Ellsworth Police has gone Digital

Thorndike113

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Dec 10, 2014
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The booming metropolis of Ellsworth must need it. :D
Some company must have sold them a pretty sweet package of digital radio Koolaid. I just about fell out of my chair laughing when I saw they not only went digital, they went encrypted, and the digital, from what I could see is DMR!! Its not even compatible with state police. Always something to give me a good laugh in the radio world.
 

nhfirefighter

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Jun 2, 2007
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Some company must have sold them a pretty sweet package of digital radio Koolaid. I just about fell out of my chair laughing when I saw they not only went digital, they went encrypted, and the digital, from what I could see is DMR!! Its not even compatible with state police. Always something to give me a good laugh in the radio world.
Some radio shop seems to be selling Maine public safety users on DMR. Regardless of the benefits or disadvantages of DMR over P25 the standard for public safety is supposed to be P25. Who knows perhaps they are all buying Kenwood dual mode products just strange.
 

Thorndike113

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Some radio shop seems to be selling Maine public safety users on DMR. Regardless of the benefits or disadvantages of DMR over P25 the standard for public safety is supposed to be P25. Who knows perhaps they are all buying Kenwood dual mode products just strange.
Thats what I find really strange. When MSCommNet was built, it had the region net repeaters set up so the MSP could talk to stations not on the system. They went out of their way to make a patch so that they werent hidden away on a special system like a lot of states have done. Its surprising that they would go with DMR encrypted and shut themselves off from the rest of Maine. Unless like you say, they may have the ability to switch off to conventional if need be. Also, I dont know what MSP has for capability on their radios either, if they are P25 and analog or do they have multimode radios. I would think you would want to be compatible with those around you, especially in a time like this where you need to coordinate between multiple agencies. I know Kennebec SO just switched to P25. They kept their frequency, just changed modes, but they are still compatible with everyone in the county still.
 
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MSP has been using dual bands XG100 portables. I have seen Harris and a few Kenwood in their cars last time I was at MCJA.
 

Forts

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This day and age, why not use encryption? It's literally a checkbox in the software and a great selling feature when upgrading agencies. It's the new normal unfortunately.
 

sfd745

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Unfortunately, there is one major radio vendor in the state that is hooked on DMR and is selling it anywhere they can. They are even trying to convince several county systems to switch over. Many departments are starting to push back because they can't get grants for the radios, but others are looking at it as they are going digital for 1/3 the cost of P25. It is all in how the sales guy spins it.

As of right now, if any agency wants to connect with MSP, they have to go thru a regionnet and OIT has no plans to change that. MSP does not have the capabilities for DMR in their cruisers, but the DMR radios can do analog for the regionnets.

Thats what I find really strange. When MSCommNet was built, it had the region net repeaters set up so the MSP could talk to stations not on the system. They went out of their way to make a patch so that they werent hidden away on a special system like a lot of states have done. Its surprising that they would go with DMR encrypted and shut themselves off from the rest of Maine. Unless like you say, they may have the ability to switch off to conventional if need be. Also, I dont know what MSP has for capability on their radios either, if they are P25 and analog or do they have multimode radios. I would think you would want to be compatible with those around you, especially in a time like this where you need to coordinate between multiple agencies. I know Kennebec SO just switched to P25. They kept their frequency, just changed modes, but they are still compatible with everyone in the county still.
MSP has Harris radios in every vehicle, as well as every state user of the Maine MSCommnet trunking system. Harris radios are currently the only radio authorized for the system and all radios must be issued from OIT. No other radio is being allowed on the system and to the best of my knowledge, the trunking system is running at capacity so there is no intentions of allowing others on the system.

Kenwood radios have been added to a large part of the fleet of MSP patrol cruisers for use on analog systems to communicate with local PD without going through Regionets. This was done to allow MSP to stay on their assigned trunk channel for their communications with DPS and still talk to local PD without a patch or removing their radio from the trunk system.

MSP has been using dual bands XG100 portables. I have seen Harris and a few Kenwood in their cars last time I was at MCJA.
Most departments are still staying away from encryption because they only replace a few radios here and there. Using encryption requires a complete fleet replacement and/or years of purchasing to get all the equipment on the same page. There are very few departments in Maine that can afford or convince their town government to replace their complete fleet of radios.

This day and age, why not use encryption? It's literally a checkbox in the software and a great selling feature when upgrading agencies. It's the new normal unfortunately.
 
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MSP has Harris radios in every vehicle, as well as every state user of the Maine MSCommnet trunking system. Harris radios are currently the only radio authorized for the system and all radios must be issued from OIT. No other radio is being allowed on the system and to the best of my knowledge, the trunking system is running at capacity so there is no intentions of allowing others on the system.

Kenwood radios have been added to a large part of the fleet of MSP patrol cruisers for use on analog systems to communicate with local PD without going through Regionets. This was done to allow MSP to stay on their assigned trunk channel for their communications with DPS and still talk to local PD without a patch or removing their radio from the trunk system.
That would explain the KW being in some of the SP units I have seen. I didn't think they were on the TRS being that Harris is the only radios aloud on the system. All the radios where I work (DOC) are Harris mobile and portable (P5400 ang a few XG100P). I am not a fan of the P5400 at all.
 
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Its funny on how many agencies in Maine use different equipment. State runs Harris, Lewiston/Auburn are in the process of building a system that will use EFJ/KW. Portland is running Motorola. Some are on DMR,P25 Conventional and trunk. Most are VHF with Portland on 800 with L/A building an 800 system.
 

sfd745

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Historically, Maine has always been a myriad of radio equipment. You have everything from towns that require people to buy their own equipment, to towns that buy 2 radios a year, to cities who replace their fleets every 10 years. When MSCommnet went on the air as a statewide system, it was 10 years behind many other states that have them and unlike other states, it has zero outside subscribers. Look at Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin (I know I am missing others). They have a statewide system that any department can buy into and use as their main system, and have separate systems for their local operations. Unfortunately, due to distance, population spread, open space and varried terrain, a system like that is almost impossible in our state.
 

Thorndike113

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Unfortunately, there is one major radio vendor in the state that is hooked on DMR and is selling it anywhere they can. They are even trying to convince several county systems to switch over. Many departments are starting to push back because they can't get grants for the radios, but others are looking at it as they are going digital for 1/3 the cost of P25. It is all in how the sales guy spins it.

As of right now, if any agency wants to connect with MSP, they have to go thru a regionnet and OIT has no plans to change that. MSP does not have the capabilities for DMR in their cruisers, but the DMR radios can do analog for the regionnets.
I dont understand the idea behind digital. When its there its clear as a bell. Put one blip of interference or a little too much distance and its gone. There is no hearing through the static. There is none. Kennebec county SO is a good example and even more strange in my case. I used to hear them clear as a bell at my place. Now, the "signal" is almost non-existent. I have not been able to get the digital to decode because the signal is so degraded.
 

12dbsinad

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I dont understand the idea behind digital. When its there its clear as a bell. Put one blip of interference or a little too much distance and its gone. There is no hearing through the static. There is none. Kennebec county SO is a good example and even more strange in my case. I used to hear them clear as a bell at my place. Now, the "signal" is almost non-existent. I have not been able to get the digital to decode because the signal is so degraded.
Apparently, the public safety industry is ready and willing to accept sub par, nasally, mono tone, everyone has a cold audio with DMR being the worst due to decreased bandwidth. The only added benefit is easier encryption.

Analog audio is still king in my book.
 
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