activation. That'll teach them bus drivers!
Preemption.

Ruth is our Admin manager, and I'd hate to be Ruthless. ;)

Don
 

K6CDO

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Don-

What has all the testing on COCALL T 2 been about? Is this just routine tesintg?

Thanks again,
David
The shop techs need to air check installs somewhere. ;)
CoTac2 is in every RCS radio, and doesn't bother a dispatcher (the TG has been the 'shop air check' TG since the early days).

We're replacing some mobile radios n the SDSD patrol fleet, so there has been some increased activity.

Don
 

K6CDO

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Thanks Don-

That's all I've ever heard. I'll pull it out of my programming.
During an emergency or a major event, it will be used by others; so I would just lock it out for your day to day listening pleasure ...
 

davidvel

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Don, thanks for all your help.

It looks like Northcomm is now using the "final" talkgroup configurations. Is the north zone re-programming done?
 

FYR955

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North Zone Programming

The North Zone programming was completed some time ago. We needed to accomplish user training, CAD and related database as well as policy updates, prior to making the switch from "interim" to "final fleetmap use.

As for the entire programming porcess, there are only two mutual users agencies (US Fish and Wildlife and San Onofre NGC FD) who have not been re-programmed due to their own radio upgrades being in-progress.

I attached a copy of the fleetmap use chart for those that are interested.

-Dave
 

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K6CDO

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Don, thanks for all your help.

It looks like Northcomm is now using the "final" talkgroup configurations. Is the north zone re-programming done?
NCDJPA ("North Com") agencies were done just before the holidays. As Dave said, We have San Onofre yet to do, along with catching up on the 'missed' radios, Lifeguard agencies, and cooperators.

We'll probably look at pulling the transitional labels off the console resources soon.

Don
 
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