Orange County going digital soon

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lsh1885

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I heard yesterday that system radios will be upgrading to P-25 at the same time or about the same time rebanding is done.
 

n2hbx

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Umm...that may not be totally accurate. They may activate more ASTRO talkgroups on the system and migrate more users to those during rebanding, but they're nowhere near being ready to go full P25, even though the new/replacement radios support it.

BTW, Orange County rebanding is slated to start in April.

Larry
 

lsh1885

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Well, you could be right since it would no longer be a 3600 system anymore. Where I got this was from monitoring yesterday two radio techs talking on TG 24592. They also talked about the huge amount of new radios they had to order and the fact that they were not looking forward to changing out radios in 1500 school buses. They certainly seemed to suggest that at the very least there would much more digital on the system than there is now.
 

n2hbx

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All the new radios are P25 capable and others will be flash upgraded to P25 capable. The infrastructure will need to be upgraded before full P25 can be implemented, however, and that will take some time.

Larry
 

khoelldobler

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All the new radios are P25 capable and others will be flash upgraded to P25 capable. The infrastructure will need to be upgraded before full P25 can be implemented, however, and that will take some time.

Larry

sounds similar to what the City of Ocala is currently going thru. Last year, January 2009, the Ocala Star Banner reported that Ocala is going digital, and that grant monies were to be used for the radio replacement, as I guess that thier current radios are not upgradeable.
Its a year later and I haven't seen any changes, as Ocala is still operating on 3600 bd. I had sent an email to the Ocala trunked radio systems manager a few weeks ago, and all she reported back to me was a list w/ 2 new rebanded frequencies on it, which are supposed to be going into effect after 3-25-2010. The two freq's she mentioned are as follows:

RX freq 860.9375 will become 859.5375
RX freq 860.2125 will become 856.1875

currently , the 860.9375 is a control channel.

I believe that the Ocala trunked system will most likely be going digital, 9600 bd sometime 2010. It may be a similar system to that of what Marion County is currently using on 9600 bd.

Hope I didn't hijack your thread, just posting a similar situation that I am encountering in north central Florida.
 

radioguru6613

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Well, you could be right since it would no longer be a 3600 system anymore. Where I got this was from monitoring yesterday two radio techs talking on TG 24592. They also talked about the huge amount of new radios they had to order and the fact that they were not looking forward to changing out radios in 1500 school buses. They certainly seemed to suggest that at the very least there would much more digital on the system than there is now.
Interesting... though don't confuse 3600, 9600 and P25, the systems are very differnt, they may saying they will move more talkgroups to digital but for them to go full P25 that means a 9600 system like Orlando and that also means every radio (no expection) must be digital, there is no analog 3600 trunking will be interesting to see how it all plays out, we'll all know after april i guess.
 

n2hbx

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It could be that the radios in the school buses are not upgradeable?
The OCPS radios are XTL1500's. Fully upgradeable with a flash, which is probably what the radio guys meant. Each of those radios will have to be touched during rebanding. I can tell you from firsthand experience, THAT is a REAL PITA!!!

Larry
 
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bobs415

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Wow, everytime I stalk this forum I learn something different! Times they are a changin'!

What's "rebanding" mean?

I've been out of touch since I moved to Orlando a couple of years ago, and am beginning to really miss monitoring my scanner (RS Channel Pro 2005: FS BTW). Was going to buy a new scanner, but was told by a local radio dealer that Orange and/or Orlando was going to encrypt their transmissions, making a scanner obsolete and useless. I normally enjoy monitoring emergency services, airlines, weather, etc.

What say you? Thanks.
 

n2hbx

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In a nutshell, rebanding consists of reprogramming trunked radio frequencies from one part of the band to another.

Way back when, Nextel IDEN and Public Safety frequencies were near enough to each other such that the IDEN channels were causing interference to Public Safety. In some places the interference was so bad that fire stations were missing calls, PD's couldn't communicate, etc. After several rounds of attempts to mitigate the problems by technical means (radio modifications, mostly), Nextel went to the FCC and proposed "rebanding."

Nextel would abandon problem frequencies to the Public Safety side in return for additional frequencies with more separation from PS. In addition, Nextel (now Sprint) would absorb the cost of reprogramming the PS radios to the new frequencies and replacing older radios that could not accommodate the new frequencies. This also provided for a "guard band" of frequencies between PS and Sprint/Nextel.

Now comes the fun part....inventorying/replacing/reprogramming all those radios! In Orange County, that number is in excess of 11,000 subscriber units plus infrastructure components (repeaters, antenna combiners, etc.). I call that job security!

Larry
 

n2hbx

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Oh, and as far as the scanner goes, Orlando PD and Winter Park PD are encrypted. Most other users are analog or unencrypted digital that the scanners can receive. Not to say others won't go encrypted, but there's still lots to listen to.

Larry
 

bobs415

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Thanks, Larry!

Thanks for your response.

I'm inferring from your comments that all other Orange County/Orlando agencies (except OPD) would then be accessible via a current-model scanner, and therefore put my hoped for purchase back on the front burner???? I would ask for a "trunking / digital scanner"? Do you know if the unencrypted agencies will be encrypting anytime soon?

Can you recommend a brand / model / style? I'm thinking handheld Radio Shack. Model??? My current scanner is an unmodified Radio Shack Pro-2005, which I'm hoping to sell.

I'm guessing I'll need a cable to connect it to my laptop, and software, too? Are they sold seperately? If so, is there a kind of software I should look for, or are they proprietary to the radio?

This is getting exciting. Something to look forward to! -Bob
 

khoelldobler

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Thanks for your response.

I'm inferring from your comments that all other Orange County/Orlando agencies (except OPD) would then be accessible via a current-model scanner, and therefore put my hoped for purchase back on the front burner???? I would ask for a "trunking / digital scanner"? Do you know if the unencrypted agencies will be encrypting anytime soon?

Can you recommend a brand / model / style? I'm thinking handheld Radio Shack. Model??? My current scanner is an unmodified Radio Shack Pro-2005, which I'm hoping to sell.

I'm guessing I'll need a cable to connect it to my laptop, and software, too? Are they sold seperately? If so, is there a kind of software I should look for, or are they proprietary to the radio?

This is getting exciting. Something to look forward to! -Bob
I can give you a suggestion... its basically the same set-up that I am currently using. Keep in mind, that others may have set-ups that also work well, or that can be placed in a mix and match combination, but this is what I currently use, and I do believe that this set-up will work well for you. Also remember, that your budget will play a key role in this combination.

I am monitoring with a RadioShack Pro-106 hand-held scanner, which is capable of receiving P25, digital, and alot of other top tier technology, so I wont get into the finer details, but the 106 is one awesome scanner... the best I've owned to date in my personal opinion and I've been scanning for the past 30 years.

Programming made simple... I use scanner programming software... I purchased PSRedit-500 AND WIN-500 software from thier websites, but respectfully I use the PSRedit-500 99 % of the time... its my preference, and I have the scanner wired to my home computer via the RadioShack USB cable that can be purchased seperately. I have also purchased a wall-wart battery charger for the 106 from RadioShack. And finally, I purchased some good quality rechargeable batteries.

If your using the scanner at home, I suggest you use a yagi style outdoor (mast mounted) antenna w/ some good quality coax. This type of antenna may work well for you, but you may find a discone outdoor antenna to work better due to the congested airwaves and numerous locations of site towers broadcasting signal from so many various locations.

If your able to take the scanner on the road... you will find The Pro-106 is a great little (portable) hand-held for when your traveling around, so a good quality aftermarket hand-held scanner antenna will show much better results in the 800mhz range for the Orlando / Orange systems. I prefer to keep my hand-held home (indoors) wired up to the outdoor antenna system I have, because its wired to my computer for easy programming and tweaking arraingements.

I think this set-up would work well for you in the Orlando area... you should have no problems picking up their systems... everything, except for the encrypted talk-groups. I have taken my 106 to the Orlando area on two occaisions, and it monitored very well. I do not usually remove my scanner to take on the road because of the strict scanner laws that we deal with n this state.

Do your homework, different antenna systems are out there, so choose the antenna thats right for what you intend to monitor. I monitor mainly the 800 trunked systems in my area, and if I put my scanner in the garage while I'm working, I attatch a good aftermarket 800mhz rated rubber duckie style screw-on antenna. When I'm inside, it's attatched to my outdoor yagi style antenna aimed at my nearest tower site for maximum reception. There are working combinations out there, you just have to find out whats best for your situation, sometimes thru trial and error. But, my suggestions should steer you away from those disappointing mistakes.

Save your pennies, this could become an expensive hobby!!


Hope you find what your looking for :)


.
 
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