NYCOMCO EDACS Tests

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paul

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New York Communications people have been testing new EDACS setups for several days (using ID 02-006)
This seems to involve a new EDACS site at Schunnemunk Mtn. in Orange Co. This site may use a new data channel of 859.7875 MHz. PRO-197 shows this as Channel 1, Site 8. Haven't been able to identify any other frequencies for this site. The data channel is quite weak in Poughkeepsie. The tests are being simulcast on Beacon and Illinois sites - possiby also on Sams, Arden, Graham, etc. - so the interconnect of EDACS seems to be happening. The tests are ongoing as I'm typing this and should continue tomorrow.
 

62Truck

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Paul I know they plan on linking all tower sites expect for millbrook together. I kinda find it hard to believe that nycomco is putting up another edacs site being that they are going through a turbo phase
 

pro92b

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I logged the new site all day and found five channels captured. LCN 1 = 859.7875 and this was the control channel until about a half hour ago. Now the control channel is LCN 2 = 859.0375. It appears that LCN 3 = 860.0375 but I need more monitoring time to confirm that. The site ID is 0008 and so far groups 02-005 and 02-006 have been logged along with 9 radio ID's. They have stopped testing for the day so nothing more will be captured until tomorrow.
 

paul

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Thanks for the replies.
857.1125 MHz. may also be a part of the apparently new Schunnemunk Mtn. EDACS site. Signals are so weak here that it's difficult to be certain.
 

mike4164

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I was listening last night and Orange 911 stated that one of the towers was down and being repaired so that might explain the lack of reception the last few days and the testing as well.
 

APX8000

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Schunnemunk is going to be the hub for the system...that is where the microwave links are set up. The sites used by Orange County public safety agencies that are going to be linked are Beacon, Arden and Graham. I've heard unconfirmed reports that Sam's Point may be linked as well. I find it interesting that an actual EDACS site has popped up on Schunnemunk. They may be moving all the users on Arden over to Schunnemunk, mainly because SMK can cover those agencies the same, if not better as well as add other towns that would normally take two or three sites to cover. I haven't heard anything about Illinois, Kingston or Millbrook being part of the link since the microwave is owned by Orange County not by NYCOMCO or the other counties. Additonally, only certain countywide TGs are going to be linked like Intersystems, OC 911, POLICE, etc due to limited bandwidth...no one wants to get a busy signal when they try to transmit. I know pro92b runs Unitrunker and I should have it up tonight.
 

trauma74

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Orange County received a grant about 1.5 - 2 years ago for upgrades its radio systems for police, fire & EMS. At the time, I was the Communications Officer for my agency. I attended a few meetings that were held about the grant and the plans for the upgrades and improvements.
One of the upgrades they mentioned was to the 800mhz EDACS trunking system. From what I was told, there will be more EDACS repeaters installed @ various tower sites around the County and all of the sites will be linked, simulcasted & voted. With the addition of the new tower sites, the goal is to have overlapping coverage, so if one sites happens to go down, you will be able to pick up one of the sites that is overlapping in that area. Also, linking the sites to each other will help officers that are different parts of the County talk to each other over the EDACS system. Currently, if a unit is on the East side of the County working off of the Beacon Tower site and another unit in the County working off of the Arden Tower, they cannot talk to each other. In order for units to talk to each other, they have to be working off of the same tower site. Some agencies only have one tower site programmed into their radios, so if they leave their area of coverage from where the tower site, they then have no signal at all and cannot communicate with anyone. The overlapping coverage would help with the above situation, but it would not solve the problem because he would still be working of a different tower sites, this is where the linking comes into play. If the unit that only had the Beacon Tower in their radio wanted to talk to the unit working only off of the Arden Tower, the unit would transmit their message to the Beacon Tower and then the message would get repeated to the Arden Tower, the Arden Tower would then transmit the message out and then to the unit.
Another part of the this project will be "Voting" for the EDACS system. With voting, the officers in their vehicles or out of their vehicles with their portable radios will not have to worry about having to manually change the tower site selection on their radios as they move around roaming from tower to tower.
The best way that I explain to people about how a voted/simulcasted/linked system works is like a cell phone. As you move around, your phone picks up on the closest or strongest tower, each tower broadcasts the same frequencies at the same time all the time and all of the towers are linked to each other so you can be in one place with your phone and someone else can be somewhere else and you can still talk to each other.
The EDACS system was not set up correctly from the begining, at the time when EDACS was brought up to the people at the County, the County was told that in order for the system to provide 95% coverage to the County, they would need to add 8 more tower sites plus set the system up as I stated above. If the County followed the recommendations from the "radio vendor", all of these upgrades wouldnt be needed right now. The money that they would have spent back then is a lot less than what they are spending now.
 

n2pqq

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Please correct me if I am wrong.

Does this mean I would be able to lisen to
say Newburgh and beacon on the Arden
tower now.
 

trauma74

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Technically.................yes, you should be able to, however, I can also see them setting that up for the State Police, OC Sheriffs Office, OC DA Invesigators and any of the other agencies who are "county-wide".
If they did do it for only those agencies, the system would not really work the way it is supposed to.

We will have to see what happens.

Doug
 

APX8000

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Yes and no. The system is limited by the amount of available frequencies. Therefore, allowing lets say a City of Newburgh PD Dispatch talkgroup to be repeated off the Arden tower "full-time" would cause one of those frequencies to be tied up for no reason other than your listening pleasure. By doing this, you just lost one frequncy on the Arden system. Add Cornwall, New Windsor, Town of Newburgh and then the Woodbury PD unit tries to transmit and gets a busy signal on his home system. This is why the FIRE 800 talkgroup used by Middlehope FD and some Coordinators is NOT linked to the 46.160 low band fire channel. Add a storm to this, downed trees and wires and everyone gets a busy signal. Listen to the EMS 718 frequency and how busy it can get. Now picture that being repeated full-time off Graham EDACS, which only has 3 available frequencies, one of which is the control channel. Also think...when was the last time you saw a City of Newburgh PD unit in Deerpark? Does that talkgroup really need to be heard out there?

Certain talkgroups would be fully linked. One example is the Sheriff's Patrol talkgroup. Like TRAUMA74 stated, a unit on one system on one side of the county cannot talk to a unit on the other side of the county unless he switches to that system. Additionally, as the SO unit drives around the county, he has to manually switch systems. We all know how dangerous this can be when you are out of the car on a traffic stop and get the "unable to copy on portable, switch towers or change your position" from the dispatcher, especially if you are on the ground fighting with someone calling for help and hear that because you forgot to switch systems on your portable when you got out of the car. PD's like Blooming Grove who dumped the EDACS for a stand-alone VHF repeater would have to use three separate sites just to cover their town (Beacon, Arden, Sam's Point). In other words, units in the same TOWN couldn't talk to each other on portable in their respective zones without linking. This would help them.

Other examples of linked TG's are the OC 911 polling channel, Intersystems, POLICE 800 and a few others. This would allow for full "countywide interop" when needed. Other uses include a unit like Cornwall the ability to talk back to the dispatcher if lets say he gets into a vehicle pursuit that goes into Woodbury. Cornwall only has Beacon in their radios, so the ability to switch over to a linked talkgroup would allow him to operate off Arden, while dispatch and other units are still on Beacon.

Now if they do it right (and we all know history there), they should set it up similar to Motorola Smartzone systems. If a unit travels to another area, he would affiliate to that system and THEN his talkgroup would appear on that system and be linked back to his home system. We'll use CNPD as an example again. Chief goes to a meeting in Mt. Hope...as he travels his radio switches to the Graham tower. His PATROL talkgroup now appears on that tower and he can hear his units operating off Beacon. He transmits off Graham and is heard on Beacon. His Lieutenant is attending a meeting in Woodbury. As he travels south, his radio affiliates to Arden. He can now hear his units on Beacon and can talk to them off Arden. He can also talk to his Chief, who is hearing him on Graham.

Hope this makes sense. I also attended various interop meetings, but have been out of the loop for a little bit. I do have Unitrunker up and running and can confirm what pro92b posted as far as system ID, channels and LCN's. I also have pretty much every talkgroup and LID number ID'd on the system, so I'll be able to see what develops.
 
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APX8000

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Paul I know they plan on linking all tower sites expect for millbrook together. I kinda find it hard to believe that nycomco is putting up another edacs site being that they are going through a turbo phase
None of the public safety agencies in Orange County use Mototrbo. The linking is part of a grant received by Orange County and NYCOMCO is using their microwave system. It is NOT approved for public safety use, even though certain vendors seem to push it. It is also not compatible with P25, which is the current digital interop standard.

I have heard that NYCOMCO plans to move their UHF LTR systems over to Mototrbo in the future and provide a linking feature for business users, similar to what Goosetown did with their LTR by moving it over to Passport.
 

pro92b

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I do have Unitrunker up and running and can confirm what pro92b posted as far as system ID, channels and LCN's. I also have pretty much every talkgroup and LID number ID'd on the system, so I'll be able to see what develops.
My workday usually overlaps NYCOMCO's and I only was able to interactively match LCN's with frequencies on one evening. Have you found the frequencies for LCN4 and LCN5?
 

APX8000

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Well, I just crashed Unitrunker on my desktop and can't figure out what the hell I did. Trying to get it up and running on the laptop now. I do have the Schunnemunk site parked on my PSR-600 though...and the Uniden is switching between Beacon, Arden, Graham and Sam's Point. Can't get Illinois or Kingston from my residence. So far no activity all day on Schunnemunk. I'm sure it will start back up on Monday. Coverage is great all around the areas that need it.
 

paul

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Orange 911 - using ID's 04-021 & 04-037 - has been received today on the Illinois EDACS site. This traffic is new to Illinois. Transmissions were simulcast on Beacon and, probably, other sites.
 

APX8000

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The 04-021 "SO PATROL" and 04-037 "OC POLICE" talkgroups appear to be multicasted now. I'm getting LID's from Graham users only though (Mt. Hope PD and SO units) coming over Beacon, the new Schunnemunk site, Graham (their primary and probably what they are transmitting through) and mabye Arden but I can't get their control channel. All the console LIDS are Graham LIDs as well.
 
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APX8000

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The SO talkgroup is also being multicasted over Sam's Point.

It also appears that the user in the field still has to select which tower he wants to transmit to manually and the Orange County units currently can only pick Beacon, Arden or Graham even though the talkgroup is multicasted over Beacon, Arden, Graham, Schunnemunk, Illinois and Sam's Point. It may also be coming over Kingston if anyone up there is monitoring and can confirm.

I'm hoping once the field radio reprogramming takes place this will change and the radio will automatically affiliate to the nearest site by sampling all the control channels within it's ear.

I'm only able to listen at night due to work so anyone else out there like paul, please keep us updated.

pro92b...I haven't seen any other frequencies pop up yet on Schunnemunl other than the 3 we already identified. My discriminator tap is bad so Unitrunker is down. Everything I'm getting is from multiple scanners on different systems.
 

APX8000

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The POLICE talkgroup is also being multicasted off Sam's Point. However, it is not coming over Arden. Just Beacon, Schunnemunk, Graham and Sam's Point. Looks like Arden is still stand alone.
 

Spec

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037 and 021 are running 5 x 5 in simulcast off Illinois as of this post. I've had them up for the past 24 hrs.
 

sc8

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Orange County Sheriff and Orange County Police 800 are now being simulcast over Illinois and Sams Point?

Do any patrol cars in Orange County have those towers programmed into their radio yet? If not, does anyone know when that will be done?
 

APX8000

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sc8...towers linked first then once they work out all the bugs the field units will be programmed. As of now, the units in the field in Orange County only have Beacon, Arden and Graham to choose from (Chester has Sam's Point on the 04-037 TG, but they primarily use VHF and it'd not monitored on the console...this was left over when Blooming Grove used it). If they choose Beacon or Graham on the Sherff's or Police TG, it is multicasted over Beacon, Schunnemunk, Graham, Sam's Point and Illinois as of now.

The two talkgroups mentioned are NOT multicasted over ARDEN. I confirmed that yesterday. Arden is still standalone. I had an SO unit call 911 and 911 kept answering him on the multicast and he wasen't responding. I had Arden parked on their TG. When she switched over to Arden he answered and it didn't come over the other sites. Seeing as thay are borrowing frequencies from Arden for the Schunnemunk site and SMK provides better coverage, I'm going by what I previously posted and think all Arden users will move over and that site will be taken down. But that is just my thought and it's unconfirmed.
 
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