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Prince George County

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n3ncn

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I believe they are refering to PG Co. Va. They are getting a 400Mhz non- trunk system. I thought Md. at first also
 
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MOTORHEAD3902

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Prince George has a Co PD as well as a Sheriffs Office...and some of the Deputies on the Sheriffs Office work traffic on the road as well (tho not their primary responsibility). Both agencies use the same frequencies, with 453.1625 [PL229.1] being POLICE OPS 1...not trunked, though, thank goodness.
Interestingly enough, they still use their old vhf-hi FD/RS freq for mutual aid on occasion.

Keep Listening
BA

Also, the database seems complete and current for Prince George...of those things of which I am aware...
 
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lddbck

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Aug 7, 2006
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Yea the ones listed in the database work for me. Hear police, EMS and fire fine.
 

photone

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Apr 24, 2006
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The system's been up and running for a couple of months, and seems to work fairly well for them. I've heard from one member of the fire department that they have some problems with dead spots but so far I've been able to hear them fine from southern Chesterfield County (Just outside of Colonial Heights).
 

W4UVV

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Prince George, Virginia--Central Va.
P.G. Co. UHF System

To say they have problems with dead spots and shadow areas is an understatement. This evening on a F/R call near the Petersburg/Dinwiddie Co. area on Old Vaughan Road the mobile inputs at times were occasionally noisy and unreadable. Additionally, the total system audio volume level continues to be low. At first I thought it was my scanner volume setting until I heard the dispatcher recently tell two units she could not understand them because their radio volume ws low.. Other shadow areas include portions of Rt. 10.
Then other user's audio such as VSP on 158.9850 and 159.000 mhz. blasted out and i had to turn the volume down.

It is shame that millions of taxpayer dollars were spent on this analog uhf non-trunked system at 7 repeater sites using 6 ghz., a 10 ghz., an 11 ghz. a 21 ghz. and a 22 ghz. microwave links that is not impressive in performance contrary to what others may say.

Unfortunately Prince George County officials did not look first to Dinwiddie Co. who did their radio comm. system upgrade right. They went P25 non-trunked using a few new high band vhf frequencies. P. G. Co. had enough presently assigned high band vhf repeater frequencies to give the police, F/R, school buses and utilities their own frequency. Worst case would have been to request one or two more vhf high band frequencies if the police and F/R wanted their own tac channel or whatever. They still had their old vhf repeater towers that could have been used in the conversion effort. Installation of several additional remote tower sites could have been added and everything converted to P25 digital at hundreds of thousands of dollars less cost to the taxpayers than was spent for this UHF system. The P25 system also would afford better coverage to the shadow areas in the county. Those who have monitored the Dinwiddie Co. 151.0850 mhz. SO repeater and STARS 151-152/158-159 mhz. P25 transmissions prove that digital ground wave repeater and simplex signals are significantly superior to previous analog signals.

That didn't happen. Yesterday I was mobile in the Chester area. Previously the old PG Co. 159.1500 mhz. police and 155.1150 repeaters were solid copy mobile 20-25+ miles around the county. I noticed the "new' 453.1625 mhz. UHF PD repeater chopped and the system audio being low was difficult to understand with the ambient noise in the vehicle.

Such an amateur radio UHF repeater operation would not be tolerated. Our 444.275 mhz. amateur radio repeater in PG Co. is located on a water tower near I295/I95 which is about less than 1 air mile from the Courthouse UHF tower. It is 40 watts input to an omni-directional antenna located lower in height that the UHF ground planes on the Courthouse tower. I have made contacts through that repeater on Rt. 60 at Powhatan Co. Post Office and on Richmond Road in downtown Williamsburg....45 road miles from the county.

What's done is done and the county will have to live with it good and bad.
 

mlevin

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n3ncn said:
I believe they are refering to PG Co. Va. They are getting a 400Mhz non- trunk system. I thought Md. at first also
Sorry folks disregard. I was just reading the "new posts since my last visit" page and assumed MD.
 

photone

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W4UVV said:
To say they have problems with dead spots and shadow areas is an understatement. This evening on a F/R call near the Petersburg/Dinwiddie Co. area on Old Vaughan Road the mobile inputs at times were occasionally noisy and unreadable. Additionally, the total system audio volume level continues to be low. At first I thought it was my scanner volume setting until I heard the dispatcher recently tell two units she could not understand them because their radio volume ws low.. Other shadow areas include portions of Rt. 10.
Then other user's audio such as VSP on 158.9850 and 159.000 mhz. blasted out and i had to turn the volume down.

It is shame that millions of taxpayer dollars were spent on this analog uhf non-trunked system at 7 repeater sites using 6 ghz., a 10 ghz., an 11 ghz. a 21 ghz. and a 22 ghz. microwave links that is not impressive in performance contrary to what others may say.

Unfortunately Prince George County officials did not look first to Dinwiddie Co. who did their radio comm. system upgrade right. They went P25 non-trunked using a few new high band vhf frequencies. P. G. Co. had enough presently assigned high band vhf repeater frequencies to give the police, F/R, school buses and utilities their own frequency. Worst case would have been to request one or two more vhf high band frequencies if the police and F/R wanted their own tac channel or whatever. They still had their old vhf repeater towers that could have been used in the conversion effort. Installation of several additional remote tower sites could have been added and everything converted to P25 digital at hundreds of thousands of dollars less cost to the taxpayers than was spent for this UHF system. The P25 system also would afford better coverage to the shadow areas in the county. Those who have monitored the Dinwiddie Co. 151.0850 mhz. SO repeater and STARS 151-152/158-159 mhz. P25 transmissions prove that digital ground wave repeater and simplex signals are significantly superior to previous analog signals.

That didn't happen. Yesterday I was mobile in the Chester area. Previously the old PG Co. 159.1500 mhz. police and 155.1150 repeaters were solid copy mobile 20-25+ miles around the county. I noticed the "new' 453.1625 mhz. UHF PD repeater chopped and the system audio being low was difficult to understand with the ambient noise in the vehicle.

Such an amateur radio UHF repeater operation would not be tolerated. Our 444.275 mhz. amateur radio repeater in PG Co. is located on a water tower near I295/I95 which is about less than 1 air mile from the Courthouse UHF tower. It is 40 watts input to an omni-directional antenna located lower in height that the UHF ground planes on the Courthouse tower. I have made contacts through that repeater on Rt. 60 at Powhatan Co. Post Office and on Richmond Road in downtown Williamsburg....45 road miles from the county.

What's done is done and the county will have to live with it good and bad.
That pretty much confirms what my contacts have told me...I must be in a good location for reception, I have noticed that if I'm out and about and much north of homie the reception is much choppier than the old system (Which I had actually picked up as far South as Courtland on occasion)

Up towards Richmond, you loose reception all together.

Dinwiddie has an awesome system...sadly I can't always pick them up at home, but I know that's an antenna issue rather than a system issue. When I'm down in Dinwiddie...or even Southern Chesterfield...they all but blow me out of my car.

Also, Petersburg's getting ready to go to an 800mhz trunked digital system, supposedly within the next few months....they are an extremely busy small department, hopefully they'll get it right the first time. Interoperability with Colonial Heights and Chesterfield's a must, as both departments respond into the city regularly.

Prince George, ditto (In fact P.G. Company 1 and PFD Engine 5 responded together on a working vehicle fire yesterday afternoon in the 11000 block of South Crater Road).

This'll mean that Petersburg's rigs will still have to be equipped with at least two radios even after the switch-over.

Rob
 

W4UVV

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Prince George, Virginia--Central Va.
Interoperability Comms.

photone said:
That pretty much confirms what my contacts have told me...I must be in a good location for reception, I have noticed that if I'm out and about and much north of homie the reception is much choppier than the old system (Which I had actually picked up as far South as Courtland on occasion)

Up towards Richmond, you loose reception all together.

Dinwiddie has an awesome system...sadly I can't always pick them up at home, but I know that's an antenna issue rather than a system issue. When I'm down in Dinwiddie...or even Southern Chesterfield...they all but blow me out of my car.

Also, Petersburg's getting ready to go to an 800mhz trunked digital system, supposedly within the next few months....they are an extremely busy small department, hopefully they'll get it right the first time. Interoperability with Colonial Heights and Chesterfield's a must, as both departments respond into the city regularly.

Prince George, ditto (In fact P.G. Company 1 and PFD Engine 5 responded together on a working vehicle fire yesterday afternoon in the 11000 block of South Crater Road).

This'll mean that Petersburg's rigs will still have to be equipped with at least two radios even after the switch-over.

Rob
PG Co. to Petersburg and vice versa comms. basically are comprised of SIRS, teletype and the telephone/cellphone. Petersburg and Dinwiddie Co. have mutual aid F/R comms on 154.1900 mhz., but not with Prince George. Everybody is doing their own comm "thing". On the old 155.1150 mhz. PG F/R repeater Hopewell and Ft. Lee were users but not on the new UHF system. In past years travelling I heard the PG 154.8000 old Police repeater near the NC line on I85 and at Clinton, MD, near Andrews AFB. The 159.1500 PD and 155.1150 F/R repeaters were reasonably solid reception mobile west to the Crewe area, north to Richmond and south on I95, 460, and I85. Those days are gone. One thankful blessing about the UHF system is that I do not have any RF intemod from it.
 

kg4rgn

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Southport,NC
I agree with most of this tread. The new PG system on 453 is bad to poor in Williamsburg and on the Jamestown Ferry where as the old VHF system was a solid copy in JCC. Can we have the old system back. With the new system and my BC396T the new system is unreadable. Even with a discone antenna on top of my house in JCC, the new system is barely readable. Too bad......what were they thinking!
 

W4UVV

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Prince George, Virginia--Central Va.
PG UHF radio system

It's the same old story....non-technical management making technical decisions. Free technical help locally (i.e., some local amateur radio repeater owners/operators)was a few phone calls away but never made. Certain county individuals involved in this selection process also were involved in coordinating with technically knowledgeable individuals involving the installation of the 444.275 mhz. ham repeater on the water tower at I95/I295. Check the FCC database and notice the transmit and receive tower antenna heights especially for the Burrowsville site in the SE part of the county. The receive antenna is at the approximate 90 ft. level and transmit at 60 ft. Hello.....mature pines, oaks, and ugh...gum trees easily can be 80-100 ft. tall and serve as great RF attenuators. The old courthouse tower was 195 ft. and the vhf repeater (154.800 mhz.) had great coverage except for a few shadow areas. The 159.1500 repeater had to be moved to another repeater site a few miles away as the 154.800 trashed the 159.1500 repeater and vice versa when both were using the same Courthouse tower.

Time will tell. It will be interesting when the weather turns adverse to see how those 6 ghz. PTP links work. If I operated my 440 mhz. ham radio transceiver on any of the local repeaters with the audio level like is on the PG Co. system, I would immediately be told I had audio problems by others with the implication and inference of my resolving the problem ASAP and not to use the repeater until my transceiver was fixed. Hams have next to zero tolerance for those type of radio equipment performance deficiencies/problems.

I monitored the radio system grid testing done this past winter/spring for the PG UHF radio system. The mobile would check in with a transmission and grid number. On more than one occasion his audio was noisy but yet it was accepted as a good comm for that grid. My definition of good audio is not white noise on the carrier but noise free. One of the main reasons for the new radio system was to eliminate the comm. shadow areas in the county that put an officer's life at additional risk because of not being able to access the vhf repeater(s). I've seen how well that's worked out on the new UHF system. In my opinion, there were better choices that could have been made for a new radio system. Using 453 mhz. and 460 mhz. frequencies smack dab in the middle of MDT terminal frequency territory hell operating analog stand alone repeaters is not one of them. County employees have to support the new radio system publicly for job related reasons. I am not a county employee but I am a county taxpayer.

Please check your RR private email. I emailed you earlier today on another subject. If you call me I can provide you with some further background regarding the evolution of this new UHF radio system.
 

MOTORHEAD3902

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outskirts of tar bay
W4UVV hit the nail on its' head about non-technical people being involved in technical decision making processes...sadly. When I would ask folks involved in the new system's planning, it would appear that nobody knew WHOSE idea it was to go with UHF...I am reminded of correspondence (very curtly worded, at that) between the old state Department of Information Technology and another rural county that wished to move from VHF-Lo to UHF for their primary comms. This was some years ago, when i worked for another agency...the DIT consultant was not enthused or even pleased that the county insisted on this course of action, despite urgings and warnings to "seek allocations ELSEWHERE in the spectrum".
Now, just as back then, people who have NO IDEA how propagation "works" are making decisions that degrade the performance of the system...
60 ft transmitter height INDEED....

sorry for ranting, but paying taxes and getting a crap radio system for my troubles burns me up, too....

heres hoping no one gets hurt...
 

gcgrotz

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Charlottesville
OK I've got to comment, having spent lots of time in that area in years past.

1) Just a guess but was this system installed by *M*?

2) 6Ghz should not have weather problems if properly installed with enough fade margin. Given the intelligence that went into transmit antenna placements this may be doubtful.

3) Perhaps, like a lot of counties, PG has some problems with obtaining tower permits and they had to use what they could get. If so, blame the Supervisors.

4) Blame the Supervisors anyway because they surely had to sign off on it. And even though I don't live there, I suspect some of MY tax dollars were involved in the form of state and federal grants.

5) There should have been coverage maps generated in the planning stages. Were these faulty or incorrect or did the County know in advance it wouldn't work? Somebody should have to explain this.

Good luck you guys, I feel for you!
 
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