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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2017, 6:53 PM
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I'm just coming in here as an Astro 25 tech working on the GATRRS system. Interoperability is a mindset. Period. Part of current plan includes local, regional and system wide talk groups. So if you need to be interoperable in Western Counties, you change to a WR IOP zone. Interoperable in Austin? Change to the designated zone. Granted individual regional talk groups are not mapped across the whole system so if your in Western Counties you can't affiliate to a CoA or Wilco interop talk group but that is why the system wide (and some region to region) wide interoperable talk groups are present.

On top of this, each county in the area maintains a set of interoperable repeaters (one for calling, one for assignment) for each band used by neighbors on the national interoperable band plan. This is so if an incident continues into a county that is not part of the GATRRS system or if their infrastructure doesn't support the subscribers (since it's a mix of VHF/700/800) there is still some level of interoperability.

To facilitate the interoperability, CoA has to approve a codeplug template before it can be blown into radios (to ensure the presence of interoperability channels/talk groups and for reference).


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Old 03-27-2017, 1:57 PM
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To be honest I've skipped most of the replies in this thread because of all of the arguing, but can anyone shed any light on what in this list has actually changed? I can't say for sure about all the 700MHz channels, but the VHF and UHF channels look like the same ones that are published in the NIFOG that I've had programmed in my radios for years. Would be nice to know if I need to change anything.
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Old 03-27-2017, 2:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 16b View Post
can anyone shed any light on what in this list has actually changed?
The channel naming standard was updated because APCO ANS requires standards to be reviewed at least every five years.

The current (at the time the document was last approved) list of interop channels and some other information is included in the document marked with asterisks as a reference for informational purposes only.

If you want the current channels and know exactly what was added or changed you should look at the current NIFOG (1.6.1) and NIFOG Changes Version 1.5 vs 1.6 vs 1.6.1 at
https://www.dhs.gov/publication/fog-documents
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Old 03-27-2017, 2:23 PM
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Having worked in NYC and the outer counties, PD FD and EMS all have their own inter-op channels. Outside agencies may use the Nationals but NYC has their own, and any outside agency that may respond to NYC will more than likely go through some sort of Command structure that would use the Nationals, and then be dispatched from there. The last radios I saw programmed in NYC had NO National inter-ops in them, only their own Citywide's.

Outside NYC it's actually scary, our agency had a MCI drill mirroring an actual event and most agencies didn't know what the National inter-ops were let alone have them in their radios.

Then you have Westchester County that has an identifier on every inter-op channel every hour with PL. Making them useless to monitor. Plus the repeaters are actually shut off unless needed. I have heard WestCo ID actually take out Suffolk County during a drill, and nevermind they had one of the U-Tacs locked up for over 6 weeks..

Last edited by radioman2001; 03-27-2017 at 2:27 PM..
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Old 03-27-2017, 9:58 PM
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Will all this be edited and added to the Radio Reference database?
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Old 03-27-2017, 10:19 PM
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Will all this be edited and added to the Radio Reference database?
It has been there for years.
National Interoperability Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference
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Old 03-27-2017, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ten13 View Post
"This document was first released about 10 years ago. The interoperability channels have been around even longer than that."

That's what I mean...they are never used, even after 10 years.

Keep in mind that the SOLE reason these "interoperability" channels came about was the false belief that they were needed after the World Trade Center.

However, the agencies involved in the WTC NEVER use any of those channels to this day, except for drills, and even that's a rarity. Ask just about any chief on either side of the Hudson River how they communicate with the department on the other side and, after a momentary blank stare, they will say, "I call our dispatcher to contact them on the phone...."

As I say, Motorola will make a mint, and ten years from now, we'll still be saying that no one uses those channels.
They have been in place, for many years, and in use for many years. Just because you are not familiar with them does not make it any less true.

There are islands out there that are resisting, but slowly they are coming along. It is just a naming convention, no need for selling new radios or equipment, this is just to get everyone working on the same page.

And you are totally incorrect about the agencies involved in the WTC will never use those channels. USAR for one is a big user.
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Old 03-27-2017, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by radioman2001 View Post
Having worked in NYC and the outer counties, PD FD and EMS all have their own inter-op channels. Outside agencies may use the Nationals but NYC has their own, and any outside agency that may respond to NYC will more than likely go through some sort of Command structure that would use the Nationals, and then be dispatched from there. The last radios I saw programmed in NYC had NO National inter-ops in them, only their own Citywide's.
I while back I was teaching at ESU on Floyd Bennett Field, and the subject of nationwide interop channels came up. The ESU realizes they may end up anywhere, and were concerned about communications. Turns out they did have the interop channels already in at least some of their radios.
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Old 03-27-2017, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by RFI-EMI-GUY View Post
Not sure how "simple" I am to believe this is. There are literally hundreds of channels. Yes I know some are duplication for simplex, some are for data. What it seems to me is another example of government run amok. 20 years ago, the concept of interoperability channels were VHF intercity and the five 800 MHz NPSPAC calling and Tac channels. Now for some apparently politically driven reason, there are 50 or 60 (I lost count) pairs. Where in the world would so many channels be required? Who is building this infrastructure? How will it be managed?

It makes sense that for the 800 NPSPAC mutual aid channels there may be crossband repeater or base with VHF, VHF Low and UHF counterparts. But why so much 700 MHz spectrum? 700 MHz radios have 800 MHz capability and can utilize the NPSPAC. And the NTIA blocks?

It just looks excessive, confusing and wasteful in my view.
8 UHF channels. 4 of them are just simplex of the repeater pairs.
24 VHF channels. Some are specialty, such as law, EMS, etc.
Probably 90 700/800 channels, lots of speciality, mobile data, etc.

One of the reason for the bulk of the 700/800 is due to some 800 radios are still out there that will not do 700. Another reason is many of the large systems use up a number of those repeater pairs for repeaters they set up to provide interop for non trunking system 700/800 users on a full time basis.

So probably 130 channels across 5 bands. Not hundreds. And all this document does is provide a common naming convention to make them easier to use. Lots are simplex of repeater pairs

I know as a com-l at a large incident I can eat up a bunch of channels.
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Old 03-29-2017, 8:28 AM
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And you are totally incorrect about the agencies involved in the WTC will never use those channels. USAR for one is a big user.
The interoperability attitude problem existed and still exists among the public safety agencies in NYC that still refuse to play in the same sandbox - FDNY, NYPD and the Port Authority.
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Old 03-30-2017, 12:08 AM
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The interoperability attitude problem existed and still exists among the public safety agencies in NYC that still refuse to play in the same sandbox - FDNY, NYPD and the Port Authority.
No doubt. But agencies need to understand that interoperability is 5 percent technology, and 95% training. No one is trying to force them to play in the big sandbox, merely handing them tools that they can or can not use.
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Old 03-30-2017, 5:36 AM
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Where in the world would so many channels be required? Who is building this infrastructure? How will it be managed?
When we upgraded radios, to narrowband capable models, I included all of the non-LE VHF interoperability options. I included the ones that cannot be used here, in Southeast Michigan, in case of deployment to other regions. (Ambulances from here were deployed for Hurricane Katrina.)

The associated cost was a bit of my time, to compile the desired profile, and a bit of the radio vendor's time, to build the profile in the software.

The infrastructure is the discrete radios, and possibly some repeaters, maybe in mobile command posts.

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Old 03-30-2017, 7:23 AM
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Interoperability has always been around 95 percent political and 5 percent equipment. Until the current department management retire, move on or get fired, this mind set will not change. Many of these managers even refuse to have any of the "National Interoperability" channels programmed into their radios.

You can't fix stupid. Best you can do is to suggest changes and stand back from the explosion that generally ensues. The other major issue is training. Go out in the field and ask anyone in law enforcement if they ever received any training on the use of their radio. My bet is that you will probably find 99 percent of the people have never had any training on the use of their radios. To make that issue even worse is that the people out in the field have no idea just what channels are even in their radio.

With lack of training, or lack of knowledge just what channels may even be in their radios, how can you expect to ever have smooth operation with any interoperability. Most people out in the field don't even have any idea how to change their radio to a different zone. They were given their radio on a operational zone and the use of the different channels on that zone is all they know.
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Old 03-30-2017, 7:52 AM
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One of the BEST [IMHO] Code Plugs is Boston UASI
It contains, surrounding City/Towns, those who they might cover for Mutual Aid, the Normal Mutual Aid Interops and then of course the UHF Interops

When responding for Mutual Aid, or the need to move to additional channels, outside of the normal Ch 1 - Ch 4, the Dispatcher will provide the Zone and Channel #

http://bfdradio.net/BFD%20Channel%20Plan.pdf
http://bfdradio.net/BFD%20Zones.pdf

As other have said, it comes down to training/use/experience vs just having them in the radio. Remember the DHS OIG reports, where ICE/CBP could not find their own Interops, never mind the Federal [DOJ 25 Cities] or the Local Interops

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim202 View Post
Interoperability has always been around 95 percent political and 5 percent equipment. Until the current department management retire, move on or get fired, this mind set will not change. Many of these managers even refuse to have any of the "National Interoperability" channels programmed into their radios.

You can't fix stupid. Best you can do is to suggest changes and stand back from the explosion that generally ensues. The other major issue is training. Go out in the field and ask anyone in law enforcement if they ever received any training on the use of their radio. My bet is that you will probably find 99 percent of the people have never had any training on the use of their radios. To make that issue even worse is that the people out in the field have no idea just what channels are even in their radio.

With lack of training, or lack of knowledge just what channels may even be in their radios, how can you expect to ever have smooth operation with any interoperability. Most people out in the field don't even have any idea how to change their radio to a different zone. They were given their radio on a operational zone and the use of the different channels on that zone is all they know.
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Old 03-30-2017, 9:21 AM
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Remember the DHS OIG reports, where ICE/CBP could not find their own Interops, never mind the Federal [DOJ 25 Cities] or the Local Interops
https://www.oig.dhs.gov/assets/Mgmt/...3-06_Nov12.pdf
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Old 04-12-2017, 9:54 AM
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As should be CLEAR here by now to anyone that has the slightest clue as to how Mutual Aid, known in modern parlance as INTEROPERABILITY, works, knows that this has NADA to do with Motorola, Harris, Tait, Relm, iCOM, Kenwood, Yo Momma Radios, or ANY one manufacturer/distributor. The only thing they have in common with this is they make and sell the radios and systems in use! The one issue on Interop is the mindset! Why some agencies just wont get the concept of family/brotherhood of First Responders/Emergency Services is way beyond STUPID. It is proven dangerous and in fact DEADLY to continue to be an island because you wont get it through your thick skull that working together is beneficial! Who gives a RATS BOOTY about jusrisdiction in SHTF situations!? So the incident may be passing through, originate, terminate in your LITTLE POND, SO WHAT!? Its about something too many of you numbskulls still fail to get, an OLD concept of sharing, and working together for an common goal! The other failure in all of this? LACK of training! Why is it so hard for someone to learn how to tell your officers/firefighters/EMS personnel to GO TO CH/TG XXX?! And show them HOW! You drill drill drill on everything else, DRILL ON THAT!
Oh well, maybe one day your life will depend on this hooey called interop eh? Bet your booty you will scream for everyone to get it right then eh?
Absolutely correct. I have 3 zones of 7/800 interop channels in my radios. They are there for those situations where your trunked system isn't available. The SEGARRN system covers the east coast of Georgia so my guys are almost never out of range of the system. If they were they could switch to the interops and still talk to each other. When Obama was inaugurated, we sent 100 officers to DC with their radios and the 800 interops. They used their own radios to talk with DC Police, FBI... The interops are not a politicians ploy to line their pockets. The idea came from people in the field. If you don't put them in the radios and occasionally train with them, you are putting first responders in a potentially dangerous situation.
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Old 04-13-2017, 1:50 PM
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Remember the DHS OIG reports, where ICE/CBP could not find their own Interops, never mind the Federal [DOJ 25 Cities] or the Local Interops.
229,000 employees and, out of 479 of those employees surveyed, only 1 could locate an interoperability channel in his/her radio and successfully utilize it!

Completely unacceptable! Less than half of one percent? Complete failure.
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Old 04-14-2017, 8:50 AM
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Originally Posted by iamhere300 View Post
8 UHF channels. 4 of them are just simplex of the repeater pairs.
24 VHF channels. Some are specialty, such as law, EMS, etc.
Probably 90 700/800 channels, lots of speciality, mobile data, etc.

One of the reason for the bulk of the 700/800 is due to some 800 radios are still out there that will not do 700. Another reason is many of the large systems use up a number of those repeater pairs for repeaters they set up to provide interop for non trunking system 700/800 users on a full time basis.

So probably 130 channels across 5 bands. Not hundreds. And all this document does is provide a common naming convention to make them easier to use. Lots are simplex of repeater pairs

I know as a com-l at a large incident I can eat up a bunch of channels.
I am printing this out and using it in my next class. Great reply, sir.
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Old 04-14-2017, 9:12 AM
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If running a Class, you can request the Official Printed NIFOGs at
https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/fi...R17_TC-508.pdf

When I run my classes for Deployable folks I make sure I have the printed version.
When running for Dispatch/Desk folks the PDF is great as it comes in different versions.
such as Tabled, 8 1/2 x 11 etc etc or even a format you can send to your Local Printing Co.

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I am printing this out and using it in my next class. Great reply, sir.
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Old 04-14-2017, 9:58 AM
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A law enforcement officer shots his gun in the line of duty an average 2 times in his career but uses his radio everyday multiple times. He must qualify to use his gun every year, be able to tear it down and reassemble it in a specified amount of time but only gets on the average, 1 hour of training on the tool he uses everyday.
Better, recurrent training is what is needed to make interop work, not more frequencies that officer don't know how to get to..
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