Cincinnati Radio problems

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fyrfyter33

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That makes zero sense. The city and county systems are separate. They always have been. The only thing that was ever shared was the towers across the city and the county for best signal coverage.

Since the county system works and it sounds like the city doesn't, the question in my mind is, what did they do differently from the county, to make the city system so unstable & problematic?

I'm a user on the new county system & it works fine, just like the old one did.


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swatpup102

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Saw this today, I have noticed an uptick in "repeat that" or officers stating license plate info multiple times on the CPD channels, figured they were still working out some kinks. I hope they get it figured out, it's to their benefit to stay on the MARCS-IP system to have interop capability with the rest of the state.
 

fyrfyter33

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They're not going to leave. From what I've learned this morning, it sounds like a differing of opinions on how to address the issues and how much time that will take.


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Matthew

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Like fyrfyter33 I too am a user of the system but I am on both the city and county sites.

The problem I think lies mainly with the new APX radios they're using. I use an XTS5000 and I cannot understand most of the people that use the APX radios ... this includes members of my own department. I have noticed a distinct difference in audio quality between the two radios.

I've talked to some of the county dispatchers and they too have trouble understanding the users who are using the APX radios. To be fair though not all APX radios are hard to understand ... just a majority of them. So maybe it's a problem with the settings in the radio.
 

wa8pyr

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Like fyrfyter33 I too am a user of the system but I am on both the city and county sites.

The problem I think lies mainly with the new APX radios they're using. I use an XTS5000 and I cannot understand most of the people that use the APX radios ... this includes members of my own department. I have noticed a distinct difference in audio quality between the two radios.

I've talked to some of the county dispatchers and they too have trouble understanding the users who are using the APX radios. To be fair though not all APX radios are hard to understand ... just a majority of them. So maybe it's a problem with the settings in the radio.
A lot has to do with AGC settings and how they're used. If they're not using AGC on the portables it can cause issues.

Site roaming preferences can also have a bearing; if a radio is set to prefer a certain site but the site can't hear it too well, the radio needs to switch sites. Problem is, roaming preferences weight the roaming process more in favor of the preferred site, and if the new site isn't X amount better than the current site, it won't roam (even if the site can't hear the radio that well).

I've been turning site preference off in portables and letting radios roam where they may, and it seems to work better.
 

KD8CHP

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WA8PYR is dead on. From talking to someone close to the situation it is a programming problem.
 

fyrfyter33

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No surprise there. It just sounds like CPD is frustrated & impatient. Fixes don't happen overnight & as we all know, one change in one part may mess up another part, so I am sure the changes to fix it are being done incrementally.
 

fyrfyter33

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Here's the reality of it. The radio has an algorithm in it for cutting background noise. This tries to determine what the background noise is and cuts it.

The problem is, when PD gets excited and their voice gets louder or goes up an octave or two, the radio detects it at background noise and cuts it.

The reality is, the radio was designed this way. Many local firefighters use the exact same radio as do other local police departments and none are reporting these issues with the frequency CPD does.
 

Nasby

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Those transmissions were pretty crappy for a so-called state of the art radio system and a 5k radio.

So the radio designers never thought that a cop or fireman's voice would go up an octave or two during a life or death incident????

Some real geniuses there.
 

fyrfyter33

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Those transmissions were pretty crappy for a so-called state of the art radio system and a 5k radio.



So the radio designers never thought that a cop or fireman's voice would go up an octave or two during a life or death incident????



Some real geniuses there.


It should speak volumes that the FD side isn't complaining.

Maybe the PD should take lessons from the FD?
 

wa8pyr

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Those transmissions were pretty crappy for a so-called state of the art radio system and a 5k radio.

So the radio designers never thought that a cop or fireman's voice would go up an octave or two during a life or death incident????

Some real geniuses there.

It should speak volumes that the FD side isn't complaining.

Maybe the PD should take lessons from the FD?
Hardly fair to lay the blame on the radio designers. Thousands of the same model radio are being used very successfully elsewhere (including here in Columbus) with nothing like the kind of problems Cincinnati PD is reporting. And as fyrfyter33 noted, Cincinnati FD is using the same tower site but not experiencing the same problems; if anyone were to have a problem, a firefighter crawling in a building would be more likely to be affected than a police officer out in the open.

On the system I manage, if only a single agency is experiencing problems, 99.9% of the time the problem is traced back to something wrong with that agency's radios.

The issue is most likely programming, or lack of alignment, or using those damn dinky antennas, or user error. . . or (very possibly) a combination of these.
 

radioscan

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Does anyone know if they teach use of the radio during Academy training or ocassional refresher courses? I assume they would, and if not, should. I cannot count the times where I seen or heard someone talking as loud as they can into the mic thinking they'll be heard better on the other end.
 

Nasby

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The inexcusable issue is that its been going on for more than half a year!

Lots of critical incidents and chances for someone to get hurt during that time and lots of obvious radio failures as evidenced by the video footage.

Whether its an AGC issue, programming error, poor system design, etc.
the issues should have been resolved or the radios fully tested before the radio desk jockeys dished them out to folks who put their lives on the line.
 

fyrfyter33

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The inexcusable issue is that its been going on for more than half a year!



Lots of critical incidents and chances for someone to get hurt during that time and lots of obvious radio failures as evidenced by the video footage.



Whether its an AGC issue, programming error, poor system design, etc.

the issues should have been resolved or the radios fully tested before the radio desk jockeys dished them out to folks who put their lives on the line.


Ultimately, I think someone opted for some option that sounded great on paper, but FD turned down for whatever reason.

It is the only explanation as to why one department has all these quirks about their side and the other department doesn't have any issues.
 

lone77wulf

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I think there's a LOT of user error going on with this, probably in the field and in the center. I use the CPD system at work, with both APX and XTS in multiple sites within the county. The only issue we've had is when some of our officers are near a county tower, the radios hunt for a city tower, even if it has worse coverage. Motorola is already changing our roaming profile, so once they get done with CPD, we'll get that loaded.

The big issue I hear from CPD officers is that they get busy signals a lot, which is not a flaw, its the simple fact that exists in radio. In heated situations, this means that as every officer wants to talk, and only one can. There's a little change in how this works when the console is transmitting, in the past a portable could talk over the console (only the dispatcher would hear though), but the new system doesn't do this, I don't think its a limitation, but a choice someone made. There's also a change to the CPD dispatcher's emergency activation tones, as these come over every headset in the center, and they can't hear anything else over that. Again, a choice someone made.

The only real difference we've seen with the switch over is that the APX noise canceling starts out super loud if someone yells into the mic, and then quiets a little. All still clear, just a difference in volume.

I've seen a lot of officers cup their mics when using them, and from talking with the Motorola people, this can cause the noise canceling to go nuts. I do know that we have officers that use a different mic than the PSM that was supplied, and their audio sounds WORSE than the Mototrola one, They're using motorcycle helmet systems without noise canceling, from Setcom, not a knock off.

When the city went to the XTS5000s there was training for everyone, I can't remember if it was 1 or 2 hours, but it went over literally every function of the radio. This didn't happen with the APX switch and I think it would have made a huge difference in the complaints.
 

jimyhatt

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I appreciate all the insight in this thread. Our county is making the move to the APX radios and so far folks seem to like them. Interesting watching this develop.
 

n8dhw

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Ultimately, I think someone opted for some option that sounded great on paper, but FD turned down for whatever reason.

It is the only explanation as to why one department has all these quirks about their side and the other department doesn't have any issues.


CFD had similar issues with there APX radios when they first got them. But after several months of testing different audio settings with firefighters, Motorola, and Mobilcomm techs they finally found audio settings that were acceptable or on par with there previous 5000's.


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