Capabilities vs actual in-use operation

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Jay911

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It was suggested that I bring this up to the DB administration level, so here it is.

I've been vocal about the practice of describing P25 systems with strictly the capability of (but not put into practice) operating as Phase II systems, as Phase II in the database, for some time now. It's like calling a channel encrypted even though it's not using encryption, but solely because the radios using the channel are capable of operating in encrypted mode.

Every Motorola (WACN BEE0x) P25 system that I have encountered across the continent as of late (post-P2 rollout) has had bandplan tables that make it capable of Phase 2 operation. One such example (the one I most recently discussed this about) is the Washington State Patrol Trunking System, Various, Washington - Scanner Frequencies system. It has a bandplan setting as follows:



...but only uses bandplan 01 (700 MHz, single slot (aka FDMA/Phase I), as indicated below (sites with RFSS 002; this system is using the same core as DoJ IWN):



I have been advised by a senior DB admin that recent changes to software packages have meant that this system, which was being "skipped" because of its P2 status in the DB, is no longer omitted. I see in the HP1 Sentinel software that that's true (though not for this system because it doesn't have talkgroups; but other P2 systems are now being included).

So my original point (the systems are being omitted from various downloads because they are incorrectly branded as P2 systems in the RRDB) may be moot. However, there's still the question of the disclaimer put on the DB page for P2 systems, and the description of said systems in downloads. They're not really P2 systems, so in my mind, they shouldn't be identified as such. The end user certainly could get confused by the declaration that it's a P2 system, when he/she can't locate any P2 transmissions.

Here's my question for the primary DB administrator.

If it's not right to identify a channel as encrypted when it's capable of but not using encryption (not including mixed-mode operations);
and it's not right to identify a channel as digital when it's capable of but not using digital modulation (I know of many repeaters in my local area that are NXDN DMR being used in analog mode);
why is it right to identify a P25 system as P2 when it is broadcasting everything except one unused bandplan identifier in P1 mode?
 

mikewazowski

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I have been advised by a senior DB admin that recent changes to software packages have meant that this system, which was being "skipped" because of its P2 status in the DB, is no longer omitted.
Not quite. I was specifically referring to HomePatrol Sentinel. I have no knowledge of how other software packages handle P2 systems.

HomePatrol Sentinel has always included P2 systems. However, it wouldn't download any talkgroups specifically marked as TDMA. Because these talkgroups can be dynamic, it didn't make sense to exclude them. UPMan made some changes to the download process and talkgroups marked as TDMA are now downloadable.
 

Jay911

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After we exchanged emails in the WA forum, it occurred to me that the only other one I had issues with in the past was the PSR-800 EZ-Scan Digital software, and obviously it does download those types of systems now.

The point remains, I feel RR shouldn't be identifying systems that are not using P2 features as being P2 systems.
 

jamesa53

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I have this exact same issue with the failure of my Pro-18 to import the IL Starcom 21 P25 system. Let's not exclude P25 systems that are 99% Phase I. Just block the Phase II talk groups.
 

mikewazowski

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I have this exact same issue with the failure of my Pro-18 to import the IL Starcom 21 P25 system. Let's not exclude P25 systems that are 99% Phase I. Just block the Phase II talk groups.

Keep in mind that Phase II talkgroups can be dynamically assigned.

That's the problem I was running into.

The talkgroups labelled as TDMA were not being downloaded to my HomePatrol despite the fact that sometimes, they would operate in FDMA mode.

If you exclude all TDMA talkgroups as you suggest, you're not going to hear these talkgroups.
 

jamesa53

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Agreed. The issue is I cannot import any part of the system. Why not allow it to be imported and if the talk groups go TDMA, you just won't hear them on non-Phase II capable scanners, in my area in downstate IL, a non Phase II scanner works fine.
 
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