NS TMR2 new system discussion

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hfxChris

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As I'm sure most of us know, Nova Scotia's new province-wide trunking system (informally known as TMR2, although this may actually be an official name..) is going to be coming online soon. Not sure how many people here visit both the RR forums and Scan Maritimes, but one of the members there posted a letter that was sent from NS PSFCO to volunteer fire departments with some information on timelines.

- June 2014, system operational for testing
- October 2014, agencies to begin migrating from the current TMR to the new system
- May 2015, migration completed

So far there aren't any licensed frequencies in the TAFL but I would imagine that will change in the next while.

So please, keep your eyes and ears peeled; I'm also going to be checking the TAFL for new 700 MHz frequencies on a regular basis, and I'll probably scan for new frequencies every now and then. I would say once we have some sort of control channel on the air I will create the new system in the RR database.


Also of note, the radio seeding program for VFDs that the province initiated on the current system will be continued and enhanced, with up to seven mobiles and four portables provided to departments. With only (up to) four portables, I would speculate that the TMR2 VFD talkgroups will be used much the way they are now, to coordinate responses (including mutual aid) and the on-scene operations would switch to a VHF channel. Also the letter states there will be fourteen VFD talkgroups per region, which is a significant increase.
 

caper3940

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Hello

Hi Chris,

I am a retired volunteered Firefighter from Cape Breton, who moved up here in Dartmouth, 13 yrs ago , and I just bought I digital trunking hand held scanner, I am new with this, find it a bit complicated, but am getting a bit used to it. Will I still be able to hear emergency services once their on the new system ?
 

hfxChris

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Nope, the Pro-96 won't do 700 MHz trunking. You would need something like a GRE PSR-500, Radio Shack Pro-106 or Uniden BCD396T, BCD396XT or any of the new digital scanners.
 

novascotian

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And keep in mind, that even with a digital scanner good for 700, no one will be able to listen to the encrypted signals expected to be used by the major law enforcement agencies in NS, so those whose main or only interest is listening to them shouldn't be rushing to buy a new scanner! No current scanner or anything on the horizon will do that job.
 

novascotian

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You should be able to listen to fire departments around NS pretty much as normal, well not quite. Most of them outside HRM use VHF and not the trunk system and that won't change much, but there might be more use of some of the trunk channels in some circumstances.. like nowadays how some of the depts in SW NS use the trunk a fair bit, they likely still will and maybe a bit more...

but to answer better, the encryption is supposedly going to be law enforcement agencies and federal govt.. the other users willl be digital but not encrypted...
 

topdogz401

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I currently use a pro 164 to listen to ehs and fire and occasionally dot. I know if I choose to continue to listen to ehs ill need a digital scanner, my question is does anyone have any recommendations on models and where to buy them at the best price. I've found a ton on ebay, but the import/duty fees make it unreasonable to order from. Originally I was going to buy a refurb bcd396xt directly from uniden, but again duties cone into play. Are there any reasonable priced scanners anywhere in the country? My budget for a digital scanner is probably 350 or so. Brand new is not a must for me, but it needs to be in good working order. I got my pro164 from ebay for a steal so the duty was negligible on it. I may post it on ebay to resell to put some towards my new one. Any help is appreciated.
 

hfxChris

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Looks like it will. By the sounds of that's similar to the GRE PSR-800, which will do 700MHz P25 trunking. It should also come with software so it can pretty much "program itself" using radioreference's database (similar to the Uniden HomePatrol if you know about that scanner)
 

topdogz401

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Thanks for the reply. My only concern was that the Pro doesnt do P25 Phase 2 which I know the TMR2 will be capable of. I know in the beginning everything should be phase 1, but I didnt want to buy something that it too would be obsolete in no time. I know the PSR-800 supported TDMA, but the Pro-18 lacked that capability. Either way, I have the chance to buy a Pro-18 for $270US +$20 shipping+duties (around $60 I think). This will bring my total to around $400. I only have a day to decide on it, so that's why I came here looking for an opinion!
I do apologize if I seem repetitive, while I consider myself knowledgable on scanning, I still want to make sure I'm not ripping myself off either.

Thanks
 

rob79

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Hey hfxChris - do you know if this planned move to the new system will also show an increased use of encryption? P25 is easy for us SDR people, encryption is the kryptonite (as I'm sure it is for people with more sophisticated equipment as well). If everything went digital and analogue disappeared entirely that would simplify things even more, but I'm probably in the minority when it comes to hoping that will happen :).
 

Res21cue

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The new TMR 2 system will be entirely P25 digital with no commercial users on the system. It is going to be for Public Safety Agencies only. On April 1st (two weeks) the RCMP in NS are moving to 100% encryption and will still be encrypted with TMR 2 once it comes online. To my knowledge, after speaking with alot of people involved in the planning and implementation of the system... the RCMP will be the only ones moving to encryption that are not already there. There was some discussion that HRM PD was moving....but all indication are now that they will remain only P25 digital and will still be scanable.
 

rob79

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The new TMR 2 system will be entirely P25 digital with no commercial users on the system. It is going to be for Public Safety Agencies only. On April 1st (two weeks) the RCMP in NS are moving to 100% encryption and will still be encrypted with TMR 2 once it comes online. To my knowledge, after speaking with alot of people involved in the planning and implementation of the system... the RCMP will be the only ones moving to encryption that are not already there. There was some discussion that HRM PD was moving....but all indication are now that they will remain only P25 digital and will still be scanable.
Bummer. As someone who's just discovering this hobby I'm disappointed to hear the RCMP will be going encrypted so soon.

So if TMR2 is going to be all public safety doesn't that mean the existing system will remain for private users? Now I'm curious about why they would build out two systems. Bandwidth? Redundancy?

Thanks for the info.
 

Res21cue

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Nope, the old 800 mhz TMR 1 system will be gone in just over a year from now. The dozens and dozens of commercial users are going to be getting letters in the mail, if they have not already...stating that they have just over 1 year from now to find alternate communication options.
 

rob79

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Nope, the old 800 mhz TMR 1 system will be gone in just over a year from now. The dozens and dozens of commercial users are going to be getting letters in the mail, if they have not already...stating that they have just over 1 year from now to find alternate communication options.
Oh wow! So what's the point of all this? Couldn't the RCMP just go encrypted on the current system and everything else stay the same? I feel like I'm missing something here - what is the advantage of this switch? Besides huge costs for the smaller users to find alternatives Aliant will be losing a bunch of customers. I just don't get it...
 

Res21cue

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The switch over has nothing to do with the RCMP. One of the main reasons is the current system is actually becoming obsolete believe it or not. The equipment used to maintain it is quickly becoming hard to find parts for. Another reason is the amount of users... They actually didnt intend to have this many users on the system I dont think and its starting to bog it down sometimes. With an understanding how the repeater system works and what could happen in rural areas or even urban areas when too many people try to communicate at the same time, you would notice that users will often get a busy signal when trying to transmit. Its really interesting how it all works behind the scenes. With the new system on 700 mhz... its been set by Industry Canada that no commercial users will be allowed on the system so it should not get bogged down as much. There is alot of other technical reasons for it too but thats just a touch of it. Time for change and the equipment was got at a great deal from the Vancouver Olympics.
 

rob79

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Fair enough. Like I said I'm brand new to scanning (and amateur radio in general) so I still don't know the ins-and-outs of these things. Either way it looks like I'm starting off at a point where things are going to be changing so it's nice to be able to see the "beginning" of the new system in a glass-half-full kind of way.

I'm interested in what the private users are going to be doing now. It's nice to have one system shared by all from a scanner perspective but it will be interesting to see the different systems that pop up as a result of this. To be perfectly honest scanning caught my attention more as a "technical exercise" than as something that I'm really interested in listening in to (although that's a pretty cool side effect).

A month ago I thought scanning was something that you had to go buy a special device for and had no idea about trunking or frequency sharing or anything like that. When I started playing with my SDR tools and discovered that NS had this single system that was shared by many people it really piqued my interest. Although it's annoying in one sense that things are going to be fractured it's exciting in another sense because it gives more systems to explore...
 
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