Madison County radio issues.

KN4HTC

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So just for speculation and so I can learn more about radio systems, ect.

If you were asked to help them fix their problems, what would you suggest?

I'm think first, make sure the current sites they have provide enough coverage. Then replace any equipment, like for like, that is needing replacement. For the issues involving their portables, adding in a vehicular repeater would solve that problem, correct?

That would most likely be the most cost effective option correct?
 

EZlistener

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Since this a mountainous area, a VHF repeated system (like they have now) would probably need to be assumed. Identify areas with coverage problems (some agencies with satisfactory coverage using 25khz bandwidth lost some propagation after migrating to 12.5khz). An additional; site might be needed. Vehicular repeaters are a possible solution, but, remember, they must be out-of-band with the mobile (most likely UHF) and would be subject to frequency availability. With whom do they need to interoperate (Buncombe County, state MEDCOM net, etc.). Write reasonable coverage requirements and testing in the request for proposal.
 

Remington12G

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I am no way an expert nor am I familiar with this area but looking at everything that was mentioned above and reading the article, a digital solution should be considered. If this county is on a budget (which it seems like they are) then something like a Kenwood VHF Conventional system might do the trick. Here in the bluegrass state, Nexedge/IDAS has been the preferred mode since it's cheap, digital, and narrowband. Kenwood offers tons of options and with their radios, they can operate multiple different modes like P25. The important factor would be site distribution.
 

cmjonesinc

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From my experience viper leaves a lot to be desired in the mountains. I know some agencies are using it but vhf seems to still be king. I also suspect a county like Madison may be a bit more budget minded, 76/100 per capita income for the state. Wouldn't be surprised if they went with vhf dmr or nexedge system like a lot of the rural counties up that way.
 

Quantar22

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From my experience viper leaves a lot to be desired in the mountains. I know some agencies are using it but vhf seems to still be king. I also suspect a county like Madison may be a bit more budget minded, 76/100 per capita income for the state. Wouldn't be surprised if they went with vhf dmr or nexedge system like a lot of the rural counties up that way.
What counties have you experienced poor Viper coverage in the mountains?

The one thing everyone needs to consider is frequency availability. VHF pairs are increasingly difficult to get and bordering Tennessee they will have to consult with them on licensure. Some of their sites could see into SE Kentucky and SW Virginia as well and with VHF having no set band plan like UHF, 7/800, etc getting a clean input could be problematic. If they look at simulcast their existing pair or pairs would have to be licensed at each location and the ERP significantly reduced. Lots of great options for them but before settling in a solution to go with VHF either digital or analog one needs to make sure there are workable frequencies available. With simulcast you have to look at reliable back haul whether private or leased lines.
 

cmjonesinc

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Poor may not be the best description. I live in a county in the piedmont with great coverage so when it's not as good as what I'm used to, I say it isn't great. Haven't lived in the western area in a few years but Cherokee, Clay, and Transylvania were never great. I realize none of those counties were, and probably still aren't on viper, but the coverage for shp and the users who were on those sites wasn't great. Lots of poor decode. May not be the same story now. Haven't been up that way in a yearish. Would you say that coverage in the western part of the state is as good at the piedmont?
 

Quantar22

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Poor may not be the best description. I live in a county in the piedmont with great coverage so when it's not as good as what I'm used to, I say it isn't great. Haven't lived in the western area in a few years but Cherokee, Clay, and Transylvania were never great. I realize none of those counties were, and probably still aren't on viper, but the coverage for shp and the users who were on those sites wasn't great. Lots of poor decode. May not be the same story now. Haven't been up that way in a yearish. Would you say that coverage in the western part of the state is as good at the piedmont?
At this point the Viper system is nearing construction completion. I know that the Western part of the state was the last to be built for a myriad of reasons but the biggest obstacle shown in their newsletter has been the removal of legislative exemptions on state or leased land in regards to local ordinances. While it is true that the counties you reference may have in the past have had and may still have coverage issues the Viper group have been bringing up towers in the area. The Mt. Toxaway location is on the western border of Transylvania and I recall seeing the Rocky Top site in Georgia come online as well in a newsletter.
I did some searching many months ago and they were trying to build a site in Clay County and got the no go from the locals on the location. While coverage in the piedmont is much better and the topography surely makes it easier to cover some mountain counties actually have better Viper coverage versus their existing systems. I just wanted to see what counties you had noticed the issues in and those counties have issues but it looks like the Viper team is working to fill in those holes but it is slow due to local issues now.
 

cmjonesinc

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Yeah it's been a little bit since I've been up that way. I saw that addition at Rocky Top and as it's a nice location I bet coverage is greatly improved. I didn't even think of state and national forest land regs getting in the way up there. I bet that does make for a pain. At least the state has been good about fixing viper issues as it's been built out. I remember a lot of bonking down east when it was still type ii and that is a thing of the past now for the areas I frequent.
 

Tobydog

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Just want to give Kudos to VIPER folks as they are working their collective butts off to get the system to where it should be. Been a time since travel in Western NC has been done but last trip Asheville area seemed to be good, be through again this week so will see what SHP coverage is as well as some others.
 
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