• 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

Some Cops Rejecting Digital

Status
Not open for further replies.

trooperdude

Member
Database Admin
Joined
Nov 25, 2003
Messages
1,502
Location
SFO Bay Area
Redwood city was in and out of it at least 3 times that I counted before they finally gave up.

Pretty sad actually. All the money wasted.

Does Marin have the same issues with their trunked system ?
 

rooivalk

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2007
Messages
130
Location
E.B.A.
SM Co.'s trunked system will never work. I think the terrain is too varied with too much distance to cover.

I'm finding it hard to understand why counties with a solid working system always want to convert to a single trunked system. Motorola must have some gifted salespeople.
 

Baker845

Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2005
Messages
97
Location
Beaver state
Here in Lane county Oregon the county is going to do the same thing and Put up uhf p25 trunking system just like this county in CAL and its not going to work. There builting it out from metro area, but when they get east or west its not going to work. But this will replace 30 year old system...
 

BlueZebra

Member
Joined
May 19, 2004
Messages
94
Location
California
I saw the same report on Channel 7, and wondered a little...

One of their complaints was not being able to cut in with more important traffic. Could they do that on their old system? I have never seen that on any of the multiple systems I have used.

Another complaint was the wait between keying the mike and transmitting. Give me a break- it might be 2 seconds- more like 1 second. Sounds like some people are resistant to change, and are using minor training issues to gang up on things when there are some legitimate issues, like coverage areas.

Marin's main problem has been coverage areas. They are still researching fixes. And most of the coverage area problems have been where there were problems in the old system.

Marin has also had some issues with overloading the system during large scale incidents- most particularly storm events. Some frequencies have been added, and more are being sought. My understanding was all of these (I believe 32 or 40) were originally requested, but the FCC said Marin wouldn't need them, so refused them.

My opinion is that the Marin system works pretty well, and definitely an improvement over the old system.
 

SLWilson

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Messages
1,215
Location
Ohio
In Ohio....

Baker845 said:
Here in Lane county Oregon the county is going to do the same thing and Put up uhf p25 trunking system just like this county in CAL and its not going to work. There builting it out from metro area, but when they get east or west its not going to work. But this will replace 30 year old system...
The sales people sweet talk the powers that be and CONVINCE them that digital IS the way to go.

Problem is, when they get right down to it, the powers that be try to "save" money and DO NOT buy the necessary tower sites, transmitters, equipment necessary to COMPLETELY COVER a county at the 700/800Mhz saturation point.

So, it IS partly the radio companies fault and MOSTLY the powers that be not paying for what IS NECESSARY to make it all go correctly.

Done right (like the State of Ohio did) it can and will work fine.

We are a hilly terrain in Gallia County, Ohio (Southeast Ohio on the WV border)...

The state placed 6 tower sites in our county and several NEAR the county line in neighboring counties.

We have 100% coverage with mobiles and abour 95% coverage with PORTABLES in the county.....We can go to the OTHER END of the state and talk to our dispatcher like we're still in the same building.

Again, DONE RIGHT it WILL work correctly....

If they aren't going to put the money (necessary equipment) out there, it WON'T work right....

Steve/KB8FAR
 

inigo88

California DB Admin
Database Admin
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
1,698
Location
San Diego, CA
Marin has done a good job filling in dead spots despite the county's varied terrain (by installing the Sonoma Mountain, Bodega Bay and Bolinas IR sites). However, to my knowledge new frequencies have NOT been added to the main East Simulcast Zone (a network of simulcast transmitters/receivers in the eastern part of the county treated by the system as one "site"), only the fill in IR sites. MERA being a Motorola 3600 bps UHF Smartzone system, voice traffic is simulcast on all the sites to which a user is affiliated to that talkgroup. The problem with the county's geography is that all the public safety agencies in West Marin (i.e. Sheriff, County Fire, County Roads) are always also going to have units affiliated on the east zone, so all their traffic from other sites are always simulcast through the east zone. This is great from a scanner hobbyist's point of view, because you can hear virtually every agency in the county from the east zone.

However, the new years storm and flooding two years ago that caused major system overloading was on the county's East Simulcast Zone, and since I've seen no evidence (via unitrunker or heard otherwise) that more frequencies have been added to this zone or that measures have been taken to reduce frequency congestion (other than better radio training), it looks like Marin is no safer from this incident repeating itself than it was two years ago. They can add as many frequencies to the other sites as they want (which will help greatly with system COVERAGE!), but the system will still bottleneck in exactly the same place as it originally did.

Whoops. :roll:

-Inigo

(P.S. - To stay on topic, I've talked to plenty of firefighters who were extremely adamant about preferring an ANALOG UHF smartzone system instead of digital, especially inside buildings when the signal starts to get weak, because analog has the tendency to "fade out" but still be understandable for longer, where as IMBE degenerates into illegible beeps and boops. A year or so ago there were several incidents where on scene fireground communications on the MERA tactical talkgroup just flat out didn't work. Ever since, county fire has always dispatched wildland incidents on MERA H2, with Command on MERA H5, but tactical on the BK radios on WHITE 2. They originally dispatched TAC H4 as tactical for all their incidents but... go figure. :) )
 
Last edited:

RolnCode3

Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Messages
2,253
Location
Sacramento/Bay Area, CA
Some of this stuff may be a lot more complicated than you guys think. Especially if you start getting into interoperability grant money and the like coming from the federal government.

If someone were to offer you large sums of money to consolidate and create a system you can all use and freely talk to each other on, and replace older systems and equipment at the same time, you would probably do it too.

You'd have to look at the reasons each individual agency is doing it, and the background on funding, political pressure, etc. to get a picture of what is actually going on.
 

BlueZebra

Member
Joined
May 19, 2004
Messages
94
Location
California
Inigo88:

The frequencies were added in the western zone. Originally the west only had 1/3 the freqs as the east, and one freq was in both. This caused a severe safety problem at a fire.

White 2, White 3, CDF Tac 1 and Tac 4 are the tacs for wildland fires in Marin. That has been the policy for several years. (There were some mistaken dispatches with MERA Tacs early on.) This is to help with interaction with Cal Fire and other out of county resources on wildland fires. H5 (and other regional commands) are patched to a freq called MRN Local (old DPW freq 20, I think) on wildland fires. All Cal Fire resources have this frequency.

H4 is used as a tac on any other emergency.
 

trooperdude

Member
Database Admin
Joined
Nov 25, 2003
Messages
1,502
Location
SFO Bay Area
BlueZebra said:
I saw the same report on Channel 7, and wondered a little...

One of their complaints was not being able to cut in with more important traffic. Could they do that on their old system? I have never seen that on any of the multiple systems I have used.
Sure with analog and voting receivers the dispatcher can sometimes hear something differently than what goes out on a repeater.

With digital it's either there or not there. With analog you get the full FM capture effect and if the dispatcher is experienced you can pick out the 2nd unit as the signal
wobbles between voting receivers.

Happened to me probably dozens of times over my dispatch career.

Usually somebody would be running a car full of kids without breaking, and somebody would pop up under them with a code-3 fill request or a weapons call they drove up on out of nowhere.

Sure with digital you get the ESN mapped to the unit number, but when you have
two units at once.. Nada.

Marin's main problem has been coverage areas. They are still researching fixes. And most of the coverage area problems have been where there were problems in the old system.
Ah, but we were talking about San Mateo, not Marin.

My question was what has Marin done that makes their system work better than San Mateo given their terrain is very similar. Coastal to bay-side urban.
 

avtarsingh

Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2004
Messages
610
Location
Cyberspace
as April 15 approaches - maybe more people will rethink where this "free government money" comes from and what it's really costing all of us ?

Paying M/A Comm or some other con artist ungodly amounts of money for a horrid system when you already have a great working system just because it's "free" isn't smart thinking

M/A Comm got denied a few years ago for a huge contract in calif because of the way TYCO hides their money offshore to avoid paying a lot of us taxes
 

citylink_uk

Member
Database Admin
Joined
Jan 7, 2006
Messages
254
I've been reading allot of reports on here with officials complaining of poor coverage when they expect to cover a county with only a handfull of sites.

Yes, you can make towers higher and get the highest gain antennas possible, but that won't make much difference to in building talk-out from a portable thats too far away.

There's no way around it, if you want better handheld coverage, you need more tower sites.

We use UHF analogue for Fireground here with Digital TETRA for contact with county control. It even has a "jump in" feature allowing control to cancel the 'call' that's in progress and "jump in" almost immediately.

Rich
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top