• To anyone looking to acquire commercial radio programming software:

    Please do not make requests for copies of radio programming software which is sold (or was sold) by the manufacturer for any monetary value. All requests will be deleted and a forum infraction issued. Making a request such as this is attempting to engage in software piracy and this forum cannot be involved or associated with this activity. The same goes for any private transaction via Private Message. Even if you attempt to engage in this activity in PM's we will still enforce the forum rules. Your PM's are not private and the administration has the right to read them if there's a hint to criminal activity.

    If you are having trouble legally obtaining software please state so. We do not want any hurt feelings when your vague post is mistaken for a free request. It is YOUR responsibility to properly word your request.

    To obtain Motorola software see the Sticky in the Motorola forum.

    The various other vendors often permit their dealers to sell the software online (i.e., Kenwood). Please use Google or some other search engine to find a dealer that sells the software. Typically each series or individual radio requires its own software package. Often the Kenwood software is less than $100 so don't be a cheapskate; just purchase it.

    For M/A Com/Harris/GE, etc: there are two software packages that program all current and past radios. One package is for conventional programming and the other for trunked programming. The trunked package is in upwards of $2,500. The conventional package is more reasonable though is still several hundred dollars. The benefit is you do not need multiple versions for each radio (unlike Motorola).

    This is a large and very visible forum. We cannot jeopardize the ability to provide the RadioReference services by allowing this activity to occur. Please respect this.

New Harris P-25 (Phase-1 & 2) System - Harris Promo Video

Status
Not open for further replies.

kb4cvn

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2004
Messages
874
Location
Nowhere near a paved road, away from the maddening
Check this out. Interesting video Harris produced to showcase their gear down at the City of Coral Gables (Fla.)


My old stomping grounds before I left the Miami area and ended-up in Tech Support for mobiles/portables at Ericsson/GE in Lynchburg, TOO MANY decades ago.

Mr. Jason Swift (WBØATS) gets to show-off the goodies!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALOsG1EbV8E&feature=youtu.be
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,943
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Interesting that the city was allowed to promote a specific vendor like that. Some agencies forbid it.

Also, I do have to snicker a bit when end users talk about P25 and "Interoperability" in the same sentence. Clearly this was scripted or at least prompted by Harris as a sales/promotion tool.
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
365
In some departments that kind of endorsement is forbidden. That's like a department saying Glock is the best for our department. Then on the next bid they switch to Sigs. But then again, in the Banana Republic of Miami Dade County, anything goes.

Great Video though!

McKenna or anyone else - What are your thoughts on P25 and "interoperability" in the same sentence?
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,943
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
McKenna or anyone else - What are your thoughts on P25 and "interoperability" in the same sentence?
The spirit or true intent of "interoperability" is to inter-operate with other agencies.

When a big agency spends millions of dollars on a P25 radio system in the name of "interoperability" it's a bit of a false statement.

Interoperability isn't about the technology, it's about finding the common denominator between all the other agencies you have to talk to. Buying the most expensive product you can might work in some places, but not others.
Say a big city or county buys brand X P25 system. They usually want everything P25 trunked, often 700 or 800 MHz. Fair enough....
Now, a few miles out of town, or just across the county line is a small fire department. They've been running a single channel analog VHF repeated system for their dispatch, maybe a few analog simplex channels for fire ground. Add in the nationwide interoperability "NIFOG" channels, maybe a few state channels. They're good, happy, and everything works.
Now, thanks to the city/county with the most money, everyone who wants to be "interoperable" with them needs to shell out $3000 or more for a P25 radio on the frequency band they have chosen. They usually have to pay a certain amount to said agency to put their radios on their trunked system.

Now, the little fire department across the county line has been forced from a $500 VHF analog radio into a $3000 (or more) 700MHz P25 radio so they can "interoperate" with the neighbors.
To a small agency, going from $500 radios to $3000 radios often means that were each fire fighter had their own radios, they now can't afford to outfit everyone with a brand new $3000 radio plus the monthly or annual access fees to the trunked system.
This either means that there are only a few radios available - which often turns into the wrong people having them, or
The "interoperability" never happening because the little agency doesn't have the desire to blow their annual budget for the whole department on a bunch of radios they don't really need.


True interoperability is about finding the lowest common denominator that works for everyone. That might mean that analog VHF is the default choice.
Unfortunately, Analog VHF doesn't make the big bucks for the radio manufacturers. The sales guys don't get huge bonuses or commissions off of selling a bunch of $500 radios. Sales guys want to sell a bunch of $3000 radios, even if they are not really needed.
But hey, it doesn't really matter because it's just taxpayer dollars, and that money is free an easy to get. All you do is raise a bond measure and tell the gullible voters the old line about "What if you called 911 and no one came?" The voters freak out and vote in a huge bond measure to fund a bunch of radios that are not really needed.

A real load of grade A bull droppings.

If the big agencies really had the money, the should be purchasing radios that will work on their fancy new 700MHz P25 Phase 2 trunked system as well as plain old analog VHF. But why do that when you can just force the small agencies to push their own bond measures onto their voters and buy their own $3000 radios, even if they don't really need or want them?

P25 does absolutely nothing for interoperability. That's all a huge marketing scam. Yeah, it works, but it takes loads of money to make it work. Taxpayer money. Harris, Motorola, etc. are laughing all the way to the bank.

Yeah, interoperability.

FCC and DHS has made it abundantly clear that interoperability needs to be about simple communications. But, that goes against what the radio vendors want. So, it often gets ignored.

Yeah, big city/county agencies could just program in some analog 8TAC or 7TAC NIFOG channels, but they radio vendors usually don't do that. It takes someone in the agency to demand it. Rarely that happens because the radio systems are either run by guys who don't know what they are doing, don't care, work for the vendor, or some IT guy that has zero clue what the end users do with the radios.

Just remember that next time your taxes go up and the county threatens you with no one showing up when you call 911.
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
365
Wow... I never fully understood it till now. Thank you for opening my eyes, As this makes total sense now.

Personally speaking P25 and the rest of the digital formats really "hurt" my ears after listening for a few hours. When in analog, my ears feel normal. I know it'll never happen but it would be nice if they went back to analog or at least the Motorola Smartnet. Occasionally listened to Smartnet and it doesn't "seem" that bad. But hey, I guess that's what these companies are pushing on us.
 
Last edited:

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,943
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Wow... I never fully understood it till now. Thank you for opening my eyes, As this makes total sense now.
The "interoperability" term has become and overused industry buzzword to sell equipment. All to often the wrong people are using the term. The men and women wearing the boots just want a radio and be able to talk to dispatch. The man/woman in the big office with all the brass on their uniform want big things. They want a legacy they leave behind. The bigger the legacy the better. Think of it as a monument.

Vendor shows up and takes the person with the most brass/stripes out to lunch. Wine/beer/martinis flow like water. Buddy buddy... Big words are used. The wonk who no longer wears boots, or never did in the first place, learns some big new words. He shares those words. City council/county board hears the big words and starts using them.
No one really knows what the big words mean, but that's OK, it never stopped them before.

It sorta all goes down hill from there. You get the idea.

Joe or Jenna firefighter just wants a radio. They don't care what it is, they just want it to work. What they usually end up with is the Ferrari of radios. It's a helluva nice radio, but they needed a Chevy Pickup of radios, but they're happy with the shiny new radio.

Bob or Bobbie taxpayer gets hosed.

Repeat as necessary.


Just wait. P25 is the first step. Before all those multi-million dollar bond measures are paid off, the public safety LTE systems are going to hit. Every agency will "need" to have a new radio/terminal. More bond measures, because as you know, "what if you call 911 and no one showed up" because they didn't have the latest gadget?

As they said in the service: bend over, here it comes again.
 

Bote

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
706
Location
Ft. Lauderdale, FL, U.S.A.
The biggest impediment "interoperability" is "operability".

People will do things the way they do them most often; that's the "operability" part. So if the the University of Miami is frequently talking to Coral Gables police because they are essentially a small town surrounded by a larger town, then they know how to do that because they do it all the time.

All the crowing in this video about interop neglects the fact that when a large incident pulls in responders from many different jurisdictions, they won't know the drill because they haven't been drilled on how to push the buttons and turn the knobs to those other channels in their radios that they never ever go to. I have heard this countless times on the Broward and Fort Lauderdale systems and it happens elsewhere as well.

The knee-jerk reaction is "patch the channels", but that's not always possible. And patching talkgroups on a trunked system consumes more time on the control channel to broadcast the larger data words that advertise the patched talkgroups, so it's not a panacea. It's not a bottomless pit of resources.

Many of these agencies have interoperability right now, but they don't use it because they don't know how. Buying new stuff doesn't solve that problem, despite what the sales video tells us.
 
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Messages
1,459
Location
Soledad, CA
Harris is building a similar system here where I live p25 700mhz/Vhf. local gov made the far cry call for interoperability when the whole county is on VHF conv and they already have every agencies programmed.
 

MTS2000des

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
2,945
Location
Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
The biggest impediment "interoperability" is "operability".

People will do things the way they do them most often; that's the "operability" part. So if the the University of Miami is frequently talking to Coral Gables police because they are essentially a small town surrounded by a larger town, then they know how to do that because they do it all the time.

All the crowing in this video about interop neglects the fact that when a large incident pulls in responders from many different jurisdictions, they won't know the drill because they haven't been drilled on how to push the buttons and turn the knobs to those other channels in their radios that they never ever go to. I have heard this countless times on the Broward and Fort Lauderdale systems and it happens elsewhere as well.

The knee-jerk reaction is "patch the channels", but that's not always possible. And patching talkgroups on a trunked system consumes more time on the control channel to broadcast the larger data words that advertise the patched talkgroups, so it's not a panacea. It's not a bottomless pit of resources.

Many of these agencies have interoperability right now, but they don't use it because they don't know how. Buying new stuff doesn't solve that problem, despite what the sales video tells us.
This is pretty accurate. While I cannot comment on how things are down in South Florida, where I work, we are working hard to change this culture.

We are implementing new subscribers, and we have made many changes to the fleet map. That was the easy part. Getting folks to become proficient with their hardware is challenging when you are in a sea of different users.

It's not like you can just pull everyone off the street and get them all in one room and get the 2 to 4 hours of their time you really need to teach them.

Then there is the practice part. Having a tool is only as good as the operator who knows how and when to use it and what to expect of it.

On another note: I know very little about Harris systems. I'm in a Motorola world, but the EDACS gateway sounds much like Smart-X.
 

RayAir

Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
Messages
1,776
They made a sales video in my county about 5-6 years ago. It was something like "Oakland County Runs on Harris" which touted the system as "Interoperable" among other things.

I can only speculate an area fire chief with a vested interest was involved in this too.

Issues:

First, it's OpenSky. Second, everything around us is P25 phase 1.

Interop in the county is great , but with surrounding ones, not so great. Or worse, non-existent.

It's pretty bad when you have agencies one block away from each other doing a drag net for fleeing felon and they could not communicate. One agency uses P25, the other uses OpenSky.

Their answer is a patch channel where they told us there's no guarantee anyone will answer it , or reboot your radio to conventional analog and use 8CALL90.

Interop to the county east of us was being improved by the use of patch groups when I left.

However, for at least the last 4 years we do have a reliable, quality, in-county radio system, but it took a long time and a lot of money to get there.

I used the Harris P7200 and found it to be a great radio. A bit of a brick, but well built, sort of like the XTS5000.

The promotional sales video:
https://youtu.be/y1j7W9mshNo
 

ElroyJetson

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2002
Messages
2,455
Location
Florida, where you wish you were!
"Interoperability" is the language every salesman speaks until the winner is picked and the contract is signed. After that point they push post-contract "proprietary features" which provided value added capabilities. (And incidentally the competitors don't have the equivalent feature in a compatible format, wink wink, nudge nudge...)
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,943
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
wink wink, nudge nudge...)
Say no more!

Exactly what seems to happen. Trouble is the guys procuring the radio systems rarely understand what they are purchasing. I have to practically sit on top of our purchasing people to make sure they are doing what we ask them to do.
 

WB3DYE

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 30, 2015
Messages
140
Location
White Haven Pa
Open sky

Have you noticed that there is not a lot of publicity concerning open sky? I have a program which scans various media outlets with open sky has a search word. I can't tell you the last time I saw an article about it there was a comment made above about open sky being installed after sale. I hope Coral Gables realizes that with open sky it cannot operate with another system unless the other system is using open sky.
 

dpcain

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Messages
1,399
Location
MD
Have you noticed that there is not a lot of publicity concerning open sky?
Yeah because it's a bag of hair and these days even Harris is trying to drop it down a hole except for data applications.

OpenSky is the little redhead angel Harris acquired when it married M/A-COM, and they're finally realizing what a terror that little stepchild is.
 

ElroyJetson

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2002
Messages
2,455
Location
Florida, where you wish you were!
OpenScam's origin: Developed by AMP Wireless Systems as a data system for FedEx to facilitate live package tracking for the FedEx vehicle fleet.

OpenSky is a digital radio system sold by a division of Harris (formerly a division of M/A-COM). It was introduced in 1999 as an expansion of the Monarch wireless voice and data system built for FedEx.

OpenSky uses a four-slot TDMA transmission method (four-level GMSK modulation) in 25 kHz bandwidth channels with an aggregate data rate of 19.2 kbps (symbol rate of 9600 baud). This is on both the forward and reverse links.

There are three primary OpenSky protocols: FMP (Federal Express Mobile Protocol), OCP (OpenSky Communication Protocol), and OTP (OpenSky Trunking Protocol). FMP supports digital voice. The airlink protocols are based on modified Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) IS-732 and carry voice using DVSI's AMBE (Advanced MultiBand Excitation) vocoder. M/A-COM modified the physical layer and Media Access layers to support trunking and mixed voice and data traffic.


A listing of OpenSky systems and their status is available here:

OpenSky


Note the absurdly high rate of described major issues with the system.

If any auto manufacturer had this many problems with a specific model of vehicle,
the federal government would order every such car recalled and crushed.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top