• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html
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See the above posts by Mr. Lovell who is also in the radio profession.
So, I'm in the Fire Service Profession. ...don't want to be misrepresented here. I am one of the rare public servants that understands the radio systems we use and what the radios are capable of, making me appear to be an expert with my peers. ...but in no way can I think that I am a professional radio technician. Tom (wa8pyr) can run circles around me in his sleep! ...and I'm certain he has better toys!

...and "Mr. Lovell" reminds me of how old I have become. "Bill" sounds better. ;)

Getting back on topic: The Summit and Stark "MAC" talkgroups are nice because they are assigned by someone, and Geauga does the same with their 8 TACS, but actually, the same thing can be accomplished using the 15 "LECOMS" in all MARCS radios (except for the assignment coordination part) for everyone on MARCS. (...ECOMMS for State Incidents) The MARCS folks were very foward thinking when designing the template involving interoperability.
 

wa8pyr

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So, I'm in the Fire Service Profession. ...don't want to be misrepresented here. I am one of the rare public servants that understands the radio systems we use and what the radios are capable of, making me appear to be an expert with my peers. ...but in no way can I think that I am a professional radio technician. Tom (wa8pyr) can run circles around me in his sleep! ...and I'm certain he has better toys!

...and "Mr. Lovell" reminds me of how old I have become. "Bill" sounds better. ;)

Getting back on topic: The Summit and Stark "MAC" talkgroups are nice because they are assigned by someone, and Geauga does the same with their 8 TACS, but actually, the same thing can be accomplished using the 15 "LECOMS" in all MARCS radios (except for the assignment coordination part) for everyone on MARCS. (...ECOMMS for State Incidents) The MARCS folks were very foward thinking when designing the template involving interoperability.
Very true. Only problem with the XLECOM talkgroups is everybody has them, and they're not reserved. All you have to do (officially) is jump on one and say "is this talkgroup in use?" If it is, try another.

Unfortunately, we've had issues a couple of times where someone jumped in on one of our operations, and it took some convincing to get them to use another channel. Part of the problem appears to be that they put together a comm plan (ICS205) specifying one of the XLECOM channels, did their briefing, then everybody headed out. When they actually find out the channel is in use, the folks from the briefing have scattered and getting the word of the channel change out is tricky.

I think a better scheme is to use the XLECOM channels "on the fly" and use the XECOMM channels for planned events. All it takes is a call to the Helpdesk to get an XECOMM talkgroup and it can be reserved in advance.
 
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I think a better scheme is to use the XLECOM channels "on the fly" and use the XECOMM channels for planned events. All it takes is a call to the Helpdesk to get an XECOMM talkgroup and it can be reserved in advance.
We were to understand that the LECOMMs were to be used only when the State Emergency Plan was enacted. It would make sense that they could be used the way you describe, also. That would make them more useful for sure.
 
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All this XLECOM, XECOM, LECOMM, ICS205 giberish makes my head spin. No wonder the guys in the field are confused. You need to use plain, make sense identifiers. Typical government make it difficult to understand.
 

wa8pyr

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We were to understand that the LECOMMs were to be used only when the State Emergency Plan was enacted. It would make sense that they could be used the way you describe, also. That would make them more useful for sure.
Nope. The XLECOM talkgroups are available for use if needed for day-to-day interoperability. The XECOMM channels are generally reserved for emergency plan situations, but can be reserved for large special events and so on (which by their very nature are similar to a large emergency).

All this XLECOM, XECOM, LECOMM, ICS205 giberish makes my head spin. No wonder the guys in the field are confused. You need to use plain, make sense identifiers. Typical government make it difficult to understand.
Those are plain, make-sense identifiers. The people in the field are confused because they generally receive very little training with their radios.

The radio is at least as important to a police officer as their sidearm or to a firefighter as their protective gear; they receive ample training with continuing education and qualification requirements on those things, and yet almost no training with the radio. It's just handed to them with a hearty handshake and "have fun." Very few take the time to go through the radio, to work with it and learn the capabilities. Even those who do receive good, solid training rarely leave their home zone after that.

The radio is just like the sidearm or the protective gear; if you don't use it regularly and practice with it, you forget how to do so. Many scanner users know more about the radio system and what specific channels are used for than the people who use the radio system every day.

Those of us in the public safety communications field have been fighting this attitude for years, with limited success. If you want to know one of the frustrations of our jobs, that's it.
 
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The radio is at least as important to a police officer as their sidearm or to a firefighter as their protective gear; they receive ample training with continuing education and qualification requirements on those things, and yet almost no training with the radio. It's just handed to them with a hearty handshake and "have fun." Very few take the time to go through the radio, to work with it and learn the capabilities. Even those who do receive good, solid training rarely leave their home zone after that.
Exactly! ...and when you attempt in-house training, some of the guys get so over-whelmed. Kind of like going to a retirement home and trying to teach the old folks how to set up an online checking account on a smart phone.
 

wa8pyr

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Exactly! ...and when you attempt in-house training, some of the guys get so over-whelmed. Kind of like going to a retirement home and trying to teach the old folks how to set up an online checking account on a smart phone.
Part of the problem there is lack of interest or a "meh" attitude. Stick firefighters (and I was one once) in front of a burning training house with a hose line and they'll have a good time. Hand them a radio and say "today we're going to learn how to use this very important piece of hardware" and you'll often get indifference at best or moans and groans at worst.

Likewise police officers. Who doesn't like shooting holes in paper targets at the range?

What's needed is lifelike training sims on the radio; make it interesting, inject some unique scenarios into the sim, just like the NASA trainers do at Mission Control in Houston. Make 'em think about how to do what they're being asked or told to do with the radio, and critique when the sim is over.
 
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Kind of like going to a retirement home and trying to teach the old folks how to set up an online checking account on a smart phone.
Exactly! ...and when you attempt in-house training, some of the guys get so over-whelmed. .
Hey now, you go easy on us old folk! If it weren't for us you would have nothing to do at 3:00 AM but sleep instead of helping us breath! :p
 

wa8pyr

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Tom you would argue black is white. Those are gibberish and mean absolutely nothing. I defy you to present those acronyms to any person as written and have them say what they mean.
To you perhaps they are gibberish, but they're intended for public safety communications use, not the general public, so general public comprehension isn't really pertinent. They fit the radio display just fine, and are a reasonable compromise to allow for the radio display limitations.

For the general public, the descriptions in the database state exactly what they mean (XLECOM=Local Event Communications and XECOMM=Event Communications). RR policy is to use actual names whenever possible so what's heard on the radio matches what's in the database.

In the end, it doesn't really matter if the general public can't comprehend the names; they're intended for public safety professional use. When they're told to go to XLECOM14 (or whatever), the only issue we have is they don't always know how to get there due to unfamiliarity with the tools of their trade.
 
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Part of the problem there is lack of interest or a "meh" attitude. Stick firefighters (and I was one once) in front of a burning training house with a hose line and they'll have a good time. Hand them a radio and say "today we're going to learn how to use this very important piece of hardware" and you'll often get indifference at best or moans and groans at worst.

Likewise police officers. Who doesn't like shooting holes in paper targets at the range?

What's needed is lifelike training sims on the radio; make it interesting, inject some unique scenarios into the sim, just like the NASA trainers do at Mission Control in Houston. Make 'em think about how to do what they're being asked or told to do with the radio, and critique when the sim is over.
I would add lifelike training for dispatchers and their managers on what to do when you see Red X's on your consoles. You'd think the world was ending :)
 
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To you perhaps they are gibberish, but they're intended for public safety communications use, not the general public, so general public comprehension isn't really pertinent. They fit the radio display just fine, and are a reasonable compromise to allow for the radio display limitations.

For the general public, the descriptions in the database state exactly what they mean (XLECOM=Local Event Communications and XECOMM=Event Communications). RR policy is to use actual names whenever possible so what's heard on the radio matches what's in the database.

In the end, it doesn't really matter if the general public can't comprehend the names; they're intended for public safety professional use. When they're told to go to XLECOM14 (or whatever), the only issue we have is they don't always know how to get there due to unfamiliarity with the tools of their trade.
That's why we use zone numbers. More efficient if you tell a user to go to Zone 32 Channel 7 then trying to find XLECOM7 in a radio with 20+ zones.
 

wa8pyr

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That's why we use zone numbers. More efficient if you tell a user to go to Zone 32 Channel 7 then trying to find XLECOM7 in a radio with 20+ zones.
Try 50 zones. We use zone numbers too; problem is, the folks who usually need to tell responding agencies where the channel is don't know themselves, and say they don't have time to look it up.

We can't win. . . .
 
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50 zones?? Seriously? I'll bet the whole state of California coudn't populate 50 zones. I call overkill to the extreme.
It would take 15 minutes just to scroll through to the right zone.
What could possibly be in 50 zones? Important stuff like "Airmed Tac 23"?
It's no wonder a cop or fireman lacks knowledge of their radio. Can't blame them for not wanting to learn to scroll through a whopping fifty zones!
 
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Try 50 zones. We use zone numbers too; problem is, the folks who usually need to tell responding agencies where the channel is don't know themselves, and say they don't have time to look it up.

We can't win. . . .
50 zones, who are you talking too? Some days I miss crystal controlled radios, you didn't have the ridiculous channel creep we deal with today and everyone got along just fine with a handful of channels.
 
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Some days I miss crystal controlled radios, you didn't have the ridiculous channel creep we deal with today and everyone got along just fine with a handful of channels
Yes, It was a lot easier when everyone had the same Statewide Fireground frequencies. 154.280 was in every VHF radio! ...45.880 in every Low Band!

Ya' know ...if your Summit stuff replaced "SC TA" with the "M TA-1", Geauga replaced their "7-TA" with "M TA-1", and Cuyahoga changed their FGs to the same, we would be close to that again. *Notice I don't have Portage changing anything! -:p
 

wa8pyr

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50 zones, who are you talking too? Some days I miss crystal controlled radios, you didn't have the ridiculous channel creep we deal with today and everyone got along just fine with a handful of channels.
The standard Franklin County public safety templates have 50 zones, with the interop stuff (local and MPP15) clustered at the top between Zones 35 and 50. Zones 1-25 are generally local stuff, while Zones 26-34 are reserved for "agency use" as needed.

Don't get me started on channel creep. Seems like around here every time someone decides they need a talkgroup (for visiting a specific bathroom or whatever), they demand that one be created for the purpose. We call it "cat in the tree syndrome" because sometimes it seems as though in certain fire departments every fire truck has a designated talkgroup for rescuing cats from trees.

I don't necessarily miss crystal controlled radios; what I do miss is radios with fewer than 255 channels. The ever-increasing channel capacity of these radios just encourages channel creep, as well as a lackadaisical attitude toward operational and tactical channel use planning (ie, "why plan, let's just create a talkgroup for that inevitable asteroid bombardment").
 
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The standard Franklin County public safety templates have 50 zones, with the interop stuff (local and MPP15) clustered at the top between Zones 35 and 50. Zones 1-25 are generally local stuff, while Zones 26-34 are reserved for "agency use" as needed.

Don't get me started on channel creep. Seems like around here every time someone decides they need a talkgroup (for visiting a specific bathroom or whatever), they demand that one be created for the purpose. We call it "cat in the tree syndrome" because sometimes it seems as though in certain fire departments every fire truck has a designated talkgroup for rescuing cats from trees.

I don't necessarily miss crystal controlled radios; what I do miss is radios with fewer than 255 channels. The ever-increasing channel capacity of these radios just encourages channel creep, as well as a lackadaisical attitude toward operational and tactical channel use planning (ie, "why plan, let's just create a talkgroup for that inevitable asteroid bombardment").
"My radio holds 1000 channels, fill it up!" "Visiting a specific bathroom", I have a similar reference to bathroom facilities but it's not as eloquent as yours. We have M TA-1 programmed into an interop zone.
 

fpo701

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I managed to catch the following on 14496:
"Highland Hills xxx, be advised you are on Fire East Band 2". I'm assuming this isn't just Highland Hills. Is this likely Chagrin East Fire 2?
 
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