Marathon Co Changing from Tait to Motorola

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bc780l

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December 16, WSAU 550 Wausau – (Wisconsin) Marathon County buys new emergency radios. Marathon County, Wisconsin is changing a plan to buy emergency radios. The county board had been working with Tait-North America to upgrade emergency communications. Tait had been installing a series of repeaters and smaller antennas to improve rural coverage for emergency responders. Some fire departments claimed the Tait radios had coverage problems in remote areas. The company said the situation would improve as more antennas went up. Now the Marathon County Board has decided not to buy additional Tait radios. They instead will use federal stimulus dollars to buy from Motorola. That company’s bid was about 18-thousand dollars higher, but many experts say the coverage and reliability of those radios is better. The upgrade to the county’s emergency communications system should be finished next year. Source: WSAU | Marathon County buys new emergency radios
 

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The bid difference was $18,000? In the grand scheme of things, that isn't a lot of money. If they would have went with /\/\ in the first place, not only would this problem not exist but now they've probably spent more than 18,000 with Tait for naught. I'm curious how easy it will be for them to get out of the Tait contract (provided they had one?)
 

N9NRA

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I`ve been following this mess for a while, and i`m not suprised to hear this. I know some folks in the fire service around Marathon County (and a few HAM guys that work for neighboring counties too) and they all said the tait radios weren`t all that great ether. This should be fun to watch. N9NRA
 

mkaskavitch

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I`ve been following this mess for a while, and i`m not suprised to hear this. I know some folks in the fire service around Marathon County (and a few HAM guys that work for neighboring counties too) and they all said the tait radios weren`t all that great ether. This should be fun to watch. N9NRA
Now I know why this transition has been so slow :D ---- N9NRA, have you heard whether the system will be an open P25 or will it be going 100% encrypted?
 

N9NRA

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Now I know why this transition has been so slow :D ---- N9NRA, have you heard whether the system will be an open P25 or will it be going 100% encrypted?
Hey there, no i haven`t heard yet if they`ll be open P25 or ENC. But, i have heard wisperings that it could take WAY longer to get this done i heard a ways back that they had some small issues with NAC codes and such. Should be fun to watch :). N9NRA
 

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Coverage has more to do with the number of sites (repeaters), tower heights and antenna gains at the sites. A five watt Tait portable will provide the same coverage as a five watt Motorola with the same antenna. Other features may be different. Sounds more like a system design problem that a radio problem.
 

N9NRA

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switching from Motorola to Tait

Coverage has more to do with the number of sites (repeaters), tower heights and antenna gains at the sites. A five watt Tait portable will provide the same coverage as a five watt Motorola with the same antenna. Other features may be different. Sounds more like a system design problem that a radio problem.
That is correct, it does have more to do with the number/placement of sites. What i heard was that the issues they had were with what i call "user friendlenliness" of the units (the end users reported that they were having problems with operating the units as well as coverage in outlying areas (think areas like my hometown is as to terrain...hills with a mix of woodsey areas and farm fields), that`s why they were complaining about the Tait units. When i worked the County Board meeting when the rep showed the radios to the board, i had a ringside seat (taped it for the Access Channel), anyway, the guy passed around both the Motorola unit and the Tait one while he explained the differences and such. Personally, i wouldda loved to get my paws on those units just to see for myself what all the fuss was about, but i wasn`t that lucky :(, so you are correct in part, i kinda wish i could get a hold of the tapes from that meeting so i could attempt to post `em on here and let you all see for yourselves what i wittenessed, it was intresting. N9NRA
 

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I don't know how a Motorola portable could have better or worse 'coverage' than the other brand?

I can only assume that this is a user issue? I've come across so many people who refuse to take time to learn how to use a new radio, but then insist that the radio is a fault!
 

R8000

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I don't know how a Motorola portable could have better or worse 'coverage' than the other brand?

I can only assume that this is a user issue? I've come across so many people who refuse to take time to learn how to use a new radio, but then insist that the radio is a fault!
It can happen. I am biased to Motorola due to the fact I was a senior tech there for 6 years (not anymore).

I got to see with my own eyes the difference a brand can make. However, everyone has their own opinion in the matter. With mobiles and portables, I saw the difference...but....meh, to each his own. I never lost sleep over it.

However with infrastructure equipment, that is a totally different story :)
 

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I'm with Matt. I have personally seen several times where a Motorola portable has a better signal than others, when all other parameters are the same (location, RF output, antenna type, etc). Call it what you will, but I think it matters. I am by no means a poster child for /\/\, but my current "go-to" portable is a current model VHF Motorola because it just works better.

YMMV.
 

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RADIOUSER5 said:
Coverage has more to do with the number of sites (repeaters), tower heights and antenna gains at the sites. A five watt Tait portable will provide the same coverage as a five watt Motorola with the same antenna. Other features may be different. Sounds more like a system design problem that a radio problem.
And a slick /\/\oto salesman if he got them to believe that moto radios would have better coverage!!!
 

N9NRA

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And a slick /\/\oto salesman if he got them to believe that moto radios would have better coverage!!!

From what i recall of the meeting i worked, i think it had more to do with the fact that the rep was trying to talk radios to 38 people that IMHO knew almost nothing about two-way radios, from where i was at that day it was almost like they really didn`t get what he was talking about, even though the guy tried to "dumb down" it all for the folks on the County Board. Just goes to show what happens when ya let folks that aren`t learned about LEO two-way radio systems make the decisions about such systems, but that`s just my take. N9NRA
 

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Trying to have a radio conversation with non-technically inclined people is a pain. It's some of the hardest conversations and/presentations that I've ever been part of. It is this unfortunate fact that a lot of snake-oil salesmen use to their advantage.
 

citylink_uk

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I'm with Matt. I have personally seen several times where a Motorola portable has a better signal than others, when all other parameters are the same (location, RF output, antenna type, etc). Call it what you will, but I think it matters. I am by no means a poster child for /\/\, but my current "go-to" portable is a current model VHF Motorola because it just works better.

YMMV.
Maybe, but the difference is surely marginal on a system that has many voting receivers and has public safety grade RX coverage.

A Motorola XTS5000 receiver closes at 0.20μV whilst Tait portable 0.28μV in analogue mode. OK the XTS might be more sensitive by 3dBm on the lowest squelch setting in analogue, but the receiver specifications of both radio's are the same in P25 mode.

However, if your new system is relying on the final few db's of coverage before the receiver closes, then I think you have more to worry about than your portables!
 

R8000

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However, if your new system is relying on the final few db's of coverage before the receiver closes, then I think you have more to worry about than your portables!
What I experienced is, anyone can make a transmitter. The receiver performance is what will make or break a radio.

A properly built system for public safety will have it's coverage plots based on portable coverage. True this will require more sites, but when you build a wide area public safety system based on mobile coverage only, it's time to tell the person who has no idea how radio works or real life situations to step aside. Sure, they can claim mobile coverage to save on costs, but you know damn well all the users will want speaker mics and ht's. Having the mindset that you can compensate for coverage with PAC-RT's is not very good.

It's bad enough to teach a user how talkaround works, less alone having to try to explain mobile repeaters.

I don't know the details about Marathon County, hopefully it all works out for them in the end. If there are problems, it will be a mess pointing fingers back and forth.

For the UK users, I am not sure but I think y'all played with mobile repeaters here and there for alittle while....I think. It sucks I can't monitor the TETRA systems over here in the 'shire. I had a scan with the HT a few weeks ago and found nothing but data on UHF and VHF. Oh well.
 

citylink_uk

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What I experienced is, anyone can make a transmitter. The receiver performance is what will make or break a radio.

A properly built system for public safety will have it's coverage plots based on portable coverage. True this will require more sites, but when you build a wide area public safety system based on mobile coverage only, it's time to tell the person who has no idea how radio works or real life situations to step aside. Sure, they can claim mobile coverage to save on costs, but you know damn well all the users will want speaker mics and ht's. Having the mindset that you can compensate for coverage with PAC-RT's is not very good.

It's bad enough to teach a user how talkaround works, less alone having to try to explain mobile repeaters.

I don't know the details about Marathon County, hopefully it all works out for them in the end. If there are problems, it will be a mess pointing fingers back and forth.

For the UK users, I am not sure but I think y'all played with mobile repeaters here and there for alittle while....I think. It sucks I can't monitor the TETRA systems over here in the 'shire. I had a scan with the HT a few weeks ago and found nothing but data on UHF and VHF. Oh well.
It's all about getting someone in who knows what they are talking about, making realistic coverage predictions and training users correctly how to use the radios. It takes so long to install a system, but a bad rumour or user frustration due to lack of training can ruin it's reputation overnight.

Yes, we did have UHF>VHF repeaters in use, but these systems were installed in the national project way back in 1987.

It may be slightly annoying that no Public safety comms. can be monitored any more here, but at least the users have got a unified system with 95%> portable coverage UK wide.
 

N9NRA

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Trying to have a radio conversation with non-technically inclined people is a pain. It's some of the hardest conversations and/presentations that I've ever been part of. It is this unfortunate fact that a lot of snake-oil salesmen use to their advantage.
I hear ya there :). Anyway, once the meeting was over i was thinking that i got more outta it than the folksies on the County Board did, at least i was able to understand what was being discussed, given how complex (and expensive) the radios and other system components can be, i`d sure want someone that actually KNOWS what they`re hearing, and knows what questions to ask, making the decision just how to spend my tax dollars...after all, it`s the cetizens` tax dollars that`ll be buying this new system. N9NRA
 

travmoto

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cty radio system

There has nothing but problems with the system. Im a firefighter and radio programmer that has been involved with this and they should have just went with Motorola.
 
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