Huron and Perth Counties OPP is going Digital

Should Fire and EMS be included in the feed?

  • NO, I would NOT like to hear Fire and EMS in the feed

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    5
  • Poll closed .
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AeStein

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Goderich, Ontario
To the listeners of Huron and Perth Counties OPP:

The current feed is monitoring the analog repeater broadcast of Huron and Perth Counties police talkgroups 1OPS07 and 1OPS12. Within the next couple of weeks, the feed will be switched over the digital broadcast. This will have many benefits such as being clearer and easier to understand, no more squelch tail (burst of static at the end of each transmission), etc. One of the options I face is whether to include Fire and EMS (Ambulance) broadcast into the feed. The problem with doing so is that it will make the feed much more congested and difficult to follow any particular conversation. Also, if two or more agencies are speaking at the same time, only one of the transmissions will make it through to the feed. This means that you won't hear the occasional transmission. This will occur often during busy times of the day.

So, I want to know what your opinion is. The feed is for you, after all. Should Fire and/or EMS be included in the feed with the OPP? There is a poll at the top of the thread. Feel free to post your opinions as well.
 
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mikewazowski

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I think you'll find that EMS will tie the feed up quite a bit causing you to miss fire and OPP calls.

You have to get creative with delays and system hold times so it doesn't hang up on EMS as much. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to listen to a fire call while the scanner sits on a routine EMS call.
 

AeStein

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I'm considering setting up a second feed just for Fire and EMS, providing there's enough interest in the community for it. I have the equipment, that's not an issue. It's just a matter of whether or not there's enough people wanting to listen to it to make it worthwhile. If set up on the OPP feed, I agree that I would definitely have to set priority to the OPP talkgroups or we'd almost never hear an entire conversation. Personally, I'd rather keep the OPP separate (maybe throw in Fire) and either put EMS on it's own feed or not have it at all. But I'm asking the listeners because I'm doing this for them, not me.
 
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Yes, would like to hear Fire and EMS on the same feed. They pick up the slack when OPP not busy.
 

AeStein

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The only consideration is what happens when they are all busy? In that event, we'd be getting little bits of all them mixed together but no one full conversation. Yes, I can give priority to OPP but that only goes so far. I'm not disagreeing... simply playing devil's advocate.

I do have one problem with adding Fire and EMS to the same feed as OPP, technically speaking. The OPP talkgroups (1OPS07 and 1OPS12) are P25 digital but Fire and EMS are analog. If I send the whole stream through DSD for decoding, it only passes the decoded digital and not the analog. The only way that I know of to get around that is to lockout the digital OPP talkgroups and set the park frequency to the analog repeater. However, there would then be no way of giving OPP priority and it would defeat the purpose of going digital in the first place. If anyone has a suggestion or knows of a way to get the P25 decoded by DSD and have the analog come through as well, I would very much appreciate any help in the matter.
 
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sudsyjkh

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I say no fire/ems [put those on a separate feed if you can] and add the OPP talkgroup that has the Grey-Bruce units. Along with the Huron-Perth units they would complement each other. That's only if the Grey-Bruce tg matches to the Goderich tower site...which I believe it does. :)
There's another feed that claims to broadcast Grey-Bruce OPP, but it's all mixed in with Barrie and GTA comms so most transmissions can't be followed at all.
Just my $.50.
 

AeStein

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You may have noticed that I've actually already gone digital with the feed. However, I'm using only one radio at the moment and because it has to switch back and forth between control and voice channels, it will miss the first part of a transmission if it is right after another one. I only mention this in case some of you have been wondering why some of the transmissions seem to be cut off. I will have this problem fixed in the next couple of weeks as I will be adding another radio to be dedicated to the control channel.

As for other talkgroups, Huron and Perth (1OPS07 and 1OPS12) are the only ones that are consistent on the Goderich tower. Occasionally, other talkgroups are patched in if the two counties are working together or are using the same dispatcher at the comm centre. Also, if a unit in this area needs to be on another talkgroup, the tower will broadcast that talkgroup for the duration. I occasionally see Bruce (6R-1OPS02), South Bruce (6I-1OPS13), Lambton (6M-1OPS08), and Wellington (6T-1OPS14). However, it's hit and miss. I will unlock the Bruce and South Bruce talkgroups for you so you can hear them when they are available on the Goderich tower but I will have to keep Huron and Perth at a higher priority so they don't get cut off when Bruce is on-air. Thanks for the feedback.
 

sudsyjkh

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Oh I completely understand making Huron-Perth a priority, but I do appreciate you unlocking any associated with Grey-Bruce for when HP aren't transmitting and they're in range of the Goderich tower.
Thanks. :)
Keep up the great work.
 

AeStein

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I'll be running a test for the next few hours with the main EMS talkgroup unlocked and broadcast on the feed. Any and all feedback is welcome.
 

AeStein

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The feed will now be digital full-time from here on out. To give the listeners a "taste" of what the EMS talkgroup is all about, I will be temporarily adding it to the feed from time-to-time while the OPP talkgroups are slow and quiet. You can expect to hear it added to the feed later in the evening during the week while the OPP are not busy. I will post a note on the info page whenever I have EMS on the feed. So you can look for that note to quickly know whether EMS on-air or not. Thanks for listening.
 

AeStein

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I have been having issues with the ISP today, which has resulted in the feed going offline several times. I apologize for that. However, I have set up a failover connection which should, hopefully, prevent any further downtime. You may see the feed go offline briefly if my ISP connection is lost but the failover will have it back up within a minute or two. Please do not be afraid to post on this thread or send me a Private Message/E-Mail should you have any issues with connecting to the feed. Thanks for listening.
 

h00ba

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Feb 27, 2014
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First of all, I would like to thank you for setting up this feed again. We spent hours in Bayfield listening to it. As to fire and ems.... My humble opinion.... If its possible fire and ems on another feed, and keep opp seperate. When things start to happen, they all start to call out, and it becomes extremely difficult to figure out which one is talking. Like i said just my humble opinion, either way i really appreciate you setting this up, and will be enjoying anything that you wish to stream.

Thank you
Terry

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AeStein

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Thanks for your feedback, Terry. I agree with you that having EMS on the feed can be confusing at times. At present, I have been temporarily adding EMS for short periods when I notice that the OPP are not busy. I add a note to the info page, as well as make a short announcement on the feed, when I have EMS on-air. In the future, I plan to add a separate feed for EMS but it will have to wait until I can acquire the additional equipment necessary. It already takes two dedicated radios to provide the OPP feed. I want to make sure that there is enough interest in the community for a separate EMS feed before I invest in providing it full-time. This is one of the reasons that I have been adding it to the feed for short periods; I want the listeners to have an idea of what happens on that talkgroup. I would really like to hear from the listeners on whether they would use and listen to a separate EMS feed. Thanks for your comments and thanks for listening.
 
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h00ba

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AeStein
My $0.02 is that fire feed, is interesting listening, especially the Bayfield volunteer fire dept (wink wink). When the volunteer siren went off last summer we were all dissapointed that we couldnt listen in. I have mentioned that your feed is back to a number of neighbors at our trailer park there, and all seem excited to have it back.
So in short, my thoughts would be maybe put opp and volunteer fire on one feed, it might get a little confusing during an event, but it would be interesting. Since there seemed to be alot of ems traffic, i think that would be very confusing if it was on the same feed. Like i said, I am very happy that i can listen in again, so anything you do is greatly appreciated


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AeStein

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Unfortunately, because fire is analog and not on the digital Bell FleetNet system that the OPP is on, I won't be able to put them on the same feed. The last guy that provided the feed was able to do it because he monitored the analog OPP frequency and had his scanner scan the fire frequency as well. I've chosen to monitor the digital trunked feed (for a number of different reasons) and it's not a "scan" as such. I have a number of different links on my info page (Huron and Perth Counties OPP) that explain how the Bell FleetNet trunked radio system works, if you're interested. The only options, short of changing everything over to analog, are to have a seperate radio for the analog (fire) and either put it on its own feed or in a stereo feed with the OPP. What I mean by a "stereo" feed is that OPP would come out your left speaker, for example, and fire out of the right. The problem is that most of the listeners use a smartphone, many of which only have one speaker. The other issue with such a setup is that you'd end up hearing both OPP and fire talking at the same time.

Before somebody corrects me... yes, there are scanners that are able to "scan" trunked systems and analog frequencies simultaneously. I don't have one. I speak merely of the capabilities of MY equipment. If somebody would like to donate such a toy, I would be more than happy to use it to provide the feed LOL ;)

In any case, Terry, if I come up with a way to make it happen, I will certainly consider it. Thanks for the feedback.
 

AeStein

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A question for the listeners: How do you find the audio level (volume)? I realize that you can just turn your own volume control up and down but sometimes you find feeds that are way to loud and you always have to turn your volume down when you listen to them or, conversely, are really quiet and you find yourself always having to turn up your volume. I've tried to find a "normal" volume level at which to broadcast but I would like to know how it's working out on the other end for all the listeners. My goal is to provide a feed that is as clear-sounding and as high-quality as possible. I would also like to hear about any other issues you may have with sound quality. Your feedback is appreciated.
 

AeStein

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I have added EMS to the feed in a different manner than before. Both EMS and OPP will broadcast simultaneously but EMS will be at a lower volume. My hope is that OPP transmissions will still be heard clearly over an EMS transmission that may be coming through at the same time. I am running this as a trial period. PLEASE give me feedback and tell me what you think. If you don't tell me, I won't know. Also, I plan to add Goderich Fire dispatch in the near future. The fire dispatch frequency is no where near as active as OPP or EMS though. They can go many days without any calls, so I don't anticipate it will cause any congestion issues on the feed.
 

AeStein

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I wrote a little java program and I am now broadcasting Alpha Tags along with the audio feed :)
Using smartphone-based apps (specifically Scanner Radio), WinAmp, and the Java Web Player, you can now see who's talking on every transmission. Enjoy!
 

h00ba

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Was listening on the weekend to your feed, it was great. Unfortunately like most cell phones the volume is pretty low. My question is...would you mind turning the feed volume up?

Thanks again :)

Sent from my HTC-X710a using Tapatalk
 
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