Get ready for some changes Lake County.

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T-Santon

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First off, I'd like to let everyone know that Lake County's move to P-25 is coming "soon" after the New Year (within the next couple of months)....


I'd also like to share the latest News-Herald article discussing future upgrades...

Lake County seeking $7.5 million for safety radio system upgrade


Regarding the article, I find it interesting that Lake County is already looking forward to Phase-2...The Phase-1 upgrade hasn't even been implemented yet. If you read the reader comments under the story, you'll see that the majority of people are pretty irate that we keep seeking money for these radio upgrades. I guess in their minds, they feel like they're getting scammed. Lake County just spent a bunch of money so they could upgrade to Phase-1, and now they're already seeking funds for the next step...But personally, I like to see that Lake County is trying to stay on top of things. I just hope they don't upgrade to Phase-2 TOO soon (just not until there's a scanner on the market that can do Phase-2 TDMA).


But anyways, get ready Lake County...Change is a coming (again).
 

T-Santon

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Phase-1 P-25 is FDMA...Current digital scanners can decode this type of P-25 system.


Phase-2 P-25 is TDMA...No scanner available can decode Phase-2 TDMA (yet).


In Layman's terms, as radio technology continues to advance, the F.C.C. is trying to mandate that everyone eventually switches to the newer, improved technology...It's similar to how broadcast television was forced into their transition from analog to HDTV over the last few years. Lake County is simply trying to cover their bases now, rather than worry about it in a few years when the F.C.C. tells them it's time to upgrade again...Then again, the F.C.C. is infamous for pushing back their deadlines. So really, I doubt anyone knows exactly when it'll be time to upgrade again.


Also, I'm not sure if you noticed over the last few weeks or so, but the Radioreference Database has updated all of their P-25 systems. They now show you if the systems are Phase-1 (FDMA) or Phase-2 (TDMA)...I think we are still several years away from worrying about Phase-2 in this area.
 

kf8yk

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Did I miss an earlier article that articulates what they mean by Phase 1 and Phase 2?
The reference to phase 1 & 2 has to do with their internal project milestones. It has nothing to do with a conversion to the P25 Phase 2 TDMA format.

Phase 1 was mostly the acquisition & installation of a zone controller at the Lake County EOC, which is now complete.

Eventually this zone controller will have an interzone link to the MARCS system, allowing MARCS users to use Lake County sites & Lake County users to use MARCS sites. I would expect the Wickliffe MARCS site to go away when the interzone link becomes active.

Phase 2 should include everything else needed to make this work, like base stations & consoles.
 

wa8pyr

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The reference to phase 1 & 2 has to do with their internal project milestones. It has nothing to do with a conversion to the P25 Phase 2 TDMA format.

Phase 1 was mostly the acquisition & installation of a zone controller at the Lake County EOC, which is now complete.

Eventually this zone controller will have an interzone link to the MARCS system, allowing MARCS users to use Lake County sites & Lake County users to use MARCS sites. I would expect the Wickliffe MARCS site to go away when the interzone link becomes active.

Phase 2 should include everything else needed to make this work, like base stations & consoles.
One other thing to keep in mind is that most current Motorola radios are not P25 Phase II (TDMA) compliant, nor are they 6.25 kHz narrowband capable. If Lake County were to upgrade to P25 Phase II in the near future, there would be a awful lot of money heading out the door to buy all new radios. I don't expect most existing systems to go Phase II for 10 years or more, even MARCS.
 

T-Santon

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The reference to phase 1 & 2 has to do with their internal project milestones. It has nothing to do with a conversion to the P25 Phase 2 TDMA format.

Well, you can always leave it to me to jump to conclusions...:roll: I guess all the talk on these forums about Phase-1 and 2 P-25 lately had fooled me into thinking that that's what they actually meant in the article (silly me)...It definitely makes A LOT more sense that it has nothing to do with Phase-2 P-25 (it did seem awfully early to be worrying about it, lol).


So with that in mind, after reading the article again. I now realize that the News -Herald is just re-reporting a story that they've already covered several times...The whole "Phase-2" wording just tricked me into believing they were looking further ahead.
 
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Can someone clarify this for an old country boy:

Phase-1 P-25 is FDMA...Current digital scanners can decode this type of P-25 system.
Phase-2 P-25 is TDMA...No scanner available can decode Phase-2 TDMA (yet).

Are the current Ohio MARCssystem radios, the ones in all the mobile police units, capable of switching to TDMA via firmware or would new radios be required? I can't see every MARCs user buying new hardware, but can envision the switch being pulled on scanner monitoring if the TDMA decoding is not shared with scanner manufacturers. Am I just showing a total misunderstanding of the whole situation?

Thanks, HCH
 

kf8yk

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Are the current Ohio MARCssystem radios, the ones in all the mobile police units, capable of switching to TDMA via firmware or would new radios be required?
With Motorola equipment only the APX series of radios are capable of TDMA operation & they require a $400 software option to do it.

The APX radios were just announced a few months ago & it's unlikely any MARCS user has purchased any, especially with the list price of an APX7000 portable over $ 5,000.

It is possible to upgrade the trunking system to dynamically support TDMA users while still supporting the phase 1 users. If every radio in a talkgroup call is TDMA capable the system will assign a TDMA voice channel, otherwise the system will 'fallback' to phase 1 if there is at least one radio affiliated to that talkgroup not capable of TDMA.

Any radio that supports TDMA should be backwards compatable with phase 1 operation.

I can't see every MARCs user buying new hardware, but can envision the switch being pulled on scanner monitoring if the TDMA decoding is not shared with scanner manufacturers.
The P25 TDMA specification is available to scanner manufacturers from APCO, only time will tell if and when the scanner manufacturers start to produce products.
 

wa8pyr

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It is possible to upgrade the trunking system to dynamically support TDMA users while still supporting the phase 1 users. If every radio in a talkgroup call is TDMA capable the system will assign a TDMA voice channel, otherwise the system will 'fallback' to phase 1 if there is at least one radio affiliated to that talkgroup not capable of TDMA.

Any radio that supports TDMA should be backwards compatable with phase 1 operation.
And there are so many phase 1 only radios (XTS series, etc) out there, that I don't see Phase II happening any time soon. Probably half the radios on the system I administer are XTS/XTL purchased within the last 12-18 months, and with a lifespan of many years, Phase II just ain't gonna happen soon.
 
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