PA Statewide P25 Phase 2 System

redbeard

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I've heard only 10 transmissions on the system in the last 2 days and all via the Oakdale tower, which is where I live. Every since last Wed's storms the system has been trash. Not even getting anything thru the Darlington site. Anyone else having issues?
When I monitored those sites more regularly I normally would not see that much traffic on them, with most radios seeming to prefer the simulcast over the Darlington or Oakdale sites. So it may or may not be unusual.
 

harvick21

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When I monitored those sites more regularly I normally would not see that much traffic on them, with most radios seeming to prefer the simulcast over the Darlington or Oakdale sites. So it may or may not be unusual.
I was able to get Allegheny Simulcast in by hooking up an indoor antenna at a perfect spot. So either weather or my one antenna slightly moved and caused this issue. Insane.
 

IStebleton

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Is the ECEN Simulcast finally on air? I haven't had a chance to keep up with the database then all of a sudden I see it posted in the Sites section.
 

GTR8000

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Is the ECEN Simulcast finally on air? I haven't had a chance to keep up with the database then all of a sudden I see it posted in the Sites section.
Are you in the area? If yes, you could verify it yourself and post your results. The site was added the way it was due to a site # change for Catawissa, it may not actually be fully built out just yet. We rely on people in the area to help confirm these things, as I'm sure you're aware by now.
 

GTR8000

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Nothing yet, rumor has it waiting for tower work at the WPGM site. Catawissa has some new VHF antennas and new microwave dishes.
Okay, so the former Site 111 at Catawissa (COLU01) is nowhere to be found on its previous frequencies, and nothing else on the air in the area on VHF that hasn't already been identified.

Not that it makes a whole lot of difference since the sites are right on top of each other, but it does appear that they might be moving the Catawissa site from COLU01 to COLU32, less than 1/4 mile north.

1625961907640.png
 

W7FDX

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Okay, so the former Site 111 at Catawissa (COLU01) is nowhere to be found on its previous frequencies, and nothing else on the air in the area on VHF that hasn't already been identified.

Not that it makes a whole lot of difference since the sites are right on top of each other, but it does appear that they might be moving the Catawissa site from COLU01 to COLU32, less than 1/4 mile north.

View attachment 106292
Yea without driving up there myself I wouldn't be able to tell if that's what they're doing. I have some friends that are in a department in Montour county and they haven't been informed of the switch yet but it was supposed to be in June originally.
 

GTR8000

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I was surprised to see the new Mt Pocono 800 site assume Site 111 prior to anything happening with COLU01 or the ECEN simulcast. They have reached the max number of allowable sites for the zone controller (150), and so I guess they needed 111 badly enough to shut down COLU01 for the time being, until the ECEN simulcast (Site 48) comes online.

It's clear at this point that the commonwealth is going to have to purchase a second zone controller to handle future expansion, be that additional fill in sites to deal with subpar coverage, or for counties that wish to share the core. Only a matter of time now before a site in RFSS/Zone 2 pops up.
 

W7FDX

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I was surprised to see the new Mt Pocono 800 site assume Site 111 prior to anything happening with COLU01 or the ECEN simulcast. They have reached the max number of allowable sites for the zone controller (150), and so I guess they needed 111 badly enough to shut down COLU01 for the time being, until the ECEN simulcast (Site 48) comes online.

It's clear at this point that the commonwealth is going to have to purchase a second zone controller to handle future expansion, be that additional fill in sites to deal with subpar coverage, or for counties that wish to share the core. Only a matter of time now before a site in RFSS/Zone 2 pops up.
In my opinion they should have put the 800 and UHF sites on a separate zone controller and that would have left some room for more VHF sites and expansion for 800 as well.
 

GTR8000

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Zone controllers are not cheap. There was no valid reason for them to purchase a second zone until it was actually necessary, and certainly no reason to split up the bands between different zones.
 

W7FDX

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Zone controllers are not cheap. There was no valid reason for them to purchase a second zone until it was actually necessary, and certainly no reason to split up the bands between different zones.
It'll still be cheaper than the roughly 800 million dollars they spent on OpenSky though.
 

GTR8000

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Sure, but one thing has nothing to do with the other. The taxpayers got hosed for nearly two decades with the OpenSky system, and so waiting to add a second zone to the P25 system was the right thing to do, the fiscally responsible thing. The original system design called for less than 150 sites, but when they decided to absorb the Harris A-G sites, and wound up having to add additional sites to shore up coverage, that number grew. Keep in mind that it has been 5 years since the P25 system first went online, and so they haven't been paying for maintenance or support on the second zone. Again, there was no logical reason to have a second zone from the start.
 

W7FDX

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Sure, but one thing has nothing to do with the other. The taxpayers got hosed for nearly two decades with the OpenSky system, and so waiting to add a second zone to the P25 system was the right thing to do, the fiscally responsible thing. The original system design called for less than 150 sites, but when they decided to absorb the Harris A-G sites, and wound up having to add additional sites to shore up coverage, that number grew. Keep in mind that it has been 5 years since the P25 system first went online, and so they haven't been paying for maintenance or support on the second zone. Again, there was no logical reason to have a second zone from the start.
I agree that we all got hosed when it comes to OpenSky and that it was the right thing to do to wait to add a second zone I was just saying ideally putting 800 and VHF on separate zones would have been a good idea. My only question is were all the 800 sites really necessary seeing that in most of those places there is overlapping VHF coverage? They could have built like 5-6 VHF sites to cover the same area as 8-9 800 sites.
 

GTR8000

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I was just saying ideally putting 800 and VHF on separate zones would have been a good idea.
What exactly would be "ideal" about separating the bands by zone? Factually speaking, there is no valid reason to do so, regardless of whether it sounds like a good idea on paper.

My only question is were all the 800 sites really necessary seeing that in most of those places there is overlapping VHF coverage? They could have built like 5-6 VHF sites to cover the same area as 8-9 800 sites.
Easier said than done. For starters, VHF spectrum is at a premium, whereas the state already has countless 800 MHz frequencies licensed, making it a much smoother process obtaining spectrum for an 800 MHz site. You just don't throw up 5-6 VHF sites like that, there is a lot to take into account with regard to the increased propagation (tougher to control the counters of a site) vs 800, diminished in-building penetration in urban areas, and so on. Not all agencies have the capability to operate on both VHF and 800, so the need for overlap is a necessary evil in some areas.

The people who designed and built this system know what they're doing, believe it or not.

Although they are exceeding the original design of the system by adding sites here and there, there are still only a fraction of the sites the OpenSky system needed, and they managed to essentially build this P25 system out on schedule and much closer to budget than could've been dreamed of with the other system. There's no such thing as a perfect system, but they did a commendable job with this one.
 

W7FDX

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What exactly would be "ideal" about separating the bands by zone? Factually speaking, there is no valid reason to do so, regardless of whether it sounds like a good idea on paper.


Easier said than done. For starters, VHF spectrum is at a premium, whereas the state already has countless 800 MHz frequencies licensed, making it a much smoother process obtaining spectrum for an 800 MHz site. You just don't throw up 5-6 VHF sites like that, there is a lot to take into account with regard to the increased propagation (tougher to control the counters of a site) vs 800, diminished in-building penetration in urban areas, and so on. Not all agencies have the capability to operate on both VHF and 800, so the need for overlap is a necessary evil in some areas.

The people who designed and built this system know what they're doing, believe it or not.

Although they are exceeding the original design of the system by adding sites here and there, there are still only a fraction of the sites the OpenSky system needed, and they managed to essentially build this P25 system out on schedule and much closer to budget than could've been dreamed of with the other system. There's no such thing as a perfect system, but they did a commendable job with this one.
I admit my knowledge on P25 trunking systems is not 100% so I agree other than on paper it doesn't make much sense.
 

IStebleton

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Are you in the area? If yes, you could verify it yourself and post your results. The site was added the way it was due to a site # change for Catawissa, it may not actually be fully built out just yet. We rely on people in the area to help confirm these things, as I'm sure you're aware by now.
I'm in Ohio for the time being so I am unable to scan anything in Ohio. I was just asking because I saw it pop up in the sites section after mot having a chance to look for over a week.
 

houndlyfe

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Quick question. Been away for a while. Just checked the new database and uploaded everything. Have Stroudsburg psp p25 loaded up and nothing coming across. Using a home patrol 2 which says it can decoded p25 phase 2

EDIT: Just heard a few calls, was just weird not hearing anything for 20 mins, encrypted though.
 
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GTR8000

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Quick question. Been away for a while. Just checked the new database and uploaded everything. Have Stroudsburg psp p25 loaded up and nothing coming across. Using a home patrol 2 which says it can decoded p25 phase 2
We've gone over this many, many times over the years. The PSP is fully encrypted, and cannot be monitored.
 
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