Auburn Goes Silent

EastAlabamaNews

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Use the "Frequency Coordinator" tab here to find one:

You will need to pay the frequency coordinator, and that can be a few hundred bucks for one frequency pair. Unless you have filed for these types of licenses before, there can be significant value in having the coordinator do it for you. That can prevent a lot of headaches.

Make sure you license not only for your repeater (FB2) but the radios (MO), and license for simplex operation on your repeater output frequency.
SADLY IT WILL BE FIXED IF THE HAVE A CONTRACT . ITS UP TO THE MONTGOMERY METRO TO FIX IT. VERY DOUBTFUL IF THEY COME OFF THE SYSTEM. MAKES ME WONDER IF THE FIRE KEPT VHF RADIOS IN THE ENGINES ETC . OR MAYBE THEY HAVE THE OLD VHF HT . SINCE AUBURN DOES NOT OWN THE SYSTEM ONLY THE RADIOS. I CANT SEE THEM PULLING THE NEW TRUNKED RADIOS OOS. AND GOING BACK TO VHF,
I HATE TO SAY BUT AUBURN GOT SCREWED. THEY SHOULD HAVE PUT A TRUNKED RADIO IN A FLOAT CAR TO TEST IT OUT.
I have noticed every police vehicle do not have a VHF 1/4 band whip anymore only the black low profile round 700/800 antenna
My stepfather was a captain at OPD over the radio system and has the numbers up to 2013 when he retired. I was at the 4/2/19 Council meeting and brought up several issues in my 5 minutes, the former public safety director says they tested radios in areas that the VHF WT's had a hard time getting out and they were pleased, he said reps from the PD and FD agreed that this was the best system. I brought up the Alabama Interoperable Radio System (AIRS) and that Opelika is on it (at the time it was called the Alabama First Responder Network) the former director said Opelika has spent millions in just upgrades to keep their system up which is a lie, I have the exact numbers the system cost and what the tower with antennas cost and the cost of the maintenance contract. My stepfather was a captain at OPD over the radio system and has the numbers up to 2013 when he retired. My stepdad gave me the exact costs of OPD's system from the initial build to rebanding including replacing one antenna hit by lightning burning 2 feet off of it reducing coverage by 20 miles, they spent 85K to replace that antenna.
The man promoted to captain to take my stepdad's position in Special Services told me he approached Auburn and offered to build a tower or lease space on a tower in the "trouble" spots and they had more than enough talkgroups for APD and AFD. But Auburn turned them down, Lee County has a TG Auburn had TGs when I was a dispatcher at OPD, they were never placed on active. On Auburn game days I had to patch LCSO Tac West, OPD Events TG, and State Net 155.010 the Montgomery PD officers had to use the State Net patch to their radios with APD's second system at the university PD substation antenna.

When OPD built the system 15 years or so ago APD and Lee County said they would go on it but both backed out and OPD already licenced far more 800mhz frequencies than just OPD needed.

The then public safety director said the VHF WTs had a hard time getting out when inside a building, he could not wrap his head around the fact 700/800mhz has far more penetration, in fact, the FCC had this to say: "The 700 MHz Band is an important swathe of spectrum available for both commercial wireless and public safety communications. The Band consists of 108 megahertz of spectrum running from 698-806 MHz and was freed up as a result of the Digital Television Transition. The location of the 700 MHz band -- just above the remaining TV broadcast channels -- gives it excellent propagation characteristics. This allows the 700 MHz signals to penetrate buildings and walls easily and to cover larger geographic areas with less infrastructure (relative to frequencies in higher bands)."

He could not understand the tighter frequency spectrum has better penetration, TV signals penetrate buildings and over 1000 TV stations are moving to new frequencies, in fact, today a helicopter removed the antenna from WSFA-TV 12 from their 2,000-foot tall tower to replace it with an antenna to broadcast on RF channel 8 virtual still 12.1-12.5

The city manager and then public safety director blew a lot of smoke to the council but I did get the proposal tabled and removed from the 4/2/19 agenda, only to have the next meeting with those two blowings Harris's smoke about how much better Harris is, I don't believe they got better reception off a demo base on the ground to the far side of the PD jurisdiction.
 

EastAlabamaNews

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I got an up-close look at APD's radios and handhelds, they removed the VHF mobiles completely out of all patrol units and supervisor units and replaced them with the older Harris XG-25M mobiles, they aren't shown on Harris's main PUBLIC SAFETY AND PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATIONS page, "The economical and feature-rich L3Harris XG-25M Mobile delivers exceptional audio and secure, reliable mission-critical communications. This P25 Phase 2 capable mobile is an ideal choice for first responders and utilities who want just one radio to manage their migration needs. From the datasheets, it looks like the XG series of mobiles launched in late 2017-early 2018
One Harris price to a bid package I located for the XG-25M 2,100.00 .......... MOBILE, XG-25M, 700/800 MHZ, 35W
*Single-Key DES comes standard on digital operational modes; it is not available in EDACS
DM-PL3V .......................... 395.00 ..........FEATURE, 64B-DES ENCRYPTION P25 Trunking
DM-PKG8F ....................... 595.00 ..........FEATURE, 256-AES, 64-DES ECP ENCRYPTION (Includes 256-B AES Encryption and 64-B DES Encryption for P25
P25 Software Options
DM-PL5L .......................... 465.00 .......... FEATURE, P25 OVER-THE-AIR REKEYING
DM-PL4F .......................... 250.00 .......... FEATURE, P25 PHASE 2, TDMA
DM-LLA.............................. 75.00 .......... FEATURE, LINK LAYER AUTHENTICATION

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XG-25M Features
  • Best value P25 Phase 2 mobile
  • Advanced features, including AES/DES encryption, OTAR, and Bluetooth®
  • Narrowband capable
  • Meets MIL-STD-810G for ruggedness
  • Large font display for easy reading
  • Control head equipped with front speaker
  • GPS optional
  • Available in VHF (136-174 MHz), UHF and 700/800 MHz
Operating Modes
  • P25 Phase 1 and 2 Trunking
  • P25 Digital Conventional
  • EDACS® / ProVoice™ Trunking
  • OpenSky®
  • Conventional Analog
From the XG-25M Operating Manual:
10.30ENCRYPTION In the OpenSky network, both data and voice use a 128-bit or 256-bit key encryption standard published by the Federal Information Processing Service (FIPS), called Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). AES is approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce for encryption of classified materials. When encryption is enabled on the network, data is encrypted from the MDIS to the Mobile End System (MES) (e.g., XG-25M mobile radio). This form of encryption provides air-link security. A network administrator selects the talk group to be encrypted at the interface to the UAS. Once the talk groups have been selected and identified as secure, credentials for key generation are generated automatically by the system and provisioned to authorized users. This process requires that authorized users login to the network and be authenticated. Encryption keys require no manual handling and are never sent “in the clear” over any network interface or air-link. If a user is engaged in a call on a talk group encrypted at the network administrator level, “Secure Call” appears in the bottom line of the dwell display if the user is logged in to that talk group. If a secure call is in progress elsewhere and the user has not logged in, the bottom of the dwell display alternates between “No Access” and the alias of the radio that is currently engaged in the secure call.

APPENDIX A - CONFIGURING ENCRYPTION A.1 ENCYRPTION KEYS Refer to the following documentation for advanced programming and setup instructions: • Harris OTAR Overview Manual - MM-008069-001 • Network Key Manager Installation and Configuration Manual - MM-008070-001 • Harris UAS Key Management Application Manual - MM-008068-001 • Harris Key Manager Key Admin Overview and Operation Manual - MM1000019423 • Harris Key Manager Key Loader Overview and Operation Manual - MM1000019424 • Motorola® Key Variable Loader (KVL) Device User's Guide A.1.1 Create Keys Using Harris Key Admin Harris Key Admin is part of the Harris Key Manager and is used by the Crypto Officer (CO). The CO creates a Master Set of keys from which a Distribution Set is produced. Using the Key Admin software, the CO can save keys into Distribution key files for technicians to use in radios. 1. Select Start  Programs  Harris Key Manager  Harris Key Admin. 2. Select New Master Set, Open, or Import from Security Device. Refer to the Key Admin online help for more information on creating keys. 3. When finished, create a Distribution Key File. A Distribution Key File is used with the Key Loader to load key sets into the radio and cannot be edited. Refer to the Key Admin online help for more information on creating the Distribution Key File. A.1.2 Load Encryption Keys A.1.2.1 Load UKEKS with Key Loader and RPM (for OTAR-Enabled Systems) UKEKs are loaded into Harris OTAR radios using the Key Loader application. Key Loader is a part of Key Manager. To load encryption keys: 1. Obtain the UKEK file and Storage Location Number (SLN) Binding Report information from the Crypto Officer (CO).

NOTE: Both AES and DES UKEKs can be contained within the same UKEK file.

2. If not already on, power-up the PC that has RPM and the Key Loader applications installed on it and start Windows®. 3. Connect the radio to the PC using a serial cable (14002-0143-01).
4. Enter the Harris Keyload Mode (HKL). a. Press the radio’s MENU button. b. Scroll through the menu to select the KEYLOAD option and press the MENU button to activate. c. Scroll through and select the HKL option and press the MENU button. The radio can now accept keys from the Harris Keyloader.
5. Load the UKEK file from the Crypto Officer onto the PC.
6. Run the RPM application and setup the radio’s Mission Plan according the SLN Binding Report information.
7. Setup the talk groups and the SLN mappings (Talk Group ID to SLN). This includes mapping SLNs to the “System” keys (PSTN, All Call, etc.).
8. Select Options  P25 OTAR Options and set the following: a. The OTAR Message Number Period (MNP) as defined by the System Administrator. b. The radio’s Individual RSI (from the SLN Bindings Report). c. The KMF’s RSI (from the SLN Bindings Report).
9. Program the Mission Plan to the radio.
10. Run the Key Loader application.
11. Open the UKEK file loaded in step 5.
12. Select the Target Device type and click the Load button.
13. The Key Loader reads the target device’s identifying information, retrieves a UKEK of the proper algorithm type from the UKEK file, and downloads the UKEK to the target device at the proper SLN and keyset with the proper key ID.
14. Click the Finish button to exit the Key Loader application. New UKEKs have are loaded and the radio is now ready to accept TEKs via OTAR with the trunked radio network. A.1.2.2 Load Keys Using Harris Key Loader Harris Key Loader is part of Harris Key Manager and can be used by the Crypto Officer or Technician to load the keys into the radio. Refer to the Harris Key Loader online help if additional information is required when performing this procedure. 1. Connect the radio to the PC using a serial cable. 2. Power on the radio, if not already. 3. Select Start  Programs  Harris Key Manager  Harris Key Loader. 4. At the Key Loader Welcome screen, click Next. 5. Select Load a Distribution Set into one or more devices. 6. Click Next. 7. Browse to the Key File and enter the password. 8. Click Next to validate the password and continue. If the password is incorrect, the screen will display an error message. 9. Select communication port from the drop-down and click Next
10. Select the serial port that you have connected to the radio. 11. Enter Harris Keyload Mode (HKL). a. Press the radio’s MENU button. b. Scroll through the menu to select the KEYLOAD option and press the MENU button to activate. c. Scroll through and select the HKL option and press the MENU button. The radio can now accept keys from the Harris Keyloader. 12. Select Radio from the drop-down and click Load. 13. Click Finish.

A.1.2.3 Power on the Motorola KVL Device
1. Connect KVL Device to the radio using cable 14002-0143-10.

NOTE: Once the KVL Device is connected, a keyset is established whether the keys are loaded or not. You must zeroize to bring the radio to a fully zeroized state.

2. Press the radio’s MENU button.
3. Scroll through the menu to select the KEYLOAD option and press the MENU button to activate.
4. Scroll through and select the KVL option and press the MENU button. The radio can now accept keys from the KVL Device. A.1.2.4 Load Keys Using Motorola KVL Device Type 3 Digital Encryption Standard Output Feedback (DES-OFB) and Advanced Encryption Standard, 256-bit (AES-256), encryption methods are supported. The Type 3 Encryption keys are loaded via a Motorola Device using Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)/Project 25 (P25) key fill device protocol. Make sure that valid keys have been created and stored in the KVL Device before proceeding.

A.1.3 Protected Keys The Protected Keys feature transfers P25 Voice Keys, from Harris Key Loader to the radio, that have been wrapped (AES) or encrypted (DES) with Key Protection Keys (KPKs). KPKs are nothing more than unprotected Key Encryption Keys (KEKs). The KPKs need to be loaded into the radio before the Protected Keys are loaded. Once loaded into the radio, the KPKs will be used to unwrap (AES) or decrypt (DES) the Protected Keys. The radio must be placed into the key loading mode (see Section A.1.2.2) to accept the KPKs and P25 Voice Keys.


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APD is using the newer XL-150P Portable Radios, far more advanced than the mobiles, the LTE technology for FIRST-NET is still a ways away according to a source in Montgomery in the Governor's task force who has been planning the 700mhz band roll out to allocate each of Alabama's 67 counties designated frequencies.

The previous administration implemented the then Alabama First Responder Network and worked with most of the 800mhz trunking systems in place to migrate from the various systems like Opelika's Motorola Type II SmartZone to Jefferson County's EDACS to the interconnecting P25 sites from Baldwin and Mobile Counties in the far most southern reaches to Madison County and Huntsville PD/FD & HEMSI 800 trunking system I think was a Motorola system to now the Alabama Interoperable Radio System (AIRS)

With only Montgomery Metro Communications Cooperative District holding out until the legacy EDACS system was costing more in repairs and failing microwave links with dead spots in the southwestern part of Montgomery County, they got millions in grants and the City of Montgomery and Montgomery County chipping in a small share with the grants to build the Phase 1 Harris system with a tower in the southern part of Montgomery County adding all the VFDs with their own TGs but most of the VFDs still use the UHF AL Forestry Fire Repeaters installed in nearly every county, even Pike Road VFD with the huge tax base there still uses the UHF system.
I will update this post as I get more info, I have been told by a knowledgeable an Auburn University post-grad computer science and software engineering student has been able to use an SDR with modified software code to decrypt the TG POLICE MAIN and I heard a recording of radio traffic of APD responding to an MVC with a 10-55 subject (intoxicated driver either alcohol or drug impairment) recorded last week. Now if just by chance the encryption was off while working on the Auburn Fire Division radio problems, encryption can be "switched off" by Over The Air Keying from MMCD's facility due to the interconnection of the sites this audio was recorded at 2 am or so, looking at the APD media log I get emailed every morning it did coincide with a DUI arrest on the date and time stamp on the recording played for me this morning.

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The XL-150P delivers industry-leading, loud and clear audio powered by advanced noise cancellation technologies and a 1.5 watt/4 watt max amplifier with dual speakers. Bluetooth integration with leading Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus also improves in-mask audio quality for fireground communications.
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  • Secure voice and data encryption
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medic9351301

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The previous administration implemented the then Alabama First Responder Network and worked with most of the 800mhz trunking systems in place to migrate from the various systems like Opelika's Motorola Type II SmartZone to Jefferson County's EDACS

wrong answer lies lies lies
jefferson county HAS NEVER HAD A EDACS
 

EastAlabamaNews

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The previous administration implemented the then Alabama First Responder Network and worked with most of the 800mhz trunking systems in place to migrate from the various systems like Opelika's Motorola Type II SmartZone to Jefferson County's EDACS

wrong answer lies lies lies
jefferson county HAS NEVER HAD A EDACS

Excuse me sir for making a mistake on the type of radio system used in JeffCo, it appears JeffCo used a Motorola Type II SmartZone System if you would note, I said in Madison County and Huntsville I even mentioned I was unsure of the system. I should have said the same about the JeffCo-Birmingham system as I did not remember the exact 800mhz trunking system. I will note the Alabama Department of Public Safety did have an EDACS system listed for Jefferson County. If it was used I do not know.

I made a mistake and I am correcting that mistake with the information contained on this website's database and the FCC's license data.

Sir, I resent you calling me a liar when a simple mistake was made, get your undergarments out of a bunch and instead of saying "lies lies lies" offer a correction in a polite way. You, sir, have no idea what I have done regarding working with a few different types of radio system administrators and being a system administrator that built a system for a fire department.

As a communications officer, I operated for several years is Opelika's 800mhz Motorola Type II SmartZone, my stepfather was the department's Captain of Special Services, along with being the Commander of the Lee County Area SWAT, snipers and hostage negotiators, he maintained Opelika's Motorola Type II SmartZone System, he executed maintenance contracts, oversaw the day to day operation of and authorized specifically repairs not covered in the very expensive maintenance contract. He was involved in the initial bidding, engineering, licensing and construction including a $12 million tower, just the land, equipment housing buildings, and the tower it's self not including the trunking base, feelings, and antennas, one of which had two feet burned off of it by a lightning strike, reducing coverage by 20 miles and the $85K to replace that antenna with feedlines not covered by the maintenance contract.

I am running off my memory and the memory of my source who was on the Alabama 700 MHz Public Safety Planning Committee from it's inception around 1999 through 2007 when he left the committee, I am a former member of the Alabama chapter of APCO and attended their conferences every year from 2005-2010 at Perdido Key.

I am making an attempt to have encryption removed from at least Auburn's police and fire dispatch TGs. I have spent the past two days preparing my approach and talking to my sources for information. I am providing information regarding the equipment that the tax-dollars of every citizen living and shopping inside of Auburn's City Limits paid for.

Another member of this forum has been very helpful in his communications through private messages on this site and through my personal email and phone.

You may feel that what I am trying to do is hopeless and undertaking this is a fool's errand, last April in my allotted 5 minutes I gave enough information and made certain points that the Auburn City Council voted to table and remove the item of the purchase of the $1.2 million in equipment and installation from that meeting's agenda. I was unfortunately hospitalized during the next meeting when all of my points were countered by misinformation and in at least two cases lies to the council.

One of the council members is the retired Auburn Chief of Police Tommy Dawson. He and my stepfather worked very closely during their years of service at their respective departments and Chief Dawson knows me, he offered me a job with the Auburn Department of Public Safety as a Public Safety Officer and evidence technician, at the time of his job offer I had taken a job with Opelika Police Department as a Communications Officer the day before.

I spent 15 years in public safety and I have provided fire protection for a sitting President of the United States and a sitting First Lady of the United States, as a journalist I have been granted access into the current President of the United States Press Pool to cover his victory rally in Mobile, AL in December 2016 and his March 2019 visit to Lee County after an EF-4 tornado touched down in my stepfather's back yard, sucking the door from his hand, traversing into Lee County taking 23 lives of the small Beauregard community outside Auburn and Opelika.
 

medic9351301

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I never called you a liar sir. I am sorry if you took it like that. I said lies . Yes I think you are wasting your time . The main reason why they went encrypted was to keep people from hearing them. As for the radios they got screwed.
 

EastAlabamaNews

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My uncle Winfred Quinton works for the Opelika Fire Department as captain for 36 years. Do you know him? My mom is the youngest sister of Winfred.
I left OPD in 2010, I know now Chief Byron Prather, former Chief Terry Adkins, I knew Paramedic Charlotte Patterson, Capt. Cooper and I forget her name but at the old Station 1, an older lady working as Chief Adkins admin assistant went to Opelika HS with my father. I knew a lot of the guys by sight back then. I rode shotgun in then the command vehicle, 308, on some of my off days a Chevy Tahoe, like a 2002-2004 Tahoe. I remember OFD getting the then-new Chevrolet Kodiak rescue trucks, 311 & 312 I think were their call signs I see OFD has a Dodge truck with a rescue body at the new Station 1 and one of the Chevrolet rescue trucks is at Station 2 beside EAMC on Pepperell. I don't know where the third rescue truck is at, maybe Station 4 off Lafayette PKWY between Southern Union and OHS, I think it is in reserve status.

When I was at OPD, Station 2 housed a frontline engine and one of the old trucks, I can't remember if it was a Maxim but it had two Federal Beacon Ray either 176 4 bulbs red/clear with a clear dome or two clear dome Federal Beacon Ray 175 "Hill" 3 bulbs with 2 reds and 1 clear at an angle on top. I owned an ex-Montgomery Fire Department 1957 open cab 800 Series American-LaFrance that was donated to Pike Road VFD in the 80s. PRVFD put a fiberglass top on it and took the pole-mounted Federal Model 175 "hill" light and "jerry-rigged" it on the white fiberglass top and it had a pedestal mounted Sireno Model 20 sirenlite on the driver's side and at one time an ALF eagle-top chrome bell on the officer's side, it was long gone when I bought the truck in 2003. I paid $500 for the truck and drove it around Notasulga for a couple of years, I got the pump working and replaced all the 1/4" copper gauge lines that had frozen and busted. It's twin sister sat in front of McGough

MFD repowered it with a 6V71 Detroit in the mid-70s and Pike Road took out the ALF oak hose bed and built a 500-gallon tank out of 1/4 inch plate steel with a couple 4" cast iron pipes plumbed into the stock ALF 300 gallon tank and built a small hose bed on top of that heavy plate steel tank. It put a heavy strain on the rear end, it rained very hard one winter day and I got it stuck in my back yard, my uncle pulled it out with his big John Deere tractor but the rear differential shattered.

I dug spider gears out in pieces by the hand full. I couldn't locate another rear end so I sold it to a local farmer who pulled the engine and pump out and fabricated an irrigation system for his crops using the hard suction intake and plumbing off the discharges reduced down watered his entire farm out of his pond.
 

EastAlabamaNews

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I never called you a liar sir. I am sorry if you took it like that. I said lies . Yes I think you are wasting your time . The main reason why they went encrypted was to keep people from hearing them. As for the radios they got screwed.
I apologize, I over-reacted, it just seemed derogatory to me at the time. I am running a 102.8-degree fever down slightly from this AM and my left leg is swollen to double the size of the right distal from the knee, the lateral compartment is very painful 8/10, the medial compartment not so much the entire anterior surface of the knee is very red and very warm to the touch, my whole knee looks like a small cantaloupe and I am in serious pain, my knee is infected, most of the bursa are irritated, swollen, and painful especially the prepatellar bursa. I'm sure there is a lot of pus or blood in the synovial fluid. I have had septic arthritis in both knees several times and it is about one of the most painful conditions I've ever had. I rather pass a kidney stone or dislocate my shoulder repeatedly.

Based on some conversations I had today, the removal of encryption on dispatch only is a possibility. Having some strong family connections to a few key individuals has produced some talks this afternoon I liked. I regret I will have to miss the council meeting tomorrow night but my letters did make a few people think. My health is more important than this radio system and it comes first. I am no stranger to septic arthritis and I will have plenty of downtime to research, write, and call some key people.
 

chill30240

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I wish you all the luck in the world but if the chiefs of those departments want the communications to encrypted then they will most likely be encrypted. The city council hired or appointed those individuals to run their respective departments and it is unlikely they will overrule their decision to encrypt just so the public can keep up with them. Don't get me wrong I don't like it either. I remember when OPD came off the county 154.740 repeater in the the late 80's and got their own frequencies. Their dispatch channel was encrypted or scrambled. Two officers worked at TeleCable with me at the time part time and they didn't like it either. They went in the clear when trunking came along. It seems to be a coin toss as to what these departments do when they come off their old VHF/UHF systems and go to P25.
 
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