Lower Merion going from EDACS to DMR?

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Septa3371CSX1

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Seems to me reading the article there is debate about whether the public safety departments would actually use a DMR system or not as their primary method of operation. Fire and EMS have been using the 800 system and I haven't heard of too many issues with them. My thinking all along has been that Lower Merion and Narberth would move to the new 700 system when that comes online.
 

LincolnMary

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LMPD Switch to DMR

I read the article too, and was left a bit confused.

My best interpertation is that the current EDACS system is past its life expectancy and is no longer being supported and needs immediate relacement. Furthermore, it seems that the the new Montgomery County P25 system will not be implemented for two to three of years, therefore a fast solution is being sought after by the LMPD. Apparently, they seek to install DMR as-soon-as-possible, and then later evaluate switiching to the new Montgomery County P25 system when it is installed (at a great cost the article states). Of course, DMR is not currenlty a technology that can be decoded by typical scanners.

What does this mean to scanner monitors? My best guess is that we lose all ability to monitor LMPD for at least 2 to 3 years, and potentially longer if they do not switch over to th MontCo P25 system. I believe that the loss of this monitoring ability, if permanent without a timely transition to MontCo's upcoming system, would be significant blow to openness and transparency of the LMPD and a real loss for citizens of Lower Merion.

Any other interpertations / thoughts?
 
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cdavisjr

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This is what I've taken from everything I've read so far on this thread.

1) LMPD would like to eventually be on the new county 700/800 system by not reading anything about them being flat out against joining.

2) Coverage issues from the 90's do not reference anything about looking at current system coverage abilities for PD since the 90's.

3) As long as Fire and EMS have been running all around the township on the current all 800 system there is not publicly known outcries referenced from those two divisions of services about how largely inadequate the current 800 coverage levels in Lower Merion Twp. are.

4) A new less monitorable system would suck.

My question is for the more versed in scanners out there, if they do switch to this DMR system what are the abilities and chances they would maintain a repeater like link to their current EDACS system over the conventional frequencies listed in the database for that is what I believe we hear over them...a repeating in some way of the current system they have, not just chatter on a local channel.
 

Septa3371CSX1

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I could see things being patched together at the very beginning while everything is changed over but not on a permanent basis.

I'm not quite understanding how the Lower Merion official who put the document together doesn't see that the fire departments currently use the county 800 system. I know they have a UHF system (I'm guessing this to be the leased system) that they used prior to going to the 800 system and I believe still maintain for back up and non emergency use.

Slightly off topic - will Lower Merion ever switch fire dispatch to the countywide 158.355 channel?
 

LincolnMary

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Hedging Language in Letter from Police Superintendent

I hope you are correct that DMR is just a temporary patch between the failing EDACS system and upcoming Montco P25 system; however, in the letter to the Township Manager from the Superintendent of Police, he clearly hedges by stating:

"If the County P25 System fails to provide acceptable coverage for Lower Merion Township, the DMR System will be fully built out by adding additional mobile and portable equipment and will be the primary communications system for these departments."

That paragraph makes it clear that LMPD is retaining the right to not join the County P25 System if they deem its coverage "fails to provide acceptable coverage", a broad and ambiguous statement that would allow the LMPD to build out their DMR system as its permanent, un-monitorable communication system.
 

phillydjdan

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Personally I can't wait. As long as they don't click the "privacy" check box, I'll still hear them.
 

LincolnMary

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Any Update on LMPD Swtich to DMR?

Does anyone have an update to the previously reported and subsequently anticipated LMPD switchover to DMR from EDACs?
 
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Lower merion is going to use the hytera system till the county's system is up and running then change over to them. They will use the dmr system as back up...
 

LincolnMary

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Timeline? Simulcast? Hytera Scanner?

Thanks.

Any further color on:

(1) when the LMPD switchover to Hytera (DMR) will occur?;

(2) any possibility that LMPD will simulcast their transmissions on EDACs or some other listenable broadcast while they use DMR?;

(3) when with the County's new P25 system be up-and-running and in use by LMPD?; and

(4) anyone know of any scanner that can monitor a Hytera system?

Appreciate any further information.
 

phillydjdan

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That has to be about the most idiotic idea I've ever heard. Let's spend millions of dollars on a system we are only going to use for a year or two, then spend millions more to switch again.
 

cdavisjr

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I recall seeing in a document I came across that there was a not yet used PD 10 with Lower Merion and Narberth Borough being the only users listed . It I believe is from 2012 ish....the newer rebanded document that is found on the counties public safety page I know is dated in 2013 and if you look through it you will find listings as of 2013 for all 1-12 PD regions minus #10. Sounds like it is a work in progress.
 

phillydjdan

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When other large townships use single analog channels for public works, school buses, etc, I still think it's a completely unnecessary expense.
 

captaincab

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Your totally right Dan. For example Upper Darby Township uses a old school vhf analog channel for their buses and they are just as big imo as Lower Merion. The problem is towns like Lower Merion have that image to uphold so they spend triple the taxpayer money for something they don't need.
 

kh11

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Even if they go to the Montco P25 system, I wouldn't get my hopes up about being able to monitor them. They could well opt for encryption, like Upper Merion and Pottstown.
 

LincolnMary

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I was not aware that police departments were encrypting on the Montco P25 system. That would indeed be a real bummer, and add a troubling layer of opaqueness upon local law enforcement agencies; however, such an effort to create secrecy would seem to closely follow in the recent pattern of local police departments becoming more militaristic and less transparent to the township residents they serve and protect.
 
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