Pickens Co approves new emergency radio system

brian

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Pickens Co has approved the purchase and implementation of a new radio system for emergency services. Per the article, the system will consolidate all emergency services (except in Clemson, most likely) onto VHF. No word on if it's analog, P25, DMR or some other technology. The article states that an 800MHz system (likely Palmetto 800) would cost more than $10M more than this VHF system, which leads me to believe it won't be P25 - probably DMR or NXDN.

Lots of references to Federal dollars being spent on the system. At one time, DHS grants for radio systems required the purchase of P25 capable radios for interoperability. I don't get the impression that the Federal money being spent in this case has those restrictions, but I may be wrong.

Interesting to note that Anderson and Greenville are 800MHz P25 (Palmetto 800). Oconee County is DMR on VHF for fire and EMS, and DMR on UHF for Law Enforcement. Henderson Co NC is NXDN on VHF, and I think Transylvania and Jackson Cos NC are both VHF analog - Jackson may be transitioning to P25 on 800MHz (NC VIPER). If Clemson stays on Palmetto 800, I'm not sure how this really helps much with interoperability with other counties or state agencies. For sure, consolidating agencies and enabling interoperability within in the county is more important.
 

daugherh

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I saw a while back that a lot of the Pickens County licenses had been updated with NXDN emission designators recently. I wonder if that may be related.
 

mmckenna

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Federal grant funds, if used, do require the radio to be capable of p25 as well as AES256 encryption.
That does not preclude NXDN. Kenwood does have the NX-5000 line of radios that are P25 capable, as well as NXDN or DMR.
Just add the P25 conventional feature license, and totally OK for fed funding.
 

rescuecomm

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Actually in South Carolina, the state maintains multiple P25 conventional repeaters on SCTac and on 8DTac frequencies in all counties. The county EMA has to make a request to use them IIRC.
 

INDY72

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FARP doesn't have the P25 and AES restrictions that the usual DHS, and FEMA grants have. FARP is also a barely legal workaround that is exploited by some government agencies. It's not really meant for this use. It's more for public works, welfare, and such. If an agency isn't really careful with how the paperwork is done, the Feds will sue tf out of them, get the money back, and possibly pursue prison time for people. "Cough, cough, Brett Favre might be done for cough, cough" just as an example of legal issues due to government misuse of this money in MS.
 

KMG54

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From what I heard and this is all hearsay from a pickens county firefighter, it will be the Pal 800 system. They already have alot of radios from a few years ago and plan to reinstate them.I will also state that to of the 3 counties they border are on the Pal800 system, so it would only make sense. I am in the very far north pickens area and many call are shared with Slater Marrieta. Also stated in the aritical was money was granted, but no contractors or system was designated.
 
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KMG54

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You can buy a lot more radios for 10 million when you already have a unused Pal800 tower in pickens that is only used by one medical helicopter.
 

rescuecomm

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The Sheriff's office and Emergency management had a lot of XTS2500 800Mhz radios cached. Maybe 20 or 30? EMA charged up and used theirs at the Pumpkin Festival on a SC Tac analog simplex channel for a few years. I think they were used at a train derailment in Liberty after the first day. The XTS stuff is getting old, so anything they decide on using will have to be new. I was told that if a PAL800 compliant dispatch console is connected to the system using the microwave link or fiber, they can cross patch anything else to it temporarily and with permission. Pickens County should be able to link a NXDN VHF talkgroup to a PAL800 talkgroup IF the dispatchers are trained. Or they can buy the VP8000 radios.
 

p1879

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The other "favored vendor" mentioned in council notes was :
 

brian

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Here's another article from a different news source.

This one says the system will be a "high frequency radio system." That likely means a "Very High Frequency" or VHF system as the other article mentioned. If that's true, that rules out Palmetto 800 (800MH) and Fleettalk (UHF). Or maybe Palmetto 800 lets them build a VHF simulcast site for the county. That would be a first for Palmetto 800, but not unheard of. TACN in Tennessee has a mix of VHF and 800MHz sites.

This article also quotes a representative regarding interoperability with other counties: “We’ll be able to talk to each other on a common radio system because we’ll be on a common frequency." Difficult to know which counties this refers to, or what the "common frequency" is.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
 

KMG54

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All we can do is sit back and wait, who knows what is uo their sleeves but hopefully they will be on the 800 sytem
 

rescuecomm

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All we can do is sit back and wait, who knows what is uo their sleeves but hopefully they will be on the 800 sytem
I will need a new scanner for NXDN and Pal800 Phase 2 when that finally comes around anyway.

Not to be a party pooper, but has anyone heard LEO'S and FD/EMS/EMA use the same Pal800 talkgroup for a search? The FDs do use it for mutual aid.
 

daugherh

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10 new towers will be installed throughout Pickens County to provide the best coverage.
Article from WSPA

If they are building 10 new towers, if they are compliant with typical radio tower installations, that should be a decent chunk of 10 million. I agree with KMG54... all we can do is wait.
 

KMG54

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I will need a new scanner for NXDN and Pal800 Phase 2 when that finally comes around anyway.

Not to be a party pooper, but has anyone heard LEO'S and FD/EMS/EMA use the same Pal800 talkgroup for a search? The FDs do use it for mutual aid.
Yes River Falls when on search and rescue multiple times. I have heard them many of times on a TG with Greenville county and DNR on their own talkgroup.
 

KF4JYE

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I will need a new scanner for NXDN and Pal800 Phase 2 when that finally comes around anyway.

Not to be a party pooper, but has anyone heard LEO'S and FD/EMS/EMA use the same Pal800 talkgroup for a search? The FDs do use it for mutual aid.
In Anderson County, I have heard SD, multiple PD’s, multiple FD’s, and EMS using county Ops TG’s for missing persons coordination (multiple times over the last couple of years). I have also heard DNR using these TG’s with local agencies on Lake Hartwell drowning search & rescue events.
 

rescuecomm

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There's some updates on the Pickens County Upgrades thread below. According to insider info, ten NXDN 4800 UHF repeaters have been installed at the Glassy Mtn site and are being tested. The FCC license is WRZH814.
 
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