DPS has 800 radios in places like Denton Co but they all have their VHF radios as well. Considering the entire state just went P-25 VHF with new radios, repeaters etc I would think it highly unlikely they would switch to 800.
Recently I noticed a couple DPS cars in Mineral Wells with new ~3 inch long 1/4 wave antennas.
I couldn't tell if it was cut for 700, 800 or 900 MHz. There are no new antennas on their tower here.
Thats all I know. Here is what I think is possible:
It was a car from another area where they already use somebody else's trunked system.
They might be dumping AT&T and going to something else for the computers.
It might be just for the 700/800 MHz interop channels with no infrastructure.
If they are building a new system it is more likely going to be on 700 MHz instead of 800. There were some long term strategic planning documents that mentioned eventually building a statewide 700 MHz system but I don't think they have the money for it. They have had a 700 MHz state license since 2001.
I checked today and there are no new FCC applications, but if they are doing it on 700 MHz state license frequencies there would not be any new licenses or applications.
They're already all over TxWARN. GATTRS and numerous County TRS's. Moving to 800 is as simple as putting down one microphone and picking up the other. I don't see them covering all of west Texas with 700/800 MHz in the short term. They finally got all their VHF P25 sites working pretty good. I see two or three radios in the car for some time. I could see them adding the 700/800 Interop channels as ND5Y said. East of I35 that's as easy as adding the channels to their existing 800 MHz radios. West of I35 that means an additional radio. (I35 corridor as a general dividing line - not a hard boundary).
GATTRS has several dedicated DPS system wide talkgroups in central Texas. They should do the same thing on TxWARN. Then link them with ISSI.
With interconnected regional systems on the rise any trooper in any car should be to contact any other trooper or base from anywhere in Texas any time simply by calling on the appropriate radio channel/talkgroup. The technology is already there.
The interoperability thing is something I had considered.
Here is what else I know and why I asked. My dad who is a trooper went to pick up his new tahoe the other day. When he was at the radio shop having his radio programmed he noticed the new 3rd antenna and asked the radio tech about it. His response was "we have those preinstalled for when we switch to 800Mhz, so all you will have to do is come in and have the new radio installed." That is all my dad knew. I know DPS had considered the switch in the past but having to cover Texas with repeaters was way to costly. That's why I was really surprised to hear that now. This also had me wondering if they were not going to go to a new radio like the Motorola APX 7500. That way they would have their VHF system and 700 or 800 for interoperability.
Anyway, I am really curious to see what comes of this.
All the planning documents indicate that Texas DPS will have access to 700/800 MHz P25 trunking systems in the major metro areas. In the past those documents indicated (or leaned towards) this being a state owned/run system. Lately it seems as if the documents are indicating DPS will be joining the large 700/800MHz P25 TRSs that are starting to populate in the larger metro areas (this would make more sense at this time). As Russell said, this would make more economical sense, since the systems can be connected already. I don't think we'll see a statewide TRS come up any time in the near future (5+ years). DPS already has the cooperation of all the large trunking systems in the state and could easily hop on those if the need arises.
I remember when San Antonio was on the old motorola analog system years ago that DPS would monitor the PD traffic channel and help out the city as needed, I am sure they are the same here now with the new provoice system
DPS purchases communications equipment in 10-year cycles. In 1995 they went from Syntor X9000 mobiles to Astro Spectras, and in 2005 they went from those to XTL5000s re-using the Astro Spectra W9 heads and DEK/siren gear. The installation of MDTs was kind of an exception to this and was probably funded through some other non-standard channel. So unless someone ponies up money through a grant any system-wide switch is unlikely to occur before 2015.
i think dps has the ability to patch their vhf repeaters because if you listen to the dispatch channel in conroe you will hear the same dispatcher at the same time on the houston channel i noticed that this past spring because i remember they were suppose to close some dispatch centers around the state and i think conroe was one of them but they do have channels on both TxWARN systems i just havent heard a peep on them though
Not to mention the State of Texas is putting APX-7000 and the NEW APX-7500's in all the THP cars and on THP officers hips. Sure its an expensive radio but with all the systems (in addition to their own VHF) the APX is the smart way to go. Additionally, TXDPS cars are soon to be outfitted with in car repeaters (this coming from a DPS trooper with a Communications background) AND as mentioned DPS have 800 Incident management & 800 Mutual aid access already.
I asked this question to a THP PCO and what I found out is the antenna that looks just like an antennex phantom is for the in car computer (external antenna for the aircard). I being a storm chaser have an 11db gain antenna for the cellphone and will be getting a signal booster/amp to get a bit better signal in the hinter lands. I have been on some backroads to the west of the area towards Abilene and loose all cell coverage. Not good when a supercell is bearing down ...
Anyway back on topic: It make sense to have one of the new multiband radios in the car to have access to most everyone in the troopers area.
I have heard DPS on the Walker CO P25 site, but still communicate with Houston dispatch using that linked repeater in Huntsville. I also hear DPS units on the Conroe EDACS Conroe PD talkgroup. So they are definitely monitoring multiple systems around here.
i read what you guys were talking about texas state troopers on 800mhz! well im sitting here now listening to dps in tyler on 800mhz and i have the book with the state troopers callsigns in it. and i heard the dps dispatch call kk14 14 which is dps in tyler tx. i can hear the troopers and troopers dispatch. they digital in 800mhz. im listening to them on my radio shack pro-197 digital scanner. and im in waco tx listening to dps in tyler tx on 800 mhz.
While you are hearing them on 800 MHz per se, that's usually because they are patched to the local trunking system (from their typical P25 VHF frequencies), which is what I imagine the case is with the TxWARN system, as it is with the GATRRS and other P25 trunking systems. That's not to say they don't also have another radio in their car to respond to the TxWARN side (besides their VHF radio, which they all have). It is known that with most of the large trunking systems, at least a few of the troopers in the area have an extra radio to access that system (so you can see they may very well be responding on 800 MHz).
I think the OP was looking for information about the rumored statewide system (which I believe was a fleeting dream) which was supposedly 800 MHz.
No statewide or regional DPS only system beyond P25 VHF system currently in place. That is word from about as high as you can get. They spent a ton of money on upgrading from the old analog system, and that is only a small fraction of what a 700 MHz statewide system would cost. Just so everybody knows, DPS currently has access to ALL of the local or regional systems in place, minus the non-standard little ones out there like MPT1327 or LTR/Passport/TRBO. That includes, but is not limited to:
TxWARN Analog and P25
Greater Austin/Middle Rio Grande
Permian Basin/Midland EDACS
Montgomery Co. HD EDACS
San Antonio/Bexar Co.
In areas where those systems are active, the DPS troopers will have an applicable radio installed in their vehicle, and may or may not have a handheld. The APX units are great for this because they are dual band out of the box and seamlessly switch from VHF to 700/800.
The Parker County troopers had 800 MHz LTR radios. I heard them occasionally up until about a year ago. I don't know if they still have them and so far I haven't heard them on the Parker County VHF P25 system either.