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Multi-agency/system programming best practices

Markb

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Hello All,

The agency I work for has recently purchased APX 8000's for which I will be doing part of the programming. I am familiar with Motorola software in general and have programmed about 16 analog conventional channels into an APX today.
Our plan is to load up these radios with several of our cooperators' trunked systems (yes, with an MOU in place for said use) along with a bunch of conventional.
So my question is this:

Is there a better way to program all these systems other than having each agency build off of a single codeplug? I don't see a way to copy and paste into another instance of CPS. I don't want to do a bunch of data entry only to have to start over when we get a codeplug back from our neighbors. I would think that in the last 20 years or so, with the interoperability buzzword being thrown around all over the place, that there would be an easy way to accomplish this.

Thanks,
Mark
 

GTR8000

NY/NJ Database Guy
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Open two instances of APX CPS side by side, drag and drop stuff from one codeplug to the other. You can also use the XML Export/Import feature, which can make importing a lot of stuff at once easier. Just be aware that the scan lists almost always get screwed up when bringing them over from one codeplug to another, due to the zone numbers not matching up.
 

Air37

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Sep 9, 2011
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Get a software key for each system. Build a master and then start cloning. I deal with about a 100 different agencies and drag and drop and clone will be your friend!!
 

KK6ZTE

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I push it on everyone I meet, even the guy with 20 6000s for a little department. It's lifechanging IMO for managing more than ten or so radios.
 

MTS2000des

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First step is authoring a template with approved talkgroups/conventional frequencies and ensure things like nomenclature match what is germane to each agency's standards. Surprised no one has mentioned this. The template should be signed off on by all agencies involved ASSuming your MOU doesn't spell this out.

The template is what you build the CPs off of. It's also a good idea to hand out a spreadsheet of what is what. Having deployed thousands of radios across a 19 agency PSAP, this is the best practice. It's a good idea to have a MASTER template with EVERYTHING, than add/delete zones/channels with spaces so that channel/mode positions are consistent across different agency radios. This makes it easy to tell someone to navigate to zone x-xx then channel position y. The name should match what was signed off on. If an agency doesn't need/isn't authorized on a given channel, we put BLANK in that placeholder.
 

N4DES

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Dec 19, 2002
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Personally I use APX1000 TDMA capable codeplugs that I use as my distribution masters.
I have ones built for IO and IO+ Hospital (Hospital). The recipient would use the drag and drop across two instances of CPS and using an ASK.

Other entities that need more exotic programming (like encryption) will get an APX6K.

Been doing this for years with no issues across over 60 separate agencies that have access.
 

Markb

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First step is authoring a template with approved talkgroups/conventional frequencies and ensure things like nomenclature match what is germane to each agency's standards. Surprised no one has mentioned this. The template should be signed off on by all agencies involved ASSuming your MOU doesn't spell this out.

The template is what you build the CPs off of. It's also a good idea to hand out a spreadsheet of what is what. Having deployed thousands of radios across a 19 agency PSAP, this is the best practice. It's a good idea to have a MASTER template with EVERYTHING, than add/delete zones/channels with spaces so that channel/mode positions are consistent across different agency radios. This makes it easy to tell someone to navigate to zone x-xx then channel position y. The name should match what was signed off on. If an agency doesn't need/isn't authorized on a given channel, we put BLANK in that placeholder.

Yeah, we do most of that. Trunked systems,
yes we will mirror what those agencies have loaded. Most of the remaining load is VHF. Nomenclature is fairly standard. Channel locations/positions, not so much. We group VHF by agency and/or function.

We also print out a booklet every year with the current channel lineup, VHF repeater sites/tones to access said repeaters, FPP guide, MDC guide, etc.... Each unit has a half-sheet of paper-sized booklet assigned, each individual is issued a booklet half that size with the same info.

Thanks for the tips.
 

TampaTyron

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Recommend using different Radio ID prefixes for each agency, different talkgroup prefixes for each agency, and different Key ID prefixes for each agency. TT
 
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