Failing Simulcast System

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BlueDevil

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We have a rapidly deteriorating simulcast system in Walla Walla County. This is our primary dispatch and communications system for Law Enforcement, Fire and EMS agencies. Just like everyone else in the world we are hurting for money. We are in desperate need to update some of the components of our system or consider switching to a multicast system. I am curious if there is anyone out there that may know of an area that is transitioning to a new repeater system that may have some useful pieces for our system. We are literally willing to try anything at this point.

Thanks for your time,

Brandon
 

zz0468

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I would suggest hiring a competent consultant to evaluate the existing system to see what's wrong with it. Otherwise, your post is too vague for anyone to do you any good. Useful pieces? Pieces of what? Simulcast requires careful and competent maintenance to keep it sounding decent, and the more it's neglected, the worse it will sound. There may be nothing wrong with the hardware that a competent engineer can't find and fix.
 

radioman2001

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Totally agree, maybe the system is in need of tuneup, with simulcasting the timing of all stations must be correct. If you are having hardware issues, ie low TX power out and the like, that should be readily fixed by any competent radio tech. Now if there are timing issues that takes someone who is proficient with such systems. You could just have a bad phone line(if you are using one) to a bad setting on the simulcast controller. If your radio shop is telling you to replace I would look at that with a slanted eye. Get another shop in for an evaluation, I have run into many times a shop overlooking a simple fix so they could sell a new system.
BTW more info would help with a solution: Motorola or GE/Harris, VHF, UHF, 800, phone lines,or in house microwave etc.
 

scaseyjordan

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Please explain...

I grew up in the Walla Walla area. Completely unaware of anything more than a couple repeated hilltop sites. Would love to know more about any simulcast developments that arose since I left the area.
 

Dann

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The County Should Get Together with WSP,They Are Going To A New System And There Should Be A Lot Of Surplus Gear Up For Grabs.
 

BlueDevil

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I may suggest getting in contact with the WSP. I did hear that they are going to be updating their radio system. This maybe a good opportunity for us. We have an engineering company assisting us with our system right now. We have been using ADCOMM and Valence Wireless. It seems like the components in our system are failing quicker than we can replace them and they just keep getting more expensive. Our challenge is that our system is funded by User Fees, there is no tax base to support our communications system. This means the agencies who use the 911 and simulcast system the most pay the most. All the agencies are already hurting for money, they cannot afford to pay any more to fix our system. Unfortunately agencies are going to start looking elsewhere to get their dispatching from, this had a compounding effect. It would be nice if the commission/board would just bite the bullet and go out for a loan to completely overhaul the entire system.

Thanks for everyones interest.
 

zz0468

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Never mind the flawed tactic of asking around a hobby oriented website for advice - there ARE some professionals that come here.

What's missing from our perspective is any details of the system in question. It's impossible for us to have any clue what's actually happening, or make any real recommendations other then 'get professional help'.

That being said, I am intimately familiar with 20+ year old simulcast systems that just keep working, because the people who touch them know what the hell they're doing. Never mind that parts are almost unobtanium, most of the time it's not parts that are needed. It's skilled labor who knows how to align it. I can't emphasize my first recommendation to hire a competent consultant enough.
 

BlueDevil

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Well what is the best way to find a competent consultant? Any recommendations of any companies?
 

zz0468

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Well what is the best way to find a competent consultant? Any recommendations of any companies?
Try the yellow pages under "communications consultants". The big national companies that I could and would recommend are too expensive. You want someone "local". I'll bet there's a few of them in Seattle.
 
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