Yea, the "acting" city manager won't even be here when the new system goes online. The city seems more concerned about closing Millwood Ave and squeezing another stadium into the park. Plus other factors include a limited budget for the system and the 2013 deadline. They have been talking about it for 18 months now. The second set of frequencies was just approved last week. (The first set was retracted before it went to license.)
I glanced thru document a few weeks ago, sounds like they won't encrypt everything. And a few talk around channels, along w/ the buses and public works will remain on VHF. Fire channel 1 moves, and will be repeated on VHF upon the move.
I thought they were asked by Frederick Co. if they wanted to join in on their new system (whenever that's gonna happen) and said no? That would have been the best and smartest move (at least that's my thought).
County is not going to be a part of the new system. When asked, they were already in the process of rebuilding the fire radio systems. Frederick County said they would need "many" new towers. (Winchester's new system will only have 1 transmitter tower, on the water tower on Jefferson St. It will also have relays according to the proposal). Another thing Frederick County had insisted on was to their dispatch center, which is bigger. That would have left the Timbrook Public Safety Building unstaffed at times outside business hours.
I agree that the county should have joined. I see that the current 2 fireground channels will be used for mutual aid patches. (There is VHF frequency info about half way into the document.)
One standard of radio platform. No mix match between models and types where accessories and batteries bury the city's small budget for those dependencies when they do need to be replaced.
Trunking in that town is way too much and will inhibit the local interoperability that takes place everyday for the surrounding agencies. Managing keys and talkgroups gets out of hand very quickly and does not support an interoperability lifestyle.
Being digital is fine if they would like to operate encryption for police. DO NOT move from VHF
All current worth while manufacturers offer infrastructure with the ability to do both analog conventional and digital in the same station or receiver without pricy upgrading or firmware changes leaving the ability to move to digital when others do, so there is a common platform for both fire and police should the need arise.
Keeping this simple is how the area has been able to communicate to this day. The current gear is old and can stand to be replaced.
The HT1250's have served them well and will continue to do so until the new equipment is installed.
Heck if the people know what they are doing while pulling this off the 1250's can continue to be used while on the new system ! ! !
Please note, they should be replaced. . . . End of life on parts is not easy to get around
Hopefully there will be a chance for VHF frequencies that will allow for additional seperation from the current pairs which will allow for a cleaner RF enviroment on the hill.
In addition to the Jefferson street water tank site there should be at least 5 other receiver sites and at least 1 additional simulcast transmit site located in town for each of the channels used.
Bring that back to Timbrook over microwave and that city will be set with inbuilding, on street and around the area coverage compliant with radios owned by frederick county, clarke, warren, and will be compatible with patching for Jefferson and Berkeley counties.
To top it off, if the city maintains its VHF status there will be in band interoperability with Virginia State should a P25 trunking capable radio i.e. the XTS2500 or similar be selected for a handheld user.
The city already has 2 towers in use (Jefferson St water tank and downtown at the Timbrook PS building. ) I was surprised to see only 1 transmit tower location listed on the license, but I suppose as the system develops additional sites would be added. I know that both fire & police have complained on how poor the current system work on the south side of the city, especially inside box stores & factories.
Since the FD mutual aid is primary to Frederick County, which operates on VHF, I would imagine that would need to be maintained. The other locations they may respond on occasion (Clarke & Warren) also operate on VHF. And officers from Frederick County & the state police may listen to Winchester PD on their own radios, so I wonder if their will be a simulcast on VHF?