City of Regina Radio System

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colby4601

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The City of Regina TRS is currently in failsoft. This means that Dispatchers for 36, 46 and 50 are using a combination of portables and mobiles to communicate with units on the street.

With the system in failsoft, Regina Police Service is operating on their backup talkgroups. This means we can hear them.

Tune into this feed: Regina Fire Department and Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region EMS Live Scanner Audio Feed To listen to Fire, EMS and Police.

It is unknown how long the system will remain in failsoft. This is an intentional failsoft caused by the radio techs.

RPS traffic can be identified with the use of callsign "46" and numbers 1-350. 46 is RPS dispatch and numbers 1-350 are the car numbers.
 

mikewazowski

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Are you sure it's in failsoft or are the consoles down?

IIRC, it's a Motorola system.

Failsoft means the system controller has died and the sites are acting as standalone repeaters. Talkgroup operation is not available when the system is in failsoft. If the system is in failsoft, the repeaters are constantly keyed and a beep is heard every minute.

Depending on what talkgroup the unit is sitting on, a repeater will be assigned. Since there's more talkgroups on the system then repeaters, several groups tend to occupy the same repeater. Generally the public safety groups will be assigned a repeater all to themselves while groups such as works will share a repeater.

If talkgroups are still being used, then the system isn't in failsoft. It could just be the link to the consoles are down so the dispatchers use backup radios.
 

colby4601

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You're correct, Mike. I should have been awake when I typed that. Consoles are down.
 

colby4601

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For some reason the rest of my post didn't go through. When they do the weekly backup radio tests, they put the system into failsoft. Confused myself for a moment.
 

RBerezowski

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The Regina City Police trunked system is right now running on the backup system. The system is NOT in Failsoft.

The Regina Police actually have two trunked systems, almost identical, in different buildings. The main system is the digital capable system at the main site at the twin towers (west tower). The consoles on the system are hardwired into the main system.

The backup system is a 9 channel trunked system located at the Regina Inn. The backup trunked controller software has identical programming (same system id, same talkgroups, same radio ids, etc.) as the main system. The backup system is not equipped for digital operation however, only analog. So even though the digital talkgroups are there, no digital radio calls are allowed. The digital radios get a reject tone if they try transmitting digital. The backup system has no phone interconnect either, so "no phone calls allowed." Because the dispatch consoles are hardwired into the main system, they do not operate while on the backup system. Police, Fire, and EMS dispatchers are using backup radios right now, either handheld portable radios or mobile radios bolted to their desks.

When RPS switches to the backup system, the system briefly goes into failsoft. That's when all of the repeaters come up in conventional mode, and stay up, and you get the soft tone every 10 seconds. The users talk in conventional mode on their assigned failsoft repeater. If I recall, Fire radios move automatically to repeater 1 in failsoft, EMS ends up on repeater 2, etc. Normally you only hear failsoft when the trunked system has failed. However, when switching to the backup system the main system has to be turned down and forced into failsoft prior to turning up the backup system. If the technicians are quick, failsoft usually only lasts a minute or two.

As heard over the air, the trunked system is being upgraded. I suspect it is a software upgrade, and perhaps a hardware upgrade as well. This upgrade is supposed to take "a couple of days". That seems like a long time for software, so they must be doing some hardware work as well. No idea when they will be able to move back to the main system. I suspect later today (Tuesday), or perhaps Wednesday. Just a guess though.

So, as I said, right now we're on the backup system in Regina. You may notice weaker signals from the backup radio site. Since there is no digital, RPS have to operate on backup analog talkgroups. No digital means no encryption, so RPS can be scanned while on backup. Enjoy.

Rob
Regina, Sask.
 
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Jay911

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Rob, how do they run the main and the backup concurrently with the same sysid? Is the backup using a different site value that's not used in the main system? If not, do they somehow have a trigger where it comes up when the main system fails over?
 

RBerezowski

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Rob, how do they run the main and the backup concurrently with the same sysid? Is the backup using a different site value that's not used in the main system? If not, do they somehow have a trigger where it comes up when the main system fails over?
I don't know all of the details, but they are in different buildings. These are both single site systems, so there is no site value or site number, just the system id. I suspect the backup trunked system controller is running all the time, but with all of the backup site transceivers disabled. If the main system fails (and yes, it does occasionally), the main system is manually disabled, and then the backup system transceivers are remotely activated.

Rob
 

colby4601

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The backup system is having some trouble tonight. It's cutting in and out every 10-15 minutes or so for anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Fire had to hold off on dispatching a Red 2 and EMS a Car vs. Ped.
 

colby4601

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That's for sure. While "10-10" means "Negative" for RCMP, it means "Emergency! Send Help!" for EMS and RPS. Huge range of meanings.
 

RBerezowski

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Just out of curiosity, what is a "Red 2"? Is that a call type?
Just to add to what Colby said, a Red 2 is an unconfirmed structure fire, and 2 pumpers are sent. Red 2's are usually fire alarm monitoring calls.

A Red 1 is a non-structure fire, usually a garbage or vehicle fire, and gets 1 pumper.

A Red 3 is a confirmed structure fire (unoccupied, usually a garage fire), and gets 3 pumpers.

A Code Red 4 is a confirmed structure fire (residential or business), and usually gets 4 pumpers, an aerial unit, and the assistant chief.

Rob
 

RBerezowski

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The backup system is having some trouble tonight. It's cutting in and out every 10-15 minutes or so for anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Fire had to hold off on dispatching a Red 2 and EMS a Car vs. Ped.
Yes, I noticed that too. The radio shop technicians were working on the system well into the evening last night. They were switching back and forth between the main and backup systems. When I got home, they were actually on the main system, although RPS were still on the analog talkgroups, and the dispatchers were still using backup radios. The consoles were likely not working, or they were told not to use the consoles.

They switched back and forth between the main and backup systems at least once that I heard. From my location I can tell by signal strength alone which system they are on. As well, the system went into failsoft a couple of times during the switching, and I did notice the trunked system controller software on one of the systems (not sure which one) was restarted.

Overnight the system was left on the backup. We'll see what happens Wednesday. Let's hope we don't have any more dispatch delays for emergency calls.

Rob
 

richster

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These are my observations on this.

The techs appear to be doing some sort of system upgrade. In the past couple of days, I have noticed the [SS2] value change from 5800 to 4AC0 then back again. Yesterday they seemed to be trying this "secure call" feature and without success, so they changed back to the 5800.

This morning they switched back to 4AC0, and are no longer getting "secure call rejections" like they were yesterday. I think I logged a few hundred rejections yesterday.

At 1PM they were systematically one by one disabling and then reabling the TIB's.

Regards,
Richster.
 

richster

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That's for sure. While "10-10" means "Negative" for RCMP, it means "Emergency! Send Help!" for EMS and RPS. Huge range of meanings.
10-10 is an emergency panic button on all RPS radios. When one is pressed, the dispatcher will confirm their 10-10 by acknowlodging it. The person in 10-10 status will then give out their location so someone can verify their wellbeing. The dispactcher will then clear the 10-10.

EMS and RFD have this feature as well.

Regards,
Richster.
 

RBerezowski

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These are my observations on this.

The techs appear to be doing some sort of system upgrade. In the past couple of days, I have noticed the [SS2] value change from 5800 to 4AC0 then back again. Yesterday they seemed to be trying this "secure call" feature and without success, so they changed back to the 5800.

This morning they switched back to 4AC0, and are no longer getting "secure call rejections" like they were yesterday. I think I logged a few hundred rejections yesterday.

At 1PM they were systematically one by one disabling and then reabling the TIB's.

Regards,
Richster.
The system status 2 (SS2) is one way you can tell if they are on the main or backup system. This status byte has encoded bits to identify features and configuration of the trunked system. Because the backup system is not set up for digital, and has no phone interconnect, the SS2 value is different between the main and backup systems. I believe, based on your posting, that 4AC0 is the SS2 value for the main system, and 5800 is the SS2 value for the backup system.

The "secure call rejections" merely mean a radio tried to make a digitally encrypted call on one of the police talkgroups, while operating on the backup system. The backup system doesn't have any digital capability, so the call attempt was rejected. Some of the rejections may have been police officers forgetting that they are supposed to be using the backup analog talkgroups, and trying to call on the digital talkgroups. The rejections could also be some sort of testing by the technicians.

Once this all settles down we may be able to tell what was upgraded on the system(s). I doubt they would be doing a lot to the backup system since they are planning a large scale system replacement in 2013. Also, how much time and money would they spend on this system when a new system is only 3 years away?

Rob
 

colby4601

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Some of the time I will hear RPS being talked over by EMS and FIRE by RPS and vice versa.
 
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