Oswego, NY - New E-911 Radio System Releases Video

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FF153

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Very cool, I was just wondering because my county (southern NY) just switched to a county wide P25 phase II 700mhz trunked system

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KC8NZJ

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It's always funny how the solution to communications seems to be more complexity that relies on computer servers and internet connections, rather than simply getting everyone on the same band and putting all channels in all radios.
 

MTS2000des

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Great sales pitch to prime taxpayers into warming up to the reality that their taxes will go up to pay for the expansion of this network. I do commend the counties for pooling their resources and making a concerted effort.

What is interesting is their reference to the Boston bombing and their use of an "integrated communications system", that system would be BAPERN, a conventional analog UHF network first put online close to 40 years ago! No fancy Astro 25 7.1 DTRS that needs costly forklift upgrades every 5 years.

Ironic they would point to this as an example when they are implementing a multi-million dollar DTRS based on proprietary infrastructure. But that is what the vendors are pushing.
 

exkalibur

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Good video, but it doesn't really do much to satisfy the REAL problem. Interoperability isn't about technology, it is about politics and administrative decisions.

As another poster said - if they want seamless interop, spending $$$ on a new fancy trunking system isn't necessarily the solution. Having everyone involved in the same RF band, then having some common channels in all the radios, likely will go further than a fancy system.

Heck, here in Ontario, they built out a province wide VHF SmartZone system that has talkgroups designated for interop. They're rarely used and to be honest, (and no disrespect intended), they likely wouldn't even know how to use them. The police where I live do daily interop tests with surrounding Police services - most of the time the people involved don't know how to switch to the right channel, or it just doesn't work. More often than not, interop around here is the boss from one service sitting next to the boss from another service.
 

esfd283

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As another poster said - if they want seamless interop, spending $$$ on a new fancy trunking system isn't necessarily the solution. Having everyone involved in the same RF band, then having some common channels in all the radios, likely will go further than a fancy system.
That's what they have.
 

Nighthawk424

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This video is a joke. They pull out all the reasons as usual. They use terrorism to scare us into thinking we need this. Then they go on about interoperability and the need to "talk to each other"

Every time I have monitored one of these wide area systems regardless of what city I am in it quickly becomes clear that the "interoperabilty" is a load of BS. It is so very rare that ANY of these agencies even attempt to use any of their interop or combined events channels. Every time they always go the long way around through dispatch. What a waste of time and money. So here is another one of these complex over priced systems that do nothing for interoperability as they NEVER use it anyways!!! on the way for you New York!!!
 

esfd283

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I am a firefighter in a department that is served by this radio system. Prior to the implementation of this system, my department did not have the ability to communicate with our neighboring FD's because 1 was on a proprietary 800 trunking system, another was on a low band VHF system and we were on a UHF system that was crossband repeated back to the out of date county owned radio system. FD's went out on their own to purchase their own radio equipment because they could not rely on the county's old system. At some incidents Chiefs would have to listen to their mobile in their car and 1 or two additional portable radios. The local police and DPW were on their own radio systems and we did not have the ability to talk to them. Part of our district borders a neighboring county and they were on a low band system so we couldn't talk to them when we went on calls together. Since the implementation of this system. If we go to a major fire in a neighboring district or if they come to our district we are all able to speak with each other on the same operating channel on 1 radio. When we have to go to an incident near or within the neighboring county or vice versa we are able to go to that counties zone and talk to them. Over the summer our FD had a very large warehouse fire that took several days to extinquish. We had FD's from all over our county as well as FD's from two neighboring counties come to assist and communications were not an issue. The FD's from neighboring counties were able to go to our counties bank of channels and communicate with each other. Also, our county has a fairly decent sized lake that has alot of incidents on it during the summer months. The lake is surrounded by 3 counties that are on this system. Prior to the implementation of this system you had three different radio systems involved and communications were a disaster. Now based on policy, whenever an incident occurs on this lake, responders from all 3 counties go to a pre determined operating channel and are able to easily communicate amongst themselves and all dispatch centers are also able to monitor the operations from their consoles. Also our radios are programmed with a bank of channels that have interoperable channels that range from the national UCALL, UTACs etc to a group of channels that the counties share amongst themselves.

I guess you have to evaluate what kind of interoperability you want and when do you want it. Does a firefighter need to talk to a police officer or DPW worker or Health Department worker or a school bus everyday allday? Absolutely not, but was the system properly planned to allow interoperability to occur if needed? I think this system was. With the previous mentioned bank of channels and also shared interoperable channels on agencies primary bank i think that are department is in a much better place interoperably than it was prior to this system.

I believe that this system is being paid for by a landline surplus charge in our county and possibly was subsidized in other counties by the Sprint/Nextel 800 rebanding project.
 

MTS2000des

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Also our radios are programmed with a bank of channels that have interoperable channels that range from the national UCALL, UTACs etc to a group of channels that the counties share amongst themselves.
Having mutual aid conventional channels is nothing new, it's been the standard for decades (MABAS) and doesn't require the procurement of a large, costly to maintain and constant forklift upgrade digital trunked radio system. Even a simple cache of portables in a command vehicle with those V/U/7/8-TACs is great for those few incidents where you need that level of interoperability.

I am a firefighter in a department that is served by this radio system. Prior to the implementation of this system, my department did not have the ability to communicate with our neighboring FD's because 1 was on a proprietary 800 trunking system, .
So there you have it, does it makes sense to put everyone else on a single proprietary trunking system (which is what the Astro 25 7.x core is your agency bought) or get everyone to use common mutual aid channels?

I guess you have to evaluate what kind of interoperability you want and when do you want it. Does a firefighter need to talk to a police officer or DPW worker or Health Department worker or a school bus everyday allday? Absolutely not, but was the system properly planned to allow interoperability to occur if needed? I think this system was. With the previous mentioned bank of channels and also shared interoperable channels on agencies primary bank i think that are department is in a much better place interoperably than it was prior to this system.
Exactly, this notion that you, while laying a line or pulling a pre-connect, need to talk to a public works worker, or a school bus driver, is to say the least, asinine.

What you do need as I am sure you will agree is RELIABLE FAIL PROOF voice communications with members of your crew and incident command. You don't need to be in constant contact with the 911 center, that is your IC's job.

Simplex analog has been the choice mode so says the NIST and NFPA, and IAFC and a ton of other agencies. None of this requires costly infrastructure or pricey nicey digital radios that have to be replaced every 5 years so the vendors say.

I believe that this system is being paid for by a landline surplus charge in our county and possibly was subsidized in other counties by the Sprint/Nextel 800 rebanding project.
No offense to you, but this is the biggest problem with how these systems are often procured. No one has a real idea how much it costs, not just to bring it online, but to keep it running.

When you start adding up the per user cost amortized over 10 years (which is twice the lifespan your vendor puts on their new trunked radio systems) you start to see it is no bargain.

And if given the choice between fancy radios and infrastructure, would you not rather have some newer SCBAs, or turnout gear, or a new rig? Or how about a new firehouse or two, or three or four.

Because once you add up the dollars and cents of these large systems in more rural areas, it comes out to be one big giant


RIPOFF
 

AuntEnvy

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It's always funny how the solution to communications seems to be more complexity that relies on computer servers and internet connections, rather than simply getting everyone on the same band and putting all channels in all radios.
I've been saying the same thing around my area for quite a while.

It's amazing how much you can hornswoggle the taxpayers when you combine fear tactics with lack of knowledge. ;)
 

AuntEnvy

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I don't mean any disrespect to the firefighter...

Having mutual aid conventional channels is nothing new, it's been the standard for decades (MABAS) and doesn't require the procurement of a large, costly to maintain and constant forklift upgrade digital trunked radio system. Even a simple cache of portables in a command vehicle with those V/U/7/8-TACs is great for those few incidents where you need that level of interoperability.



So there you have it, does it makes sense to put everyone else on a single proprietary trunking system (which is what the Astro 25 7.x core is your agency bought) or get everyone to use common mutual aid channels?



Exactly, this notion that you, while laying a line or pulling a pre-connect, need to talk to a public works worker, or a school bus driver, is to say the least, asinine.

What you do need as I am sure you will agree is RELIABLE FAIL PROOF voice communications with members of your crew and incident command. You don't need to be in constant contact with the 911 center, that is your IC's job.

Simplex analog has been the choice mode so says the NIST and NFPA, and IAFC and a ton of other agencies. None of this requires costly infrastructure or pricey nicey digital radios that have to be replaced every 5 years so the vendors say.



No offense to you, but this is the biggest problem with how these systems are often procured. No one has a real idea how much it costs, not just to bring it online, but to keep it running.

When you start adding up the per user cost amortized over 10 years (which is twice the lifespan your vendor puts on their new trunked radio systems) you start to see it is no bargain.

And if given the choice between fancy radios and infrastructure, would you not rather have some newer SCBAs, or turnout gear, or a new rig? Or how about a new firehouse or two, or three or four.

Because once you add up the dollars and cents of these large systems in more rural areas, it comes out to be one big giant


RIPOFF

But... I find it amazing how many of the people that will be using these systems are equally unaware of how actually UN-necessary they are.

They have no idea how or why communications work or what can be (or haven't been) done with them.

Other than that, you have said it all MT! ;)
 

Thunderknight

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The Central NY consortium is a shining example of coordination and cooperation between counties. It is led by, and has working for the counties, some very dedicated individuals.

Remember also, these types of systems (and trunking in general) are also about spectrum efficency. There is not enough spectrum for every user agency/type to have their own frequency on a conventional basis (especially in the same band). But when you trunk the users, you share the resource on a time-domain basis.
 
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MTS2000des

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The Central NY consortium is a shining example of coordination and cooperation between counties. It is led by, and has working for the counties, some very dedicated individuals.
No question they are showing a great example of inter governmental agreements at their best. I wish we had that kind of cooperation where I live.

Remember also, these types of systems (and trunking in general) are also about spectrum efficency. There is not enough spectrum for every user agency/type to have their own frequency on a conventional basis (especially in the same band). But when you trunk the users, you share the resource on a time-domain basis.
This is where I raise a flag. The counties in central New York are hardly highly populated suburban MSA's, most of them are rural in nature. You're telling me for example, St. Lawrence county for example, needs more than they have now frequency wise? A county of roughly 111K according to the US census 2010- needs a large expensive to maintain DTRS when they are using a handful of conventional channel pairs now? What happened, did they have a growth explosion overnight? Did I miss something? All your VHF and UHF channel pairs are so scarce in that region? Really? I find that difficult to believe.

I cite them as one of the many counties in the consortium as an example, sure- there is no doubt trunking allows a greater number of people to share fewer resources, but when it comes to interoperability, which is the big selling point of their nicely produced video, it makes it out as a crisis situation who's ONLY solution is a costly to implement and maintain digital trunked radio system. That is simply a bunch of bullfish and we all know it.

And I speak from a metro Atlanta county resident who has helped bankroll not one, two but soon to be THREE 800MHz trunked radio systems which we were told we MUST procure by a certain vendor. Granted, the first analog system went from 1993-2007, but now in just 7 short years after we have just finished paying off the first phase 1 digital system, the vendor has EOL'ed support for the network core and we MUST migrate to phase 2 at another cost of $13 million dollars to implement that forklift upgrade.

We spend $1.2 million a year to maintain the current county radio system. So, let's look at some rough numbers:

2005 SPLOST paid for our "needed" digital upgrade: $30 million dollars there, system went live in 2006- so, that's 1.2 million x 7 so far= $38.4 million dollars just spent for a 5 site DTRS for 7 years. And it's vendor already says the life cycle is over. Finished. Done. Yesterday's technology full of cobwebs and mothballs.

Now add another $13.1 million (paid for by a 2011 SPLOST) to keep up with the needed Microsoft style upgrade...so, this should be good for another 7, right? So let's see...$38.4 + 13.1 + 1.2 million X 7= $51.5 million dollars.

Of course, pay attention closely to what this video tells you about the radio system you are paying dearly to implement and maintain:

ASTRO® 25 Lifecycle Management: Keep Your System Up-to-date - YouTube

This is the reality of what such a system costs. Our county's system offers no more or less "interoperability" than our old analog Smartnet system, or previous UHF 460MHz conventional system did. Even less, in fact, as there are a limited number of ID's available, programming requires an advanced system key only issued by the county radio administrator (that's great for security but those large incidents you mention, you're back to the good old hand someone a radio or face to face), and not everyone has the $2500-4000 dollar subscriber radios like we do. Back in the days when we were on UHF conventional, these created "crisis" did not exist. Hmmm..wonder what happened?

I love complex radio systems as much as anyone else as a radio nerd. But I am also a taxpayer, and being that this vendor has accelerated the life cycle on these costly radio systems and is putting it out there that "you cannot expect the life cycle of previous generation of systems" means one thing and one thing only for you folks wanting to spend tens or hundreds of millions on a new radio system:

SHOP AROUND

We are paying more and getting less because we allow the vendors to drive the bus. We are getting ROBBED because no one is doing any comparison shopping, competitive bidding, or DEMANDING a better deal.

And you wonder why our country is in the economic shape it is in? It's all about priorities.

I can put up a single site DMR repeater and get better coverage than my county's overpriced and underperforming simulcast DTRS. What does this tell you?

Tells me no one really cares how they are spending OUR money.
 

KD2DXF

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I think ThunderKnight and esfd283 hit the nail, so to speak. No offence to MTS2000des, but the CNYICC has done alot for the counties it serves. Your not from the area, so you didnt know the lack of interoperablity between departments and counties prior to CNYICC. Different counties were on differend bands, and if there was a multi county/jurisdictional incident...most of the work fell on dispatchers to call the other counties, and wait to hear back and so on. as far as a IC talking to the Highways Department, happens all the time in the winter. Usualy at a Structure Fire, the Scene Commander will summon a Sander, to keep the roadway clear.
 
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