Maryland Governor announces communications plan

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md_p97

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DAYTON — Flanked by state and local emergency workers, Gov. Martin O’Malley on Thursday launched a sweeping initiative aimed at linking the statewide communications systems used by fire, police and other first responders to better handle crisis situations.

"O’Malley signed an executive order Thursday establishing a project management office to supervise the construction and operation of the new communications system, which will be partially paid for by a $22.9 million federal grant that will help fund 22 projects across the state. In total, the price tag could exceed $1 billion, said John M. Contestabile, who is heading up the project"

http://www.gazette.net/stories/071108/polinew201819_32366.shtml
 
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gmr140

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what a waste of money.

like a firefighter in baltimore county needs to talk to a firefighter in western maryland.

if all radios had the national channel 155.475

police , fire, state police , could talk to each other within local areas..........making a state wide system is dumb, and i can assure you there will be reception holes in the systems, and a simplex system would not have holes because everyone is usually within 1-3miles of each other.
 

ka3jjz

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Via a patch, or have a dedicated radio tied to a controller just for a specific set of talkgroup(s). Very commonly done in most TRSs I have either listened to or read about.

73 Mike
 

doctordave

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[QUOTE=md_p97; In total, the price tag could exceed $1 billion, said John M. Contestabile, who is heading up the project"

Hmmm...now where might that money be coming from? Hide your wallets!! It would be a Hell of a lot cheaper to achieve interop by simply installing cheap, non-trunking 800 MHZ radios in MSP cars and in the vehicles of agencies that are not already on some 800 system - for select use of the 8-CALL & 8-TAC freqs when needed. This sort of approach has proven to be very effective in multiple parts of the country. 5 channels (either accessed in simplex or in tower-repeated mode, depending on the situation) that every fire/PD unit in the State would have access to....at truly a fraction of the cost. Clearly, that sort of keep-it-simple strategy would make far too much fiscal sense...hence the evolution of an outrageously costly statewide digital trunked system. Anyone who believes this to be a dream-come-true should get a spoonful of reality by talking to DE troopers or fire officials or their counterparts in Indiana....or if you really want to get hot under the collar, try PA.

OK...I'm stepping off of the soapbox.
 
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dpm797

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Dave you are so right! However it seems the state officials want to control every local juristdiction. They want every one on that same system like in Delaware.
 

R8000

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Wisconsin is trying to push a statewide trunked radio system to promote "interoperability" among police.

Funny thing is , individual counties don't like the idea of losing control of their radio system if turned over to the state. If the Sheriff wants to fill in a "rf hole" , he can budget for an additional receiver or such to be installed to fill an area. If the state owns the system, add 10 years of red tape and budget shortfalls and employee cutbacks to get the job done.

I am a communications tech for a Wisconsin based Motorola dealer, and the feedback from the meetings among the state people trying to push it, and the counties trying to be forced on to it has basically resulted in most counties giving the state the "finger". Some counties who are rural and have small budgets welcome it, larges ones don't like it.

In response, the State of Wisconsin has teamed up with Raytheon to come up with a statewide VHF P25 radio system, that can be connected to existing radio systems. Now we add the state being involved and getting their fingers in places it shouldn't be.

Out here, pretty much everything is VHF, even the Wisconsin State Patrol. Most county Sheriff Dept's , Fire Dept and EMS organizations already run VHF. Why not just use the V TAC frequencies ?

Your right. Why build a multi million statewide system that CANNOT meet the needs of individual county and local agencies ? Sure, you can build a big system out, but we all know it will not provide the same rf coverage agencies have now. Then add in the political bull****. Now we have a disaster responding to disasters.

Perhaps a better solution would be to try to push a common radio frequency band ? Like VHF or UHF ? VHF seems popular in alot of states. If the Maryland State Police went to VHF, they would have V TAC access to EMS and Hospitals right away, then throw in the few counties who have VHF already.

One common rf band, V TAC channels and/or other repeated and simplex mutual aid channels. Problem solved. All agencies have the power to purchase whatever brand radio they want, they can build out their repeaters/microwave/voting systems/infrastructure however they want to, and ...everyone is happy. Not to mention the cost of VHF equipment vs Low Band.....yikes.

The idea of a statewide radio system sounds good, looks "ok" on paper but I am pretty sure once you think ahead to how it will work in the real world....then you'd see how much of a failure it will be.

I grew up in Allegany County. Seeing this article on RR caught my eye. Always had high respect for the MSP, I really hope they don't get caught up in the same mistakes others have already made.

Trunking systems do have their place. They are good for a large city or county with a population base to justify it. I just dont think in my professional opinion Maryland needs it. The state would benefit greatly buy just moving all state agencies to VHF.

Dispatch console based patches......work......

Most dispatch consoles use VOX detection to activate a busy icon for the dispatcher. The console also uses this same vox as a so-called "COR" for using patches to key the other transmitters. Now your cutting off the first few words of a transmission.

The delays involve :

1. Receiver PL unmute at system A receiver site
2. Voter activation (if applicable)
3. Console VOX detect
4. Console PTT to system B base station or repeater by tone remote commands "function tone keying"
5. System B goes into transmit (hopefully soon enough if microwave or E/M controlled)

If you measure out the delay, it's much more then users are used to. Now your clipping words, and having dropout during conversation during quiet times.

There are ways to reduce some delays in a public safety system, but most of the time it's not practical to do so. One way is to E/M key the base/repeater from the voter or console. However, not all systems support it properly to work right.

Hopefully someone at the State of Maryland will research what other state agencies are experiencing with theirs, and choose wisely and allow local and county users freedom to maintain their own use on the system.

I could drone on and on about mistakes I have seen city/county and state agencies make. But I will go now lol.

73's

Matt Orr N3IVK
Motorola Systems Technician
Madison,WI
 

mlevin

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Well most of MD seems to be 800, so it should in theory be easy to attain interoperability. In the Baltimore metro area its already been achieved for the FD. The only thing that's preventing a similar situation with the local Baltimore area PDs is the fact that no one has each others talkgroups and systems programmed into each others radios, its possible, just no one has seemed to be interested, or maybe no one wants to do it.
 

SHAKEY

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Mike,
You are right and I agree, I posted while in a hurry and didn't think it thru first. I know better!
sorry all.

Shakey
 

James04TJ

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I think that there are a few things that need to be kept in perspective here... First, I do not believe that it is the intention of anyone involved to build this system as a replacement to existing locally owned and maintained systems. Rather it is a partnership with them to share infrastructure to provide the State of Maryland with a statewide system. One must remember that the State has very limited radio resources at the moment. MSP is limited to low band sites at each barrack. MDE has not system short of simplex handhelds. MEMA has a simplex single site VHF system. NRP and SFPS have a combination of multi-site non-simulcast repeaters and simplex channels that must be converted to narrowband. DHMH has no radio system. SHA has a statewide multi-site non-simulcast voted single channel low band system. The State Fire Marshal's Office has no system short of the local MSP barrack's channels. MOSH has no radio system. MIEMSS has no repeated resources and is limited to communicating with EMRC/SYSCOM via MED Channels. The list goes on and on.... While some of these agencies, in some areas, have signed onto county TRS, that does not solve the ability for them to operate with each other or with remote state dispatch centers as is the case for OSFM and MDE. The program also builds the infrastructure for the state's Public Safety Intranet (PSInet) that supports many other digital voice and data communications efforts.

This is not a "new" program or concept. Work has been underway between local and state partners for years.
 

maus92

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The existing state government wireless communications infrastucture is stuck in the 1960's, both in terms of technology and system design. In this century, wireless communications will involve the seamless integration of voice, data, and video - technologies that cannot be supported merely by using existing nationwide TAC channels, thus the need for 700Mhz band.
 
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