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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 05-08-2017, 7:54 PM
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My (former) agency used Zello->LMR. Worked great. My current agency has the ability to do BeOn->LMR on our new Phase-2 system, but they're having a fight with a cell provider.

I haven't seen cell infrastructure go down since Voicestream in the 1990's.

It's a pretty specious argument, IMHO, akin to the old "Every EOC needs Hams so they can pass shelter bed counts when the TRS goes down!"...except it never does.
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Old 05-09-2017, 7:40 AM
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Default Specious

"Specious argument" is probably 95% correct, there are a very few exceptions. I happened to be sitting in the middle of one of those exceptions in the late summer of 2004. Three hurricanes within 30 days cut across Orlando. At 2:30 in the morning, sitting on a six lane highway, miles from my P.D. All systems went down, all communications based on cellular, radios and laptops. I went back to old school P.D. , having to yell out my car window. I had been around for decades at that time, so it wasn't the end of the world for me, but to a new guy, the thought of having no communications had to have been devastating.. At 2:30 that morning I was sitting in a Specious exception. As I said, your almost completely correct Sir, but not 100 %
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Old 05-09-2017, 7:48 AM
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"Specious argument" is probably 95% correct, there are a very few exceptions. I happened to be sitting in the middle of one of those exceptions in the late summer of 2004. Three hurricanes within 30 days cut across Orlando. At 2:30 in the morning, sitting on a six lane highway, miles from my P.D. All systems went down, all communications based on cellular, radios and laptops. I went back to old school P.D. , having to yell out my car window. I had been around for decades at that time, so it wasn't the end of the world for me, but to a new guy, the thought of having no communications had to have been devastating.. At 2:30 that morning I was sitting in a Specious exception. As I said, your almost completely correct Sir, but not 100 %


That was also 13 years ago!! Long before many improvements and much older technology.


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Old 05-09-2017, 7:58 AM
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Default 13 years ago

I hope so, for the sake of all the young guys out there, They have never been without their cell phones. Not their fault.. it's the world they exist in and rely on. Hope the improvements are there, it would be great.
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Old 05-09-2017, 9:46 AM
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That was also 13 years ago!! Long before many improvements and much older technology.


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While that is true, there is no way anyone can state that today's cellphone infrastructure is so improved and robust that it will not suffer from an overload. Take a look at Hurricane Sandy and the Boston bombing which are just two examples that happened not that long ago. But even if there was a cellphone infrastructure that could guarantee 100% connectivity each and every time, the agency depending solely on said system is still at the mercy of that system. A hurricane, earthquake, tornado, etc. can render the system useless. Of course the same argument could be made for the agency's LMR system under the same circumstances. However, the difference there is that the agency has almost instant access to repairs.
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Old 05-09-2017, 9:52 AM
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While that is true, there is no way anyone can state that today's cellphone infrastructure is so improved and robust that it will not suffer from an overload. Take a look at Hurricane Sandy and the Boston bombing which are just two examples that happened not that long ago. But even if there was a cellphone infrastructure that could guarantee 100% connectivity each and every time, the agency depending solely on said system is still at the mercy of that system. A hurricane, earthquake, tornado, etc. can render the system useless. Of course the same argument could be made for the agency's LMR system under the same circumstances. However, the difference there is that the agency has almost instant access to repairs.


I would disagree there are far more cellphone techs that live in your very neighborhood then radio repair people. Especially given there are 100's of thousands of cell sites and not near as many radio towers. Plus in the last three years alone cell phone tech has changed so much, towers cover big areas but one tower going down does very little damage in today's systems that have 1000's of microcells in each city. Look at the tops of your utility poles and power towers and buildings and your likely to find pico or micro cells all over your town. Most people today wouldn't notice a tower or two in their own neighborhood being down.


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Old 05-09-2017, 9:56 AM
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Only in bigger towns and cities. Folks do the homework. There are places where 3g barely exists much less useful 4g. And places where they barely have any service. But have full signal on lmr

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Old 05-09-2017, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ka8zay View Post
I would disagree there are far more cellphone techs that live in your very neighborhood then radio repair people. Especially given there are 100's of thousands of cell sites and not near as many radio towers. Plus in the last three years alone cell phone tech has changed so much, towers cover big areas but one tower going down does very little damage in today's systems that have 1000's of microcells in each city. Look at the tops of your utility poles and power towers and buildings and your likely to find pico or micro cells all over your town. Most people today wouldn't notice a tower or two in their own neighborhood being down.


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I guess we will have to agree to disagree. I would never put safety of life communications in the trust of a cellular service.
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Old 05-09-2017, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ka8zay View Post
I would disagree there are far more cellphone techs that live in your very neighborhood then radio repair people. Especially given there are 100's of thousands of cell sites and not near as many radio towers. Plus in the last three years alone cell phone tech has changed so much, towers cover big areas but one tower going down does very little damage in today's systems that have 1000's of microcells in each city. Look at the tops of your utility poles and power towers and buildings and your likely to find pico or micro cells all over your town. Most people today wouldn't notice a tower or two in their own neighborhood being down.


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I am on Verizon in a medium sized city and during rush hour, it is not unusual for the network to be unable to handle peak loads. My phone does not get a signal inside big box stores. The other carriers I have compared, lack coverage inside many locations including my home.

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Old 05-09-2017, 4:23 PM
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i know one agent who will still be using a two way radio, the one flying the aircraft . . do you think uniden's close call or gre's spectrum sweeper factored into this?
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Old 05-10-2017, 9:45 AM
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Similar arguments were made about P25.It's now the standard.I still don't know how P25 ever managed to be considered acceptable for federal or public safety applications.It's usually a squawky unintelligible mess compared to analog.

In the modern world progression is deemed the most important aspect.Lives and safety will always take a backseat to what is 'considered' progression.
What P25 system are you trying to listen to? All the numerous ones that I have been able to work with all sound fine. The audio is clean and not distorted.

I do have to inject a slight negative here also. If the radio techs didn't do their due diligence on aligning a simulcast system, then you could have issues in the tower overlap regions with distorted audio. But that is not the norm for a well adjusted system.

If a system does have these problems, then the radio manager needs to get on the case of the radio vendor and get them corrected.
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Old 05-10-2017, 9:48 AM
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Folks still don't get it. Scanners never will sound or work like an actual system radio on p25.

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Old 05-10-2017, 10:23 AM
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Cellphones are great if: You are near a major city; You are near an Interstate Highway; The power has been off for less than half a day.
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:25 AM
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But they paid Big $$ on that Scanner, it should function just like the radio the Police Carry


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Folks still don't get it. Scanners never will sound or work like an actual system radio on p25.

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Old 05-10-2017, 12:04 PM
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".I still don't know how P25 ever managed to be considered acceptable for federal or public safety applications.It's usually a squawky unintelligible mess compared to analog."

P25 sounds perfectly good on every Motorola radio I/I've owned. If you're basing that observation on a scanner, yes, it can certainly be a mess.
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:38 PM
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What if the infrastructure the current VHF P25 system uses goes down?
Then use simplex.
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:47 PM
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"Sadly with FirstNet looming as Pie in the Sky, nobody is investing in high performance LMR.".
Not around here. First Net was told to take a hike. They proposed one site for a county that currently has 9. When pressed , they admitted there will never be enough funding to cover the entire county with PTT.

Could First Net work in a area that has ample coverage such as a city...sure, maybe. In rural USA, nope.
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:52 PM
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Exactly.
a. - Fail Soft - Repeaters still function
b. - Site Trunking - TRS still works.
c. - Fall back to pre-defined Local/County/State Conventional [Simplex or Repeater]
d. - Fall back to the NIFOG Interops in your specific band.

I'm always perplexed at how folks try to make it into Rocket Science.

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Then use simplex.
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Old 05-10-2017, 2:00 PM
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Then use simplex.
Hmm, do BeOn and Wave have an "APP FOR THAT"?
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Old 05-10-2017, 2:05 PM
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Folks still don't get it. Scanners never will sound or work like an actual system radio on p25.

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I have an HP536BCD and the internal speaker is crap. So I have a Motorola Spectra speaker attached and it behaves much better. Headphones are even better. Aside from occasional simulcast TDI, it normally sounds good. Dispatch is generally very readable. Some users voices do not translate well through the P25 IMBE Vocoder and are muffled. Also fast talkers seem to bring down the Vocoder performance.

Wideband FM is still king, I played around with some ancient Securenet DES recently and compared to P25 it is not all that bad. There is quantization noise, no denying that. However there is virtually no throughput delay and voice recognition is good.
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