• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

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Ottawa police using faulty radio system

Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
645
#41
From post #1 "That unified system is a $55-million dollar project that saw the city sign a 10-year contract with Bell ".

I don't understand your reply. Bell is providing the radio system for Ottawa. Isn't that correct ?
 

mciupa

Member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 5, 2002
Messages
6,758
#42
R8000 said:
I don't understand your reply.
We are discussing perceived problems with the Ottawa system. My reply was to your post (#37) tells us how flawless your local system is.
R8000 said:
P25 Phase 2 simulcast is working awesome in the rural area I live in.
I'd like people to focus on Ottawa, Canada specifically in this discussion. :)
 
Joined
Jul 4, 2003
Messages
535
Location
Ottawa, Canada
#44
I wonder if it would have been less expensive with better coverage and reliability if Ottawa had just rented time on the local 450 mhz DMR system? The infrastructure exists, with many sites and seamless site switching.

Encryption is built in so OPF can hide what they are doing from the public {humor}

55 million spent so far, interesting to know what renting the DMR system would cost per year.
I am sure it would be very expensive with so many users, be nice to know a comparison.
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Messages
3,036
Location
Ottawa, Ont.
#45
It's a bit dismaying that the MSM (press), politicians, and union types have latched onto the term "faulty", unfortunately their use of the term may be faulty.

If the system was built to spec. but does not have sufficient coverage, but is otherwise working without malfunction (at least related to the coverage issues at hand), it could be called "deficient", "inadequate", or other more accurate term.

If I needed a motorcycle but someone gave me a bicycle, I would not call the latter faulty.

The MSM in general seems to lack deep technical knowledge of these sorts of things. Not attacking them BTW, they have a role to play in bringing these kind of problems to light.

Dave
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2005
Messages
2,342
Location
The Ottawa Valley - Eastern Ontario
#46
This whole fiasco is getting even more stupid now.

Police radio wasn't on when emergency button hit, review finds

An investigation into why an officer was unable to use his radio’s emergency button during an altercation with multiple teens near Tillbury Park this week has revealed that the radio in question wasn’t on at the time, according to an email sent to all police officers.

Police radio wasn't on when emergency button hit, review finds
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Messages
3,036
Location
Ottawa, Ont.
#47
I wonder if it would have been less expensive with better coverage and reliability if Ottawa had just rented time on the local 450 mhz DMR system? The infrastructure exists, with many sites and seamless site switching.
.

Tempting though it might be to piggy-back on a commercial network I think a dedicated network at least for emergency services is the right choice. Combining with a bunch of unrelated commercial activity has its downside.

Some non-emergency city services could have been off-loaded to such a commercial system but the logistics and lack of commonality of equipment (and inter-op where required) could cause problems.

DMR has crept into public-safety use but largely for small communities, replacing conventional channels.

I'm not expert on public-safety systems but aware of certain requirements to be met such as access time, priority, capacity, busy queueing, fail-safe etc. which commercial networks might have trouble meeting.

Dave
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2002
Messages
1,047
#49
Another issue is if the user(s) starts believing the hardware or system is defective or at fault, you lose their cooperation on fixing problems. Eventually, it becomes impossible to separate real troubles from perceived issues. The case above may be such an occurance.
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
230
Location
Ontario
#50
Just remember that "In Building Coverage" just means you can use it near a window and not on a hip (which blocks about 50% of the signal because we are mostly made up of water). It is impossible to test every room in every building in the city. No one will ever get 100% without towers every 1km. The contract probably says in building coverage or 100% coverage based on outdoor and someone didnt read it in the procurement department.

Take a 4-5w portable and take half its power away and then put it in a brick and steel building no wonder its not going to work well. Fire departments use simplex for most part and use vehicle repeater to relay to dispatch. Police need vehicle repeaters (voting) or extra towers for coverage they dont have the luxury of rolling up with a truck full of a crew at every scene.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
5,390
Location
In the 'patch
#52
Just remember that "In Building Coverage" just means you can use it near a window and not on a hip (which blocks about 50% of the signal because we are mostly made up of water).
In building coverage is a complex calculation that involves free space signal loss, repeater antenna elevation, building construction type and building density, required DAQ, and required minimum signal strength. All those details are dumped in to coverage prediction software. The software will then give a resultant required ERP, and best fit site location can be also derived.

It is impossible to test every room in every building in the city.
agreed, but a decent sampling if each type of building, at varying distances from the repeater site(s) CAN be effectively tested, with signal strengths, and DAQ logged that will provide a base line coverage that can be accurately compared to the theoretical coverage prediction. With that combination of predicted and actual coverage, an educated guess can be made as to actual in building coverage for the rest of the structures in the city.

No one will ever get 100% without towers every 1km.
Agreed. However, BDA’s, in building repeaters, and/or remote voting receivers CAN achieve 100% in building coverage. The down link signal coming from the repeater site is going to be significantly stronger than the uplink signal from the subscriber.

The contract probably says in building coverage or 100% coverage based on outdoor and someone didnt read it in the procurement department.
We don’t know what the contract spec for coverage is.

Likely the city choose the bronze(on street held held portable coverage) package instead of the gold(portable, on hip, in building coverage) package.

Take a 4-5w portable and take half its power away and then put it in a brick and steel building no wonder its not going to work well.
There are MANY system that do provide in building portable on hip coverage.

Fire departments use simplex for most part and use vehicle repeater to relay to dispatch. Police need vehicle repeaters (voting) or extra towers for coverage they dont have the luxury of rolling up with a truck full of a crew at every scene.
Radio system requirements for police and fire are vastly different.

Police want to be able to call for help from everywhere, with a dispatcher that is continuously listening to the talk group they are using. Quite often police are working alone, or in pairs, and when they need help their brothers and sisters are not with in simplex distance. They do ‘require’ in building portable on hip network coverage

Fire only needs to communicate in a 1/4mile radius or less. When they need help, their brothers and sisters are already on scene with them.
Simplex is an appropriate method to do this, and they don’t ‘require’ portable in building network coverage.


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Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
5,390
Location
In the 'patch
#53
Just remember that "In Building Coverage" just means you can use it near a window and not on a hip (which blocks about 50% of the signal because we are mostly made up of water). It is impossible to test every room in every building in the city. No one will ever get 100% without towers every 1km. The contract probably says in building coverage or 100% coverage based on outdoor and someone didnt read it in the procurement department.

Take a 4-5w portable and take half its power away and then put it in a brick and steel building no wonder its not going to work well. Fire departments use simplex for most part and use vehicle repeater to relay to dispatch. Police need vehicle repeaters (voting) or extra towers for coverage they dont have the luxury of rolling up with a truck full of a crew at every scene.
Also, if in building signal strength is not going to be adequate, simulcast is a great tool to ensure the intended overlap coverage is at saturation levels, that will insure adequate signal strengths are achieved. My city I live near is running a mixed mode simulcast EDACS system. I could receive the system on a scanner with out even having an antenna in it, inside of my house.


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Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Messages
3,036
Location
Ottawa, Ont.
#55
Here we go again. Every problem with any radio is being jumped on by the press, the union, and whoever else including the scanner community.

Just a distraction from the real coverage issues.

As for hitting the radio to make it work, what can we say...

As for the previous case with radio not switched on, reminds me of a line from the song "My Boomerang Won't Come Back":

"If you want your boomerang to come back, first you've got to throw it"

On to the next topic.

Dave
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Messages
3,036
Location
Ottawa, Ont.
#57
We can say "Don't use Tait radios for critical public safety comms."
Based on any factual info?

OFS is using similar Tait P25 radios, haven't heard from them yet.

OPP/EMS have been using Tait conventional HTs for years.

In the same line, perhaps DMR shouldn't be used for public safety. How about Icom, Hytera radios...etc.

Anyway, wandering off topic.


Dave
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2004
Messages
699
#58
I think we are going to hear more episodes of this happening, until the bugs are worked out. Every incident will likely raise media attention , causing pressure on the radio service provider to fix the problem with either the system, the radio manufacturers, or both. There were probably incidents with OFS, when they switched over, but didnot gain media attention to the same degree. Because OPS were the last dept to jump aboard, they wanted the system absolutely flawless, the expectations were so high, based on the results of the use from other depts on the same system, OC transpo, OFS, etc.
 
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