Iowa Statewide Interoperability Communication System (ISICS)

mws72

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I feel your pain.... I can not get the trailer unless I point 2 Yagis and then its enough to decode and get info but voice traffic is horrid...... I get the Dewitt tower with almost no issues from Savanna but, I am using a Yagi at app. 60' and a Pre-amp mounted at the yagi.... Today the 10th is HORRIBLE but not just ISICS... Racom as well and Starcom.... Thought it was something on my end but after some research the warmer air combined with some upper level Wild Fire smoke and slight Solar activity must be the cause.... I will know for sure after 7pm.... Also I had a friend that lived of Bluff by 1st i believe .... no matter how hard i tried with his setup even an outdoor antenna would not get Dewitt.
You don't hear any traffic on the site called Jackson? It's about 4-5 miles west of Sabula on IA-64.
 

littona

Super Freq
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Council Bluffs, IA
Despite their pledge to accept both phase 1 and phase 2 radios, the state clearly set the system up for, and has really only been allowing phase 2 radios.
Not entirely true. They don't want phase 1 radios on the system, but have accepted some with the understanding that they will be migrating to phase 2.
 

Radioman96p71

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Polk County, IA
All the phase 1 traffic in Polk county is legacy Westcom traffic. Any new agencies in the past couple years has been exclusively phase 2. By the end of the year you will see just about everything on phase 2...
 

burner50

The Third Variable
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NC Iowa
Not entirely true. They don't want phase 1 radios on the system, but have accepted some with the understanding that they will be migrating to phase 2.
Look at the number of sites that only have two or three frequencies allocated for voice traffic... Clearly not intended or designed for phase 1 radios.
 

littona

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Council Bluffs, IA
Look at the number of sites that only have two or three frequencies allocated for voice traffic... Clearly not intended or designed for phase 1 radios.
You are correct. Not intended or designed for phase 1, but they are still on the system.
 

burner50

The Third Variable
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You are correct. Not intended or designed for phase 1, but they are still on the system.
As previously stated, they're only legacy radios from before the system was built.

If I bought an XTS5000 I doubt the state would allow it on the system... especially since my local tower only has two voice frequencies... They don't want one radio taking up two of four available timeslots.
 

MCWKen

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Joined
Mar 4, 2013
Messages
61
Location
Clinton, IA
Gentlemen: Continuing the saga in Clinton.

This morning as usual, went for coffee, and parked in S. Clinton, and as usual had to find the right location to get a signal from DeWitt, but also got two bars from the Trailer.

On my way out and about at noon, parked at home in the same place, only to note that the signal from the trailer was five bars! I thought something was wrong, so switched to the duck antenna. Same results, even inside the house. I listened for a while, and at 1330, all of a sudden, no signal, even outside with the mag mount.

I checked at 1545, and indeed, there was a signal again, not quite as strong, but moving the antenna around, was able to get 4 bars. Checking in the house, 3 bars although it was not steady. I did hear traffic on R2Call21, and someone on IACall1 getting a radio check from Cedar Rapids.

Could it be they are moving the trailer different locations?
 

MCWKen

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Mar 4, 2013
Messages
61
Location
Clinton, IA
Well that did not take me long. The trailer is currently (Friday 1730) along the river at 1st street. The antenna just barely clears the levee. It might help to point the antenna to 41.844847, -90.185445.
 

mws72

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Gentlemen: Continuing the saga in Clinton.

This morning as usual, went for coffee, and parked in S. Clinton, and as usual had to find the right location to get a signal from DeWitt, but also got two bars from the Trailer.

On my way out and about at noon, parked at home in the same place, only to note that the signal from the trailer was five bars! I thought something was wrong, so switched to the duck antenna. Same results, even inside the house. I listened for a while, and at 1330, all of a sudden, no signal, even outside with the mag mount.

I checked at 1545, and indeed, there was a signal again, not quite as strong, but moving the antenna around, was able to get 4 bars. Checking in the house, 3 bars although it was not steady. I did hear traffic on R2Call21, and someone on IACall1 getting a radio check from Cedar Rapids.

Could it be they are moving the trailer different locations?
I was seeing a motorola tech on the unitrunker screen the last couple of days . Maybe they are setting up the new site and then switch back to the trailer? Using the frequencies for the SOW because they don;t have a site licensed yet.
 

clinton911

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Jul 25, 2014
Messages
2
Good morning,

I am the Communications Director for Clinton County. I am somewhat into radios so I will occasionally get on this site. I believe in transparency so I thought I would get on this thread and address some of the of open questions that I see that you have had.

Michael is correct, yesterday there were several times that we took the SOW down. We originally located the SOW at 13th Ave. North and 14th Street because it is city owned property and according to the coverage prediction maps we should have expected poor mobile coverage throughout the Mill Creek Expressway area. Once we began testing we found out that was not the case because we actually had excellent portable coverage without the SOW in that area. So in conjunction with the Statewide Interoperability Coordinator and Motorola we decided to move the SOW to help us provide better coverage in the downtown area which is where we are really struggling with coverage.

Again coverage prediction maps are just that a prediction. Our original plan yesterday was to move the SOW to Mercy South Hospital to take advantage of the height from being on the top and edge of the bluff however, the building shadowing from the hospital negated all of that and actually made coverage worse because the radios kept recognizing that there was a site that was close but the signal from the site was so sporadic that it made it impossible to transmit.

Our backup plan had been to move the SOW to the Clinton Pool. Although it is one of the lowest points in town, we felt it was more important to be able to provide coverage in our downtown area. Fortunately moving the SOW to the pool accomplished this and we now have excellent coverage throughout the downtown area.

As of right now we plan to go live with Clinton PD on Monday during the day. On the fire side we are going to wait for a bit. It is important to the Fire Department to have in building coverage at all three stations. We will be installing BDA's at the stations to accomplish this. We are waiting for those to come in.

As far as long term plans, we do plan on putting up a permanent ISICS location in Clinton at some point however, we do not know where that will be yet and when I say long term I don't mean years I mean it will be sooner rather than later. The plan is to have the entire county join ISICS. Due to both Clinton PD and FD providing a lot of mutual aid resources to the entire county and as mentioned in this thread the poor audio quality of patching we feel for responder safety that this is truly our best option. At this point we are finishing up getting an accurate count of how many subscriber radios that we will need. We want to make sure that we "right size" the amount of subscriber radios that we have since the radios are more expensive. Once we get this information compiled we will be able to get an accurate cost of the total cost of the complete project so that we can figure out where all of the funding will come from.

On the funding side of things, although the resounding theme is always share towers whenever possible we have found out that when it comes to a disaster and you are not the owner of the tower and you are in the public safety world that it truly limits your options for any assistance. However, we are pursuing every possible option that we can.

Eric Dau
Clinton County Communications Director
 

MCWKen

Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2013
Messages
61
Location
Clinton, IA
Good morning,

I am the Communications Director for Clinton County. I am somewhat into radios so I will occasionally get on this site. I believe in transparency so I thought I would get on this thread and address some of the of open questions that I see that you have had.

Michael is correct, yesterday there were several times that we took the SOW down. We originally located the SOW at 13th Ave. North and 14th Street because it is city owned property and according to the coverage prediction maps we should have expected poor mobile coverage throughout the Mill Creek Expressway area. Once we began testing we found out that was not the case because we actually had excellent portable coverage without the SOW in that area. So in conjunction with the Statewide Interoperability Coordinator and Motorola we decided to move the SOW to help us provide better coverage in the downtown area which is where we are really struggling with coverage.

Again coverage prediction maps are just that a prediction. Our original plan yesterday was to move the SOW to Mercy South Hospital to take advantage of the height from being on the top and edge of the bluff however, the building shadowing from the hospital negated all of that and actually made coverage worse because the radios kept recognizing that there was a site that was close but the signal from the site was so sporadic that it made it impossible to transmit.

Our backup plan had been to move the SOW to the Clinton Pool. Although it is one of the lowest points in town, we felt it was more important to be able to provide coverage in our downtown area. Fortunately moving the SOW to the pool accomplished this and we now have excellent coverage throughout the downtown area.

As of right now we plan to go live with Clinton PD on Monday during the day. On the fire side we are going to wait for a bit. It is important to the Fire Department to have in building coverage at all three stations. We will be installing BDA's at the stations to accomplish this. We are waiting for those to come in.

As far as long term plans, we do plan on putting up a permanent ISICS location in Clinton at some point however, we do not know where that will be yet and when I say long term I don't mean years I mean it will be sooner rather than later. The plan is to have the entire county join ISICS. Due to both Clinton PD and FD providing a lot of mutual aid resources to the entire county and as mentioned in this thread the poor audio quality of patching we feel for responder safety that this is truly our best option. At this point we are finishing up getting an accurate count of how many subscriber radios that we will need. We want to make sure that we "right size" the amount of subscriber radios that we have since the radios are more expensive. Once we get this information compiled we will be able to get an accurate cost of the total cost of the complete project so that we can figure out where all of the funding will come from.

On the funding side of things, although the resounding theme is always share towers whenever possible we have found out that when it comes to a disaster and you are not the owner of the tower and you are in the public safety world that it truly limits your options for any assistance. However, we are pursuing every possible option that we can.

Eric Dau
Clinton County Communications Director
Eric, a note about coverage. Currently, from 18th Street S. along Bluff Road to downtown, good to perfect signal strength. From Fleet Farm to downtown along US 30, good to perfect signal strength. From Bluff Road to US 30 on 14th Street, good to fair signal strength. From Mercy South to 13th Ave. N, good signal strength, with poor signal in low areas. West of those locations, either Muscatine or DeWitt will offer coverage.

Ken
 

clinton911

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Joined
Jul 25, 2014
Messages
2
Eric, a note about coverage. Currently, from 18th Street S. along Bluff Road to downtown, good to perfect signal strength. From Fleet Farm to downtown along US 30, good to perfect signal strength. From Bluff Road to US 30 on 14th Street, good to fair signal strength. From Mercy South to 13th Ave. N, good signal strength, with poor signal in low areas. West of those locations, either Muscatine or DeWitt will offer coverage.

Ken
Thank you I appreciate the information!
 

MCWKen

Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2013
Messages
61
Location
Clinton, IA
I have a question about affiliation on ISICS and the use of the "mobile extender" When a portable cannot communicate with a tower, does the extender affiliate with it? Do they have their own unique RID?

I may set up the DeWitt tower and log if any Clinton TG's show up. Just a curiosity bouncing through my limited brain cells.
 

mws72

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Mar 30, 2002
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Quad-Cities (IA-IL) USA
I know on edacs it's a pass through. the mobile extender and BDA don't have an identity.

BTW I see and hear Clinton TGs down here on the Muscatine/Scott simulcast site.
 

burner50

The Third Variable
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NC Iowa
I have a question about affiliation on ISICS and the use of the "mobile extender" When a portable cannot communicate with a tower, does the extender affiliate with it? Do they have their own unique RID?

No unique ID... It's a simple repeater. The "Mobile extender" that ISP used to use is not necessary anymore. Those devices used to be able to do frequency steering based on PL tones.

It's not necessary any longer because all talkgroups are on the same frequencies and the affiliation / identification functions are performed by the handheld radio without the need for frequency steering.
 
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