Pasco, WA - Chief Metzger on two-radio system: "We're concerned"

Status
Not open for further replies.

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
65,126
Location
Virginia
Quick to bash VHF and for all we know the location the chiefs analog radio was on wrong repeater or hearing a unit way out. Dispatch came clear analog unit iffy but location? How far? And portables are diff then mobiles
 

quarterwave

Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2005
Messages
555
Location
TBD
So the Sheriff dictates if the City Police can change radios systems? Did I miss something? Where I come from they would just say, if you don't like it, get your own!

And Direct Connect is dead unless they are on a private system...I assume he meant call each other directly, but might as well say. Like any other news story, it never makes sense to us radio people, because the non-technical reporter interviews a non-technical department head, and then writes a story for non technical people to read. That's like translating from English, to Russian and then to Chinese and expecting it to come out the same.
 

davenlr

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
637
Location
North Little Rock, Ar
Im all for Sheriff VHF myself. Doesnt want to spend $5 million on a new radio system to replace one that works. All the other departments upgraded and dont EVEN KNOW how much it costs yet, since the cost analysis isnt done. Im guessing if Sheriff VHF comes on board, everyone elses price goes down.

As for VHF vs 800 Mhz, a frequency is a frequency. The real deal is analog vs digital. What the author really needs to do is interview the deputies, and see how they feel about their current system. If its OK, why feed the Motorola money pit.
 

icom1020

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
959
The easy solution is for a APX style dual band radio so Pasco is satisfied, or an additional standalone 800 radio, but I wouldn't give up 110 watt VHF capability for Franklin County .
 

12dbsinad

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Messages
1,087
Like any other news story, it never makes sense to us radio people, because the non-technical reporter interviews a non-technical department head, and then writes a story for non technical people to read. That's like translating from English, to Russian and then to Chinese and expecting it to come out the same.
Agreed. The non-technical depratment makes the call too, usually.
 

wa8pyr

Technischer Guru
Lead Database Admin
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
4,428
Location
Ohio
As for VHF vs 800 Mhz, a frequency is a frequency. The real deal is analog vs digital.
Actually not completely correct. Any frequency can be used as long as the system is properly engineered but the higher the frequency the more transmitter sites are needed for the proper coverage, which makes the cost go up.

In addition, the various frequency bands perform differently depending upon terrain, weather and other factors; a user might not have the same performance from a given location depending upon weather, time of year and other variables including frequency.

Analog vs. digital is another question; in some ways analog can be better but with error correction and a properly engineered system, digital offers superior range and quality as well as a number of features analog doesn't offer.

It really all comes down to proper engineering and design vs. cost.
 

jparks29

Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
806
Location
Melmac
As for VHF vs 800 Mhz, a frequency is a frequency. The real deal is analog vs digital. What the author really needs to do is interview the deputies, and see how they feel about their current system.
1. BS. Terrain will dictate which band will work better. Some areas are better suited for VHF (even LB) and others, UHF, 800, etc.

2. No, it's not just analog v digital. See #1

3. Why would you talk to officers who know nothing about radio systems and go on their suggestions? Yeah, talk to them, get their input, but to leave the decision to them? No. Just....No...
 

12dbsinad

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Messages
1,087
3. Why would you talk to officers who know nothing about radio systems and go on their suggestions? Yeah, talk to them, get their input, but to leave the decision to them? No. Just....No...
I don't think the post means having decisions made by them. In fact, having discussions with the users is important. They, after all are the users of the system that use it everyday and know how it actually performs. Not just some RF study. They may not know "how" it works, but they know how it performs, and may help eliminate some of the race to waste that is spent on voice communications systems.
 

ff-medic

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Banned
Joined
Oct 12, 2007
Messages
727
Location
The Appalachians - Next to the tent and campfire.
3. Why would you talk to officers who know nothing about radio systems and go on their suggestions? Yeah, talk to them, get their input, but to leave the decision to them? No. Just....No...
Talking to the officers, and paying attention to their imput will put some deal of overall consideration in the new radio system.

Imput as to logistics, ease of use, location of towers and or improved areas of coverage, and areas that have poor or spotty coverage ( portable or mobile radios ) can be discussed.

Most always consider the "Boots on the ground" and get their imput for radio systems.


FF - Medic !!!
 

ff-medic

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Banned
Joined
Oct 12, 2007
Messages
727
Location
The Appalachians - Next to the tent and campfire.
All the other departments upgraded and dont EVEN KNOW how much it costs yet, since the cost analysis isnt done.
The radio study itself, cost analysis, and what...if anything will be needed in the future. Then take all of that and compare that to the current radio system - the benefits and risk, and what degree of improvement will be made.



As for VHF vs 800 Mhz, a frequency is a frequency.
Incorrect. A frequency is not a frequency "per say". 800 Mhz is like a 3/4 inch drill bit when you need a drill with a diamond head on it to drill a huge rock wall. VHF - Low band and VHF - High band do better than 800 MHz will even think about - my opinion and assessment.

The real deal is analog vs digital. What the author really needs to do is interview the deputies, and see how they feel about their current system. If its OK, why feed the Motorola money pit.
There is a difference between the propagation of analog and digital signals. Digitial signals have their set back "transiting through the air" but they do enable one to have better audio quality. Digital radio takes normal voice - changes it to a computer language - then at the other end of the receiving radio - turns it back into normal voice. Essentially it is transmitting 1's and 0's ( computer language ) "Over the air". That is why with some digital protocols, you have trouble with background noise near someone transmitting in digital mode ; the background noise disrupts the radio transmission.

I would rather feed the Vertex or Kenwood money pit. Some people just do not understand.

FF - Medic !!
 
Last edited:

davenlr

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
637
Location
North Little Rock, Ar
FF-Medic:

Im aware of the propagation distance differences between VHF and 800, what I was pointing out is, the system can work on either band. In the grand scheme of things, since they are on VHF now, it will take many more sites to equal their current system on 800 Mhz. And sites are money.

Im not bashing Motorola when I say the "money pit". I am bashing the idea that I as a taxpayer, and having to pay for a new radio system every 10 years (here in my location anyway), where there was nothing wrong with the current system, other than the manufacturer (motorola in our case) dropping "support" for the system, basically forcing everyone to "upgrade".

Same thing Microsoft does. Drop support for Windows XP, even though millions are still using it, and having no issues. Its a money decision of the manufacturer, not a user decision. In our case, the entire county (police, fire, utilities, etc) were all on a Smartnet system. It worked well. Sites were well planned out, and worked with nary a dead spot for off the hip county wide portable use. BUT with no support, they were pretty much pushed into the new digital system. As a scanner listener, I am OK with that...everyone in the state on one system makes for easy programming and listening. As a taxpayer, it seems rather wasteful. And as several fire and police departments out in the mountainous areas found out, they had terrible portable coverage, and ended up dropping off the statewide P25 system and going back to their old bands/repeaters.

Im reading as much as I can about the Nebraska P25 system using VHF. I really think that would have been a better solution for our statewide system, given the extra range per watt, but might have had problems in the urban areas...

I understand what you are saying though, and agree for the most part.
 

12dbsinad

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Messages
1,087
Im not bashing Motorola when I say the "money pit". I am bashing the idea that I as a taxpayer, and having to pay for a new radio system every 10 years (here in my location anyway), where there was nothing wrong with the current system, other than the manufacturer (motorola in our case) dropping "support" for the system, basically forcing everyone to "upgrade".
:


As a taxpayer, I'm concerned as well. Replacing systems 10 years old is obsurd. Especially if they are working as they should. But rest assured, every single person on here funds these things, and grants are not free money.
 
Last edited:

ff-medic

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Banned
Joined
Oct 12, 2007
Messages
727
Location
The Appalachians - Next to the tent and campfire.
FF-Medic:

Im aware of the propagation distance differences between VHF and 800, what I was pointing out is, the system can work on either band. In the grand scheme of things, since they are on VHF now, it will take many more sites to equal their current system on 800 Mhz. And sites are money.
Yes. 800 Mhz = More repeaters. And some people do not know why.

I would have taken the current system, maybe added a few repeaters and done P25 AES / DES.

Im not bashing Motorola when I say the "money pit". I am bashing the idea that I as a taxpayer, and having to pay for a new radio system every 10 years (here in my location anyway), where there was nothing wrong with the current system, other than the manufacturer (motorola in our case) dropping "support" for the system, basically forcing everyone to "upgrade" .
Yes....I understand your concern. The radio system in my county - From VHF-Low to VHF- High. We went VHF High in about 1993 or 1994. We have our "Dark Spots" but it is a good system. A system that has been in play for 20 years.

Im reading as much as I can about the Nebraska P25 system using VHF. I really think that would have been a better solution for our statewide system, given the extra range per watt, but might have had problems in the urban areas....
Uhhhhh. VHF-High is a good system. For a statewide system.........I prefer UHF. YES, I know I could get some argument on that - and VHF-High is better for point to point.......But overall, I am a huge UHF fan. I can see the southeast - and Texas doing a VHF - 800 Mhz....because it is relatively flat....a desert. But the rest of the nation......the top number one band.....should be UHF in my opinion. I think it would work better than VHF overall, especially when using portables and in simplex mode. I have said this before......Public Safety nationwide.....should be UHF.

I hope VHF - Low band never dies or decreases in popularity. Nothing better than a 100 - 125 watt radio pushing out a signal on 37 to 39 Mhz. It does more than what the 35 - 55 watt VHF - High radio does.

I understand what you are saying though, and agree for the most part.
Thanks. I will keep my radio preference to "Simple" Land Mobile Radio to Vertex and Kenwood.

Outside Simple........Maybe "Harris", but that would require me to do more research. Other than in the military....I have never held a $3,000 portable radio before. ;)


FF - Medic !!!
 

ff-medic

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Banned
Joined
Oct 12, 2007
Messages
727
Location
The Appalachians - Next to the tent and campfire.
:


As a taxpayer, I'm concerned as well. Replacing systems 10 years old is obsurd. Especially if they are working as they should. But rest assured, every single person on here funds these things, and grants are not free money.

Wonder if they have the thought of "Improve Upon" in their heads.

I work for a Government Contractor. We are the Fire, EMS and Haz-Mat specialist. We have Fire Trucks, Ambulances on site - and a Haz-Mat response unit. The radio system at our plant is about 34 years old ( early 1980's ) ...or there abouts. The repeater is, as I was told, about 35 watts - but all of that 35 watts does not make it to the antenna ( about 150' above ground ). Hundreds of Acres of property.....and we have weak radio signals or radio signals with static.

If I go north, a huge power yard of high tension power lines ( electrical lines = ?? 150 kv ??) absorbs the radio signal...and although I am only a few hundred yards from the antenna...the radio signal is weak ( go figure huh ). If I go south ( ??? 1/4 - 1/2 of a mile ), the repeater antenna is not high enough off of the ground and terrain blocks the radio signal mostly.

Where I work - we desperately need a better radio (repeater) system and at least two new antennas - total, and too raise the height of the antennas to about 300 feet as to prevent small terrain and high tension power lines from blocking our radio signals. I would like to see an encrypted radio system.....But I am not in charge, nor do I control the money. We need a new repeater system, and I would prefer taking out the Motorolas and purchasing Vertex radios. A month.....or two of good weather....and if I had the money, radio team, and resources...I could put one heck of a radio system in. We use Motorolas..... both portable and mobiles.


No one listens to us in the know. :) ;)


FF - Medic !!!!
 
Last edited:

kem554991

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
45
Location
San Antonio, TX
I personally think this article is pretty biased. Saying that 800MHz digital is considered to be more reliable than tried-and-true analog VHF flies in the face of known facts. 800MHz digital has been plagued by reliability issues since it first became popular. Now a properly established and managed 800MHz digital system can be pretty much rock solid and have some added benefits over VHF, but as the news section of this site constantly reports, that's not always the case. And I've also found through personal experience that the sound of analog VHF tends to require a bit of ear training and experience to be able to understand it quickly and reliably, whereas 800MHz digital sounds almost exactly like the cellphones we use every day, negating the need for "ear training". To say that 800MHz digital is "crystal clear" is also an exaggeration. It's clearer than VHF analog, but it's not that good.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top