Pickens County Upgrades

daugherh

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Hey guys.

Just saw where some licenses have been recently granted (12/22) for Pickens County, SC. See here. Looks like normal FM and NXDN emission designators.

I was getting ready to buy some XPR5550s for ham use and monitoring local but am wondering now if I should look into something like a Kenword NX5800 that does analog/DMR/NXDN.

Anyone have any insight as to whether or not Pickens and the surrounding area is planning a switch to NXDN communications?
 

Low-Band

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That is interesting...
Last I heard (probably about a year ago) they were hoping to move the whole county to Palmetto 800. Keep in mind that is one person's vision, and it takes a lot of money to purchase radios for all departments in the county.
Since the Sheriff is already on Palmetto 800, it kind of makes sense.

From a funding perspective, it is definitely cheaper to upgrade equipment and move to NXDN on their existing VHF frequencies.

Hopefully others will chime in on what they know and/or have heard on the future plans.
 

Caesar

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I'm not saying it is them, but Fleet Talk by Rock Communications is continuously expanding in the Carolinas, however I believe all of their repeaters are UHF, not VHF like what you found. However, that is a good enough reason to get a NXDN capable radio. :) I just recently upgraded my SDS-100 for DMR and NXDN.
 

rescuecomm

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I'm hearing the PCSO using NFM on their usual UHF frequencies. With that said, there were rumors about Emergency Management (EMS and Rescue Squads) going to NXDN and the SO moving to DMR. This was from a source that said NXDN equipment had been purchased.

The prior sheriff was not interested in the single sited PAL800 system. Now with Clemson PD having a site, maybe the interest has been rekindled.
 

KMG54

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I am sure I remember hearing Easley PD on the 800 system. Old Larry programmed my pro 106 and could hear them fine. Then they went back to analog.This was more than likely 6 to 8 years ago.
 

rescuecomm

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What happened was the state got grants to provide 800 mhz radios to counties that weren't already on the PAL800. They also allowed a certain number of years free use of the system. When the grants ran out, Pickens County SO, Easley PD, and Liberty PD boxed up the radios and went back to their legacy systems. They might be paying for a few radios to use encrypted talkgroups.
 

rescuecomm

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Ah yes, Larry the Upstate Scanner Frequency Guide (Yellow booklet) publisher. He was a very interesting fellow. I'd see him at the BRARS hamfest occasionally.
 

KMG54

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All of Pickens county is still Analog, listen to the 800 tower and only hear Clemson fire once in a great while.
 

daugherh

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I'm hearing the PCSO using NFM on their usual UHF frequencies. With that said, there were rumors about Emergency Management (EMS and Rescue Squads) going to NXDN and the SO moving to DMR. This was from a source that said NXDN equipment had been purchased.

The prior sheriff was not interested in the single sited PAL800 system. Now with Clemson PD having a site, maybe the interest has been rekindled.

Have you been hearing the PCSO on the UHF frequencies the last couple days? Trying to figure out if my radios (in RX only mode) have drifted so bad suddenly that it's full quiet, if they've just been unusually quiet between 6:30 and 7:15 am the last few mornings or if something bigger has changed.
 

RADIOTECH1818

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I can confirm Pickens County will be going next edge & will be encrypting all communications.
All purchased and bided form rock communications with total of 8 towers to be added throughout the county.
With ruffly 1500 to 2500 radios to be purchased, consisting of mobiles and portables, and 13 dispatch consoles.
There are still ongoing communications if it's going to be a county owned and operated system on VHF NetEdge or they are going to expand the Carolina fleet talk systems owned by gumby and rock communications.
 
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rescuecomm

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That is interesting. Do you know how volunteers are alerted on NexEdge systems? Does anyone make a NexEdge pager? Add on commercial paging channel? Pickens County has a lot of volunteers both rescue squad and fire departments.
 

RADIOTECH1818

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All I know is that they are going NXDN bided from rock communications. I don't know how they are going to tone fire ems or rescues out yet.
It was between 10 mill for NXDN and 45 mill for 800 apx's yea they went NXDN.
 

brian

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That is interesting. Do you know how volunteers are alerted on NexEdge systems? Does anyone make a NexEdge pager? Add on commercial paging channel? Pickens County has a lot of volunteers both rescue squad and fire departments.
As a comparison, Henderson Co NC runs a multi-site NexEdge system also, and it sounds like Pickens Co will implement something similar. Henderson Co continues to run their conventional analog fire paging transmitter, and I assume that's to handle volunteer paging.

Polk Co NC also runs NXDN in "conventional" mode (not a trunked system like NexEdge). To my knowledge they no longer provide analog conventional tone-out. Perhaps they're depending on the CAD system to send SMS text messages to volunteers? Not sure how that impacts things like ISO ratings.

The cost difference between P25 and other digital modes is real, and in many case, really BIG. But there are some compromises that come along with those other digital modes and the corresponding cost savings. It's a shame that the State of SC isn't able to do more to help defray the cost of joining Palmetto 800 for these smaller counties, as the state's interoperability plan depends on agencies being on or at least having access to Palmetto 800. I guess when Motorola operates the system, then they set the pricing? I'd be interested to know how those relationships work (between the state, Motorola, local governments and other P25 vendors and manufacturers) and what options are really available for alternative P25 solutions.
 

Hardrock40

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So I have recently heard also, 10 million upgrade for Pickens County. I'm not on top of the scanner game but what I see is an SDS200 with the 75.00 NXDN upgrade will be needed for the new system? What are other options?
 

Hardrock40

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I am sure I remember hearing Easley PD on the 800 system. Old Larry programmed my pro 106 and could hear them fine. Then they went back to analog.This was more than likely 6 to 8 years ago.
Looking thru the FCC database I seen a couple records where Easley has a license on the 800. Just a guess but I figured it was used by Womac and the no longer Whitten.
 

Hardrock40

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If 1818 is correct about all talkgroups being encrypted, then the game is up. SDS200 with NXDN added is $700 plus?
Who would know at this point? Its 12 to 18 months out. Pickens County is transparent with the public mostly, where the cities inside of the county are not so friendly. They will deny FOIA request, or try and make it so expensive you wont ask. The point being, someone knows what the 10 Mil gets, Its public information and can be requested. But yes the SDS200 and upgrade would end up 800.00. I stream to broadcastify due to them keeping the recordings. Usually have 20 listeners unless somethings going on then it gets a lot more. If I can figure out to reach those people they may chip in. But can't even think on it until I know.
 
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