Franklin County APCO 25

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Ten42

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Aug 26, 2003
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NC
Tonight I had the pleasure of catching a glimpse of the new Franklin County APCO 25 Fire & EMS handhelds, XTS1500. Very nice radio and the audio was excellent down here next to Danville. Supposedly come Monday, September 11, they will completely go to the new APCO 25 system for Fire & EMS operations. The frequencies are:
155.490 F&R Dispatch
154.0925 F&R Tac 1
155.580 F&R Tac 2 (Digital & Analog)

They will continue to page on 39.90, maybe they will simulcast. I do not have a digital scanner but thought those of you that do I hope you can use the info.

David Hartman
Danville, VA
 

KE4NYV

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Williamsburg, VA.
We put half of the system online Monday to start the switchover. So far, it sounds great! I spent most of this week down there working on assorted issues. I have an ASTRO P25 Saber that I carry to listen. Right now we have F/R Dispatch, F/R TAC 1 and F/R TAC 2 on the air in full ASTRO P25 mode.

Keep in mind that only half of the system is on the air and they are already reporting close to a 25% coverage increase over the old analog lowband channel (Fire and Rescue) and VHF repeaters (Sheriff and Rocky Mt. Police). Once all is up and running, it will be seven channels total. Some will run strictly P25, some mixed mode and one will be analog only. There is a single transmitter and four remote receive sites that are microwave linked back to Grassy Hill where the transmitter and fifth set of receivers are located. Rocky Mount dispatch is microwave linked to Grassy Hill.

You're right, they will continue to page fire and rescue on 39.900 to initiate a call. Once getting to the trucks, the call will proceed on the VHF P25 channels. It will not be simulcast. Its a single 110W paging transmitter on Grassy Hill.

Speaking of Grassy Hill and paging, I was up there last night and today to work on the paging transmitter. While I was up there I took some pictures to share with the sig.

Top half of the main RF racks:


Bottom half of the main RF racks:


Combiners. (To the right you can see the cabinets for the old VHF PD repeaters):


ASTROTAC Comparator (This is the device that determines the strongest signal from the 5 receive sites and votes/routes that audio to the transmitter):


ASTRO Quantar:


Tower:


Building:


The brush is very thick up there and this is the only break you can see through. This is looking back towards Rocky Mount:
 

cpohlad

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Dec 19, 2002
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Midlothian, VA
Being a native of Franklin County, I am sure they definitely needed the HW upgrade. Now, why they decided to encrypt their comms is beyond me.
 

KE4NYV

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Williamsburg, VA.
cpohlad said:
Being a native of Franklin County, I am sure they definitely needed the HW upgrade. Now, why they decided to encrypt their comms is beyond me.
Well, they are only encrypting the sheriff and PD channels. Its not even set that they'll be encrypted all of the time. I may only be during certain times or events.
 

BigLebowski

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May 5, 2004
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Piedmont NC
I was in the area a couple times last week and I did get some traffic on my XTS5000 on Fire F1. Seems that the old Sheriff Dispatch is now in P25 mode as well. Sounded very nice!
 
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