• 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.

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What communication system would you assign to your local public safety?

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RedPenguin

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#1
If you were your local public safety communication director, how would you set them up?

So many claim comm dirs cannot set up the radios up correctly or don't know enough about radio comm to set one up.

If there are any of those people here, how do you feel you or they could do better?
 
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#2
I am not sure I follow what your asking for.

Most public saftey communication systems are an evolution from older technologies to a newer technology.

Are you asking about starting from scratch or evolving from one technology to another?
 
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#3
Our current system is a single transmitter site, multi receiver based county wide system. Works well for the low traffic load the county has. The biggest grip I have with the system and I even spoke about it when they upgraded 5 years ago is ALL the remote receivers are linked via wireline only and the southern receivers all funnel down the same streach of roadway, The northern receivers all funnel down a common streach of high way. A single incident on one of those two sections of road takes out 1/2 the receivers in the county. Most of the VFD personal radio's are hand helds and are pretty worthless when the receivers are down.
 
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#4
Well if your talking about the subscriber units (radios) you will find that the comms director and/or system manager doesn't have a lot of say on the configuration of the subscribers except to say what the radio can and can't have.

If your referencing infrastructure, then that is a whole other topic. I doubt there is anything definite that says whether the comms director, if there is even a person in such a position, has the final say on the configuration of a network. I know that our prior comms director had ZERO input on the configuration of the system that I manage. We had a County project manager and 2 RF engineers (one of them was me) who called all the shots when we were designing and building it. The director at the time provided not much more than a signature on purchase orders.

Even our largest users (PBSO and PBCFR) had very little input on the design until fleetmapping and then they made committee decisions on the radio and console programming.
 

DaveNF2G

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#6
Communications directors are usually not the people making the decisions. Local government officials control budgets and they are the ones responsible for acquiring the hardware, and for failing to allocate enough money to get an adequate system when that happens.
 

ibagli

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#7
Convention VHF high band. A town of 8,500 doesn't need a TRS of its own for three talkgroups, or a digital TRS to replace it when it goes down.
 
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#8
RedPenguin said:
If you were your local public safety communication director, how would you set them up?

So many claim comm dirs cannot set up the radios up correctly or don't know enough about radio comm to set one up.

If there are any of those people here, how do you feel you or they could do better?
Your question is as vague, and therefore as useless, as the requirements put out today by many public safety agencies. In order to provide a useable public safety radio system, a detailed and ACCURATE needs assessment needs to be performed. There is a huge list of factors that need to be taken into account and considered. This first step is where so many agencies go wrong, and it just gets worse from there.

What's really needed could range from a single site, single channel system, to a multisite trunked regional system. It shouldn't be up to any one individual to decide how to set it up. And it can take several years just to formulate the right questions to ask, and interpret the answers.
 

RedPenguin

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#9
My Bad

I realize now how vague and I did not realize how the radio systems were setup in an area.

What I meant at first was, how so many people claim their counties/cities/towns can't get their radios right, so it's that old saying, "think you can do any better", but I guess in this case, it just doesn't really work.
 

kb2vxa

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#10
I would have told them to keep the VHF simplex or in other words if it ain't broke don't fix it. When the town is only one square mile do we REALLY need 4 UHF repeaters and all those expensive new units to go with them? What will residents think about us when we raise taxes and utilities to cover this needless expense?
 
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#11
Unless your located on an island you need to consider interoperability issues. Cost is normally the driving factor, but grant funds may offset some of the costs if you participate in a state communications plan. If you were allocating a million for comms upgrade, budget a portion for an idependent consultant to assist you; do not depend on the primary equipment supplier to design your system.
 
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#12
RedPenguin said:
I realize now how vague and I did not realize how the radio systems were setup in an area.

What I meant at first was, how so many people claim their counties/cities/towns can't get their radios right, so it's that old saying, "think you can do any better", but I guess in this case, it just doesn't really work.
And now, you should have a pretty good understanding of why so many city and county radio systems operate so poorly. They started out by asking the wrong questions.
 
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#13
Other considerations for any system is capacity and coverage growth and future technology upgrades. Again you need somone to guide you through the planning and implentation process.
 
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#14
rfradioconsult said:
Other considerations for any system coverage growth.
Coverage growth is very difficult if not impossible to plan for unless your a state or county with fixed boarders and you have a really good crystal ball to tell the future. Being that you can't control other license holders or future coordinations, what you get in the initial license grant can rarely be modified for a municipality that annex's additional land and figures out later that they don't have any radio coverage there.

This is typical of many municipalities in Florida and is probably true for other areas of the country in RF congested areas. You can't design or license a system with "what if's" because the bean counters and spectrum coordinators won't accept that as a justification. This is especially true where NPSPAC frequencies are concerned and their juristictional signal limitations.
 
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#15
public safety system choices

encryption? Why would you want that when it cant be monitorable??!! Maybe encryption CAPABLE for sensitive comms,but not entirely!!! Not if you enjoy scanning!!!
 
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#16
Why would you even start out taking a position of saying "Definitely an encrypted system"?

That statement alone adds thousands of dollars to almost each radio, let alone the
entire system. Those departments that have gone to a total encrypted system have
things to hide. Not only that, but it prevents the news media and the public to keep
tabs on what is going on.

Those departments that have placed encryption into some of their radios and on some
channels bear much better in the publics eye. Remember, it is the public that has to
come up with the funds for these radios. An elected official that tends to tick off the
public, doesn't stay in office long. Those department heads that jump up and down
demanding to have an encrypted radio system don't seem to stay an appointed
department head very long after the public starts an outcry.

You walk a thin line being a public official and spending public tax money. Make
sure that you can justify the expense before you take and dig your heals in and
make a statement that the whole radio system will be encrypted. It serves no real
purpose but costing lots of extra money and will shorten your stay in office.

Jim



mciupa said:
For Public Safety ?

Definitely an encrypted system.
 
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#17
jim202 said:
Those departments that have gone to a total encrypted system have
things to hide.
Let's not try to state "facts" based off of personal opinions.


I would give any startup department an encryption system. With the advancements in technology for the civi sector, the public safety fields need to update their systems too. Not a big fan of the 800mhz spectrum yet OR trunking so I would go with conventional UHF/VHF depending on the situation and area the system is being used in. Encryption would be pricey but not going with the infrastructure to trunk everything (usually double the towers/repeaters than conventional systems) being gone, it will even out.
 
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#18
jim202 said:
That statement alone adds thousands of dollars to almost each radio, let alone the
entire system.
Jim
Not true. If the system is a digital system, in this case I'll use a true Project 25 digital infrastructure, the cost to each radio to equip it with encryption is between $400 and $600 depending on which encryption technology you choose.

The infrastructure does not require any additional equipment and it passes encrypted P25 signal just like P25 in the clear.
 

BaLa

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#19
The Cty I live in already has an 800 EDACS Trunking System.

I would change that over to a 800mhz P25 System.
I would then try to join, the Austin/Travis Co/Williamson Cty System.
For Interop Reasons.
Unless they have some 800mhz Conv Freqs set aside for Interop, they would not be able to talk to Williamson Cty Units on their radios.
I don't think they do either.



Also Encrypt all but Dispatch Channels 100% for Police Depts, and EMS.
No good reason to encrypt Fire.

Of course that would cost a ton of money more than they have and would be willing to spend.
They supposedly already have provoice capable radios. for Killeen, and Temple PD.
 
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#20
KS4VT said:
Coverage growth is very difficult if not impossible to plan for unless your a state or county with fixed boarders and you have a really good crystal ball to tell the future. Being that you can't control other license holders or future coordinations, what you get in the initial license grant can rarely be modified for a municipality that annex's additional land and figures out later that they don't have any radio coverage there.

This is typical of many municipalities in Florida and is probably true for other areas of the country in RF congested areas. You can't design or license a system with "what if's" because the bean counters and spectrum coordinators won't accept that as a justification. This is especially true where NPSPAC frequencies are concerned and their juristictional signal limitations.

The FCC refers to it as "slow growth" plan
 
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