MABAS

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greggk

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I have both conventional and Starcom21 systems in my 436/536 for the MABAS system. I just discovered something today about the Starcom system. The Band Plan that is loaded into my Sentinel software for the 3 sites DO NOT match the band plan in my scanners.

I have checked, saved, and downloaded the system several times today, but again the Band Plans in Sentinel are not what is being written to the scanner. Now that I think about it, I only ever see the conventional systems broadcasting.

Any ideas why? Thanks. Greg

By the way, I set my scanners up with the same band plan in Sentinel, but when I went back and started scanning the band plan that I just modified came back again...not matching Sentinel.
 
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greggk

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Thanks for your interest and help.

Well, its those radio gremlins again...or something. Earlier today I compared the band plans in the scanners to those in Sentinel. The radios always had one extra line that Sentinel did not.

I decided to download again,,,and now both band plans match. :confused:

But I still need some expert advice, as I never hear anything on the MABAS Starcom channels. For the Starcom21 P25 MABAS system, I have 3 sites: North Simulcast, NW Central Dispatch, and South Simulcast. There is no band plan for the South Simulcast, but I am not sure I need all three. Anyone have experience with them? Thanks again. Greg
 

MikeyC

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Thanks for your interest and help.

Well, its those radio gremlins again...or something. Earlier today I compared the band plans in the scanners to those in Sentinel. The radios always had one extra line that Sentinel did not.

I decided to download again,,,and now both band plans match. :confused:

But I still need some expert advice, as I never hear anything on the MABAS Starcom channels. For the Starcom21 P25 MABAS system, I have 3 sites: North Simulcast, NW Central Dispatch, and South Simulcast. There is no band plan for the South Simulcast, but I am not sure I need all three. Anyone have experience with them? Thanks again. Greg
The MABAS StarCom talkgroups are not very active... On the MABAS talkgroup you'll hear weekly radio tests between Orland Central or RED doing radio tests with a group of 25 primary and secondary dispatch centers.

There are drills every now and again using them and they'll see use during large scale incidents / disasters. For any of the talkgroups other than the MABAS talkgroup you'll need to be monitoring a tower that has a radio affiliated with it.
.
The MABAS VHF frequencies get a lot more use but you'll need to be close to the action to hear anything other than IFERN traffic.
 

greggk

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Thanks for the advice Mike. I don't recall ever hearing anything on the Starcom System. Do you think having those 3 sites I said above are correct? The site selection gets me every time...I don't understand which one to pick. Thanks again. Greg
 

MikeyC

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Thanks for the advice Mike. I don't recall ever hearing anything on the Starcom System. Do you think having those 3 sites I said above are correct? The site selection gets me every time...I don't understand which one to pick. Thanks again. Greg
It all depends on which sites you can hear from your location :) The statewide MABAS talkgroup is usually available on all of the sites since there tends to be at least one radio affiliated with it. The rest are all dependent upon a radio being affiliated to it on the site(s) you're listening too.

But then again traffic tends to be few and far between :)
 

greggk

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Still not sure about this Mike. On a slightly different note: First, I have NWCD as one system. That system uses the NWCD Site. Then I have MABAS as another system, and one of those 3 sites with it is NWCD. Finally, a third system I have shares a lot of the fire ground "colors" with the other 2 systems above.

I had heard this slows the scanning process, holding much longer than normal to scan these systems. I see this as well when I scan those 3 systems. Any advice here? The hold times are all set to zero. Before I go the grave I would like to understand the site/system marriage. I truly do not now. Thanks. Greg
 

MikeyC

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Still not sure about this Mike. On a slightly different note: First, I have NWCD as one system. That system uses the NWCD Site. Then I have MABAS as another system, and one of those 3 sites with it is NWCD. Finally, a third system I have shares a lot of the fire ground "colors" with the other 2 systems above.

I had heard this slows the scanning process, holding much longer than normal to scan these systems. I see this as well when I scan those 3 systems. Any advice here? The hold times are all set to zero. Before I go the grave I would like to understand the site/system marriage. I truly do not now. Thanks. Greg
Might as well put all of the Starcom talkgroups in one "system" and separate them out by "department". That way if you only want to hear the MABAS talkgroups, you could hold the MABAS "department" or the NWCD "department" (or split NWCD into multiple departments). That way you're only scanning the sites once for any of the StarCom talkgroups you want to hear.

You can then put the 2 IFERNs and 6 color firegrounds in their own conventional "system".

As far as scanning speed for the sites go, make sure you only have the "control" and "alternate" channels for the site (between 1 to 4 typically) no need for the scanner to scan upwards of 20 frequencies looking for a control channel.

To give you an idea of how I do it, I use all custom favorites lists, split out by state then trunked and conventional except for StarCom which has its own favorites list due to size issues with the 13.2K radio IDs :) I use location-based scanning when driving around so at home I'm only scanning 4 "systems" - StarCom with 3 or 4 sites, the ClearTalk DMR, a "statewide conventional" and "LaSalle County" systems

It takes about 5 seconds to make a full pass through everything
 

greggk

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Might as well put all of the Starcom talkgroups in one "system" and separate them out by "department". That way if you only want to hear the MABAS talkgroups, you could hold the MABAS "department" or the NWCD "department" (or split NWCD into multiple departments). That way you're only scanning the sites once for any of the StarCom talkgroups you want to hear.

You can then put the 2 IFERNs and 6 color firegrounds in their own conventional "system".

As far as scanning speed for the sites go, make sure you only have the "control" and "alternate" channels for the site (between 1 to 4 typically) no need for the scanner to scan upwards of 20 frequencies looking for a control channel.

To give you an idea of how I do it, I use all custom favorites lists, split out by state then trunked and conventional except for StarCom which has its own favorites list due to size issues with the 13.2K radio IDs :) I use location-based scanning when driving around so at home I'm only scanning 4 "systems" - StarCom with 3 or 4 sites, the ClearTalk DMR, a "statewide conventional" and "LaSalle County" systems

It takes about 5 seconds to make a full pass through everything
Thanks so much Mike for your time and help. I understand what you are saying; I must write out a plan that I can use. I am not use to doing things that way. I have one list called favorites, and all the favorites and included sites are systems under it. I actually have 5 systems with the NWCD site in with them.

Off I go. Again Mike, thanks! Greg
 
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I rarely hear anything except Red Center tests weekly at 3:00am/3:00pm. All the FD's chime in okay on the tests, but even when a local Mabas Box Alarm is pulled, I don't hear it on the Mabas Starcom channel TG #30330. I don't think they are getting patched in.
 

MikeyC

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I rarely hear anything except Red Center tests weekly at 3:00am/3:00pm. All the FD's chime in okay on the tests, but even when a local Mabas Box Alarm is pulled, I don't hear it on the Mabas Starcom channel TG #30330. I don't think they are getting patched in.
The MABAS talkgroup (at least for the last few years) is only used for radio drills, in person drills and to track the movements of some of the "regional" MABAS units (MSUs for example). It's also used sometimes for large scale incidents to track the movement of equipment. Everything else happens on VHF

From the sounds of most of the radio drills, 80% of the primary and secondary dispatch centers aren't listening (or replying) anyways :)
 

greggk

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Thanks for the help guys. I removed the Starcom Site from there. I did find another sometime busy conventional system under Statewide/ Emergency Management/Homeland Security. This also has all the reports from Ambulance to Hospital as well as Helicopters. I really do appreciate the help and insight. Like the surfer looking for the perfect wave, I am looking for the best EMA systems for when/if the big one hits. :lol: Greg
 

greggk

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A reliable source has told me "Mabas" has backed out of Starcom and uses mostly VHF....
I believe you. I get the conventional channels sometimes...actually frequently, but no Starcom.

Hey.as long as we are all here...whats up with Long Grove Fire? I get two different tones at once, then the dispatcher sounds like he is behind a cement wall....so bad I have to tune it out. I thought, perhaps, that this is a good candidate for tuning out a competing tone? But that makes no sense either, as what are the odds two stations would be transmitting at the same time...every time? I don't know anything. I'm happy if I remember how to turn the radio on every day :twisted:
 

FFPM571

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A reliable source has told me "Mabas" has backed out of Starcom and uses mostly VHF....
Your "reliable source " would be wrong... MABAS Starcom talkgroups are for large statewide responses such as natural disasters that are few and far between. The VHF is used for Local responses or box alarms or greater.
 

rbrtklamp2

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Yeah but that's only a small handful of tgs that are mostly encrypted. Why does fire need to encrypt I get the police using enc but why MABAS?

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FFPM571

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for each Clear talkgroup there is a corresponding Secure talkgroup. They have the option to move to that because they are mostly going to be used in a natural disaster or significant event that there is information they may not want the public or media to hear before it goes through official channels. There are more clear talkgroups than encrypted hardly a handful..
 

rbrtklamp2

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I only know of about 15 or 20 tgs some listed some not that MABAS uses and about half of those are encrypted. Note I am not including MABAS Division 15 or the statewide talk group.

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rbrtklamp2

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@FFPM well I'm here does MABAS Division 15 only handle special calls like a special operations district? Or is it a actual dispatch area like MABAS Division 20 and so on?
Thanks,
Bob

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vest2208

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From the MABAS policies & procedures:


1.1 Intended Uses: The following is a list of uses for the STARCOM21 radio system:
 Statewide deployment coordination
 Pre-approved drills or exercises
 Pre-approved special events
 Testing of radios
 Specialty team communications, support during deployments, accountability, and
team status reports
 Division-to-Division and/or MABAS-to-Division(s) messaging relating to major
deployments. This may include emergency and informational messaging from IEMA
to MABAS. STARCOM21 does not take the place of IFERN, EMnet, or phonelines.
 Necessary and urgent messaging with Public Health agencies

Box alarms, etc, are still dispatched on IFERN VHF. All divisions operate under the same MABAS SOP's and dispatch the same.

1. MABAS BOX ALARMS: Requesting, dispatching, and response to MABAS Box Alarms are
appropriate uses of the IFERN frequency. This radio traffic will include, but not necessarily be
limited to:
1.1 The Incident Commander, or stricken entity’s dispatch authority, requesting the
MABAS Box Alarm dispatch including box alarm number, general incident information
and staging area.
1.2 Coordination of responding units to the emergency scene and/or staging area.
1.3 Coordination of the staging area, including communications between the Incident
Commander and Staging Officer.
1.4 Routine updates, reports and/or requests for additional assistance or resources.
1.5 Communications between the Incident Commander and the stricken community’s
local dispatch authority
 
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