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EDACS Love?

gcopter1

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Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
796
Location
Winter Park, Florida
Moderators , please feel free to move this post to an appropriate forum.

Ok, so, I did not know where else to post this.

2 years ago, I moved to Orange County Florida from Miami Dade County.

Back in Miami Dade, most LE was on P25, 800 Mhz simulcasted.

Once I bought the appropriate gear, I managed to listen in and the audio quality was ok, except for the occasional too loud or too low unintelligible audio.

When I first moved in to Miami Dade, back when it was known as Dade County, it was an EDACS system.

However, the audio, although analog, was nice and clear, unlike present day P25 where, voice inflection, etc., makes listening a chore.

Sure, modern day Uniden scanners, makes it a bit more bearable, it still makes me yearn for EDACS.

I see EDACS is falling out of favor, everyone is moving to the P25 standard.

Just what is it, that prompted this?

Where I live now, I can still monitor 2 EDACS systems in neighboring counties. Granted, I need a Yagi pointed their way, but, damn, I do get way more traffic than than my local P25 systems. And although, they may not sound "stereo like" in P25, they are way more intelligible (at least to me) than my local P25 systems.

Does of you that are still capable or have an EDACS system to listen to and compare, find the same ease of scanning or listening to?

I realize P25 came about as a standard for the nation to follow, bandwidths, interoperability, etc., but, was it really necessary?

I also realize in the scheme of things, a scanner enthusiast interests means nothing but, I am just curious, what prompted this departure from what was proven and good (IMO) to something...that needs so much tweaking to make it sound good or efficient?
 

alcahuete

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Antelope Acres, California
I see EDACS is falling out of favor, everyone is moving to the P25 standard.

Just what is it, that prompted this?
Why /\/\otorola, of course! They're in a lot of people's pockets, the government included. Sure, interoperability is part of it, but now, pretty much all federal grant money is tied to P25. If you want grant money, you go P25, otherwise you're on your own. Sad, but it is what it is.
 

gcopter1

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Messages
796
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Winter Park, Florida
It maybe discontinued, but, there's still jurisdictions using it. Here in Florida, I can tell you there's at least two counties I can monitor in EDACS.
 

jim202

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Mar 7, 2002
Messages
2,669
Location
New Orleans region
The real reason that EDACS is going away is for 2 reasons. One, it is no longer supported by Harris. The second reason is that if something breaks, you end up scrounging all around the country to find a replacement part. So your radio system can go belly up until a replacement part is found.
I sure would not like to be in the position of having a radio system that is on it's last legs and not have a fall back to use if it does go down. This is the main reason that users still using EDACS are basically on life support of the system now.

How would you like to be using a radio system in this position? Then consider that even if the agency can scrape up the big money for a new radio system, it is going to take about 1 to 2 years before the new system can be on the air. This is a long time to gamble on the people out in the field that rely on a working radio system every hour they are using it.

I live in a region that went through an upgrade to a new P25 system. It takes lots of planning, plenty of vendor coordination and space in the equipment shelter for the new radio racks. Don't forget new antennas on the tower and the coax to go with the new antennas. You need to have both systems on the air at the same time to do the swap over. So you also run into a frequency problems during the transition. You also need to have radios swapped out of the vehicles during the transition. You can't just do all the mobiles in one day for most agencies. Way too many vehicles to have out of service at the same time.

Then there is also the problem that the old radio towers may not be able to support the dual antenna load for a period of time. The tower specs have changed that will cause many of the older radio towers to be replaced. Along with the new base radios is the issue of how you get the data to run the equipment at each tower site. Many agencies are fed up with poor T1 data circuits from the phone companies. So they are moving to a microwave link to each tower. This places additional loading on the old towers that probably are already over their designed loading.

Bottom line here is it gets very complicated and expensive to migrate from an old EDACS system to a P25 system. Funding is just one of the many items that goes into the planning. Get involved with your local agency and support them in the rocky road to an upgraded radio system before the old one crashes at a bad time.
 

gcopter1

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Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
796
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Winter Park, Florida
jim202, yeah, no argument there from me.

I've been researching these EDACS systems in my area plus the comments I can find on the RR forums.
Read somewhere that, the agencies still using them, have plenty, as in PLENTY, spare parts and what have you, to keep what they have going and, it seems to be working out for them.

For how long?

Obviously until they can secure more funding for migration to P25 or, run out of parts.

At least one county I can see, Volusia, here on Florida, already has a P25 site partially running, my understanding is that it is serving the southernmost part of the county. As a matter of fact, the site isn't even located inside the county!

So, yeah, while EDACS is pretty much written off, I can still enjoy and admire the audio quality.

Sure, P25 sounds great, when it is implemented properly.

Me, as an external foreign listener, have some complaints about the audio. I do not enjoy the gear the users have, but even then, almost everyday, I can hear exchanges between dispatchers and road units, asking for a repeat because of background noise, distortion and or low volume.

Seems that the vocoders used aren't all that hot or, sys admins need more time to tweak things.
 

K2NEC

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Oct 23, 2017
Messages
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Funny thing is that they still make EDACS radios even though they no longer support EDACS itself.

PAPDNYNJ used EDACS for a while. Now they finally switched to P25 Phase II
 
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2,249
Hillsborough County, FL is still on EDACS. They've been "converting" to a P25 system for like 5 years now.
 

lwvmobile

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Apr 26, 2020
Messages
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Location
Lafayette County, FL
Yep. Pretty much all of the rural portions of North Florida and smaller (poorer) areas are all on EDACS, or still using analog. I do see quite a few NXDN48 voice channels though, but up here, the EDACS ESK SLERS system you can trunk track all day, but its virtually all encrypted, probably 99%. I'm beginning to think I imagined hearing Fire rescue on it...once, unencrypted.
 

K2NEC

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Oct 23, 2017
Messages
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Hillsborough County, FL is still on EDACS. They've been "converting" to a P25 system for like 5 years now.
Yes I think it's taking so long is because they had an issue with the Motorola contract. I forget the exact details but last minute they decided they didn't want to go to P25 or Motorola somehow screwed them (no surprise there)
 

merlin

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Jul 3, 2003
Messages
376
Location
South East Idaho
EDACS is being phased out which P25 is a part of. Betting some of this digital is also encrypted.
Half of the junk radios I get are out of Florida, the foundation for EDACS.
I may be wrong but the trend looks to be going to CDMA cellular dual band UHF and 700Mhz.
The P25 can be programed conventional, digital, or provoice. All depends who is administering the system.
 

GTR8000

NY/NJ Database Guy
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Oct 4, 2007
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BEE00
EDACS is being phased out which P25 is a part of.
P25 has nothing to do with EDACS; they are two completely separate and unrelated protocols.

I may be wrong but the trend looks to be going to CDMA cellular dual band UHF and 700Mhz.
I think you probably meant P25 TDMA on 700/800 MHz. The same type of system exists in the VHF and UHF bands, but the most recent trend is to build out on 700/800 in most areas, which is considered a single band for all intents and purposes.

The P25 can be programed conventional, digital, or provoice.
ProVoice has nothing to do with P25; it's an unrelated digital modulation used on some EDACS systems.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Dec 22, 2013
Messages
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I was tuning around yesterday and by chance picked up an unknown EDACS analog system here in Central Florida. They are still around.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Everything was discontinued in 2017 wasn't it?
I think you are getting confused by the FCC's VHF/UHF narrow banding mandate that had nothing to do with 800 MHz and was not a "digital mandate". No worries, because /\/\ helped spread a lot of disinformation on order to sell P25 systems.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Dec 22, 2013
Messages
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Funny thing is that they still make EDACS radios even though they no longer support EDACS itself.

PAPDNYNJ used EDACS for a while. Now they finally switched to P25 Phase II
There is money to be made selling proprietary replacement radios to those legacy system owners.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
4,306
(snip)

When I first moved in to Miami Dade, back when it was known as Dade County, it was an EDACS system.

However, the audio, although analog, was nice and clear, unlike present day P25 where, voice inflection, etc., makes listening a chore.

Sure, modern day Uniden scanners, makes it a bit more bearable, it still makes me yearn for EDACS.

I see EDACS is falling out of favor, everyone is moving to the P25 standard.

Just what is it, that prompted this?

Where I live now, I can still monitor 2 EDACS systems in neighboring counties. Granted, I need a Yagi pointed their way, but, damn, I do get way more traffic than than my local P25 systems. And although, they may not sound "stereo like" in P25, they are way more intelligible (at least to me) than my local P25 systems.

Does of you that are still capable or have an EDACS system to listen to and compare, find the same ease of scanning or listening to?

I realize P25 came about as a standard for the nation to follow, bandwidths, interoperability, etc., but, was it really necessary?

I also realize in the scheme of things, a scanner enthusiast interests means nothing but, I am just curious, what prompted this departure from what was proven and good (IMO) to something...that needs so much tweaking to make it sound good or efficient?
EDACS itself was a pretty good system and equal in capability to the other APCO 16 syytem /\/\ SmartNet. However, its Achilles heel, which was evident in Miami Dade was the 9600 baud 2 level FSK control channel. When used in a simulcast configuration you could not separate transmitter sites by more than 8 miles without a lot of tinkering with antenna patterns and reduced ERP. Simulcast Time Differential Interference would distort the data. It also made the ProVoice erratic, Miami Dade gave up on the ProVoice early on and some contractual concessions made with Ericcson . MDFD decided to stay put on UHF analog conventional. They did get the system working satisfactorily but P25 was a better solution because the simulcast is a linear form of 4 level CQPSK that allows the sites to be seperated further and/or less distortion with higher ERP.

Motorola also had their problems with Smartnet Simulcast, primarily because the early systems attempted to utilize analog FDM microwave MUX.

P25 is more amenable to simulcast due to advances in IP transport, GPS timing and digital voting. As great as it is, the audio quality is not what I would term "stereo" or HiFi! It is pretty awful in my opinion.
 
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