MECA Digital: complaints, conjecture, opinions, rants, rumors

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AK9R

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A couple of weeks ago, I posted a message in the "Ongoing Changes: Marion Co. MECA System" thread asking that the thread stay on topic of operational and technical details about the new system. That hasn't deterred some folks from continuing to make what I consider to be off-topic posts. Hey, I'm not a moderator around here, but I do think it'd be useful to the casual user of this forum to keep that thread clear of posts that don't directly apply to monitoring the system.

So, I've created this thread. If you have personal thoughts about the system, post them here. Feel free to tell the world what a piece of cr*p you think the new system is. Feel free to complain about how you think the Marion County taxpayers are getting screwed. Feel free to wring your hands about how many firefighters and police officers will be left dead in the streets because they can't communicate using the new system. Oh, and if you heard some juicy tidbit from a friend of a friend who just happens to be on the inside, this is the place.

Fire away!
 

AK9R

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W9RXR sorry that you feeLthat way but I am A "Marion County Taxpayer" AND expect to hear the system I bought and paid for with my "Hard Earned Taxpayer Dollars"...
Tim, do you really think that MECA cares that you can't monitor the system on a $500 wide-band scanner? They didn't build the system for you. They built it for public safety personnel. If it works for those people, that's what matters. And, if it works for public safety, then the taxpayers of Marion County have been served...whether you can monitor it or not.

...you on the other hand did not pay for the system and are a resdient of" Hendricks county."...
Using your logic, I should stop monitoring the system just because I don't pay property taxes in Marion County.

You have no idea of what I am going thru over here and would welcome you to come over and hear what is going on in this area.
Tim, you keep posting messages telling us how awful your reception is, so I think we all have a pretty good idea of what you are "going through". The world does not revolve around your ability to monitor the system. If you can't monitor it, sell your scanners and take up another hobby. I'm sure someone who can monitor the system will buy your equipment.

As for hearing what's going on in your area, I tried that this evening. I drove 71st Street from I-465 to Michigan Road, Michigan Road from 71st Street to 79th Street, and then 79th Street from Michigan Road to Lafayette Road. In the area of 71st and Michigan, the reception was pretty poor. Same thing at 79th and Michigan. I got caught by the traffic light at 79th and Payne and the reception was OK. As soon as I started moving and got to the other side of the intersection, reception was lousy again. By the time I got to Georgetown Road, reception was perfect. As we keep telling you, location is everything.

Speaking of your location, attached is a map I made. It shows your address and the two closest MECA towers. Note that you are almost equidistant from those two towers. rdale keeps telling you that that's a problem with a digital system and keeps telling you that you need a directional antenna. He keeps telling you that you have to make sure that the signal from only one tower is reaching your receiver. Having plotted out the locations on a map, I think he's right. But, heck, he's from Michigan, so what does he know.

Also, another possible problem with your location is all those high-powered analog and digital television transmitters that are less than five miles from your house. Even though they are operating on different frequencies from MECA, it's quite possible that they are producing harmonics that interfering with MECA's transmissions in your area. Or, they may just plain be overloading the RF section of your scanner.

Again The problem is on MECA and not my scanners and for the last time I DO NOT NEED A OUTDOOR ANTENNA.
I disagree. And, since you won't follow the advice that has been freely offered in this forum, why would anyone bother to go to your house to show you how to solve the problem?

I have called MECA and they were not aware of this problem.FYI they thanked me for calling and are going to see what the problem is.(Yes Bob) I did call them!
If I was working at MECA and got your phone call, I'd politely try to get you off the phone, too. They have much bigger problems to solve than your inability to monitor the system. And I'm guessing that they have people out there with real test equipment, not a $500 scanner, evaluating the system performance.

Bob,I was "Not using a BC 396T" I was using a 996T if you will re-read my last postings with a rubber duck antenna on the back of he scanner.
Where did I say you were using a 396? I told you what I was using to receive the system. Since you own a 396, you should be able to receive the system as well as I do.
 

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DiGiTaLD

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Tim, do you really think that MECA cares that you can't monitor the system on a $500 wide-band scanner? They didn't build the system for you. They built it for public safety personnel. If it works for those people, that's what matters. And, if it works for public safety, then the taxpayers of Marion County have been served...whether you can monitor it or not.
+1000. The system isn't built with your listening pleasure in mind. Why do you think you are so entitled to listen to it? At least the system is monitorable, and if you would take some of the excellent suggestions folks have offered up, you'd be listening to it right now. I can only imagine the whining you'd be doing if something like EDACS ProVoice or OpenSky were implemented!
As for hearing what's going on in your area, I tried that this evening. I drove 71st Street from I-465 to Michigan Road, Michigan Road from 71st Street to 79th Street, and then 79th Street from Michigan Road to Lafayette Road. In the area of 71st and Michigan, the reception was pretty poor. Same thing at 79th and Michigan. I got caught by the traffic light at 79th and Payne and the reception was OK. As soon as I started moving and got to the other side of the intersection, reception was lousy again. By the time I got to Georgetown Road, reception was perfect. As we keep telling you, location is everything.
Exactly.
Note that you are almost equidistant from those two towers. rdale keeps telling you that that's a problem with a digital system and keeps telling you that you need a directional antenna. He keeps telling you that you have to make sure that the signal from only one tower is reaching your receiver. Having plotted out the locations on a map, I think he's right. But, heck, he's from Michigan, so what does he know.
Hmm, they only have a statewide P25 system in Michigan, and it's simulcast in Detroit, using the same LSM CQPSK that the new MECA does. Its not like he has any experience trying to monitor one of these.

You don't really notice the slight timing difference with analog simulcast, but with LSM CQPSK P25, its a whole new ballgame. Sometimes, when the signal quality drops below where my 96 can decode it, I hear the undecoded signal and I'm surprised that it decodes it most of the time at all. I took a drive today, and the closer I got to the southwest tower, the better and better it got. When I actually had the tower in sight, it was just like listening to single-site C4FM P25 on SAFE-T, it sounded that good.
Also, another possible problem with your location is all those high-powered analog and digital television transmitters that are less than five miles from your house. Even though they are operating on different frequencies from MECA, it's quite possible that they are producing harmonics that interfering with MECA's transmissions in your area. Or, they may just plain be overloading the RF section of your scanner.
Yes, you would be surprised how sensitive these things are to intermod. The receivers have wide open front ends, and are succeptible to just about everything out there that's emitting RF.
If I was working at MECA and got your phone call, I'd politely try to get you off the phone, too.
Not me. I'd tell you to get bent.
 

rdale

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rdale keeps telling you that that's a problem with a digital system and keeps telling you that you need a directional antenna. He keeps telling you that you have to make sure that the signal from only one tower is reaching your receiver. Having plotted out the locations on a map, I think he's right. But, heck, he's from Michigan, so what does he know.
Some people think the laws of physics are different south of the border, but what do they know ;)
 

AK9R

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WISH 8 ran a story at 12 about todays cut over and the issues and will have it again at 5 and 6PM.
Yeah, that was quite the investigative report they ran last night.

- IFD and Marion County Fire switched to the new system
- Studies have shown that in certain circumstances, it's hard to make out voices on the new system
- Fire chiefs have written letters to MECA
- MECA hasn't answered those letters

There was nothing in that story that we didn't already know. It was a complete waste of air time.
 

AK9R

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W8FCC's inside information

All I can say is it Sucks to be you if you ran out and bought a bunch of stuff and there is changes coming for MECA so we will see.
What changes? What inside information have the MECA system managers or the MECA board shared with you? Or are you just speculating that something might happen in the future?

Heck, anyone can speculate. I can speculate that it will rain next week and I have a 50-50 chance of being right...or wrong.
 

jerk

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Here's a quote from a Mon Jan 5, 2004 1:49 pm posting on the Yahoo Pro-96 group
Anyway, CQPSK have been a problem for many years, though I think GRE and RS have resolved the issues quite well. Uniden... well every year they try... literally; they give us yearly updates. I suggest patience, and realize that the sound is not going to be perfect on a Uniden, may not even be all the acceptable. As long as you can understand, that may be the best you can get. Tim, I would suggest tweaking one of your many scanners to use it specifically for MECA and the groups you absolutely have to monitor.

"UPDATE on pro 96 CQPSK upgrade
Our thanks to the members of the GRE Development team working on the
PRO-96 for passing along the following:
We would like to take a moment and inform your readers about our
current efforts to create a CQPSK update for the PRO-96.
A CQPSK update is being worked on. Efforts began in October and are
ongoing. Several beta versions have been developed and tested. It
has proven to be more difficult than anticipated. This is mostly due
to the complexities of performing instant Automatic Intelligent
Digital Tracking, a unique PRO-96 feature that eliminates the need
to manually set the digital decoder for the different types of
digital systems in the field. We still believe there is a good
chance that we will be successful.

While we feel confident that we will be successful, you should all
be aware that there is a possibility we may not be able to field a
version that is good enough to meet the needs and expectations of
end users. Please keep in mind that the PRO-96 was designed to work
with C4FM digital modulation. It was not specified or designed to
work with CQPSK systems.

We are glad to see that so many of you are enjoying your PRO-96
digital scanners and we appreciate your patience and understanding.

The GRE Digital Scanner Development Team"
 

AK9R

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We knew that - but did the public?
Probably not. But what good does it do the public for a television station to air a one-sided report? The taxpayers in Marion County have every right to be concerned about how their tax dollars were spent. However, it seems that all they've gotten from the local news media is how bad the system is. I've seen very few, if any, interviews with MECA management.

Then there's the "newspaper publisher" in Brownsburg (http://www.brownsburgweek.com) who picked up on the MECA situation and now uses it as fodder for his rants about Hendricks County going to SAFE-T. Unfortunately, he has very limited understanding of the technical issues and he keeps confusing radio problems with dispatch problems.

Hey, I don't expect the news media to be able to present the technical issues in a form that the average taxpayer can understand. But they don't even try. They just run "investigative reports" about how much the local fire chiefs don't want to go digital.
 

ten78

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It might be me, but mt reception seems to be much better in the daytime.
996t
 

AK9R

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Scanner Freak,Please close this thread before it becomes a big mess and W9RXR is not a "Moderator" on this fourm.You are!
Big mess? You must be talking about the "Ongoing Changes: Marion Co. MECA System" thread. That thread is notable for you complaining about not being able to receive the system and W8FCC hinting that something's going to happen. You are correct, I am not a moderator. I am, however, a paid subscriber, which you are not, and I got tired of having to wade through useless messages in attempt to find useful technical or operational information.

Multiple people have made multiple suggestions to you as to how you can improve your reception of MECA Digital. Yet, you are still trying to receive the system in a lousy RF environment with a throw-away rubber duck antenna. Fix your problems, then come here and complain.
 

rdale

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Scanner Freak,Please close this thread before it becomes a big mess and W9RXR is not a "Moderator" on this fourm.You are!
If you want a moderator to act on a thread - you click the "alert" button and give a reason... Your post seems a bit off-topic.
 

W9NES

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rdale, sorry to break the news to you but I fixed my scanner problem and I did not REPEAT did not need a OUTSIDE ANTENNA.I saved myself a lot of money and I would recomend that you get fimilar with the controls of a Uniden BC 996T in heavy RF areas with overload on the front end of the receiver.You can quit with putting down people on this fourm as your area also not a "Moderator of this fourm at hand" Scanner freak is in charge and you are not.*Please close this thread* and lock it down!!!
 

rdale

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AK9R

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Yet a new issue with MECA and the Digital system WRTV 6 news reports that when you call 911 the new radio system will not link up with the 911 calls so the operator/dispatcher can not communicate with the FD/PD and 911 and the system does not see the dial tone or ring or the radios and yet NO responce from MECA.
Once again, this sounds like half of the story, rumor, and conjecture.

9-1-1 calls go to a call taker, not the dispatchers. The call takers talk to the caller and generate a run in the CAD system. In the case of MECA, it's Z-Client. The CAD entry pops up on a dispatcher's screen and they contact the officers in the field via radio. In Hendricks County, the CAD entry is also pushed out to the responding officer's MDT (the significance of this is that Hendricks County is using MECA for CAD even though they use SAFE-T for voice communications).

I'm not sure I undersand this perceived disconnect between the 9-1-1 system and the radio system because they really aren't directly connected. It all goes through the CAD. If there's an issue with the 9-1-1 system not handling calls properly, that's a CAD problem, not a radio problem.

Sure hope they get it all working before some one gets killed.
More fear mongering, Richard?
 

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Once again, this sounds like half of the story, rumor, and conjecture.

9-1-1 calls go to a call taker, not the dispatchers. The call takers talk to the caller and generate a run in the CAD system. In the case of MECA, it's Z-Client. The CAD entry pops up on a dispatcher's screen and they contact the officers in the field via radio. In Hendricks County, the CAD entry is also pushed out to the responding officer's MDT (the significance of this is that Hendricks County is using MECA for CAD even though they use SAFE-T for voice communications).

I'm not sure I undersand this perceived disconnect between the 9-1-1 system and the radio system because they really aren't directly connected. It all goes through the CAD. If there's an issue with the 9-1-1 system not handling calls properly, that's a CAD problem, not a radio problem.


More fear mongering, Richard?
For one the call taker is the dispatcher for MECA this is NOT hendricks County two you have NO clue to what is going on so take your polital crap and keep it in your county We all know about your but kissing ways. NO one was talking to you any way this was on another thread and you are NOT a Modrator and so what if you paid for this site SUCKS to be you. You waisted your money if they dont like what I have to say then they pull my post or kick me off "done before" it is NOT for you to Say. what have YOU summited to help the site? As for me a LOT.
 
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